Thursday, December 8

Scrooge Donohue

John Donovan in an ABC news report today gives William Donohue of the Catholic League For Christian Rights a lot of airtime. Seems Donohue and the League are upset with President and Mrs. Bush because they sent out a Christmas card that he interprets as secular. Now the card I got (and probably 200 million others, as well), although it had a picture of the White House, Barney, Ms. Beasley and the cat on the front, quoted Psalms on the inside. "The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts;so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him."

You have to be pretty hard hearted not to take great comfort in those words from the President of the United States. And you have a very limited idea of what Christmas is if you think the President should narrow his focus to one group at this season.

Now I'm the first to yell "Merry Christmas" and to boycott stores who resort to only "Happy Holidays" and call a Christmas tree a "Holiday Tree." That goes entirely too far. But let's look at the season and at the President's Christmas wish.

After the quote from Psalms 28:7 (Revised Standard Version), the message is "With best wishes for a holiday season of hope and happiness. 2005"

We are a Christian nation, yes. And that should be our major focus. But that doesn't mean we leave out the Jews, whose Hannukah celebration has always coincided with the Christmas season. Mr. Bush is President of the Jews, too, and this season is their holiday as well. Our Jewish friends have always celebrated both holidays with presents; their children got a double treat every year.

Then there's the African-American community who, back in the '60s or so, decided to create their own celebration, Kwanza. Since they are American citizens and they chose the Christmas season to celebrate, of course the President of the United State wants to wish them happiness as well. So he did -- in this case, and especially with a quote from the Judeo/Christian heritage, he was absolutely correct to send everyone who celebrates the season best wishes.

So Scrooge Donohue with the selfish and hardened heart, here's wishing you a happy Christmas, a joyous Hannukah and a happy Kwanza. It's a Judeo/Christian holiday, but people of all faiths celebrate it and with love as its message, it's simply not fitting to join the Bash Bush Bandwagon over his Christmas card.

Saturday, December 3

"Happy Holidays?" Bah HUMBUG

America -- the nation of Scrooges and Grinches. And Christian soldiers. That hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers" never meant much to me before, but it sure does now.

Having successfully removed the Lord's Prayer from American schools, the ACLU and its like-minded allies are involved in an ongoing attemtp to remove the words "in God we trust" from our motto, our coins and our federal buildings. They ban creches from public display, sue to remove the words "under God" from our pledge of allegiance and decree that it's offensive to wish someone a "Merry Christmas."

Comes now a memo from an underling (subsequently fired) at Walmart proclaiming that Christmas trees will be called "holiday trees" and the phrase "Merry Christmas" will not be used on store property. When that little message was publicized and Walmart heard the uproar from millions of customers, the policy was refuted and the perpetrator fired.

But quietly, insidiously, "Happy Holidays" has replaced the joyous "Merry Christmas" wish. Stores (whose customers are 85% Christian) fear that they will offend people of other -- or no-- faith and refuse to print the "Christmas" word. Target refused to let the Salvation Army bell ringers on their property last year and this year they are ignoring queries by various groups as to their stand on "Merry Christmas."

Salesclerks in stores look embarrassed if I wish them a "Merry Christmas." But there is hope:

Walgreens has issued a statement saying that next year they will revert to the old-fashioned "Merry Christmas" in their stores.

Can it be true that Christians are poised to re-take the nation?

The United states of America was founded on Christian religious principles by people who fled Europe to get away from religious persecution. Now descendants of those Christian soldiers find themselves treated as a minority in the land they claimed in God's name; derided and slandered by whiners who, not suffering persecution except in their own minds, have no tolerance for the mores and culture of their adopted land.

It's time each of us who value the traditions, morals, ethics and lifestyles of our fathers stand up to the Scrooges and Grinches and refuse to let them spoil our nation. For they are spoilers -- johnny-come-latelies who don't have the guts to build a nation of their own but want to spoil the only nation in the world built on the Christian faith.

The history of our nation shows that the Christians have been tolerant of other faiths. In fact, so tolerant that the very core values of America are at risk. Let's rise up, Christian soldiers. Let's tell the other faiths (and non-faiths) that they are welcome to practice whatever they choose for themselves, but they will do it in a Christian nation. They will do it without further criticism of Christian values. Or they can simply go somewhere else.

Hey...it's CHRISTmas. December 25 is the day you get off from work. It's official.

Merry Christmas, everybody. And Happy Hannukah and Joyous Kwanza. But I'll be darned if I'll wish anyone a generic, mealy-mouthed "happy holiday."

Thursday, November 17

Fury

I am so shocked and disgusted with the Democrats and the American people that I am speechless. (Obviously since I've posted only once this month.) I've been trying to decide who is to blame and I've decided that the American education system, the NEA and most teachers in the US are to blame. They have been so interested in their so-called "low pay status" that they have neglected to teach children the necessity to doubt the American press and the necessity to research important issues for themselves. They have also neglected to teach students that the opinions they hold in youth will not necessarily be theirs as they age. Most important they haven't taught American students to think for themselves.

If they had, we wouldn't be confronted with an electorate that is so easily swayed by political lies. Voters would look, for example, at the events leading up to the war in Iraq and turn a deaf ear to Democrats who twist the truth.

They would look at statements made by court nominees and ask what they think now. Most important, they would object loudly and clearly to being taken for the dunces that Democrats, some Republicans and the Mainstream Media obviously take them for.

I have been angry. Very angry. So angry I can't write.

Friday, November 4

The Poll at ABC News

It's time we refused to accept publication of a poll without simultaneous publication of how many were polled, their location and, in political polls, their political affiliation. We should also be told exactly what questions were asked. Only when we have at least that much knowledge can we determine the authenticity -- and authority -- of the results.

Wednesday night ABC Nightly News headlined a poll they claim says the American people no longer trust President Bush. The media has been telling us not to trust him in one way or another since he was elected, but tonight ABC decided to "authenticate" that conclusion with a "scientific poll." What they neglected to say is they polled 934 people. And 24% of the people polled were Republicans, 76% were Democrats. No independents. They neglected to say where those people lived, how old they are and just what questions were asked.

I guess all of us have participated in polls where the pollster asked a question and if they didn't get the answer they wanted, they immediately terminated the poll. I've had that happen both on telephone inquiries and when participating in online polls. I've also been asked qualifying questions at the beginning such as "Do you support freedom of choice?"

Let's hold the mainstream media's "feet to the fire" when they issue these polls.

Tuesday, November 1

Out of Iraq? Not If We Want A Free America

In 1970 the American military was whipping the bejeebers out of North Vietnam. Battle after battle was won by US troops. But that wasn't the way the war was portrayed by the media to the nation. Progressive/socialists led anti-war protests and people like John Kerry falsely accused the troops of horrible war crimes. And then Congress got into the act.

The United States didn't lose the Viet Nam war. They pulled out because Congress refused to fund it.

So here we go again.

The Democrats (Progressives/Socialists) are threatening to vote against funding the Iraq war. Socialists like Jonathan Schell, writing for The Nation, say "The strongest argument for staying in Iraq is that the United States, having taken over the country, owes its people a better future. But acknowledgment of such a responsibility is only the beginning, not the end, of an argument.

"To meet a responsibility to someone, you must have something on offer that they want. Certainly, the people of Iraq want electricity, running water and other material assistance. The United States should supply it. Perhaps--it's hard to find out--they also want democracy. But democracy cannot be shipped to Iraq on a tanker or a C-5A. It is a homegrown construct, which must flow from the will of the people involved. The expression of that will is, in fact, what democracy is.

But today the United States seeks to impose a government on Iraq in the teeth of an increasingly powerful popular opposition." That is one of the most irresponsible statements ever published in American journalism.

Schell is ignoring a rather important fact, and that is that the Iraqi people went to the polls in droves in spite of the threat of death and mayhem to vote for that government. It's hardly accurate, also, to say the government is imposed by the US when it is being fabricated by Iraqi leaders of the various religious factions in the country. The Iraqi people voted in numbers far exceeding the usual turnout in US elections. And when they stood in those lines, they had no idea whether a truck would pull up beside them and explode. Would YOU go to the polls under those circumstances?

One of Schell's big complaints is the usual one about getting into the war in the first place. He (and those who scream loudest about our invading Iraq) has not read the Butler Report -- the review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Schell has also forgotten the history of Hussein's defiance of UN sanctions for the decade leading up to the war. Most of all, he refuses to acknowledge that there were connections firmly established linking Hussein to Al Quaida.

Progressives believe -- and operate on the belief -- that Goebbels was right when he said that if you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it. So now we face a growing cacaphony of anti-war protests. From a mother who dishonors the memory of a son who chose to fight and die for his country to Sen. Diane Feinstein, who calls for troops to begin to leave next month, the irresponsible and the feckless are doing all they can to make Iraq as much like Viet Nam as they can.

There's no similarity between the two. The South Vietnamese never had a chance for a free vote. When the Americans left, the North Vietnamese came in and slaughtered them. To this day they know only dictatorship and fear.

My Pentagon sources tell me that Rumsfeld is as poor a Secretary of Defense as we have ever had. He is worse than McNamara. His ego is far too large to allow him to listen to and take the advice he needs. He has done a truly lousy job as Secretary of Defense and should be ousted as fast as possible. When the fog has cleared, history will show him for what he is and has been: The worst possible.

Still our troops are safer in Bagdad than they are on the nation's highways. They are the best trained and, for the most part, the most loyal troops in the nation's history. They believe in their mission -- as my grandson said, "We are not killers. We are nation builders."

America is the only nation in history that rebuilds the nations it defeats in war. Germany, Japan, Italy are all examples of prosperous countries that we helped to rebuild after we had to defeat them. They govern themselves with free elections and without our "help." Socialist/Progressives who sneer at "American Colonialism" simply perpetuate another lie.

The United States was right to invade Iraq. We should be thankful that the Iraqi people are willing to die for their freedom and that we have raised young men and women who are willing to sacrifice so that another nation has a chance at what we have.

Schell writes: "Hachim Hassani, a representative of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a leading Sunni Muslim group represented on the so-called Governing Council, might have been answering him when he commented to the Los Angeles Times, 'The Iraqi people now equate democracy with bloodshed.'

Under these circumstances, staying the course cannot benefit Iraq. On the contrary, each additional day that American troops continue to fight in Iraq can only compound the eventual price of the original mistake--costing more lives, American and Iraqi, disorganizing and pulverizing the society, and reducing, not fostering, any chances for a better future for the country." And he is dead wrong. We must stay not only to benefit the Iraqis but to plant a free society in the midst of Islam. If Iraq reverts to another dictatorship the terrorists regain their training camps and America loses far more than a war.

We must NOT allow Congress to cut the necessary funding to get the job done, and done right.

Wednesday, October 26

Commander in Chief: Bad TV, Worse for Woman President

You know me -- I LOVE political movies and television. So I guess it was inevitable that I, in a fit of curiosity, would turn in to see "Commander In Chief" again. The announcement that ABC had hired Sandy (oops-I-inadvertently-hid-secret-National-Archives-documents-in-my-pants-and-lost-them-when-I-got-home) Berger as an advisor cast a ray of hope, so I tried again.

I suppose it's too early to see a change because last night's episode was worse than the first one. And I would have bet that wasn't possible!

So let's look at some of the more blatant errors of their ways:
First: the Attorney General deals with an international incident that definitely should have been on the level of Secretary of Defense. She locks horns with the President on the issue of prisoner abuse and she uses semantics to put one over on the Pres. Any mother of a third grader would have recognized the semantic manipulation but it goes right over the head of the President.

Second: The President's teen-aged son gets involved in a schoolyard brawl without a secret service man in sight.

Third: The President spends a lot of time standing in a portico of the White House waving goodbye or in the residence dealing with childrens' problems.

Fourth: The use of deux ex machina: The Crisis-of-the-Day is quite conveniently wrapped up by the end of the episode. It was so predictable that it was downright sickening.

Fifth: Characters are black and white. The Attorney General disagrees with the President and manipulates her. The President fires the AG but not because she recognizes the manipulation but because the result was achieved by means she didn't like. A complicated issue (prisoner abuse) was addressed on one level only. That issue has many levels that need to be addressed.

Sixth: The Speaker of the House is the obvious week-to-week villain of the piece and is utterly transparent in his opposition. The President keeps giving him wide-eyed, uncomprehending looks.

Seventh: The dialogue is straight out of soap operaville. One thing that distinguishes the West Wing from all other television is the use of rapid-fire comebacks and double-sided discussions of issues. The dialogue style is straight out of old 1930s and 1940s movies and an absolute delight. It keeps watchers coming back to re-runs to pick up subtleties they might have missed in earlier viewings.

Eighth: White House staffers are obviously second- and third- string players. There's no particular respect paid to the President (the Chief of Staff never says "Thank you, Madam President," for example) and President MacKensie comes off like a cardboard figure playing a role. Which, of course, she is.

Ninth: No sense of reality to the show. It's entertainment and the viewer doesn't get involved like in the West Wing.

Tenth: The portrayal of the First Man is downright sickening. He doesn't tell his wife he has been offered the position of Baseball Commissioner. Why? Is he afraid she'll say no? What kind of man is that? What kind of woman is that?

Eleventh: There's no explanation of who is handling the First Lady's traditional jobs -- speeches, charities, entertaining, campaigning, appearances as representative of the US government, etc.

Twelfth: Funny the only time they mention a previous President or family, it's a Democrat. Republicans have been in that office more than twice the time since FDR's day.

Thirteenth: The set of the Oval Office and the hallways are straight out of the West Wing, including paintings on the wall. Couldn't ABC afford their own set?

Fourteenth: The characters aren't distinctive and defined. There's little interplay between them and no sense of respect for history like we get from the West Wing. One thing the West Wing does is portray the sense of awe and respect most Americans feel for the office of the President. You don't get that from CIC.

Face it, ABC. CIC is a BAD show -- the writers don't have the intellect, the researchers don't have the skill and the actors don't have the sensitivity to pull off a good, thought-provoking television program.

You may get TV "critics" pandering to Hillary and the network trying to convince the public the show is worth their time but it isn't. Even replacing Geena Davis with someone with more intellectual credibility like Allison Janney wouldn't fix it. Commander in Chief is a real loser.

It portrays everyone's nightmare of having a woman President: half-hearted interest and limited understanding in foreign affairs, emotional administration, even a family gone amuk because of confusion about parental roles. This show does more harm than good when it comes to promoting the idea of a woman President.

The professional "critics" may love it (but hey, look what else they love!) but I believe the American people have the intellect, the respect for the office and the concern for the country to see "Commander in Chief" for the fourth rate sham that it is.

Friday, October 21

Rights and Academia

Last March when Ann Coulter spoke at the University of Kansas, she was heckled and cursed by some of the students in the audience. So I wasn't surprised to see that Dr. David Horowitz had a security guard with him when he appeared at the University of Missouri in Kansas City this month. It's a sad commentary on our times to realize that the man standing quietly to the side, facing the audience, is there to protect the speaker's right to free speech. This is, after all, America.

But times have changed in America. David Horowitz, author, speaker, former- liberal-turned-conservative, is the head of a national organization that is working for students' rights in university classrooms.

His organization is "Students For Academic Freedom" and its purpose is "dedicated to restoring acdemic freedom and educational values to America's institutions of higher learning." Its goals are: "1. To promote intellectual diversity on campuses. 2. To defend the right of students to be treated with respect by faculty and administrators, regardless of their political or religious beliefs. 3. To promote fairness, civility and inclusion in student affairs. 4. To secure the adoption of the 'Academic Bill of Rights' as official university policy."

The problem Gary Sarrett describes in his blog titled "College Professors: Making Debate Obsolete One Student At A Time!" at GOP Insight is much too common for the good of healthy discourse in this country. Conservative students in colleges all over the country, from the Ivy League to State Universities to Community Colleges find that most of their professors are leftists in their political views (which is fine) and that those professors actively indoctrinate their students and punish those who dare to challenge their points of view (which is NOT fine) even in subjects that have nothing to do with the political arena.

Horowitz has been collecting stories from abused students for quite some time. Typical is the student who was, three weeks after the fall of Bagdad in May 2003, required to answer a "question" on her final exam that instructed students to "Explain why George Bush is a war criminal." The student explained instead why she thought Saddam Hussein was a war criminal. She received an "F."

In his booklet, "The Campaign For Academic Freedom," Dr. Horowitz gives specific examples of why this campaign is necessary. "When students go to their professors' offices," he writes, "they go for help. When professors plaster their doors with partisan cartoons that mock the deeply held beliefs of students of matters like abortion and party affiliation -- which they regularly do -- this creates a wall between faculty and students, which is injurious to the counseling process. How can a professor teach a student whom he regards as a partisan adversary? The answer is he cannot."

He also tells of his experience in trying to point out to colleges the errors of their ways and trying to get them to change. Dr. Horowitz has lectured and written on the subject for several years with what he describes as "little impact." He says, "The only result of my reviewing these facts has been to inspire an attack on my integrity by the American Association of University Professors." The opposition doesn't seem to care that the very principles espoused are the ones first published in 1915 in the famous report, "The Principles of Tenure and Academic Freedom" which were immediately embraced by institutions of higher education all over the US.

Enduring personal attacks in articles full of misrepresentation and downright lies published against him, Horowitz realized that he was up against the proverbial brick wall. College administrators were happy with the status quo and there was nothing he could do to change them. Except hit them where it hurts -- in the purse.

So Dr. Horowitz drafted legislation to protect students' rights and has been going to state legislatures to gain their support. The legislatures of each state -- as elected representatives of the people whose taxes support and finance the educational institutions -- have a fiduciary responsibility to their constituents to remedy the situation.

Interestingly, the University of Colorado (home of "progressive" liberal Ward Churchill) became one of Dr. Horowitz's first successes. (Ohio is another.) After a series of hearings and discussions, university administrators realized that intellectual diversity no longer existed on their campus. In collaboration with the Colorado House, the Presidents of the University of Colorado and other Colorado universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which they pledged to provide protections to students of all political viewpoints.

Shortly after this, the Colorado legislature overwhelmingly adopted Senate Joint Resolution 04-033, which commended the presidents for their willingness to provide those needed protections and requesting regular reports on their progress.

Dr. Horowitz is dedicating his time, fortune and effort to promoting academic freedom for all. His national organization, Students For Academic Freedom can use all the help it can get. For more information contact Sara Dogan at sara@studentsforacademicfreedom.org or telephone 202-393-0123. Visit the web site at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org.

It's important. The future of America depends on it.

Wednesday, October 19

The Washington Time, Editor Coombs and Ms. Miers

Today's Washington Times blog has an article titled "Miers spat is a family affair" in which managing editor Fran Coombs writes, "Enter Harriet Miers, undoubtedly a fine and talented individual but singularly ill-prepared to serve on America’s most powerful court. This is cronyism run amok. Even Mr. Bush’s most ardent supporters find themselves making torturous defenses of a nomination that cannot be defended." This is an example of Washington elitism par excellance. Keep the status quo: don't let an outsider in. The strongest case against Ms. Miers is that she has never served as a judge and therefore has not handed down opinions to critique.

There is not now -- nor has there ever been -- a rule that says only serving judges may be nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. In that past that has served us well since some of our finest justices had no judicial experience when they were elected. Justice John Marshall was one. A new justice with little experience on the bench brings fresh thoughts and ideas to a moldy, staid and somewhat jaded set of minds.

Coombs continues, "You know the White House is in trouble when it is reduced to smearing Ms. Miers’ conservative opponents as “elitists” and “sexists.” This is the kind of rhetoric one expects from Hillary “vast right-wing media conspiracy” Clinton and other leftists for whom the only political defense is a below-the-belt punch. But for a White House that at least ostensibly labels itself conservative to fling the empty canards of the Left at fellow conservatives is downright insulting." It's a rather left-handed compliment to the White House that the editor finds that discourse insulting. It's true that the "right" has let the "left" use that kind of language in the past but perhaps it's time to call a spade a spade. Refusing to consider someone other than a judge IS elitist. I don't agree with the sexist charge but will chalk that one up to justifiable anger.

Coombs again: "Mr. President, woo the disaffected on the Right as if they were members of your own family. “Yes, I understand your concerns, but trust me, bear with me on this,” you should say." All he should do is what he has been doing. He shouldn't have to "woo" anyone. "Wooing" in this case would be the same as explaning or apologizing and he should not have to do that. He is right to assume his supporters will trust his judgement.

Yes, I admit I trust the President. I have not always agreed with his decisions but I have always been able to see why he made them and (most important) I recognize that he is doing what he believes is right for the country. Right in the sense of best, for I don't believe conservatives are the best for the country all the time. And I don't believe liberals are EVER the best for the country! But I trust President Bush and would not have voted to put him where he is if I were not prepared to do so.

Congress should place Meirs on the court BECAUSE she has no judicial experience. Congressional members should NEVER assume that what someone thought or believed, wrote or said 20 or 30 years ago is an indication of what they believe, would write, say or do now.

If someone is that fixed in attitude and closed in mind, they should not serve in any public capacity. What government servants (in Congress, on the Court or in the Executive Branch) need are open minds, patriotic hearts, elephantine skins and a "do unto others as I want done unto me" morality.

Give the Supreme Court a fresh, unfettered mind, eager and willing to learn. A touch of the early Patriot, if you will. What Congress should be ascertaining is Miers' patriotism and if she is dedicated to upholding the Constitution. After all, that's all we can ask of her -- or anyone.

Tuesday, October 18

SS -- Seriously

Since the earliest days of this country, Americans have been generous to orphaned children, the poor and the elderly. When the nation was mostly agricultural -- that is, up to the 1870s -- communities took care of their poor. Local villages and towns developed poor relief systems and even workhouses. Poor Mothers' Pensions were developed prior to WWI to help indigent mothers care for their children rather than put them in foster homes or institutions.

By the mid-twenties some states were experimenting with old-age assistance and aid to the blind. Then the politicos began to develop the idea that a social insurance system would be appropriate for a more-and-more industrialized society. They decided that contributory financing of social insurance would make that security a matter of rights as opposed to a public assistance approach where only those in need would receive help.

This insurance first began with workers' compensation. In 1908 the Federal Government adopted a law covering Federal employees in hazardous jobs and the first State compensation law to be held Constitutional was adopted in 1911. By 1928, workers' comp laws were in effect in all but four states. These laws paid only on death or severe injury of the insuree. Families took care of the elderly or they took care of themselves unless they were police officers, teachers or firemen. New Jersey's teachers' pension plan, the oldest in the nation for government employees, was established in 1896. By the early 1900s several local governments had set up retirement plans for police officers and fire fighters. In 1920 the Civil Service Retirement System was set up for Federal employees.

Veterans' Benefits were also established early. These initially consisted of widows' pensions, compensation for war disabled and land grants. After WWI, a full-scale hospital system was developed, including medical care benefits. And the fist-sized snowball was picking up steam as it began the downhill roll.

The Great Depression of the 1930s gave the greatest impetus to Federal welfare action. Neither the states nor local communities had the resources to cope with the growing problem. In 1932, the Federal Government made loans, then grants, to states to pay for relief, both direct and work related. FDR proposed the Social Security Act of 1935 and Congress passed it.

This law established two social insurance programs on a national scale to help the elderly and the unemployed. It set up benefits for retired workers who had been employed in industry and commerce along with a Federal state system of insurance -- Grants-in-Aid to the states for programs of Old Age Assistance and Aid to the Blind for those who were not eligible for social security.

In 1939 the additions began: Aid to Dependent Children, Tax on Employers of Eight or More, Public Health Aid, Unemployment Insurance, Railroad Retirement System and more.
And the snowball had just begun to grow.

It grew again in the 1940s and 1950s with weekly cash benefits to the temporarily disabled and more complicated health benefits for Federal workers. Veterans' benefits were expanded and increased

By 1964 the Federal Food Stamp Program was added along with other nutrition programs including school breakfasts and lunches. In 1996 the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Medicaid was created in 1965. Public assistance provisions expanded in 1972. In 1983 coverage became compulsory and the age of eligibility for benefits was increased from 65 to 67.

Originally, Social Security benefits were not taxable as income. All funds collected for Social Security went into the Social Security Trust Fund and were used exclusively for benefits. Excesses above those required for immediate benefits were (and are) invested in US Treasury bonds. These funds may be used by the government in any way Congress sees fit.

No matter who's to blame for the mess social security is in there are two facts about it that are downright felonous:

First, today up to 85% of Social Security benefits are taxed. If benefits were simply reduced the funds collected from Social Security payroll taxes and not paid out because of the reduction in payments would REMAIN IN THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND. But by making the benefits taxable, $21 billion a year that is collected for the Social Security Trust fund is paid out to beneficiaries and is then collected back in the form of Income taxes. These funds are deposited in the General fund of the United States. Each year then $21 billion dollars of Social Security Payroll taxes are siphoned out of the Social Security Trust fund and placed in the general fund to be used for other than what the tax was originally intended.

And Second: In the words of President Bush, "The trust fund is just an empty IOU, just a piece of paper. You pay your payroll tax; we pay for the people who have retired, and if there's any money left over, we spend it on government. That's how it works."

So the $1.5 Trillion social security "trust fund" is really nothing but worthless, non-marketable IOU pieces of paper.

Actually that's all it is supposed to be. My parents' generation paid for their parents' retirement, we paid for our parents' and expected our children to pay for ours, their children to pay for theirs. But the catch lies in the last sentence of the President's statement: "if there's any money left over, we spend it on government." THAT is the crux of the problem.

It's not the social security system that is in trouble; it's the way Congress handles it. Congress should be held accountable by the people, even if it means they all go to jail.

Monday, October 17

Social Security -- Say Wha?

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary,

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the Program,

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent "Trust Fund" rather than into the General operating fund, and therefore, would be used ONLY to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month -- and then finding that we are getting taxed on

85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to "put away," you may be interested in the following:


Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent "Trust" fund and put it into the General fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate.


Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.


Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the "tie-breaking" deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the U.S.


Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to

immigrants?

A: Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

Then, after all this, the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

Wednesday, October 12

STOP It, Children!

We have to stop the hatred in political discourse in the United States.

Democrats are always saying they hate Republicans. They've even published books about it. Like "The I Hate Republicans Reader: Why the GOP is Totally Wrong About Everything." Now the GOP may be wrong about everything but that's no reason for hatred. That's a reason for two-way discussion. Passionate, sure. Hatred, no.

Then there's "888 Reasons to Hate Republicans: An A to Z Guide to Everything Loathsome About the Party of the Arrogant Rich."

Then there's the song, "I hate Republicans" which is featured on a web site that is a video that ignores the truth about the good things we do like the Ownership Society that made it possible for our son, who is severely retarded and has an income of less than $15,000.00 a year to buy his own home.

I'm a Republican but I'm not rich. I know people who are and the ones I know are faultlessly generous in their giving -- of time as well as money -- to those less fortunate than they.

But I digress. Howard Dean, one of the best the Democratic Party has to offer said, "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization." The most quoted part of that statement is the first part.

They even have t-shirts. Do a google hit on "hate Republicans" and you'll get 6,800,000 hits. Six MILLION, eight hundred thousand.

But the Republicans aren't blameless in all this. Google "hate Democrats" and you get 7,840,000 hits. The problem with that number, however, is that it is contaminated by Democrats saying that Republicans hate them. Not Republicans saying they do -- just Democrats. Guilt, I suppose.

The first hit is "Why Americans Hate Democrats -- A Dialogue, The unteachable ignorance of the red states." by Jane Smiley. Her entire article could have been written without hatred, but it wasn't. And it was a liberal's hatred of republicans that is expressed.

Actually, those hits mostly discuss how Democrats hate Republicans. As in this piece by John David Powell, titled "Politics And Hate: The Democrats’ Not-So-Subtle Message" in which he writes, "Those who pull the political strings within the Democratic Party put out the word in the days leading up to their national convention that Bush bashing, divisive rhetoric, and other forms of hate-filled language were not welcomed. The memo read something like: 'Anyone caught violating the tenets of our newly found political compassion toward those we hate will be thrashed wickedly like a colorfully headed child from another marriage (because 'beating you like a rented mule' doesn't sound good given that our party's symbol is a donkey).

"There is wisdom to this kinder, gentler form of politics, but it may be too foreign and too late for a large segment of Democrats who cannot utter the words Bush or Republican without adding the word hate somewhere. While Democratic delegates engaged in their orchestrated love fest on the convention floor, the scene outside was somewhat more hate filled, probably because the memo wasn't passed around among the general population."

Still, there is some expression of hatred toward Democrats. I dropped off a Republican e-mail list because of it. I will not be a part of hatred if I can possibly avoid it, whether it's from a Republican or a Democrat.

Because hatred always has repercussions. Hatred is what assassinated President Kennedy and hatred is behind a threat on President Bush's life that is posted in the comments on this web site. Hatred is what caused 9/11 and is causing genocide in Africa and murder in the Holy Land.

It is all right to disagree and it's fine to disagree with passion -- but not with hatred.

Please, Democrats, Liberals, Republicans, Conservatives, Progressive and Libertarians: Stop hating. Fight and argue but don't hate. Everytime someone expresses hatred we are all diminished. Nothing good can ever come of it.

Monday, October 10

Would Congress Approve This Candidate For the Supreme Court?

Served a short stint in the military.

Attended law school for a while but didn't graduate. Passed the bar exam and set up a successful law practice practicing consumer law -- defending clients against creditors.

Served in a state legislature, but refused to serve as attorney general and also refused a position on the Supreme Court and a nomination to be Secretary of War.

Ran for House of Representatives and won but served a very short time.

Can you imagine Congress approving this nomination for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? I doubt it. The media would complain about "inexperience." Congress would poke and probe into motivations and declarations made years ago.
But his name was John Marshall and his impact on American constitutional law is peerless. He served for more than 34 years and participated in more than 1000 decisions. He authored over 500 opinions.

Today he is recognized as the single most important figure on constitutional law. Marshall's legacy resounds through the great issues of contemporary America.

Some of the best justices who have served on the Supreme Court were not judges before their appointments. Justice Renquist was one, and there were at least 10 others.

Other Presidents have been allowed to select justices and most have been approved without the kind of childish wrangling we've seen the past few years. It's all political grandstanding for the gullible media. And the nation is denied some exceptional legal minds (and public servants) because of it.

The West Wing vs Commander in Chief

I am no fan of television (with the possible exceptions of HGTV, the History Channel, CSpan, and sometimes the Discovery Channel) but I have to admit a fascination with and possibly a compulsion to watch "The West Wing." I discovered the show when I was flat on my back recovering from surgery and became addicted. That's the right word, too -- addicted.

Never mind that the show promotes a Democratic agenda. Of course I relish their mistakes: having Air Force One leave Nashville after the President visits Oak Ridge, for example. Poor research there, as was President Bartlett's speech in defense of homosexuals which relied solely on Old Testament references. And there have been others but, interestingly, not nearly as many in the three years or so of episodes that I've watched as there were in the first episode of the new TV series "Commander In Chief."

One advantage "The West Wing" has over the upstart is that they used former White House staffers like Dee Dee Myers as consultants. That makes a HUGE difference.

It's been claimed that "Commander In Chief's" premise that a woman can be President reveals a rising American controversy. What's controversial about that? After all, we've already had a woman as candidate for Vice President. (Remember Geraldine Ferraro?) And in fiction, last year "The West Wing" gave a woman the position of Chief of Staff -- a position much more powerful than the average American voter realizes.

"Commander In Chief" is, however, a thinly veiled (she was mentioned by name more than five times in the first episode) apologist for Hillary Clinton's candidacy in 2008. And if the first episode was any indication, it's not going to do her any good.

For example, the show is rife with feminist concepts, speeches and issues. As soon as she takes the oath of office, President Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis) initiates military action in Nigeria to rescue a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. She does not refer to the UN, nor does she confer with advisors or her Cabinet. She comes on like a dictator, inflicting her will mindlessly, heedlessly and without any thoughtful consideration of repercussions or results. This does, indeed, sound a lot like Hillary Clinton!

Something like this pales in the face of real crises facing the USA. Although it's based on reality -- there have been cases where Nigerian women were sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. So far all have been overturned on appeal and no executions for adultery have actually been carried out. It doesn't take an expert in foreign policy to imagine the political fallout from such a unilateral action by a US President!

The cast is mediocre. I suppose Geena Davis can't help looking like someone just socked her in the mouth but you can't help but shudder at the thought of such mediocre TV actors running the country! The writing is especially poor and the premise that a woman President is unusual is silly. Also, the title of the fourth episode seems like a barometer of the shallowness of the show: "Walk Softly and Carry A Lipstick." There is no depth in this show and no passion. Another thing that is lacking is that sense of awe and respect for the American system that's in the West Wing. The fast, intelligent repartee is missing, too.

Women now run corporations, serve in Congress, serve in the military and more. The only problem with fielding a woman for President is that there are so few qualified women out there.

In "Commander In Chief" we can get an idea of what it would mean to America if we let modern feminists loose in the White House. An unmitigated disaster.

Saturday, October 1

God Is A Gentleman

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show by Jane Clayson who asked, (regarding the attacks on Sept. 11), "How could God let something like this happen?""

Anne Graham said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.

And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

It started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. It has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages about prayer, Jesus or God, people think twice about sharing. They don't want to "offend."

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

MSM, War Protests and Lies


The September 24, 2005 anti-war protest in San Francisco was orchestrated and directed by none other than the North Vietnamese Communists. And the San Francisco Chronicle knew it and didn't report it.

Here they go again: The MSM (mainstream media), caught red-handed in another deception.

Look at the photo the Chronicle published on their web site as part of their report on the protest. Click here for Chronicle page.

It just so happens that someone else took a photo of that same girl at the same protest but this photo shows her environment and the people protesting with her. Click here to see the rest of the picture.

"Because the whole truth -- that the girl was part of a group of naive teenagers recruited by Communist activists to wear terrorist-style bandannas and carry Palestinian flags and obscene placards -- is disturbing, and doesn't conform to the narrative that the Chronicle is trying to promote. By presenting the photo out of context, and only showing the one image that suits its purpose, the Chronicle is intentionally manipulating the reader's impression of the rally, and the rally's intent.

Such tactics -- in the no-man's-land between ethical and unethical -- are commonplace in the media, and have been for decades. It is only now, with the advent of citizen journalism, that we can at last begin to see the whole story and realize that the public has been manipulated like this all along."

History will most likely say that bloggers saved the United States of America -- if, indeed, it can be saved. It may already be too late. . .

Friday, September 30

Higher Prices To Come At Walmart

"More than 300 labor unions and other liberal groups are joining forces for 'Higher Expectations Week,' a series of 1,000 events intended to pressure Wal-Mart to make reforms in such areas as 'affordable health care, corporate responsibility and economic justice.' According to the Wal-Mart Watch website, labor unions taking part in the campaign include the Service Employees International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers."
Do these people not realize that Walmart doesn't pay for those things, their customers do? Corporations pass along all the corporate and employee taxes they must pay to their customers along with all their other costs -- it's called "overhead." Those "overhead" costs are embedded in the price of everything we buy.
Some of the supporters of these unions are: Other participants in the week-long series include such liberal groups as the Sierra Club, United for a Fair Economy and Pride at Work, as well as local affiliates of the AFL-CIO, the National Organization for Women, the ACLU and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
So what happens when and if they succeed and Walmart has to raise prices to pay for all those "economic justice" costs? Their prices go up and they are no longer competitive in the lower price market. Customers stop coming and the jobs are no more.
Come now, Unions and all you generous Liberals, whose interests are you promoting here? Not the employees. Not the customers. Who?

Wednesday, September 14

Roberts, the Supreme Court and Contemporary States' Rights

I recently heard someone say (in a rather snide tone) that if John Roberts should take Chief Justice Rehnquist's place on the Supreme Court, it would be a case of the clerk taking the boss's job. My reaction to that was "so what?" Who better to fill the master's shoes but the apprentice trained at his shop?

One of Chief Justice Rehnquist's legacies is his belief that the Constitution limits Federal power. Throughout his tenure on the Court, he did everything he could to emphasize and reinforce those limitations. Chief Justice Rehnquist understood that respect for federalism does not mean that there is no legitimate role for federal authority in protecting fundamental individual rights and advancing national interests. It simply means that the Constitution must not be interpreted to give the federal government unlimited power.

He came to a court that had traditionally, from the 1930s until 1995, held that the constitutional provision granting Congress the power to "regulate Commerce . . . among the several States" gave the federal government unlimited power to regulate anything that might conceivably have an impact on commerce. Many Constitutional experts claimed that this was not only blatant defiance of the Constitution but downright illogical.

Writing for the Court in the 1995 case, United States v. Lopez, Rehnquist amended this judicial error. He reasserted the principle that the Constitution gives Congress only a limited list of "enumerated powers," at the same time giving the states authority in areas where the federal government cannot intrude.

As it progressed, the Rehnquist Court limited Congress' ability to use state governments to advance federal policies and actually limited Congress' power to enable individuals to sue state officials.

Constitutional limits on federal power benefit conservatives and liberals equally, although liberals have traditionally assumed that federalism decisions furthered conservative politics. However, many liberal policies--gay "marriage," for example--have much better political prospects in "blue states" than in Washington.

If we can assume that the apprentice was well trained and tempered by the master, one might also assume that John Roberts would continue to promote that same limitation on Federal power.

Limiting federal power promotes competition between the states and we all benefit from competition. States with unpopular policies lose residents and businesses.

In a nation with strong federal power, there is little room for dissent. You agree with the federal government or you go to another country. When states can go their separate ways on key issues, a wider range of citizen opinions and preferences can be satisfied. If you don't like the policies of your state you can move to another where the laws are more sympathetic with your views.

The present Supreme Court, however, has managed to undermine Justice Rehnquist's legacy with their recent Gonzales v. Raich decision wherein they held that federal law supersedes a California law legalizing medical marijuana. In that decision they gave the Commerce Clause a broad interpretation. Justice Rehnquist and recently retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor each wrote dissenting opinions on the verdict.

Therefore, perhaps the most telling and crucial question that should be asked of Judge Roberts is something like, "How, Sir, do you interpret the role of the federal government as it relates to the contemporary interpretation of states' rights?"

Saturday, September 10

Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster But No 9/11

We're home. We've traveled all over the Eastern and South Eastern US the past six weeks and had a truly grand time. Even Katrina couldn't spoil our fun, although we were saddened at the tragedy we saw on news broadcasts whenever we happened to chance upon one.

Now that we're back, catching up on laundry and tons of mail while unpacking and rearranging things to make room for new acquisitions, we're catching up on the news, as well, and are amazed at the senseless blame and accusations that seem to have been flying about since the storm hit. What can those people be thinking?

An attack by nature in a single region, predicted for years and with plenty of warning so that citizens could get out of the way is in NO WAY comparable to a pre-meditated attack on United States citizens by an enemy intent on destroying the entire society.

Add to that the murder, rape and pillage by citizens of the communities, accepted if not encouraged by police, who simply looked the other way and allowed looting and you have a frightening yet predictable anarchy. Frightening, obviously. Predictable because of the mindset created by the welfare society espoused, created, supported and perpetuated by the liberal factions in our national politics.

Among the thousands of emails I'm plowing through this morning, I came across this piece, which I reprint here with complete agreement and sympathy while faulting, again, a mainstream media that once again has missed the real story:

An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the Welfare State

by Robert Tracinski
Sep 02, 2005
by Robert Tracinski
It has taken four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it has also taken me four long days to figure out what is going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists--myself included--did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over the past four days. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency--indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.

When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a description from a Washington Times story:

"Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

"The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire....

"Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

" 'These troops are...under my orders to restore order in the streets,' she said. 'They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.' "

The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows National Guard troops, with rifles and armored vests, riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad.

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to drive away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the Super Dome?

Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage last night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicago, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. "The projects," as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of "the projects." Then the "crawl"--the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels--gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of the 300,000 or so who remained, a large number were from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then gave me an additional, crucial fact: early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails--so they just let many of them loose. There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations--that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit--but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals--and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep--on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters--not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American "individualism." But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. They don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.
But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

The welfare state--and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages--is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

Source: TIA Daily -- September 2, 2005

Sunday, August 7

Global Warming BugaBoo

Written By: Environment & Climate News Staff
Published In: Environment News
Publication Date: August 1, 2005
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yury Izrael, director of the Russian Academy of Science's Global Climate and Ecology Institute, issued a scathing indictment of global warming alarmism, published June 28 by the Russian News and Information Agency. The following are excerpts from Izrael's comments.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"According to 10,000 meteorological stations, average temperatures have increased by just 0.6 degrees in the last 100 years. But there is no scientifically sound evidence of the negative processes that allegedly begin to take place at such temperatures.

"Global temperatures increased throughout the 1940s, declined in the 1970s, and subsequently began to rise again. Present-day global warming resembles the 1940s, when ships could easily navigate Arctic passages.

"However, man's impact was much smaller at that time. A Russian expedition that recently returned from the central Antarctic says that temperatures are now starting to decrease. These sensational findings are one of Mother Nature's surprises.

"The European Union has established by fiat that a two-degree rise in global temperatures would be quite dangerous. However, this data is not scientifically sound. ...

"Many specialists estimate the peak atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at 400 PPM.

"Our calculations show that carbon-dioxide concentrations would increase by just 800 PPM if all known and produced fuel were incinerated in the space of a few hours. But we will never reach this ceiling. In ancient times the Earth had periods when maximum CO2 concentrations were 6,000 PPM (in Carboniferous period). But life still goes on.

"In other words, we must comprehend what will happen while the carbon-dioxide levels will grow from the current 378 PPM to 800 PPM, that will hypothetically occur when all the fuel on Earth is burned.

"Global temperatures will likely rise by 1.4-5.8 degrees during the next 100 years. The average increase will be three degrees. I do not think that this threatens mankind. Sea levels, due to rise by 47 cm in the 21st century, will not threaten port cities.

"It is said that the sea may rise significantly because of additional carbon dioxide and higher temperatures.

"The sea has risen by 10-20 cm in the last 100 years. The port of London, not the entire city, would face a disaster if this trend persists. However, the situation can be rectified by building new piers. The Far Eastern city of Magadan has multi-level piers for coping with eight-meter high tides."



Tuesday, August 2

Vacation

Hubby and I are taking an extended vacation -- will be back soon, ready and rarin' to go.

Sunnye

Friday, July 22

BandAids and Bandits

Most medical professionals know that in order to cure a disease, you strike at the cause. Putting bandaids on symptoms may be comforting temporarily, but the disease always returns.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is trying to apply bandaids in the Sudan. On her recent visit there demanded that the Sudanese government own up to its responsibilities and acknowledge accountability for the violence in Darfur. All this while her own security people were being hassled by the Sudanese.

Condoleezza Rice today demanded a full apology from the Sudanese President after members of her entourage were allegedly roughed up by guards at a diplomatic meeting.

Jim Wilkinson, a senior adviser to the US Secretary of State, was grabbed and thrown against a wall at the entrance to President Omar al-Bashir’s palace in the capital Khartoum.

US officials said that the security guards elbowed and pushed them, barring advisers and the press from entering the meeting by slamming closed the residence's wooden doors.

An attempt was also made to seize tapes from a National Public Radio reporter before Sean McKormack, Miss Rice's spokesman, and others intervened.


Visiting a refugee camp, Rice called the crisis in Darfur, where 180,000 have died since 2003, a "genocide," the same word Powell used in his visit. And she warned that she wants "actions, not words" from Khartoum on dealing with the situation in Darfur. The State Department has found that the Sudanese government, after promising to quell the violence in Darfur , is still paying salaries to leaders of Arab militias known as Janjaweed that continue to attack and kill black civilians.

The leverage Rice has on Khartoum are strict sanctions that, if lifted, would allow Sudan to improve its decrepit infrastructure. But, first, she says she wants to see Khartoum live up to the peace deal it signed on Darfur. On that, she must stay tough.


Meanwhile, back in the US Senate, Kansas Senator Brownback reintroduces his Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2005, which also calls for increased pressure on the Sudanese government.

“As tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Congress’ declaration of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, it is not the time to start thinking about easing sanctions or restoring certain diplomatic ties. It’s time to address the needs of the African Union and to sanction those responsible for genocide,” Brownback said.

The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2005 increases pressure on Khartoum, provides greater support to the African Union mission in Darfur to help protect civilians, imposes sanctions on individuals responsible for atrocities, and encourages the appointment of a U.S. special envoy to help advance a peace process for Darfur.

Today Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Sudan for the first time. While momentum for international support to end this crisis has been building, the violence and humanitarian crisis continues. Rape is still being used as weapon. Some women who have become pregnant due to brutal rapes have been forced to abort their unborn babies, while other women have been imprisoned for bearing illegitimate children. In addition, the government remains prepared to raze the Kalma refugee camp, moving 120,000 people against their wishes, thus, sending them back into areas where there is no security against these rapes and killings.

In remarks prior to the G-8 summit on June 30, 2005, President Bush declared, “the violence in Darfur is clearly genocide,” and “the human cost is beyond calculation.”

Brownback applauded Senator Corzine and his colleagues in the House, including Congressmen Hyde, Tancredo, Payne, Wolf, Smith and others, who have diligently worked with him to ensure a strong piece of legislation that they hope will move quickly and be enacted so that further relief may be provided to the suffering victims.

Brownback traveled to the Darfur region of Sudan in July 2004 and issued a report with recommendations for the international community to deal with the dire human rights situation there. Brownback also authored legislation declaring the dire situation in Sudan genocide, and sponsored legislation providing $95 million in emergency humanitarian aid to the Darfur region.


The Sudanese government reminds me of a doll I had when I was a child. With the skirt pulled down in one position, the doll was white but if you turned the skirt inside-out, the doll was black.

The white doll side:
Rice acknowledged that Sudan, once a terrorism sponsor, is a far better place today than it had been for decades, or even since her predecessor, Colin Powell, visited it 13 months ago. Sudan now has an elected national unity government that has become a useful ally in the U.S. fight against global terrorism, has increased its flow of oil substantially and, above all, is consolidating the peace deal ending Africa's longest civil war. The war pitted the Arab government in Khartoum against black Christian and animist rebels in the south and cost millions of lives. Today, a former rebel leader is vice president and the new constitution protects religious and political rights for all groups.


The dark doll side:
Villagers in Mirhanda in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where UN peacekeepers have chased out the Rwandan Hutu rebels terrorising the population, said on Thursday they feared the fighters would return to their stronghold. "Before leaving, they threatened us they would return," said 16-year-old Burhendwa Kahegesha, staring at the smouldering straw huts that served as a hideout for some 900 fighters for the past three years. "I am happy that the men are gone, but they said that we were responsible for their leaving. They will come back for revenge," he said. The Rwandan Democratic Liberation Forces (FDLR) rebels, who have been hiding out in eastern DRC since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, have inflicted terror on the residents of Mirhanda for years. Living in mud houses near the rebel base, some 70 families make up Mirhanda village, some 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Bukavu, the provincial capital of the volatile Sud Kivu region.


The Sudanese government is a Muslim government. They have supported the rebels, providing them with guns and gunship support when they ravage the villages of native Africans. Threatening them with sanctions is about as effective as threatening Saddam Hussein and we all know how that worked. Sanctions are bandages on symptoms; what the situation needs is a strike at the heart of the disease.

Thursday, July 21

ICE It -- Now, Just in Case

A campaign encouraging people to enter an emergency contact number in their mobile phone's memory under the heading "ICE" (for "In Case of Emergency"), has rapidly spread throughout the world as a particular consequence of last week's terrorist attacks in London. Originally established as a nation-wide campaign in the UK, ICE allows paramedics or police to be able to contact a designated relative / next-of-kin in an emergency situation.

The idea is the brainchild of East Anglian Ambulance Service paramedic Bob Brotchie and was launched in May this year. Bob, 41, who has been a paramedic for 13 years, said: "I was reflecting on some of the calls I've attended at the roadside where I had to look through the mobile phone contacts struggling for information on a shocked or injured person. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone now, and with ICE we'd know immediately who to contact and what number to ring. The person may even know of their medical history."

By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative - which could be vital in a life or death situation. It only takes a few seconds to do, and it could easily help save your life.

Why not put ICE in your phone now?

Simply select a new contact in your phone book, enter the word 'ICE' and the number of the person you wish to be contacted. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

It's so simple that everyone can do it. Please do, and please pass this on.......it may save a life.

Thursday, July 14

We the Sensible People by State Representative Mitchell Aye of GA

We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness which, by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from!

(lastly....)

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!

Monday, July 11

Proud To Be An American

The Mainstream Media hasn't mentioned this, either. See HERE an example of what is REALLY happening in this war.

That's IT, folks. The truth that the mainstream media doesn't want us to see. They are willing to sacrifice our nation and its freedoms -- for what?

Have You Seen This In The Mainstream Media? Why Not?

This unclassified document was released by the Pentagon in late March 2005. It details the case for designating an Iraqi member of al Qaeda, currently detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an "enemy combatant."

1. From 1987 to 1989, the detainee served as an infantryman in the Iraqi Army and received training on the mortar and rocket propelled grenades.
2. A Taliban recruiter in Baghdad convinced the detainee to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban in 1994.
3. The detainee admitted he was a member of the Taliban.
4. The detainee pledged allegiance to the supreme leader of the Taliban to help them take over all of Afghanistan.
5. The Taliban issued the detainee a Kalishnikov rifle in November 2000.
6. The detainee worked in a Taliban ammo and arms storage arsenal in Mazar-Es-Sharif organizing weapons and ammunition.
7. The detainee willingly associated with al Qaida members.
8. The detainee was a member of al Qaida.
9. An assistant to Usama Bin Ladin paid the detainee on three separate occasions between 1995 and 1997.
10. The detainee stayed at the al Farouq camp in Darwanta, Afghanistan, where he received 1,000 Rupees to continue his travels.
11. From 1997 to 1998, the detainee acted as a trusted agent for Usama Bin Ladin, executing three separate reconnaissance missions for the al Qaeda leader in Oman, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
12. In August 1998, the detainee traveled to Pakistan with a member of Iraqi Intelligence for the purpose of blowing up the Pakistan, United States and British embassies with chemical mortars.
13. Detainee was arrested by Pakistani authorities in Khudzar, Pakistan, in July 2002.

Interesting. What's more interesting: The alleged plot was to have taken place in August 1998, the same month that al Qaeda attacked two U.S. embassies in East Africa. And more interesting still: It was to have taken place in the same month that the Clinton administration publicly accused Iraq of supplying al Qaeda with chemical weapons expertise and material.

FOR MANY, the debate over the former Iraqi regime's ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network ended a year ago with the release of the 9/11 Commission report. Media outlets seized on a carefully worded summary that the commission had found no evidence "indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States" and ran blaring headlines like the one on the June 17, 2004, front page of the New York Times: "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie."

But this was woefully imprecise (not to mention incorrect because that's not what the report said). It assumed, not unreasonably, that the 9/11 Commission's conclusion was based on a firm foundation of intelligence reporting, that the intelligence community had the type of human intelligence and other reporting that would allow senior-level analysts to draw reasonable conclusions. We know now that was not the case.

John Lehman, a 9/11 commissioner, spoke to The Weekly Standard at the time the report was released. "There may well be--and probably will be--additional intelligence coming in from interrogations and from analysis of captured records and so forth which will fill out the intelligence picture. This is not phrased as--nor meant to be--the definitive word on Iraqi Intelligence activities."

Lehman's caution was prescient. A year later, we still cannot begin to offer a "definitive" picture of the relationships entered into by Saddam Hussein's operatives, but much more has already been learned from documents uncovered after the Iraq war. The evidence we present below, compiled from revelations in recent months, suggests an acute case of denial on the part of those who dismiss the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship.

There could hardly be a clearer case--of the ongoing revelations and the ongoing denial--than in the 13 points below, reproduced verbatim from a "Summary of Evidence" prepared by the U.S. government in November 2004. This unclassified document was released by the Pentagon in late March 2005. It details the case for designating an Iraqi member of al Qaeda, currently detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an "enemy combatant."

1. From 1987 to 1989, the detainee served as an infantryman in the Iraqi Army and received training on the mortar and rocket propelled grenades.
2. A Taliban recruiter in Baghdad convinced the detainee to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban in 1994.
3. The detainee admitted he was a member of the Taliban.
4. The detainee pledged allegiance to the supreme leader of the Taliban to help them take over all of Afghanistan.
5. The Taliban issued the detainee a Kalishnikov rifle in November 2000.
6. The detainee worked in a Taliban ammo and arms storage arsenal in Mazar-Es-Sharif organizing weapons and ammunition.
7. The detainee willingly associated with al Qaida members.
8. The detainee was a member of al Qaida.
9. An assistant to Usama Bin Ladin paid the detainee on three separate occasions between 1995 and 1997.
10. The detainee stayed at the al Farouq camp in Darwanta, Afghanistan, where he received 1,000 Rupees to continue his travels.
11. From 1997 to 1998, the detainee acted as a trusted agent for Usama Bin Ladin, executing three separate reconnaissance missions for the al Qaeda leader in Oman, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
12. In August 1998, the detainee traveled to Pakistan with a member of Iraqi Intelligence for the purpose of blowing up the Pakistan, United States and British embassies with chemical mortars.
13. Detainee was arrested by Pakistani authorities in Khudzar, Pakistan, in July 2002.

Interesting. What's more interesting: The alleged plot was to have taken place in August 1998, the same month that al Qaeda attacked two U.S. embassies in East Africa. And more interesting still: It was to have taken place in the same month that the Clinton administration publicly accused Iraq of supplying al Qaeda with chemical weapons expertise and material.

But none of this was interesting enough for any of the major television networks to cover it. Nor was it deemed sufficiently newsworthy to merit a mention in either the Washington Post or the New York Times.

The Associated Press, on the other hand, probably felt obliged to run a story, since the "Summary of Evidence" was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the AP itself. But after briefly describing the documents, the AP article downplayed its own scoop with a sentence almost as amusing as it is inane: "There is no indication the Iraqi's alleged terror-related activities were on behalf of Saddam Hussein's government, other than the brief mention of him traveling to Pakistan with a member of Iraqi intelligence." That sentence minimizing the importance of the findings was enough, apparently, to convince most newspaper editors around the country not to run the AP story.

It's possible, of course, that the evidence presented by military prosecutors is exaggerated, maybe even wrong. The evidence required to designate a detainee an "enemy combatant" is lower than the "reasonable doubt" standard of U.S. criminal prosecutions. So there is much we don't know.

Indeed, more than two years after the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was ousted, there is much we do not know about the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. We do know, however, that there was one. We know about this relationship not from Bush administration assertions but from internal Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) documents recovered in Iraq after the war--documents that have been authenticated by a U.S. intelligence community long hostile to the very idea that any such relationship exists.

We know from these IIS documents that beginning in 1992 the former Iraqi regime regarded bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence asset. We know from IIS documents that the former Iraqi regime provided safe haven and financial support to an Iraqi who has admitted to mixing the chemicals for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. We know from IIS documents that Saddam Hussein agreed to Osama bin Laden's request to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state-run television. We know from IIS documents that a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden stayed for more than two weeks at a posh Baghdad hotel as the guest of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

We have been told by Hudayfa Azzam, the son of bin Laden's longtime mentor Abdullah Azzam, that Saddam Hussein welcomed young al Qaeda members "with open arms" before the war, that they "entered Iraq in large numbers, setting up an organization to confront the occupation," and that the regime "strictly and directly" controlled their activities. We have been told by Jordan's King Abdullah that his government knew Abu Musab al Zarqawi was in Iraq before the war and requested that the former Iraqi regime deport him. We have been told by Time magazine that confidential documents from Zarqawi's group, recovered in recent raids, indicate other jihadists had joined him in Baghdad before the Hussein regime fell. We have been told by one of those jihadists that he was with Zarqawi in Baghdad before the war. We have been told by Ayad Allawi, former Iraqi prime minister and a longtime CIA source, that other Iraqi Intelligence documents indicate bin Laden's top deputy was in Iraq for a jihadist conference in September 1999.

All of this is new--information obtained since the fall of the Hussein regime. And yet critics of the Iraq war and many in the media refuse to see it. Just two weeks ago, President Bush gave a prime-time speech on Iraq. Among his key points: Iraq is a central front in the global war on terror that began on September 11. Bush spoke in very general terms. He did not mention any of this new information on Iraqi support for terrorism to make his case. That didn't matter to many journalists and critics of the war.

CNN anchor Carol Costello claimed "there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected in any way to al Qaeda." The charitable explanation is ignorance. Jay Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who serves as vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, knows better. Before the war he pointed to Zarqawi's presence in Iraq as a "substantial connection between Iraq and al Qaeda." And yet he, too, now insists that Saddam Hussein's regime "had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden, it had nothing to do with al Qaeda."

Such comments reveal far more about politics in America than they do about the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship.


The Mother of All Connections
From the July 18, 2005 issue: A special report on the new evidence of collaboration between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda.
by Stephen F. Hayes & Thomas Joscelyn
07/18/2005, Volume 010, Issue 41

Saturday, July 9

U.S. Terror Attack Coming -- Ninety Days at Most

Counterterrorism expert Juval Aviv spoke with FOX Fan Central
about what Americans can do to protect themselves in case of a terror
attack.


Q: Do you believe another terrorist attack is likely on American soil?

A: I predict, based primarily on information that is floating in Europe
and the Middle East, that an event is imminent and around the corner
here in the United States. It could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it
could happen in the next few months. Ninety days at the most.

What advice do you have for individuals that have the misfortune of
finding themselves in the middle of a terror attack?.

A: Since mass transportation is the next attack, when you travel to work have with you, a bottle of water, a small towel, and a flashlight.
What happened in London is exactly a point to look at. Those people
who were close to the bombs died, then others were injured or died
from inhaling the toxic fumes or getting trampled. The reason you
take a bottle of water and a towel is that if you wet the towel and
put it over your face, you can protect yourself against the fumes and
get yourself out of there.

Don't be bashful. If your gut feeling tells you when you walk on to a
bus there is something unusual or suspicious, get out and walk away.
You may do it 10 times for no reason, but there will be one time that
saves your life. Let your sixth sense direct you.

Try to break your routine. If you travel during rush hour everyday,
try to get up a little earlier and drive to work or take the train
when it's still not full. Don't find yourself every day in the midst
of rush hour. Terrorists are not going to waste a bomb on a half
empty train.


Q: What portion of the American infrastructure do you believe is at the
greatest risk for a terror attack?

A: We have put all of our emphasis, right or wrong, on the aviation
area. What has happened, in the last two to three years, based on
information we have, the terrorists have realized that they cannot
hijack a plane in America soon because the passengers are going to
fight back. So they realize what they have been very successful with
over the last 50 years in Madrid, London, Iraq, Israel: demoralizing
the public when they go to work and when they come back from work.

What they're going to do is hit six, seven, or eight cities
simultaneously to show sophistication and really hit the public. This
time, which is the message of the day, it will not only be big
cities. They're going to try to hit rural America. They want to send
a message to rural America: `You're not protected. If you figured out
that if you just move out of New York and move to Montana or to
Pittsburgh, you're not immune. We're going get you wherever we can
and it's easier there than in New York.'

Q: What more do you think the government can do to protect the public?

A: Number one, and this is the beef I've had with Homeland Security
for the last four years, is educating the public on how to deal with
those types of events. There's no education. We're raising the color
code alert and that means nothing to anyone. Whether it's green,
yellow, pink, no one ever educated the public how to identify
suspicious items or people. In Israel, so many of them [terrorists]
have been apprehended just because people have phoned in. We don't
have that training on campuses, schools, or kindergarten.

In Israel, it's very popular right now [amongst terrorists] to put
one device to explode and time another one for five minutes later
when it's all calm, people are getting up, and the rescue teams have
responded. You need to know all those things and think about those
things. The government must pursue that. Law enforcement will never
have enough people on the street to detect things. We don't have that
kind of manpower. That's why the government must enlist the public.



Juval Aviv is a former Israeli Counterterrorism Intelligence
Officer and President and CEO of Interfor, Inc. Mr. Aviv has also
served as a special consultant to the U.S. Congress on issues of
terrorism and security and is the author of "Staying Safe : The
Complete Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family, and Your
Business."

Friday, July 8

The Judge and the Shoe Bomber

When Judge William Young sentenced Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, he made a statement that should be placed beside the greatest speeches in American's history.

In the middle of it he said, "You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. . . Read the whole statement:
January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young:

"Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other.

That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines. The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.

The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further. This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals.

As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or if you think you are a soldier. You are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've know warriors.

You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said: "You're no big deal."

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious.

You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the

way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here.

Day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always s will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

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