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3251  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Out of Havard? on: October 01, 2009, 08:00:35 PM
**Mr. Barro is a professor of economics at Harvard. Mr. Redlick is a recent Harvard graduate.**

 I would imagine they are not popular on campus about now.

Would the NYT carry their piece as opposed to the WSJ?
3252  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 01, 2009, 02:20:45 PM
Doug,
Don't you just love this stuff from liberal academia.
Like the one that came out recently from Boston (of course) that 44K people die every year because they don't have insurance.

LIke this one  that holds our standing in the World has had a sharp increase since Obama is President.  Though it may be too late to turn the downward trend.

Of course we are popular - he wants to give all away.

"The findings are based on analyses of public opinion surveys, votes in the U.N. General Assembly and the expert judgment of specialists in the field of comparative geopolitics, said Peter J. Katzenstein of Cornell University, a former president of the association."

Why does this above statement not make me feel fuzzy all over like apparently it does the author?


***Political scientists report drop in US standing
By BARRY SCHWEID (AP) – 6 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The United States' standing in the world declined in the past decade to below Cold War levels, according to a leading group of political scientists.

Favorable attitudes have risen sharply under President Barack Obama with his commitment to "restore American standing," but confidence in him appears to be in conflict with unfavorable attitudes about U.S. foreign policy, the American Political Science Association said in a report released Thursday.

"Many American leaders and citizens worry that this decline, despite a recent upturn, may be part of a long-term trend, one that will be hard to reverse," the report said.

While Obama has raised American esteem, he has not produced more European troops for Afghanistan, secured concessions from North Korea nor made any headway with Iran, the academics said.

Twenty political scientists worked on the report for more than a year. Two of them dissented from the conclusions, saying that "political bias affects perceptions" and that "the academic community, unbalanced as it is between self-identified Republicans and Democrats, is not immune to such bias."

The dissenters, Stephen D. Krasner of Stanford University and Henry R. Nau of The George Washington University, said U.S. standing is heavily influenced by political bias in the United States and political attitudes in foreign countries. Krasner was director of policy planning at the State Department under President George W. Bush.

The findings are based on analyses of public opinion surveys, votes in the U.N. General Assembly and the expert judgment of specialists in the field of comparative geopolitics, said Peter J. Katzenstein of Cornell University, a former president of the association.

American standing plunged most sharply in the Middle East and Europe, although authoritarian regimes in the Middle East are more supportive of U.S. policy than they can say publicly, the report said.

In Europe, there is a growing European identity and "a conscious political attempt to delink Europe from American policies," according to the report.

At the United Nations, support for U.S. positions has declined since the 1960s, and the decline was especially pronounced during the George W. Bush administration, the academics said. After some initial success, such as toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the United States grew mired in Iraq and Osama bin Laden remained at large. The success of the troop surge in Iraq may have helped improve attitudes toward the United States, the report said.

Helping raise U.S. esteem now are Obama's rhetorical skills and "what his election signifies about the openness of America," the report said.

"In policy terms, however, most (foreigners) believe that there has been little change in the U.S. disregard for the interests of their country, and that U.S. influence in the world is still mostly bad," the report said.

The American Political Science Association has more than 15,000 members.***

3253  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 30, 2009, 05:54:43 PM
Hi Rarick,

Good to have another poster.

"If you were the leader of a small country and saw how N. Korea managed to get Billions of dollars worth of "respect" wouldn't you take serious risks to get a nuclear stick?" 

I agree with you.

I think Iran is pursuing nucs for this reason.

Do you think they may not really be pursuing them and just bluffing with Amendinajan's rhetoric in order to get the same respect just the same?

Apparently some seem to think so.  Even Buchanan is implying this.



3254  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 30, 2009, 09:31:24 AM
Good luck to her and it is fine with me if she makes millions.

That said I don't why I would want to read her book.
 
We know her political stances on issues.

I wouldn't expect to gain insight into anything other than her from reading it.
3255  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 30, 2009, 09:28:25 AM
I look forward to Stossel on Fox.

"it had decided to have someone monitor the opinion media for ideas about stories."

Suggesting they follow the MSM pack about what to cover.

 
3256  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buchanan - position of an isolationist/anti-"Jewish lobbyist" on: September 30, 2009, 09:23:01 AM
I agree with Pat on many issues but not this one.

It is predictable he will pick and write about any evidence he can gather that would support his isolationist position - made a bit more complicated by his well known dislike of the "Jewish Lobby".

Question:  If Iran was interested in only peaceful purpose for nuclear energy than why have it's main spokesman going around the world telling it is nearing the time Israel will be wiped out?

If it is just a bluff what is he gaining by it?



***Is Iran Nearing a Bomb?
by  Patrick J. Buchanan

09/29/2009

That Iran is building a secret underground facility near the holy city of Qom, under custody of the Revolutionary Guard -- too small to be a production center for nuclear fuel, but just right for the enrichment of uranium to weapons grade -- is grounds for concern, but not panic.

Heretofore, all of Iran's nuclear facilities, even the enrichment plant at Natanz -- kept secret before exiles blew the whistle in 2002 -- have been consistent with a peaceful nuclear program.

Iran has also been on solid ground in claiming that, as signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, she has a right to enrich uranium and operate nuclear plants, as long as she complies with treaty obligations.
 

Under the Safeguard Agreement to the NPT, these include notification, six months before a nuclear facility goes operational.

According to U.S. officials, construction of this site began in 2006 and is only months from completion. And Tehran did not report it to the International Atomic Energy Agency until a week ago, when they were tipped the Americans were onto it and about to go public.

Iran's explanation: This facility is benign, a backup to Natanz, to enable Iran to continue enriching uranium to fuel grade, should America or Israel bomb Natanz. It is a hedge against attack. And contrary to what Barack Obama implies, the facility is designed to enrich uranium only to the 5 percent needed for nuclear fuel, not the 90 percent needed for nuclear weapons.

Still, the burden of proof is now upon Tehran.

President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei must convince IAEA inspectors this small secret facility that can house only 3,000 centrifuges has the same purpose as Natanz, which can house 58,000. Or they will be exposed as liars -- to the West, to the Russians who have served as their defense counsel and to their own people.

For while Iranians are near unanimous in backing their national right to peaceful nuclear power, they do not all want nuclear weapons. And the Ayatollah has declared, ex cathedra, that Iran is not seeking them, and possession or use of such weapons is immoral and contrary to the teachings of Islam.

If Obama is right that the secret facility is "inconsistent with a peaceful program," but compatible with a weapons program, Ayatollah Khamenei has a credibility problem the size of Andrei Gromyko's, when he assured President Kennedy there were no Soviet missiles in Cuba. And President Kennedy had the photos in his desk.

Diplomats have been called honest men sent abroad to lie for their country. But ayatollahs, as holy men, are not supposed to be descending to diplomatic duplicity.

Obama's dramatic announcement represents a coup for U.S. intelligence, but it also raises questions.

Reportedly, we have known of this Qom facility "for several years." Yet, in late 2007, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) said that U.S. agencies had "moderate confidence" that Iran had ended any nuclear weapons program in 2003.

In August, Walter Pincus, in a Washington Post story -- "Iran Years From Fuel for Bomb, Report Says" -- wrote, "Despite Iran's progress since 2007 toward producing enriched uranium, the State Department intelligence analysts continue to think that Tehran will not be able to produce weapons-grade material before 2013."

This was the judgment of the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, based on "Iran's technical capability."

Query: If State's top intelligence analysts, this year, did not think Iran could enrich to weapons grade until 2013, had they been kept in the dark about the secret facility near Qom?

Two weeks ago, in a Web exclusive, Mark Hosenball wrote, "The U.S. intelligence community is reporting to the White House that Iran has not restarted its nuclear weapons development program, two counter-proliferation officials tell Newsweek."

The officials told the White House the conclusion of the 2007 NIE -- i.e., Iran had halted its weapons program in 2003 -- stood.

Were these two counter-proliferation officials also out of the loop on the secret site? Or did they know of it, but fail to share the sense of alarm and urgency President Obama showed last week?

Despite last week's revelation, the Obama policy of talking to Tehran makes sense. Whatever the ayatollah's intentions, IAEA inspectors have his lone ton of low-enriched uranium at Natanz under observation. To enrich it to weapons grade, it must be moved.

America's twin goals here are correct, compatible and by no means unattainable: no nukes in Iran, no war with Iran.

Bombing would unite that divided country behind a regime whose repressed people detest far more than we, as they have to live under it. Patience and perseverance, as in the Cold War, may be rewarded with the disintegration of a state that is today divided against itself.

We outlasted the Red czars. We will outlast the ayatollahs.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."****

My answer to Buchanan's question is Iran is obviously working to build a bomb(s).  How near it is no one seems to be sure - at least publically.
3257  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 29, 2009, 09:53:21 AM
Doug

This erronous conclusion was made public before OBama became President.

W very much let Israel drift in the wind at the end of his second term.

I don't think he wanted to but he was so politically destroyed by the left's attacks and falling in the polls he abandoned them.
3258  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 29, 2009, 09:47:30 AM
Where the enemies of 1973 sensed a debilitating Israeli over-confidence on the conventional battlefield, the enemies of 2009 realize that Israel is hard-pressed to explain the intricacies and moralities of the civilian theater of war they have imposed upon us. And if there's one thing that hasn't changed in 36 years, it is that when our enemies identify Israeli hesitation, disarray and weakness, they will relentlessly seek to exploit it.

And now they do the same with the American leadership.

Our morality and kindness hurts us.

Years ago coutries had no problem leveling cities and towns of enemies without regard to "civilians".
Now we are so worried about hurting an innocent and having it shown on cable around the world we actually screw ourselves.
And our enemies rather than receiving our kindness with cooperation and peace receive as weakness and fight even harder with more contempt.

3259  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 29, 2009, 09:39:00 AM
As per the NYT
Publically released opinions:
Israel:  Iran has restarted weaponization.
Germany:  Iran never stopped weaponization.
France:  There is more going on then international inspectors say.
US:  Iran has halted weaponization in 2003.

The US position is the most interesting is it not?
It is conveniently in line with undermining any pre emptive attack from Israel.
This all comes about since we did not find and prove the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Ever since then and the political turning of the tide here in the US, W and now OBama have thrown Israel to the winds of que cera que cera.

***By William J. Broad, Mark Mazzetti and David E. Sanger

updated 11:56 p.m. ET, Mon., Sept . 28, 2009
WASHINGTON - When President Obama stood last week with the leaders of Britain and France to denounce Iran’s construction of a secret nuclear plant, the Western powers all appeared to be on the same page.

Behind their show of unity about Iran’s clandestine efforts to manufacture nuclear fuel, however, is a continuing debate among American, European and Israeli spies about a separate component of Iran’s nuclear program: its clandestine efforts to design a nuclear warhead.

The Israelis, who have delivered veiled threats of a military strike, say they believe that Iran has restarted these “weaponization” efforts, which would mark a final step in building a nuclear weapon. The Germans say they believe that the weapons work was never halted. The French have strongly suggested that independent international inspectors have more information about the weapons work than they have made public.

Meanwhile, in closed-door discussions, American spy agencies have stood firm in their conclusion that while Iran may ultimately want a bomb, the country halted work on weapons design in 2003 and probably has not restarted that effort — a judgment first made public in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate.

The debate, in essence, is a mirror image of the intelligence dispute on the eve of the Iraq war.

This time, United States spy agencies are delivering more cautious assessments about Iran’s clandestine programs than their Western European counterparts.

The differing views color how each country perceives the imminence of the Iranian threat and how to deal with it in the coming months, including this week’s negotiations in Geneva — the first direct talks between the United States and Iran in nearly 30 years.

In the case of the plant outside Qum, designed for uranium enrichment, some nuclear experts speculate that it is only part of something larger. But a senior American official with access to intelligence about it said he believed the secret plant was itself “the big one,” but cautioned that “it’s a big country.”

This distinction has huge political consequences. If Mr. Obama can convince Israel that the exposure of the Qum plant has dealt a significant setback to the Iranian effort, he may buy some time from the Israelis.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified intelligence assessments.

Uranium enrichment — the process of turning raw uranium into reactor or bomb fuel — is only one part of building a nuclear weapon, though it is the most difficult step. The two remaining steps are designing and building a warhead, and building a reliable delivery system, like a ballistic missile.

American officials said that Iran halted warhead design efforts in 2003, a conclusion they reached after penetrating Iran’s computer networks and gaining access to internal government communications. This judgment became the cornerstone of the 2007 intelligence report, which drew sharp criticism from Europe and Israel, and remains the subject of intense debate.

Disagreeing with the Americans, Israeli intelligence officials say they believe that Iran restarted weapons design work in 2005 on the orders of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. The Americans counter that the Israeli case is flimsy and circumstantial, and that the Israelis cannot document their claim.
German intelligence officials take an even harder line against Iran. They say the weapons work never stopped, a judgment made public last year in a German court case involving shipments of banned technology to Tehran. In recent interviews, German intelligence agencies declined to comment further.***
3260  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 28, 2009, 12:49:06 PM
BIG NEWS: Dick Cheney | Barack Obama | China | GOP | Sustainability| More...
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 The Huffington PostSeptember 28, 2009 
   
     
   
The other point of view from the Huffington post.  Obama's strategy is "brilliant" though it may not be enough:

****The good news is that President Obama has a brilliant strategy for dealing with Iran. The bad news is that brilliance may not be enough. In a few months he could face the most severe foreign policy crisis a young president has faced since John F. Kennedy stumbled into the Bay of Pigs.

Obama has taken several steps in the past few weeks that show he is thinking strategically about how to defang Iran's nuclear threat. For one thing, Obama is trying to bring Russia on board. By announcing that he has no intention of stationing a nuclear defense system in Eastern Europe, Obama removed a significant impediment to smoother relations with Moscow. In return, he needs Moscow's cooperation in confronting Iran. He already has the support of Britain and Germany. Constructing an alliance capable of implementing tough sanctions against Tehran is the kind of multilateral diplomacy that the Bush administration scorned. Obama doesn't.

Obama's call for a nuclear-free world is also a big plus, one that, among other things, further helps refurbish America's battered image in Europe. At an election rally in Germany, the head of the liberal party, Guido Westerwelle, announced Obama's call for a nuclear-free world almost as soon as he had made it. Obama's focus on the dangers posed by nuclear weapons further exposes Tehran as an anomalous, retrograde power. The regime is on the wrong side of history. It isn't a progressive power, but a backward one that is pursuing a dangerous course that will further isolate it. Obama, after all, wants to strip the mullahs of their moolah by pushing for punitive sanctions.

But if the hardline clerics are intent on obtaining the bomb -- as opposed to the knowledge of how to construct one -- then sanctions won't be enough. Then Obama will be confronted with an Israeli government determined to attack Iranian nuclear sites. And he'll be urged to do it himself by both liberal hawks and neocons back home.

Will Obama be able to carve out some face-saving deal with Iran? Or is he heading into a major crisis? Iraq and Afghanistan may turn out to be sideshows as Obama focuses on the threat from Tehran. But so far, Obama has handled Iran perfectly with a mixture of threats and promises of cooperation.****
3261  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How long can we continue empty threats? on: September 28, 2009, 10:56:28 AM
I go to Drudgereport and I see articles about Iran's defiance, China is testing long range missle, and India is making higher grade nuclear material.

Obama and his cronies fly around the world and (as Krauthammer says while apologizing for US "wickedness") says for the thousandth time, "now we are serious", "now we will get tough", "now we will make sanctions hurt", "now we are warning Iran", etc etc.
The US has been doing this for years - it really would be laughable if not so sad and tragic.

We are headed for another world war if you ask me.  This is the 1930s all over again.  Our economy has crashed and we have a leadership running around appeasing our enemies all the while they continue to arm and quite frankly state exactly what they plan to do.  It isn't obvious by now?  We need to drop a bomb in the Gulf and let Iran know the next one is on Amedingjon's head.

I don't see any other way.  If the US won't do it (One can legitimately make the argument it is not in our interest) than I guess Israel will have to - if they can).
If we don't do it we will be more than sorry in the future.

Sound crazy - it is.  But continuing with talks is even more.

***Iran flexes muscle ahead of talks
An Iranian Zelzal missile is launched during a test at an unknown location in central Iran September … By Fredrik Dahl and Hossein Jaseb Fredrik Dahl And Hossein Jaseb – 33 mins ago
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran test-fired missiles on Monday which a commander said could reach any regional target, flexing its military muscle before crucial talks this week with major powers worried about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The missile drills of the elite Revolutionary Guards coincide with escalating tension in Iran's nuclear dispute with the West, after last week's disclosure by Tehran that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.

News of the nuclear fuel facility south of Tehran added urgency to the rare meeting in Geneva on Thursday between Iranian officials and representatives of six major powers, including the United States, China and Russia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who says any military action against Iran would only "buy time" and stresses the need for diplomacy, mentioned possible new sanctions on banking and equipment and technology for Iran's oil and gas industry.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said there was no link between the missile maneuvers and the nuclear activities.

"This is a military drill which is deterrent in nature," spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a news conference. "There is no connection whatsoever with the nuclear program."

Press TV said the Shahab 3, a surface-to-surface missile with a range of up to 2,000 km (1,250 miles), was "successfully" test-fired on the second day of an exercise that began on Sunday, when short and medium-range missiles were launched.

Such a range would put Israel and U.S. bases in the region within striking distance. Television footage of the launches showed missiles soaring into the sky in desert-like terrain, to shouts of Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest).

"All targets within the region, no matter where they are, will be within the range of these missiles," said General Hossein Salami, commander of the Guards' air force.

Salami said the exercise was over and had achieved its goals. "All the test-fired missiles managed to hit their targets without any errors and with precision," the forces website quoted him as saying.

WIDE CONDEMNATION

The tests sparked swift international condemnation.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the missile test was "part of an annual provocation" by Iran and should not distract from the pending Geneva talks.

"On Thursday (Iran will) need to ... show that they are serious about ensuring that their civilian nuclear power program does not leak into a military program," Miliband told Britain's Sky News.

European Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, who will head the Western delegation in the Geneva talks, said "everything that is done in that context is a concern."

He said the aim of Thursday's talks was "engagement."

When asked what sanctions Iran should face if it failed to comply with Western demands over its nuclear program, Solana said "now is not the time to talk about that."

France called on Iran "to choose the path of cooperation and not that of confrontation by immediately ending these profoundly destabilizing activities and by immediately responding to the requests of the international community in order to reach a negotiated solution on the nuclear dossier."

Russia, meanwhile, urged restraint.

"We should not give way to emotions now," a Russian foreign ministry source told Interfax news agency. "We should try to calm down and the main thing is to launch a productive negotiations process (with Iran)."

The ministry source said the international community should wait to see what Iranian officials say at the Geneva talks before taking action.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that if Iran does not cooperate at the meeting, then "other mechanisms" should be used to deal with Tehran's nuclear programme. Medvedev did not explicitly say whether Russia would support Western calls for sanctions against Iran.

The United States and its Western allies have made clear they will focus on Iran's nuclear programme at the Geneva meeting. Iran has offered wide-ranging security talks but says it will not discuss its nuclear "rights."

Washington, which suspects Iran is trying to develop nuclear bomb capability, has previously expressed concern about Tehran's missile programme. Iran, a major oil producer, says its nuclear work is solely for generating peaceful electricity.

ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS

The Pentagon chief told CNN he hoped the disclosure of the second facility would force Tehran to make concessions. "The Iranians are in a very bad spot now because of this deception, in terms of all of the great powers," Gates said.

"There obviously is the opportunity for severe additional sanctions. I think we have the time to make that work."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran must present "convincing evidence" at the Geneva meeting.

"We are going to put them to the test on October 1," Clinton told CBS' "Face the Nation. "They can open their entire system to the kind of extensive investigation that the facts call for."

Both interviews were taped before Iran started the two-day missile exercise, designed to show it is prepared to head off military attacks by foes like Israel or the United States.

Iran's state broadcaster IRIB said "upgraded" versions of Shahab 3 and another missile, Sejil, had been tested. Officials have earlier said Sejil has a range of close to 2,000 km (1,250 miles). They were powered by solid fuel, IRIB said.

Neither the United States nor its ally Israel have ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear row.

Iran has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests in the region and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for world oil supplies.

Iran's defense minister warned Israel on Monday against launching any attack on the Islamic Republic, saying it would only speed up the Jewish state's own demise.

"If this happens, which of course we do not foresee, its ultimate result would be that it expedites the Zionist regime's last breath," Ahmad Vahidi said on state television.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday the discovery of a secret nuclear plant in Iran showed a "disturbing pattern" of evasion by Tehran. He warned Iran on Friday it would face "sanctions that bite" unless it came clean.

Iran has rejected Western accusations that the plant was meant to be secret because it did not inform the U.N. nuclear watchdog as soon as plans were drawn up, saying the facility near the holy city of Qom is legal and can be inspected.

(Reporting by Tehran and Washington bureaus, Avril Ormsby in London and Conor Humphries in Moscow; writing by Samia Nakhoul; editing by Dominic Evans)***
3262  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: September 28, 2009, 10:11:14 AM
I don't get it.  This guy never faced justice for essentially child abuse and the President of France is outraged he is finally being brought to justice after fleeing to safe havens for all these years. 

***Sarkozy wants ‘resolution’ to Polanski arrest
By Scheherazade Daneshkhu in Paris

Published: September 27 2009 13:22 | Last updated: September 27 2009 16:28

President Nicolas Sarkozy said he hoped for a “speedy resolution” to the arrest in Switzerland of Roman Polanski, the film director who has French nationality.

Speaking on behalf of the French president, Frederic Mitterand, culture minister, said on Sunday he was “amazed” to hear that Mr Polanski was detained by Swiss police on Saturday night, at the request of US authorities.

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Workplace suicides spark French outcry - Sep-18Christopher Caldwell: French suicides complicate corporate life - Sep-18Global Insight: Case poised to put French politics on trial - Sep-18France to count happiness in GDP - Sep-15French opposition sets out party reform plans - Aug-29French minister calls for ban on burka - Aug-14Mr Polanski, 76, was travelling to pick up an award at a Zurich film festival when he was arrested on a 1978 warrant. In 1977, he was arrested in Los Angeles for unlawful sex with an underage girl, which the director admitted. He fled before being sentenced and has been considered a fugitive from US justice ever since.

He lives in France, where he is protected by its limited extradition laws with the US and avoids visits to countries likely to extradite him.

Mr Mitterand said he was in close contact with Mr Sarkozy who was giving the matter “his utmost attention”.

Born in Paris of Polish parents of Jewish origin, Mr Polanski won Best Director Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist. His other celebrated films include Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown.

The festival directors, who had been planning to give Mr Polanski a lifetime achievement award, said they had received the news of his arrest with “great consternation and shock,” adding: “We are unable to judge the legal background surrounding the arrest.”

The Franco-Polish director made legal history in the UK in 2005 by becoming the first libel claimant to sue in the English courts using a video-link. Fearing extradition, Mr Polanski did not travel to the UK and successfully won a libel case against Vanity Fair magazine in London’s High Court after giving evidence via video-link.

The House of Lords ruled that his right to bring the libel claim trumped the fact that he was a fugitive from justice.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.****

3263  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War or Peace their choice on: September 26, 2009, 10:59:38 AM
I can't find it now but does anyone remembr who the Roman Emperor was who said something to his enemies like,

"If you want peace we will give you peace, if you want war we will give you war, it makes NO difference to us".

That my friends is why Rome last sereral hundred years.

I doubt the caesar or emperor who said this was popular with his enemies.

Unlike today our President is beloved by ours.  And that says it all.

Thank God it is Netenyahu who leads Israel and not Obama.





3264  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 26, 2009, 10:45:39 AM
Mort Zuckerman - hardly a conservative - from sept. 24 but not 2009 - it is from 2008.
His prediction for the worsening crises in the Middle East is now fact.  His reiteration of Bidne's prediction that the One would be tested is also now fact.  Our enemies love our President unlike any we have ever had.

Russia is supplying our enemies while shaking the hand of the One.  Chavez now want to mine uranium.  N Korea and Iran are ever more confident in the weakness of the One.

There is only one choice for Israel.  Let the One play out as Krauthammer calls it - the farce.  Maybe that is good for Israel - let the One prove to the world that his way is the fool's way and then have more legitimacy to bomb Iran.

In any case this was written a year ago by a liberal Jewish guy:

http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/mzuckerman/2008/10/24/the-coming-middle-east-crisis.html
3265  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 25, 2009, 11:52:45 AM
"Bottom line: If the Iranians indicate that they will not cooperate and the Russians do not budge on their opposition to imposing sanctions, then war could come suddenly — and from the United States. All the pieces for that war are already in place."

Are you kidding?

Where in the world would Stratford conclude this?

I seriously doubt this.

Israel will have to do it alone.

3266  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 25, 2009, 09:53:39 AM
The US's full retreat and appeasement to everyone overseas (except our friends) continues.
Of course Chavez, Ghaddafi and all the rest of our enemies and adversaries are praising Obama.
Obama to the border patrol:  let more Democrats come on in.  Will just continue our redistribution of wealth to his  personal constituents.  So despite us having a President who is doing everything possible to weaken the US he is still popular because he can buy off enough voters.  Great.   

CNSNews.com
Administration Will Cut Border Patrol Deployed on U.S-Mexico Border
Thursday, September 24, 2009
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief




A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer is seen from Mexico's side of the San Ysidro port of entry guarding vehicles involved in a shooting in Tijuana, Mexico, Sept. 22, 2009. Four people were injured in a gun battle involving an attempt to smuggle illegal immigrants from Mexico at the busiest border crossing in the U.S., authorities said. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)(CNSNews.com) - Even though the Border Patrol now reports that almost 1,300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is not under effective control, and the Department of Justice says that vast stretches of the border are “easily breached,” and the Government Accountability Office has revealed that three persons “linked to terrorism” and 530 aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints last year, the administration is nonetheless now planning to decrease the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border.
 
Border Patrol Director of Media Relations Lloyd Easterling confirmed this week--as I first reported in my column yesterday--that his agency is planning for a net decrease of 384 agents on the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal 2010, which begins on October 1.
 
A Department of Homeland Security annual performance review updated by the Obama administration on May 7 said the Border Patrol “plans to move several hundred Agents from the Southwest Border to the Northern Border to meet the FY 2010 staffing requirements, with only a small increase in new agents for the Southwest Border in the same year.”
 
Easterling said on Tuesday that in fiscal 2009, 17,399 Border Patrol agents have been deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border. In fiscal year 2010, the Border Patrol plans to decrease that by 384 agents, leaving 17,015 deployed along the Mexican frontier. At the same time, the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Canada border will be increased by 414, from a fiscal 2009 total of 1,798 agents to a fiscal 2010 total of 2,212.
 
The Border Patrol is responsible for securing a total of 8,607 miles of border, including the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S.-Canada border from Washington state to Maine, and sectors of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
 
Each year, the Border Patrol sets a goal for “border miles under effective control (including certain coastal sectors).” “Effective control,” as defined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, means that when the Border Patrol detects an illegal border crosser in a particular area of the border the agency can be expected to succeed in apprehending that person.
 
In the May 7 update of its performance review, DHS said the Border Patrol’s goal for fiscal 2009 was to have 815 of the 8,607 miles of border for which the agency is responsible under “effective control.”  The review also said the Border Patrol’s goal for fiscal 2010 was to again have 815 miles of border under “effective control,” meaning DHS was not planning to secure a single additional mile of border in the coming year.
 
However, Acting Deputy Assistant Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Todd Owen told a House committee in July that the Border Patrol already had 894 miles of border under effective control as of May 31 of this year.  These 894 miles, Owen said, included 697 miles on the Mexican border, 32 miles on the Canadian border and 165 miles in the coastal sectors.
 
Easterling said this week that as of now the Border Patrol still has the same 894 miles of border under effective control that it had under effective control as of May 31. He also said the agency would not relinquish control of any of these miles in the coming year.  After the beginning of the new fiscal year, he said, the Border Patrol would reevaluate the situation and set a new goal for border miles under “effective control” for 2010 that would at least equal, and might exceed, the 894 miles currently under effective control.
 
“The intention is to take back the border incrementally, and make gains that we can keep,” Easterling said. “We do not intend, nor will we give back, miles that we have gained control over.”
 
Easterling said the Border Patrol would be able to maintain the current number of miles under effective control on the Mexico border with fewer agents deployed there thanks to “force multipliers,” including new fencing, roads and other infrastructure that has been built in recent years. He also cited the assistance the Border Patrol receives from local police and sheriffs departments and community watch groups.
 
But even if the Border Patrol is able to maintain or marginally improve on the current level of security on the U.S.-Mexico border, most of the border will remain effectively open to smuggling both contraband and persons.
 
The entire U.S.-Mexico border is 1,954 miles long, according to the International Boundary and Water Commission. While 697 of those miles are now under “effective control,” according to the Border Patrol, 1,257 miles are not under “effective control.”
 
Reports from other government agencies paint a vivid picture of the massive drug and alien smuggling that takes place in these uncontrolled expanses and the national security problem created by unsecured border lands.
 
Each year, the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center produces “drug market analyses” for each of 32 regions of the country that the NDIC describes as “high intensity drug trafficking areas.” Five of these areas sit along the U.S.-Mexico border. These include the California border region, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and South Texas. The latest reports, released in March and April of this year, use candid language in portraying the U.S.-Mexican frontier as wide open to drug smuggling and even vulnerable to penetration by potential terrorists.
 
The California-Mexico border, the NDIC said, was “easily breached” on both foot and in vehicles.
 
“The vast border area presents innumerable remote crossing points that traffickers exploit to smuggle illicit drugs, primarily marijuana, into the country from Mexico,” said NDIC. “These areas are easily breached by traffickers on foot, in private vehicles, or in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as they smuggle drugs between POEs [ports of entry], particularly the mountainous areas in eastern San Diego County and the desert and sand dune areas in Imperial County.”
 
Arizona’s border was judged to be open not only to drug smugglers but also aliens with “extensive criminal records” and from “special interest countries,” which are defined as “countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism.”
 
“Some criminal organizations smuggle aliens and gang members into the United States,” said NDIC’s report on Arizona. “These particular individuals typically have extensive criminal records and pose a threat, not only to the Arizona HIDTA [high intensity drug trafficking area] region but also to communities throughout the United States. Alien smuggling organizations reportedly also smuggle aliens from countries other than Mexico, including special-interest countries.”
 
“Special-interest countries are those designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism,” said the NDIC report.
 
The NDIC described the Arizona-Mexico border as “largely underprotected” in the areas between official ports of entry.
 
“Large amounts of illicit drugs are smuggled into the area from Mexico, and bulk cash is transported from the area into Mexico,” said NDIC. “These trafficking activities are facilitated by several factors unique to the region, including the continuing economic and population growth in Arizona’s two primary drug markets (Phoenix and Tucson), the highways that connect major metropolitan areas in Arizona with major illicit drug source areas in Mexico, and a remote, largely underprotected border area between Arizona’s ports of entry (POEs).
 
“Vast stretches of remote, sparsely populated border areas are located within the HIDTA region; these areas are especially conducive to large-scale drug smuggling,” said NDIC. “By the end of January 2009, 108 miles of the 262-mile shared border between Arizona and Mexico will have some type of fencing. However, few physical barriers exist in border areas between POEs, particularly in the West Desert area of the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Tucson Sector, to impede drug traffickers, chiefly Mexican DTOs, from smuggling illicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico.”
 
Part of the New Mexico border was described as “an ideal smuggling corridor.”
 
“Southwestern New Mexico—specifically Hidalgo, Luna, and Dona Ana Counties—shares a 180-mile border with Mexico,” said NDIC. “More than half the length of this border is desolate public land that contains innumerable footpaths, roads, and trails. Additionally, many ranches are located along the border. These factors and minimal law enforcement coverage make the area an ideal smuggling corridor for drugs and other illicit goods and services— primarily alien smuggling into the United States and weapons and bulk cash smuggling into Mexico. Mexican DTOs smuggle multihundred-kilogram quantities of illicit drugs through this portion of the HIDTA region annually.”
 
Like the California border, the South Texas border is also “easily breached,” according to the NDIC.
 
“The combination of vast stretches of remote, sparsely populated land and extensive crossborder economic activity at designated ports of entry (POEs) creates an environment conducive to large-scale drug smuggling,” said NDIC. “Few physical barriers exist between POEs to impede drug traffickers, particularly Mexican DTOs, from smuggling illicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico. Along many areas of the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas, the Rio Grande River can be easily breached by smugglers on foot or in vehicles, enabling Mexican DTOs to smuggle multikilogram quantities of illicit drugs, primarily marijuana and cocaine, into the United States.”
 
In the West Texas sector, the NDIC again raised the possibility that terrorists could exploit the border to enter the country.
 
“Moreover, the region’s location along the U.S.-Mexico border poses national security and law enforcement issues for the region, such as alien smuggling, weapons transportation, and terrorist entry into the United States through and between ports of entry,” said NDIC.
 
While the U.S. government may be failing to exert effective control over most of the border, identical language in the NDIC reports for Arizona and West Texas said that drug trafficking organizations have set up “gatekeeper” operations that control smuggling into the U.S. and levy taxes on the smugglers they let through.
 
“Gatekeepers regulate the drug flow from Mexico across the U.S.-Mexico border into the United States by controlling drug smugglers’ access to areas along the border,” said the Arizona and West Texas NDIC reports. “Gatekeepers collect ‘taxes’ from smugglers on all illicit shipments that are moved through these areas, including drugs and illegal aliens. The taxes are generally paid to the DTO that controls the area; the DTO then launders the tax proceeds. Gatekeepers sometimes resort to extortion, intimidation, and acts of violence to collect taxes from smugglers. Gatekeepers also reportedly bribe corrupt Mexican police and military personnel in order to ensure that smuggling activities occur without interruption.”
 
“Gatekeepers generally operate at the behest of a Mexican drug trafficking organization (DTO) and enforce the will of the organization through bribery, intimidation, extortion, beatings, and murder,” said the reports.
 
A Government Accountability Office report released on August 31 pointed out that the Border Patrol’s top priority is to stop terrorists and weapons of mass destruction from entering the United States and revealed that three person’s “linked to terrorism” and hundreds of aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints in fiscal 2008. These checkpoints, which act as a final line of defense for the U.S. border, are typically set up on highways 25 to 100 miles north of the Mexican border.
 
“CBP reported that in fiscal year 2008, there were three individuals encountered by the Border Patrol at southwest border checkpoints who were identified as persons linked to terrorism,” said GAO.
 
“In addition, the Border Patrol reported that in fiscal year 2008 checkpoints encountered 530 aliens from special interest countries, which are countries the Department of State has determined to represent a potential terrorist threat to the United States,” said GAO. “While people from these countries may not have any ties to illegal or terrorist activities, Border Patrol agents detain aliens from special interest countries if they are in the United States illegally and Border Patrol agents report these encounters to the local Sector Intelligence Agent, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations, and the CBP National Targeting Center.”
 
The GAO also said one illegal alien detained in West Texas had come from Iran.
 
“For example,” said GAO, “according to a Border Patrol official in the El Paso sector, a checkpoint stopped a vehicle and questioned its three Iranian occupants, determining that one of those occupants was in the United States illegally. The individual was detained and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further questioning.”
 
There has been much discussion in the past week about whether President Barack Obama will heed the advice of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, to increase the U.S. troop deployment there.  The administration, however, has already decided to decrease by 384 the Border Patrol agents deployed on our own southern frontier.
3267  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 23, 2009, 07:42:27 PM
UN speech today could easily have come from Kofi Anan not a President of the US.
Or could it?

This must be a bad dream.  Tell me I am going to wake up.  I would be glad to have Bill Clinton back.

Notice the reference to "tyranny" on a couple of occasions on the ONe's megalomaniac speech to the world.  The One takes Mark Levin's use of the word to describe him and tries to turn it around.  No accident.
3268  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ScientificAmerican: at least another 100 yrs of oil on: September 23, 2009, 07:36:22 PM
***scientific american
From the October 2009 Scientific American Magazine Another Century of Oil? Getting More from Current Reserves ( Preview )
Amid warnings of a possible "peak oil," advanced technologies offer ways to extract every last possible drop
By Leonardo Maugeri   

  Forecasts that global oil production will soon start to decline and that most oil will be gone within a few decades may be overly pessimistic. The author predicts that by 2030, thanks to advanced technologies, wells will be able to extract half of the oil known to be underground, up from the current average of 35 percent. Together with new discoveries, the increased productivity could make oil last at least another century. More from the Magazine
On fourteen dry, flat square miles of California’s Central Valley, more than 8,000 horsehead pumps—as old-fashioned oilmen call them—slowly rise and fall as they suck oil from underground. Glittering pipelines crossing the whole area suggest that the place is not merely a relic of the past. But even to an expert’s eyes, Kern River Oil Field betrays no hint of the technological miracles that have enabled it to survive decades of dire predictions.

When Kern River Oil Field was discovered in 1899, analysts thought that only 10 percent of its unusually viscous crude could be recovered. In 1942, after more than four decades of modest production, the field was estimated to still hold 54 million barrels of recoverable oil, a fraction of the 278 million barrels already recovered. “In the next 44 years, it produced not 54 [million barrels] but 736 million barrels, and it had another 970 million barrels remaining,” energy guru Morris Adelman noted in 1995. But even this estimate proved wrong. In November 2007 U.S. oil giant Chevron, by then the field’s operator, announced that cumulative production had reached two billion barrels. Today Kern River still puts out nearly 80,000 barrels per day, and the state of California estimates its remaining reserves to be about 627 million barrels. ***

I can't post the rest of the article but the author gives a compelling reason why we have far more oil available then present estimates.
We always find more than expected.
3269  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hyman Minsky on: September 22, 2009, 01:53:18 PM
From the Boston Globe about an economist who predicted the latest crash.  His prescription is Obama like.
Big government supporting unions and jobs to the lower socioeconomic classes even if supported by big government.
Sounds simply like New Deal stuff. 

What is interesting is that we already have millions upon millions of lower wage jobs (ala Minsky) available for the unemployed.
If we simply throw out the illegals who work for low wages our unemployed would have ample opportunity to make some money at least till the economy picks up.
Instead we give it all away.  What dopes:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/09/13/why_capitalism_fails/?page=5
3270  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Online buying of antibiotics without Rx on: September 22, 2009, 11:35:03 AM
Online antibiotic sales may be fueling drug-resistance trend, researchers report
Antibiotics are widely available for purchase online without a prescription, making it easy for patients to self-medicate and potentially contributing to antibiotic resistance, a recent study found.

Researchers conducted searches on Google and Yahoo using the keywords “purchase antibiotics without a prescription” and “online” and compared vendors according to classes of drugs, quantity, shipping locations and shipping time. Of the 138 vendors found, almost all shipped to the U.S., 36.2% sold antibiotics without a prescription and 63.8% provided an online prescription. Available antibiotics included penicillins (94.2% of sites), macrolides (96.4%), fluoroquinolones (61.6%) and cephalosporins (56.5%), and drugs were often sold in higher quantities than a single course. The results appear in the September-October Annals of Family Medicine.

The findings suggest that many antibiotics taken in the U.S. are not impacted by physician prescribing practices and may be contributing to antibiotic resistance, the authors said. The Web sites studied promote self-diagnosis and self-medication, they added, and drugs are likely to be used in inappropriate dosages. In addition, because the drugs are available in large quantities and take a week or more to be delivered, it is likely that they are being stored for future use or to sell.

The results indicate that the observed decline in overall antibiotic prescribing for viral illnesses may be misleading because patients are able to go online for medications when they can’t get a prescription from their physician. Physicians can play a role in mitigating the problem, the authors continued, by educating patients who self-medicate about antibiotic resistance and potential drug interactions.

Among other limitations, the study does not analyze how customers in the U.S. are using the Web sites and the quantities being purchased, the authors acknowledged. Nonetheless, the results highlight a need for increased regulation of Internet sites beyond controlled substances, they concluded.

3271  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: September 22, 2009, 11:24:19 AM
Well the organizers of this "event" are known anit-semites, anti- Christians, defenders of suicide bombers, defenders of terrorists acts on the US, and not interested in peace as much as they claim. 
I doubt they condemn terrorist acts, killing murdering and bigotry coming from their side like they do when they criticize us.
I have some Muslim patients who blend in with the rest of us and seem to all appearances to be American, but I dont know about some of the more "radical" ones.

For example:

Abdul Alim Musa
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Imam Abdul Alim Musa (born 1945; Clarence Reams) is a Muslim activist and director of Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, D.C.. He is a member of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) and a well-known speaker around the world. He is founder and director of As-Sabiqun.
Reams was born in Arkansas in 1945 but grew up in Oakland, California during the 1960s. It was during this period that he associated with H. Rap Brown (Imam Jamil Al-Amin), who later converted to Islam.

Having set up a drug dealing operation operation in Colombia, Musa was arrested on charges including heroin smuggling, currency smuggling and assaulting a federal agent. After evading the authorities for several years, Musa fled to Algeria, where he came in contact with several exiled Black Panther leaders such as Eldridge Cleaver. After returning to the US, he turned himself in and was eventually incarcerated at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., among other institutions.[1]

While in prison, Musa converted to orthodox Islam. Musa suported the 1979 Iranian revolution, believing that it would lead to the revival of Islam.[1]

Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Musa publicly expressed his support for the Islamic Republic and its leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Since the early 1980s he made several visits to Iran as a representative of Muslims in the United States and a supporter of the Islamic revival. He made connections with a wide array of Muslim leaders during the decade - both Sunni and Shia - and stressed that unity was a primary objective for the Islamic movements success. His references the writings of Malcolm X, Ayatollah Khomeini, Sayyid Qutb, Maulana Maududi, and Kalim Siddiqui. New members of the group are encouraged to individually familiarize themselves with the works of these political Islamic thinkers in addition to daily classes and lectures on classical Islamic studies, Arabic, hadith and Quran.


[edit] Antisemitism
According to the Anti-Defamation League, Musa "propagates a radical and anti-Semitic ideology." They quote him as saying “Who ran the slave trade…who funded [it]? You’ll study and you will find out: the Jews…It was the Jewish bankers…in Vienna, with pockets full of money, funding and insuring, that’s who did it…. you can’t tell us about no holocaust. Between the African Americans and the Native Americans, everybody else’s stuff was small potatoes.” [2]

According to Benjamin Ginsberg, student groups The Associated Students of the University of Washignton and the Black Students Commission sponsored "a vehemently Anti-semitic" speech by Musa, in which he asserted that America was controlled by Jews and that "Yahuds are the enemy of humanity." [3]

Critics have suggested that he promotes anti-Semitism in his speeches, which he defends are directed at Zionist supporters of Israel and not at Jewish people in general, although some of his statements suggest otherwise, such as: “Al-Amin [a convicted murderer] …turned his ideas, his belief in Islam, into practical solutions for society. And they can’t stand that. Just like our brother said: the Zionist are the same today as they was then. In those days [in Arabia before the ascendance of Islam] they controlled the liquor market in Madina… and the Zionists kept the Arab leaders broke and drunk…the yahud [Jew, in Arabic] were seating back and had each one of them [Arab clans] fighting each other because the leaders was both drunken and they was all in owe (sic) to the same Yahud… he was manipulating the Arabs…then Islam came [and abolished riba, or interest]."[4]


[edit] Recent Activities
During a rally in July 1999 Musa displayed a cashier's check made out to "Hamas, Palestine," to protest the 1996 U.S. law which declared Hamas a terrorist organization.[5] Musa said that "I would love to have a case in court with the FBI. I would love for them to arrest me on any trumped-up charges." Musa later commented that "I tried to get a case several years ago. We had a demonstration. I waved a check for Hamas, cashier's check, by the way. And I said, 'I'm donating this to Hamas.' Then I waited for them to arrest me. They didn't arrest me. So I put the thing back in the bank."[1]

At the January 21, 2001 event titled Shaping Our Perspective: Our Role in a Changing World, sponsored by Muslim Students Association at UCLA, Musa is quoted as stating: "If you were to say that the Soviet Union was wiped off the face of the earth . . . people would have thought you were crazy, right? The people of Afghanistan didn’t have the intellect or historical knowledge to know that they wasn’t supposed to wipe out the Soviet Union, is that right? . . . We saw the fall of one so-called superpower, Old Sam (the United States) is next."[citation needed]

On October 6, 2002 he spoke on Muhammad's model of leadership and its modern applications at the ICIT Seerah Conference in Sri Lanka.[6] On July 7, 2000 Musa, while in the company of his wife and daughter, witnessed the Metropolitan Police (Washington, DC) beating a citizen. He attempted to intervene by approaching the officers and telling them to stop. They continued until Musa grabbed one of the officers and was consequently arrested for assaulting the police. He spent two nights in jail before appearing before a judge on July 10. In court, the police reduced the charge against him to a misdemeanor.[7]

Musa has made a number of controversial statements:

Zionist American agents blew up the World Trade Center;
Palestinian suicide bombers are heroes;
the U.S. government saturated U.S. cities with heroin in the 1960s to snuff out blacks' rebellion;
that the United States should become an Islamic state[1]
In a video aired by Fox News, Musa stated, from behind a podium at the University of California at Irvine on Sept. 9, 2001, that "If you don't stay out of our way and leave us alone, we're going to burn America down." Musa later stated that he was simply paraphrasing Jamil Al-Amin, formerly H. Rap Brown, a prominent Black Panther in the 1960s. Musa never threatened to burn the United States down, according to a longer video and transcript of the speech posted on the Web site of the The Investigative Project.[8] [1]

Musa has stated that "the American ship is going down. And it's clowns like that [President George W. Bush] that's driving it down. We don't have to do nothing. Just step back, pray, fast, do good deeds, and stuff like that. And let that guy go. . . . When he finishes, nobody will love, nobody will trust, and nobody will believe anything coming from the United States of America."[1]


[edit] Banning from the UK
In April 2009 Musa's name was released to the press as one of 22 people banned from entering the United Kingdom in October 2008. The UK government said this was due to him being "Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by fomenting and glorifying terrorist violence in furtherance of his particular beliefs and seeking to provoke others to terrorist acts." [9][10]
3272  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eagleberger and the ONE on: September 22, 2009, 11:04:26 AM
I guess it was Greta's show.  I see Obama has been critical of the One for quite some time going back to the campaign as  a search pulls up past criticisms on the World's Savior:

http://radioviceonline.com/eagleburger-on-obama-foreign-policy-amateur-hour/
3273  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: September 22, 2009, 10:31:26 AM
Crafty,
Did you see Larwence Eagleberger on one of the  cable talk shows (CNN?) recently calling OBama's foreing policies "amateur hour"?

I could not believe I was hearing a Dem saying that.  He was pointing out how Obama ahs marginalized Hillary and more or less simply blows her off.

So he may have a bit of an ax to grind (being an ex Clintonite) who is not making his/her fame and fortune with the present leftist regime ala the rest of the liberal polictical mercenaries.

Yet it may also be a *true* reflection of reality and not the spin coming from the other Dems, MSM.  It may also be a kind of a leak as to what many Dems are thinking and saying privately but just not publically.

3274  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 20, 2009, 02:56:37 PM
"The more that we can get good information on the choices and their consequences and the more that we pay with our own money, the more accurately we will value that gain in our health or quality of life"

My little opinion FWIW is that I couldn't agree more.

Instead OBama wants to obtain the information so HE can make the choice for all of us.

And it is THAT reason along with the rest of his big government philosophy that we must stop.  It ain't because he is black.

Do any of these idiots in the MSM, Carter, Dowd, and the rest think we who are on the right would be any less fighting mad if the President who was pushing this sutff was a white like Biden, Pelosi, or Reid??
3275  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 20, 2009, 02:47:36 PM
"isn't it odd and a potential political time-bomb to know that the current, US ruling party includes nearly all Jewish-Americans and nearly all American haters of Israel, all in one big tent."

Doug,

Not only odd but remarkable.

I have asked the "how can this be question" many times.

All I can say is liberal Jews (At least the American ones) despise conservatives, Republicans more than ANYTHING else.
To them cans are worse than Nazis.  I am not kidding.

There pure hatred for anything leaning right will warp their reasoning.

They are in total denial about Obama and Israel.   They will endlessly rationalize away the obvious fact he is an enemy of Israel because they otherwise agree with his radical left wing agenda. 

"I suppose that liberal Jewish Americans don't favor Netanyahu or his policies so the contradiction is mutual."

I don't know the answer to this question but it is a good one.

*W was Israel's best friend.* 
An Israeli who is now in America and I suspect was supporter of Obama does agree with this statement - at least now.   I think he was duped by Obama's "make them think you are one of them" strategy.

He ain't duping me.




3276  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 19, 2009, 01:44:46 PM
Crafty,
the urologists note is interesting.
The advent of PSAs is also driving up urologic care with questionable outcomes.
One huge study suggested we reduce the rate of death from prostate cancer by 20% because of PSA screeing.
Another study suggested there is absolutely no difference.
For every life we may save with PSA screening there are probably at least many more men who go through screening testing anxiety for nothing. 

The problem is we still can't tell which is the occasional patient who may benefit from the one who will never have had any problem with his prostate if we didn't go on fishing expeditions.

Yet we have parades of famous people with prostate cancer getting on Larry KIng telling their stories as though it applies to anything in reality to large populations of people.

Cardiology costs have also gone crazy and out of control.
Cardiologists are in my view the biggest spenders in medicine that are not a surgical specialty.

It used to be a stress test once every two years or only if there were symptoms or other specific reasons to get them.
Now I see some cardiologists who are part or wholly owners of stress nuclear machines getting them as often as yearly.
They are ordering tests on everyone.
Their reimbursements per procedure etc are down so they simply order more.
Patients think they are being more thorough and as long as a third party pays they are delighted to get more and more tests.

Another example from the drug industry.  Plavix a blood thinner is marginally better than a two cent aspirin - roughly 20% at preventing heart or stroke events in selected patients.  Sound like a big difference?  We may be talking a reduction in "events" from five per hundred to four per hundred total patients treated.  Doesn't sound like as big a gain now does it?  The cost between using plavix and aspirin would be huge.  State it a different way though and if we treat say one milliion people per year and reduce the "event" rate from 50,000 to 40,000 we could be "preventing" 10,000 more events (stroke, heart attack, death).  Now it sounds like alot again.  People who push for tiny incrementle gains as being "huge" or great progress are happy to state the statistics either the first or thrid way and always avoid the latter.

To add insult to injury recent publication of an even newer drug then plavix points that it now reduces event rates by again by "20%".   Again that sounds like a lot from that point of view.  The people on wall street who invest and the bitg shot carediologists who researched the drug make it sound like it is a huge breakthrough (noted is that the newer drug does have an increased risk of bleeding that may hold down use of it to some extent).  But the actual reduction number is from around 5.8% to something like 4.5%.  So for every hundred people treated we could prevent only *one* more event.  The kicker is plavix may go generic in a few years (I am not sure) while this newer drug will of course be mega bucks.
All the cardiologists will of course want and brag how they give there patients the most modern and perfect care without consideration of cost.  Patients are fine with this as long as the pill is covered.  A few patients will have to pay more for it out of pocket and are willing.

So where does it end?

Answer:  it doesn't.

Small incremental gains made in modern medicine have huge costs.

People want to live for ever, everyone one perfect cutting edge care and no one wants to pay for it.
Nothing new.

Now we have a government who believes it is everyone's right to have equal access and equal care.
Yet they can't pay for it either.  They even want to extend it to millions of people who don't even belong here.
Their argument/idea is rationed care is smarter care.
There is some truth to that argument.  Is it smart to spend endless billions for small incremental gains?

At present the health system says yes.   
3277  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 18, 2009, 02:39:31 PM
I stand corrected cry
3278  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 18, 2009, 01:40:09 PM
More China vs us - from Gertz.  They are going to beat us eventually.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/17/inside-the-ring-22287426/?page=2
3279  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 18, 2009, 12:01:00 PM
"Obama will support Israel just like he supports our other allies....."

Unless there is something behind the scenes we are not privy to he has already made it clear he will leave Israel at risk for a nuclear attack without lifting a finger.

What would one expect of a person who sat in J Wright's church for 20 years and like many radical Blacks defends the Muslim Palestinians before they would ever say a kind thing about Jews?

The Jews who work for him are just along for the ride to power (and riches from subsequent consulting fees) and have thrown Israel onto the back burner - pun intended.

George Soros - and a holocaust survivor too - are you happy now?

You just helped put your own heritage into the situation of either being murderers in self defense or risk being victoms of another holocaust.   What say you?
3280  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ON the other hand on: September 18, 2009, 10:34:16 AM
This is a little encouraging:

***Others chanted, "Not Gaza, not Lebanon — our life is for Iran" — a slogan directly challenging the government's support for anti-Israeli Palestinian militants in Gaza and Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla"***

Full text below:

Hosted by      Back to Google NewsThousands march in Iran opposition protests
By NASSER KARIMI (AP) – 57 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran — Hard-liners attacked senior pro-reform leaders in the streets as tens of thousands marched in competing mass demonstrations by the opposition and government supporters. Opposition protesters, chanting "death to the dictator," hurled stones and bricks in clashes with security forces firing tear gas.

The opposition held its first major street protests since mid-July, bringing out thousands in demonstrations in several parts of the capital. In some cases only several blocks away, tens of thousands marched in government-sponsored rallies marking an annual anti-Israel commemoration.

The commemoration, known as Quds Day, is a major political occasion for the government — a day for it to show its anti-Israeli credentials and its support for the Palestinians. Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem. During a speech for the rallies, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad railed against Israel and the West, questioning whether the Holocaust occurred and calling it a pretext for occupying Arab land.

But the opposition was determined to turn the day into a show of its survival and continued strength despite a fierce three-month-old crackdown against it since the disputed June 12 presidential election.

Top opposition leaders joined the protests, in direct defiance of commands by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who barred anti-government demonstrations on Quds Day. That could provoke an escalation in the crackdown: hard-line clerics have been demanding the past week that any leader backing the protests should be arrested.

Tens of thousands joined the government-organized marches, starting in various parts of the capital and proceeding to Tehran University. Police and security forces, along with pro-government Basij militiamen, fanned out along main squares and avenues and in many cases tried to keep nearby opposition protesters away from the Quds Day rallies to prevent clashes, witnesses said.

Opposition supporters poured onto main boulevards and squares, wearing green T-shirts and wristbands and waving green banners and balloons — the color of the reform movement. They waved their fingers in the air in V-for-victory signs along with pictures of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, chanting "death to the dictator."

Others chanted, "Not Gaza, not Lebanon — our life is for Iran" — a slogan directly challenging the government's support for anti-Israeli Palestinian militants in Gaza and Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla. Some shouted for Ahmadinejad's government to resign. Some women marched with their children in tow.

But at one of the several opposition rallies around the city, a group of hard-liners pushed through the crowd and attacked former President Mohamad Khatami, a cleric who is one of the most prominent pro-reform figures, according to a reformist Web site. The report cited witnesses as saying the opposition activists rescued Khatami and quickly repelled the assailants.

Another reformist Webs site said Khatami's turban was disheveled and he was forced to leave the march.

Hard-liners tried to attack the main opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, when he joined another march elsewhere in the city, a witness said. Supporters rushed Mousavi into his car when the hard-liners approached, and the vehicle sped away as his supporters pushed the hard-liners back, the witness said. He and other witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government retaliation.

Another pro-reform leader, Mahdi Karroubi, who also ran in the presidential election, also joined protests elsewhere in the city.

In one of the main Tehran squares, Haft-e Tir, security forces weilding batons and firing tear gas tried to break up one of the opposition marched, and were met with protesters throwing stones and bricks, witnesses said. Several policemen were seen being taken away with light injuries. At least 10 protesters were seized by plainclothes security agents in marches around the city, witnesses said.

The pro-government Quds Day rallies were held in cities around the country. In the southern city of Shiraz, the opposition held a counter-demonstration, and a witness said police rushed the protesters with batons, scuffling with them. Opposition Web sites also reported pro-reform protests in the central city of Isfahan.

The opposition claims that Ahmadinejad won the June election by fraud and that Mousavi is the rightful victor. Hundreds of thousands marched in support of Mousavi in the weeks after the vote, until police, Basij and the elite Revolutionary Guard crushed the protests, arresting hundreds. The opposition says 72 people were killed in the crackdown, thought the government puts the number at 36. The last significant protest was on July 17.

In sheer numbers, the opposition turnout was far smaller than the mass pro-government Quds Day marches — not surprising given the state's freedom to organize the gathering.

Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani — who is a behind-the-scenes supporter of Mousavi — made an appearance at one Quds Day march, as would be expected from him as a senior cleric in the leadership. For the past 25 years, Rafsanjani traditionally has delivered the Friday prayer sermon on Quds Day, but he was barred from doing so this year and replaced by a hard-liine supporter of Ahmadinejad, Ahmad Khatami.

Customarily on Quds Day, Iranians gather for pro-Palestinian rallies in various parts of the city, marching through the streets and later converging for the prayer ceremony. The ceremony was established in 1979 by the leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Just hundreds of yards (meters) away from opposition protesters on the main Keshavarz Boulevard, thousands of Ahmadinejad supporters marched carrying huge photographs of the president and Supreme Leader Khamenei. Some in the government-sponsored rally chanted: "Death to those who oppose the supreme leader!"

At the climax of the occasion, Ahmadinejad addressed worshippers before Friday prayers at the Tehran University campus, reiterating his anti-Holocaust rhetoric that has drawn international condemnation since 2005. He questioned whether the "Holocaust was a real event" and saying Israel was created on "false and mythical claims."

(This version CORRECTS that Rafsanjani appeared at a Quds Day rally, not an opposition protest.)

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
3281  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 18, 2009, 09:30:23 AM
I think the post on Drudgereport about Amendinjad again proclaiming it is religious duty to snuff out zionists and the holocaust didn't occur makes it clear Israel has no other choice.
My question is will they have to go nuclear to get the job done.
What a horrendous situation.
Just the thought of it.
But the alternative is worse.
3282  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / O is going to give amnesty to illegals on: September 18, 2009, 08:45:48 AM
Certainly no surprise.

Automatic millions of new Democrat voters.

The joke is on us.

We are giving it all away.
Now we are going to have millions of low wage uneducated new people that will clearly utilize more in doles than they will ever contribute.

For a country that is bankrupt this is unbelievable.
And not a peep from the MSM.


3283  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 17, 2009, 07:54:44 PM
No screw ball Pelosi, what is scary is a government that is spending trillions of dollars as fast as they can come up with ideas on how to spend steal, bribe constituents, payoff unions Acorn, legal lobby, give away our sovereignty to China, Russia, S Amerca, etc., try to control the media, tax everything from light bulbs to toilet flushes, control every movement of our lives including our health care and on and on and on.  THAT IS SCARY.  What a nut:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw … I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco,” Pelosi said, choking up and with tears forming in her eyes. “This kind of rhetoric is just, is really frightening and it created a climate in which we, violence took place and … I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made."
3284  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / part two on: September 16, 2009, 04:35:10 PM
Iran attack: Israel ex-min sees end-yr deadline
Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:15am EDT  Email | Print | Share| Reprints | Single Page[-] Text

Featured Broker sponsored link
 Sneh said Israel had many reasons to block the emergence of a nuclear weapons-capable Iran, because in that event

-- Immigration to Israel would stop.

-- More able young men and women would emigrate to pursue their future in places seen as more secure.

-- Investment in Israel would be reduced.

-- Decision-making by the cabinet would be hostage to the fear of Iranian nuclear retaliation. The processes of government would thereby be "substantially distorted."

-- Extremist forces in the Middle East would be empowered.

-- Iran would pressure moderate forces in the region to toughen their positions in contacts or negotiations with Israel, for example in discussions over Jerusalem or the Golan Heights

-- Saudi Arabia and Egypt would seek to obtain nuclear weapons themselves, bringing about a Middle East "fully loaded with nuclear weapons."

(Editing by Samia Nakhoul)

3285  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / part one on: September 16, 2009, 04:34:04 PM


About Thomson ReutersIran attack: Israel ex-min sees end-yr deadline
Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:15am EDT 

Featured Broker sponsored link
 By William Maclean, Security Correspondent

LONDON (Reuters) - Israel will be compelled to attack Iran's nuclear sites if Western powers cannot agree crippling sanctions against Tehran by the end of the year, a former Israeli deputy defense minister said on Wednesday. Ephraim Sneh, who holds no position in the current Israeli government and was speaking in his personal capacity, told Reuters it was not clear the United States and European Union had the decisiveness to take such steps, which should include tougher banking and oil curbs, by year's end.

"We cannot live under the shadow of an Iran with nuclear weapons," he said in an interview on a visit to Britain. "By the end of the year, if there is no agreement on crippling sanctions aimed at this regime, we will have no choice."

"This is the very, very last resort. But ironically it is our best friends and allies who are pushing us into a corner where we would have no option but to do it."

"I wonder if they will do it (a tougher sanctions regime) quickly enough. If not, we are compelled to take action."

Sneh, a retired brigadier-general, is a former member of parliament's defense and intelligence committees. As deputy defense minister, he held responsibility for Iran.

A "BLOODLESS" STRATEGY

Sneh's visit was facilitated by The Israel Project, a privately-funded media organization that seeks to explain Israel's security position in the region and has arranged news conferences for serving Israeli officials overseas.

The United States, Germany, France and Britain have threatened Iran with a fourth round of U.N. sanctions if it continues enriching uranium and refuses to clear up concerns it has done extensive research into how to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran says the activity is a civilian electricity program.

Israel has said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence and points to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

That has raised worries that Israel could ultimately carry out a military strike against Iranian nuclear sites.

Sneh said the sanctions should consist of a total Western boycott of the Iranian banking system, a ban on selling Iran refined petroleum products, a ban on selling spare parts to the Iranian energy industry and a ban on senior Iranian officials traveling to Western capitals.

Sneh said the sanctions need be imposed only by the United States and European nations, because it was clear Russia and China would not go along with them and in any case the need for the involvement of "Russia and China is a myth." Imposed by the West, such a strategy would be tough enough to work.

"It is bloodless, and it even stops short of a naval blockade," he said.

In comments that appeared to signal Israel had not given up on international diplomacy to curb Tehran's atomic ambitions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday the time had come for tougher sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.  Continued...


View article on single pagePrevious Page 1 | 2 Next Page

 
3286  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This didn't take long:just a coincidence of course on: September 16, 2009, 04:30:27 PM
Of course the day after Obama's off the record calling West a "jackass" was publicized TIME CNN puts this out (No, of course they aren't on the OBama train):
 
What Presidents Say In Private: Bush and Obama Unplugged 
Posted by Michael Scherer
September 15, 2009 at 10:48 am 
ABC's Terry Moran looks kinda like a, um, donkey this morning, after reporting via Twitter that President Obama had called Kanye West a "jackass" yesterday, after West disrupted the MTV music awards in a typical fit of self-absorption. Obama's "jackass" utterance came during an off the record exchange with CNBC. ABC News has apologized for Moran's breach of protocol, announcing steps "to ensure that it will not happen again." (Will Moran lose his Twitter? Doubtful. He does it so much.)

Meanwhile, Bush aides are reportedly in white knuckle suspense over the revelations to come in an upcoming book, Speech Less, by former George W. Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer. Among the revelations, according to early leaks:

Bush says of Obama:

"He came in one day to rehearse a speech, fuming," Latimer writes. "'This is a dangerous world,'" he said for no apparent reason, "and this cat [Obama] isn't remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you."

Bush says of Biden:

"If bull---- was currency," he said, "Joe Biden would be a billionaire."

Bush says of Sarah Palin:

"I'm trying to remember if I've met her before. What is she, the governor of Guam?"

Bush says of Hillary Clinton:

"Wait till her fat keister is sitting at this desk."

Wam. Bang. Kaboom. The New York Daily News has more.

UPDATE: GQ has excerpts from the book here, including a great scene of disharmony in the White House in response to the financial crisis last fall.
Hours before the president was to speak to the country, Senator John McCain's presidential campaign informed Josh Bolten that McCain was going to phone the president and urge him to call off the address and instead hold an emergency economic summit in Washington. If the president did speak that night, the McCain campaign didn't want him to outline any specific proposal.Of course, this threw the proverbial monkey wrench into our plans—and at the eleventh hour. I overheard the president call McCain's plan “a stunt.” Dana Perino said the negotiations were nearly over, and suddenly he was going to swoop in and muck things up? The president's political adviser, Barry Jackson, was blunt, calling McCain a “stupid prick.” . . . .Bush seemed to feel considerable unease with the choice of McCain as well. I think he liked Romney best. (The rumor was that so did Karl Rove.) My guess was the president hadn't so easily forgotten the endless slights he'd suffered, but there was little he could do. To him, McCain's defeat would be a repudiation of the Bush administration, so McCain had to win. The president, who had quite a good political mind, was clearly not impressed with the McCain operation. I was once in the Oval Office when the president was told a campaign event in Phoenix he was to attend with McCain suddenly had to be closed to the press. The president didn't understand why when the whole purpose of holding the event had been to show Bush and McCain together so the press would stop asking why the two wouldn't be seen together. If the event was closed to the press, the whole thing didn't make sense.“If he doesn't want me to go, fine,” the president said. “I've got better things to do.”

Eventually, someone informed the president that the reason the event was closed was that McCain was having trouble getting a crowd. Bush was incredulous—and to the point. “He can't get 500 people to show up for an event in his hometown?” he asked. No one said anything, and we went on to another topic. But the president couldn't let the matter drop. “He couldn't get 500 people? I could get that many people to turn out in Crawford.” He shook his head. “This is a five-spiral crash, boys.”

CNN International 

© 2009 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
3287  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / LOL Buchanan & OBama on: September 16, 2009, 04:24:11 PM
Buchanan doesn't surprise me.  He has always as far as I know been a protectionist but Obama does.
This has to be a nod to unions.   Otherwise, isn't a tire tariff otherwise completely counter the Obama's talk of working with the world in partnership?

09/15/2009

Down at the Chinese outlet store in Albany known as Wal-Mart, Chinese tires have so successfully undercut U.S.-made tires that the Cooper Tire factory in that south Georgia town had to shut down.

Twenty-one hundred Georgians lost their jobs.

The tale of Cooper Tire and what it portends is told in last week's Washington Post by Peter Whoriskey.

How could tires made on the other side of the world, then shipped to Albany, be sold for less than tires made in Albany?

Here's how.

At Cooper Tire, the wages were $18 to $21 per hour. In China, they are a fraction of that. The Albany factory is subject to U.S. health-and-safety, wage-and-hour and civil rights laws from which Chinese plants are exempt. Environmental standards had to be met at Cooper Tire or the plant would have been closed. Chinese factories are notorious polluters.

China won the competition because the 14th Amendment's "equal protection of the laws" does not apply to the People's Republic. While free trade laws grant China free and equal access to the U.S. market, China can pay workers wages and force them to work hours that would violate U.S. law, and China can operate plants whose health, safety and environmental standards would have their U.S. competitors shut down as public nuisances.

Beijing also manipulates its currency to keep export prices low and grants a rebate on its value-added tax on exports to the U.S.A., while imposing a value-added tax on goods coming from the U.S.A.

Thus did China, from 2004 to 2008, triple her share of the U.S. tire market from 5 percent to 17 percent and take down Cooper Tire of Albany.

But not to worry. Cooper Tire has seen the light and is now opening and acquiring plants in China, and sending Albany workers over to train the Chinese who took their jobs.

Welcome to 21st century America, where globalism has replaced patriotism as the civil religion of our corporate elites. As Thomas Jefferson reminded us, "Merchants have no country."

What has this meant to the republic that was once the most self-sufficient and independent in all of history?

Since 2001, when George Bush took the oath, the United States has run $3.8 trillion in trade deficits in manufactured goods, more than twice the $1.68 trillion in trade deficits we ran for imported oil and gas.

Our trade deficit with China in manufactured goods alone, $1.58 trillion over those eight years, roughly equals the entire U.S. trade deficit for oil and gas.

U.S. politicians never cease to wail of the need for "energy independence." But why is our dependence on the oil of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Nigeria, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela a greater concern than our dependence on a non-democratic rival great power for computers and vital components of our weapons systems and high-tech industries?

As Executive Director Auggie Tantillo of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Committee compellingly argues:

"Running a trade deficit for natural resources that the United States lacks is something that cannot be helped, but running a massive deficit in manmade products that America easily could produce itself is a choice -- a poor choice that is bankrupting the country and responsible for the loss of millions of jobs."

How many millions of jobs?

In the George W. Bush years, we lost 5.3 million manufacturing jobs, one-fourth to one-third of all we had in 2001.

And our dependence on China is growing.

Where Beijing was responsible for 60 percent of the U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods in 2008, in the first six months of 2009, China accounted for 79 percent of our trade deficit in manufactured goods.

How can we end this dependency and begin building factories and creating jobs here, rather than deepening our dependency on a China that seeks to take our place in the sun? The same way Alexander Hamilton did, when we Americans produced almost nothing and were even more dependent on Great Britain than we are on China today.

Let us do unto our trading partners as they have done unto us.

As they rebate value-added taxes on exports to us, and impose a value-added tax on our exports to them, let us reciprocate. Impose a border tax equal to a VAT on all their goods entering the United States, and use the hundreds of billions to cut corporate taxes on all manufacturing done here in the United States.

Where they have tilted the playing field against us, let us tilt it back again. Transnational companies are as amoral as sharks. What is needed is simply to cut their profits from moving factories and jobs abroad and increase their profits for bringing them back to the U.S.A.

It's not rocket science. Hamilton, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln all did it. Obama's tariffs on Chinese tires are a good start.


3288  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Refresher on *Acorn & Obama* on: September 15, 2009, 08:37:32 AM
People are occasionally asking if OBama is just affiliated with left wing radical groups or if he is a real believer.
People like Beck who say the latter of course are bieng lalbed "fringe" "right wing nuts" or a new one desperate one from MSNBC, "the fringe of the fringe".

Only a fool or sucker could see realize this guy is a true believer by now. 

Just a refresher from MM to remind us the intimate links between Obama and this corrupt organization.  He actually was doing some of the teaching.

"According to ACORN, Obama trained its Chicago members in leadership seminars".  I wonder if any of these training sessions have footprints?  What kind of training are we talking about?

The ACORN Obama knows
By Michelle Malkin  •  June 25, 2008 12:10 PM

My syndicated column today spotlights the whistleblower report on ACORN, which I’ve been blogging about (here) and which deserves more attention in the media and in Washington–especially in light of the radical activist group’s embrace of Barack Obama. The Consumer Rights League e-mailed to let me know that three GOP congressmen (Hensarling, Feeney, and Royce) have called on Barney Frank (D-Housing Boondoggle) to investigate ACORN’s taxpayer abuses. Snowball’s chance, I know, but conservatives ought to be turning up the heat and using every ounce of energy they have to, well, act like conservatives and push to de-fund the Left.

For excellent background on Obama and ACORN, see Stanley Kurtz’s NR piece here, plus City Journal pieces here and here. Also here and here.

***

The ACORN Obama knows
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2008

If you don’t know what ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is all about, you better bone up. This left-wing group takes in 40 percent of its revenues from American taxpayers — you and me — and has leveraged nearly four decades of government subsidies to fund affiliates that promote the welfare state and undermine capitalism and self-reliance, some of which have been implicated in perpetuating illegal immigration and encouraging voter fraud. A new whistleblower report from the Consumer Rights League documents how Chicago-based ACORN has commingled public tax dollars with political projects.

Who in Washington will fight to ensure that your money isn’t being spent on these radical activities?

Don’t bother asking Barack Obama. He cut his ideological teeth working with ACORN as a “community organizer” and legal representative. Naturally, ACORN’s political action committee has warmly endorsed his presidential candidacy. According to ACORN, Obama trained its Chicago members in leadership seminars; in turn, ACORN volunteers worked on his campaigns. Obama also sat on the boards of the Woods Fund and Joyce Foundation, both of which poured money into ACORN’s coffers. ACORN head Maude Hurd gushes that Obama is the candidate who “best understands and can affect change on the issues ACORN cares about” — like ensuring their massive pipeline to your hard-earned money.

Let’s take a closer look at the ACORN Obama knows.

Last July, ACORN settled the largest case of voter fraud in the history of Washington State. Seven ACORN workers had submitted nearly 2,000 bogus voter registration forms. According to case records, they flipped through phone books for names to use on the forms, including “Leon Spinks,” “Frekkie Magoal” and “Fruto Boy Crispila.” Three ACORN election hoaxers pleaded guilty in October. A King County prosecutor called ACORN’s criminal sabotage “an act of vandalism upon the voter rolls.”

The group’s vandalism on electoral integrity is systemic. ACORN has been implicated in similar voter fraud schemes in Missouri, Ohio and at least 12 other states. The Wall Street Journal noted: “In Ohio in 2004, a worker for one affiliate was given crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey. During a congressional hearing in Ohio in the aftermath of the 2004 election, officials from several counties in the state explained ACORN’s practice of dumping thousands of registration forms in their lap on the submission deadline, even though the forms had been collected months earlier.”

In March, Philadelphia elections officials accused the nonprofit advocacy group of filing fraudulent voter registrations in advance of the April 22nd Pennsylvania primary. The charges have been forwarded to the city district attorney’s office.

Under the guise of “consumer advocacy,” ACORN has lined its pockets. The Department of Housing and Urban Development funds hundreds, if not thousands, of left-wing “anti-poverty” groups across the country led by ACORN. Last October, HUD announced more than $44 million in new housing counseling grants to over 400 state and local efforts. The White House has increased funding for housing counseling by 150 percent since taking office in 2001, despite the role most of these recipients play as activist satellites of the Democratic Party. The AARP scored nearly $400,000 for training; the National Council of La Raza (”The Race”) scooped up more than $1.3 million; the National Urban League raked in nearly $1 million; and the ACORN Housing Corporation received more than $1.6 million.

As the Consumer Rights League points out in its new expose, the ACORN Housing Corporation has worked to obtain mortgages for illegal aliens in partnership with Citibank. It relies on undocumented income, “under the table” money, which may not be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Moreover, the group’s “financial justice” operations attack lenders for “exotic” loans, while recommending 10-year interest-only loans (which deny equity to the buyer) and risky reverse mortgages. Whistleblower documents reveal internal discussions among the group that blur the lines between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive electioneering activities. The group appears to shake down corporate interests with relentless PR attacks, and then enters “no lobby” agreements with targeted corporations after receiving payment.

Republicans have largely looked the other way as ACORN has expanded its government-funded empire. But finally, a few conservative voices in Congress have called for investigation of the group’s apparent extortion schemes. This week, GOP Reps. Tom Feeney, Jeb Hensarling and Ed Royce called on Democrat Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, to convene a hearing to probe potential illegalities and abuse of taxpayer funds by ACORN’s management and minions alike.

Where does the candidate of Hope and Change — the candidate of Reform and New Politics — stand on the issue? Barack Obama, ACORN’s senator, is for more of the same old, same old subsidizing of far-left politics in the name of fighting for the poor while enriching ideological cronies. It’s the Chicago way.

3289  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama: West a "jackass" on: September 15, 2009, 08:28:04 AM
Another example of the MSM trying to protect a guy who is not Abe Lincoln.

As for OBama these outbursts are obviously reflections of the real man coming out despite the denials from the protective MSM.
""ABC has since issued an apology to the White House for quoting words that were never intended to be made public.""  

Why apologize - did anyone ever apologize when this happened to W?  A real journalist might say this is the *real* man behind the facade of the great mediator.

As for Taylor Swift I am of the *opinion* she is a little creep.  All her hit lyrics that she claims she wrote are exactly like songs and parts of song lyrics that Katherine wrote and were taken out of our house by her psychopathic mother or appear to taken via networking into computers or printers hooked up to computers.

Taylor Swift has minimal talent.  She can't sing very good at all, she can't dance and she cannot create music contrary to her claims.  Yet she is a chosen annointed one, apparantly because her father (probably) knows the right people, her stuff sellls to the teeny boppers, and big music is behind her and making money.  As for the West thing it will turn out to be her biggest boon.
And my wife and I sit here and can do nothing while people moved into several homes near us and surveillance the crap out of us.

Our lives are ruined, the peopel robbing us think this all one big funny game and little shits like Taylor Swift who have little talent are collecting awards on the national stage.
****The US president made the uncharacteristically blunt remark during an interview with CNBC, the US business news network, on Monday.

Although Mr Obama delivered the aside during an off-the-record segment of the pre-recorded interview, it was picked up and tweeted by a journalist from a rival network.

The message has since been deleted, but not before it was re-tweeted by many of Mr Moran's more than one million followers, ensuring that it was read across the web.

ABC has since issued an apology to the White House for quoting words that were never intended to be made public.  
(WHY apologize - did anyone ever apologize when this happened to W?)


"In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview," a spokesman said.

"This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again."

The White House has yet to comment on the affair, but the president's criticisms of West certainly chime with the public mood.

The rapper has been widely condemned for interrupting 19-year-old country-pop singer Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech at the New York award ceremony on Sunday night to claim that his friend Beyoncé should have won the best female video gong.

In an contrite appearance on the Jay Leno show last night, he said that he planned to apologise to the Swift in person and said he was going to take some time off from the music industry.****
 
3290  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: September 14, 2009, 12:25:10 PM
As of 08/31.  Awaiting to see what bounce he is getting and calling those who disagree with him the fringe, liars, deceivers, bogus and all paid off special interests:

http://www.zogby.com/features/featuredtables.cfm?ID=171
3291  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Analysis of tire tariff on: September 12, 2009, 09:36:11 AM
One interesting analysis of the "net" affect of the trade tariff imposed by Obama.   I guess this could go under a "trade" or "tariff" thread but since it was imposed at a request of a union it seems reasonable to put here under a "union" thread.  I think the bottom line is this is a political reward to his constituency which is now obvious Obama consistently does - reward his base and pretend he is willing to compromise with his opponents.  In affect he makes the divide in this country worse.

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/09/simple-economic-analysis-of-tire-tariff.html
3292  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: unions on: September 12, 2009, 08:40:57 AM
In this vein Obama appears more like Lou Dobbs or Pat Buchanan.
It has the appearance he is protecting his union friends.  Another possible explanation is he is using this to punish China for something or to send them some sort of signal.  Unclear.   

***U.S. to Impose Tariff on Tires From China

By Peter Whoriskey and Anne Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, September 12, 2009

In one of his first major decisions on trade policy, President Obama opted Friday to impose a tariff on tires from China, a move that fulfills his campaign promise to "crack down" on imports that unfairly undermine American workers but risks angering the nation's second-largest trading partner.

The decision is intended to bolster the ailing U.S. tire industry, in which more than 5,000 jobs have been lost over the past five years as the volume of Chinese tires in the market has tripled.

It comes at a sensitive time, however. Leaders from the world's largest economies are preparing to gather in Pittsburgh in less than two weeks to discuss more cooperation amid tensions over trade.

The tire tariff will amount to 35 percent the first year, 30 percent the second and 25 percent the third.

Although a federal trade panel had recommended higher levies -- of 55, 45 and 35 percent, respectively -- the decision is considered a victory for the United Steelworkers union, which filed the trade complaint.

"The president sent the message that we expect others to live by the rules, just as we do," Leo W. Gerard, president of the union, said Friday night.

China's government and its tire manufacturers, as well as tire importers and some U.S. tire makers with plants overseas, had strenuously objected to the measure.

"The President decided to remedy the clear disruption to the U.S. tire industry based on the facts and the law in this case," the White House said in a statement released Friday night.

Obama's decision signals a marked shift from the policy of the Bush administration, which had rejected taking action in four similar cases it reviewed.

The union complaint was filed under a law Congress passed in 2000 that allows the United States to impose tariffs and other trade protections if a surge in Chinese imports damages a U.S. industry.

China agreed to the provision while negotiating to join the World Trade Organization, but until Friday the general "safeguard" provisions of the law had never been invoked.

Critics warned that if the general "safeguard," which expires in four years, was never used to protect American workers from Chinese imports, then political support for free trade would be eroded.

"Since China joined the WTO, American workers have not been assured that the government would defend them against unfair trade," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said.

The tariff, which will take effect Sept. 26, represents the first such case under the law for Obama, and his decision has been highly anticipated.

During the campaign, he had pledged to "crack down on China" and "work to ensure that China is no longer given a free pass to undermine U.S. workers," as his Web site put it.

But his commitment to that point of view was thrown into doubt during the primaries when a Canadian official said an Obama adviser had privately characterized his tough stance on the North American Free Trade Agreement as political posturing.

Marguerite Trossevin, who represents a coalition of U.S. tire companies that import Chinese tires, said the tariff decision is "very disappointing." She predicted price increases for U.S. consumers and losses for U.S. tire importers.

"For the U.S. tire distributors and consumers, there's going to be a heavy burden to bear," she said. "It sends the message that special interests will get protection if they ask for it -- regardless of what that means for broader trade policy."

China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement early Saturday that the move violated WTO rules. "China strongly opposes this serious act of trade protectionism by the U.S," the ministry said, according to the Associated Press.

Not surprisingly, there were conflicting predictions about what effect the tariff might have on the U.S. industry.

Supporters said the measure would have only a negligible effect on the price of tires and would lead U.S. manufacturers to invest in their U.S. plants.

The tariff's detractors said higher tire prices could lead some consumers to wait longer before replacing tires, creating a safety risk. Moreover, they said, the tariff won't result in more jobs. Tires will simply come in from other low-cost countries, they say, and U.S. manufacturers, keep making their cheaper tires in China.

"U.S. tire manufacturers years ago decided to move production of low end tires off-shore," said David Spooner, a lawyer representing the Chinese tire industry. "Frankly, a temporary tariff is not going to get them to change their business plan."****
3293  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: September 12, 2009, 08:27:55 AM
This goes along with the stereotye that if you mess with a Jew he/she will kick your tuchus. wink
3294  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / again on: September 11, 2009, 10:35:36 AM
Not one ioda about Bamas calling his opponents claims as "lies" "distortions" and "bogus" as *erroding* debate.
As always he is off the hook.  The opponents can never get away with his and his parties tactics.

Typical AP writer.


****Analysis: 'You lie!' further erodes discourse
        Associated Press Writer Liz Sidoti, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 17 mins ago
WASHINGTON – Screams of "Socialism!" Conservative talk show hosts peddling debunked "death panels." Placards likening Barack Obama to Hitler. And now, to the president's face: "You lie!" A breach of civility? Absolutely. A strategic political mistake? Maybe.

Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's personal attack on Obama and jeering from other GOP lawmakers as the president spoke to Congress escalated the opposition's outrage machine that over the summer framed the health care debate and knocked the White House back on its heels.

The rare lack of decorum on the House floor as Obama addressed lawmakers could provide him with a much-needed opening to retake control of the national conversation over a health care overhaul by turning off Americans to his critics' acerbic claims.

Or, people could dismiss derisive laughter and head-shaking from Republicans and embrace the opposition's broader argument that Obama's prescription for the ailing health care system would expand the government's reach into people's lives.

At the very least, Wednesday night marked the further erosion of long deteriorating discourse in a country where political opponents increasingly try to out-yell each other, vocal extremes of each political party shape the debate and a 24/7 media focused on ratings amplifies the tit for tat while latching onto phrases that fan the flames.

"What we've seen all summer was the worst of debate," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on political communication. "It does suggest a decline."

That's not lost on voters.

"We are becoming more adversarial and more shrill," says Jeffrey Howell of Cincinnati, 43. "We don't have discourse anymore."

It's become so bad that Donna Schwinghammer of Washington, Pa., 54, has stopped listening — to both sides. "I'm tired of all of it. There's so much fingerpointing," she says.

The latest low point in the nation's political dialogue came Wednesday when the vitriol of the summer's town-hall style events spilled into the Capitol as Obama addressed a joint session of Congress, saying: "The time for bickering is over ... Now is the season for action."

Some Republicans applauded and gave standing ovations through the speech. But, at times, GOP critics also shouted "not true" and "shame." There were boos, hisses and grumbles. One Republican, Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, left the chamber, his spokesman says in frustration, even before the president had finished.

But it was Wilson's boorish outburst that froze Republicans in their seats.

"You lie!" the South Carolina congressman shouted and jabbed a finger in the air when Obama said that Democratic plans do not cover illegal immigrants.

Taking advantage of the extraordinary accusation, Obama calmly replied, "That's not true," and went on with his speech.

Will personal attacks on a president who people generally like — even if they disagree with his policies — ultimately prove to have gone too far?

Certainly, in the short-term, the chorus of criticism painted an unflattering — many Republicans say embarrassing — picture of the GOP. Wilson apologized shortly after the speech, which some say may have limited the fallout.

But the outbursts also gave Obama an opportunity that he seized, pleading for civil discourse and bipartisan solution-making. And they added fuel to Democratic arguments that Republicans simply belong to "The Party of No."

The Democratic-aligned Americans United for Change quickly rolled out a Web video, saying: "It's Official — The Party of NO Has Become the Party of No Shame."

What's more: the behavior highlighted personal volleys coming from the GOP's far right wing just as party leaders in Congress are trying to position themselves as centrists debating policy. The Republican base and right flank may be energized by what they saw and heard but independents and moderates may have cringed.

That could spell trouble for Republicans looking ahead to next year's midterm elections.

While midterms typically are base elections and vitriol will get hard-core party loyalists to turn out, Republicans also don't want to look too extreme as they try to pick up seats in Congress.

Several Republicans called the outbursts unhelpful — particularly Wilson's.

"It combined two things that just aren't the same: legitimate outrage people feel over government-run health care and manufactured vitriol that I think most people dismiss," veteran Republican communications strategist Todd Harris said. That, he said, plays into the Democrats' hands.

But Republicans also are betting that there's no long-term damage to the GOP's strategy because Republicans have tapped into fear among Americans about the government intruding into their lives.

"Intemperate and clearly a mistake," Phil Musser, the former executive director of the Republican Governor's Association, said of Wilson's remark. But, he added: "It didn't shift the debate."

___

EDITOR'S NOTE — Liz Sidoti has covered national politics for The Associated Press since 2003.****
3295  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / soft civil war on: September 11, 2009, 10:18:49 AM
This article is food for thought whether or not one would agree with the specifics.
I agree we are in a soft civil war.
My hypothesis is that much of it can be brought down to a fight over those who want more entitlements/government and those that want the opposite.   Or perhaps it could be looked at as socialism/facism vs democracy/capitilism.
I suspect iF it wasn't for this issue, other issues, such as environmental issues, energy issues, (though perhaps not abortion), foreign policy could somehow be hashed out.  But the core divide is now unbreachable because of this taking of sides based on opposing philosophy.  It appears to have all started in the early 20th century.  The left brings back the label "progessives".   Suddenly the talking points is that they are not "liberals" but they are progressives.  The only difference is in the label.

The left has their annointed champion.  The right does not.  Yet the left even with the ONE is having trouble convincing most of us thier point of view is better. 



Comments Is America Coming Apart?
by  Patrick J. Buchanan

09/11/2009


Flying home from London, where the subject of formal debate on the 70th anniversary of World War II had been whether Winston Churchill was a liability or asset to the Free World, one arrives in the middle of a far more acrimonious national debate right here in the United States.
   
At issue: Should Barack Obama be allowed to address tens of millions of American children, inside their classrooms, during school hours?
   
Conservative talk-show hosts saw a White House scheme to turn public schools into indoctrination centers where the socialist ideology of Obama would be spoon-fed to captive audiences of children forced to listen to Big Brother -- and then do assignments on his sermon.

   
The liberal commentariat raged about right-wing paranoia.
   
Yet Byron York of The Washington Examiner dug back to 1991 to discover that, when George H.W. Bush went to Alice Deal Junior High to speak to America's school kids, the left lost it.
   
"The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props," railed The Washington Post. Education Secretary Lamar Alexander was called before a House committee. The National Education Association denounced Bush. And Congress ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate.
   
Obama's actual speech proved about as controversial as a Nancy Reagan appeal to eighth-graders to "Just say no!" to drugs.
   
Yet, the episode reveals the poisoned character of our politics.
   
We saw it earlier on display in August, when the crowds that came out for town hall meetings to oppose Obama's health care plans were called "thugs," "fascists," "racists" and "evil-mongers" by national Democrats.
   
We see it as Rep. Joe Wilson shouts, "You lie!" at the president during his address to a joint session of Congress.
   
We seem not only to disagree with each other more than ever, but to have come almost to detest one another. Politically, culturally, racially, we seem ever ready to go for each others' throats.
   
One half of America sees abortion as the annual slaughter of a million unborn. The other half regards the right-to-life movement as tyrannical and sexist.
   
Proponents of gay marriage see its adversaries as homophobic bigots. Opponents see its champions as seeking to elevate unnatural and immoral relationships to the sacred state of traditional marriage.
   
The question invites itself. In what sense are we one nation and one people anymore? For what is a nation if not a people of a common ancestry, faith, culture and language, who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays, and share the same music, poetry, art and literature?
   
Yet, today, Mexican-Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a skirmish in a French-Mexican war about which most Americans know nothing, which took place the same year as two of the bloodiest battles of our own Civil War: Antietam and Fredericksburg.
   
Christmas and Easter, the great holidays of Christendom, once united Americans in joy. Now we fight over whether they should even be mentioned, let alone celebrated, in our public schools.
   
Where we used to have classical, pop, country & Western and jazz music, now we have varieties tailored to specific generations, races and ethnic groups. Even our music seems designed to subdivide us.
   
One part of America loves her history, another reviles it as racist, imperialist and genocidal. Old heroes like Columbus, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are replaced by Dr. King and Cesar Chavez.
   
But the old holidays, heroes and icons endure, as the new have yet to put down roots in a recalcitrant Middle America.
   
We are not only more divided than ever on politics, faith and morality, but along the lines of class and ethnicity. Those who opposed Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court and stood by Sgt. Crowley in the face-off with Harvard's Henry Louis Gates were called racists. But this time they did not back down. They threw the same vile word right back in the face of their accusers, and Barack Obama.
   
Consider but a few issues on which Americans have lately been bitterly divided: school prayer, the Ten Commandments, evolution, the death penalty, abortion, homosexuality, assisted suicide, affirmative action, busing, the Confederate battle flag, the Duke rape case, Terri Schiavo, Iraq, amnesty, torture.
   
Now it is death panels, global warming, "birthers" and socialism. If a married couple disagreed as broadly and deeply as Americans do on such basic issues, they would have divorced and gone their separate ways long ago. What is it that still holds us together?
   
The European-Christian core of the country that once defined us is shrinking, as Christianity fades, the birth rate falls and Third World immigration surges. Globalism dissolves the economic bonds, while the cacophony of multiculturalism displaces the old American culture.
   
"E pluribus unum" -- out of many, one -- was the national motto the men of '76 settled upon. One sees the pluribus. But where is the unum? One sees the diversity. But where is the unity?
   
Is America, too, breaking up?



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."

3296  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / second post on: September 11, 2009, 09:21:42 AM
Another post from MM on this topic going back to May.
Didn't we already have a long history of corruption and organized crime with unions in this country?
Too bad unions are not a public company.  I would definitely buy stock in what we will eventually see an explosion of corruption.  It is the union version of Fannie May in its early stages. 

The annointed one has the nerve to insult all of us with the idea we will pay for the increase in Medicare by cutting fraud and abuse and he can't and won't even do it now.  And he suggest that increasing speding in this area by a trillion is not going to come with an explosion of more fraud and abuse?  This flies in the face of common sense.

Our government is obviously overflowing with fraud and abuse as it is.
 
  ***Michelle Malkin  Obama slashes anti-union corruption budget at DoL
By Michelle Malkin  •  May 7, 2009 12:19 PM Well, well, well. The President uses toy knives to “cut” the rest of the budget, but somehow finds a working chainsaw to slash funding of the anti-union corruption unit at the Labor Department.

Philip Klein at the American Spectator has the scoop:

…buried in the budget documents released by the White House today is a 9 percent cut in the unit of the Department of Labor that is in charge of regulating unions.

Under the leadership of Elaine Chao during the Bush administration, the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards took its job of policing unions seriously. Its actions led to 929 convictions of corrupt union officials and to the recovery of more than $93 million on behalf of union members. Yet the Obama administration has proposed slashing its budget from $45 million in 2009 to $41 million in 2010, citing an insufficient “workload” for the office.

Instead of using the money to make sure unions play by the rules, the Obama administration proposes shifting resources to the department’s Wage and Hour Division, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — all areas of the agency focused on regulating businesses.****

3297  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / unions on: September 11, 2009, 09:14:11 AM
We need more journalism into the infiltration of the unions in this government.
The corruption of unions is legendary.  Yet the great one, the arbitor of the universe, the annointed step father of the downtrodden, embraces them.
 
From a logical point of view this is not reconcilable.

***Lead StorySpecial report: How Obama cronyism threatens rail security
By Michelle Malkin  •  September 11, 2009 07:29 AM

How Obama cronyism threatens rail security
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

New Delhi. Mumbai. Chechnya. Madrid. London. The question isn’t whether America will suffer a jihadi attack on our passenger rail lines, but when. So, why has President Obama neutered the nation’s most highly-trained post-9/11 counterterrorism rail security team?

All signs point to business-as-usual cronyism and pandering to power-grabbing union bosses.

Amtrak’s Office of Security Strategy and Special Operations (OSSSO) grew out of a counterterrorism and intelligence unit developed by the Bush administration in the wake of global jihadi attacks on mass transit systems. The office was staffed with Special Forces veterans, law enforcement officers, railroad specialists, other military personnel, and experts who collectively possessed hundreds of years of experience fighting on the front lines against terrorism. Each member underwent at least 800 hours of rail security-related training, including advanced marksmanship, close quarters, and protective security exercises.

OSSSO’s mobile prevention teams acted as “force multipliers” working with local, state, and federal authorities across the country to detect, deter, and defend against criminal and terrorist attacks on mass transit. They conducted hundreds of show-of-force, uniformed, and rail marshal rides.

OSSSO also provided security services for President Bush, the Pope, the 2008 Democrat and Republican conventions, then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign events, and then-Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden’s Amtrak whistle stop tours. The counterterrorism unit’s push to conduct random passenger and baggage screening earned predictable criticism from civil liberties absolutists, but also garnered bipartisan praise on Capitol Hill. Even Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas hailed the rail security team’s work last year:

“Let me congratulate them for being aware” of the threat to rail passengers, the chairman of a House Homeland Security subcommittee on transportation security, told USA Today in July 2008. “(But) this has to be the new standard for Amtrak.”

How will Congress react to the news that this high standard has been obliterated?

According to multiple government sources who declined to be identified for fear of retribution, OSSSO’s East Coast and West Coast teams have not worked in a counterterrorism capacity since the summer. Their long-arms were put under lock and key after the abrupt departures of Amtrak vice president for security strategy and special operations Bill Rooney and Amtrak Inspector General Fred Weiderhold.

Weiderhold played an instrumental role in creating OSSSO’s predecessor at Amtrak, the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU). He tapped Rooney to oversee the office. But Rooney was quietly given the “thank you for your service” heave-ho in May and Weiderhold was unexpectedly “retired” a few weeks later — just as the government-subsidized rail service faced mounting complaints about its meddling in financial audits and probes.

As I reported in June, Weiderhold had blown the whistle on intrusion of Amtrak’s Law Department into his financial audits and probes. A damning, 94-page report from an outside legal firm concluded that the “independence and effectiveness” of the Amtrak inspector general’s office were “being substantially impaired” by the Law Department – which happens to be headed by Eleanor Acheson, a close pal of Vice President Biden.

Biden, in turn, is tight with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the powerful union that represents the Amtrak Police Department. According to OSSSO sources, the APD brass have been aggrieved over the non-unionized counterterrorism unit’s existence from its inception. A West Coast OSSSO team member told me that union leaders blocked police credentialing efforts by his office for more than a year. An East Coast OSSSO team member told me that the FOP recently filed a grievance against one of its counterterrorism officers for assisting a train conductor who asked for help in ejecting a ticketless passenger.

Unlike the highly-specialized officers at OSSSO, APD officers possess minimal counterterrorism training. Past studies show alarmingly low pass rates among APD patrolmen who have attended undergone basic special operations classes, according to government sources. The Amtrak FOP continues to squabble over turf with the rival Teamsters Union; its leaders can’t even agree on minimal physical fitness standards for its members that have yet to be implemented. Nevertheless, OSSSO is now under the command and control of the APD — and federal stimulus funding specifically earmarked for the counterterrorism unit has now been absorbed by the police department.

Amtrak did not respond to my questions about OSSSO by my column deadline Thursday afternoon.

Al Qaeda operatives have repeatedly plotted to wreak havoc on our mass transit systems. And they will try, try again. American jihadi Bryant Neal Vinas recently gave the feds details about a plot blow up a Long Island Rail Road commuter train in New York’s Penn Station. As America marks the September 11 anniversary and the “Never forget” mantra echoes, an OSSSO team member told me: “There is no room for internal protectionism, vested interests of unions, or asset-manipulating bureaucracies where the safety of our national passenger railroad is concerned.”

Does anyone else in Washington agree?

***
The RAND Corporation conducted an internal review of the Amtrak Police Department’s deficiencies in counterterrorism training, and made the following observations:

Although APD officers receive police training, they do not receive special counterterrorism training either as part of their initial training or in training activities after they join the APD. The lack of counterterrorism training might explain why every APD officer interviewed indicated that he or she saw no fundamental difference between police and counter-terror work.

(By counterterrorism training, we refer to knowledge and skills to conduct counter-surveillance, special training to respond to chemical, biological, radiation, and nuclear threats and familiarization with attack methods that might involve the use of these types of weapons, profiling techniques to identify suspicious behaviors, knowledge about protocols for security information sharing, and awareness of how to work with Federal Government agencies and other entities involved in counterterrorism.)

…Moreover, there are no metrics in the Amtrak Security Threat Level Response Plan against which to monitor compliance or to gauge the effectiveness of prescribed countermeasures. There are no performance metrics for the divisional security coordinators program either. RAND’s review of Amtrak security documents and interview responses also did not find any explicit criteria guiding the selection of additional or alternative countermeasures or shifts in response levels within the system. It was, thus, not clear what would guide the Chief of Amtrak Police’s decisions on these matters. In this connection, it is also not clear how management would know with high confidence that the response posture chosen by APD translates into reduced vulnerability for Amtrak….****

3298  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / contrast Ted Stevens on: September 11, 2009, 08:59:59 AM
Remember Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens???

Remember who the msm was all over his case?

Did you know his conviction and indictment were thrown out for prosecutorial misconduct?

The charges against him may have totally trumped up.   I didn't know that until I just read this on Wikepedia.  The msm has not publically exonerated him.  Even Eric Holder had to admit there was misconduct.

Yet narry a peep about Rangle in the msm.  If it wasn't for fox or drudge we probably wouldn't even know he is being investigated.

Controversies
In December 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that Stevens had taken advantage of lax Senate rules to use his political influence to obtain a large amount of his personal wealth.[56] According to the article, while Stevens was already a millionaire "thanks to investments with businessmen who received government contracts or other benefits with his help," the lawmaker who is in charge of $800 billion a year, writes "preferences he wrote into law," from which he then benefits.[56]

Home remodeling and VECO
 
Stevens' home in Girdwood, AlaskaMay 29, 2007, the Anchorage Daily News reported that the FBI and a federal grand jury were investigating an extensive remodeling project at Stevens' home in Girdwood. Stevens' Alaska home was raided by the FBI and IRS on July 30, 2007.[57][58] The remodeling work doubled the size of the modest home. Public records show that the house was 2,471 square feet (230 m2) after the remodeling and that the property was valued at $271,300 in 2003, including a $5,000 increase in land value.[59] The remodel in 2000 was organized by Bill Allen, a founder of the VECO Corporation, an oil-field service company and has been estimated to have cost VECO and the various contractors $250,000 or more.[60] However, the residential contractor who finished the renovation for VECO, Augie Paone, "believes the [Stevens'] remodeling could have cost ― if all the work was done efficiently ― around $130,000 to $150,000, close to the figure Stevens cited last year."[61] The Stevens paid $160,000 for the renovations "and assumed that covered everything."[62]

In June, the Anchorage Daily News reported that a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., heard evidence in May about the expansion of Stevens' Girdwood home and other matters connecting Stevens to VECO.[63] In mid-June, FBI agents questioned several aides who work for Stevens as part of the investigation.[64] In July, Washingtonian magazine reported that Stevens had hired "Washington’s most powerful and expensive lawyer", Brendan Sullivan Jr., in response to the investigation.[65] In 2006, during wiretapped conversations with Bill Allen, Stevens expressed worries over potential misunderstandings and legal complications arising from the sweeping federal investigations into Alaskan politics.[66][67] On the witness stand, "Allen testified that VECO staff who had worked on his own house had charged 'way too much,' leaving him uncertain how much to invoice Stevens for when he had his staff work on the senator's house ... that he would be embarrassed to bill Stevens for overpriced labor on the house, and said he concealed some of the expense."[68]


[edit] Former aide McCabe
The Justice Department is also examining whether federal funds that Stevens steered to the Alaska SeaLife Center may have enriched a former aide.[69] Currently the United States Department of Commerce and the Interior Department's inspector general are investigating "how millions of dollars that Stevens (R-Alaska) obtained for the nonprofit Alaska SeaLife Center were spent."[69] According to CNN, "Among the questions is how about $700,000 of nearly $4 million directed to the National Park Service wound up being paid to companies associated with Trevor McCabe, a former legislative director for Stevens."[69]


[edit] Bob Penney
In September 2007, The Hill reported that Stevens had "steered millions of federal dollars to a sportfishing industry group founded by Bob Penney, a longtime friend." In 1998, Stevens invested $15,000 in a Utah land deal managed by Penney; in 2004, Stevens sold his share of the property for $150,000.[70]


[edit] Trial and aftermath

[edit] Indictment
On July 29, 2008 Stevens was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of failing to properly report gifts,[71][72] a felony,[1] and found guilty at trial three months later (October 27, 2008).[1] The charges relate to renovations to his home and alleged gifts from VECO Corporation, claimed to be worth more than $250,000.[73][74] The indictment followed a lengthy investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for possible corruption into Alaskan politicians and was based on his relationship with Bill Allen. Allen, then an oil service company executive, had earlier pleaded guilty, with sentencing suspended pending his cooperation in gathering evidence and giving testimony in other trials, to bribing several Alaskan state legislators, including a disputed claim about Stevens' son, former State Senator Ben Stevens. Stevens declared, "I'm innocent," and pleaded not guilty to the charges in a federal district court on July 31, 2008. Stevens asserted his right to a speedy trial so that he could have the opportunity to promptly clear his name and requested that the trial be held before the 2008 election.[75][76]

US District Court Judge in Washington DC Emmet G. Sullivan, on October 2, 2008 denied Stevens' chief counsel, Brendan Sullivan's mistrial petition due to allegations of withholding evidence by prosecutors. Thus, the latter were admonished, and would submit themselves for internal probe by the United States Department of Justice. Brady v. Maryland requires prosecutors to give a defendant all information for defense. Judge Sulllivan had earlier admonished the prosecution for sending home to Alaska a witness who might have helped the defense.[77][78]

The case was prosecuted by Principal Deputy Chief Brenda K. Morris, Trial Attorneys Nicholas A. Marsh and Edward P. Sullivan of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section, headed by Chief William M. Welch II, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph W. Bottini and James A. Goeke from the District of Alaska.


[edit] Guilty verdict and consequences
 Wikinews has related news: US Senator Ted Stevens convicted on 7 counts
On October 27, 2008, Stevens was found guilty of all seven counts of making false statements. Stevens is the fifth sitting senator ever to be convicted by a jury in U.S. history,[79] and the first since Senator Harrison A. Williams (D-NJ) in 1981[80] (although Senator David Durenberger (R-MN) pled guilty to a felony more recently, in 1995). Stevens faces a maximum penalty of five years per charge.[81] His sentencing hearing was originally scheduled February 25, but his attorneys told Judge Emmet Sullivan they would file motions to overturn the verdict by early December.[82] However, it was thought unlikely that he would have seen significant time in prison.[83]

Within a few days of his conviction, Stevens faced bipartisan calls for his resignation. Both parties' presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, were quick to call for Stevens to stand down. Obama said that Stevens needed to resign to help "put an end to the corruption and influence-peddling in Washington."[84] McCain said that Stevens "has broken his trust with the people" and needed to step down—a call echoed by his running mate, Sarah Palin, governor of Stevens' home state.[85] Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as fellow Republican Senators Norm Coleman, John Sununu and Gordon Smith also called for Stevens to resign. McConnell said there would be "zero tolerance" for a convicted felon serving in the Senate—strongly hinting that he would support Stevens' expulsion from the Senate unless Stevens resigned first.[86][87] Late on November 1, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed that he would schedule a vote on Stevens' expulsion, saying that "a convicted felon is not going to be able to serve in the United States Senate."[88] Had Stevens been expelled after winning election, a special election would have been held to fill the seat through the remainder of the term, until 2014.[89] Some speculated Palin would have tried to run for the Senate via this special election.[90][91] No sitting Senator has been expelled since the Civil War.

Nonetheless, during a debate with his opponent Mark Begich days after his conviction, Stevens continued to claim innocence. "I have not been convicted. I have a case pending against me, and probably the worst case of prosecutorial misconduct by the prosecutors that is known." Stevens also cited plans to appeal.[92] Begich went on to defeat Stevens by 3,724 votes.[93]

On November 13, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina announced he would move to have Stevens expelled from the Senate Republican Conference (caucus) regardless of the results of the election. Losing his caucus membership would cost Stevens his committee assignments.[94] However, DeMint later decided to postpone offering his motion, saying that while there were enough votes to throw Stevens out, it would be a moot point if Stevens lost his reelection bid.[95] Stevens ended up losing the Senate race, and on November 20, 2008, gave his last speech to the Senate, which was met with a rare Senate standing ovation.[96]

In February 2009, FBI agent Chad Joy filed a whistleblower affidavit, alleging that prosecutors and FBI agents conspired to withhold and conceal evidence that could have resulted in a verdict of "not guilty."[97] In his affidavit, Joy alleged that prosecutors intentionally sent a key witness back to Alaska after the witness performed poorly during a mock cross examination. The witness, Rocky Williams, later notified the defense attorneys that his testimony would undercut the prosecution's claim that his company had spent its own money renovating Sen. Stevens' house. Joy further alleged that the prosecutors intentionally withheld Brady material including redacted prior statements of a witness, and a memo from Bill Allen stating that Sen. Stevens probably would have paid for the goods and services if asked. Joy further alleged that a female FBI agent had an inappropriate relationship with Allen, who also gave gifts to FBI agents and helped one agent's relative get a job.

As a result of Joy's affidavit and claims by the defense that prosecutorial misconduct caused an unfair trial, Judge Sullivan ordered a hearing to be held on February 13, 2009, to determine whether a new trial should be ordered. At the February 13 hearing the judge held the prosecutors in contempt for failing to deliver documents to Stevens' legal counsel.[98] Judge Sullivan called this conduct "outrageous."


[edit] Convictions voided and indictment dismissed
On April 1, 2009, NPR’s Nina Totenberg, citing sources close to the case, reported that Attorney General Eric Holder decided to drop the government’s opposition to the motion for a new trial. Totenberg also reported that Holder intended to dismiss the indictment with prejudice, meaning that he would not seek to retry the case. Since this occurred prior to sentencing, this would have the effect of vacating Stevens' conviction. Holder was reportedly very angry at the prosecutors’ apparent withholding of exculpatory evidence, and wanted to send a message that prosecutorial misconduct would not be tolerated under his watch. After the prosecutors had been held in contempt, Holder replaced the entire trial team, including top officials at the public integrity section. However, Totenberg reported, the misconduct, Stevens’ age, and the fact he was no longer in office prompted him to drop all charges against Stevens—effectively vacating the guilty verdict.[3] The Associated Press subsequently confirmed NPR’s report.[99]

The final straw for Holder, according to numerous reports, was the discovery of a previously undocumented interview with Bill Allen, the prosecution's star witness. Allen stated that the fair-market value of the repairs to Stevens' house was around $80,000—far less than the $250,000 he said it cost at trial. More seriously, Allen said in the interview that he didn't recall talking to Bob Persons, a friend of Stevens, regarding the repair bill for Stevens' House. This directly contradicted Allen's testimony at trial, in which he claimed Stevens asked him to give Persons a note Stevens sent him asking for a bill on the repair work. At trial, Allen said Persons had told him the note shouldn't be taken seriously because "Ted's just covering his ass." Even without the notes, Stevens' attorneys claimed that they thought Allen was lying about the conversation. [100]

Later that day, Stevens' attorney, Brendan Sullivan, said that Holder's decision was forced by "extraordinary evidence of government corruption." He also said that prosecutors not only withheld evidence, but "created false testimony that they gave us and actually presented false testimony in the courtroom"--two incidents that would have made it very likely that the convictions would have been overturned on appeal.[101]

On April 7, 2009, federal judge Emmet G. Sullivan formally accepted Holder's motion to set aside the verdict and throw out the indictment [102], based on what he called the worst case of prosecutorial misconduct he'd ever seen. He also initiated a criminal contempt investigation of six members of the prosecution. Although an internal probe by the Office of Professional Responsibility was already underway, Sullivan said he was not willing to trust it due to the "shocking and disturbing" nature of the misconduct. [103]

3299  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 11, 2009, 08:48:14 AM
Also the part that doctors and nurses support him and his plan.
Some undoubtedly do.  But many do not.
The msm continues to back him:

All the opponents are liars, distorters, and playing the "fear" card.
Everything he says is truth.

Has anyone noticed the countless fact checks and the keeping em honest CNN stuff?
Yet always the facts and the honesty concludes that the right is wrong and the leftist views are the truth.

He still has the msm media in his back pocket.
Ideologically they are all one in the same.

I doubt his speech will win people over long term.
Yet the Dems will try to ram this through nonetheless.

3300  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 10, 2009, 02:57:20 PM
Does anyone else see THIS as remarkable?  While the media of course focus on the exclamation of the Congressman calling Obama's statement about illegals a lie I don't hear one ioda from the msm about this:

"Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple."

I don't recall ever hearing a President call those who disagree with HIM liars in a speech to Congress.
Is this a first?

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