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24501  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Somerville: The case against on: July 29, 2011, 06:06:21 AM
The case against
Whose rights do we value most: those of children or of homosexual adults?


Same-sex marriage creates a clash between upholding the human rights of children with respect to their coming-into being and the family structure in which they will be reared, and the claims of homosexual adults who wish to marry a same-sex partner. It forces us, as a society, to choose whether to give priority to children’s rights or to homosexual adults’ claims. This problem does not arise with opposite-sex marriage, because children’s rights and adults claims with respect to marriage are consistent with each other.

Reasons matter 
Many people who oppose extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples do so on religious grounds or because of moral objections to homosexuality. In contrast, my arguments are secularly based and, to the extent that they involve morals and values, they are grounded in ethics, not religion.

Moreover, I oppose discrimination on basis of sexual orientation and believe that civil partnerships, open to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples, are the most ethical compromise in terms of balancing respect for children’s rights and fulfilling adults’ claims to mutually protect each other, for instance, with respect to inheritance, property rights and so on. Legally recognizing civil partnerships, as has been done, for example, in France and the United Kingdom, also neutralizes any claim – although, as I explain below, I do not agree it is a valid one - that legalizing same-sex marriage is necessary to avoid discrimination. That said, I continue to believe that, in order to maintain respect for children’s human rights, the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman should not be changed to include same-sex couples.

In other words, I am against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and against legalizing same-sex marriage. This is a position that same-sex marriage advocates refuse to acknowledge is possible. One of their strategies for promoting same-sex marriage is to allow only two possibilities: one is either for same-sex marriage and against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, or against same-sex marriage and, thereby, necessarily for such discrimination.

My reasons for opposition go to the nature of marriage as the societal institution that institutionalizes, symbolizes and protects the inherently reproductive human relationship which exists between a man and a woman, and, in doing so, establishes children’s human rights with respect to their biological origins and the family structure in which they are reared.

Ethical reasons to give priority to children’s rights over homosexual adults’ claims include that children are the more vulnerable persons and ethics demands that decision making is based on a presumption in favour of the most vulnerable; they cannot give their informed consent to participation in the unprecedented social experiment that same-sex marriage would constitute; and we cannot establish children’s “anticipated consent”, that is, we cannot  reasonably assume they would consent to the mode of their coming-into being or family structure, when their conception is other than between a man and a woman.

Marriage as culture only or biology plus culture

A central issue in the same-sex marriage debate is whether the institution of marriage is a purely cultural construct, as same-sex marriage advocates argue, and therefore open to redefinition as we see fit, or whether it is a cultural institution built around a central biological core, the inherently procreative relationship of one man and one woman. If it is the latter, as I believe, it cannot accommodate same-sex relationships and maintain its current functions.

A common riposte of same-sex marriage advocates to making procreation an essential feature of marriage is that we recognize opposite-sex marriages that do not or cannot result in children, so why not same-sex ones? The answer is that the former do not negate the norms, values and symbolism established for society by opposite-sex marriage with respect to children’s human rights in regard to their natural parents and families, as same-sex marriage necessarily does.

Advocates of same-sex marriage also argue that we should accept that the primary purpose of marriage is to give social and public recognition to an intimate committed relationship between two people and, therefore, to exclude same-sex couples is discrimination. They are correct if that is the primary purpose of marriage. But they are not correct if its primary purpose is to protect an intimate relationship because of its procreative potential. (Note that there is no inherent reason to limit same-sex marriage to two people, as there is in opposite-sex marriage. Moreover, as in a current Canadian case, it can be argued that if it’s discrimination not to recognize same-sex marriage as legal, likewise, it’s discrimination not to recognize polygamous marriage.)

The right to found a family and children’s human rights

Marriage is a compound right in both international and domestic law: it’s the right to marry and to found a family. Giving the right to found a family to same-sex couples necessarily negates the rights of all children, not just those born into a same-sex marriage, with respect to their biological parents and a natural family structure.

Indeed, the Canadian Parliament implemented this change in the second section of the Civil Marriage Act 2005 which legalized same-sex marriage. It provides that in certain legislation where the term “natural parent” appears, it is to be replaced by “legal parent”. In short, the adoption exception - that who is a child’s parent is established by legal fiat, not biological connection - becomes the norm for all children.

In the same vein, in Canada we now have provincial legislation that replaces the words “mother” and “father” on a birth certificate with “Parent 1” and “Parent 2”. And an Ontario court has ruled that a child can have three legal parents: her biological mother and her lesbian partner, and her gay biological father who donated sperm.

Children’s human rights and reproductive technologies

The dangers of same-sex marriage to children’s human rights are amplified by reprogenetic  technoscience. Developments such as IVF, cloning and surrogacy pose unprecedented challenges to maintaining respect for the transmission of human life and the children who result, because they open up unprecedented modes of transmission, which are sometimes referred to as “collaborative non-coital reproduction”. When the institution of marriage is limited to opposite-sex couples, it establishes a social-sexual ecology of human reproduction and symbolizes respect for the transmission of human life through sexual reproduction, as compared, for example, to asexual replication (cloning) or same-sex reproduction (for instance, the future possibility of making a sperm from one woman’s stem cell and using it to fertilize another woman’s ovum).

It merits noting, in this regard, that the Canadian Assisted Human Reproduction Act 2004, for instance, provides that “persons who seek to undergo assisted reproduction procedures must not be discriminated against, including on the basis of their sexual orientation or marital status”.

If we believe that, ethically, there should be limits on the use of new reproductive technologies, we now need the natural procreation symbolism established by opposite-sex marriage more than in past. In the past, the only mode of transmission of human life was sexual reproduction in vivo. Now we must ask what is required for respect for the mode of transmission of human life to the next generation. And what is it required we not do with reproductive technologies if we are to respect the children who would result from the use of these technologies?

If the response to such possibilities is that we should prohibit them, we must keep in mind that if exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is found to be discrimination by way of comparison with opposite-sex couples, not providing same-sex couples with the means for procreation — that is, excluding the couple from procreating with each other — when such procreation is possible, is a related discrimination. In Halpern et al. the Court of Appeal of Ontario expressly ruled that same-sex couples’ inability to reproduce together naturally was not an argument against same-sex marriage, because they could use assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to found a family, as the right to marry contemplates. Some provisions of the Canadian Assisted Human Reproduction Act 2004 have already been found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada, so a challenge to the legal validity of any prohibitions would not be novel.

Respect for the transmission of human life

Recognizing that a fundamental purpose of marriage is to engender respect for the transmission of human life provides a corollary insight: excluding same-sex couples from marriage is not related to those people’s homosexual orientation, or to them as individuals, or to the worth of their relationships. Rather, the exclusion of their relationship is related to the fact that it is not inherently procreative, and, therefore, if it is encompassed within marriage, marriage cannot institutionalize and symbolize respect for the transmission of life. To recognize same-sex marriage (which is to be distinguished from same-sex partnerships that do not raise this problem, because they do not entail the right to found a family) would unavoidably eliminate this function of marriage.

The alternative view is that new reproductive technoscience means that same-sex couples will be able to reproduce as a couple, so they should be included in marriage as the institution that institutionalizes, recognizes and protects procreative relationships.

Child-centred reproductive decision-making

Same-sex marriage is symptomatic of adult-centred reproductive decision-making, a stance that our Western democratic societies have largely adopted. But reproductive decision-making should be child-centred. This means, among other requirements, that we should work from a basic presumption that children have an absolute right to be conceived from natural biological origins, that is, an untampered-with ovum from one, identified, living, adult woman and an untampered-with sperm from one, identified, living, adult man. This, I propose, is the most fundamental human right of all.

Children also have valid claims, if at all possible, to be reared by their own biological parents within their natural family. If not raised by them, they have a claim to know who those parents and their other close biological relatives are. And society should not be complicit in intentionally depriving children of a mother and a father. We must consider the ethics of deliberately creating any situation that is otherwise.

A common riposte by those advocating same-sex marriage and same-sex families is to point out the deficiencies of traditional marriage and natural families.

 The issue is not, however, whether all or even most opposite-sex couples attain the ideals of marriage in relation to fulfilling the needs of their offspring. Neither is the issue whether marriage is a perfect institution — it is not. It is, rather, whether we should work from a basic presumption that children need a mother and a father, preferably their own biological parents. I believe they do. The issue is, also, whether society would be worse off without the aspirational ideals established by traditional marriage. I believe it would be.


As mentioned already, the reason for excluding same-sex couples from marriage matters: if the reason for denying same-sex marriage is that we have no respect for homosexuals and their relationships, or want to give the message that homosexuality is wrong, then, the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is not ethically acceptable from the perspective of respect for homosexuals and their relationships. It is also discrimination.

On the other hand, if, as I have argued, the reason is to keep the very nature, essence and substance of marriage intact, and that essence is to protect the inherently procreative relationship for the sake of the children who result, then excluding same-sex couples from marriage is ethically acceptable from the perspective of respect for them and their relationships. And such a refusal is not discrimination.

A useful comparison can be made with the discrimination involved in affirmative action. That shows that sometimes discrimination - in the sense of not treating all people in exactly the same way - and the harm it involves, can be justified when it is to achieve a greater good that cannot otherwise be achieved.

It is also argued by those advocating same-sex marriage, that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is the same act of discrimination as prohibiting interracial marriage. This has rightly been recognized as a serious breach of human rights. But this argument is not correct. Because an interracial marriage between a man and a woman does symbolize the procreative relationship, its prohibition is based on racial discrimination which is wrong. In contrast, not extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples is not based on the sexual orientation of the partners, but the absence of a feature of their relationship which is an essential feature of marriage.

Some same-sex marriage advocates argue, as well, that any “privileging” (as they see it) of opposite-sex marriage is, in itself, a form of discrimination they call heterosexism. They see traditional marriage as the flag-bearer for such discrimination and believe that if they can eliminate traditional marriage, which they see the legalization of same-sex marriage as achieving, they will eliminate heterosexism.

Wider effects of legalizing same-sex marriage

We also need to consider the wider effects of legalizing same-sex marriage. It can result in restrictions on freedom of conscience and religion, and freedom of speech, as we’ve seen happen in Canada. Complaints have been filed before Human Rights tribunals or courts, and sometimes they have resulted in substantial penalties. Those targeted have included civil marriage celebrants for refusals to conduct same-sex marriages; a teacher and an author of a letter to the editor questioning the morality of homosexuality; a Roman Catholic organization which rescinded an agreement to rent a church hall for a reception when it discovered it was to be used for a lesbian wedding; and school trustees for their decision not to include books on homosexual families on a recommended reading list for kindergarten students.

Holding on trust our metaphysical ecosystem

 As I pen this article here in Australia, my understanding is that the Australian Greens, as is true of groups in other countries who see themselves as supporting what they call “progressive values”, are strong advocates of the legalization of same-sex marriage. They have made an important contribution in raising people's sensitivity to the idea that we can irreparably damage our physical ecosystem and the need to avoid further damage and hold that system in trust for future generations. We have to take care not to leave them with anything less than we inherited and, if possible, in a better situation.

We also have a metaphysical ecosystem - the values, principles, beliefs, attitudes, myths and so on that create the glue that binds us together as families, communities and a society (the societal-cultural paradigm) which for some people includes religion, but for others does not. Like our physical ecosystem that can also be irreparably damaged and, likewise, has to be held in trust for future generations. This means, I suggest, that we must examine the values the Greens are promoting, including same-sex marriage, in that light.

In conclusion, legalizing same-sex marriage would be a very powerful statement against the horrible wrong of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We clearly need such statement. But, in order to uphold children’s human rights with respect to their biological origins and the family structure in which they are reared, they should be made in other ways than legalizing same-sex marriage.

Society needs to maintain traditional marriage in order to continue to establish cultural meaning, symbolism and moral values around the inherently procreative relationship between a man and a woman, and thereby protect that relationship and the children who result from it. This is even more necessary than in the past, when alternatives to sexual reproduction were not available.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would affect its cultural meaning and function and, in doing so, damage its ability and, thereby, society’s capacity, to protect the inherently procreative relationship and the children who result from it, whether those children’s future sexual orientation proves to be homosexual or heterosexual.

Margaret Somerville is director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law in Montreal.

24502  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Noonan: Nobody loves a loser on: July 28, 2011, 11:29:39 PM
I gather that Boener does not have the votes, and this piece by Peggy N. was written before that was known.  Still, its comments on His Glibness remain pertinent.

The Republican establishment reasserted itself this week, and good thing, too, because the establishment was right. It said Republicans in the House should back and pass the Boehner bill on the debt ceiling because it goes in the right directions, contains spending cuts but not taxes, and is viable. So accept victory, avert crisis, and get it to the Senate.

The establishment was being conservative in the Burkean sense: acknowledges reality, respect it, and make the most progress possible within it. This has not always been true of them. They spent the first decade of this century backing things a truly conservative party would not have dreamed of—careless wars, huge spending and, most scandalously, a dreamy and unconservative assumption that it would all work out because life is sweet and the best thing always happens. They were mostly led by men and women who had never been foreclosed on and who assumed good luck, especially unearned good luck, would continue. They were fools, and they lost control of their party when the tea party rose up, rebuking and embarrassing them. Then the tea party saved them by not going third party in 2009-10. And now the establishment has come forward to save the tea party, by inching it away from the cliff and reminding it the true battles are in 2012, and after. Let's hope the tea party takes the opportunity.

As this is written the White House seems desperate to be seen as consequential. They're trotting out Press Secretary Jay Carney, who stands there looking like a ferret with flop sweat as he insists President Obama is still at the table, still manning the phones and calling shots. Much is uncertain, but the Republicans have made great strides on policy. If they emerge victorious, they had better not crow. The nation is in a continuing crisis, our credit rating is not secure, and no one's interested in he-man gangster dialogue from "The Town." What might thrill America would be a little modesty: "We know we helped get America into some of this trouble, and we hope we've made some progress today in getting us out of it."

But that actually is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something that started to become apparent to me during the debt negotiations. It's something I've never seen in national politics.

View Full Image

Martin Kozlowski
It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications.

The past few weeks I've asked Democrats who supported him how they feel about him. I got back nothing that showed personal investment. Here are the words of a hard-line progressive and wise veteran of the political wars: "I never loved Barack Obama. That said, among my crowd who did 'love' him, I can't think of anyone who still does." Why is Mr. Obama different from Messrs. Clinton and Bush? "Clinton radiated personality. As angry as folks got with him about Nafta or Monica, there was always a sense of genuine, generous caring." With Bush, "if folks were upset with him, he still had this goofy kind of personality that folks could relate to. You might think he was totally misguided but he seemed genuinely so. . . . Maybe the most important word that described Clinton and Bush but not Obama is 'genuine.'" He "doesn't exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine."

Maybe Mr. Obama is living proof of the political maxim that they don't care what you know unless they know that you care. But the idea that he is aloof and so inspires aloofness may be too pat. No one was colder than FDR, deep down. But he loved the game and did a wonderful daily impersonation of jut-jawed joy. And people loved him.

More Peggy Noonan

Read Peggy Noonan's previous columns

click here to order her book, Patriotic Grace

The secret of Mr. Obama is that he isn't really very good at politics, and he isn't good at politics because he doesn't really get people. The other day a Republican political veteran forwarded me a hiring notice from the Obama 2012 campaign. It read like politics as done by Martians. The "Analytics Department" is looking for "predictive Modeling/Data Mining" specialists to join the campaign's "multi-disciplinary team of statisticians," which will use "predictive modeling" to anticipate the behavior of the electorate. "We will analyze millions of interactions a day, learning from terabytes of historical data, running thousands of experiments, to inform campaign strategy and critical decisions."

This wasn't the passionate, take-no-prisoners Clinton War Room of '92, it was high-tech and bloodless. Is that what politics is now? Or does the Obama re-election effort reflect the candidate and his flaws?

Mr. Obama seemed brilliant at politics when he first emerged in 2004. He understood the nation's longing for unity. We're not divided into red states and blue, he said, we're Big Purple, we can solve our problems together. Four years later he read the lay of the land perfectly—really, perfectly. The nation and the Democratic Party were tired of the Clinton machine. He came from nowhere and dismantled it. It was breathtaking. He went into the 2008 general election with a miraculously unified party and took down another machine, bundling up all the accrued resentment of eight years with one message: "You know the two losing wars and the economic collapse we've been dealing with? I won't do that. I'm not Bush."

The fact is, he's good at dismantling. He's good at critiquing. He's good at not being the last guy, the one you didn't like. But he's not good at building, creating, calling into being. He was good at summoning hope, but he's not good at directing it and turning it into something concrete that answers a broad public desire.

And so his failures in the debt ceiling fight. He wasn't serious, he was only shrewd—and shrewdness wasn't enough. He demagogued the issue—no Social Security checks—until he was called out, and then went on the hustings spouting inanities. He left conservatives scratching their heads: They could have made a better, more moving case for the liberal ideal as translated into the modern moment, than he did. He never offered a plan. In a crisis he was merely sly. And no one likes sly, no one respects it.

So he is losing a battle in which he had superior forces—the presidency, the U.S. senate. In the process he revealed that his foes have given him too much mystique. He is not a devil, an alien, a socialist. He is a loser. And this is America, where nobody loves a loser.
24503  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Marriage and Family on: July 28, 2011, 06:57:48 PM
Or why we ran out of oil in 1993 as predicted in 1973, or , , , etc.
24504  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Scientist investigated for fibbing on: July 28, 2011, 06:56:33 PM
24505  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pedophile Muslim soldier arrested for planning attack on Fort Hood on: July 28, 2011, 06:54:04 PM
BTW, note the role of the gun store owner.
24506  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / What power to tax and spend? on: July 28, 2011, 06:09:23 PM
Alexander's Essay -- July 28, 2011
On the Web:
Printer Friendly:
PDF Version:


What Power to Tax and Spend?


The Question Americans Should Be Asking

"The Constitution, which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and
authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all." --George

Barack Hussein Obama's refusal to send a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the
states as condition of House Speaker John Boehner's support for raising the national
debt ceiling has pushed federal funding negotiations to the precipice of the
Treasury Department's 2 August default deadline. Boehner has retreated on the
House's "cut, cap and balance
)" plan and its BBA provision is no longer a stipulation in negotiations. He has
also reduced the "cuts" in the House plan, and may acquiesce to the larger debt
ceiling increase the Democrats
( ) want
in order to avoid another debt ceiling battle prior to the 2012 elections.

Notably, most House conservatives, including the Tea Party freshmen, are standing
with Boehner, choosing a pragmatic approach until 2012, when they hope to strengthen
their numbers in the House and Senate, and retake the presidency.

The current budget debate was the first serious consideration of a BBA since it was
advocated by President Ronald Reagan
( ) in the 1980s
and later passed by the House as part of the Republican Contract with America in
1995. (At that time, it received 300 votes, including 72 Democrats.)

Now, as then, Leftist Democrats
( ) in the Senate
have created a formidable gauntlet to its passage because it would severely
undermine their power to redistribute wealth, power that is the only assurance of
their perpetual re-election
). A BBA would sunset their dynasty.

So, where to from here, and what question should conservatives be asking? First, let
me offer a brief review of the current budget/debt crisis.

The current legal limit (ceiling) on outstanding U.S. debt is $14.29 trillion. The
federal government currently spends about $10 billion every day, and about $4
billion of that is borrowed with guarantees that future generations of Americans
will repay the principal and interest.

The House budget plan, as of today, allows a $900 billion increase in the debt
ceiling, but includes cuts of approximately that amount over 10 years, which is to
say it is not a "net-net" plan to balance the budget now, and does not reverse debt

Obama's 2012 budget is $3.7 trillion. Conservative estimates are that his "budget
plan" will add more than $12 trillion in debt over the next decade. The only way the
U.S. can remain solvent under those circumstances would require colossal tax
increases and fiscal policies that inflate the economy -- both of which will break
the back of free enterprise
( ) and ultimately lead
to more taxes and inflation until the whole charade collapses.

This debt bomb ( )
poses the most significant threat to Essential Liberty
( ) in our
nation's history. Our editorial team outlined this mounting national security threat
( )
back in 2004.

Across the nation, 49 of 50 states have some form of balanced budget requirement.
The federal government, however, recognizes no such limitations and for three
decades has been spending far more than it takes in.

Not only must the debt accumulation be stopped, it must be reversed.

To accomplish this reversal, the most pressing question in the current debate is not
"which budget plan is better?" Rather, it is "By what authority does the central
government collect taxes, and on what items is it authorized to spend those combined
taxes and accumulated national debt?"

Tell me what you think

To answer that question, let's review the limitations on taxing and spending our
( )
imposed upon Congress before the courts twisted Rule of Law into the so-called
"living constitution
)," which is subject to the rule of men. Under the latter, Congress has unlawfully
assumed the authority not only to collect and spend taxes on any objects it desires
(in order to perpetuate re-election), but to regulate everything else
). (For the record, the cost of that regulation is estimated at $1.75 trillion
annually -- more than twice the total income taxes collected in 2010.)

This unlawful spending and regulation is in abject violation of our elected
officials' oaths to "support and defend
)" our Constitution, and a breach of trust in their contract with the American
people, which has created a perilous national security crisis
). But on the question of their constitutional authority, former House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi infamously claimed, "Nobody questions that
( )."

To get a sense of how enormous the outlaw-spending crisis has grown, I quote Obama
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's efforts to shock Republicans into submission this
week: "Just remember, this is the United States of America. We write 80 million
checks a month. There are millions and millions of Americans that depend on those
checks coming on time. ... We cannot put those payments at risk and we do not have
the ability to limit the damage on them if Congress fails to act in time."

By what authority is the central government taxing and borrowing to distribute 80
million checks a month?

The "General Welfare Clause" in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution provides,
"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and
Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of
the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout
the United States..."

During the constitutional ratification debates, our Founder's made clear that
taxation in support of expenditure for the "general welfare
)" of the nation was subject to severe limits.

Alexander Hamilton, our nation's first Treasury secretary, argued for a somewhat
more expansive interpretation of "general welfare," while James Madison, our
Constitution's author, reiterated that the enumerated powers contained therein
strictly limited the context of "general welfare."

Madison's view prevailed. As president, Madison vetoed a federal highway bill in
1817 because such expenditures were not authorized by our Constitution and,
moreover, were clearly the responsibility of the states, as specified in the Tenth
( ).

According to Madison, "It has been urged and echoed, that the power 'to lay and
collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the
common defence and general welfare of the United States,' amounts to an unlimited
commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the
common defence or general welfare."

However, wrote Madison, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done
by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a
limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one."

In Federalist No. 45, Madison declared, "The powers delegated by the proposed
Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to
remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be
exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign
commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the
objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties,
and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of
the State."

As for extra-constitutional taxation, Madison was unequivocal: "I cannot undertake
to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to
Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

The authentic interpretation of expenses authorized by our Constitution was
sustained until the War Between the States, when Abraham Lincoln
( ) stretched them
beyond constitutional bounds.

But the wholesale adulteration of our Constitution began with Franklin Delano
Roosevelt's ( )
regime. Under duress of economic depression, he implemented such
extra-constitutional programs as the Social Security Act, Federal Housing
Administration, Home Owner's Loan Corporation, the Tennessee Valley Authority and a
plethora of other "New Deal" federal spending programs, not one of which was
authorized by our Constitution.

In 1936, the Supreme Court (U.S. v Butler) cemented this broad and unprecedented
interpretation of the General Welfare Clause in alliance with FDR -- and the rest is

The High Court's interpretation far exceeded its constitutional authority. In
Federalist No. 81, Alexander Hamilton made it clear that this sort of judicial
activism was illegitimate: "[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which
directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit
of the Constitution."
That notwithstanding, what our Constitution authorizes versus what the courts via
judicial diktat have since interpreted it to authorize have rendered Rule of Law
null and void. The resulting debt crisis is a menacing threat to Liberty
( ).

So, what's the solution?

Tell me what you think

Thomas Jefferson warned, "To preserve independence ... we must not let our rulers
load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and Liberty,
or profusion and servitude. ... The fore horse of this frightful team is public
debt. Taxation follows that, and in its turn wretchedness and oppression."

A BBA is a good way to limit outlaw spending. However, there is no chance of a BBA
passage with a Democrat administration and Democrat-controlled Senate. And if a BBA
did pass, it could result in tax increases indexed to budget increases if it does
not require a supermajority to raise taxes, a spending cap to keep the "balance"
from perpetual increases, a provision to protect it from tax increases forced by
judicial diktat, and a provision to ensure it is not construed as to affirm the
constitutional authority of current spending programs -- most of which have no such
Moreover, no amendment will suffice until the authority of our Constitution is
restored, and that will require a broad challenge from "the People," and the first
step in that challenge was born in the Tea Party movement
( ) this past
election cycle. That momentum must be sustained if there is any hope to preserve

On that authority, Jefferson noted, "Our peculiar security is in possession of a
written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. ... If it
is, then we have no Constitution. ... In questions of power, then, let no more be
heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the

Alexander Hamilton wrote, "A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital
principle, the sustaining energy of a free government. ... [T]he present
Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banners, bona fide
must we combat our political foes -- rejecting all changes but through the channel
itself provides for amendments."

George Washington, in his farewell address to the nation, wrote, "The basis of our
political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their
constitutions of Government. But the Constitution, which at any time exists, 'till
changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory
upon all. ... If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of
the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an
amendment in the way which the constitution designates. But let there be no change
by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is
the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed."

Obama and his arrogant socialist cadres
( )
believe they are smarter than our Founders. They certainly believe they can outsmart
most of the American People. Unless more of us begin to ask relevant questions about
Rule of Law ( )
and constitutional authority, they may be right on the latter contention.

(A note of thanks to my colleague, Matthew Spalding, constitutional scholar at the
Heritage Foundation ( ), for research assistance on this

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post ( )
24507  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pravda on the Hudson goes after Robert Spencer on: July 28, 2011, 08:17:50 AM
Naturally the Progressive-Islamist Axis seeks to use the events in Oslo to silence those who would defend Western culture and Freedom from Islamo Fascism.   Here we see Robert Spencer defend himself from such attacks.

*New York Times Convicts Spencer of Guilt for Norway Murders*

Posted By *Robert Spencer* On July 27, 2011 @ 12:45 am In *Daily
Mailer,FrontPage* | *22

Finally, a word on the Times hit piece, in which I am a significant
presence, and yet neither Scott Shane nor anyone else at the Times bothered
to contact me for any comment whatsoever.

“Killings in Norway Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S.,” by Scott Shane
in the New York Times <>,
July 24 (thanks to all who sent this in). The first clue as to the bias of
Scott Shane comes in the title’s reference to “Anti-Muslim Thought,” as if I
am fighting against human beings, rather than against a radically intolerant
and repressive ideology. Seven years ago here at Jihad
had an exchange with an English convert to Islam. I said:

“I would like nothing better than a flowering, a renaissance, in the Muslim
world, including full equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in
Islamic societies: freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal
testimony, equal employment opportunities, etc.”

Is all that “anti-Muslim”?

My correspondent thought so. He responded: “So, you would like to see us
ditch much of our religion and, thereby, become non-Muslims.”

In other words, he saw a call for equality of rights for women and
non-Muslims in Islamic societies, including freedom of conscience, equality
in laws regarding legal testimony, and equal employment opportunities, as a
challenge to his religion. To the extent that they are, these facts have to
be confronted by both Muslims and non-Muslims. But it is not “anti-Muslim”
to wish freedom of conscience and equality of rights on the Islamic world —
quite the contrary.

[...] His manifesto, which denounced Norwegian politicians as failing to
defend the country from Islamic influence, quoted Robert Spencer, who
operates the Jihad Watch Web site, 64 times, and cited other Western writers
who shared his view that Muslim immigrants pose a grave danger to Western

Jihad Watch commenter Kinana of Khaybar analyzed these 64 citations
and concluded:

“Breivik himself has apparently ‘quoted’ Robert Spencer by pasting in large
unprocessed chunks of material from 3 different sources–the documentary, the
crusades piece, and the article on Muslim persecution of Christians.
Needless to say, Breivik never in his approximately 1500-page ‘compendium’
quotes Spencer as supporting his (Breivik’s) ‘revolutionary’ views, values,
methods, proposals, and objectives.”

The Times piece continues:

More broadly, the mass killings in Norway, with their echo of the 1995
bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by an antigovernment
militant, have focused new attention around the world on the subculture of
anti-Muslim [sic] bloggers and right-wing activists and renewed a debate
over the focus of counterterrorism efforts.

17,000+ Islamic jihad terror attacks since
Two non-Muslim terrorists: Tim McVeigh and, sixteen years later, Anders
Breivik. And Scott Shane suggests that the “focus of counterterrorism
efforts” should be shifted from Islamic jihadists to “the subculture of
anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing activists.”

In the United States, critics have asserted that the intense spotlight on
the threat from Islamic militants has unfairly vilified Muslim Americans
while dangerously playing down the threat of attacks from other domestic
radicals. The author of a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report on
right-wing extremism withdrawn by the department after criticism from
conservatives repeated on Sunday his claim that the department had tilted
too heavily toward the threat from Islamic militants.The revelations about
Mr. Breivik’s American influences exploded on the blogs over the weekend,
putting Mr. Spencer and other self-described “counterjihad” activists on the
defensive, as their critics suggested that their portrayal of Islam as a
threat to the West indirectly fostered the crimes in Norway.

Yes, of course. There is no Islamic threat to the West. The Muslim

“must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in
eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and
‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the
believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious
over all other religions.”
— Mohamed Akram, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal
for the Group in North America,” May 22, 1991

And as for “indirectly” fostering mass murder, it is noteworthy that none of
the quotes of me by this Norwegian psychopath contain any call to violence
whatsoever, and Scott Shane can’t come up with anything in that line,
either. It is tough to make a consistent defense of the freedom of speech,
the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people out to
be incitement and hate, and Shane and his Islamic supremacist allies can
most effectively do so by quoting me as little as possible.

Mr. Spencer wrote on his Web site,, that “the blame game” had
begun, “as if killing a lot of children aids the defense against the global
jihad and Islamic supremacism, or has anything remotely to do with anything
we have ever advocated.” He did not mention Mr. Breivik’s voluminous
quotations from his writings….

I have now. But in any case, the psychopath also praised Obama and
plagiarized the Unabomber. Yet no one is holding the president or radical
environmentalists responsible for the murders.

Marc Sageman, a former C.I.A. officer and a consultant on terrorism, said it
would be unfair to attribute Mr. Breivik’s violence to the writers who
helped shape his world view. But at the same time, he said the counterjihad
writers do argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam “is the
infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged. Well, they and their writings
are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.”

Sageman says it would be unfair to blame me, and then he does it. This is
the same kind of rigorous and insightful analysis that this “expert”
displayed when he explained jihad activity as a result of

“This rhetoric,” he added, “is not cost-free.”

This kind of analysis can be turned every which way. If I am murdered after
all this demonization of me, will Shane or Sageman or the SPLC or Michael
24508  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Scott Grannis on the budget brouhaha and a question on: July 28, 2011, 07:58:29 AM
Scott Grannis <> wrote:

Here's my latest blog post, which I thought I would share with everyone. Everything
is so misleading, and both parties are to blame. I try to put things into
common-sense terms here. Solving our budget problem shouldn't have to be a big deal.
For example, by just allowing spending to grow 2% a year, we could easily balance
the budget in 7 years without raising anybody's tax rate.
Nobody is proposing actual spending cuts

When the history of the Great Debt Limit Debate is written, one of the key villains
will be the definition of "cut." (He is discussing baseline budgeting here)  For everyone who lives outside the halls of
Congress, "cut" means to reduce. But inside Congress, "cut" means to spend less than
your baseline projection of future spending. Since spending always tends to rise by
at least the growth of nominal GDP, which has averaged about 5.5% for the past 30
years, the baseline that everyone compares their budget proposals to tends to
project increased spending of about 5-6% per year.

Over the past 12 months the federal government has spent $3.56 trillion. A typical
baseline would project spending to increase about 5.5% a year, reaching some $6
trillion a year by 2021 (budget scoring generally focuses on what happens over the
next 10 years). That would equate to total expenditures of $48.4 trillion over the
next decade. So when one party proposes to "cut" spending by, say, $4 trillion, what
they really mean is that they propose to spend $44.4 trillion over the next 10 years
instead of $48.4 trillion. The $4 trillion "cut" they are proposing actually works
out to a 4% annual increase in spending, instead of a 5.5% annual increase in

So even the most radical of "cuts" that are being proposed today would still allow
government spending to increase by 4% a year. How hard or draconian is that?

I suspect the great majority of Americans would be stunned to realize that if we
allowed government spending to increase by only 2% a year, then we could probably
balance the budget in about 7 years, without any need to increase tax rates or
actually cut anybody's spending. No real cuts and no real tax hikes are needed to
balance the budget within a reasonable time frame. Why is there so much sound and
fury surrounding this debate?

(My calculations assume that tax revenues as a percent of GDP rise naturally to
about 18% of GDP over the next 7 years, which is close to the long-term average and
the same level that was achieved a few years after the Bush tax cuts. Tax revenue as
a % of GDP always rises during the expansion phase of a business cycle, and we know
that the current level of tax rates can generate 18% of GDP if the economy is


So, if we slow the growth of total federal government spending to about the
current rate of CPI inflation and tax revenues revert to the mean, we’ll be
OK.  However, in order to accomplish that target, won’t we have to reduce
non-Medicare/Medicaid expenditures significantly in order to offset the
normal rate of growth in those expenses?
24509  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: July 27, 2011, 11:54:05 PM
Sorry I've been quiet around here.  I am enjoying some wonderful family time.  We are visiting my mother and it is a great pleasure to see my children get to know their grandmother.
24510  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / President Dangerfield on: July 27, 2011, 11:25:17 PM

So this is what we have come to: the president of the United States, and not just any president but the World's Greatest Orator, standing in the White House petulantly reproving his partisan opponents and imploring his supporters: "If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know."

Three cheers to the U.S. Postal Service, which by all accounts has dealt with the ensuing flood of mail without missing a step.

Earlier yesterday, as National Journal reports, Obama "let his frustration over the stalled debt talks seep into an address on Latino issues, confessing that he'd like to 'bypass Congress and change the laws on my own' ":

He told the National Council of La Raza, "Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you."
But, he had to concede, "that's not how our system works."

Being a dictator is a relatively easy job. Even junior tyrants like Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong Il can do it. All a dictator needs to be effective is the ability to instill fear. An effective democratic leader needs to be able to command respect.

European Pressphoto Agency
Obama has a problem commanding the respect of his adversaries. Immediately after his address to the nation last night, Speaker John Boehner went on TV with a response. Fox News Channel's Bret Baier reported that apart from the State of the Union, it was the first such response from the opposing party to a presidential address since 2007, when George W. Bush gave a speech on Iraq.

And Boehner mocked Obama's rhetoric: "The president has often said we need a 'balanced' approach--which in Washington means we spend more, you pay more." One might observe that the partisan sniping was mutual. But the president is the higher-status player. He diminishes himself by punching down.

Obama has turned into President Rodney Dangerfield: He doesn't get no respect. (For readers too young to remember Dangerfield, that's not litotes. He used the double negative as an intensifier.) "So we're left with a stalemate," he said last night. "At least that's what Michelle tells me."

OK, we made up that punch line. But it's true that lately Obama hasn't been getting much respect from his friends, either. "I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama believes he's doing," Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent self-styled socialist from Vermont said last week. John Nichols of The Nation, a hard-left magazine, cites a CNN poll that finds this feeling increasingly common among Obama's base:

The number of Americans who say they disapprove of the president's performance because he is not liberal enough has doubled since May. "Drill down into that number and you'll see signs of a stirring discontent on the left," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, who explains that, "Obama's approval rating among liberals has dropped to the lowest point in his presidency, and roughly one in four Americans who disapprove of him say they feel that way because he has not been liberal enough, a new high for that measure."
"What evidence do we have that Obama knows what he's doing?" former Enron adviser Paul Krugman asked last week. A stopped clock is right twice a day, but Krugman then asked: "When has Obama given progressives any reason to believe they can trust him?"

That may explain Obama's unwillingness to compromise in the debt debate. "Nobody today is talking about tax increases except Barack Obama," CNN's Gloria Borger noted last night. Reports over the weekend had congressional Republicans and Democrats negotiating for an agreement to cut spending without raising taxes. By butting in with his demand for tax increases, Obama only prolongs the standoff. Why? There's one logical explanation: to pander to his left-wing base.

Obama's position is as brittle as it is rigid. It's true that some polls suggest the public is more inclined to blame congressional Republicans than the president if the dispute remains unresolved and the results are disastrous. But Obama would have to be delusional to think that presiding over such a disaster would enhance his re-election prospects.

Fox Business's Charlie Gasparino reports that "administration officials have told bankers that the administration will not allow a default to happen." Our guess is that Obama will end up signing whatever last-minute agreement Congress comes up with. As with last December's deal to avert the Bush tax increases, he will bitterly protest, disclaiming responsibility for the outcome. He will maintain the left's sympathy, but respect, once lost, is hard to recover.

A couple of other points on the Obama speech: The president said he rejected Boehner's plan that "would temporarily extend the debt ceiling" because it "would force us to once again face the threat of default just six months from now." Today the White House issued a written veto threat. Yet last night he praised Congress for raising the debt ceiling 18 times during Ronald Reagan's presidency--once every 5.3 months on average.

In demanding an extension that would carry him through next year's election, Obama is departing from the precedent he cites in support of his position. His anxiousness at the prospect of another such confrontation reflects his political weakness in this one.

Toward the end of his speech, the president threw in some of the sort of airy pieties to which he owes his status as World's Greatest Orator:

America, after all, has always been a grand experiment in compromise. As a democracy made up of every race and religion, where every belief and point of view is welcomed, we have put to the test time and again the proposition at the heart of our founding: that out of many, we are one. We've engaged in fierce and passionate debates about the issues of the day, . . . from slavery to war, from civil liberties to questions of economic justice.
Wait a minute, he's citing slavery as an example of "fierce and passionate debates" leading to "compromise"? As The Nation's Kai Wright wrote in December 2010, the last time Obama trotted out this trope, "Mr. President, WTF?!":

Which one of the "compromises" that allowed a slave republic to endure from more than a century is he celebrating here? Perhaps the one where black people were counted as a fraction of humans in order to preserve a balance of power that allowed Northern and Southern aristocrats alike to get rich off of murderous slave labor? No, we wouldn't have had a union without that. Or maybe he's pitching forward to the "compromises" of the post-Reconstruction era, when the white capitalists of the North got too spooked by white laborers' demands for reasonable wages, and so abandoned the promises of Emancipation. That, too, kept the union plowing forward--into another century of apartheid and state-sanctioned terrorism.
No wonder Obama doesn't get any respect. Either he's woefully ignorant or he thinks everyone else is.
24511  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Fable of the Porcupine on: July 27, 2011, 10:55:07 PM
Fable of the porcupine
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others. This way they were able to survive. Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.
The real moral of the story......LEARN TO LIVE WITH THE PRICKS IN YOUR LIFE.
24512  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Oslo-bomber on: July 27, 2011, 10:19:27 PM
Pasting here Rachel's post from The Power of Word:

An Arab woman from Qatar taught me how to mourn the Norwegian children.

I didn’t even hear about the massacre in Norway until Sunday night. When it occurred on Friday, I was too busy with my Shabbos preparations to check the news on the internet. Saturday night, I didn’t even turn on my computer, and I don't have a television. Sunday night, one of the women who attends a class in my home mentioned that a right-wing terrorist had gone on a shooting spree in Norway and many people were dead, but after the class I was too tired to look at the news.

Finally, on Monday night, I went online. First, I looked up the latest developments in the Leiby Kletzky murder case. I read the statement issued by Leiby’s parents after the shiva. It was followed by a sampling of the thousands of condolence messages received by the Kletzkys. One in particular caught my eye, and then my heart. It was from an Arab woman in Qatar. It read:

    “My deepest condolences to the parents, especially Leiby’s mother. As a mother of 2 boys, I know what a long, long journey it is for a mother to bring up her baby to be 9 years old. To carry a baby for 9 months, give birth, struggle with sleepless nights, ailments, aches and pains, the first step, first smile, first fall, going from milestone to milestone, cheering with them, crying with them, worrying with them, wearing your heart on your sleeve every moment of the day. These are precious moments etched in our hearts forever. And then, suddenly, cruelly and horribly, your child is snatched from you, and in one second your life is completely and utterly destroyed. I pray that God help you find inner strength to cope with this immense tragedy, for the sake of your daughters, your husband and all the others who need you in their lives. I cried for your son, and I cried for your heart that will forever have a piece missing. With deepest sympathy, Carmen Ali from Qatar.”

Then I googled the Norway massacre. I read about the bombing in Oslo and then the shooting spree on Utoya Island, where youth from Norway’s Labor Party were holding a summer camp. I read that 92 people were dead, most of them teenagers. I read that the terrorist was a right-wing extremist who hated Muslims (and apparently a lot of other people). I shook my head, muttered, “How horrible!” and went to bed.

This morning, however, when I was doing my heshbon hanefesh (review of yesterday’s spiritual failures and victories), I realized that there was something terribly wrong with my reaction to Norway’s tragedy. For two weeks, ever since the death of Leiby Kletzky, I have been crying over the death of one Jewish child, and I didn’t shed a single tear over the death of dozens of Norwegian children?

With a chill, I realized that this is how people all over the world must have reacted every time we in Israel suffered a massive terror attack. While we were crying and burying our dead, they were shaking their heads, clicking their tongues, and going on to the next news item. What is wrong with them? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with us?

I realized that I was not devastated by Norway’s tragedy because I do not identify with the dozens of mothers who are burying their children this week. After all, what do I have in common with these blond-haired, blue-eyed women with Nordic features who are on the other end of the religious and political spectrum from me?

That’s when I remembered the letter to the Kletzkys from the woman in Qatar. How could she, a Muslim Arab, identify with a Jewish Hasidic woman in Brooklyn? She wrote: “As a mother of 2 boys, I know what a long, long journey it is for a mother to bring up her baby to be 9 years old.” She recounted the common experiences they shared: the pregnancy and birth, the sleepless nights, the ailments.... She stood in Itta Kletsky’s shoes, and she cried with her.

Related Article: Learning from Leiby

I, too, am a mother. Like Itta Kletsky. Like Carmen Ali. Like the scores of blond-haired Norwegian mothers who will never again embrace their murdered children. Learning from the example of my Muslim sister, I sat there and visualized all we have in common: the jubilation over the child’s first smile, the worry over his first fever, the anxiety over his first day at school. I sat there until I wept for the slain children of Norway.

In some ways, these parents are in a worse situation than Leiby Kletzky’s parents. The Kletzkys had a whole community focused on their personal loss. In Norway there are so many dead that each child gets no more than a photo and a short paragraph in the news. Thousands of mourners crowded into the Kletskys’ apartment every day of the seven-day shiva period. In Norway, thousands mourn in the center of Oslo, but how many beat a trail to each victim’s home? Judaism mandates a week of shiva, in which the parents are forbidden to work, bathe, or do anything other than grieve, while people visit them to fulfill the mitzvah of “comforting the mourners.” What did the Norwegian parents do the day after they buried their children? What framework do they have to ease them through the mourning process?

In their public statement, Leiby Kletzky’s parents addressed “all of God’s children around the world who held our dear Leiby in their thoughts and prayers. We pray that none of you should ever have to live through what we did. But if any tragedy is to ever befall any of you, God forbid, you should be blessed with a community and public as supportive as ours. We feel that through Leiby we’ve become family with you all.”

Last Friday, tragedy did befall scores of Norwegian parents, and few of them were “blessed with a community and public as supportive as ours.” Let us, the Jewish People, unite again in a message to these stricken parents: We are crying for your children—and for you.

This article can also be read at:
24513  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: July 26, 2011, 11:14:32 PM
I am away from my usual flow of intel, so the fact that I have not heard any outrage except JDS's proves little.  I will say that to an unusual degree GB speaks with irony and sarcasm-- which makes it easy for those so inclined to take his literal words and print them so as to impute an actual meaning quite opposite to the one that actually was being conveyed.
24514  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / An offer that can't be refused on: July 26, 2011, 11:08:02 PM

I'd like to make you a business offer. Seriously. This is a real offer. In fact, you
really can't turn me down, as you'll come to understand in a moment...

Here's the deal. You're going to start a business or expand the one you've got now.
It doesn't really matter what you do or what you're going to do. I'll partner with
you no matter what business you're in – as long as it's legal. But I can't give you
any capital – you have to come up with that on your own. I won't give you any labor
– that's definitely up to you. What I will do, however, is demand you follow all
sorts of rules about what products and services you can offer, how much (and how
often) you pay your employees, and where and when you're allowed to operate your
business. That's my role in the affair: to tell you what to do.

Now in return for my rules, I'm going to take roughly half of whatever you make in
the business, each year. Half seems fair, doesn't it? I think so. Of course, that's
half of your profits. You're also going to have to pay me about 12% of whatever you
decide to pay your employees because you've got to cover my expenses for
promulgating all of the rules about who you can employ, when, where, and how. Come
on, you're my partner. It's only "fair."

Now... after you've put your hard-earned savings at risk to start this business and
after you've worked hard at it for a few decades (paying me my 50% or a bit more
along the way each year), you might decide you'd like to cash out – to finally live
the good life.

Whether or not this is "fair" – some people never can afford to retire – is a
different argument. As your partner, I'm happy for you to sell whenever you'd
like... because our agreement says, if you sell, you have to pay me an additional
20% of whatever the capitalized value of the business is at that time.

I know... I know... you put up all the original capital. You took all the risks. You
put in all of the labor. That's all true. But I've done my part, too. I've collected
50% of the profits each year. And I've always come up with more rules for you to
follow each year. Therefore, I deserve another, final 20% slice of the business.
Oh... and one more thing...

Even after you've sold the business and paid all of my fees... I'd recommend buying
lots of life insurance. You see, even after you've been retired for years, when you
die, you'll have to pay me 50% of whatever your estate is worth. After all, I've got
lots of partners and not all of them are as successful as you and your family. We
don't think it's "fair" for your kids to have such a big advantage. But if you buy
enough life insurance, you can finance this expense for your children. All in all,
if you're a very successful entrepreneur... if you're one of the rare, lucky, and
hard-working people who can create a new company, employ lots of people, and satisfy
the public... you'll end up paying me more than 75% of your income over your life.
Thanks so much.

I'm sure you'll think my offer is reasonable and happily partner with me... but it
doesn't really matter how you feel about it because if you ever try to stiff me – or
cheat me on any of my fees or rules – I'll break down your door in the middle of the
night, threaten you and your family with heavy, automatic weapons, and throw you in
jail. That's how civil society is supposed to work, right? This is Amerika, isn't

That's the offer Amerika gives its entrepreneurs. And the idiots in Washington
wonder why there are no new jobs...

Crux Note: Porter recently updated his popular "End of America" video with the very
latest developments. If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to click here.

24515  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Oslo-bomber on: July 26, 2011, 01:11:31 PM
JDN's article contains many interesting elements, including the slime of GB as anti-semitic.  I sense the writer struggling with the cognitive dissonance presented to the chattering class perspective.

That said, it certainly is worth noting the offers of alliance are from forces that were once genuine enemies of Jews everywhere!!!

The Pravdas struggle mightily to stain Christians with the deeds of this pyscho killer, even though by his own words he has no belief in Jesus, and sees things in terms of, to use academic Samuel Huntington's famous term "a clash of civilizations"-- so his analysis is certainly not a new one or outside of previously accepted discourse!  The Pravdas paint with labels like "far right extremists", "anti-immigrant", "bigotry", and "hatred" to avoid the fact that Euro parties of the right have risen by becoming the voice of defending TOLERANCE and REASON of the Judeo-Christian culture.

24516  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: July 26, 2011, 12:36:54 PM
OK, so what is the full context, sans spin?
24517  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Juarez jail break on: July 26, 2011, 12:35:11 PM
From a very reliable source:

Juárez authorities were dealing with a riot at the Cereso prison late Monday night, a police spokesman said. Multiple gunshots heard from inside the prison. Soldiers, state and federal police officers were deployed to the prison. It is unknown if anyone was injured.  The Norte newspaper reported on its website that some prisoners may have been disguised as security guards and were heavily armed during a possible escape attempt .At the same time, authorities were also dealing with a burning car on Norzagaray boulevard and a shootout between gunmen and federal police on Eje Vial Juan Gabriel.

24518  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Mexico on: July 26, 2011, 12:32:55 PM
From a very reliable source:

Juárez authorities were dealing with a riot at the Cereso prison late Monday night, a police spokesman said. Multiple gunshots heard from inside the prison. Soldiers, state and federal police officers were deployed to the prison. It is unknown if anyone was injured.  The Norte newspaper reported on its website that some prisoners may have been disguised as security guards and were heavily armed during a possible escape attempt .At the same time, authorities were also dealing with a burning car on Norzagaray boulevard and a shootout between gunmen and federal police on Eje Vial Juan Gabriel.

24519  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Bawer on: July 26, 2011, 12:41:51 AM
Inside the Mind of the Oslo Murderer
In his 1,500-page manifesto, Anders Behring Breivik slides alarmingly from a legitimate concern about the rise of Islam in Europe to propose 'terror as a method for waking up the masses.'
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When bombs exploded on Friday in a compound of government office buildings in the heart of Oslo, I assumed, as did pretty much everyone, that the perpetrators were Islamic terrorists. But over the course of the day—as the bombings were overshadowed by the gunning down of dozens of young people at a Labor Party youth camp on a nearby island, Utøya—it emerged that these atrocities were not the work of an international jihadist organization. Instead, the perpetrator was a 32-year-old Oslo native named Anders Behring Breivik. He was motivated by a hostility to multicultural policies that, in his view, are leading his country down the path to Islamization. His response was a murderous rampage that has taken the lives of at least 92 people.

It came as stunning news that Norway had been attacked by a blond, blue-eyed, anti-Islamic terrorist. It should not have been: Several of us who have written about the rise of Islam in Europe have warned that the failure of mainstream political leaders to responsibly address the attendant challenges would result in the emergence of extremists like Breivik.

But I was stunned to discover on Saturday that Breivik was a reader of my own work, including my book "While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within." In comments posted in 2009 on a Norwegian blog,, Breivik expressed admiration for my writings, but criticized me for not being a cultural conservative (although he was pleased that I was not a Marxist, either).

Later on Saturday came news of a 1,500-page manifesto, entitled "2083: A European Declaration of Independence," that Breivik had recently written and posted online. The first half, in which he indicts the European cultural elite for permitting Islam to take root in Europe, makes it clear that he is both highly intelligent and very well read in European history and the history of modern ideas.

In the second half he describes himself as having revived the Knights Templar. He also outlines in extreme detail how he and his fellow anti-jihadists can acquire weapons, ammunition and body armor and thereupon proceed to use "terror as a method for waking up the masses" to the danger posed by Islam. This makes it clear he is completely insane.

View Full Image

Associated Press
A victim is treated outside government buildings in the centre of Oslo, July 22, 2011.

In his manifesto, which is written in such good English that one wonders whether he had the assistance of a native speaker, Breivik quotes approvingly and at length from my work, mentioning my name 22 times. It is chilling to think that blog entries that I composed in my home in west Oslo over the past couple of years were being read and copied out by this future mass-murderer in his home in west Oslo.

It is also chilling to see the way he moves from a legitimate concern about genuine problems to an unspeakably evil "solution." In bombing those government buildings and hunting down those campers, Breivik was not taking out people randomly. He considered the Labor Party, Norway's dominant party since World War II, responsible for policies that are leading to the Islamization of Europe—and thus guilty of treason.

The Oslo bombing was intended to be an execution of the party's current leaders. The massacre at the camp—where young would-be politicians gathered to hear speeches by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland—was meant to destroy its next generation of leaders.

During the hours when I thought that Oslo had been attacked by jihadists, I wept for the city that has been my home for many years. And I hoped Norwegian leaders would respond to this act of violence by taking a more responsible approach to the problems they face in connection with Islam. When it emerged that these acts of terror were the work of a native Norwegian who thought he was striking a blow against jihadism and its enablers, it was immediately clear to me that his violence will deal a heavy blow to an urgent cause.

Norway, like the rest of Europe, is in serious trouble. Millions of European Muslims live in rigidly patriarchal families in rapidly growing enclaves where women are second-class citizens, and where non-Muslims dare not venture. Surveys show that an unsettling percentage of Muslims in Europe reject Western values, despise the countries they live in, support the execution of homosexuals, and want to replace democracy with Shariah law. (According to a poll conducted by the Telegraph, 40% of British Muslims want Shariah implemented in predominantly Muslim parts of the United Kingdom.)

Muslim gay-bashing is driving gays out of Amsterdam. Muslim Jew-bashing is driving Jews out of Gothenburg, Sweden. And let's not forget about the shameful trials of politician Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and historian Lars Hedegaard in Denmark, which demonstrate how the fear of Muslim wrath is squelching the freedom of speech of those who dare to criticize Islam.

There is reason to be deeply concerned about all these things, and to want to see them addressed forcefully by government leaders who care about the preservation of individual liberty and human rights. But this cause has been seriously damaged by Anders Behring Breivik.

In Norway, to speak negatively about any aspect of the Muslim faith has always been a touchy matter, inviting charges of "Islamophobia" and racism. It will, I fear, be a great deal more difficult to broach these issues now that this murderous madman has become the poster boy for the criticism of Islam.

Mr. Bawer is a literary critic who lives in Oslo. He is the author, most recently, of "Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom" (Doubleday, 2009).
24520  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Oslo-bomber on: July 25, 2011, 07:23:02 PM
Very interesting!
24521  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Chess on: July 25, 2011, 07:05:00 PM
Arrrggghhh!  Major post just deleted by this fg shitely little laptop angry angry cheesy
24522  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Paul Revere on: July 25, 2011, 12:08:21 PM
I have not had a chance to read this for myself yet, but it comes from a usually reliable friend.

Sarah Palin actually had it right.  The reporters who claimed she didn't know her
history were WRONG:
24523  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 25, 2011, 11:22:30 AM
From "Our man formerly in Iraq":

Two civilians killed, three others injured in Iranian bombardment of Arbil villages
7/25/2011 1:31 PM

ARBIL / Aswat al-Iraq: Two citizens have been killed and three others were injured by Iranian artillery bombardment of Kurdish villages in northeast Arbil over the past 24 hours, the Border Guards Command in Arbil reported on Monday.


“The Iranian artillery has continued its bombardment of Seidakan area (this is well inside Iraq) of Soran Township, 110 km to the northeast of Arbil, beginning from last night till this (Monday) afternoon, killing 2 civilians and wounding 3 others of villages inhabitants,” the Border Guards Command announced, adding that the “Iranian forces have given the inhabitants of those villages 3 days to leave their home villages.”


Noteworthy is that northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Region’s border areas, close to Iran and Turkey, had become targets for Turkish and Iranian bombardment, under justification of chasing the anti-Ankara Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the anti-Tehran Free Life Party (PJAK), taking refuge in those areas.

Expect more of this as the US withdrawal continues.
24524  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Dan Inosanto on: July 25, 2011, 12:28:37 AM
There was a birthday party for him this past Thursday at the Academy.
24525  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: July 24, 2011, 03:46:54 PM
CW:  Going after hypocritical leaders is a good thing.  So too is noting the hypocrisy of those who absolve them wink
24526  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin on: July 24, 2011, 03:44:36 PM
Entirely possible that where you live is tilting your perceptions.   In the big picture however I think the improvment has been dramatic and the prognosis good.
24527  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin on: July 24, 2011, 03:08:29 PM
Smartass tangent in defense of the English language:

a) I suspect you mean "race traitors" not "race traders"; and

b) "since" not "sense" in paragraph 4 ("because" would be a better choice of word btw, "since" is better used for time than causality.


PS:  From where are you?
24528  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: July 24, 2011, 09:03:10 AM
Apparently the killer wrote of hostility to Muslim immigration and the treason of those that enabled it; the latter being his motive for this vile rampage.
24529  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin on: July 24, 2011, 09:00:09 AM
The Pravdas of the MSM being some of those allies , , , IMHO ultimately this dynamic contains the seeds of its own destruction if we "Question boldly.  Hold on to our Truth. Speak without fear." (Glenn Beck)  , , , This forum comes to mind  grin
24530  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 24, 2011, 12:11:27 AM
24531  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 24, 2011, 12:09:56 AM
This piece makes an important distinction.  That said, a short term debt ceiling so as to place the issue front and center for the elections would not be a problem IMHO.  The real issue is whether the Rep Party can come up with the equivalent of Newt's "Contract with America" on how, when, where spending will be cut.
24532  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: July 24, 2011, 12:06:06 AM
I have seen the "right-wiong fundamentalist" label as seemingly persuasively attacked as a smear by the Pravdas and that his true motive was pro-nationalist anti multi-culti.

In the context of Scandinavian politics, I understand multi-culti to assert a geographic concept of nationality as vs. a cultural one.  In that all cultures are equal rolleyes then it does not matter if Muslim values completely inimical to Scandinavian culture use its tolerance to take over the geography-- or something like that. 
24533  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: America's Inner City on: July 24, 2011, 12:00:36 AM
There IS a thread dedicated to matters of race, and if this conversation goes any further, lets take it there; so I will limit myself to stating that I think it self-apparent that racism is FAR less a problem than it used to be.   Look at the positions of power held by Colin Powell, Condaleza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Barack Obama, Holder, and many, many others.  Look at the lack of issue when interracial couples are protrayed on TV and in the movies.   

Certainly race-baiting remains-- look at the tactics of the progressives, the Pravda media, the Dem Party, but arguably that is a sign of desperation.

If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you weren't a racist, vote against him in 2012 to prove you aren't an idiot.
24534  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 23, 2011, 11:53:48 PM
BD:  You're right  smiley

Doug:  I liked that quite a bit.
24535  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: July 23, 2011, 11:36:18 PM
This is a fascinating subject you broach here GM, but I am thinking the Security thread or the Citizen-Police Interaction thread on the MA forum might be a better place for it.
24536  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law on: July 23, 2011, 11:33:20 PM

Lets try the Citizens Act thread or the Security threads.  It certainly is a subject that merits our thoughtful attention.

24537  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / John Adams on clean elections, 1797 on: July 22, 2011, 07:03:25 AM
"In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections." --John Adams, Inaugural Address, 1797

24538  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / John Adams 1797 on: July 22, 2011, 07:01:26 AM
"In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections." --John Adams, Inaugural Address, 1797

24539  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 21, 2011, 06:49:16 PM
You two crack me up  cheesy
24540  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 21, 2011, 05:27:14 PM
I count myself in the front line of those who loath the witch, but with the campaign for the Dem nomination over, I'm guessing the mini-facelifts and face tightening creams because just a pain in the ass.  Int's travel over big time zone changes combined with a stressful job have their consequences. 
24541  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Home security while on vacation on: July 21, 2011, 09:28:33 AM
As a follow-up to our video from last week on personal security while on vacation, I thought I would make some suggestions as to what you should do to secure your home before you go on vacation.

Situational awareness is key, whether you’re at home or traveling. You should take advantage of your neighborhood watch program so you understand the amount and scope of crime that’s happening in your neighborhood, as well as some wonderful online tools such as RAIDS online. They push out on a daily basis the volume and the scope and the kinds of crime that’s happening around you. That just makes you more aware of the trending of crime as it unfolds in the location where you live. I fully understand that a lot of this kind of online information is not available to many of our viewers outside of the United States, but that still doesn’t stop you from visiting with your local police to understand the amount of crime that’s happening in your area.

It is very important to have good dead bolt doors. Dead bolts are keyed from the outside and then latched from the inside. Your dead bolt lock should be pick resistant, and it’s also important to remember to lock your doors, for over one third of all burglaries happen when people simply forget to lock their doors.

It is also important to have a good alarm system and remember to turn it on before you go on vacation, and it’s important that you test that alarm system monthly. As you can see, this one has fire, rescue and police that you can also use in a panic mode.

Before you go away, make sure you tell a trusted neighbor about your itinerary and provide an emergency contact number for you. Also remember to cancel the newspaper and hold your mail if you’re going away for an extended period of time. It is also important to think about things like maintaining your yard, if you have a yard service, as well as to close your garage before you leave.

Lighting is very important whenever you are trying to protect a house, whether you’re on vacation or not. It’s critical that you have good perimeter lighting on the exterior of your residence and that you maintain that while you’re on vacation. Also, you want interior lights that come on via a timer, and you could stage those around the house, for example in a bathroom or bedroom. But what you’re trying to do is to give the appearance of normalcy while you’re away so people think that you’re at home.

24542  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Los Zetas almaciendo armas para deshacer las eleciones de 2012? on: July 21, 2011, 09:24:38 AM

24543  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Washington, 1790: letter to people of South Carolina on: July 21, 2011, 09:21:13 AM

"The value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trial of adversity." --George Washington, letter to the people of South Carolina, 1790
24544  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Los Zetas stockpiling for 2012 disruption of Mex elections? on: July 21, 2011, 09:17:33 AM
24545  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Fed court employee kidnapped in US, murdered in Mexico on: July 20, 2011, 11:39:31 PM

 « Back to Article

U.S. federal court employee kidnapped, killed in Mexico
Details murky, but apparent kidnap unrelated to job ended in stabbing.
By Guillermo Contreras

Updated 09:53 p.m., Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Online votes sought for preservationRiver Road house avoids demolitionHasan's top lawyer off defense teamArrest made in 2002 killing of “check-cashing grandma”Durango's renamingcan proceed for nowPage 1 of 1
A court interpreter who worked for the San Antonio-based federal district that covers West Texas was found dead across the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, after reportedly being kidnapped for ransom.

Jorge Luis Dieppa, 57, had worked for the Western District of Texas for seven years as a Spanish-English interpreter in El Paso, and was a part-time lecturer at the University of Texas at El Paso and a martial arts instructor.

Dieppa disappeared July 5, apparently kidnapped, and was found dead July 6 after his family was unable to come up with $10,000 ransom, Mexican officials said in new releases that didn't identify Dieppa by name.

The victim was bound and gagged with duct tape and stabbed repeatedly, the releases said.

The officials said three people were arrested, including a stripper claiming to be his lover, and two more suspects are being sought.

Federal sources Wednesday confirmed Dieppa's identity and said the FBI in El Paso had been called in to assist the family since he was a U.S. citizen. The FBI declined to comment, as did Dieppa's family.

“He was a dedicated and loyal court family member,” said Fred Biery of San Antonio, chief judge of the Western District. “He leaves behind a widow and two sons.”

His kidnapping and death are not believed to be related to his status as a federal employee, and court officials had been told he crossed the border to have some work done on his car.

The Mexican news outlet Puente Libre, however, reported on its website that one of the suspects, a stripper named Lizbeth Nayeli Rodríguez Alanis, said Dieppa had been her lover for five years. Rodríguez claimed she and her accomplices decided to kidnap him after learning he taught college courses in El Paso, Puente Libre reported.

Other news organizations reported he was killed because he recognized Rodríguez as one of his captors.

A UTEP spokesman said Dieppa was a part-time lecturer in the school's languages and linguistics department. He also was involved in the El Paso Interpreters & Translators Association and was a sword instructor with the Hsin Lu Tau Academy of Martial Arts in El Paso.

“We are all saddened by the loss to his family and our court family,” Biery said. “People just have to be careful on where they go and with whom they associate.”

Services are pending.

Read more:
24546  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 20, 2011, 11:07:55 PM
24547  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Beck speaks to a Christian group on Israel on: July 20, 2011, 10:43:10 PM
24548  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Intel Denial on Iran on: July 20, 2011, 08:38:39 PM
Mounting evidence over the last few years has convinced most experts that Iran has an active program to develop and construct nuclear weapons. Amazingly, however, these experts do not include the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community. They are unwilling to conduct a proper assessment of the Iranian nuclear issue—and so they remain at variance with the Obama White House, U.S. allies, and even the United Nations.

The last month alone has brought several alarming developments concerning Tehran's nuclear program. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said last month that his agency has new information pointing to the military ambitions of Iran's nuclear program. As of today, Iran has over 4,000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium—enough, according to the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, for four nuclear weapons if enriched to weapons grade.

Iran has accelerated its production of low-enriched uranium in defiance of U.N. and IAEA resolutions. It has also announced plans to install advanced centrifuge machines in a facility built deep inside a mountain near the city of Qom. According to several U.S. diplomats and experts, the facility is too small to be part of a peaceful nuclear program and appears specially constructed to enrich uranium to weapons grade.

To top this off, an item recently posted to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps website mused about the day after an Iranian nuclear test (saying, in a kind of taunt, that it would be a "normal day"). That message marked the first time any official Iranian comment suggested the country's nuclear program is not entirely peaceful.

Despite all this, U.S. intelligence officials are standing by their assessment, first made in 2007, that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and has not restarted it since.

In February, the 17 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community issued a highly classified National Intelligence Estimate updating their 2007 assessment. That estimate had been politicized by several officials who feared how President George W. Bush might respond to a true account of the Iranian threat. It also was affected by the wave of risk aversion that has afflicted U.S. intelligence analysis since the 2003 Iraq War. Intelligence managers since then have discouraged provocative analytic conclusions, and any analysis that could be used to justify military action against rogue states like Iran.

I read the February 2011 Iran NIE while on the staff of the House Intelligence Committee. I believe it was poorly written and little improvement over the 2007 version. However, during a pre-publication classification review of this op-ed, the CIA and the Office of the Director of Intelligence censored my criticisms of this analysis, including my serious concern that it manipulated intelligence evidence. The House Intelligence Committee is aware of my concerns and I hope it will pursue them.

Censors also tried to prevent me from discussing my most serious objection to the 2011 Iran NIE: its skewed set of outside reviewers. The U.S. intelligence community regularly employs reviewers who tend to endorse anything they review: former senior intelligence officers, liberal professors and scholars from liberal think tanks. These reviewers tend to share the views of senior intelligence analysts, and they also want to maintain their intelligence contacts and high-level security clearances.

I believe that senior intelligence officials tried to block me from naming the NIE's outside reviewers because the names so strongly suggest that intelligence agencies took no chances of an outside reviewer unraveling the document's poorly structured arguments and cavalier manipulation of intelligence.

I have been permitted to say the following about the outside reviewers: Two of the four are former CIA analysts who work for the same liberal Washington, D.C., think tank. Neither served under cover, and their former CIA employment is well known. Another reviewer is a liberal university professor and strong critic of George W. Bush's foreign policy. The fourth is a former senior intelligence official. Not surprisingly, the 2011 NIE included short laudatory excerpts from these reviewers that offered only very mild criticism.

It is unacceptable that Iran is on the brink of testing a nuclear weapon while our intelligence analysts continue to deny that an Iranian nuclear weapons program exists. One can't underestimate the dangers posed to our country by a U.S. intelligence community that is unable to provide timely and objective analysis of such major threats to U.S. national security—or to make appropriate adjustments when it is proven wrong.

If U.S. intelligence agencies cannot or will not get this one right, what else are they missing?

Mr. Fleitz retired this year after a 25-year career at the CIA, DIA, State Department and House Intelligence Committee staff. He now writes for This op-ed was amended to obtain classification clearance from the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
24549  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why the Draft Ryan movement? on: July 20, 2011, 08:13:57 PM
Prediction:  He's not going to make it.

The following piece sees things rather clearly I think.


Next to generalized distemper in Republican circles over their presidential candidates, the second most-offered opinion on the race is that people wish Paul Ryan were running. The Wisconsin congressman and House Budget chairman says he's not, but the discontented, especially independents, keep saying they wish he were.

I am beginning to think that the Draft Ryan movement is about something other than Paul Ryan. And that something is disagreement with the simple notion that all that matters is finding a hero who can defeat Barack Obama. Voters sense this election is wading into deeper waters than that.

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David Gothard
 .Chris Christie understands this. After Paul Ryan, New Jersey's governor is the second most-mentioned GOP presidential hero. Gov. Christie says he's not ready to run for president. He's right. Not this time. Chris Christie has remarkable political and people skills. But his success in New Jersey has much to do with the fact that he mastered the deep, complex details of his state at its moment of crisis. He knows that he is in no way prepared to bring that level of knowledge to the debate voters want about the federal crisis.

I think the American electorate understands that next year's choice of a president is not about anything so unfocused as "the future of our country." The dissatisfaction with the GOP candidates reflects the awareness that the 2012 election isn't about 50 states. It's about the financial structure of one place—the nation's capital.

In the 1960s we had civil-rights elections. In the 1980s we had Cold War and American greatness elections. In 2012 we're going to have an election about money. Washington's money and ours.

Three dormant financial volcanoes have sat beneath U.S. presidential elections for a generation: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Combined, they hold enough lava to one day turn the United States into a kind of economic Pompeii, trapped in the eternal sludge of its entitlements. Until recently, daily life went on in the U.S. from one election to the next, alongside the rumbling volcanoes. Three events changed the American electorate's view of Washington's spending commitments from watchful waiting to active case-management.

The first was the 2008 financial crisis. The damage those events did to savings, employment and people's sense of financial security forced the public to focus acutely on money—theirs and the government's. Even as people's life assets turned precarious, they read about the scale of the government's long-term revenue needs. You could be for or against the 2009 stimulus, but its $831 billion price tag hit nearly everyone as sticker shock. Wondering who exactly is going to pay for all this is no longer just conservative blowback. It is an obvious question.

With the country mesmerized by these tense, post-2008 financial issues, along came the Obama health-care initiative. Incredibly, a whole nation's people focused for a year on the details of a bill about health care and insurance. With its passage, the country knew it had a fourth long-term entitlement.

We're now engulfed by a third monumental event that is about how Washington manages money: the debt ceiling. The details of the fight over tax increases and spending cuts matter, but the political impact of one detail matters most: The debt ceiling has hit $14 trillion, and the U.S. is on the cusp of a ratings downgrade.

 Non-Obama voters want a presidential contender who can do hand-to-hand policy combat with the incumbent in 2012.
.Podcast: Listen to the audio of Wonder Land here. .What Republicans and ideologically independent voters want is a GOP candidate willing—and more importantly, able—to engage Barack Obama frontally and in detail over the future of the spending commitments embedded in the events of the past three years and the past 70 years. Mr. Obama wants spending to rise to 25% of GDP to support those commitments for the next 70 years. Until we settle this and the taxes it implies, everything else a candidate may propose, such as devolving power away from Washington, is beside the point because it won't be possible.

Mitt Romney is the front-runner, and that status attracts attention. To date, what non-Obama voters see, and fear, is a candidate content to coast to the nomination and then conduct a blandly conservative campaign. They want a more substantive choice than that. They want to have it out over the worth or danger of Barack Obama's ideas. They want the chance to ratify Washington's enormous long-term claims on the country's wealth, or decisively reject them.

When people say they "like" Paul Ryan it is because they see him as a kind of political Navy SEAL, someone with the specialized knowledge needed to do hand-to-hand policy combat with an incumbent president who represents a once-and-for-all assertion of Washington's primacy. And make no mistake: It will take a virtual commando team of Washington insiders to run the political labyrinths to the central processing units of the country's four massive entitlement factories.

Don't read this as a Ryan endorsement. Read it as an endorsement of the discontented voters who understand they need a candidate with the skill set to take on Barack Obama with more than sophisticated blather. If that's the battleground, the president wins.

24550  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mexican interrogation on: July 20, 2011, 11:35:58 AM
STRATFOR’s Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton explains how to gather intelligence from videos by analyzing four tapes from Mexican cartel interrogations.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Videos are a very powerful intelligence tool for us at STRATFOR as well as for the intelligence community. In this week’s Above the Tearline, we’re going to break down four recent Mexican cartel interrogation statements with an eye towards their nonverbal cues and body language.

The first cartel individual we’re going to look at is El Mamito. Your first impression when you look at this videotape is the very high quality of the Mexican backdrop. As you can see, there’s a psychological ramification here that the Mexican government is trying to convey with the high value targets standing in front of the SSP (Secretariat of Public Security) logos and insignias. As you run the tape a little bit, you will notice that El Mamito appears to be in pretty decent shape, although it appears that he hasn’t slept. He’s making very good eye contact with the interviewer.

The next cartel high value target we’re going to look at is El Chango, same backdrop. As you’re looking at his eye movements, he’s showing signs of deception with the shifty eyes towards the left. One of the most interesting parts here is you will notice that the Mexican authorities are utilizing a female interrogator in this case. There’s probably a method to their madness with that course of action. It’s not unusual for the debriefing team ahead of time to think about the best person to ask questions. This very well may be on the part of the Mexican authorities in an effort to disarm the suspect to some degree or to throw him off balance.

The third suspect is El Huache, and he’s an individual that is linked towards human trafficking killings, and your first impressions as you compare and contrast him with the others is that he has the body language and demeanor, in my assessment, of a stone cold killer. As you look at him, you notice his eyes. As you take a look at his body language, he has that attitude you can see that’s conveying across the videotape. Notice the furrow on his brow. He’s making really good eye contact with the interviewer. It appears to me that in all probability, he’s handcuffed. You also notice the swallowing motion there before he asked certain questions, and as you can see, he is conveying, even in the videotape, this air of cockiness, in my assessment.

Lastly, we’re going to take a look at La Barbie. He’s an interesting individual. This is an American that went over to the cartel sides from Laredo. We have discussed him in the past in many of the major news networks as well as on our website, for those of you who would like more information about La Barbie. As we transition into this, keep in mind the previous suspect interviews. Take into account the general nervousness of La Barbie right from the beginning as we transition in. And then you will also notice that the Mexicans are utilizing a female interrogator. La Barbie was known as a ladies’ man, so there might be some degree of psychological reason for the use of the female. As you look at La Barbie, notice that he makes no attempt to establish or maintain good eye contact. He’s looking around. He’s giving off tremendous behavioral signals that indicate a high degree of nervousness. And notice him looking down and to the left. This is a survivor. This is an individual that traveled in the highest levels of the narco world. At one point in this you’ll see that he lifts his handcuffed hands up and actually wipes the sweat off his brow.

From an investigator’s perspective, as you compare and contrast these four videos, what you will notice are some similarities as well as some behavioral indications that indicate that perhaps the suspect is not being as truthful as he could be. The U.S. doesn’t like to release these kinds of videotapes before prosecution. In fact, the Department of Justice and the FBI do not typically videotape suspect debriefings. The Mexicans are clearly utilizing this videotape for a couple different reasons. The first is the psychological aspect of getting this out into the media, hoping that other cartel bosses will see this. Second, remember they are disseminating these videos for domestic consumption inside of Mexico, as well as to show the U.S. that there is a return on their investment based upon all the counter-narcotics aid that we have given the country.

The Above the Tearline aspect in this video is the extraordinary value of videotape as it pertains to intelligence assessments. Videotape is a tremendous value in your ability to go back to evaluate statements and to develop your follow-up questions. The other aspect from the suspect’s perspective is they’re going to be thinking about the ramifications of this videotape. For example, if they rat off one of their bosses, they’re thinking about “What happens to me when I get inside a Mexican prison?” You have the ability to closely examine videotape with an eye towards truthful statements versus signs of deception, as well as nervous behavior. It’s important to realize that in these kinds of custodial situations, the government in many ways holds all the cards, so the suspect that you’re watching is thinking of a thousand different things at the time, primarily geared toward survival.

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