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These are answers that tomder55 has provided in Politicsrel=

paraclete asked on 06/11/09 - 'Overrun by hordes of non-Whites and mongrels'

Whilst it is a very offensive thought in a PC world, Von Brunn's outburst should give us all cause to think about the shape of our societies in a world run by UN decree.

In Australia we have had Indian students, quests in our country, demonstrating in the streets because another non-white non-indigenous group has made them the target of their criminal activity and the very real question I have is when did we invite either of these groups to come here? On the one hand we have allowed displaced persons to find a new home and what do they do, trash the place and try to convert it into the hell hole they came from, engaging in all manner of illegal activity, and we have another group who think that their particular type of political activism so favoured by their countrymen will be permitted here in our quite urban streets.

I don't want my country overrun by hordes of non-whites and mongrels. It's not a racist position but a position that peoples who don't integrate and take on the values of the society in which they live, arn't welcome, no matter how bad conditions are in their homeland. We have had it here with all manner of people who have imported their violent ideas and ideologies and who continue to fight their old wars on our streets whether it be Serbs, Croats, Tamils, Lebanese, Somalis, Thibetans and now Indians, we say please go home.

tomder55 answered on 06/13/09:

Having locust problems again ? The US has a simular problem . It stems from a change in the social contract .

We used to assimilate. The melting pot assumed that immigrants would adopt the society and we would absorb the best their culture has to offer.(mostly hard work ,morality and good food) .
But now the prevailing theory is a multi-cultural patchwork quilt of ethnic pockets each isolated from the other and celebrating the society they left ,not the country they have migrated to.

It will be the destruction of our country and no doubt yours.

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paraclete asked on 05/15/09 - What a difference a few thousand years makes?

I read recently where it is believed that the Pushtun people of Pakistan and Afghanistan are a lost tribe of Israel, a people displaced from Palistine by the Babylonians and Assyrians centuries ago. So the world watches and even applauds while the US and Pakistan battle these ideologically challenged people who truely think that their way is the right way. If the sort of campaign were being waged against jews in Palistine as is being waged in Pakistan then it would have world condemnation. But what is the difference here, it is religion. These people are on the wrong side of the religious divide, even though racially they may actually be jewish or should I even use the term semetic. It would seem the Pakistani campaign is anti-semetic. How difficult is it to discern where all of this fits today?

tomder55 answered on 05/20/09:

then again ;I wonder how the world would react if Israel took a lesson from Sri Lanka's handling of the Tamil Tigers this week .

I don't hear a peep of protest over the heavy handed way they dealt with the terrorists.

You use the words Pashtun . But we aren't fighting the Pashtun . We fight the TALIBAN who are predominantly Pashtun. Now you see the way the Taliban treat the people they control ? Their own people ? If they are Jewish then so was I after my circumcision.

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paraclete asked on 03/26/09 - Shades of 1975?

China bankrolling Kevin Rudd's stimulus plan by buying government bonds

By Steve Lewis

The Courier-Mail

March 27, 2009 12:00am

* China buying Australian Government bonds
* May make China our biggest lender
* Opposition says we're handcuffed to China

CHINA is secretly helping to bankroll Kevin Rudd's economic rescue plan as concerns grow over the relationship between the Communist superpower and the Labor Government.

The Courier-Mail can confirm that China is a significant investor in Australian government bonds -- used by Canberra to fund billions of dollars in emergency spending.

Market insiders believe China is buying 15 to 20 per cent of the $2 billion in Treasury securities being issued every week.

This would make China the single biggest lender to Australia, although details of who owns the bonds are cloaked in secrecy.

The program, authorised by Treasurer Wayne Swan, will leave Australia with a debt bill approaching $200 billion.

In response, the Opposition has raised concerns Australia could end up politically "handcuffed" to China as a result. China's appetite for Australian bonds comes just days after the Prime Minister secretly met China's fifth most powerful figure, Li Changchun, at the Lodge.

So not content with speaking Chinese the PM is getting into bed with them. The Labor Party is slow to learn. The Kemlani loans affair brought down the Labor government in 1975 and Australians have long memories, the Chinese loans affair could bring down the Labor government in 2011 it won't be Kevin in eleven

tomder55 answered on 04/07/09:

The problem isn't so much who funds massive increases in debt . It is the flawed theories of Keynes that thinks massive spending can get you out of recession.

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paraclete asked on 04/02/09 - He Just Couldn't Help Himself?

Barack Obama is on the nose for bowing the the Saudi King, particularly as he didn't show the same deference to the Queen(UK). Someone should instruct this "boy" on the correct protocol or keep the Obama's on a leash as Mr's Obama's snuggle with the Queen didn't go unnoticed. The American President is either the equal of any head of state or he is not, but he lowers the status of the US Presidency by forelock tugging with a foreign monarch, particularly a Muslim princeling.

The British people should rightly feel insulted by this turn of events and the American people feel demeened by them. The US is now a third class power. After eight years of Bush's gaffe's surely they could hope for better?

tomder55 answered on 04/07/09:

Presidents do not bow to Royalty PERIOD !!!!

He is a disgrace. The fact that he showed such deference to a Muslim leader makes one wonder about his loyalties. When he assumed the position King Abdula reportedly said "turn around so we can speak face to face ". He showed a complete lack of knowlege or interest in proper eticate . He brings with him Walmart like gifts for world leaders.

His 'suck up to the European and apologize to the world tour' is making me physically ill.

Here's a clue for you" Mr President "....

When President Bush was so called confrontational and showed genuine American leadership he was reelected . When he became more accomodationalist in his second term ;his party lost the White House.

He gave up on all key points at the G-20 . He insulted his own country in France . He got only token concessions at the NATO summit ;was smacked down by Sarkosy over Turkish admission into the EU . He made a rediculus speech about eliminating nukes as the NORKS launched a missile for a backdrop.

Then he goes to Turkey to affirm American dhimminitude to the umah.

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paraclete asked on 04/04/09 - Krudd is just an angry little man?

Evidence is emerging that our esteemed PM hasn't got it all together, that, in fact; the Krudd has spread to employee relations with few able to withstand his outbursts. I thought this idiot was a trained diplomat but his employee relations are far from diplomatic. Krudd is just a little Hitler, a small man in a big role and it is obviously too much for him. So much for his worldly aspirations, if he cannot master the local scene he won't get a gernsey at the UN

tomder55 answered on 04/07/09:

Why do you care what the UN thinks ?

As for Rudd he is your typical flaming lib . Nationalize what he can get away with (broadband infrastructure ) and hate the military (manifesting itself by bullying a flight attendant) . He appeases the Chinese as they hack into his computer .Spending Chinese money like crazy in a massive spending stimulus. He's joined at the hip with that idiot Al Gore on enviro-wacko theories. All while bleating about the dangers of the "Right" .

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Mathatmacoat asked on 03/02/09 - All is not well in Camelot

Seems the gloss has gone off Obama's armour now that he is raising taxes and the barbarians represented by the republicans are out to get him. So much for his one hundred days in the sun. How dare he suggest that those who caused the crash bear some of the pain of fixing it?

tomder55 answered on 03/02/09:

Camelot ? we just elected Mordred . Camelot is going to be destroyed by this Fabian community organizer .

Barbarians are people who would tolerate the confiscation of over 50% of a persons wealth for the greater good of the state . That is servitude by any logic. What Obama is constructing rapidly is a feudal state .

Yeah ;populist mumbo-jumbo makes "the rich " easy targets . But the thirst of his ilk is insatiable . The middle class he champions will be his victims down the road. Just like what always happens when Marxist scumbags take over a country .

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Mathatmacoat asked on 03/02/09 - Why are people so bad in the USA?

It has been revealed that the US has the highest prison population in the world and the only other developed nation that comes even close is Russia.

This begs the question; how can a country which claims to be the champion of freedom and human rights have 25% of the world's prisoners.

What is so bad about American lifestyle that it lands such a high percentage of the population in jail? Nor is the problem evident in the US close neighbours. For the US to have more prisoners than Russia it must be a very repressive regime indeed. One can only conclude that as people are pretty much the same everywhere it must be the socio-political system which creates the laws under which the people are imprisoned which is at fault.

Clean up your act america because we don't want this exported to us

tomder55 answered on 03/02/09:

We are experiencing an invasion that is the best explanation I can give. The U.S. Justice Department estimated that 270,000 illegal immigrants served jail time nationally in 2003.Roughly 17 percent of the prison population at the federal level are illegal aliens. That's a huge number since illegal aliens only account for about 3 percent of the total population.40% of the U.S. federal prison population is composed of non-citizens both here legally and illegally .

The other problem is systematic. Lawmakers trying to appear tough on crime passed mandatory sentencing laws for repeat crimes . In many cases that means minor crimes like marijuana possession endos up doing time if the person had done another crime previously. That clearly needs reform.

But the biggest problem here is the invasion from the South. Look at the situation on the border with Mexico . That area of Mexico is almost lawless with drug cartels battling the Mexican military for control . Much of that spills across the border and there are too mny people in this country that not only tolerate but also encourage the endless wave of illegala into the country.

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Mathatmacoat asked on 03/02/09 - Why are people so bad in the USA?

It has been revealed that the US has the highest prison population in the world and the only other developed nation that comes even close is Russia.

This begs the question; how can a country which claims to be the champion of freedom and human rights have 25% of the world's prisoners.

What is so bad about American lifestyle that it lands such a high percentage of the population in jail? Nor is the problem evident in the US close neighbours. For the US to have more prisoners than Russia it must be a very repressive regime indeed. One can only conclude that as people are pretty much the same everywhere it must be the socio-political system which creates the laws under which the people are imprisoned which is at fault.

Clean up your act america because we don't want this exported to us

tomder55 answered on 03/02/09:

We are experiencing an invasion that is the best explanation I can give. The U.S. Justice Department estimated that 270,000 illegal immigrants served jail time nationally in 2003.Roughly 17 percent of the prison population at the federal level are illegal aliens. That's a huge number since illegal aliens only account for about 3 percent of the total population.40% of the U.S. federal prison population is composed of non-citizens both here legally and illegally .

The other problem is systematic. Lawmakers trying to appear tough on crime passed mandatory sentencing laws for repeat crimes . In many cases that means minor crimes like marijuana possession endos up doing time if the person had done another crime previously. That clearly needs reform.

But the biggest problem here is the invasion from the South. Look at the situation on the border with Mexico . That area of Mexico is almost lawless with drug cartels battling the Mexican military for control . Much of that spills across the border and there are too mny people in this country that not only tolerate but also encourage the endless wave of illegala into the country.

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paraclete asked on 02/24/09 - It's time for America to lead again?

So Omama thinks that more of the same is a good recipe. The rest of us say it's time for America to get out of the way and let someoneelse lead for a change. Let's ask ourselves, where have they led us excepting down a dirty great hole?

They led us into a war in Iraq and where did that get us, I see devalued currency and high fuel prices and a ruptured economy.

They led us into a banking free for all which under the guise of providing homes for more people actually made more people destitute.

Now after years of sticking their head in the sand they want to lead us into an ecologically sustainable future. What I say is not on your nelly, we don't want solutions which are good for American business. So they invented solar energy, did they? They only deploy it when it suits them. We don't need a corn led recovery Mr. Obama, we need America to dismantle it's military industrial complex and find peaceful industries and stop selling arms to the world, Then we might believe you

tomder55 answered on 02/25/09:

the bloom coming off of hopenchange so quicky ?

Obama doesn't have the ability to lead a platoon up an ant hill so don't worry about him.

He's leading us down the path of subservience to an "international order " of unelected bureaucrats in the Hague and the halls of the UN .

But they will still need America's military might. It's just that our poor troops will don blue helmets and suddenly all interventions will be moral .

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Mathatmacoat asked on 02/02/09 - Neo-liberalism is dead?

It seems that yet another politician has decided that the debate is over. In his recent dissertation Mr Krudd has decided that neo-liberalism is dead

What I have to say is it is going to take more than asperational comments from Rudd who stayed home from Davos to polish and deliver his oration to kill off rampant greed on Wall Street. I personally like the idea, I think floated by Obama, that no CEO should be paid more than the President, that would take down some US high flyers, and if applied in Australia would certainly send a few imported CEO's back where they came from, which considering the damage done here wouldn't be too soon.

One wonders what comes after neo-liberalism, If one listens to Rudd it is neo-interventalism, a system in which government intervenes to smooth out the bumps in the cycle. In fact, I think Keven would elimate the bumps in the cycle. Boring, Mr Rudd, Boring, and it smacks just a little of the controlled economies of the soviet era. I think you may have learned a little too much from your stay in China

So what should the post finacial debacle of the early twenty-first century look like?
A tightly regulated banking sector?
Free spending governments poring your money into "infrastructure" with every second worker in construction?
Monolithic national projects building railways thru nowhere to nowhere, thermal generation and solar generation in the vast interior, has the snowy project taught no one any lessons?
Social engineering programs like insulation of every house? every student with a computer and a volunteer job at the end of university? high speed broadband in every home? homes for the homeless? hospitals in federal hands? the nationalisation of the Murray-Darling river system?

tomder55 answered on 02/11/09:

I can go along with the stick it to the rich populist pablum . I'm going to keep my eye on the flood of high end properties that will plummet in value when the fat cats dump their houses on the market. That should help the Real Estate market !

I plan on seeing what Sotheby has on auction ;maybe one of those Mercedes can be picked up for the price of a new Chevy .

It won't do a thing to fix the economy but that's not what is at issue. Let's rally behind the populist demagogues of our times !! Stick it to them !!!! It won't help you or me . But we'll feel good about it . Just like Madame Defarge did as she knitted the names of her victims before they were guillotined !!!

Once their salaries are capped of course they will leave these jobs and move on to investment banks not affected like Lazard. We'll see what type of talent replaces them .

These banks will linger on like zombies ,sucking more life support from the gvt to stay afloat while the best people in the field go elsewhere. We won't let them die and we set up the scenario where the most talented managers go somewhere else.

But what will be left will be pure government bureaucracy bankers who will run their banks at least as well as Amtrack runs railroads and the Post Office runs mail delivery.(fyi they are nightmares of inefficiency)

No ;neo-liberalism is alive and well in the United States . What Obama and the Congress is doing goes far beyond neo-Keynsian theory.We need a new name for the excesses . Perhaps Hugo Chavez economics for the wholesale take over of the national economy is applicable .

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dublin40 asked on 01/16/09 - Harry Truman's U.S. army pension

We know that Pres. Truman was in the army during WW1. Why did he receive an army pension of $13.507.72 per year?

Thank you

tomder55 answered on 01/26/09:

it was the going rate ? he served ..he earned it.

The reason it came up was prior to Truman former Presidents did not get pensions for serving as President . Truman was living on his war time pension in 1958 and pleaded poverty .

Congress passed the President's pension and awarded Truman $25,000 annually ;benefits and a staff.

Today that perk has balloned of course. Their yearly salary pension is $191,000. Aside from that, each gets a staff that costs the taxpayer, $96,000 per president.

Former President Bill Clintoon has office space in Harlem that he rents for $516,000/year from tax money . President GHW Bush spends $69,000 a year on "equipment"
President Jimmy Carter spends $83,000 a year on "other services". Clintoon seems to spend the most across the board. His phone bill from 2006 cost taxpayers $104,000. We also pay for the satellite TV in his office, complete with eight separate receivers and all the movie channels that come with the "entertainment package".$1,800 per year.

Now we are adding another former President to the perpetual dole . I agree with the pension and some staffing ... The rest should be cut from the budget .

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paraclete asked on 12/23/08 - now they are calling him Kyoto Kev????,28124,24820880-36418,00.html

Some think it will be easy to reach a 60% reduction in emissions by 2050 and applaud Kev's modest targets of 5-15% reduction against 1990 by 2020. With enegry emissions growing at 1% a year just putting the brakes on and going for 0 growth will be great achievement let alone achieving a 1.5% reduction a year between now and 2050.

I'm waiting for Kyoto Kev to don the blue and red and with cape flying in the wind singlehandedly accomplish what no man has accomplished before, taking the Australian snout out of the energy trough

tomder55 answered on 12/26/08:

seems to me that a goal should be emission reductions without loss in economic output. no one addresses that . The US has acheived some real emission reductions in the last few months.But no one is praising it.

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paraclete asked on 12/23/08 - Now that's interesting?

apparently it has been discovered that you don't need dams to produce energy from flowing water. Using the principles of wind generation, underwater generators are now being installed in the Mississippi River. This is called hydrokenetic energy. Just shows; when you think about a problen you can find a solution

tomder55 answered on 12/26/08:

"Verdant has spent more money on permitting their East River project that than they did on hardware,"....... Hydro Green's Stover hopes that his company's new unit will help shorten that regulatory process by generating environmental impact data that could ease concerns the turbines will disrupt river ecosystems and habitats.

This happens on all types of projects all the matter how worthy they are . I'm delighted that they will buttheads with compatriot enviro-nut jobs .

wait until they find out that the spawning of the Mississippi River Catfish is disrupted by these turbines....

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Mathatmacoat asked on 12/17/08 - The slight of hand in emission statistics?

We cannot but wonder at why governments continue to quote emission reductions against 1990 benchmarks. In fact, this is slight of hand intended to conceal exactly how much pain will be inflicted on the average punter. Australia's declaration of a 5% reduction against 1990 benchmarks mean a reduction in average individual emissions of 34-41% it was revealed today. No modest reduction this but the most ambitious plan thus far, far exceeding any proposal in the EU or US to date.

What are we, a bunch of fools? More KRUDD and the greenies have the gaul to ask for more or they will migrate to Europe, well I say go. To paraphrase a well known phrase from Australian politics; well might we say God save the planet, because nothing will save the Barrier Reef. (Apologies to Gough Whitlam and the constitutional crisis of 1975). I see the Labor Party setting its-self up for another dismissal. If the opposition is true to its colours, this legislation is doomed. It is hardly the balanced approach suggested but the destruction of a successful economy for no reason

tomder55 answered on 12/19/08:

CNN Meteorologist: Manmade Global Warming Theory 'Arrogant'

“You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant,” Myers said. “Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big – I think we’re going to die from a lack of fresh water or we’re going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure.”

Myers is the second CNN meteorologist to challenge the global warming conventions common in the media. He also said trying to determine patterns occurring in the climate would be difficult based on such a short span.

“But this is like, you know you said – in your career – my career has been 22 years long,” Myers said. “That’s a good career in TV, but talking about climate – it’s like having a car for three days and saying, ‘This is a great car.’ Well, yeah – it was for three days, but maybe in days five, six and seven it won’t be so good. And that’s what we’re doing here.”

“We have 100 years worth of data, not millions of years that the world’s been around,” Myers continued.

Dr. Jay Lehr, an expert on environmental policy, told “Lou Dobbs Tonight” viewers you can detect subtle patterns over recorded history, but that dates back to the 13th Century.

“If we go back really, in recorded human history, in the 13th Century, we were probably 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than we are now and it was a very prosperous time for mankind,” Lehr said. “If go back to the Revolutionary War 300 years ago, it was very, very cold. We’ve been warming out of that cold spell from the Revolutionary War period and now we’re back into a cooling cycle.”

Lehr suggested the earth is presently entering a cooling cycle – a result of nature, not man.

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labman asked on 12/15/08 - Goverment in action

Lawmakers gather to discuss possible election to fill Obama's Senate seat — but instead vote to launch impeachment proceedings against Gov. Blagojevich |

tomder55 answered on 12/17/08:

At 1st I thought they had something .But I am becoming convinced that Fitgerald pulled the trigger too soon. I think if given a choice he would've waited until he had Guv Blago actually sealing a deal . But the Chitown Tribune ...acting like the responsible fifth column 4th estate they are ,was prepared to go public with a story they were holding onto since before the election. Fitz had no choice but the arrest him early ....probably blowing the case.

President-elect Obama conducted an intensive internal audit of the "Office of the President-elect " and cleared himself and his staff of any wrong-doing in the Pay-for-play-the-Chicagoway scandal .But since this is an ongoing investigation his team voted 1-0 to not release the results of the internal review of contacts with the Guv.We are assured that there were no "inappropriate" contacts between the Obama team and Blago;only appropriate contacts.

The Chitown Suntimes reports that that defense attorneys are getting calls from "victims" of Blago's pay-for-play schemes These "victims" are worried they are on the tapes and want to lawyer-up before Elliot Ness Fitzgerald comes knocking shotgun in arm.

Evidently this has been ongoing for years.

Question .. If Blago thought that the seat was gold worth mining now ;what was the seat worth the last time it was vacant in 2004 ? What was the quid pro quo to his partner in slime Tony Rezko and his protege of the Chicago way Barack Obama ?

For his part Blago has hired legendary"do anything to win" Ed Genson;previously defense lawyer for R.Kelly .

Does "anything to win" include leaking the details of Rahm Emanuel's negotiations ? I'd love to be a fly on the wall during discovery

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Mathatmacoat asked on 12/11/08 - How do you stimulate an economy?

Do you do it by plowing money into infrastructure projects with uncertain start dates, sounds like grandstanding to me! Do you do it by allowing business to defer tax payments? More grandstanding!
Do you do it by loaning money to institutions which continue to announce massive job cuts?

No you cannot stimulate an economy doing any of these things because they do nothing to provide certainty about the future.

What I ask is why can't politicians see that this isn't the time for grandstand gestures?

tomder55 answered on 12/12/08:

I agree . The moves made in Washington to address the economic down-turn have been revolting to me .

I think the Washington "bailouts " are the biggest upwards wealth transfers (theft ) in history . Suprisingly many of the Democrats who champion those unions and little people ...yada yada are supportive of these "bailouts ".Given their stated position ;as articulated nicely by their standard bearer -elect Barack Hussein Obama ,that the way to stimulate the economy is from the bottom-up ;it should suprise me that they have taken the lead in promoting this corporate welfare ...but it doesn't because I have known for years their hypocricy .
I would also note that it has been Republicans in Congress (those so called champions of the elites and robber barons ) who have been the only members of the Federal Government to attempt to put brakes and accountability into this madness.

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Mathatmacoat asked on 12/10/08 - God and bad economic policy?

when journalists write of government's bold new stimulus package, they look no further than the visible benefits and ignore the hidden costs. If a bridge it to be built, construction workers and steelmakers will no doubt benefit But there are hidden costs. In this new eeconomic environment we see a rush to promote infrastructure projects what are the consequences? The price of steel and construction wages will be higher, discouraging private investment. If the funds are to be borrowed in the marketplace, that will restrict funds available for private investment. And what will happen to unemployment when the infrastructure is completed?
The key to recovery is sustainable investment — not temporary jobs.
A further example of this was a stimulus package given to the solar industry by the Australian government created a boom in the industry, but change of government and change of policy has seen the industry going from boom to bust, where will the skilled workers be when the government again decides to turn on the tap as part of their new stimulus package, working on another infrastructure project?

Welfare Spending
If you give a man a fish he will have a single meal.
If you teach him how to fish, he will eat all his life.

~ Kuan-tzu, Taoist philospher (7th century BC).


tomder55 answered on 12/11/08:

if they let the productive people keep the fruits of their labor there would be instant recovery. Let the dead wood rot .no bailouts . there will be someone ready to pick up the pieces with a better way and the economy will be better off in the long run as a result.

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paraclete asked on 12/07/08 - Can we spend our way out of depression?

What is happening in the developed economies at the moment is compared with the Great Depression and the answer is suggested as a great spending spree on the part of both government and the people, but the problem isn't necessarily lack of demand, it's lack of finance, lack of confidence. Too many finance companies and banks have been burned by bad loans and as employment dries up so the availability of credit worthy borrowers dries up and the uncertainty grows so why lend to someone who may not have a job tomorrow?
In such an environment how can you spend your way out with infrastructure projects which take a long time to put in place? The stimulus is needed right now in the existing industries, not in industries which have to grow rapidly to meet a new demand.
The whole thing needs a radical change in thinking. To spend on consumer goods may actually mean supporting the job of someone in another country, not supporting the job of someone nearby.
So here is some radical thinking.
Governments should direct their spending to both fighting depression and fighting climate change by installing solar collectors on every building. I'm not talking about subsidising installation but actually owning the infrastructure so they can control what is actually done.
Governments should put every unemployed person immediately to work on community projects. Let's have the sense to realise that people need income and work not the soul destroying search for work in an economy that can't provide it. This may mean a great deal of concrete will get laid and many gardens planted but it is better. We need more white rocks and road verges mowed
Governments should immediately commence retraining programmes where trade and profession training is provided in existing educational institutions and no cost to the participant
so for the unemployed a system of national traineeships
two days work, two days training and one day to look for work

tomder55 answered on 12/11/08:

The current financial crisis is not—as some have said—a crisis of capitalism. It is in fact the opposite, a shattering demonstration that ill-considered government intervention in the private economy can have devastating consequences. The crisis has its roots in the U.S. government's efforts to increase homeownership, especially among minority and other underserved or low-income groups, and to do so through hidden financial subsidies rather than direct government expenditures. The story is an example, enlarged to an American scale, of the adverse results that flow from the misuse and manipulation of banking and credit by government. When this occurs in authoritarian regimes, we deride the outcome as a system of "policy loans" and note with an air of superiority that banks in these countries are weak, credit is limited, and financial crises are frequent. When the same thing happens in the United States, however, we blame "greedy" people, or poor regulation (or none), or credit default swaps, or anything else we can think of—except the government policies that got us into the disaster.

Read the rest here

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paraclete asked on 12/04/08 - Schools bans national anthem!

and they wonder why we don't like Muslims?,27574,24754060-1248,00.html
a school at the centre of a controversy to establish a new Muslim school has banned playing of the national anthem. Anywhere else in the world such people would be subject to an extreme reaction but they are permitted to conduct business as usual here. The values of these people are our values and therefore the establishment of their school is rightly opposed.

tomder55 answered on 12/06/08:

most schools in America already don't routinely play the National Anthem

such is the evil of political correctness.

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paraclete asked on 11/27/08 - So now we know the real reason?

Rolf Harris regrets the racist verse on Aborigines in Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, the song that made him famous in Britain and launched the wobbleboard on an unsuspecting music world.

In Melbourne yesterday to plug a book of illustrations of the same name, the singer and painter said he had tried to erase the lines "Let me Abos go loose" and "They're of no further use" from all recordings over the years, with limited success.

"It was a mark of the times, done totally innocently with no realisation that you would offend at all … Just trying to create a fun song for a bunch of Aussies who were drinking themselves stupid on Swan Lager in London at the time," he said.

But half a century after penning the controversial lyrics, the London-based expatriate has not succumbed to political correctness. He blames traditional Aboriginal values for the dire living conditions in many indigenous communities.

"The attitude is that in their original way of life they would really wreck the surrounding countryside that they lived in and they would leave all the garbage and they would go walkabout to the next place," he said. "The traditional attitude is still there and I wish there was a simple solution but I'm not certain."

He has strong views about some Aborigines lamenting the conditions of their communities.

"You sit at home watching the television and you think to yourself, 'Get up off your arse and clean up the streets your bloody self' and 'Why would you expect somebody to come in and clean up your garbage which you've dumped everywhere?' But then you have to think to yourself that it's a different attitude to life."

Aboriginal children were never disciplined or expected to adhere to rules until adulthood, he said. "[Until] then they have a totally carefree life to do what they want and that quite often involves smashing everything that they have."

So this is the answer to our problems, let the abo's go loose, the're of no further use, blue?

tomder55 answered on 11/28/08:

actually I never made the connection to abo's; nor do I know what a didgeridoo is.

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paraclete asked on 11/19/08 - Them's fighin' words?

It seems Al Qaeda is on the offensive again, it appearently thinks being offensive to Obama will give it some brownie points. Al Qaeda thinks that Obama is what Black people in this country term a coconut, a person having questionable allegiences to his own race.

This is a strange move for an organisation which is yet to see how Obama will proceed in the war on terror. He certainly has promised to get tough on the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and to go beyond a war of words so prevelent amongst his predecessors. Why tweek the tail on the tiger and elicit a claw and fang response, unless he seeks to draw the US into the same killing field that destroyed the Russians.

It is strange that this missive didn't come directly from Osama bin Laden but from his number two. Could it be that Al Qaeda can no longer fake the tapes now that the US has a new leader?

tomder55 answered on 11/20/08:

Those hoping that a new president will bring respect and admiration for America are likely to be disappointed. The haters will always find reasons to despise us, no matter who's president.

al-Zawahri called President-elect Obama a "house slaves". (this is nothing new of course. Harry Belefonte called Colin Powell a "house slave" and the press hardly noticed ....but call the Obamamessiah a "house slave" and you cross that line !!!!)

Such vile language isn't surprisingcoming from an unhinged terrorist. al-Zawahri's one to talk. His terrorist group supports slavery in Africa.

But his words confirm that VP -elect Joe Biden's observation was exactly correct: Obama will be tested early, and often, by foreign leaders — allies and enemies alike.

That goes against what many people who supported Obama believed. They thought that the mantra of "change" would extend around the world, and that just by his election we could all have a transcendent Kumbayah moment, and the tenor of global affairs would change.

Well, it hasn't. Welcome to the real world, where America's wealth, power and freedom are the sources of both envy and spite.

When he takes office on Jan. 20, Obama will face a hostile world not very amenable to chants of "change" — from the Chi-coms keen to expand its military to challenge U.S. dominance on the high seas and in the global economy; to the resurgent Ruskies forging links with rogue regimes in Venezuela and Cuba, and using its energy supplies as a geopolitical weapon against the West; to a surprising renewal of piracy off the Horn of Africa; to an Iran seemingly determined to obtain a destabilizing nuclear weapon that it can brandish against its neighbors.

The question Obama should ask is :If our foes hate a strong America, just think how much more they will hate a weak one. Time for Obama to give up his childish fantasies . Right now he is unprepared to lead. He needs to learn in a hurry.

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paraclete asked on 11/18/08 - ol' Home week at the White House?

Seems Obama hasn't looked too far from the tree so far
with Holdings for AG and Clinton for State, will we see Powell for Defense, Bill Clinton as Ambassador at large and many Obama homies in other departments

tomder55 answered on 11/19/08:

I posted on this on the other site :

HRC as Sec State and other Clintonistas infiltrating Obama's administration


more of that Change stuff

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paraclete asked on 11/13/08 - "WHAT IF BEN LADEN WERE NEVER FOUND?"

Not finding bin Laden has become the crutial element in the game of cat and mouse, sort of like a bizzaire where's willie? Not finding bin Laden didn't seem to do George Bush's political career any serious harm. After all he couldn't be less crediable. It remains to be seen whether not finding bin laden will do Barack Obama's career any harm.

It is suggested that finding bin Laden is the CIA's number one priority, so not finding bin Laden must have done the careers of these spooks serious harm. These people can find Taliban leaders and target them with drones with seeming monotonous regularity in the same terrain, yet bin Laden remains invisable. Not very crediable as the highest priority target in the world. Or perhaps he is some place else, watching but safe, hiding under a rock or in his grave. It's impossible to tell whether talk of him being among the Pustin is disinformation or reality.

What if he were never found? will legends arise of him being taken to heaven? It is imperative that bin Laden not be allowed to grow into some sort of Muslim mystic cult figure, he already presents too highly in a world where extremism is seen as a virtue

tomder55 answered on 11/18/08:

or in his grave. buried at Tora Bora

That's where I think he is .

The war against jihadistan was never against a single individual. The war against the jihadists has exposed the moral bankruptsy of their doctine of hate to the whole ummah.They are completely discredited ;especially in the Middle East where all they offered was repression. The fact that they are about to be chased out of their last viper nest by the combination of the coalition and the new Pakistan government ;and there is not nation left on earth to give them welcoming shelter is a testament to effectiveness of President Bush's policy .

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paraclete asked on 11/13/08 - SELF DECEPTION IS A TERRIABLE THING?

George Bush has alleged that america's purpose in Iraq and Afganistan was to protect Muslims. How decieved can you get and how stupid does he think the rest of us are? This is more of the insufferable arrogance that brought us WMD, The axis of evil,pre-emptive strikes and mission accomplished.

So now we are expected to believe that the war on terror was to protect muslims, not the USA. A war conducted so that Muslims could worship as they wished, as if anyone was stopping them except in George's unfathomiable mind. So George was protecting Muslims from the religious terrorism of Saddam Huessin, Mullah Omar and Slobadan Milosevic. Incrediable and how sad for the american people to be misrepresented in this way. When was George going to turn the war on those who stopped Christians worshipping as they wished, those self same Muslims he has been protecting?

tomder55 answered on 11/15/08:

1. In the Balkins were were protecting Muslims from ethnic cleansing

2. Afghanistan ;driving the Taliban from power enabled ordinary Afghanis to worship their faith the way they want to ;not the way the Taliban dictate.

3.Iraq : here is a direct quote from the war authorization bill :
Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region

That was specifically about the Saddam repression of the Shia (a religious sect) and Kurds .
Since the war we have engaged terrorists who would perscute the people of Iraq ,be they Sunni ,Shia ,or Kurd .

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paraclete asked on 11/11/08 - Let's put the fear of God in them?,27574,24639985-421,00.html

Apparently the Mayor of Alice Springs, a central Australian city, thinks a month's stay by the riot squad should be sufficient to put fear into the hearts of some unruly youth who are making things unpleasant for the locals. One wonders where the local police are but then there are always motorists to prey on.

This is a new phase in dealing with disadvantaged youth and the aboriginal community and while we all
think strong measures are necessary to curb urban troublemaking, particularly from the aboriginal community who are the only group that behaves like this, surely a campaign of fear will not curb but escalate urban violence. What is probally needed is to round this lot up and send them back to their communities.

How do other communities deal with this, some constructive suggestions please?

tomder55 answered on 11/12/08:

How do other communities deal with this, some constructive suggestions please?

you have the space that the United States had in the early 19th century after the Lousiana purchase.

Back then Andrew Jackson decided that the best course of action was to create separation between the native population and the European settlers. His decision was to round them up and ship them out to territories beyond the Mississippi river. That resulted in such wonderful events as the forever infamous trail of tears .

In 1830 the Congress passed the "Indian Removal Act." Although many Americans were against the act, most notably Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett, it passed anyway. President Jackson quickly signed the bill into law. The Cherokees attempted to fight removal legally by challenging it in the Supreme Court .The court ultimately decided that the only way the law was valid was if the Indians signed a treaty of removal. The Treaty of New Echota was was signed in 1835.4000 Cherokee died as a result of the forced removal from Georgia to Oklahoma.

You are wrong about the natives being the only unruly group of Aussies. I hear Muslim immigrant gangs are pretty unruly there also as well as the Aussie youth backlash .

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paraclete asked on 10/26/08 - YEH RIGHT?

World leaders vowed today to overhaul the global financial system in the face of recession fears, but US President George Bush urged nations to "recommit" to free markets despite economic turmoil.

After a week of growing economic gloom and plunging stock markets, Asian and European leaders meeting in Beijing promised wide-ranging reforms, while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also called for quick change.

"Leaders pledged to undertake effective and comprehensive reform of the international monetary and financial systems," the 40-member Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) said in a statement released late yesterday.

"They agreed to take quickly appropriate initiatives in this respect, in consultation with all stakeholders and the relevant international financial institutions."

China's Premier Wen Jiabao called for more regulation of the world's financial system, saying after the summit: "We need to draw lessons from this crisis.

"We need financial innovation to serve the economy better. However, we need even more financial regulation to ensure financial safety."

Wen confirmed China's participation in a crucial summit in the United States on November 15 aimed at tackling the financial meltdown, without specifying which Chinese leader would attend the meeting of 20 industrialised and emerging powers.

The economic turmoil has led to growing criticism of US-style free market capitalism, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this week saying "the ideology of the dictatorship of the market... is dead".

But Bush, moving to set an agenda for the upcoming international economic summit, said today its participants must "recommit" to the principles of free enterprise and free trade.

So the reality is Bush doesn't get it, yeh Right, when has he ever got it? The American agenda has failed and failed spectacularly. so now the time is to regulate to take the cowboys out of the picture. Why doesn't he get it, the wild west is DEAD

tomder55 answered on 11/11/08:

in the US the collapse was from government social policy run amuck. The banks were mandated to issue credit to homebuyers that had well below the minimum standard of acceptable risk. The lending institutions in an effort to salvage a bad situation ,bundled these bad loans and traded them .But they were dealt a bad hand to begin with because programs to make home ownership available to people without the necessary resourse were imposed on the lending institutions.

So yes ; had free market principles applied to the home loan industry there would've been a recession (markets fluctate) ,but the financial bubble would not have burst .

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paraclete asked on 11/10/08 - Mass migration on a different scale?

Appearently the Maldives, a small muslim nation in the indian ocean has sufficient resources to buy themselves a new homeland, but why should they think of the continent of Australia, the dryest contentent on Earth. To go from perhaps the wettest and most cramped place to the dryest and most open seems a contrast to large to comtemplate, nor would there particularly militant form of Islam be welcomed in Australia, even in the vast deserts of its uninhabited west. There is no support infrastructure available for thgis nation to simply buy and migrate too!

I think this is the height of arrogance, that this country should simgle out another as a target for migration

tomder55 answered on 11/11/08:

Tell me about it. But as I always say ;a countries right to exist is soley dependent on it's ability to defend itself . A country without borders is not a country . What will Australia do to stem the migration ? Probably as much as the US has done to reduce the flow of the hordes crossing our southern border.

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paraclete asked on 09/15/08 - who must act?

We see the call for action because the artic ice is melting. The call now is for the world to act, as if the world could somehow instantly reverse the effects that have built up for a hundred years. There is a reality that there is one nation who must show leadership and act, but they are too busy counting their financial woes. That nation is the nation that has done more than any other to cause the problem in the first place. It is no good telling China and India they must act, certainly they need too, but the leadership must come from the USA. It is no good exporting the problem to China and India and then telling them they must curp their emissions as the price of doing business with the world, as if they could embrace the technology but somehow do it more efficiently. Yes, they can do it more efficiently by foregoing the technology and resorting to manual labour. a Billion hands making our garments. Utopia is upon them.

Stay the course is shouted about the war in Iraq, a war that has sapped the funding that could have been used. How about a new call, start the course.

My own nation is talking about 40 and 50% reductions by 2050 as if we have time to get it right, and trading schemes as if they somehow represent an answer, rather that a way of doing business as usual.
But I don't hear the US talking about how they will reduce emissions by 50%. Is it in their thinking at all to reduce emissions, or is it that they must wait for a political solution from a "new" administration, from an incoming messiah.

The reality is there will be no action, no way of saving the Artic and the world will morn the Polar Bear in the same way it morns the Dodo. I wonder will we morn the passing of the USA in the same way

tomder55 answered on 09/21/08:

Perhaps we will mourn the passing of the Polar Bear ;but I doubt it. The polar bear population today is around 25,000.Since the 1970s ;all while the world was warming ,polar bear numbers increased dramatically from around 5,000 to as many as 25,000 today (higher than at anytime in the 20th century). And historically, polar bears have thrived in temperatures even warmer than at present ;during the medieval warm period 1000 years ago and during the Holocene Climate Optimum between 5,000 and 9,000 years ago.

Polar bears have thrived during warmer climates because they are omnivores just like their cousin's the Brown and Black bears. Though Polar Bears eat seals more than any other food source at present, they have a varied diet when other foods are available including, fish, kelp, caribou, ducks, sea birds, beluga whale and musk ox and scavenged whale and walrus carcasses. In addition, Dr. Mitchell Taylor, a biologist with Nunavut Territorial government in Canada, pointed out in testimony to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that warming may be beneficial to bears since it creates better habitat for seals and would dramatically increase blueberry growth which bears eat when available.

Alaska's polar bear population is stable, and Canadian polar bear population has increased 25 percent from 12,000 to 15,000 during the past decade with 11 of Canada's 13 polar bear populations stable or increasing in number. Where polar bear weight and numbers are declining,too many bears competing for food, rather than arctic warming being the cause. That's right, the problem confronting polar bears may overpopulation not extinction!

As for the arctic ice ;why is the antarctic ice growing ? If global warming was causing Arctic ice shrinkage it would also cause reduction of southern ice.

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paraclete asked on 08/14/08 - Have you observed the other tradegy unfolding?

Have you noticed that Pakistan is unravelling. They are about to impeach the President, a man who originally took the position in a military coup.

This is a very dangerous scenario for the Pakistani people. It is highly unlikely the army will accept this. The remarks of the President regarding stability should be taken on board by the politicians, I don't think he is about to let them further destabilise the country. What do you think?

tomder55 answered on 08/14/08:

good point everyone has at least one eye on the Chinese fakery at the Olympics while the geopolitical world is facing many challenges.

Add to what you have talked about the ramping up of the Paki-India conflict over Kashmir and that situation is volatile . That is too bad because it looked not long ago that real progress was being made in that front.

Also their weakkneed response to Taliban and AQ forces establishing safe haven in their tribal areas and the displacement that is causing adds to the tension.

We should all pray that Musharraf retains the Presidency . WE don't want the jihadist extremist to take control.

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Mary_Susan asked on 08/13/08 - Another Bush Gigantic Failure-Russia

Yet, only a few months to go in a disastrous Presidency, and we see the results of Bush's blundering in foreign relations with the advent of Russia's bombing and invasion of Georgia.

Remember how Bush looked into Putin's eyes and saw a man he could work with??!! BWAH HA HA HA

Bush even has Condolezza as a top aid and Secretary of State...she, an academic EXPERT IN RUSSIA and they just ignored Russia.

I wonder if they are going to leave the problems to Dr. Strangelove-McCain?????

What a nightmare of a presidency!!!


tomder55 answered on 08/14/08:

this is the same person who says we should engage and talk to our enemies . Well now you see what happens bwahaaahaaa . Your whole appeaser soft diplomacy approach bs has been exposed as the canard it is.

Bush yesterday announced a Trumanesque Berlin style air lift for Georgia and warned the Ruskies to not interfere . My hope is that the "aid" has quite a few SAMs anti-tank weapons and IED making kits .

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HANK1 asked on 08/10/08 - Iraq & Afghanistan:

Something has been buggin' me for some years now. I would like to know if anyone in our government took the time to analyze the mind-set of the Muslims BEFORE we bombed IRAQ and AFGANISTAN. As we now know, the Muslims are destined to kill everyone who doesn't conform to their religion. We now know the Muslims knew about guerilla warfare. It seems to me that those powers-that-be were very naive about both.

Let me hear from you. Thanks.


tomder55 answered on 08/11/08:

I say let them worry about our mindset next time they decide to fly planes into our buildings.

Iraq is going well. I've yet to be convinced that Afghanistan is in our national interests beyond hunting the al-Qaeda leftovers. The dummycrats want us to invest alot more in that operation so we can be further bogged down like the Russians were.

Iraqis are stepping up to support their new freedom. It doesn't appear that the Afghanis are.

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HANK1 asked on 08/09/08 - HELLO:

Good morning guys and gals. HANK is back. I've noticed that there's a lack of activity on this Board. Let's get the ball rollin', especially since there's so much going on in the political stream that's flowing sideways, upwards and downwards. No happy medium presently.


tomder55 answered on 08/11/08:

I have been spending most of my time elsewhere. The debates there are more even and interesting than here.

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paraclete asked on 07/25/08 - re you ignorant too?

It seems some of us just don't know what it is all about. Now this is completely unacceptable in a society with something a little short of 100% education. (the short is those who don't go to school, a compulsory exercise for the young)

thing is I know the answers but it seems some are just plain ignorant

tomder55 answered on 08/06/08:

Should we feel embarrassment about these gaps in our knowledge?

absolutely not !!! the fact is that every student leaves higher education with an understanding of less of the total accumulation of human knowlege than when they entered . It is just a fact that the rate of knowlege gained by humans has accelarated to a point where it outpaces our abilities to learn it . That is why there is such specialization .

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arcura asked on 07/02/08 - Did you know that there are massive volcanoes under the ice?

This might blow your mind the more you think about it.,2933,374542,00.html

tomder55 answered on 07/07/08:

What the article fails to point out is what this volcanic activity may be having on the ice cap.

The Independent is reporting that scientist fear that there will be no ice on the North Pole this summer .The map they provide shows where the ice is thinnist appears to follow closely the Gakkel Ridge....the same ridge where the volcanic activity is taking place .

Here is the Independent article

Here is the map provided by the Independent ,and a map of the region :

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Mary_Susan asked on 07/03/08 - What is the *Real* Reason??

...that fundi/Ev Christians reject the climate crisis?

What is the reason?

tomder55 answered on 07/03/08:

I don't know why they don't but I reject it because there is no such thing as settled science. Once there is an orthodoxy like what is being claimed about climate change then it becomes a matter of faith .

The evidence is not "absolute " like the Goracle claims it is . How do I know ? Because there are plenty of their peers that say otherwise. Despite the Torquemada like effort to purge them;they have published their scientifically based evidence . And what they have published ;and the historical record confirms much of it, leads to a reasonable doubt that the planet is in danger ;or if it were ,that there is much we can do about it.

But that doesn't stop the high priest who lives in a house that consumes more carbon in a week than mine does in a year ;to advocate draconian social and life-style changes on the rest of us a “wrenching transformation of society”.

However the inconvenient truth is that a would-be central planner needs to get the masses on his side. To do that he adopted H.L. Mencken’s statement, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” He lied that 98% of the scientific community agreed with him and his accomplices in the MSM regurgitated it.
Being an ifluential Clintonoid he was abole to reward the scientist that toed his line and punish those who didn't by refusing them Federal funding grants.
$50 billion has been spent promoting his theory (mostly tax money) and less that $1 billion to question it.
He pushed through the UN that would sap the US of it's wealth to support his ideas
What he did not count on is that Congress would see through Kyoto and outright reject it like they did before the Clintonoids left office. Now he blames Bush for killing it.

Now his movement is on the decline as more people have become aware of his Putsch attempt. Perhaps now rational climate policy can be adopted .

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arcura asked on 06/22/08 - Have you seen this site?

What to you personally think of it?

tomder55 answered on 06/23/08:

There is so much to go after Obama about it is not really necessary to bring this issue up. If someone declares themselves to be Christian I tend to take them at their word.

He has attended Christian churches for over 20 years that we know of and the only recorded times that he was presumably Muslim was during his earliest childhood .

The tape of Michelle has not been produced . I am beginning to doubt it's authenticity .It was revealed by a Hillary supporter and fueled on cable by a Hillary hack who tried to imply that Sean Hannity had the tape in his posession.

That being said ;Obama should speak more candidly about his African lineage and even more importantly ;his years working the streets of Chicago as a Daley operative .To listen to his latest campaign ad
his is an Horatio Alger story and that does not exactly match reality .

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arcura asked on 05/17/08 - Do you believe this guy? I think I do.

He claims that the USA has more crude oil in the ground that the Arab counties all together do.
Watch and listen to what he says here.

tomder55 answered on 05/18/08:

I do not buy into conspiracy theory nonsense about the Rockefellers or big oil .The truth is that we do not know what our reserves truely are because the government refuses to allow exploratory drilling .

Certainly I BELIEVE that we have enough energy resources to be self sufficient . Really the question should be ;do we have enough CHEAP energy sources available .The answer to that is no . WE could not tap into existing reserves or find new sources that would bring the price of gasoline back to where we would prefer it to be.

The big benefit would be that the revenuse would not be going to thugs like Hugo Chavez and the Saudi clown princes.

So yes there is plenty of good reasons to take us in a new direction regarding energy independence. But don't look for cheap energy as being one of them.

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paraclete asked on 04/20/08 - let's talk about it?

Last weekend Australia underwent a historic grappling with the future and what momentous suggestions emerged from 1000 top minds getting together to find some new ideas and fresh paths.

Australia should become a republic.

overweight people should take the stairs

Children should eat fruit

Not exactly a fresh approach to the future and I fail to see how the decision making processes would change. So what I ask the experts here is, how does a stable parliamentary democracy benefit from becoming a republic?

tomder55 answered on 04/21/08:

What I like about a republic is that local concerns are not so easily swept under the rug by the larger behometh national government .

I am perplexed to find one reason why even a ceremonial connection to the British crown is beneficial to the country . Your links are primarily historical true ;but it sorta flys in the face of my impression of Australia as fiercly independent . Perhaps I was wrong.

If I was an Aussie however I would be more concerned with Rudd's socialist polices and how they will bankrupt the country .

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HANK1 asked on 04/13/08 - Another Good Strategy ... but not for us:

Why couldn't the insurgents go into hibernation for six months? Our forces would pull out, thinking we won the war. Then the insurgents would clean up Iraq with carnage ... but not American carnage. And another thought: I readily believe that if we have a war with Iran, it will be Earth's FINAL WAR. Religion and politics will be the causes and involve the Jews, Islam and Christianity. When will this happen? In 2009!

Any comments?


tomder55 answered on 04/14/08:

in the Muslim war doctrine as outlined in their holy books that is called hudna .It is when you cease fire and truce because you are in a position of weakness .Then when you have regained the advantage you break the truce because in reality your word doesn't matter. This is actually in the their text when they describe the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah between Mohammed and the Quraysh tribe. He broke the treaty 2 years later.

We have seen this a number of times;most recently in Mooklie al-Sadr's temporary suspension of resistance during the Surge. This time however it was al-Maliki who went after him in Basra . al-Sadr was getting his butt handed to him so he again called for a cease fire arranged by his masters in Tehran. However this time no one is falling for the deception . The rooting out of his gang continues.

As for Iran ;we have been at war with them since 1979 . The seizing of the Embassy was an act of war ;and the Mullahs and their stooges like the Mahdi-hatter Ahamadjihad have used proxies to attack and kill US troops and citizens ever since. Tehran is vying for hegemony in the Gulf region and that is just not acceptable.

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paraclete asked on 04/08/08 - Here's an interesting defense strategy

Australia has been told it must become strong enough to rip an arm off a gaint. Quiet literally this would mean the days of low taxation are over as fortress Australia become the norm.

Forces such as 400 strike aircraft and 40 submarines, just who are we going to take on

Is this a good policy in a developing world?

tomder55 answered on 04/09/08:

or you can continue to rely on the defense umbrella that the US provides .... or come under the protectorate of such emerging powers as China and India (heck I think you will need that type of force structure just to deal with Indonesia). I think Professor Babbage is very correct in his analysis. It is certain that Australia will never become a hegemon even in it's own corner of the world without a major increase in it's commitment to defense.

You are not alone . The EU is beginning to see the reality . They have beefed up their social nanny states on the back of US protection. But now when they are asked to do their share they hem and haw . The French added 1000 soldiers to the fight . whoop !! But they are not the worse. Other nations will only commit to non-combat roles.

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paraclete asked on 03/30/08 - will you be extinct in the Anthropocene age?

appearently climate change is advancing so radidly we have entered a human led extinction level event and the dawn of a new geological age; the Anthropocene. What typifies the dawn of a new age more often than not is an extinction level event, thus my question.

The odds on us surviving this extinction level event are falling every day

tomder55 answered on 04/03/08:

I guess Ted Turner is right . We are gonna be a bunch of cannibals.

You know there was a period in Europe before the plague when the earth warmed and humans swarmed ? Then the plague came and Europe went into one of them cold spells.

The secret agenda of the warming alarmists is to snuff out enough of us so that the resources left can be freely used by the lucky survivors.

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paraclete asked on 03/27/08 - Can you keep your junk in your own back yard?

perhaps it's time to ask if the US should be asked to launch its junk over its own lands and let its own population run the same risks as the rest of us,23599,23440301-2,00.html

tomder55 answered on 03/28/08:

quit crying you sound like chicken little

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paraclete asked on 02/20/08 - What is the real significance of $100+ for oil?

The spot price for oil has risen to in excess of $100. What is the real significance of this latest development?

Is this just the result of the USD losing value as a result of low interets rates and poor economic conditions. You cannot have it both ways. Any government which shows its weakness internationally by using blatant stimulatory economic measures must pay in other ways.

tomder55 answered on 02/22/08:

no significance to the dollar value at all. the reason is supply is not meeting the new world wide demand and because EXXON and Venezuella is having a pissing contest because Chavez is an ass.

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arcura asked on 02/14/08 - Are you for the Global Poverty act?

Can you believe that ANY American would sponsor or vote for a bill like this?
February 13, 2008
New Articles

Obama's Global Tax Proposal Up for Senate Vote
A nice-sounding bill called the “Global Poverty Act,” sponsored by Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama, is up for a Senate vote on Thursday and could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States. The bill, which has the support of many liberal religious groups, makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations.........
by Cliff Kincaid

tomder55 answered on 02/14/08:

no and no again

Does the US taxpayer gets the right to deduct from the contribution the cost of maintaining the global peace, maintaining and operating the GPS system and enforcing the UN armistice on the Korean Peninsula among others? I am sure the answer is, "no".

Obama has made his position clear . The candidate who will not wear an American flag on his lapel but allows his offices in Texas to fly banners of Che Guevara is taking his revolution global.

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Mary_Susan asked on 01/11/08 - BUSH'S IDEA OF NAT.ID CARD, CALLED "REAL ID"

WASHINGTON (AP) - Residents of at least 17 states are suddenly stuck in the middle of a fight between the Bush administration and state governments over post-Sept. 11 security rules for driver's licenses - a dispute that, by May, could leave millions of people unable to use their licenses to board planes or enter federal buildings.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who was unveiling final details of the REAL ID Act's rules on Friday, said that if states want their licenses to remain valid for air travel after May 2008, those states must seek a waiver indicating they want more time to comply with the legislation.

Chertoff, as he revealed final details of the REAL ID Act, said that in instances where a particular state doesn't seek a waiver, its residents will have to use a passport or a newly created federal passport card if they want to avoid a vigorous secondary screening at airport security.

``The last thing I want to do is punish citizens of a state who would love to have a REAL ID license but can't get one,'' Chertoff said. ``But in the end, the rule is the rule as passed by Congress.''

Chertoff spoke as he discussed the details of the administration's plan to improve security for driver's licenses in all 50 states - an effort delayed due to opposition from states worried about the cost and civil libertarians upset about what they believe are invasions of privacy.

Under the rules announced Friday, Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver's licenses in the next six years.

The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification. The effort once envisioned to take effect in 2008 has been pushed back in the hopes of winning over skeptical state officials.

To address some of those concerns, the government now plans to phase in a secure ID initiative that Congress approved in 2005. Now, DHS plans a key deadline in 2011 - when federal authorities hope all states will be in compliance - and then further measures to be enacted three years later.

To make the plan more appealing to cost-conscious states, federal authorities drastically reduced the expected cost from $14.6 billion to $3.9 billion, a 73 percent decline, said Homeland Security officials familiar with the plan.

The American Civil Liberties Union has fiercely objected to the effort, particularly the sharing of personal data among government agencies. The DHS and other officials say the only way to ensure an ID is safe is to check it against secure government data; critics such as the ACLU say that creates a system that is more likely to be infiltrated and have its personal data pilfered.

In its written objection to the law, the ACLU claims REAL ID amounts to the ``first-ever national identity card system,'' which ``would irreparably damage the fabric of American life.''

The Sept. 11 attacks were the main motivation for the changes.

The hijacker-pilot who flew into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, had four driver's licenses and ID cards from three states. The DHS, created in response to the attacks, has created a slogan for REAL ID: ``One driver, one license.''

By 2014, anyone seeking to board an airplane or enter a federal building would have to present a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, with the notable exception of those more than 50 years old, Homeland Security officials said.

The over-50 exemption was created to give states more time to get everyone new licenses, and officials say the risk of someone in that age group being a terrorist, illegal immigrant or con artist is much less. By 2017, even those over 50 must have a REAL ID-compliant card to board a plane.

So far, 17 states have passed legislation or resolutions objecting to the REAL ID Act's provisions, many due to concerns it will cost them too much to comply. The 17, according to the ACLU, are: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington state.

Among other details of the REAL ID plan:

The traditional driver's license photograph would be taken at the beginning of the application instead of the end so that if someone is rejected for failure to prove identity and citizenship, the applicant's photo would be kept on file and checked if that person tried to con the system again.

The cards will have three layers of security measures but will not contain microchips as some had expected. States will be able to choose from a menu which security measures they will put in their cards.

Over the next year, the government expects all states to begin checking both the Social Security numbers and immigration status of license applicants.

Most states already check Social Security numbers and about half check immigration status. Some, like New York, Virginia, North Carolina and California, have already implemented many of the security measures envisioned in REAL ID. In California, for example, officials expect the only major change to adopt the first phase would be to take the photograph at the beginning of the application process instead of the end.

After the Social Security and immigration status checks become nationwide practice, officials plan to move on to more expansive security checks, including state DMV offices checking with the State Department to verify those applicants who use passports to get a driver's license, verifying birth certificates and checking with other states to ensure an applicant doesn't have more than one license.

A few states have already signed written agreements indicating they plan to comply with REAL ID. Seventeen others, though, have passed legislation or resolutions objecting to it, often because of concerns about the cost of the extra security.


What are your thoughts on this plan involving 50 states???

tomder55 answered on 01/14/08:

If there is to be a national id card (and I have no problem with that ) it should be issues by the national government . The responsibilty should not be on the states complying with standardized drivers licenses.

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paraclete asked on 12/04/07 - Who is the more dangerous US or Iran?

Not withstanding that Iran's leadership makes much belligerant noise, who is more dangerous. GWB has once agian been proven a liar on the subject of WMD

Bush: Nuke-less Iran remains dangerous Story Highlights
NEW: Iranian envoy says Iran has never sought nuclear weapons

Iran could transfer civilian nuclear work to military, President Bush says

U.S. intelligence estimate says Iran stopped nuclear arms work in 2003

U.S. national security adviser says U.S. policy toward Iran unchanged

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iran remains a danger to the world even though it stopped a program to develop a nuclear weapon four years ago, President Bush said Tuesday.

President Bush tells reporters Tuesday that Iran still poses a threat to the world.

"Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," Bush said, pointing out that Tehran continues to try to enrich uranium for civilian purposes and therefore develop technology that could be used for a weapon.

A declassified summary of a National Intelligence Estimate released by the U.S. government on Monday said Iran had stopped working toward a nuclear weapon in 2003 and is unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until at least 2010.

Enriched uranium at low concentrations can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, but much higher concentrations are needed to yield a nuclear explosion.

The new estimate is less severe than a 2005 report that judged the Iranian leadership was "determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure."

Earlier Tuesday, Iran ripped the Bush administration for rhetoric that came before Monday's release of the estimate.

"U.S. officials have so far inflicted ... damage on the Iranian nation by spreading lies against the country and by disturbing public opinion, therefore, they have to pay the price for their action," Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham is quoted as saying on the Web site of the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

In another posting, IRNA called the updated estimate "a necessary and positive step in Tehran-Washington relations, but undoubtedly is not sufficient."

"The U.S. administration should know that only admitting a mistake is not enough," the IRNA report said.

But Bush said Tuesday he saw the latest estimate on Iran as "a warning signal." Watch why Bush says he sees a danger in the report »

"What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons program?" Bush asked.

The latest estimate shows "Iran needs to be taken seriously as a threat to peace," Bush said. See how the 2005 and 2007 estimates differ »

"We have good reason to continue to be concerned about Iran developing a nuclear weapon even after this most recent National Intelligence Estimate," he said. "In the words of the NIE, quote, Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so."

Hadley said U.S. policy toward Iran has not changed because of the new report.

"If we want to avoid a situation where we either have to accept Iran ... with a path to a nuclear weapon, or the possibility of having to use force to stop it, with all the connotations of World War III -- then we need to step up the diplomacy, step up the pressure, to get Iran to stop their so-called civilian uranium enrichment program," he said. "That's our policy going forward -- no change."

Britain on Tuesday also called for continued pressure on Iran.

"The report confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons, and it also shows that the sanctions program and international pressure were having some effect," a spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak echoed Bush's comments Tuesday.

"Iran is a main threat to the world and Israel," Barak said. "The entire world and the state of Israel should prepare to deal with this threat and thwart it."

Iran has insisted its nuclear program is strictly aimed at producing electricity, and the country has refused the U.N. Security Council's demand to halt its enrichment program.

Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Tuesday that even the allegations that Tehran was pursuing a nuclear weapon up to 2003 were false.

"I categorically reject any allegation that Iran has had before, has now and will have [such a program] because a nuclear weapon is not in our defense decree," Soltanieh said.

"We are of the belief that a nuclear weapon would create a vulnerability and therefore we are and have and will be against nuclear weapons," he said.

The IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, has reported that Iran is cooperating with inspectors by providing access to declared nuclear material, documents and facilities. However, the agency also said Iran is withholding information in other areas, and as a result, the IAEA's knowledge about the status of the program is "diminishing."

Iran says its uranium enrichment work is allowed under the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty. The U.N. Security Council has passed two rounds of sanctions against Tehran, but Washington missed its goal of reaching consensus on tighter restrictions by the end of November, the State Department said last week.

When will the white House stop misleading the world about its intentions. The most dangerous nation in the world is the US and in the hands of a meglomaniac like Bush the danger is very real.

tomder55 answered on 12/07/07:

If I were to believe the new NIE would have to conclude that the Mullahs wet their pants after the Iraq invasion and halted their program just like Libya. But that is only if I were to believe the NIE that was authored by Valerie Plame cronies.

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paraclete asked on 12/04/07 - A new world leader emerges?

While the Us has abdicated any leadership position on climate change it seems new leadership is emerging in unlikely places

I can unite the world on climate, says Rudd
Cynthia Banham Foreign Affairs Reporter
December 5, 2007

Garrett as support act: minister sidelined on global warming

AUSTRALIA will take on a highly ambitious and activist role on the international stage under the new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who has unveiled a grand plan for uniting the world on climate change.

Heralding a significant shift in foreign policy from the Howard era, Mr Rudd - former diplomat and China expert - told the Herald yesterday he intended to use Australia's new position as a member of the Kyoto club to "bridge the gap" between developed and developing countries on future emissions controls.

In his first newspaper interview as Prime Minister, Mr Rudd admitted it was an enormous challenge but said Australia had a "national and international responsibility to the next generation" to do everything it could to counter the threat of climate change.

Mr Rudd will travel to Bali on Tuesday to join the UN conference on climate change, in what will be his first appearance on the world stage as Prime Minister.

While there, he revealed, he will also seek to enhance Australia's relationship with Indonesia when he meets its President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, will play the key role as "principal negotiator" in Mr Rudd's vision for Australia as the world's new climate change broker, further underscoring her rapid rise in the new government.

"I fully recognise the difficulty of this because the distance between those two positions at present is enormous, but this is a gap which Australia in the past could not even hope to begin to bridge because we were not at the negotiating table at all in a substantive way," Mr Rudd said.

"We now are, and Senator Wong's brief, apart from arguing the Australian position, will be to do whatever is within her power and Australia's power to seek to bridge the gap between the positions of the developed and developing world on future emissions controls."

Having freshly ratified the Kyoto Protocol, Mr Rudd will personally hand Australia's instrument of ratification to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

He will also meet the president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, and the former US vice-president, Al Gore. In his talks with Dr Yudhoyono, Mr Rudd said he would cover the "entire spectrum" of Australia's relationship with Indonesia, including the adequacy of security co-operation.

Terrorism would feature in these talks. As opposition leader, Mr Rudd nominated the rise of militant Islam as one of the biggest issues facing the world.

"My view is this is a relationship which our two governments can enhance, both at a level of security co-operation and economic engagement, as well as people-to-people contacts," Mr Rudd said.

"On the security policy engagement what I'd like to do with President Yudhoyono is quickly review the adequacy of our existing levels of security co-operation in the security, policing and intelligence areas, with a view to identifying any gaps which we can fill in the future in our common fight against terrorism."

After the Howard government's emphasis on the importance of bilateral relationships - especially with the US - Mr Rudd's grand plans for Australia in brokering a new global understanding on climate change signal a return to multilateralism and middle-power diplomacy as key features of the country's foreign policy.

It is significant that within days of assuming the prime ministership, Mr Rudd - who spent most of the first eight years of his parliamentary career as opposition spokesman on foreign affairs - has seized on climate change to showcase his new vision for Australia's role in international affairs.

He said he would use the opportunity in Bali to underline why Australia has altered its policy on climate change.

The former prime minister, John Howard, refused to ratify the protocol, along with the US.

"The reason for Australia changing its policy is our belief that the planet is now under increasingly significant threat and that therefore the requirement for global co-operation now is not optional, it is urgent," Mr Rudd said. He recognised the huge challenge he had set Senator Wong, and there was no guarantee of success.

"But I think we seize the fact that we have national and international responsibilities here to the next generation and that means using every ounce of Australia's national diplomatic energy to try and bridge that gap."

On the domestic front, Mr Rudd said it was still his Government's policy that there needed to be commitments from both developed and developing countries into the future on reducing emissions targets - despite his Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, contradicting this during the election campaign.

tomder55 answered on 12/07/07:

bwaa haa haaa haaa

He signed Kyoto fast enough and now he is backing off of enforcement .,21985,22883548-662,00.html

Another lefty smacked in the head by reality.

He will have the Aussies join the ranks of the rest of the phony world ;signing onto emission reductions they know damn well they won't achieve. But it will make him FEEL GOOD

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purplewings asked on 10/23/07 - Concerned about our government erosion.

I'm not just referring to the President being able to make new policy or ignore the wishes of the citizens, but to all politicians in general. In Michigan, we are in distress because of plant closings, corporate shut-downs, and lay offs with people losing their homes. At the same time, politicians in Lansing have overspent their budget leaving the state without proper funding for necessities such as police, prisons, schools, etc. Our elected officials have decided to rectify that by having another tax raise. Imagine losing jobs and homes to now being expected to pay for the state's failure to properly budget.

I recently read that when people stop paying attention or caring what the government does - it gives free rein for them to do whatever they like. It's hard to be interested when we are ignored and overburdened. How can we best get the government to do what they've been elected to do......serve us?

tomder55 answered on 10/24/07:

I always advise people to get active at the local level . Do what you can to improve your community and like minded action filters up .

I feel bad for the rust belt . The region grew due to heavy industrialization but we are living in the beginnings of the post industrial America .Like it or not those types of jobs are moving to a place where labor is cheaper. We can bemoan that fact or we can move forward and take steps to exploit the next great wave. When the automobile came there were alot of people who made and put shoes on horses who needed to find another way to make a living .

It is up to the community leaders to create an environment that will attract the new businesses that displace the old.

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"After convention speeches by the two Pats - Robertson and Buchanan - in 1992 helped elect Bill Clinton, organizers of the GOP's quadrennial gatherings effortlessly replaced Holy Roller hellfire with Happy Days hip hop.

In theory, political parties, whose function is to win first and govern later, are constantly evolving and adapting to changing demographics, issues and culture shifts.

But in practice in 2007, the Republican Party is diving for bottom. George Bush, the party's presidential candidates, and Republicans in Congress have set about destroying virtually everything they built.

They are defying all theories of rational self-interest, with behavior comparable to that of the Mets, that have in just 18 games thrown away a seemingly insurmountable advantage. Or, in the world of poker, behavior comparable to Mike "Full Tilt" Matusow, who has blown millions in stunning displays of ineptitude.

In fact, it is hard to find a match for the GOP's hodge-podge of manic stupidity: (Read more below)

The Supreme Court nomination of Harriett Miers; the mangling of New Orleans; the perseverating support of Rumsfeld and Gonzales; the insulation of Tom DeLay from ethics inquiries; the shunning of a presidential debate at Morgan State, a historically black college; the meticulous cultivation of corruption on Capitol Hill; the derisive treatment of such appointees as Paul O'Neil and Christine Todd Whitman turning them into attention-getting critics of the administration.

Nothing however, better exemplifies the compulsive irrationality that has taken over the Republican Party than its handling of the Hispanic electorate.

Latino voters, as Bush demonstrated in 2004, are by no means locked into the Democratic fold. On top of that, Republican strategists have been pounding for a decade the theme that Hispanics are crucial to the GOP future.

Ken Mehlman, who ran both Bush's 2004 campaign and the RNC, declared in a July 2006 speech (one of many on the subject) that as party chair,

"I know...that a Republican Party that does not reach out to Hispanics cannot win ... and a Republican Party that does not reach out to Hispanics does not deserve to win."

Similarly, Ed Gillespie, who ran the RNC before Mehlman, and who is now counselor to the president, laid it on the line in an April 2006 Wall Street Journal op-ed:

"The Republican Party cannot become an anti-immigration party. Our majority already rests too heavily on white voters, given that current demographic voting percentages will not allow us to hold our majority in the future. Between 2000 and 2004, President Bush increased his support in the Hispanic community by nine percentage points. Had he not, John Kerry would be president today.... Anti-immigration rhetoric is a political siren song, and Republicans must resist its lure by lashing ourselves to our party's twin masts of freedom and growth -- or our majority will crash on the shoals."

House and Senate Republicans have not only led the charge in killing immigration reform legislation, however, but their rhetoric has served to legitimize explicitly anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic calls to action in city councils, on numerous web sites, on talk radio, and in public discourse generally.

Before the massive May 1, 2006, "A Day Without Immigrants" protests, Iowa Representative Steve King (R) declared:

"What would that May 1st look like without illegal immigration? There would be no one to smuggle across our southern border the heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines that plague the United States, reducing the U.S. supply of meth that day by 80%. The lives of 12 U.S. citizens would be saved who otherwise die a violent death at the hands of murderous illegal aliens each day. Another 13 Americans would survive who are otherwise killed each day by uninsured drunk driving illegals. Our hospital emergency rooms would not be flooded with everything from gunshot wounds, to anchor babies, to imported diseases to hangnails, giving American citizens the day off from standing in line behind illegals. Eight American children would not suffer the horror as a victim of a sex crime."

King's rhetoric undoubtedly appeals to many of his constituents - he gets re-elected by large margins - but some might suspect that the Iowa congressman is a Democratic plant. King's remarks, needless to say, are extensively covered in Spanish language media.

Conservative radio talk show host Neal Boortz does him one better.

"When we yank out the welcome mat, and they all start going back to Mexico, as a going away gift let's all give them a box of nuclear waste.... Tell 'em it'll heat tortillas."

Add to this the behavior of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, all of whom know the importance of Latino voters in the general election.

In 2000 -- the last contested fight for the GOP nomination -- it would have been inconceivable that the candidates would have turned down a debate on Univision, the largest Spanish language television network in the country.

This year, with the exception of John McCain, they did.

Along similar lines, as recently as March 2006, Romney backed legislation that would have put millions of illegal immigrants on a "path to citizenship." Giuliani, in turn, was an outspoken supporter of immigrants, legal and illegal. Now, both of them have become unabashed critics of immigration reform, and treat as radioactive talk focused on immigrants' rights.

Of course, there could be a more subtle strategy at work here.

Perhaps Republican kingpins consider the best possible long-term strategy letting Democrats take over responsibility for the extraordinary mess Bush will leave behind. The next president will have to deal with Iraq, Iran with the bomb, biological and chemical threats, $8.98 trillion in national debt, global warming, rising gas prices, a Mideast on fire, overstretched troops, a legion of returning wounded soldiers, a country unprepared for its aging population, North Korea's supply of nuclear technology to Syria, a steadily eroding dollar, a surging China, and an exponential increase in the number of those who wish America ill.

Is this why the party plagued by weak allegiance on the part of female voters has three frontrunners for the nomination with a combined total of seven marriages and three trophy wives? And the fourth top candidate a Mormon at a time of anti-Mormon caricature (Under the Banner of Heaven, Big Love) facing major hurdles with the party's evangelical base?..." Thomas Edsall, blogging


So, the Republicans are trying to lose so they can blame the horrific mess that Bush made in 8 years on the Democrats who they leave to clean up the mess???

tomder55 answered on 10/01/07:

The reason that Clinton won ;at least in 1992 is that Ross Perot syphoned off enough votes to swing the election to Clinton.

I will concede to some of the mistakes that Edsall throws out ;especially the no-shows at the debates ,but Edsall has to many factual errors to correct so I won't bother addressing them all.

The flaw in his rambling is the so called abandonment of the Hispanic vote. Pandering to the illegal population may be the Democrat expedient way ,but it is not right. There is not doubt that the Hispanic population is booming. Hispanics are the country’s largest minority But a growing population has little to do with voting strength.Hispanics were only 6 percent of the people who voted in the 2004 presidential election.One-third of Latinos in this country are under 18, and another one-third are not U.S. citizens.There are 27.1 million Hispanics 18 years and older in the U.S., but 40 percent of them are foreign nationals.

Take California .... Hispanics are 33 percent of the population but only 16 percent of the voters, Whites who are not Hispanic are now a minority in California but a clear majority of the voters, more than 70 percent.Elections are about who votes . Swings in party support are not decisive.

This also makes a false premise that Hispanics vote in a block. They do not . They represent too many nations to form a real consensus. Mexicans dominate in Texas, California, and New Mexico. Cubans dominate in Florida and are growing in New Jersey, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, dominate in New York .

These folks all have different issues. A majority of Cubans vote Republican. Their primary concern is how candidates stand on issues involving Fidel Castro and Cuba.

Mexicans in Texas and California have voted Democratic in national elections. Their primary issue is immigration. But because the Mexican-American community is divided by citizens vs. non-citizens, those who came earlier and those who came later, those who are rich and those who are poor, monolithic voting cannot be assumed.

Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens for whom immigration is no big deal. Their issues are as varied as the issues facing other native-born Americans.

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"WASHINGTON — Palm Sunday two years ago was a glorious day for Christian conservatives.

A president who'd proclaimed Jesus his favorite philosopher was racing back from vacation to sign a bill rushed through a compliant Congress at their bidding — a last-minute gamble to keep alive a severely brain-damaged woman in Florida.

That, however, was the peak of the Christian conservatives' political power.

Today, their nearly three-decade-long ascendance in the Republican Party is over. Their loyalties and priorities are in flux, the organizations that gave them political muscle are in disarray, the high-profile preachers who led them to influence through the 1980s and 1990s are being replaced by a new generation that's less interested in their agenda and their hold on politics and the 2008 Republican presidential nomination is in doubt.

"Less than four years after declarations that the Religious Right had taken over the Republican Party, these social conservatives seem almost powerless to influence its nomination process," said W. James Antle III, an editor at the American Spectator magazine who's written extensively about religious conservatives.

"They have the numbers. They have the capability. What they don't have is unity or any institutional leverage."

The Religious Right never had absolute power in the Republican Party. It never got the Republican president and Republican Congress to pursue a constitutional amendment banning abortion, for example....."

tomder55 answered on 10/01/07:

The Religious Right never had absolute power in the Republican Party.

That of course is the truth . In reality they have had about the same effect shaping policy in the Republican party as the Kossaks and code pinkos have had with the Democrats . In the end they are just another voting block to consider. Would the Kossaks not vote for Hillary in this general election even though sho polls near the bottom of their preference ? Of course not ! Simularily the so called religious right will hold their nose and vote for whichever Republican gets nominated . Would it be better for them to have Evita in the White House ?

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tropicalstorm asked on 09/28/07 - How the heck..........

...does Hillary plan to pull off a $5,000.00 bond to every baby born and not expect to have to raise taxes or anything to cover it?????????

tomder55 answered on 09/29/07:

It's ging to come from the Social Security Trust Fund. Can I get mine + interest retroactive from 1955 ?

In the spirit of compromise that the Captn suggests will happen I propose that the plan should be revised to include only 'every child born in a marriage between a man and a woman who are U.S. Citizens at the time of the birth'. And why stop at $5000 ? Why not $50,000 ? It would instanty end poverty .....right ? I have a funny suspicion that it will work as well as the debit cards given to Katrina survivors.

So let me get this straight .Hillary wants government provided health care from cradle to grave.Now she also wants welfare from cradle to grave. Gotta love the progessive mind !

Ok enough fun ...seriously . There was a bipartisan proposal[Senate sponsors Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA), Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Jim DeMint (R-SC)] out for consideration a couple of years ago called the 'Americans Savings for Personal Investment, Retirement, and Education 'Act or ASPIRE Act.It proposes a much more modest version of Hillary's pandering .It offers $500 which would be invested toward the child's future education . At the age of 18 it could be cashed in for education, home ownership or retirement only .At the age of 30 ;the kid would need to pay back the $500 to the gvt. That way it is understood that this is not a gvt. give-away .It also pays for the next generation's $500 .

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Fritzella asked on 09/26/07 - Republican Party Situation Dire for 2008

"Republican Party is in such bad shape heading into the 2008 congressional elections that many insiders are all but convinced things will get worse before they get better. The blame, some say, lies within the party itself.

Recent reports coming from the National Republican Congressional and Senatorial Committees paint a picture of institutions on the brink of bankruptcy and organizational disrepair. The Republican Party has ceded its traditional fundraising advantages to the Democrats. Recruiting conservative candidates to run for congressional office has proved exceedingly difficult. Even worse, several Republicans officials bemoaned, there is no short-term solutions on the horizon.

"In my lifetime you'd have to go back 30 years to find another time when the party committees were in such dire straits," Craig Shipley, president of the Republican public relations firm Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, told the Huffington Post. "The stimulus in the 70s was that the grassroots became disgusted with the abandonment of conservative principles and corruption of the party. The same thing is happening today. There is just a bad odor in the party right now."......--Sam Stein, Blogging

Edited for length.


tomder55 answered on 09/27/07:

yes the Republicans have issues . But then again ; when it comes time for 2008 election they will be able to point to the general ineffectiveness of the San Fran Nan and Harry Reid run Congress. The alternative that people voted for in 2006 does not appear to be able or willing to get their agenda enacted . Maybe after 2 years the electorate will realize that the Democrat promise was a trojan horse.

Democrats are getting money ;but lets face the facts , Obama is getting the most and he is going NOWHERE ......NOWHERE !!!! Does money really matter ? Fred Thompson is supposedly lagging in the money raising and he has defied conventional wisdom and caught up the the Republican front runners. Romney has more money available then any other Republican and he's going nowhere.

The Moveons and Kossaks poll all the time and Evita is on the bottom of their polls ;but she is going to win the nomination despite all the moonbat activists claims to "own the party" and the George Soros money.

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paraclete asked on 09/21/07 - The gaffe of the day?

Saddams dead, Nelsons dead, is Osama dead? they are all dead, so maybe that's why they can't find Osama?

Bush's Mandela death gaffe 'out there'

By staff writers

September 21, 2007 10:27pm
Article from:

NELSON Mandela is still very much alive despite a gaffe by US President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in a speech yesterday.

"It's out there," said Achmat Dangor of the Nelson Mandela Foundation of Mr Bush's comment, which received worldwide media coverage.

"All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," he said.

In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Mr Bush said former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible to find a leader who could unite the country.

"I heard somebody say, 'Where's Mandela?'," he said.

"Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas."

The bizarre gaffe was made in a press conference in Washington yesterday.

Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for preaching racial harmony and guiding the nation into the post-apartheid era.

References to his death – Mandela is now 89 and increasingly frail – are seen as insensitive in South Africa.

With Reuters


with thinking like this and a genius at the helm it's no wonder they can't solve problems, oh well George can solve it at the next OPEC meeting

tomder55 answered on 09/24/07:

More intentional sliming of the President by the Press. This is clearly taken out of content. If he would've replaced Mandela with something like "the founding fathers " he would've been clearer .But the intent of his comments is obvious to all but the dense and anyone who looks for any pretext ,no matter how valid it is ,to ridicule the President .

Here’s the quote in context, from the White House transcript:

Part of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in Iraq is because people are still recovering from Saddam Hussein’s brutal rule. I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, where’s Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead, because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas. He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and people are recovering from this. So there’s a psychological recovery that is taking place. And it’s hard work for them. And I understand it’s hard work for them. Having said that, I’m not going the give them a pass when it comes to the central government’s reconciliation efforts.

Yes if Saddam hadn't slaughtered all the Mandelas of the country [or future great leaders ]then yes it would've been easier to transition to a workable government .

Yes if someone had bumped off George Washington ,Thomas Jefferson and the other American founding fathers then it would be doubtful if our present gvt. would ever had taken off. And yes if someone had bumped off Nelson Mandela it is unlikely that the transition in South Africa would've been that successful .

I have to say the pattern also continues to this day with the road side bomb murder of Sheik Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha . Another reason why al-Qaeda,Syria, and Iran have to be defeated in Iraq.

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paraclete asked on 09/12/07 - Ahmamadjihad is at it again

Ahmadinejad: Iran can help secure Iraq, Israel is 'cruel'
Iranian president urges U.S. and Britain to reconsider the invasion of Iraq

Iranian president says Israel "cannot continue its life"

(CNN) -- Iran wants "peace and friendship for all," the country's president said Wednesday while again denying Western assertions his nation is pursuing nuclear weapons and trying to destabilize Iraq.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz nuclear facility in April.

But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a hard line against Israel, calling it "an invader" and saying it "cannot continue its life."

Asked if Iran had launched a proxy war in Iraq -- something the U.S. ambassador and top military commander there both asserted this week -- Ahmadinejad said the United States is merely seeking a scapegoat for its failing campaign in Iraq.

"Forces have come into Iraq and destroyed the security, and many people are killed," the Iranian president told Britain's ITN during an interview in the garden of the Iranian presidential palace in Tehran.

"And there are some claims that may seem very funny and ridiculous. Those who have lots of weaponry and warfare and thousands of soldiers -- if they are defeated, they blame others. There is no way to escape for peace."

Iranians do not believe in war and consider it a "last resort," he said.

He further claimed that Tehran is a friend of Iraq -- maintaining "good relationships" with the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions -- and "if Iraq is not secure, we are the first country that would be damaged."

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He added, "Responsible people should understand this: that Iran is against any sort of insecurity and attacks, and Iraq is able to defend themselves." Watch Ahmadinejad discuss issues affecting his country »

During the interview, Ahmadinejad struck a friendly tone toward Britain, saying he regretted that British soldiers have died in Iraq.

"We are sorry for your soldiers to be killed. We think peace should exist. Why should there be an invasion so that people will be killed?" he asked.

"We want friendship -- friendship to all. We love all nations and all human beings. Anyone who is killed, we are against it."

Ahmadinejad urged the United States and Britain to reconsider the invasion of Iraq. The two countries should "correct themselves," he said. If they don't, "the defeat would repeat."

The Islamic republic could help improve conditions in Iraq, but first coalition forces must leave, he said.

"We can help solve many problems in Iraq. We can help secure Iraq. We can help the attackers leave Iraq if the American government and British government correct themselves." he said.

Ahmadinejad has said in the past that Tehran would fill any power vacuum left by a withdrawal of coalition forces in Iraq.

The United States has cited the Iranian president's remarks as a reason to continue its efforts in Iraq.

As for allegations that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, Ahmadinejad said he resents the notion that Iran "has to obey whatever was put to us" and asked why there is no similar furor over American and British nuclear programs.

"Our bombs are dangerous, but American bombs are not dangerous?" he asked.

When the ITN interviewer asked if he could tour the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, Ahmadinejad chuckled and asked him if he thought the United States or Britain would allow Iran to inspect their nuclear facilities.

"We do not need a bomb. We are against bombs, actually. There are many reasons we are against it," he said. "From a political point of view, it's not useful, we think."

The United Nations Security Council has so far imposed two rounds of limited sanctions against Iran for the country's refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

Tehran has insisted the program is meant for peaceful energy production.

In regard to Israel, which Ahmadinejad has said should be politically "wiped off the map," the Iranian president said there is a way to deal with the Jewish state without violence.

Giving as an example the dissolution of the Soviet Union -- which he said came about "without war" -- Ahmadinejad suggested that "everything would be solved" if the Palestinian people were allowed to vote on their fate.

However, his hard-line rhetoric resurfaced when Ahmadinejad said Israel "cannot continue its life."

"Israel is an invader and is cruel, and it hasn't got a united public. All other nations are against it," he said. "We do not recognize them. They are attackers and illegal." E-mail to a friend

What can this mean other than Iran intends to invade Iraq and attck Israel as soon a american forces leave Iraq?

tomder55 answered on 09/21/07:

The Mahdi hatter has spelled out a number of times what he intends. Like Hitler before him I suggest he is true to his word.

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paraclete asked on 09/16/07 - He told us what we already know

and have been saying?

Alan Greenspan says Iraq invasion motivated by oil

By Jeannine Aversa

September 17, 2007 06:40am
Article from: The Daily Telegraph

FORMER Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in his new book, says the US went to war in Iraq motivated largely by oil.

Mr Greenspan said: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

His book also criticises US President George W. Bush for not responsibly handling the nation's spending and racking up big budget deficits.

A self-described "libertarian Republican," Mr Greenspan takes his own party to task for forsaking conservative principles that favour small government.

"My biggest frustration remained the president's unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of-control spending," Mr Greenspan wrote.

Mr Bush took office in 2001, the last time the Government produced a budget surplus.

Every year after that, the Government has been in the red. In 2004, the deficit swelled to a record $US413 billion ($A493.75 billion).

"The Republicans in Congress lost their way," Mr Greenspan wrote. "They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose."

In 2006, voters put Democrats in charge of Congress for the first time in a dozen years.

Mr Greenspan's memoir, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, is scheduled for release today. The book is a recollection of his life and his time as Fed chief.

Mr Greenspan, 81, ran the Fed for 18 1/2 years and was the second-longest serving chief. He served under four presidents, starting with his initial nomination by former President Ronald Reagan.

He says he began to write the book on February 1, 2006, the day his successor - Ben Bernanke -- took over.

The ex-Fed chief writes that he laments the loss of fiscal discipline.

"Deficits don't matter," to my chagrin, became part of Republicans' rhetoric."

Mr Greenspan long has argued that persistent budget deficits pose a danger to the economy over the long run.

Large projected surpluses were the basis for Mr Bush's $US1.35 trillion ($A1.61 trillion), 10-year tax cut approved in the summer of 2001.

Budget experts projected the Government would run a whopping $US5.6 trillion ($A6.69 trillion) worth of surpluses over the subsequent decade after the cuts.

Those surpluses, the basis for Mr Bush's campaign promises of a tax cut, never materialised.

tomder55 answered on 09/21/07:

you are aware of course that he has since revised his comments to take out the implication that it was Bush's reason for going to war and instead it was his own pesronal opinion. Further he clarified that he was in favor of the invasion on that pretext.

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paraclete asked on 08/15/07 - Deje vu or sensing the moment?

Hanson calls for halt to muslim immigration
August 16, 2007 - 9:14AM

Senate candidate Pauline Hanson has urged Federal Parliament to hold a moratorium on the number of Muslims entering Australia.

The right-wing former One Nation leader is seeking to register Pauline's United Australia Party in her bid for a political comeback by winning a Queensland senate seat in the upcoming federal election.

The 53-year-old former fish and chip shop owner, who won international notoriety during her brief spell as the independent MP for Oxley in the late 1990s, says she will targeting Muslims in her campaign.

"I want a moratorium put on the number of Muslims coming into Australia," Ms Hanson told the Nine network.

"People have a right to be very concerned about this because of the terrorist attacks that have happened throughout the world.

"I'm sick of these people coming out here and saying that our girls are like the meat market and the bible that is urinated on ... am I supposed to be tolerant?"

But Ms Hanson said she would have the support of Muslim women if they knew how oppressed they were.

"I think that if Muslim women realise how they have been treated I probably would get a lot of support," she said.

"Maybe we should look at the female genital mutilation that happens to young girls in this country ... if people want to live by these ways then go back to the Muslim countries."

Ms Hanson said immigration was not her only concern and she would campaign on other issues such as the privatisation of water.

She said many of the issues raised in her maiden speech to parliament in September 1996 had been adopted by the Howard government.

"Don't just say I'm simplistic and I don't know what I'm talking about. They said the same about the Aboriginal issue but the prime minister actually abolished ATSIC (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission) and that was in my maiden speech."

Ms Hanson believes her campaign is winning strong support among the people of Queensland.

"I wouldn't say I've got no chance ... I've travelled around Queensland quite extensively over the past six months. There is tremendous support from people."

"They are wanting someone else to vote for ... so they are looking at me."

Ms Hanson was elected to parliament as an independent MP for the Queensland seat of Oxley at the 1996 election after being disendorsed as a Liberal candidate because of her strong views on race and immigration.

She failed to win the neighbouring seat of Blair in 1998, a senate seat in 2004 and a position in the NSW upper house in 2003.


tomder55 answered on 08/18/07:

Immigration has helped make countries such as the US and Australia what they are today. That immigration, however, was very different. Immigrants adopted the norms and customs of their new country. They changed to adapt to their new homeland. They didn’t expect their new homeland to change to adapt to them.

It is not just Australia and the US sleep walking . Given the fact that Europe is also being over-run it is safe to say that all of Western Civilization has their heads buried in the sand.

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pradeep asked on 07/24/07 - your ideal job

briefly describe your ideal job

tomder55 answered on 07/25/07:

I had an ideal job. I stood at the theater entrance and ripped tickets in half. Then after briefly running a carpet sweeper over the lobby floor I settled down and watched the show.

Next to that I think I would function well as a researchologist for perhaps a think tank. I would also love to be a professional student.Perhaps I would like getting paid for my on-line commentary and contributions if I could figure out a way to do it. I also would not mind being an antique buyer and seller. I would enjoy I think having a position with a professional baseball team .

Dark_Crow asked on 07/22/07 - The sickest pervert here is whoever administrates this website.


tomder55 answered on 07/23/07:

agreed . I see the idiocy has spread to the Philosophy Board . It really is a shame . I notice that there are a corp of administrators on the new site.

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paraclete asked on 07/22/07 - A different way of tacking the Iraq problem

with one small drawback.

Australian chief lashes US on Iraq

Tom Allard in Baghdad
July 23, 2007

AUSTRALIA'S Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, has taken a swipe at the US military's strategy at the outset of the Iraq war, expressing disbelief that it has taken so long for commanders to realise the merits of engaging with the local population and winning their trust.

Visiting a counter-insurgency centre for excellence at Taji, just outside Baghdad, General Leahy was briefed by a US Army colonel, Manuel Diemer, on the new US strategy of schooling all unit commanders in the importance of developing a deep understanding of the culture of the communities in which they are conducting operations.

Colonel Diemer said the strategy meant combat units were now living among the population, doing more foot patrols, talking and interacting with the population well before they undertook any offensive operations.

This contrasts with the previous US practice of sending in forces with overwhelming firepower into trouble spots and then returning home to the relative comforts and security of a military base after blasting their way out of, or into, trouble.

The tactics have created huge resentment among ordinary Iraqis and helped fuel the insurgency. General Leahy expressed his strong support for the new strategy, but with an important, and thrice repeated, caveat. "I can't believe you guys weren't doing this two or three years ago," he said. Colonel Diemer concurred.

As he has travelled around the Middle East, General Leahy has emphasised to his troops how the nature of warfare has progressed from the Cold War principles of conventional warfare.

Rather than pitched battles between large militaries, soldiers were now working within and for communities.

"It's about protecting, supporting and persuading … and paving the way for reconstruction," he said.

Among soldiers anxious to be at the sharp end of a conflict such a message was not always warmly received, he said.

"Some of them think I'm a mongrel because I won't let them shoot the shit out of them [the insurgents]," he told Colonel Diemer.

In the two southern Iraqi provinces where Australians have been operating, they have achieved considerable success in developing links with tribal leaders and consulting widely before they undertake operations or reconstruction projects.

In Iraqi society, tribal affiliations are paramount, often trumping any loyalty to nation and even religious sect.

For Australian units patrolling in Iraq's south, a meeting with each village leader is essential.

Their efforts to reach out are usually met with traditional Iraqi hospitality, the slaughter of a goat and a long feast for the soldiers.

The only drawback, said the Australian commander in Iraq, Brigadier Gerard Fogarty, were the resulting bouts of diarrhoea many soldiers suffered.

Four Australians have been working with Colonel Diemer at the counter-insurgency centre since its inception eight months ago, a reflection that such policies have been an integral part of the Australian Army's doctrine for years, certainly well before the East Timor intervention in 1999.

tomder55 answered on 07/23/07:

I can't argue with results .

General Petraeus gets it . It would be a shame if the US feckless Congress did not let him complete his mission after they confirmed him for the job unanimously .

Citizen journalist Michael Totten is embedded in Iraq . He filed in his journal this interesting observation

It’s a peculiar war. It is almost a not-war. Last July’s war in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon was hundreds of times more violent and terrifying than this one. Explosions on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border were constant when I was there.

You’d think explosions and gunfire define Iraq if you look at this country from far away on the news. They do not. The media is a total distortion machine. Certain areas are still extremely violent, but the country as a whole is defined by heat, not war, at least in the summer. It is Iraq’s most singular characteristic. I dread going outside because it’s hot, not because I’m afraid I will get hurt.

Another citizen journalist Michael Yon has been reporting about Operation Arrowhead Ripper that began 1 month ago. He makes a telling point about how the military is doing the bulk of the diplomat corp's function.

Colonel Townsend’s staff had prepared a slideshow that started off with a draft of “7 Rules.” The final version of the 7 Rules were open to discussion and suggestions from those in attendance. The rules were followed by an Oath, also still in draft.

First Colonel Townsend reviewed the 7 Rules, presented here verbatim from the slides:

1) Protect your community from AQI, JAM and other terrorist militia.
2) Accept both peaceful Sunni, Shia and others.
3) Stay in your neighborhood/AO [area of operations] for your safety.
4) Take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of Iraq.
5) Register with Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces [biometrics for CF].
6) For your safety, wear a standard uniform and markings [an example was proposed].
7) Receive hiring preference for Iraqi Police and Army.

Then came the Oath, also presented here verbatim from the slides:

1) I will support and defend the Constitution of Iraq.
2) I will cooperate fully with the Iraqi government.
3) I will guard my neighborhood, community and city.
4) I will bear no arms outside my home without coordination of Iraqi Security Forces or Coalition Forces
5) I will bear no arms against the Government of Iraq, Iraqi Security Forces or Coalition Forces.
6) I will not support sectarian agendas.

After the proposal for the 7 Rules and the Oath were presented, the most interesting—fascinating, really—part of the meeting unfolded.

The Iraqi Army commanders and “Baqubah Guardians” then gave their input, and some of that input was as follows:

1) Protect your community from AQI, JAM and other terrorist militia.
Some attendees did not like that AQI and JAM were singled out, citing that this only validated those organizations, while not fully recognizing the problems from terrorist groups such as the Badr or IAI. Other attendees disagreed and thought the groups should be named, but finally it was decided to strike the names AQI and JAM.

2) Accept both peaceful Sunni, Shia and others.
After some intelligent discussion, the Iraqis wanted this changed to “Accept all peaceful Iraqi citizens without discrimination.”

3) Stay in your neighborhood/AO [area of operations] for your safety.
This needed clarification: Colonel Townsend was not saying they should not travel from their neighborhoods, but that they should not operate out of their neighborhoods, and the attendees agreed.

4) Take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of Iraq.
Now it got interesting. One Iraqi said that even under the Saddam regime, bad as it was, the constitution still kept them together. He made no mention of the wars against the Kurds or Shia. But he went on to say that the current constitution tended to divide Iraq. No serious arguments were put forth on this today, but it was clear that fourth rule could lead to months or years of debate. After all, our own Constitution remains a work in progress, having been amended more than two dozen times. Each time that Americans bring this fact to forefront, it seems to assuage some of the “Constitutional-angst” among Iraqis, but that doesn’t change the fact that their government is about as solid as fog.

5) Register with Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces [biometrics for CF].
The “biometrics” part of #5 was an issue partly because Coalition Forces do not share biometrics with the ISF, and so in fact we are asking Iraqis to submit to photographing, fingerprinting and retinal scans for our use. The Iraqis politely offered their consensus that this was not a good idea, and Colonel Townsend chuckled, saying even Americans wouldn’t go for that. [Can’t blame him for trying.]

6) For your safety, wear a standard uniform and markings [an example was proposed].
The uniform idea was fine with the Iraqis, especially so since we killed at least six of their militia members in the last 30 days. I saw our guys shoot four 1920s guys a few days ago on Sunday, killing two of them. The shooting was the fault of the 1920s guys: had they been wearing uniforms, they would be alive today. The Iraqis agreed that uniforms are a good idea.

7) Receive hiring preference for Iraqi Police and Army.
Point number seven received nods of approval.
On the Oath, the matter was more interesting:

1) I will support and defend the Constitution of Iraq.
Discussion around Point One of the Oath was similar to that around Point Four of the 7 Rules.

2) I will cooperate fully with the Iraqi government.
Point two received some pushback, but again, imagine asking all Americans to swear that “I will comply fully with the American Government.” It would be un-American to agree to that! And here in Iraq, if I were an Iraqi, I would never agree to “I will cooperate fully with the Government of Iraq.” What government? The one in Baghdad that refuses to send legal food shipments to Diyala Province? I saw this with my own eyes and videotaped officials in the “Iraqi government” refusing to help the Diyala Government, calling Diyala (verbatim) a “terrorist province.” Even though Diyala has been a province riddled by terrorists lately, that still doesn’t change the fact that people here went without food because of the government people in Baghdad they are now supposed to pledge allegiance to. No smart person was likely to sign that line.

The other points were subject to briefer discussion and easier agreement, although the easiest of all parts of the Oath was point Six—I will not support sectarian agendas. Every Iraqi in the room immediately was aboard on this one, and they even seemed enthusiastic about it.

I’ve saved an unmentioned point for last. The Iraqi flag appeared on some of the slides. But the graphic showed an Iraqi flag without the traditional words “God is Great.” This was clearly a potential flash point. In fact, one of the Iraqi interpreters nearly recused himself from the conversation. LT David Wallach, whose native tongue is Arabic, told me after the meeting that Saddam had put “God is Great” on the flags so that Iraqis would stop grinding the flags into the dirt with their feet. He said that Iraqis would never trample on anything that had those words written on it.

But other than the interpreter’s sudden jitters, I detected no overt emotion among the Iraqis. In fact, they were all calm, professional, and very polite. An Iraqi Colonel was generous enough to offer that he believed it to be just a mistake that “God is Great” was left off the flag that was used on the slides. But the Iraqis all agreed that nobody was going to sign anything that displayed an Iraqi flag without the phrase “God is Great.”

This might seem ominous to us. “Allah u Akbar!” are, after all, words that we have become accustomed to hearing when someone is doing something bad, like burning an American flag, or blowing up Americans. But these issues are more like the intense legal and media battles over the words “In God We Trust” on the money in our pockets, or the ongoing furor in some sectors over the phrase “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible . . . ” in the Pledge of Allegiance. (Not to mention the dust storms kicked up by the Pledge itself.)

Seeing “God is Great” written on the Iraqi flag might provoke some to protest “Why did we come here just to stand up a country who would write such things on their flag?” But I sat there in that meeting, which was completely civil and professional, and I thought about another flag, the one flying over South Carolina. Some people call that flag “heritage,” while others call it “hateful,” “painful” and “demeaning.” And today in that meeting, I thought about the descendants of slaves who are now top military commanders in the American Army, and in that moment I knew that Iraq could make it.

God bless Col Townsend and all who serve with him. He is doing the work of warrior and diplomat in the tradition of I guess General Douglas McArthur . While the Democrats organize slumber parties and the State Dept. plans grand bargain games that more resemble grand illusions , from the safety of Foggy Bottom (or in the case of Iraq the Green Zone )the Majors and Colonels in the field are showing the word how diplomacy should work ....from a position of strength.

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MarySusan asked on 07/22/07 - BUSH TO BE CENSURED--MY FINAL POST

WASHINGTON — "Liberal Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold said Sunday he wants Congress to censure President Bush for his management of the Iraq war and his "assault" against the Constitution.

Feingold, a prominent war critic, said he soon plans to offer two censure resolutions _ measures that would amount to a formal condemnation of the Republican president.

The first would seek to reprimand Bush for, as Feingold described it, getting the nation into war without adequate military preparation and for issuing misleading public statements. The resolution also would cite Vice President Dick Cheney and perhaps other administration officials.

The second measure would seek to censure Bush for what the Democrat called a continuous assault against the rule of law through such efforts as the warrantless surveillance program against suspected terrorists, Feingold said. It would also ask for a reprimand of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and maybe others.

"This is an opportunity for people to say, let's at least reflect on the record that something terrible has happened here," said Feingold, D-Wis. "This administration has weakened America in a way that is frightful."


Yeah, "somethng terrible" happened here in America....Shit for brains Christian voters electing a shit for brains President who fucked up everything he touched.

tomder55 answered on 07/23/07:

lol censure ? that's the best they can come up with ? Boy the Huffpos the kossaks and the moveon idiots are going to be disappointed .

Why don't they have another all night pajama party defeat-a-thon ? In the end ;the democrats will have squandered 2 years with their irrational Bush hatred instead of governance . It will be the shortest majority control in history .

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Choux... asked on 07/20/07 - Founding Fathers Would Have Disliked Bush

"I'm in Boston today, getting ready for my standup special tomorrow night live on HBO (last shameless plug, I promise), and walking around the city has made me remember: oh yeah, America started here. That's right, America was invented by liberal men in Boston and Philadelphia. Not that I don't love all of America, but rednecks who think they're the real America should read a history book once in a while. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin, Madison -- the whole lot of them were well read, erudite, European thinking children of the enlightenment, and they would have had absolutely nothing in common and less to say to a cowboy simpleton like George Bush.

And speaking of who's a real American, was anyone as outraged as I was reading Robert Novak's little interview in the NY Times magazine on Sunday? Asked if in hindsight he would leave out the part of his 2003 column that identified Valerie Plame as a CIA operative, he said "I don't know. I thought journalistically it was justifiable. Nobody had told me -- and I still don't believe -- that it put anybody's life in danger. I don't think she was an important person in the CIA."

That really is quite an astounding quote, isn't it? How the hell would he know if it put anybody's life in danger? YOU'RE NOT IN THE CIA, BOB! They don't tell you any of their business! Considering the consequences of being wrong about such a hunch, is it really the patriotic thing to do? To sit in your office and just conjecture that this agent wasn't very important to the CIA? First, I think everyone who works at the CIA is important; and second, WHO THE HELL IS THIS MAN TO OUT PEOPLE IN THE DEADLY WORLD OF ESPIONAGE BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HE "THINKS"?!

With patriots like that, I'm sure glad there are traitors like me and Michael Moore still living...."



tomder55 answered on 07/21/07:

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, , James Madison were not north east liberals either .Bill Maher needs to brush up on his history . All 3 of these founders were from Virginia.

I also guess by his idiot logic that the founders would've also hated Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton because they were also simpletons from the South .

Plame may or may not have been an important person in the CIA .The point is that she was not a covert spy and had not been for a long time since Aldrich Ames outed her in 1994.She was an analyst staffer on the WMD desk . It was a legitimate question asking why the CIA would send a democrat hack to Niger to investigate such an important question. Everyone in Washington knew that Valerie Plame worked in the CIA . How did they know ? Because Joe Wilson loved to parade his trophy wife around town bragging about what she did . She was in 'Who's Who '.Novak used that to confirm the information he was given by Armitage (not Libby ....not Rove....not Cheney).

I wonder of Bill Maher is equally as outraged when the NY Slimes and the Washington Compost reveals national security secrets ? I kinda doubt it.

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arcura asked on 07/20/07 - What do you think about Fred Dalton Thompson

for president.

look here to see how he stand on issues.

tomder55 answered on 07/21/07:

I am leaning towards supporting either him or Rudy. My preference would be that both be on the ticket. I started seriously paying attention to him when he was publishing op-eds on the internet and making guest commentary on the Paul Harvey radio broadcasts . His is a sensible conservatism that has broad appeal .

So far he has taken all the shots that the very nervous Democrat campaign has thrown at him and they haven't damaged him at all. It is still early and I'll reserve my opinion until the NY primary or at least until he actually declares his candidacy. My belief is that once he does all the other candidates except perhaps Rudy will become 2nd tier candidates .

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MarySusan asked on 07/18/07 - BUSH-his strategy for fighting AlQuaeda a Failure

WASHINGTON, July 17 — President Bush’s top counterterrorism advisers acknowledged Tuesday that the strategy for fighting Osama bin Laden’s leadership of Al Qaeda in Pakistan had failed, as the White House released a grim new intelligence assessment that has forced the administration to consider more aggressive measures inside Pakistan.

Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, in Turbat recently. His strategy in tribal areas has been criticized by President Bush’s advisers.

The intelligence report, the most formal assessment since the Sept. 11 attacks about the terrorist threat facing the United States, concludes that the United States is losing ground on a number of fronts in the fight against Al Qaeda, and describes the terrorist organization as having significantly strengthened over the past two years."


Bush's man Chertoff of Homeland Security said that there will probably be an attack on America this summer by alQuaeda.

Why did Bush and the Neo-Cons totally screw up all the wars:

War in Afghanistan
War against Iraq
War against Jihadists

We are now worse off than we were on 910, no doubt about it.

tomder55 answered on 07/19/07:

Pervez Musharraf discovered that it is futility to try to negotiate with jihadistan. He ceded N Waziristan and that backfired on him .So he is beginning to get tough on them again .....witness the recent siege on a Pakistani mosque.

The NIE report appears fanciful to me. But DC makes a good point . Why are the critics of Bush so invested in the defeat of America?

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Choux... asked on 07/19/07 - Bush will ask for more troops in Sept after "Surge"

The Bush Administration has indoctrinated many Americans of lower intelligence into believing all his lies and misinformation about the War on Jihadists and Iraq. (See poll results of questions on the War on Iraq.)

In September after the current "Surge", Bush plans to send in *more troops*. (Washington insider rumor)

How do you feel about this?

tomder55 answered on 07/19/07:

I would unleash the air force and the fleet . They appear to be under utilized in this conflict. Bush has said he will follow General Petraeus' recomendations . Washington insiders should take a permanent vacation or get a real job.

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Choux... asked on 07/19/07 - Joe Biden on Bush

Senator Biden appeared On PBS's The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer this evening, and spoke about President Bush and the war in Iraq. While he argued that neither the Democrats or the President have offered a sustainable political solution for Iraq, he also said,

"There's a famous justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who once said, 'Prejudice is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more tightly it closes.' Well, for this president,information is like the pupil of the eye. The more information you give it, the more tightly he rejects it. He is living in an unrealistic fantasyland about the state of affairs on the ground in Iraq."


No one disagrees, do they?

tomder55 answered on 07/19/07:

Of all the serious Democrats I do have to admit that at least he has offered a practical alternative to debate. I don't agree with it ;his partition plan but at least it gives a framework for a rational discourse.

His ad hominem about President Bush is a cheap shot.

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denberg asked on 07/18/07 - Can someone answer me a question on Clinton?

Do you remember a few years ago when Clinton was being questioned by Starr about Lewinksy, he answered, "It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."

I was incredibly impressed by this at the time, how Clinton, under pressure, outwitted a bunch of prosecutors and law professors. However this was before I had a pc and I would like to read the entire transcript of that particular conversation (or at least the few paragraphs leading up to it). I've never forgotten Starr's fury at that exact moment - slamming his fist onto the table and letting out a snort of frustration. I want to read it again...

Many thanks.

tomder55 answered on 07/18/07:

yes but you have to find the text in the deposition yourself

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MarySusan asked on 07/17/07 - Political Live Chat Tomorrow

"...tomorrow at 2 pm EDT, as the dust settles on the Senate showdown, HuffPost will host a live chat with's Tom Matzzie, who is currently spearheading a multi-state, multi-media, multi-million dollar campaign focused on turning up the heat on Republicans who are obstructing an end to the war. To take part, please send your Iraq questions, along with your name and town, to between now and the start of the chat. Then be sure to log on to HuffPost Wednesday at 2 o'clock Eastern for this timely and vital conversation..."


Join me and sign up to be a participant on the live chat event on huffingtonpost tomorrow at 2. Start sending in your questions now so you will be considered!

Mary Sue

tomder55 answered on 07/18/07:

to save time the Huffpos and Kossaks should just go to the podium and speak for themselves instead of using their Democrat stooges to do their talking for them . Yesterday's stunt was one of the Senates historic low points.

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Mathatmacoat asked on 07/17/07 - Congratulations!

I want to congratulate the good people of this Board for their good manners and the lack of spam which seems to infest certain other places on answerway

tomder55 answered on 07/18/07:

if you want good manners and a lively debate go to askmehelpdesk

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Mathatmacoat asked on 07/17/07 - Are you bored?

I am and although I seldom post nwes articles I couldn't resist this one.

Global Warming now world's most boring topic: report
Jim Schembri
July 18, 2007

Global warming and the debate over whether man-made carbon gas emissions are having a detrimental influence on climate change has been ranked as the most boring topic of conversation on earth, according to a new report.

The issue of global warming far out-performed other contenders for the title, such as the production of goat cheese, the musical genius of the artist formerly known as P Diddy and media speculation over the likely outcome of the upcoming federal election.

These topics still tracked strongly, according to the report, but global warming was identified as the topic most likely to prompt people into feigning heart attacks so as to avoid hearing the phrases "procrastination penalty", "precautionary principle" and "peer-reviewed analysis" ever again.

The study, conducted by a non-partisan think tank located somewhere between the small township of Tibooburra and the NSW border, identified global warming as the current topic of choice for people who want their dinner party to finish early.

According to the parents in the survey, global warming has now replaced the traditional bedtime story when it comes to putting children to sleep. The study found the topic was also being used instead of water cannon by riot police around the world to disperse crowds.

In a key finding, the survey revealed that the amount of damaging carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of discussing the global warming issue now exceeds the greenhouse gas emissions of northern China.

The survey also raised a number of important issues regarding the global warming debate.

Of those surveyed, 83 per cent said that while they understood both sides of the issue, they did not understand Al Gore.

Participants in the study were asked whether Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth had helped enlighten people to the importance of the global warming issue.

The standard response was that if the issue of global warming is as important and urgent to Gore as he keeps saying every time he is on Letterman, then why didn't he make the movie during the eight years he was vice-president of the United States, the second most powerful position in the world? Why did he wait until his political career was dead?

The issue was also raised as to why Gore personally came out to promote his film in Australia - a relatively insignificant market - and then make a big deal about all the carbon off-setting he had done to counter the pollution his trip had generated. Over 95 per cent of those who took part in the survey wanted to know why he didn't just do it all from his house via satellite.

Other key findings of the survey were:

* 89 per cent wanted to know how it was possible for humans to control the climate, given that they have enough trouble forecasting it;

* 96 per cent believe those who use the term "climate change denial" are attempting to equate it with "Holocaust denial"

* 100 per cent of these respondents also believe such people should receive lengthy prison terms for crimes against the English language;

* 79 per cent of the bands that took part in the Live Earth event did so because they feared the planet would be destroyed by global warming before they had a chance to receive free worldwide television exposure;

* 87 per cent only tuned in to watch the lead singer from Sneaky Sound System, who is hot;

* 92 per cent of those same people watched her on mute because they didn't want to hear that song again;

Of all the issues raised in the survey, most common was whether the global warming debate was all just an elaborate ruse designed to sell stuff.

The study highlighted how those who subscribe to the prophecy of global warming automatically commit themselves to purchasing a vast array of expensive products, whereas sceptics don't have to buy anything to support their point of view.

Over 98 per cent of people surveyed also predicted that the standard response from global warming proponents to that last statement would be: "yeah, it won't cost anything - except the future of your planet".

tomder55 answered on 07/18/07:

Gore's an idiot . He leaves a larger carbon footprint just in his personal residence then any 25 common folk.

The topic is not boring but legitimate debated is being stifled . Scientists rush to defend faulty conclusions becasue they know where their bread is buttered .

Anyway ;here in the states when we get bored about global warming there is always Posh Beckman or Paris Hilton to talk about .

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paraclete asked on 07/14/07 - It this is so why wait until April?

Iraq PM: Country Can Manage Without U.S.
AP - Sat, 14 Jul 2007 23:20:12 -0400 (EDT)

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress on Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave "any time they want."

One of his top aides, meanwhile, accused the United States of embarrassing the Iraqi government by violating human rights and treating his country like an "experiment in a U.S. lab."

Al-Maliki sought to display confidence at a time when pressure is mounting in Congress for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. forces. On Thursday, the House passed a measure calling for the U.S. to withdraw its troops by spring, hours after the White House reported mixed progress by the Iraqi government toward meeting 18 benchmarks.

During a press conference,
al-Maliki shrugged off the progress report, saying that difficulty in enacting the reforms was "natural" given Iraq's turmoil.

"We are not talking about a government in a stable political environment but one in the shadow of huge challenges," al-Maliki said. "So when we talk about the presence of some negative points in the political process, that's fairly natural."

Al-Maliki said his government needs "time and effort" to enact the political reforms that Washington seeks -- "particularly since the political process is facing security, economic and services pressures, as well as regional and international interference."

But he said if necessary, Iraqi police and soldiers could fill the void left by the departure of coalition forces.

"We say in full confidence that we are able, God willing, to take the responsibility completely in running the security file if the international forces withdraw at any time they want," he said.

One of al-Maliki's close advisers, Shiite lawmaker Hassan al-Suneid, bristled over the American pressure, telling The Associated Press that "the situation looks as if it is an experiment in an American laboratory (judging) whether we succeed or fail."

He sharply criticized the U.S. military, saying it was committing human rights violations and embarrassing the Iraqi government through such tactics as building a wall around Baghdad's Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah and launching repeated raids on suspected Shiite militiamen in the capital's slum of Sadr City.

He also criticized U.S. overtures to Sunni groups in Anbar and Diyala provinces, encouraging former insurgents to join the fight against al-Qaida in Iraq. "These are gangs of killers," he said.

tomder55 answered on 07/15/07:

"We are not talking about a government in a stable political environment but one in the shadow of huge challenges," al-Maliki said. "So when we talk about the presence of some negative points in the political process, that's fairly natural."

He's correct . The Democrats set benchmarks for themselves following their 2006 congressional victory . How many of them have they achieved ? Answer ;they raised the minimum wage. I laugh at the American defeatocrats. They called the surge a failure before Gen.Petraeus had time to deploy all the troops .The General was overwhelmingly confirmed by Congress for this job. During his hearings he outlined his plan . He told them that he would make his first meaningful progress report in September. Yet they are already calling it a failure.

Why ? Because the Iraqi gvt. has met only half of the phony benchmarks that our Congress imposes on them . Yes it does appear to be an American laboratory experiment . Our Congress has taken 2 or 3 lengthy vacations since January and yet complain when an Iraqi Gvt. ;whose members risk their lives just by showing up,take a month off in the middle of 130 degree F summer.

He also criticized U.S. overtures to Sunni groups in Anbar and Diyala provinces, encouraging former insurgents to join the fight against al-Qaida in Iraq.

On that issue he is wrong .There has been tremendous progress in getting Sunni cooperation in defeating foreign jihadi who are responsible for most of the problems in the country .

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HANK1 asked on 07/12/07 - Cleaning House:

Let's bring all of our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Let's round-up all the illegals in America and send them back to where they came from. Let's get health insurance for everyone in the United States. Bottom-line: Let the greatest country on Earth take care of itself and allow us to quit worrying about everyone in the World. We should be spending more money on self-preservation instead of pooping it away on lost causes.

At least that's one scenario! However, not necessarily mine! Any comments?


tomder55 answered on 07/15/07:

You know my response already ;the road out of Iraq goes through Demascus and Tehran . What Bobby is talking about in his posting is that Syria ;taking it's marching orders from the Mahdi -hatter ;has already advanced and dug in 3 miles inside Lebanon to prop up the Hezbollah . They in turn will attempt a take over of the Lebanese gvt. in the next couple of weeks .

The US has discovered Iranian missiles in Iraq aimed at US bases ,and has confirmed that advanced IEDs are being manufactured in Iran and smuggled into Iraq . They are responsible for hundreds of the US casualties.

The solution to the immigation issue proposed is not realistic . Close the border 1st ,and enforce the laws regarding employer hirings . Then I would streamline the visa system and increase the number of visas with preference given to the higher skilled professionals who wish to enter.

As I've said many times ,we do not have the luxury of retreating to fortress America protected by large oceans on the flank anymore. It doesn't take days to get here but hours. We are in a global economy and very dependent on it.

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paraclete asked on 07/05/07 - The Gun Nuts are loose again!

or is it that Bob Katter is loose again?

You can tell it's an election year, the red necks are out in force.

Bob Katter calls for guns to fend off crocodile 'plague'

By Brian Williams

July 06, 2007 01:00am
Article from: The Courier-Mail

* MP says croc 'plague' spreading to new towns
* Says people should be armed and allowed to shoot
* Minister rejects 'gun-happy hillbillies' plan

ALL north Queensland residents and travellers should be armed with high-calibre weapons to protect themselves from crocodiles, according to maverick MP Bob Katter.

Mr Katter said croc numbers had reached plague proportions and the reptiles were being seen in places never before recorded.

"This is unprecedented in human history," Mr Katter said.

"They are knocking (ecosystems) out of gear ... and when you get them in those numbers, they are eating barra that have never been eaten before."

He said northerners were increasingly worried about the reptiles - which were almost exterminated by hunters in the 1960s - after sightings near beaches, boat ramps and swimming holes.

Croc sightings are reasonably common around Cairns and Townsville, where residents reported crocodiles off the town beach late last year.

Queensland Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald is also a longtime proponent of culling and northern MHR Warren Entsch has argued that trophy hunting might be a way of bringing revenue to remote communities.

Mr Katter said the state Government's crocodile management plan, which did not allow culling, was a joke.

"Should we have our kids eaten because of a decision by some absolute imbecilic public servant who's never been off the bitumen in Brisbane?" he said.

"People should be armed. What do they want us to do? Knock them on the head with a hammer?"

Environment Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr said Mr Katter's suggestions were ridiculous.

"The last thing Queensland needs is a bunch of gun-happy hillbillies on a crocodile shoot," she said.

Australia Zoo spokesman Wes Mannion, who captured rogue crocodiles with wildlife celebrity Steve Irwin, said there were many things in the world more dangerous than crocodiles.

"What about Mr Katter's car? Cars kill thousands of people each year," Mr Mannion said.

Environmental Protection Agency wildlife conservation branch director Rebecca Williams said there had been 17 attacks since 1985, and of those five were fatal.

Research by Queensland Parks and Wildlife scientist Mark Read has shown that about 60 per cent of people involved in incidents with crocodiles had been drinking.

tomder55 answered on 07/07/07:

this sounds very much like the problem e have here with deer and black bear. Conservation efforts were needed to avoid extinction but now they are not in danger .

The other problem is that human population leaving the cities is now encroaching on lands where these critters dwell. Of course human enounters with them are increasing.

Culling is indeed one way of dealing with the problem . On Fire Island NY the deer population got rediculously large. There was no longr a natural predator for them and they were becoming domesticated. The solution was to send in licensed hunters who kill em and grill em to shoot em. Once the population became more realistic the hunt stopped.

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Choux... asked on 07/02/07 - BRING THEM ON!!!!

Today is the fourth anniversary of the famous Bush expression named above:

"..anybody who wants to harm American troops will be found and brought to justice. There are some who feel like that if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they're talking about, if that's the case.

Let me finish. There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring them on!"



tomder55 answered on 07/03/07:

and this is what he said last year :

“Saying `bring it on,’ kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people,” the president said in answer to a question about mistakes he made in Iraq. “I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner — you know, `wanted dead or alive,’ that kind of talk.”

All during the Presidential campaign in 2004 a big to do was made over the fact that he would not publicly admit any mistakes. Now we know why . Moonbats will continue to gloat whether he admits them or not.But intellectual honesty is not a strength of the left.

Perhaps they bring up this non-issue because they cannot use news from the front to bolster their argument anymore they dwell in the past.

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Dark_Crow asked on 06/22/07 - Why do the European’s hate America?..............

I’m told it is because of capitalism; especially Germany, others say it is still a “Jewish” problem. That the moods of the rural populations reflect the mood of the thirties, and when the economy fails, and it will, there will be hell to pay.

Which brings me to the other question: Why don’t we pay attention to where our future lies, across the Pacific, and forget about the E.U. and especially Germany; where Democracy will soon end - That is, stop asking why certain people are not our friends (I already know, they have become Socialist.) .

tomder55 answered on 06/22/07:

Why do they hate us ? I liken it to those old spaghetti westerns. The weak townfolk would cower at the bad guys and beg the governor to send a sheriff .A Clint Eastwood type sheriff would come in and clean up the town and although they appreciated the efforts of the sheriff ;in fact they were just as afraid of him as they were of the bad guys. They long for those good ole days when they did not need to have a sheriff from outside to protect them .

You are correct in your assessement that our future is in the Asia ( I don't say Pacific because you also have to factor the Indian sub-Continent . I think our President understands this and that is why he negotiated the controversial pact with India over nuclear development .

If you don't get the Atlantic Magazine you should pick up this month's issue (July /August ) .It is a special China issue . The front page story : "Why China's rise is good for us " . I don't necessarily buy into the premise but I have not completed the issue yet .

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paraclete asked on 06/21/07 - Now that's disgusting

Get set for a rude awakening

June 22, 2007 01:00am
Article from: The Daily Telegraph

AUSTRALIAN politics has been rocked this week by the shocking revelation, captured on film, that swearing occurs on building sites.

This follows horrific footage last week that some construction workers wear bad T-shirts and carry a bit of weight around the midriff.

Footage of a West Australian union official, forced by a federal government officer to leave an unsafe building site, responding with some choice expletives, has sent the political classes into a lather.

Hold the presses.

Building workers swear, they also curse, cuss and diss.

They do so in an industry where a worker dies, on average, every week.

Because lives and limbs are at stake tempers can flare, particularly when workers are told they can not take a stand on safety.

Before we watch the union official in question hoisted on a four-letter cross today, it's worth asking ourselves whether swearing in the Australian workplace is such an outrage.

Let's start on the cricket pitch.

For generations, Australia's representatives have used the well-aimed expletive as a way of unsettling and, yes, intimidating an opponent.

Back in 1932, at the height of bodyline, Australian players accused English captain Douglas Jardine of being a "bastard".

When Jardine complained at the close of play to Australian captain Victor Richardson, he turned to the dressing room and asked: "Which of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?"

Richardson's grandson Ian Chappell nurtured that tradition, pioneering what we now refer to as "sledging", which has turned into a fine art in recent years.

Matthew Hayden, Darren Lehmann and, of course, Shane Warne have all been pinged letting slip colourful adjectives.

What can we learn from our cricketers?

Probably that the best response to verbal abuse is humour.

When an Aussie cricketer asked Zimbabwean tail-end batsman Eddie Brandes why he was so fat, Brandes replied: "Because every time I sleep with your wife she gives me a biscuit."

Game, set and match to Eddie.

TV and radio recording studios are other workplaces where colourful language can sometimes be heard.

The doyen of talkback Alan Jones has an impressive back-catalogue of off-mike sprays, letting fly at everything from "f..king dust in the studio" to having to "catch a plane to raise f..king money for charity."

For former Today Tonight host Naomi Robson, things turned blue when there was an autocue problem.

"F..king drop it in at the last minute ... You should be able to read every f..king word, every comma. It should be very specific because if we've seen it before we've got a chance in our mind to go 'oh look they've f..ked up this, they've f..ked up that."'

As Naomi looks for a new career, maybe she should consider the building industry.

Which brings us to our politicians, whose workplace has the procedural equivalent of a swear-box, known as un-Parliamentary language.

It means that you can say basically anything you like about an opponent, as long as you then withdraw it from the record.

Things are not so simple outside Parliament.

When former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett and then Opposition front-bencher Andrew Peacock were caught on mobile phone discussing our Prime Minister's character they actually invented some brand new terms of abuse.

When media outlets attempted to air the tape the required beeps were so frequent it sounded like an old Roadrunner cartoon.

Interestingly, on becoming PM, John Howard rewarded Peacock for his creativity by appointing him to Australia's most sensitive diplomatic posting, ambassador to the US.

The final word on swearing should really go to the Howard Government.

When deciding the best way to market Australia abroad, what did they do?

They put a model in a bikini and paid her to swear.

Workers can rightly be asking today: "Where the bloody hell is the consistency?"

When did it become a crime to swear on a building sites?

And why is this front page news?

* Dave Noonan is national secretary CFMEU construction division

tomder55 answered on 06/22/07:

What ? With keeping the aboriginals from getting their daily brew I would think their plate was full !

If swearing scares off an Iranian sailor pirate I'm all for it.

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paraclete asked on 06/21/07 - A lesson for George and Condi

on how to deal with the Iranians

'Robust' Aussies fend off Iranians

June 22, 2007 08:38am
Article from: AAP

* Colourful language helps Aussies avoid capture
* Aussies react quickly, Brits caught at most vulnerable
* Video: 'You can't take us, we're Aussies'

AN Australian Navy boarding crew in the Gulf of Persia repelled an Iranian gunboat that threatened them a matter of weeks before 15 British sailors were captured in a similar incident, it was reported today.

The capture of the British crew in March developed into a major diplomatic incident before their release was negotiated.

But BBC reporter Frank Gardner, a security specialist, reported the Australians managed to avoid a similar incident - pointing their guns at the Iranians and used "colourful language" before a gunboat withdrew.


"What I've been told by several sources, military sources, (is that) there was a similar encounter, in this case between the Royal Australian Navy and Iranian gunboats, some months ago, or at least some months prior to the seizing of the British sailors," Gardner said on ABC radio.

"The Australians escaped capture by climbing back on board the ship they'd just searched. I'm told that they set up their weapons.

"No shots were exchanged but the Iranians backed off and the Australians were able to get helicoptered off that ship and they didn't get captured."

Robust attitude

He did not mention the name of the Australian ship.

Australians ships rotate through duties in the Gulf, chiefly searching ships.

"What I'm hearing is that it was a pretty robust attitude by the Australians," Gardner said.

"The words that somebody said to me was that they used pretty colourful language but I'm sure that alone didn't make the Iranians back off.

"They reacted, I'm told, incredibly quickly, whereas the Brits were caught at their most vulnerable moment climbing down off the ship (and) getting into their boats."

Gardner said the British should be embarrassed about the incident, but the issue was whether military intelligence had been passed on.


"The point of this story is not that the Aussies were fantastically brave and the Brits were a bunch of cowards, although I'm sure some people will interpret (it that way)," he said.

"Lessons should have been drawn from what happened to the Australian crew."

He said he had not been able to find out whether the information on the Australian incident had been passed on to the British.

Prime Minister John Howard said today he was not in a position to confirm the report, but told Channel 7: "I'll be getting some further advice on it later this morning.

"The only thing I can say is that the people we have in the Gulf are engaged in very dangerous work and the RAN has done a fantastic job and a very courageous job.

"As to the particulars of that claim, I'm not advised."

tomder55 answered on 06/22/07:

This makes the British incident look even more rediculous than it was. If there was advanced notice that the Iranians were making this type of attempt then the Brits should've been prepared. Unfortunately in no way does the British navy resemble the navy of 'Britannia rules the waves' fame. It has been gutted and more reductions are in their future.

I like the Aussie "robust attitude ".Sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

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Mathatmacoat asked on 06/20/07 - Hey Mary Susan what happened to the politics board

since you turned up it has disappeared.

tomder55 answered on 06/21/07:

go to askme help desk it is a cite that has real moderators who care about the cite.

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Dark_Crow asked on 06/15/07 - Mass. preserves gay marriage

The state legislature defeated a constitutional amendment to let the voters decide on a ban.
"We're proud of our state today, and we applaud the legislature for showing that Massachusetts is strongly behind fairness," (homosexuality)said Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.

What perversion next?

tomder55 answered on 06/16/07:

From strictly a political standpoint these state by state decisions are not tenable. Why ? Because the Constitution is very explicit on the issue. Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution is commonly known as the Full Faith and Credit Clause.It states :

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.

And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Eventually this has to become a national issue. The clause stipulates that barring Congressional intervention ,(or Constitutional Amendment) ,the contracts exercised in Mass.(or San.Fran. or any place else that permits gay marriage) must be honored in Miss.or any other State that by statute prohibits it.

What perversion next ? Rick Santorum created alot of controversy with this comment :"In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be."........"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."

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MarySusan asked on 06/13/07 - SITE OF FUTURE IMPROVED POLITICS BOARD!!

I plan on upgrading this Board by inviting new folks to participate, citizens who want a lively give and take about political issues that effect the lives of all decent citizens.

People who want to learn about the serious issues of our time, and people who want to share their knowledge (not propaganda and/or hate)with others for the betterment of all concerned.


tomder55 answered on 06/14/07:

talking to yourself again ?

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CeeBee2 asked on 06/08/07 - Our depleted military--------------------

from the Internet:

Col. Andy Bacevich, America's foremost writer on military affairs, documents in the current issue of The American Conservative that Bush's insane war has depleted and exhausted the US Army and Marine Corps:

"Only a third of the regular Army's brigades qualify as combat-ready. In the reserve components, none meet that standard. When the last of the units reaches Baghdad as part of the president's strategy of escalation, the US will be left without a ready-to-deploy land force reserve."

"The stress of repeated combat tours is sapping the Army's lifeblood. Especially worrying is the accelerating exodus of experienced leaders. The service is currently short 3,000 commissioned officers. By next year, the number is projected to grow to 3,500. The Guard and reserves are in even worse shape. There the shortage amounts to 7,500 officers. Young West Pointers are bailing out of the Army at a rate not seen in three decades. In an effort to staunch the losses, that service has begun offering a $20,000 bonus to newly promoted captains who agree to stay on for an additional three years. Meanwhile, as more and more officers want out, fewer and fewer want in: ROTC scholarships go unfilled for a lack of qualified applicants."


One of my library volunteers was wooed by the Navy. Twenty-six y/o Barlaham is from Colombia and was promised a quicker route to citizenship, healthy paychecks, college, and was told about the benefits of the GI Bill if he signed up for the requisite four years. He did so, wanting a better life for himself, his wife, and his two stepdaughters. He had met with recruiters from all military branches and deliberately chose the Navy with the hope he won't end up getting killed in a conflict with a Middle Eastern country. He told me he would never have signed up with the Army or Marines.

tomder55 answered on 06/08/07:

Military Meets, Exceeds Recruiting Goals

The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 12, 2006; 11:11 PM

WASHINGTON -- Though Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the war in Iraq, the Pentagon said Tuesday it is having success enlisting new troops. The Navy and Air Force met their recruiting goals last month while the Army and Marine Corps exceeded theirs , the Defense Department announced.

Col. Andy Bacevich's opposition to the Iraq war is well known ;but I think part of his harshness is bitterness because he lost his son in the conflict . He may be a writer of military affairs but he is hardly the foremost and his is just one of many opinions by former officers that cover the whole spectrum of the debate. Frankly ;he sounds like Congressman Murhta and his hysterical 'the Army is broken 'screed. I know Sr. officers who would beg to differ .

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CeeBee2 asked on 06/05/07 - More fun -- fencing our southern border...............

From Digger online --

Experts (And Digger) Say Virtual Fence Won't Work
By Digger

Experts -- and I -- agree that virtual fences don't work. They've been tried and failed. However where real fences have been tried, like in San Diego, they have been very effective. The cost differential is mild compared to the amount of money already thrown away on these experimental programs.

Washington Post

Since 1995, spending on border security has increased tenfold, from $1.2 billion to $12.7 billion, and the number of Border Patrol agents has more than doubled, from 5,000 to 12,319, according to the House Appropriations Committee. Yet the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has jumped from 5 million to more than 11 million.

In that same time no less than 2 "virtual fences" have been tried and failed. They obviously don't work and other than someone scratching someones business buddies back to the tune of $2.5 billion in taxpayer money, the latest "virtual fence", called the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) awarded to Boeing, is doomed to failure as well.

The Department of Homeland Security and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service spent $429 million since 1998 on video and remote surveillance on the borders. But nearly half of 489 planned cameras were never installed, 60 percent of sensor alerts are never investigated, 90 percent of the rest are false alarms, and only 1 percent overall resulted in arrests, the Homeland Security inspector general reported in December.

That was really successful! And people are complaining about a few billion for a real fence.

Last week the House passed HR 6061 The Secure Fence Act and the Senate will be voting on HR 6061 which provides 700 miles of physical border fence next week.

"There has been a huge amount of money poured into the border . . . but the track record of the performance of these technologies is disappointing," said Doris Meissner, former INS commissioner.

Because they don't work and people keep proposing them because they don't want them to work. There are enemies in our midst that want these illegal aliens to keep pouring across. They make big money on them. Of course it's at the expense of the American taxpayer.

I'd say these "virtual fences" are "virtually" worthless.

tomder55 answered on 06/05/07:

I totally agree .Unless they help monitor solid walls they are useless and a virtual panacea .

To the broader point ;none of us here to my knowlege opposes legal immigration . If the country needs and expanded work force then by all means it should be easier and less cumbersone for immigrants to go through the process.

That being said ;back in 1986 a general amnesty was supposed to be coupled with all other guarantees to restrict the flow of illegals into the country. That bill was passed and no effort was made at the border control end of the bargain .12-15 million illegals later we are effectively being offered the same bargain again ..

Well ...fool me once.............

That is essentially the conservative opposition to the current plan being debated. WE just do not believe they take border security seriously . In a 9-11 world that is not acceptable.

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CeeBee2 asked on 06/05/07 - Just for fun -- the more things change................

It's interesting that the Republicans had a different message when Clinton was President:

KY's Senior Senator Mitch McConnell said during a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate
"Domestic terrorism is not a cause we have to fight or a project we need to fund. We are not interested in capturing bin Laden. Even though he has been offered to us. We are not the world's policemen. It's not our job to clean up other countries messes or arrest it's bad guys."


"You can support the troops but not the president."--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)"

American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

And the quote that wins the top prize:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."-- Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

tomder55 answered on 06/05/07:

good job Ceebee . As one who supported the Balkans campaigns I'd have to say that those quoted above were wrong then and generally right now. My guess is that they mistakenly reflected the realist impulse of the Republicans in the pre- 9-11 world.(which is still reflected in the attitudes of people like James Baker) You will recall that I have constantly compared President Bush to a Democrat President ;Harry Truman . Just this week there was another article comparing him to another Democrat war time President ..Woodrow Wilson . The comparisons are valid in the basic belief by all three that democracy can and should be exported .

I guess you've already heard all the Democrat quotes from the 1990s about the need for regime change in Iraq (for many of the same reasons btw that were used to justify the war against Serbia. ). Do you equally say that they were wrong ?

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Itsdb asked on 06/05/07 - The latest on global warming...again

Get the tin-foil hats out again:

Agencies cut back efforts to monitor global warming from space

    The Bush administration is drastically scaling back efforts to measure global warming from space, just as President Bush tries to convince the world the United States is ready to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gases.

    A confidential report to the White House, obtained by The Associated Press, warns that U.S. scientists will soon lose much of their ability to monitor warming from space using a costly and problem-plagued satellite initiative begun more than a decade ago.

    Because of technology glitches and a near-doubling in the original $6.5 billion cost, the Defense Department has decided to downsize and launch four satellites paired into two orbits, instead of six satellites and three orbits.

    The satellites were intended to gather weather and climate data, replacing existing satellites as they come to the end of their useful lifetimes beginning in the next couple of years.

    The reduced system of four satellites will now focus on weather forecasting. Most of the climate instruments needed to collect more precise data over long periods are being eliminated.

    Instead, the Pentagon and two partners -- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA -- will rely on European satellites for most of the climate data.

    "Unfortunately, the recent loss of climate sensors ... places the overall climate program in serious jeopardy," NOAA and NASA scientists told the White House in the Dec. 11 report obtained by the AP.

    They said they will face major gaps in data that can be collected only from satellites about ice caps and sheets, surface levels of seas and lakes, sizes of glaciers, surface radiation, water vapor, snow cover and atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    Rick Piltz, director of Climate Science Watch, a watchdog program of the Washington-based Government Accountability Project, called the situation a crisis.

    "We're going to start being blinded in our ability to observe the planet," said Piltz, whose group provided the AP with the previously undisclosed report. "It's criminal negligence, and the leaders in the climate science community are ringing the alarm bells on this crisis."

It's "criminal negligence" to quit wasting so much money on a "problem-plagued satellite initiative"? Here's an idea, let's make this thing work before we drive the screws deeper into the American people. Shouldn't it be criminal to give idiots like this a public forum?

The UN has issued its latest IPCC installment:

If global warming was doing things at a "chilling pace" wouldn't it be cooling? We're now back to the drastic sea rise scenario:

Surfing anyone?

tomder55 answered on 06/05/07:

I don't suppose that Piltz would consider launching his own sat.monitoring system. Perhaps he could lend his technical expertise to the NASA and Dept. Def. engineers who are tasked to making projects like this work.

As I recall;it took a manned mission to Hubble to give the telescope a pair of contact lenses for it to start sending back those beautiful pictures of deep space.

As I recall ;a couple of Mars probes crashed after months in transit to the planet;one of them because the engineers neglected to properly convert English to metric measurements .

As I recall we tragically lost 2 shuttles.One because we neglected to consider the possibilities of O rings being compromised by cold weather ;and one because we did not figure that foam coming off the fuel tank during lift off would damage heat shields.

As I recall NASA projects are started and cancelled all the time. Many are plagued by cost over-runs and are ill conceived in design or utility .

Are all these criminally negligent in nature ? Maybe Piltz should spread his moon-bat wings and take flight ;and monitor the global climate himself. No other data would convince him anyway.

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Itsdb asked on 06/04/07 - Oops

Another setback in the Dems pledge to end corruption in congress...

    Grand jury indicts Rep. Jefferson in bribery investigation

    WASHINGTON - Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes and money-laundering in a long-running bribery investigation into business deals he tried to broker in Africa.

    The indictment handed up in federal court in Alexandria., Va., Monday is 94 pages long and lists 16 alleged violations of federal law that could keep Jefferson in prison for up to 235 years, according to a Justice Department official who has seen the document.

    Among the charges listed in the indictment, said the official, are racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money-laundering, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

    Jefferson is accused of soliciting bribes for himself and his family, and also for bribing a Nigerian official.

    Almost two years ago, in August 2005, investigators raided Jefferson’s home in Louisiana and found $90,000 in cash stuffed into a box in his freezer.

    Jefferson, 63, whose Louisiana district includes New Orleans, has said little about the case publicly but has maintained his innocence. He was re-elected last year despite the looming investigation.

    Jefferson, in Louisiana on Monday, could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Two of Jefferson’s associates have already struck plea bargains with prosecutors and have been sentenced.

    Brett Pfeffer, a former congressional aide, admitted soliciting bribes on Jefferson’s behalf and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

    Another Jefferson associate, Louisville, Ky., telecommunications executive Vernon Jackson, pleaded guilty to paying between $400,000 and $1 million in bribes to Jefferson in exchange for his assistance securing business deals in Nigeria and other African nations. Jackson was sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

    Both Pfeffer and Jackson agreed to cooperate in the case against Jefferson in exchanges for their pleas.

    The impact of the case has stretched across continents and even roiled presidential politics in Nigeria. According to court records, Jefferson told associates that he needed cash to pay bribes to the country’s vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

    Abubakar denied the allegations, which figured prominently in that country’s presidential elections in April. Abubakar ran for the presidency and finished third.

    Court records indicate that Jefferson was videotape taking a $100,000 cash bribe from an FBI informant. Most of that money later turned up in a freezer in Jefferson’s home.

Well so what? It was just Bush overstepping boundaries again by conducting this raid in the first place, right? Maybe the Dems have contributed to ending the "culture of corruption" after all, since they no longer have "a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime."


tomder55 answered on 06/05/07:

I wonder how much of the case was built because of the raid. Seems like having him on tape committing the crime and finding the evidence stashed in the freezer would be enough to indict. I had no doubt that the raid was constitutional but I would use that approach very cautiously .

When Jefferson is convicted it will represent the 2nd largest case of corruption ;2nd only to Duke Cunnigham. Seems like the culture of corruption is a broad enough street for both parties to travel on.....The one thing I have seen truely bi-partisan coming out of Congress.

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kindj asked on 06/04/07 - I hate to say "I told you so..."

Dunno if anyone remembers (or if I even said it here), but I've maintained since day 1 that Putin is a bad guy, who wants nothing more than a return to the bad ol' days.

Well, here's another reason:

Updated: 8:15 a.m. CT June 4, 2007
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow could take “retaliatory steps” if Washington proceeds with plans to build a missile defense system for Europe, including possibly aiming nuclear weapons at targets on the continent.

Read the rest:

I don't like the guy. I don't trust the guy.


tomder55 answered on 06/04/07:

That's because you did not look him in the eyes and see his soul . We did not see the good former KGB strongman as Bush did . He's got to keep up appearances on the home front. The homies don't consider him a good Euroweenie like we do . They think he's a "bad guy" who murders his opposition and is systematically reversing Russian democracy.

Our intent of course is to shield Europe from nuclear black mail by Islamo-nazi nukes in the future. We have offered to share the technology with Russia but Putin at least dismisses the idea of an Islamic threat.
How could Russian developed Iranian missiles possibly be a threat to Russia ?

I also think alot of this has to do with the upcoming G-8 summit. In the past he was able to get back up by his good buddies Chirac and Schroeder. But new leadership in France and Germany have changed the equation. Angela Merkel is much more wary of the Russians and Nicolas Sarkozy,has condemned human rights abuses by pro-Russian forces in Chechnya .

What was Rush's old line about Gorbachov ? The only difference between him and any other Russian leader of the past is that he's breathing.

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kindj asked on 06/03/07 - Just heard on the news...

Fred Thompson is running! Just heard on NBC news.



tomder55 answered on 06/04/07:

yup ;he handed in his resignation to 'Law and Order' and to Paul Harvey so it looks like he's in .

The good thing is that at the grass-roots level his organization has been developing without his go-ahead . I agree with him that it is not too late. I think he could enter as late as November and still be a factor in the early primaries held in Feb. next year. (look for Al Gore to enter just after he wins the Nobel Peace Prize in the fall. )

The Wall Street Journal editorialized that Thompson's first big test of viability will be his ability to raise money quickly. They are skeptics about his ability to raise sufficient funds on the internet. But Howard Dean proved in 2004 that it could be done. The fact that he imploded after the fact had nothing to do with his fund raising abilities .

Thompson argues :"..the biggest problem we have today is what I believe is the disconnect between Washington, D.C., and the people of the United States. People are looking around at the pork barrel spending and the petty politics, the backbiting. The fighting over all things, large or small, is creating a cynicism among our people."
That cynicism is why Thompson believes that an unconventional run for the White House will have traction. To the skeptics Thompson says plainly :"it's too late to follow those rules even if I wanted to, and I don't want to."

I for one can't wait to see it. Item by item ;I agree with his positions more than any other candidate . Additionally he communicates them in a Linconesque or Will Rogers sorta down home common sense style that is easily understandable .

John Fund at the Wall Street Journal put it this way ; ...what Fred Thompson demonstrated to an enthusiastic Virginia Republican Party dinner Saturday is that he has gravitas, a presence and the ability to make people comfortable.

My only reservations is the question :Can he win in the general elections ?

Here is Thompson's most recent commentary on the Paul Harvey radio cast .As usual he is 100% correct.

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Itsdb asked on 06/01/07 - Global warming updates

In my paper today the AP painted Bush's announcement to press for "a global target for reducing greenhouse gases" as Bush doing a 180. Another AP article revealed (surprise) that environmental groups were quick to criticize Bush's plan.

    Friends of the Earth president Brent Blackwelder called the proposal "a complete charade. It is an attempt to make the Bush administration look like it takes global warming seriously without actually doing anything to curb emissions."

    National Environmental Trust president Philip Clapp said, "This is a transparent effort to divert attention from the president's refusal to accept any emissions reductions proposals at next week's G8 summit. After sitting out talks on global warming for years, the Bush administration doesn't have very much credibility with other governments on the issue."

    And, Daniel Weiss, climate strategy director for the liberal Center for American Progress, said the Bush administration has a "do-nothing" policy on global warming despite U.S. allies' best efforts to spur U.S. reductions.

Alrighty then, he hasn't done a thing yet and it's already a "complete charade" and a diversion - but at least he intends to bring China and India into the discussion.

What's more intersting is NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's interview with NPR yesterday. Greg Easterbrook recently criticized NASA in Wired magazine:

    Here are NASA's apparent current priorities: (1) Maintain a pointless space station. (2) Build a pointless Motel 6 on the moon. (3) Increase humanity's store of knowledge by studying the distant universe. (4) Keep money flowing to favored aerospace contractors and congressional districts.

    Only one priority of four correct! Worse, NASA's to-do list neglects the two things that are actually of tangible value to the taxpayers who foot its bills — research relevant to environmental policymaking and asteroid-strike protection.

Griffin responded in the interview:

    MR. INSKEEP: Well, I guess he is arguing on one level that - simply that there are other priorities out there. Are there priorities that you've had to cut in the last couple of years as you've reoriented toward the moon and other things that you've regretted having to cut?

    DR. GRIFFIN: Well, we have not cut any major priorities. Again, the regrets would always be that there are things left undone that we could do. But I think we've got the best 16-1/2-billion-dollar space program that we could have. But 16-1/2 billion dollars will buy many different kinds of space programs. The question is, in a democratic society, who gets to choose. Unfortunately for Greg, it's not him.

    MR. INSKEEP: One thing that's been mentioned that NASA is perhaps not spending as much money as it could on is studying climate change, global warming from space. Are you concerned about global warming?

    DR. GRIFFIN: I am aware that global warming - I am aware that global warming exists, I understand that the bulk of scientific evidence accumulated supports the claim that we've had about a one degree Centigrade rise in temperature over the last century to within an accuracy of about 20 percent.

    I'm also aware of recent findings that appear to have nailed down - pretty well nailed down the conclusion that much of that is manmade. Whether that is a long-term concern or not, I can't say.

    MR. INSKEEP: And I just wanted to make sure that I'm clear. Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?

    DR. GRIFFIN: I have no doubt that global - that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had, and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change.

    First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings, where and when, are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now, is the best climate for all other human beings. I'm - I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take.

    MR. INSKEEP: Is that thinking that informs you as you put together the budget - that something is happening, that it's worth studying, but you're not sure that you want to be battling it as an army might battle an enemy?

    DR. GRIFFIN: Nowhere in NASA's authorization, which of course governs what we do, is there anything at all telling us that we should take actions to effect climate change in either - in one way or another. We study global climate change - that is in our authorization. We think we do it rather well. I'm proud of that. But NASA is not an agency chartered to, quote, "battle climate change."

I love it...

tomder55 answered on 06/02/07:

Griffin's comments come after NASA scientist and chief source for Al Gore's screed James Hanson made 'chicken -little' comments that we had a decade to deal with global warming at most (a prediction he has been making every year for the past decade ).

As you know from the MSM coverage Hanson and some others were quick to slam Griffin .They convieniently ignore the scientists who rallied to Grifin's side.

It is fair to critique NASA's comittment to the ISS but that is hardly their only project or achievements ;and as you point out ,much of their work focuses on projects that will have a deep impact on the advancement of human knowlege of our own planet .(disclosure : that Northrop Grumman continues to receive contracts from NASA is in my interest ).

We have already posted data showing the Mars icecaps are melting

btw.. Reports from Neptune the furthest planet from the sun ;show that Neptune is warming also. As far as I know ,no one drives an SUV there and the report says there is no accumulation of greenhouse gases there .This further advances my favorite theory that the sun has alot to do with climate change.

As for President Bush's announcement .... well at least he is realistic enough to say that any comprehensive global policy to address global warming would not have a snowball's chance in hell to succeed if the worlds largest populated countries and emerging industrial nations are not included in the comprehensive plan.

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ETWolverine asked on 06/01/07 - Follow-up of Steve's Global Peace Index post

I have now read the report. Thanks, Steve, for the link to the report.

Here's my take on it.

The Global Peace Index report put out by Visions of Humanity makes certain assumptions about what constitutes “peace” that are not necessarily true.

The report used 24 separate indicators of what constitutes peace, each quantified, translated to a 1-5 score and then given a weight within the overall index. The problem is that not all of the indicators used necessarily mean what the report assumes they mean. For instance, the report looks at the number of guns per 100,000 people as an indicator of “internal militarism” and “crime”, when in fact the opposite may be true… gun ownership may very well be a deterrent to both crime and internal militarism. Another example: the percentage of GDP used to support the military is considered an indicator of militarism, when in fact a strong military may be a deterrent to other countries making war against them. The number of population jailed per 100,000 might actually be an indicator of decreasing crime rather than an indicator of violence. And why is the indicator “Potential for terrorist acts” given the LOWEST weight of any indicator in the list? Terrorism would seem to me to be the single greatest threat to world peace in the modern era.

The indicators are as follows:

Indicator---------------------------------Weight (1-5)
Level of distrust in others--------------------4
Number of internal security
officers per 100,000 people------------------3
Number of homicides per 100,000 people---------4
Number of jailed population per 100,000--------3
Ease of access to weapons of minor destruction--3
Level of organized conflict (internal)---------5
Likelihood of violent demonstrations-----------3
Level of violent crime-------------------------4
Political instability--------------------------4
Respect for human rights-----------------------4
Volume of transfers of major weapons
as recipient per 100,000-----------------2
Potential for terrorist acts-------------------1
Number of deaths from organized conflict-------5
Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP---2
Number of armed services personnel
per 100,000 people---------------------------2
UN Deployments 2006-07
(percentage of total forces)-----------------4
Aggregate number of heavy weapons
per 100,000 people---------------------------3
Volume of transfers of major weapons
as supplier per 100,000----------------------2
Military capability/sophistication-------------2
Number of displaced people as a
percentage of population---------------------4
Relations with neighboring countries-----------5
Number of external and internal
conflicts fought: 2000-05--------------------5
Estimated number of deaths from
organized conflict (external)----------------5

Furthermore, the report tries to combine indicators of external war, internal war and crime into a single index. However, this ignores the fact that the reasons for each are different, and thus cannot be dealt with as a single item. Bringing an end to external war in a specific country will not necessarily end crime or internal conflict within that country. Lowering crime will not necessarily bring an end to war, either internal or external. To try to deal with all of these issues under the single banner of “peace” is naïve and shows a lack of understanding of what causes crime, war and internal conflict.

Finally, this report does nothing to state whether a specific war is or is not necessary. Nobody would rightly argue that defeating Hitler in WWII was a “bad” thing or that the war should not have been fought. Peace was not as desirable as victory against Hitler in that case. There have been other ‘righteous’ wars in the past as well… the war to free Kuwait from invasion by Iraq is a good example. Stating that armed conflict is bad without putting the conflict into context is naïve and not very useful to establishing true world peace.

For these reasons, I find the Global Peace Index report to be lacking in substantive information that can be used to bring peace. While it is an interesting attempt to quantify “peace” I believe that it fails in its goals of defining and quantifying peace and determining the indicators of peace.

What's your take?


tomder55 answered on 06/01/07:

With gun ownership being a criteria the Swiss should be at the bottom of the list.

ya gotta love it. The report ranks Syria more peaceful than the US . They are one of the instigators of all that has happened in Lebanon in the last 2 years.

I consider this report as useful as those human rights reports that constantly rank the USA as a rogue tyranny because of the use of tasers .

What is my take ? Here is a recent news report from that most peaceful of nations Norway

“You can have peace, or you can have freedom. Don’t ever expect both at once.” —Robert A. Heinlein

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Itsdb asked on 05/30/07 - Norway rated most peaceful nation

U.S. ranked 96th...

    A study has ranked Norway as the most peaceful country and Iraq as the least in a survey of 121 countries.

    The Global Peace Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, looked at 24 factors to determine how peaceful each country was.

    It places the US at 96th on the list and the UK at 49th, while New Zealand ranks second and Japan fifth.

    The authors say it is the first attempt to produce such a wide-ranging league table of how peaceful countries are.

    Factors examined by the authors include levels of violence and organised crime within the country and military expenditure.

    The survey has been backed by the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and US economist Joseph Stiglitz, who are all Nobel prize laureates.

    It is also supported by Queen Noor of Jordan.

    'Wake-up call'

    Scandinavian and other European countries generally performed well in the survey.

    But Britain's ranking comes partly from its involvement in Iraq and other conflicts.

    The United States is 96th - between Yemen and Iran - again because of such things as its military spending, its involvement in Iraq, violent crime at home, and a high prison population.

    The survey also places Russia and Israel at the wrong end of the scale - 118th and 119th respectively.

    The brainchild of Steve Killelea, an Australian entrepreneur, the survey is meant to inform governments, international organisations, and campaign groups.

    Mr Killelea said: "This is a wake-up call for leaders around the globe. Countries need to become more peaceful to solve the major challenges that the world faces - from climate change to decreasing biodiversity.

    "There is also a strong case for the world becoming more peaceful and it is now crucial for world leaders and business to take a lead," he said.

    He added that the high positions of Germany, which ranked 12th, and Japan revealed that "there can be light at the end of what may seem at the moment like a very dark tunnel."

    The study is published just before the G8 summit of leading countries next week.

    The authors say they are trying to supplant what they call some "woolly" definitions of peace with a scientific approach, that includes levels of violent crime, political instability, and a country's relations with its neighbours.

    But questions have been raised over the way some of these factors are brought together.

    The authors themselves acknowledge that there is a lack of data in many countries.

    What impact the new survey will have is unclear. The authors also argue that some countries - like Japan - may benefit from sheltering under the US military umbrella.

At least we beat Iran.

tomder55 answered on 05/30/07:

Norway depends on The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty for their defense and has a small contingent with an annual budget of around $5 billion for their combined military. Norway’s Armed Forces Command is under pressure from the Ministry of Defense to produce a report detailing how the defense forces can save money over the next two to three years. Guess the nanny-state is falling short on funds.

CFE limits the number of key offensive weapons like tanks, artillery and aircraft across the continent, including the territory close to the Norwegian border with Russia.Putin has announced a moratorium on observance of the treaty and threatened to withdraw altogether .

If I were a Norwegian I would have no confidence that the combined forces of Europe would come to Norways aid if Russia got aggressive. Norway and Russia do have disputes over rights of the Barents Sea and as global warming creates new land exploitation opportunities territorial issues will become more pronounced. Already Canada (ranked 8th ) has to concern about defending it's northern coastal waters when the Arctic Sea becomes navigitable .

Norway had stepped up to the plate after 9-11 and was not the passive whimp that my posting might indicate under minister Kristin Krohn Devold .The budget increased during her tenure . But since 2005 Anne-Grete Strom-Erichsen ,a politician of the Labour Party became minister and with her came this new passivity .

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ETWolverine asked on 05/30/07 - Doing the Booing Americans Won't Do

Michelle Malkin

The United States government is on the verge of approving a mass amnesty to millions of illegal aliens — a plan pushed aggressively by meddling Mexican officials who reap billions of dollars in remittances (illegal aliens' earnings sent back to Mexico) without having to lift a finger to clean up their own country.

And the thanks we get? Internationally televised public humiliation.

On Monday night, the beautiful young woman who represented America in the Miss Universe pageant was booed and mocked as she competed on stage in Mexico City. Rachel Smith, 22, did her best to respond with grace and dignity during the Top Five finalists' interview segment as the audience disrupted the event.

As soon as co-host Vanessa Minnillo invited Miss USA to pick a judge's name from a bowl of index cards, widespread howls broke out at the mere mention of "USA." The verbal derision continued as judge Tony Romo asked Smith to pick one moment in her life she would relive.

Definitely not this one.

Smith soldiered through her answer, describing an educational trip to South Africa. Catcalls and whistles nearly drowned out Smith's reply until she wrapped up with " Buenos noches, Mexico. "

I wouldn't have been so polite.

None of Miss USA's fellow Americans participating in the interview segment — neither Minnillo, nor macho co-host Mario Lopez, nor the dashing Romo — came to Smith's defense. Instead, Minnillo pleaded briefly with the unruly mob: "Okay, una momento, por favor. " Lopez stood mute with a dumb grin on his dimpled face. Pathetic.

In fact, Smith was subjected to anti-American hatred throughout the week-long event. Last week, during the contestants' national costume fashion show, Smith smiled bravely as a rowdy outdoor crowd hissed and booed at her. According to pageant observers, no other contestants received such treatment.

Pitifully, Donald Trump and his Miss Universe officials are downplaying Smith's experience — ignoring the fact that the last time the pageant was held in Mexico, Miss USA was abused in similar fashion. 1993 Miss USA Kenya Moore was infamously heckled when chosen for the semi-finals that year.

Just a tiny minority of America-haters, right? How quickly we forget.

Do you remember what happened in Guadalajara in 2004 during an Olympics qualification soccer match between the U.S. and Mexico? The stadium erupted in boos during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Fans yelled "Osama! Osama!" as the U.S. was eliminated by Mexico.

The following year, in March 2005, Mexican soccer fans again cheered the al Qaeda mastermind's name at a World Cup qualifier. ESPN reported the audience again booed and whistled during the U.S. national anthem, and plastic bags filled with urine were reportedly tossed on American players.

One Mexican fan told the Christian Science Monitor: "'Every schoolboy knows about 1848. . . . When they robbed our territory,' referring to when Texas, California and New Mexico were annexed to the U.S. as part of a peace treaty ending the war between the two countries, 'that was the beginning.'"

This bitterness is long-standing, deep-seated and stoked by top Mexican government officials and elites. But pointing this reality out in the context of our crucial national debate over sovereignty, immigration, assimilation, border security and the rule of law will get you labeled a bigot. Our leaders have concluded that it is better to pander, hide, pull out a friendly Spanish phrase like Minnillo did, and pray that the hatred will go away by giving the pro-amnesty lobby its legislative goodie-bag.

Meanwhile, as Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald points out, the White House continues to attack opponents of the Bush-Kennedy amnesty package as "nativists." Conservative columnist Linda Chavez accused amnesty critics of "not liking Mexicans." Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested enforcement advocates wanted to "execute" illegal aliens. And Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham trashed immigration enforcement proponents as "bigots" in front of the ethnocentric, open-borders group La Raza.

Yeah, we're the nativists.

Next, they'll tell us the mob at the Miss Universe pageant was simply "doing the booing Americans won't do."

Will President Bush speak out against the treatment Miss USA received in Mexico? Will any amnesty peddler in Washington? Imagine if Miss Mexico were booed, heckled and subjected to chants of "USA, USA" if the pageant had been held here.

Smith can hold her head up high. Those who are selling out our country, on the other hand, should hang their heads in shame.

Michelle Malkin is author of "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild." Her e-mail address is



Great points by Michelle Malkin. I have no use for the Miss Universe pageant in any case. But why should anyone be forced to go through the publicly humiliating experience that Rachel Smith went through? And where is the thanks from the Mexican people for our open borders policy, the free money they get from us, and the de-facto citizenship they eventually attain though illegal means? Mexico doesn't reciprocate with its illegal aliens... it throws them in jail (if they are lucky, that's all that happens to them) and send them back to their countries of origin. Why are we pandering to a country that clearly hates us?


tomder55 answered on 05/30/07:

One Mexican fan told the Christian Science Monitor: "'Every schoolboy knows about 1848. . . . When they robbed our territory,' referring to when Texas, California and New Mexico were annexed to the U.S. as part of a peace treaty ending the war between the two countries, 'that was the beginning.'"

The political attitudes of the Mexican immigrant population is forged in this belief that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago was a land grab by the US.

Actually the Mexican-American War is called la invasion estadounidense (the United States Invasion),or la intervención norteamericana (The North American intervention )south of the border. I was unaware until recently how wide spread is the belief that Southwest United States is Mexican property; but Mexican immigrant groups like La Raza and "Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan."(MEChA ) believe in the concept of reconquista of the vaguely-defined Aztec homeland .

Although it is a justifiable argument that American expansionism (especially of the slave institution )played a major role in the war ;it is a fact that the US was trying to negotiate the purchase of places like California and the New Mexico territories before open conflict began .It was the Mexicans that initiated hostilities with the attack on an American patrol ;called the Thornton affair ,and the unsuccessful attack on Fort Brown . It is also true that there was existing disputes on the border of Texas ,and even the independence of Texas was in dispute South of the border .

The territory aquired by the treaty was a bargain for the price paid. We made up for it slightly with the Gadsen Purchase .

I of course agree that the behavior of the mob at the Miss Universe Contest is unacceptable . But so is the booing of the American National Anthem at hockey games in Canada. The difference appears to be that in Canada this is the reaction of juiced up hooligans whereas in Mexico it appears to be the unofficial official policy of the state to stoke these anti-gringo feelings.

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Itsdb asked on 05/25/07 - Bush Hails Carter as Best Former President

by Scott Ott

(2007-05-20) — Just a day after former President Jimmy Carter told reporters that the Bush administration is “the worst in history” the current White House resident called Mr. Carter “the best former president ever.”

“I know that President Carter and I have had our differences,” said Mr. Bush, “But I think most Americans will agree with me that he’s a terrific ex-president. Things have never been better since Jimmy Carter left office.”

Mr. Bush pointed to an array of improvements, including a stable growing economy, lower taxes, reduced inflation and unemployment and increased American strength and preparedness — all of which he associated with Mr. Carter’s years as a former president.

“I think history will judge President Carter’s post-White House tenure favorably,” said Mr. Bush, “As a former president, Mr. Carter has overseen the nation’s longest period of expansion and growth in opportunity.”

tomder55 answered on 05/25/07:

Very kind of of the President . Carter is of course directly reponsible for much of the world situation that the President has to deal with ;therefore under that cirumstances such flattery is uncommon but I suppose commendible .

The best line I heard so far was Carter saying what he said about President Bush was like John Wayne Gacy calling a shoplifter a danger to society.

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Itsdb asked on 05/24/07 - "They Are a Threat to Your Children, David"

If you can't tell I'm bored and not very busy today so it's blog day at NRO. Check out this clip from Bush's press conference today.

I'm confident David Gregory didn't get it.

tomder55 answered on 05/25/07:

No Gregory did not get it . Time to dust off that photo you have of someone's self examination of their hemmoroids .

Honestly ,I don't think the President should give any more press conferences unless he has a major announcement to make. He should then limit it to the question at hand.

Everyone knows his position on Iraq. He will not change anyone's mind ,and it's too late to think he can influence them from the bully -pulpit. Only events on the ground can make any signignificant change . I could give his response to any question about Iraq almost verbadum before he says it. listen to the generals and not the politicians.....pause.....If they don't fight us there, they'll follow us here.....etc .He's not wrong...but he is not adding anything to the discussion so why bother ? Better to let Tony Snow regurgitate the talking points.

It was painful and alternately depressing and outrageous the way he handled questions about the immigration debate and Alberto Gonzalez.

He has made his decision to support Gonzalez I think mostly for political reasons .

To replace him ,a new AG would be subject to the rediculous humiliation that a Senate hearing by the majority party would bring upon the candidate. The candidate would probably have to agree to appoint an independent council to investigate wide ranging issues that the Dems. want to nail the President with . That would destroy the administration by tying it up in endless defense .

But the President has to realize that Gonzalez' handling of the Justice Dept. in general, and this firing of the attorneys in particular ,has not served the President well .Gonzalez to me is incompetent .The President should keep a low profile on this issue . The investigations have already been exhausted . The President by speaking only adds fuel to Shmucky's fire .

On immigration ;I completely disagree with his whole approach. He misrepresents the opposition and paints us as a mob who would hunt down 12 million illegals and put them on boxcars . He is sticking a poker in the eyes of many of his few remaining supporters . Does he not see that ?

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Itsdb asked on 05/24/07 - The Science Distraction

Interesting take on global warming thanks to Iain Murray on Planet Gore at NRO...

Spiked's Josie Appleton really hits the nail on the head in her excellent review of a new book by noted alarmist Mark Lynas. For instance, in relation to all this talk about a "generational challenge":

    Global warming offers us the chance to experience what few generations have had the privilege of knowing. It is a thrill, no less. Global warming is our Cold War. And just as American strategists worried at the end of the Cold War about the loss of the Red opposition, so environmentalists have a kind of attachment to global warming.

    Of course, they talk about it being ‘inconvenient’, and they wouldn’t have wished it upon the world. Lynas says that his collapse scenarios are a ‘reluctant conclusion’; in his book Heat, George Monbiot says that it pains him greatly to conclude that people will have to stop flying. But the more that society defines itself in relation to global warming, the less willing it is to let go. Global warming is now not so much a problem to solve, as an issue around which to reorganise society. This is more Noah’s flood than Clean Air Act, and the lesson is in the sins of hubris and consumerism. Global warming is sent to show people that (in Lynas’ words) they are ‘wasting their lives commuting to work in cars’. His proposed solution – to ‘cut our need for energy by living less consumptive lifestyles’ – will apparently form the basis of a new and happier society.

    I have a question: if there was a ‘miracle energy cure’, would Lynas use it? I suspect that a straight ‘yes’ would not be the reply. Which is insane, really, because if global warming is a problem, it is only a techno-fix that could solve it. All the arm-twisting in the world is not going to stop India and China flying, a fact shown by recent figures showing a massive boom in air travel. Daily media guilt-mongering has not stopped British people from enjoying weekends in Budapest or Prague, and nor should it. Governments, we can hope, will still be elected in 2050, and while that is the case carbon rations would still be ‘politically unrealistic’. Unless we live under a dictatorship of some Global Commission for the Environment then energy use will continue to rise dramatically; the only question is whether this energy comes from fossil fuels or some other source. And if it needs to come from some other source, we need a techno-fix.

    Techno-fixes are not some airy-fairy notion, some leap of faith. This is otherwise known as innovation, the only way that environmental problems have ever been solved or new energy systems produced. I am not aware of a major environmental problem successfully tackled by the mass of people consciously and systematically abstaining from some or other desirable activity. The lesson of history is that techno-fixes happen, and they happen fast in societies that are looking for solutions. There were only three years between the first controlled nuclear chain reaction and the dropping of a bomb on Hiroshima in 1945; only five years separated a nuclear reaction successfully lighting a lightbulb in 1951 and the first nuclear power station in 1956.

Quite right. In her conclusion, Josie says something that we have been saying for years - that this isn't a scientific issue, but a political one informed by science and economics:

    We need a new school of thought in the global warming debate, which is founded not on scientific facts but on political critique. It is only this that can explain the way in which the issue is framed, or its hold over social life and public debate. Lynas’ books suggest the attraction of the global warming issue has little to do with environmental problems. Instead, global warming appears to provide answers to life’s big questions, offering a new kind of historic mission and a new structure for personal morality.

    Only global warming doesn’t really answer any of these big questions - it shuts them down, solving the problem of meaning by abolishing meaning itself. As we look forward to 2050, we could hope to find some more profound answers to the riddle of existence than that measured in the rise and fall of carbon atoms. We could also hope to find some more sensible (but, possibly, less dramatic) solutions to any environmental challenges we face.

    We need to strip drama from climatology, and add drama to our lives. The question of how we live should be subject to mass, passionate debate, and Geophysical Research Letters should be left in the basement of the Radcliffe Science Library for the consultation of specialists.

Quite right, too. This is the way to the solution demanded by both democracy and justice. Yet the follower of scientism and the green zealot alike finds it all too incovenient.

Global warming is this generation's 'cold war' and that makes sense. Some people simply must have drama, scandal and conflict, some boogeyman at which to focus their energy and in order to find meaning and purpose in life it seems, and global warming is a perfect fit.

It offers all the drama they can stand, all the redemptive possibilities they can explore, an endless supply of self-congratulatory reinforcement and the chance to "reorganise society" in their mold. Who can resist that, and why should facts, reason, or people get in the way?


tomder55 answered on 05/25/07:

Cold war ??? LOL ....How fitting !!!

This is the time of the year when the Southern Hemisphere battles "global warming ".Wonder how they are fairing these days ?

Weather breaks record in South Africa.

Australian Ski Resort to open 15 days early

Elsewhere Western Canada is feeling the heat as summer rapidly approaches.

But maybe if you go to the Caribbean you can escape the cold. NOT.

Global warming is now not so much a problem to solve, as an issue around which to reorganise society

Bingo .

I am not aware of a major environmental problem successfully tackled by the mass of people consciously and systematically abstaining from some or other desirable activity.

But they could care less about the technological solutions . They want human reduction. Ask any of them and they will tell you that human populaton growth is what is really fueling the problem. Ideally we should be gatherers of berries living in caves while they live in their McMansions and fly in private Gulfstreams .(Let's pay mea culpa carbon credits to ourselves hehehe) .

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Itsdb asked on 05/24/07 - Anyone hear about this?

I sure didn't...

British transfer authority over the Maysan Province to the Iraqi government:

Handshakes: Maysan is now yours . . . British Major General Jonathan Shaw and provincial governor Adel Maliki make it official.

But how was it covered? Or was it covered?

"A Small Battle in the Media War" [Stephen Spruiell]

    Michael Yon writes about the media coverage of the British transfer of authority over the Maysan Province to the Iraqi government:

    The transfer of authority did not even make the cut for news for most US publications and networks. Of those which included the story in their news reports, most mentioned it only as part of an overall report about the day’s activities in Iraq. Many of those included it in reports which were headlined or sandwiched with bad news about the violence in other parts of Iraq.

    The Washington Post’s “Bombers Defy Security Push, Killing at least 158 in Baghdad” briefly mentions the transfer in a sentence in the seventeenth paragraph. Likewise, The New York Times’ “Bombings Kill at Least 171 Iraqis in Baghdad” mentions the transfer of the province somewhere in the sixth paragraph.

    This general theme carried over in the UK media coverage as well. The Guardian offered “‘We’ll be in control by end of 2007’ say Maliki. [sic] In Baghdad, carnage continues.” The Independent headline blared “Hundreds killed on Baghdad’s day of bombs and blood.” Not to be outdone in the dramatic headline competition, The Mirror gave the world “BLOODIEST DAY: 191 dead and hundreds maimed as 5 bombs rock Baghdad.”

    The BBC article titled “Iraq troops to take over security” reported on statements made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki in the speech prepared for the Maysan ceremony, (delivered by Iraq’s National Security Minister) about the schedule for turning over additional provinces to the control of Iraqi security forces. But before describing the ceremony and without ever providing any details about the province or the Iraqi security forces who now control it, the article inventoried recent attacks and included a mention of the withdrawal of Sadr loyalists from the Iraqi parliament.

    On the day after the ceremony, the BBC mentioned it in the sixth paragraph of an article titled “Two UK soldiers killed in Iraq.” The next day it was mentioned again in a BBC article titled “UK soldiers killed in Iraq named,” although this time it was relegated to a mention in the nineteenth paragraph. No details about the ceremony were given in either article, both of which also referenced recent US and UK military casualties, civilian casualties and sectarian violence.

    Along with Alex Zavis’ “British Hand Over Province to Iraqi Control” in The Los Angeles Times, two other reporters wrote stories headlined with the transfer ceremony. The Telegraph’s Thomas Harding filed his “200 killed as province returns to Iraqi control” from Camp Sparrowhawk, although he didn’t get around to anything about the transfer ceremony until the 20th paragraph. James Hider’s piece in The Times, “British put the ‘Wild West’ back under control of Iraqis,” was the only other news story about the transfer that was actually about the transfer.

    While the journalists and all the rest headed back to their worlds in big helicopters, I flew deeper into Maysan desert with the Queen’s Royal Lancers where, in less than 24 hours, our patrol would be attacked with the largest array of bombs I ever encountered in Iraq, and where two UK soldiers would die.

But then why would the drive-by media want to report on a significant milestone in Iraq?

tomder55 answered on 05/24/07:

Sometimes the news is do good that they have no choice but to report it . That is the situation this week that Joe Klein at Time Mag . became confronted with .

There is good news from Iraq, believe it or not. It comes from the most unlikely place: Anbar province, home of the Sunni insurgency. ... This is a result of sheiks stepping up and opposing AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] and volunteering their young men to serve in the police and army units there." The success in Anbar has led sheiks in at least two other Sunni-dominated provinces, Nineveh and Salahaddin, to ask for similar alliances against the foreign fighters. And, as TIME's Bobby Ghosh has reported, an influential leader of the Sunni insurgency, Harith al-Dari, has turned against al-Qaeda as well. It is possible that al-Qaeda is being rejected like a mismatched liver transplant by the body of the Iraqi insurgency. also reported that the US became allied with Sheikh al Rashawi . This appears to be a generational shift of power in the tribes that bodes well for our effort if we play our cards right . We have a new power shift in France and Germany ...why not in Sunni Iraq ? More on this here.

Omar of Iraq the Model blog reports that There hasn’t been any major security incidents in Baghdad since the attacks on three bridges in both its northern and southern suburbs on Friday May 11, more than a week ago. This doesn’t mean Baghdad is essentially calm: there are episodes -albeit minor and limited- still happening from time to time.

I assure him ;the legacy media reports every blast as an attack happening in Baghdad . Perhaps some of the gun fire he hears is coming from this???? Clearly the surge was a failure before it began.

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Itsdb asked on 05/23/07 - So there is no war on terror?

John Edwards is sure to get a boost from the moonbattery after giving his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations today.

"We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set—that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."

I'm certain he must have just missed something here.

tomder55 answered on 05/24/07:

His terror war is against a bad coiffer and split ends .

His attitude disqualifies him to be Commander in Chief.

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Itsdb asked on 05/22/07 - Muslim survey

And I'm not believing what I heard...ABC Radio news reported that most Muslims in America believe suicide bombings can never be justified, but "thirteen percent do in some cases." They then played a clip of some Muslim dude telling us Americans can now rest easy in knowing American Muslims are Americans first and Muslims second. Well now, that's comforting.

First, thirteen percent of Muslims believing suicide bombings can be justified to me is a disturbing number. And considering there are roughly 2.35 million Muslims in this country, that would mean over 300,000 don't have a problem with suicide bombings. On top of that, twenty-six percent of young Muslims can justify suicide bombings.


    63% identified themselves as Democrats or as "leaning" toward the Democratic Party, although "On key social issues," Pew says, "Muslims in the U.S. are much more conservative than the general public. Most say that homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged, rather than accepted, by society. A large majority of Muslims (59%) also say that government should do more to protect
    morality in society."

    Only 25 percent consider the U.S. war on terrorism a sincere attempt to curtail international terror. Only 40 percent said they believe Arab men carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    By six to one, they say the U.S. was wrong to invade Iraq, while a third say the same about Afghanistan -- far deeper than the opposition expressed by the general U.S. public.

And ABC tells us don't worry, be happy. Pew themselves headline the report, "Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream."

    The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.

So American Muslims are more conservative on social issues than most Americans, but 63% identify with the party of abortion and gay rights - 71% having voted for John Kerry. 300,000 can find a way to justify suicide bombings and only forty percent believe Arabs had anything to do with 9/11 ... yet Muslims in America are mostly moderate and mainstream.

I don't know about you but I find it all quite disturbing on many levels.

tomder55 answered on 05/23/07:

If 1 % of the world's Muslim community is a jihadists that is a 10 million pool to draw homicide bombers from.10% is 100 million. I'd have to say that the jihadi are more active in their recruitment efforts so the poll numbers if answered honestly would most likely increase to numbers simular to polls taken in Indonesia ,Londonistan and other enclaves around the world. Percentages are nice and academic. Raw numbers are disturbing.

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ETWolverine asked on 05/22/07 - My e-mail to President Bush

Mr. President,

I realize that you most likely will never see this message. However, I felt it was my duty to log my concerns with your immigration policies.

First, I believe that I should tell you a bit about myself so that you understand my perspective on immigration. I am a 38-year-old banker working for a mid-sized bank in New York. I am the son and grandson of immigrants from Poland, survivors of the Holocaust. My parents were born in German DP camps after the war and are naturalized citizens. (My mother still keeps her green card as a keepsake due to her pride at having come to this country.)

My grandparents worked very hard to become successful in this country. My father’s parents were candy-shop owners (after years of running pushcarts to scrape together the funds needed to buy the shop) and my mother’s parents were tailors. They came to this country with literally nothing in their pockets, and managed to become productive members of society. They managed to put their children through college, and all of them became professionals. My father is an attorney and a stock broker for a major Wall Street firm (coincidentally, he was once the youngest attorney to be admitted to argue before the Supreme Court, a record that has since been broken but that my father is still proud of to this day), and my mother manages real estate. My family made good on the American dream within a generation, and I am very thankful for the opportunities that the United States afforded my family. Thanks to the opportunities that this country affords us, I became the first member of my family born in this country, and with the support of my family I graduated Brooklyn College with a BA in economics. I married a girl from your own home state of Texas (Houston, to be precise) and we have two wonderful children, a home in New Jersey, and a solid middle-class income. My sister is a teacher living in Brooklyn, and my brother is an MD, a graduate of SUNY Downstate Medical School. I truly believe that my family is a text-book success story for immigration within the USA.

As you can see, Mr. President, I am hardly an opponent of immigration. I value immigration as an important source for “new blood” and new ideas into the pool of American resources. I try to keep in mind that some of the greatest acheivements of our great country have come from immigrants: Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla, perhaps the two greatests scientists of their times, were both immigrants. Eli Weisel is an immigrant. And there have been many others as well… too many to name in such a letter. Immigration is important to our national identity and an important tool for remaining at the top of the economic and technological food chain.

However, your recently announced immigration bill concerns me greatly.

Mr. President, part of the reason that my family was so successful in this country was the fact that we became part of American culture. Another important factor is that we didn’t demand support from the government for what was really our own responsibility to provide to ourselves. And finally, and perhaps most important, is the fact that we caqme here legally after waiting on the appropriate lists and doing the appropriate paperwork. We did not sneak into the United States, we came here legally.

Mr. President, these are important factors to consider, and none of them are addressed in your bill.

While I do not necessarily support making English our national language (though it would be nice to see), I also don’t believe that accomodating other languages in government business supports the idea of joining American culture. Language is one of the most important factors in any culture, and not giving immigrants a reason to learn English by forcing them to conduct government business in English is a barrier to cultural acclimation. It sets immigrant apart from the rest of society, which in turn hurts American society as a whole. (Not to mention the economic costs of providing government assistance in multiple languages.) Your bill does not address this point at all.

Secondly, your bill has not appropriately addressed the costs of illegal immigration. The vast majority of illegal immigrants are low-skilled labor. The Heritage Foundation did a study in which they found that the average cost of a low-skilled labor family to the US Government is roughly $22,000 after taxes. Mr. President, with 11 million illegal immigrants in this country, the government is spending roughly $242 Billion per year on supporting low-skilled laborers from other countries. That equates to $2.4 trillion over a 10 year period. When we consider that your proposed national budget for 2008 is only $2.3 trillion, the cost of illegal immigration is one of great concern. This is potentially the biggest disaster to our economy since the Great Depression. We can barely afford to support our own low-skilled workers and their families. We do not need to be importing poverty from other countries to support. Instead of low-skilled laborer’s, we should be encouraging the immigration of high-skill employees and innovators… the likes of Eli Weisel, Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein… people who will push this country forward economically, socially and culturally, not those who will hold us back.

Thirdly, your bill grants amnesty to an entire sub-class of law-breakers. I know that you object to the use of the word “amnesty” in reference to this bill, but that is exactly what this bill is: an amnesty bill. Mr. President, the American Heritage Dictionary defines amnesty as "A general pardon granted by a government, especially for political offenses." It is difficult for me to see how this bill is anything but amnesty. It grants a general pardon to a specific group of people for the illegal political offense of entering this country illegally. This is potentially a very big mistake, Mr. President. It makes US citizenship cheap. My grandparents worked very hard to become citizens, and they hold that citizenship dear because it was something worth working for. But your bill makes it cheap. It makes coming to this country illegally a method of gaining relatively quick citizenship.

Mr. President, one of your predecessors, President Carter, made the mistake of legalizing illegal immigration. The result was the Mariel Boatlift, a huge rise in crime, particularly drug crime and violent crime, and influx of convicted murderers and rapists to the United States, and a financial and economic burden that we are still paying to this day. I beg you to reconsider your current course of action. Legalizing 11 million illegal aliens in one felt swoop is an economic, social and criminal burden that this country cannot bear without serious and irreversible consequences.

I have supported you with regard to the War on Terror and the War in Iraq (which I consider to be one and the same), the USA Patriot Act, your tax relief plans, and your handling of judicial appointments, as well as on most other issues. But on this issue, Mr. President, I must log my strong disagreement.

I know that you have the good of this country at heart, and I know that your compassion for your fellow man is what drives you to support this bill. I respect your motivation. But this is not good for America or the American people. I urge you to reconsider this immigration bill.

With greatest respect from your constituent and supporter,

Elliot (my full name)

Edison, New Jersey

God Bless the President of the United States of America


What do you think? Did I catch the high points?

tomder55 answered on 05/22/07:

Love it ! I could modify it slightly and it could be my family history.

I think the President has his compassionate side motivating him as well as some political warning he is hearing from people like Karl Rove and the "Fred Barnes wing" and the "what's good for business is good for the USA "Republicans like Lawrence Kudlow (who trashed the Heritage Foundation figures on his weekend radio show)and the Wall Street Journal .

Both Democrats and Republicans are convinced that they need to bring in a new population that will irreversably alter the face of the country so they can attract the future majority to their camps.They also falsely believe that only with a tremendous influx of new blood the patient called Social Security will die.

I am suspicious of the grand bargain because :

1. I do not believe the Democrats negotiate in good faith and that many of the provisons we were told about over the weekend are already diluted down as some have read the fine print and legaleze of the bill. It raises hackles the way it was secretely negotiated and the attempt to ram it through without debate .

2. We have seen before in 1986 that once such a grand bargain is in place it is easy to ignore key provisions of the law enforcement aspect . The governemnt has not made an honest attempt to enforce existing rules so why should we believe that the much more complex provisions of this bill will be enforced ?

3. They blatantly lied to us last year . The provisions for the wall was passed and signed knowing there would be no serious attempt to build it .

All 3 points combined now makes this a matter of trust .I do not believe the collective US government wants to solve the immigration problem just like I became convinced 2 years ago that they do not want to seriously address Social Security .

4. Proponents say that it is unrealistic to deport the 12 million illegals arleady here . By that same logic it is equally impossible to get them to voluntarily go back home, pay a fine, and then would be expected to re-apply in a “touch-back” manoeuvre. Few who have children born in the United States (who are anyway, by that fact, Americans) would be inclined to do that.

5. What is a $5000 fine to people who will be collecting the Earned Income Tax credit conceivably for another decade ?

6. The bill would create a permanent sub-class in the country that would be subject to virtual servitude . We have seen how well that works out in Europe. The bill would legalize depressed wages and foster exploitation of low-skilled workers. Even the AFL-CIO who are anxious to get new membership realize this and oppose the bill for that reason.

I'm sure there are more objection as I examine it further and the onion gets peeled back.I think the President is acting in what he thinks is good faith but if we had not objected to some of his good faith moves we would have Harriet Meyers and Alberto Gonzalez in SCOTUS instead of Roberts and Alito. WE need to keep up the pressure. Writing him is a good start . I think I will also . The last time I did so was to President Reagan to basically support a policy he held. I got a nice form letter back.

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kindj asked on 05/21/07 - This is kinda interesting.....

What do you think? Could this be the launch pad for a viable third party, or at least for reformation of the existing two parties?

tomder55 answered on 05/21/07:

I'm pretty sure that this group is actively stroking Michael Bloomberg to run on their ticket. He has pledged to spend $100 million of his own money in the effort if he decides to do it.

If Bloomy goes for it then he will have Sen. Chuck Hagel tag along as his VP selection. Michael Bloomberg is nominally a Republican ,and the party claims it want's a bipartisan ticket so I do not know how that would work out ;except that Bloomy has jumped ship before for political expediency.

At this point it is unclear to me which party would be damaged more by a 3rd party run .What is clear to me is that just like Perot's and Nadar's bids ,a 3rd party challenge could only be a spoiler . They haven't really offered a platform beyond an attempt to garner the votes of people disaffected with the current crop of politicians (not that I blame them)....but the names I have seen considered are the same old same old .(McCain paired up with Leiberman .... Gore /Wesley Clark ..etc )

My problem with the whole concept of a unity ticket is that there are real differences in the world view of the 2 major parties and I do not see how this will bridge the differences. McCain-Feingold comes closest to mind when I think of what bipartisanship brings in today's environment (or the more recent manifestation of it ..this new McCain and Ted Kennedy sponsored immigration legislation).

The American Thinker has an interesting article on the perils of a unity ticket .It uses the Lincoln-Johnson ticket as it's example.

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HANK1 asked on 05/19/07 - Self-defense:

Is it time for all Americans to arm themselves?


tomder55 answered on 05/20/07:

Americans should generally be aware of self defense . The 2nd Amendment is a choice. You can arm yourself if you chose to do so . But it says nothing about ALL Americans doing so.

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HANK1 asked on 05/19/07 - Vigilantes:

Could vigilanty societies help law enforcement clean up drug traffic?


tomder55 answered on 05/20/07:

How do you define vigilatism ? Neighborhood watch groups are beneficial . The Guardian Angels have done some good work .Both work in cooperation with the law enforcement agencies and are NOT ARMED .

I do not think armed vigilaties would be beneficial . We do not need militas and paramilitaries creating a law unto themselves. See my post above about Islamberg. I'm sure by their community's standards their own concepts of law and order is vigorously enforced .

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HANK1 asked on 05/19/07 - A Frightening Scenario:

As we have been told, there are 100 million Hispanics in the United States. Then there are a great number of men/women in our prisons, a goodly population of Muslims frequenting all walks of life and only Heaven knows the number of those who make up other minority groups in America. Many countries hate our guts. A large number of our soldiers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and a large number of our soldiers are stationed in foreign countries. Folks, I ask you: How would the United States ward off a revolution in America IF things heated up and those factions came together as an army of one?


tomder55 answered on 05/20/07:

Why do you think the founders included the 2nd Amendment ?
Back then there was no domestic tranquility . There were threats frrom indiginous populations and from various European nations that had outposts on our borders.

Hank ;don't buy into the Democrats talking points about our military being stretched . It is not true . Yes I would expand the military back to close to Cold War levels ,but that's to counter the reckless cutbacks of the 1990s.

But ,to your larger point ;I think I'll feed into your fears a little .In the United States al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood – to name but a few terrorist organizations – have set up regional headquarters in Boston, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Tampa, Washington DC and over 38 other cities around the country. They are not only raising, laundering and funneling money back to the Middle East to support their terrorist organizations, they are setting up jihadi training camps right here in the United States.

This week Paul Williams of the Candian Free Press wrote an expose about one small enclave situated in the previously quite Catskill Mts. in N.Y. It is called Islamberg (I kid you not).

Situated within a dense forest at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains on the outskirts of Hancock, New York, Islamberg is not an ideal place for a summer vacation unless, of course, you are an exponent of the Jihad or a fan of Osama bin Laden.

The 70 acre complex is surrounded with "No trespassing" signs; the rocky terrain is infested with rattlesnakes; and the woods are home to black bears, coyotes, wolves, and a few bobcats.

The entrance to the community is at the bottom of a very steep hill that is difficult to navigate even on a bright sunny day in May. The road, dubbed Muslim Lane, is unpaved and marred by deep crevices that have been created by torrential downpours. On a wintry day, few, save those with all terrain vehicles, could venture forth from the remote encampment.

A sentry post has been established at the base of the hill.

The sentry, at the time of this visit, is an African American dressed in Islamic garb - - a skull cap, a prayer shawl, and a loose fitting shalwat kameez. He instructs us to turn around and leave. "Our community is not open to visitors," he says.

Behind the sentry and across a small stream stand dozens of inhabitants of the compound - - the men wearing skull caps and loose fitting tunics, the women in full burqa. They appear ready to deal with any unauthorized intruders.

The hillside is blighted by rusty trailers that appear to be without power or running water and a number of outhouses. The scent of raw sewage is in the air.

The place is even off limits to the local undertaker who says that he has delivered bodies to the complex but has never been granted entrance. "They come and take the bodies from my hearse. They won't allow me to get past the sentry post. They say that they want to prepare the bodies for burial. But I never get the bodies back. I don't know what's going on there but I don't think it's legal."

On the other side of the hill where few dare to go is a tiny village replete with a make-shift learning center (dubbed the "International Quranic Open University"); a trailer converted into a Laundromat; a small, green community center; a small and rather squalid grocery store; a newly constructed majid; over forty clapboard homes; and scores of additional trailers.

It is home to hundreds - - all in Islamic attire, and all African-Americans. Most drive late model SUVs with license plates from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The locals say that some work as tollbooth operators for the New York State Thruway, while others are employed at a credit card processing center that maintains confidential financial records.

While buzzing with activity during the week, the place becomes a virtual hive on weekends. The guest includes arrivals from the inner cities of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and, occasionally, white-robed dignitaries in Ray-Bans from the Middle East.

Venturing into the complex last summer, Douglas Hagmann, an intrepid investigator and director of the Northeast Intelligence Service, came upon a military training area at the eastern perimeter of the property. The area was equipped with ropes hanging from tall trees, wooden fences for scaling, a make-shift obstacle course, and a firing range. Hagmann said that the range appeared to have been in regular use.

Islamberg is not as benign as a Buddhist monastery or a Carmelite convent. Nearly every weekend, neighbors hear sounds of gunfire. Some, including a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, have heard the bang of small explosives. None of the neighbors wished to be identified for fear of "retaliation." "We don't even dare to slow down when we drive by," one resident said. "They own the mountain and they know it and there is nothing we can do about it but move, and we can't even do that. Who wants to buy a property near that?"

The complex serves to scare the bejeesus out of the local residents. "If you go there, you better wear body armor," a customer at the Circle E Diner in Hancock said. "They have armed guards and if they shoot you, nobody will find your body."

At Cousins, a watering hole in nearby Deposit, a barfly, who didn't wish to be identified, said: "The place is dangerous. You can hear gunfire up there. I can't understand why the FBI won't shut it down."

Islamberg is a branch of Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization formed in 1980 by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who refers to himself as "the sixth Sultan Ul Faqr," Gilani, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra or "community of the impoverished," an organization that seeks to "purify" Islam through violence.

Though primarily based in Lahore, Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has operational headquarters in New York and openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in hamaats or compounds, such as Islamberg, where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority. Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulare Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania.

Before becoming a citizen of Islamberg or any of the other Fuqra compounds, the recruits - - primarily inner city black men who became converts in prison - - are compelled to sign an oath that reads: "I shall always hear and obey, and whenever given the command, I shall readily fight for Allah's sake."

In the past, thousands of members of the U.S. branches of Jamaat ul-Fuqra traveled to Pakistan for paramilitary training, but encampments, such as Islamberg, are now capable of providing book-camp training so raw recruits are no longer required to travel abroad amidst the increased scrutiny of post 9/11.

Over the years, numerous members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted in US courts of such crimes as conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers' compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen fire-bombings between 1979 and 1990.

The criminal charges against the group and the criminal convictions are not things of the past. In 2001, a resident of a California compound was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a sheriff's deputy; another was charged with gun-smuggling' and twenty-four members of the Red House community were convicted of firearms violations.

By 2004 federal investigators uncovered evidence that linked both the DC "sniper killer" John Allen Muhammed and "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid to the group and reports surfaced that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded in the process of attempting to obtain an interview with Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.

Even though Jamaat ul-Fuqra has been involved in terror attacks and sundry criminal activities, recruited thousands of members from federal and state penal systems, and appears to be operating paramilitary facilities for militant Muslims, it remains to be placed on the official US Terror Watch List. On the contrary, it continues to operate, flourish, and expand as a legitimate nonprofit, tax-deductible charity.

For perspective: the area is very rural, without too many rules or oversight. Yet it’s just a few hours drive from NYC, with fairly cheap land. As pointed out, there are many more little jihadist communites nestled in simular locations around the country where Islamist paramiltaries practice and train .We chastise other countries, including some who we consider allies, for allowing terrorist training camps to exist within their borders. This is the pot calling the kettle black.

The obvious question is : If most of the residents have criminal records then the use and ownership of firearms by felons is prohibited; Why haven't the authorities gone in and busted the community ?
They had no problem with the idea when they raided the Branch Davidians under far less pretext .

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Itsdb asked on 05/18/07 - Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for apes?

I posted this on that other board.

This opinion column appeared in my paper...

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

    It's a civil rights case with a twist. In late April, an Austrian judge denied personhood status (Registration required) and legal guardianship for 26-year-old Matthias Pan, who was kidnapped as an infant in Sierra Leone after his mother was shot. Brought to Austria illegally, Pan was sold to a research laboratory where he lived alone in a cage and was experimented on for many years before finally being released to a sanctuary.

    In her concluding statement, the judge explained that she never doubted that Pan should be considered a person, but she did not want to set a precedent that might weaken the case of humans with legal guardians. Pan's legal team will appeal the decision.

    Matthias Pan is, of course, not human. He is a chimpanzee.

    Although many of us might share the judge's view that chimps should qualify for personhood, current legal systems in the United States, Austria and most other countries do not. As a biologist and animal behavior expert, I believe it is time for the U.S. legal system to address this serious ethical issue.

    Like all nonhuman animals, chimps qualify as nothing more than property. It is perfectly legal to chain a chimp to a stake or put her in a 5-cubic-foot cage and inject her with hepatitis or HIV.

    That it's legal doesn't make it ethical. The sort of thinking that established this injustice is that we're smarter than them. But is "bright-makes-right" any basis for a sound moral system?

    You may be surprised to learn that we are not as highly evolved as chimpanzees. A recent analysis of 14,000 genes found that 233 chimp genes, compared with only 154 human ones, have been changed by natural selection since we shared a common ancestor.

    Despite popular assumptions, we are not always smarter.
    In a test of spatial memory, the numbers one to nine flash in a randomly scattered array across a computer screen for just one second before being replaced by white squares. A human observer is unlikely to recall the locations of more than two numbers in sequence. A chimpanzee will almost always successfully point to the former locations of all nine digits in the correct sequence. The dynamics of chimp society require keen awareness of where other group members are, which probably accounts for their exceptional skill on such tests.

    Chimpanzees were thought to have poor face recognition until someone had the bright idea of testing them on chimp faces instead of humans. They recognize chimp faces at least as well as we recognize human faces.

    Discoveries like this expose the prejudices that regard chimps as mere shadows of humans. But does it even matter how smart they are? After all, we don't deny basic rights and privileges to people of lower intellect.

    Surely what matters is what an individual feels. It is apparent that chimps experience life essentially as we do. They are highly aware, and chimp expert Frans de Waal asserts that they are as socially sophisticated as humans.

    They imitate, nurture, deceive, sympathize and plan. They have a broad emotional range spanning from jubilation to grief. Their cultures include different forms of tool manufacture and use, self-medication and bartering.

    So should they be granted rights? Governments are beginning to say "yes." In 1999, New Zealand banned the use of great apes in harmful experiments. And this year, the Balearic Parliament of Spain approved a resolution to grant legal rights to great apes.

    Meanwhile, Matthias Pan awaits his fate, as do 1,300 chimpanzees languishing in U.S. laboratories and an unknown number in squalid carnivals and roadside zoos. The day that they are free will be a great one for all apes -- and a step forward for humanity.

OK, (holding back the laughter) I love animals, but come on, do supposedly educated people actually believe this nonsense?

What does that 2 percent gene difference amount to?

Does a chimp's memory skills in matching numbers mean "we are not always smarter?"

What relevance does "recognizing an upside-down face" have in this debate?

Do chimps "experience life essentially as we do," or are there significant differences?

Are chimps "as socially sophisticated as humans?"

What exactly is significant about " 233 chimp genes, compared with only 154 human ones, have been changed by natural selection since we shared a common ancestor?"

If chimps are "more highly evolved" why aren't they now humans? What's the matter, some of them didn't want to come along? I will agree that some humans are obviously not as highly evolved as or smarter than chimps. Balcombe seems to be a perfect example of that.

Comments? Answers to my questions?

tomder55 answered on 05/18/07:

Some more Peter Singer crap . Philosophers frequently have too much time on their hands. When all humans enjoy the rights mentioned above;including the un-born , I will duly consider the rights of other simians.

Oh ,I have no doubt that they are frequenty treated cruelly ,but simular laws that apply to the treatment of my pet should apply to them .There are different levels of intellect throughout the animal world .I would argue that my Border Collie is as smart as a chimp . Both can be trained to do tricks.

Ayn Rand said that the concept of rights only arise in a social context. If I am living all alone on an island, the principle of the Right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness would be meaningless.Predators and those I prey on for my survival would not honor that social contract.

When Pete Seger tells me how he ensures the wilderbeast's rights when a lion attacks or how he would protect mine from a predatory virus that I could be cured of with some more research on a chimp ,then I will buy into his loony philosophy.

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Itsdb asked on 05/17/07 - The latest Democrat petition

Tell President Bush: Bring our troops back home
With our National Guard and Reservists bogged down in a civil war in Iraq, we're less secure here at home. Without the capability to respond to emergencies, we're more vulnerable to the next natural disaster.

Send a message to President Bush and tell him to bring our troops home, where we need them to keep America safe

Don't they mean bring them home where they can do no more harm, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Haditha ... surely they don't mean to do as their drive is called, Protect our states. If so, when are they going to crack down on illegal immigration?

tomder55 answered on 05/18/07:

I swear the Democrats would promote meteorologists to Generals. You would think a brush fire or a melting ice cap is a bigger threat to national security than jihadistan !

We saw yesterday that they are going to capitulate on illegal immigration . Their idea of border security is to "certify "it's safe ,and then arrest border patrol agents for doing their job.

It fits the M.O. I guess ..... Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Haditha ,El Paso .......

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tropicalstorm asked on 05/17/07 - illegal immigrants

WASHINGTON - In a striking reach across party lines, the White House and key lawmakers agreed Thursday on a sweeping immigration plan to grant legal status to millions of people in the country unlawfully.

Sealed after months of secretive bargaining, the deal mandates bolstered border security and a high-tech employment verification system to prevent illegal workers from getting jobs.

President Bush said the proposal would "help enforce our borders but equally importantly, it'll treat people with respect."

The compromise brought together an unlikely alliance of liberal Democrats such as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and conservative Republicans such as Sen. Jon Kyl (news, bio, voting record) of Arizona on an issue that carries heavy potential risks and rewards for all involved.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., said debate would begin on Monday, but he cautioned, "I don't know if the immigration legislation is going to bear fruit and we're going to be able to pass it."

Almost instantly, the plan brought vehement criticism from both sides of the immigration issue, including liberals who called it unfair and unworkable and conservatives who branded it an overly permissive "amnesty."

The proposal constitutes a far-reaching change in the immigration system that would admit future arrivals seeking to put down roots in the U.S. based on their skills, education levels and job experience, limiting the importance of family ties. A new class of guest workers would be allowed in temporarily, but only after the new security measures were in place — expected to take 18 months.

"This is a bill where people who live here in our country will be treated without amnesty but without animosity," Bush said.

Kennedy hailed it as "the best possible chance we will have in years to secure our borders and bring millions of people out of the shadows and into the sunshine of America."

Kyl said the measure wasn't perfect, "but it represents the best opportunity that we have in a bipartisan way to do something about this problem."

It was clear, however, that many Republicans and Democrats were deeply skeptical. Reid said it needed improvement.

"I have serious concerns about some aspects of this proposal, including the structure of the temporary worker program and undue limitations on family immigration," Reid said.

Conservatives on both sides of the Capitol derided the deal as "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, using a politically charged word that figured prominently in campaigns across the country last year.

"I don't care how you try to spin it, this is amnesty," said Sen. Jim DeMint (news, bio, voting record), R-S.C.

The proposed agreement would allow illegal immigrants to come forward and obtain a "Z visa" and — after paying fees and a $5,000 fine — ultimately get on track for permanent residency, which could take between eight and 13 years. Heads of households would have to return to their home countries first.

They could come forward right away to claim a probationary card that would let them live and work legally in the U.S., but could not begin the path to permanent residency or citizenship until border security improvements and the high-tech worker identification program were completed.

A new crop of low-skilled guest workers would have to return home after stints of two years. They could renew their visas twice, but would be required to leave for a year in between each time. If they wanted to stay in the U.S. permanently, they would have to apply under the point system for a limited pool of green cards.

The program drew fire from liberal groups that said it was unworkable. They had joined Democrats in pressing instead for guest workers to be permitted to stay and work indefinitely in the U.S., and ultimately earn the chance to stay.

"Without a clear path to permanent residence for a healthy share of the future temporary workers, we run the risk of reproducing the widespread illegality that this bill is designed to address," said Frank Sharry, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (news, bio, voting record), D-N.D., said he would try to kill the temporary worker program because it would bring in a potentially unlimited stream of immigrants to compete with Americans for jobs and depress wages.

In perhaps the most hotly debated change, the proposed plan would shift from an immigration system primarily weighted toward family ties toward one with preferences for people with advanced degrees and sophisticated skills. Republicans have long sought such revisions, which they say are needed to end "chain migration" that harms the economy.

Family connections alone would no longer be enough to qualify for a green card — except for spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens. Strict new limits would apply to U.S. citizens seeking to bring foreign-born parents into the country.

The issue quickly became a subject of debate among presidential candidates in both parties, exposing divisions among Republicans.

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., who led the charge last year to push through an immigration overhaul, called the deal "the first step" and urged moving it forward before the politics of 2008 made such action impossible.

"We all know that this issue can be caught up in extracurricular politics unless we move forward as quickly as possible," said McCain.

Mitt Romney, another Republican presidential hopeful, issued a statement calling the plan "the wrong approach," saying it conferred "a form of amnesty" on illegal immigrants. "That is unfair to the millions of people who have applied to legally immigrate to the U.S.," the former Massachusetts governor said.

Former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee, who is weighing a presidential bid, said the measure should be scrapped in favor of one that secures the border.

"With this bill, the American people are going to think they are being sold the same bill of goods as before on border security," Thompson said in a statement.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) of Illinois said the compromise needs work.

"Without modifications, the proposed bill could devalue the importance of family reunification, replace the current group of undocumented immigrants with a new undocumented population consisting of guest workers who will overstay their visas, and potentially drive down wages of American workers," Obama said in a statement

tomder55 answered on 05/18/07:

'Secretive bargaining',back door deals; Cutting the public from the debate ,that's how a major policy change is dealt with in a democracy ? The clue is that whenever they resort to those tactics it means they are going to stick it where you don't want it.

I support President Bush but I have to tell you. After 2 terms in office his legislative initiatives besides tax cuts have been a disaster . Besides the effect of the tax cuts which admittedly has been wonderful;he can point to :

McCain-Feingold ,which has proven to be the nightmare it's critics predicted

No Child Left Behind ;which he essentially piggy-backed onto a Ted Kennedy initative

and now this lame Immigration sell out which is another Kennedy inspired fiasco.

I'll tell you how out of touch the President is on this issue. Even Robert Byrd called the deal amnesty that rewards "those who break our immigration laws." Even the socialist EU has realised that immigration must be controlled and is introducing much tougher laws .

I just love the crap where they say that the Feds. will certify that the border is sealed . I have worked with Federal agencies for years and I have to tell you that their idea of certified leaves alot to be desired. How can they claim they will close the border when they are arresting their own border agents for doing their jobs???????

They have been neglegent in enforcing existing laws. Why should we believe that they will enforce new ones ?

Major provisions of the bill are this :


-They could come forward immediately and receive probationary legal status.

-Bill creates a new four-year, renewable "Z" nonimmigrant visa for those present within the U.S. before Jan. 1, 2007.

-Nonimmigrants may adjust status to lawful permanent residence once they pay $5,000 in fees and fines and their head of household returns to their home country.

-People under age 30 who were brought to the U.S. as minors could receive their green cards after three years, rather than eight.

-Nonimmigrant farmworkers who can demonstrate they have worked 150 hours or three years in agriculture can apply for green cards.

-No green cards for nonimmigrants can be processed until "triggers" for border security and workplace enforcement have been met, estimated to take 18 months. Processing of green cards for nonimmigrants will begin after clearing the visa backlog, which takes eight years.


-Hire 18,000 new border patrol agents.

-Erect 200 miles of vehicle barriers and 370 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

-Erect 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern border.

-Deploy four unmanned aerial vehicles and supporting systems.

-End the program in which illegal immigrants are released upon apprehension.

-Provide for detaining up to 27,500 aliens per day on an annual basis.

-Use secure and effective identification tools to prevent unauthorized work.



-Require employers to electronically verify new employees to prove identity and work eligibility.

-Increase penalties for unlawful hiring, employment and record keeping violations.


GUEST WORKERS (requires border security measures to be in place first)

-Create a new temporary guest worker program with two-year "Y visas," initially capped at 400,000 per year with annual adjustments based on market fluctuations

-Workers could renew the Y visa up to three times, but would be required to return home for a year in between each time. Those bringing dependents could obtain only one, nonrenewable two-year visa.

-Families could accompany guest workers only if they could show proof of medical insurance and demonstrate that their wages were 150 percent above the poverty level.



-Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents would be eligible for green cards based purely on their family connections, but other relatives such as adult children and siblings would not.

-380,000 visas a year would be awarded based on a point system, with about 50 percent based on employment criteria, 25 percent based on education, 15 percent on English proficiency and 10 percent on family connections.

-Apply new limits to U.S. citizens seeking to bring foreign-born parents into the country.

-Visas for parents of U.S. citizens would be capped annually at 40,000 and those for spouses and children at 87,000.

Message to all those legal immigrants who have played by the rules all these years ...How stupid are you ?

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Dark_Crow asked on 05/17/07 - Who the Hell is Ron Paul!...................

Why should we support Ron Paul?

One thing I’m aware of: He wants to end birth-right citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

The ‘mainstream’ media doesn't like him, so all the more reason to support him.

In general, he is simply the best candidate for white Americans to support. As a matter of fact, the black population should vote for him as well, due to his stance against illegal immigration. Of course they won’t in view of the inherent racism against all whites.

tomder55 answered on 05/18/07:

He is a libertarian . There is alot of issues I agree with him and alot I don't . He is weak in national defense issues so that disqualifies him in my book. His basic position is that if we retreated to fortress America and left them all alone they would not attack us. I think that is hopelessly naive .

His best answer in Tues. debate involved the question of what cuts he would make to reduce spending and he started reciting a litany of Executive Departments he would eliminate .(Education etc.)His views of a limited gvt. is his greatest strength but regarding national security it is also his biggest weakness.

I agree with the birth-right citizenship issue but I think it would require amending the Constitution.It certainly would be challenged on 14th Amendment grounds and SCOTUS has consitently ruled in favor of it for legal residents ,and has implied that it includes the children of illegals.

The author of the Fourteenth Amendment, Rep. John A Bingham (OH), said : "I find no fault with the introductory clause, which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen."

The introductory clause reads:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

Some in Congress made an attept in 1997 to take up the issue but the effort failed after there was intense opposition by immigrants rights groups.

After yesterday's sell out by the Senate (both Parties) I think the mood of Congress is to capitulate on the issue of illegal immigration totally .

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paraclete asked on 05/16/07 - He's bad and mean, ..

.. and worse than George Bush?

Does this mean he must be doing something right?
'Howard is a war criminal

Australia is funding terrorism and Prime Minister John Howard is a war criminal, Zimbabwe's Information and Publicity Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu says.

Zimbabwe's latest attack on the Australian government comes after Mr Howard banned the one-day cricket team from touring the southern African nation this September because of the despotic regime of President Robert Mugabe.

"The Australian people should really stand against John Howard's gestapo tendencies and interference with other states. He wants to cause insecurity in our country and that we will not allow," Dr Ndlovu told ABC Radio today.

"He is the international gestapo and a criminal ... he is worse than anybody else, his actions in banning the cricket is just one example of being the gestapo," Dr Ndlovu said of Mr Howard.

Last week, Mr Howard said he did not want the team to tour Zimbabwe because Mugabe was a "grubby dictator".

Cricket Australia was faced with the possibility of paying a multi-million dollar fine to the International Cricket Council for its failure to play the three one-day matches, but the council decided to not to impose the fine.

Dr Ndlovu said Australia was financing people who were destabilising the Zimbabwean regime.

"You continue to finance your puppets in our country who don't love their country.

"They are also the ... monies that come to them are to cause violence, you know, terrorist activities, I've got a long list of their terrorist activities here," Dr Ndlovu said.


tomder55 answered on 05/17/07:

I would consider it a badge of honor to be verbally attacked by anyone in the criminally incompetetent thug regime of Zimbabwe .Under Robert Mugabe lead, the country has been reduced from food sufficiency and net food exporter, to widespread starvation, plus inflation that runs above 2,000 percent.Only 10 percent of its normal wheat crops have been planted this year.They are already suffering from a severe shortages in maize.Zimbabwe was once self sufficient in wheat and maize production. Under the authority of Mugabe the government began to confiscate large commercial farms owned by white people and it has been unable to operate them successfully.

Now those ass wipes at the UN and the rest of the African block of nations ;acting in defiance of the West ,the nations that supply billions for aide to the continent, further made a mockery of the institution by electing Zimbabwe, a disgracefully ruled country, to head the U.N. Committee on Sustainable Development.It would be comical if there wasn't so much human misery associated with it.

Dr Ndlovu said Australia was financing people who were destabilising the Zimbabwean regime.

I certainly hope so and I hope the US is assisting . It is the humanitarian thing to do .

Australia said Monday it would spend $15 million backing Mugabe's critics, just a day after banning a cricket tour.I admire John Howard like few politicians in this world .

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Itsdb asked on 05/16/07 - Pelosi's Nuclear Gambit

From The Corner blog at NRO...

Boehner's office just sent this out:


    May 16, 2007

    In a stunning move, House Democrats today revealed they will attempt to rewrite House rules that have gone unchanged since 1822 in order to make it possible to increase taxes and government spending without having to vote and be held accountable. House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today vowed Republicans will use every available means to fight this unprecedented change.

    “This is an astonishing attempt by the majority leadership to duck accountability for tax-and-spend policies the American people do not want,” Boehner said. “The majority leadership is gutting House rules that have been in place for 185 years so they can raise taxes and increase government spending without a vote. House Republicans will use every tool available to fight this abuse of power.”

    Last November, House Democratic leaders promised the most open, ethical Congress in history:

    “[W]e promised the American people that we would have the most honest and most open government and we will.” (Nancy Pelosi press stakeout, December 6, 2006)

    “We intend to have a Rules Committee ... that gives opposition voices and alternative proposals the ability to be heard and considered on the floor of the House.” (Steny Hoyer in CongressDaily PM, December 5, 2006)

    The rules House Democrats are seeking to change have not been changed since 1822.

    Republicans have already achieved significant legislative successes on the House floor with 11 consecutive “motion-to-recommit” victories that exposed flaws and substantively improved weaknesses in underlying Democrat bills. But rather than living by the same rules which have guided the House of Representatives for 185 years, Democrats are proposing to change the rules in order to game the system and raise taxes and increase spending without a House vote. What are House Democrats afraid of?

Andy McCarthy responds:

    Any chance the mainstream media will refer to Pelosi's procedural maneuver as "The Nuclear Option"?

    I didn't think so. That's evidently only for right-wing maniacs who want to force an accountable vote on confirming Bush judges, not for right-thinking liberals who want to avoid an accountable vote on raising Americans' taxes. Good to get that straightened out.

The fox is guarding the hen house folks. Not six months into their "corruption sweep" the Democrats are pulling out all the stops and doing every single thing they've complained the Republicans were doing - and then some.

When will the drive-by media to get off their asses and start hammering the Democrats like they've hammered Bush and the Republicans? I'm just hoping the American people aren't so gullible as to fall for their dirty tricks like they fell for their Trojan horse campaign last year.

And maybe they're catching on ... it was just a few weeks ago the papers were reporting that congress' approval rating was higher than Bush's. Last I heard congress' approval rating was 29 percent - and yet they still preach of some alleged mandate from the voters. Apparently all of those voters wear tin foil hats...

tomder55 answered on 05/17/07:

When a bill is voted out of committee and is on its way to the floor for a vote, the minority can send it back to committee, and preventing the vote until it comes back out again. And then the minority can send it back again, etc. That's the part that's been in effect since 1822.

If Pelosi and the Democrats change that, how does that make it possible to "raise taxes and increase spending without a House vote"?On the surface it sounds like they will merely be able to send it up for a full House vote whether the minority likes it or not... but the vote still takes place.

Maybe there's something about the proposed changes the posting didn't mention?

Congressman Eric Cantor explains that this is actually about the PAYGO rules. So it begins to make some sense.

PAYGO is that ploy where revenue is generated automatically with every addtional spending initiative. So yes,conceivably taxes could be formula increased without an additional vote for the increase under that system.

It's a funny thing. When the Republicans contemplated changing Senate rules we heard cassandras at the NY Slimes calling it the end of democracy ;the republic ,the Constitution.Robert sheets Byrd was waving his pocket constitution and lecturing the Senate about tradition and comity .

Now that Pelosi is attempting a simular rule change that breaches the tradition of the House I'm sure the Slimes will be simularily outraged.

As for the open government business ;well the Republican maneuvers appear to be an attempt for openness and accountability .Certainly tax increases should be subject to an up or down vote where everyone is on the record.

That is also the big difference between the Republicans attempting to change the rules and the Democrats. When the Republicans contemplated the "nuclear option" they were attempting to get an honest "up or down vote" on judicial nominees. Pelosi is trying to prevent one on tax increases.

btw ;scroll down the Corner some more and read Kate O'Beirne's postings about the slick move both Parties in the Senate are trying to make on immigration reform. Sounds like conservatives are to be sold out by the national Republican party again.

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Itsdb asked on 05/15/07 - Just How Crazy are the Democrats?

The paranoid style in American liberalism.

By Jonah Goldberg

    Most fair-minded readers will no doubt take me at my word when I say that a majority of Democrats in this country are out of their gourds.

    But, on the off chance that a few cynics won’t take my word for it, I offer you data. Rasmussen Reports, the public opinion outfit, recently asked voters whether President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks beforehand. The findings? Well, here’s how the research firm put it: “Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent of Democrats believe he did know, 39 percent say he did not know and 26 percent are not sure.”

    So, one in three Democrats believe that Bush was in on it somehow, and a majority of Democrats either believe that Bush knew about the attacks in advance or can’t quite make up their minds.

    There are only three ways to respond to this finding: It’s absolutely true, in which case the paranoid style of American liberalism has reached a fevered crescendo. Or, option B, it’s not true, and we can stop paying attention to these kinds of polls. Or there’s option C — it’s a little of both.

    My vote is for C. But before we get there, we should work through the ramifications of A and B.

    We don’t know what kind of motive respondents had in mind for Bush, but the most common version has Bush craftily enabling a terror attack as a way to whip up support for his foreign policy without too many questions.

    The problem with rebutting this sort of allegation is that there are too many reasons why it’s so stupid. It’s like trying to explain to a 4-year-old why Superman isn’t real. You can spend all day talking about how kryptonite just wouldn’t work that way. Or you can just say, “It’s make-believe.”

    Similarly, why try to explain that it’s implausible that Bush was evil enough to let this happen — and clever enough to get away with it — yet incapable either morally or intellectually of doing it again? After all, if he’s such a villainous super-genius to have paved the way for 9/11 without getting caught, why stop there? Democrats constantly insinuate that Bush plays politics with terror warnings on the assumption that the higher the terror level, the more support Bush has. Well, a couple of more 9/11s and Dick Cheney will finally be able to get that shiny Bill of Rights shredder he always wanted.

    And, if Bush — whom Democrats insist is a moron — is clever enough to green-light one 9/11, why is Iraq such a blunder? Surely a James Bond villain like Bush would just plant some WMD?

    No, the right response to the Rosie O’Donnell wing of the Democratic Party is, “It’s just make-believe.” But if they really believe it, then liberals must stop calling themselves the “reality-based” party and stop objecting to the suggestion that they have a problem with being called anti-American. Because when 61 percent of Democrats polled consider it plausible or certain that the U.S. government would let this happen, well, “blame America first” doesn’t really begin to cover it, does it?

    So then there’s option B — the poll is just wrong. This is quite plausible. Indeed, the poll is surely partly wrong. Many Democrats are probably just saying that Bush is incompetent or that he failed to connect the dots or that they’re just answering the question in a fit of pique. I’m game for option B. But if we’re going to throw this poll away, liberals need to offer the same benefit of the doubt when it comes to data that are more convenient for them. For example, liberals have been dining out on polls showing that Fox News viewers, or Republicans generally, are more likely to believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. Now, however flimsy, tendentious, equivocal, or sparse you may think the evidence that Hussein had a hand in 9/11 may be, it’s ironclad compared with the nugatory proof that Bush somehow permitted or condoned those attacks.

    And then there’s option C, which is most assuredly the reality. The poll is partly wrong or misleading, but it’s also partly right and accurate. So maybe it’s not one in three Democrats suffering from paranoid delusions. Maybe it’s only one in five, or one in 10. In other words, the problem isn’t as profound as the poll makes it sound. But that doesn’t mean the Democratic Party doesn’t have a serious problem.


P.S. And for you conspiracy theorists that don't believe the fire in the World Trade Center couldn't possibly be hot enough to melt steel, I give you this reminder.

tomder55 answered on 05/16/07:

maybe it's not 1 in 3 Democrats suffering from paranoid delusions. Maybe it's only 1 in 5 , or 1 in 10. In other words, the problem isn't as profound as the poll makes it sound. But that doesn't mean the Democratic Party doesn't have a serious problem.

I would have to say that if the party had 1 in 100 who think this way then they have serious problems. If there are any sober Democrats left they have to insist that the leadership stands up to the Soros/Kossak axis and put them in their place. It won't be Edwards ;he panders to them .It won't be Obama ;he has noce rhetoric. But he's clueless . Who knows ? Maybe Hillary will use them in a Sista Soulja moment with them .

But the Demoncrats are likely to turn this around and say it is proof of Bush's credibility problem...or cite polls that show some Republicans believe Saddam responsible for 9-11.

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kindj asked on 05/14/07 - Did you know.......................................

.......that trying to teach the concepts of chivalry (honor, dignity, selflessness, etc) to 7th grade wannabe gangsters is like trying to teach a damn pig to sing?


Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?


tomder55 answered on 05/15/07:

My wife currently teaches 8th grade science in a challenging school district(to say the least). She does not need the job .I earn enough for our family ;and she also gave up a promising and lucrative career in the Pharmaceutical Industry right when she was poised to cash in and advance into upper management because she always dreamed about being a teacher .It is a passion that she persued ;quit her job,spend almost a decade going back to school .She got her Masters degree .

Was it worth it ? I don't know . She has touched and influenced a few of her students .She has the advantage of bringing the experiences of a practical science career into her lessons .She has above all maintained a disciplined classroom conducive to learning . She spends long hours after school grading and going the extra mile to be able to give the best lessons she can each day. She has also spent quite a bit of her own money getting basic supplies that the district seems to not be able to provide.

Her reward was given to her a couple of weeks ago. The Principle decided that she was not the type of teacher she wanted in the school. She was graciously given the option to resign before she was canned . This ;one year before she is tenure eligible.

Honor ,dignity ,selflessness are codes she lives by . Yet ,if there is not a comittment from the highest levels ...if society itself has rejected 'chivalry' as an antiquated concept ;I think it is too much for a lone teacher to carry the torch . I will advice her to toe the line next time (if she doesn't say screw it and just goes back to the industry where her abilities are appreciated ),until she at least gets the tenure protection.

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HANK1 asked on 05/11/07 - Don't you wish Harry Truman was President?

Why Harry S. Truman is the president we want now!

By Marshall Loeb, MarketWatch
Last Update: 4:59 PM ET May 11, 2007

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The cover of the current issue of Newsweek magazine features the jaunty photo of a president from the U.S. past, with the headline: "Wanted: A New Truman."
To which we say, Amen!

Several times in these columns we have praised Harry S. Truman, the nation's 30th president (from 1945 to 1953). Now that he is being held up as the prototypical example of the president we presumably want, it's a good time to examine just who and what he was.

Harry Truman was cantankerous and controversial, but also honest, loyal, determined, far-sighted, fearless, and -- above all -- courageous. He made more decisions that changed the course of history than any other president. Had he not occupied the office, America's story would have been quite different, and not nearly as ennobling or successful!

* Just a couple of excerpts from Loeb's article.

What do you think?


tomder55 answered on 05/12/07:

Hank I have repeatedly made the comparison between President Bush and Truman. Both were there at the beginning of a new ideological existential struggle .Both became the leader in an unpopular war that was part of that larger confrontation. Both will have created the doctrine that will be the future on how to wage the conflict in the future. Both will have left the White House very unpopular because of their uncompromising ways .Both will ultimately be vindicated by history.

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Dark_Crow asked on 05/11/07 - who in the hell is Duncan Hunter?..................


tomder55 answered on 05/12/07:

He's one of the anklebiting second -tier candidates in the Republican field . He is in the race, but has no chance to win. As you demonstrate,his biggest problem right now is name recognition.

He is a Congressman from San Diego. His big issue is border security .He is as close to ideologically pure conservative as anyone else in the field . But the litmus test for Republicans this year cannot be ideological as much as practical. Who has the best chance of beating Hillary is what should be on their minds.

Look for him to try to differentiate himself from the 7 other 2nd tier candidates in the next debate [scheduled this week in S.Carolina] and attempt to break out of the pack and join Guiliani ,McCain ,and Romney as contenders. It won't happen .

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Itsdb asked on 05/11/07 - Islamist-Left Alliance A Growing Force

The MEMRI Report

May 9, 2007

"Where else can you sit down in a single evening and listen to senior people from Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, people from the revolutionary left and the antiwar movement from around the globe?" — British Trotskyite John Rees at the Cairo Anti-War Conference, April 2007

    Over the past year, multiple international conferences have featured leaders of the anti-global left and Islamist groups working together. Go to any anti-war or anti-globalization demonstration in the West and chances are you will see the flags of Hezbollah and Hamas waved by people wearing Che Guevara T-shirts. And at some of these meetings, members of such radical Islamist groups as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah have enjoyed starring roles.

    The roster of Islamist-left alliances quietly grows every day: Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguistics professor Noam Chomsky praises Hamas and denounces America on Hezbollah's Al-Manar television. London Mayor Ken Livingstone invites a leading Islamist, Sheikh Yosef Al-Qaradawi, who is known for supporting suicide attacks, to visit his city. Iranian President Ahmadinejad calls for a world without America even as he plays host to a Tehran peace conference attended by American Mennonites, Quakers, Episcopalians, Methodists, and leaders of the National Council of Churches.

    The key forum at this year's annual Cairo Anti-War Conference was titled "Bridge-building Between the Left and Islam," and focused on practical ways to increase cooperation. The aim of the conference sessions were described in one piece of literature as tackling "the challenges and prospects facing the international anti-war and pro-intifada movements" and planning "strategy and tactics for bridging the gap and uniting Islamist and leftist ranks in the face of U.S. imperialism and Zionism."

    The Arabic press has lauded this phenomenon. An article in Egypt's Al-Ahram Weekly praises what it refers to as "Arab activists taking the lead in the growing anti-war movement worldwide."

    Some Islamist issues on which the anti-global left appears to have found common ground are countering the international boycott of Hamas, calling for the boycott of Israel, supporting Iran against the threat of a U.S. attack (as well as supporting its "right" to develop nuclear weapons), supporting avowedly anti-American countries such as Cuba and Venezuela, and, above all, opposing the war in Iraq.

    Many leftist blogs and Web sites monitored by MEMRI have been increasingly open to working with Islamist groups on the goals they both share — most notably the desire for America to leave Iraq. British Trotskyite John Rees, a regular at the Cairo conference since it started in 2002, told Al-Ahram in April that at this year's gathering he had discussed in particular the "ongoing dynamic between the anti-war movement and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood." Mr. Rees also believes that the Islamist-Left coalition is gaining strength, while what is known as the "coalition of the willing" has faltered.

    In addition, MEMRI researchers monitoring jihadi Web sites have recently found Islamists trying to influence American anti-war efforts. On the Islamist Al-Mohajroon Web site, someone with the username Al-Wathiq Billah instructs readers on how to infiltrate popular American Internet forums to distribute jihadist films and spread disinformation about the war.

    "There is no doubt, my brothers, that raiding American forums is among the most important means of obtaining victory in the fierce media war ... and of influencing the views of the weak-minded American who pays his taxes so they will go to the infidel American army. This American is an idiot and does not know where Iraq is ... Every electronic mujahid" must engage in this raiding, Mr. Billah writes.

    Mr. Billah advises his jihadist readers to "register yourself using a purely American name" and to "invent stories about American soldiers you have personally known (as classmates... or members in a club who played baseball and tennis with you) who were drafted to Iraq and then committed suicide while in service by hanging or shooting themselves." The writing should, he says, provoke "frustration and anger towards their government, which will ... render them hostile to Bush ... and his Republican Party, and make them feel they must vote to bring the troops back from Iraq as soon as possible."

    Such an emerging alliance can only be expected to play a negative role in the ongoing war on terror.

Now I understand why the left dismisses Islamic terrorism - they believe they're on the same side. LIke I said to tom earlier, the left has just spent too much time in this position ...

tomder55 answered on 05/12/07:

Noam Chomsky and Ayman al-Zawahiri ...perfect together! One group wants to abolish religion .The other wants to have it's cult spread across the planet.So naturally they are perfect allies.Chomsky praises Enlightenment Ideals (one of his favorite expressions)and then supports Hamas and Hezbollah and sees no contradiction in that .

Atlas Shrugs puts it this way :

It is interesting to hear people voice surprise that the left would join forces with misogynistic, oppressive Islam. But it makes perfect sense. Both are a dogma, both require group think, both are collectivist, and both are entirely anti-individual. Both are totalitarian in nature. Perfect marriage. And to those shocked that feminists would go along, that too is Lenin/Marxist in origin.

It's that ole Hitler -Stalin Axis of convenience all over again ,....the eneny of my enemy etc. [their common enemy ? America]What the moonbats don't understand is that just like the end of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact ,the Islamo-nazis are bound to turn on the useful idiots somewhere down the road.

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Itsdb asked on 05/11/07 - The Islamic Threat to Europe: By the Numbers


    Some things interest the media, others don't. Since the fall of the USSR, the United States has sought another menace to designate as the ultimate evil, a world threat the Americans desperately need to take on. The 9/11 attacks gave them that enemy. And when the White House speaks, the media listens obediently.

    Over the last number of years the "Islamic threat" has become one of the favourite issues for media coverage. It's all over the news--Muslims leaders pronouncing threats against the countries participating in occupying Muslim land.

    While America is the Western country most succumbed to the fear of Islamism, things aren't much better in Europe. Its media is highly Americanised and thus eager to reiterate U.S. governmental positions towards the non-Western world. Islamic terrorism is subsequently a theme close to the hearts of European journalists as well.

    Following this, you might think the journalists would be beside themselves with joy when the European Police Office (Europol) releases its first report on terrorism in the EU. I can assure you they weren't. In fact, to my best knowledge, not a single Swedish paper or news-channel has paid any attention to it whatsoever. I haven't seen it receiving much attention in other EU countries either (kudos to the EUobserver for having the decency to report on it). The report is namely a grave disappointment for the anti-Islamic campaigners.

    There were 498 incidents in eleven EU countries last year labelled as "terrorist attacks." The Basque separatist group ETA did best (136 terrorist attacks) and was responsible for the only deadly attack, killing two in Madrid. The remaining 497 fortunately cost no human lives.

    How about the Islamic terrorists then? Considering the perpetual warnings in our daily papers, the findings in the Europol report is, to say the least, surprising. The truth is that Islamists only carried out one out of the 498 terrorist attacks in the European Union in 2006. Don't believe me? The entire report (pdf) is available on Europol's website. Had Islamic fundamentalists been behind a higher number of attacks-say 136-it would have been front page news at every big daily. One attack is simply too few--it won't do if the image of an "Islamic threat" is to live on.

    The Europol report devotes several pages to Islamist terrorism, despite the low number. Except for the one attack in Germany this group was responsible for (which, by the way, failed and resulted in no victims), also Denmark and the United Kingdom reported that Islamists plotted to carry out one attack in each country respectively (incidentally, all three countries are accessory to the illegal occupation of Iraq). However, since these plans in both cases were exposed before they were set to work, they were not included among the 498. Either way, even after taking these plots into account, the report proves the genuine magnitude of Islamic terrorism in Europe--it's not exactly a huge threat.

    If we look at the people arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences, the figures are rather disproportionate; about half of them arrested were Muslim. In plain English: Muslims are a group causing very little terrorism in Europe, while at the same time much more likely to be arrested on suspicion of it. The constant media coverage of Muslims being arrested creates the false image of a serious threat in order to benefit the imperialist world-view Washington wants us to adopt. Meanwhile the Americans and their accomplices are carrying out genocide in Iraq. Clearly, something needs to be done about the media.

I have no idea who Kristoffer Larsson is, but apparently he's a moonbat in denial. When was the last time you've noticed the media "listen obediently" when Bush speaks?

A few notes from the report he cites:

    Altogether 498 attacks were carried out in the EU in 2006.The vast majority of them resulted in limited material damage and were not intended to kill.

Contrast that with "The London airplane plot and the trolley bomb case of Germany targeted civilians and transportation infrastructure in Member States.

The report continues with "The radicalisation process of the suspects in these cases is reported to have been rapid. The weapon of choice of Islamist terrorists are Improvised Explosive Devices made with homemade explosives. The cases reported by the UK and Denmark involved the use of Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP), a highly volatile explosive the use of which requires a certain degree of expertise."

    Half of all the terrorism arrests were related to Islamist terrorism. France, Spain, Italy and the
    Netherlands had the highest number of arrests of Islamist terrorist suspects. The majority of the arrested suspects were born in Algeria,Morocco and Tunisia and had loose affiliations to North African terrorist groups, such as the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group and the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.

The report also notes, "The frequency of video statements by members of the original al-Qaeda leadership and other Islamist terrorists shows a marked increase. The propaganda is of greater sophistication, of high quality and more professional. English is used more often, either in direct speech or in subtitles, allowing potential access to a wider audience than previous publications in Arabic. These facts may point to a coordinated global media offensive from Islamist terrorists.

Meanwhile, Americans are engaged in genocide in Iraq ... must be that complicit media failing to report this genocide in favor of reports of IED's and suicide bombings. As I've said before, deny at your own peril.


tomder55 answered on 05/12/07:

For a different perspective of the threat posed by Isamic migration to Europe read this :

What Does Muslim Immigration Cost Europe?
Fjordman - 5/10/2007
Do gang rapes boost GDP? Was that an offensive question, you say? Well, according to Sweden's finance minister Pär Nuder, more immigrants should be allowed into Sweden in order to safeguard the welfare system. However, in reality estimates indicate that immigration costs Sweden at least 40 to 50 billion Swedish kroner every year, probably several hundred billions, and has greatly contributed to bringing the Swedish welfare state to the brink of bankruptcy. An estimated cost of immigration of 225 billion Swedish kroner in 2004, which is not unlikely, would equal 17.5% of Sweden's tax income that year, a heavy burden in a country which already has some of the highest levels of taxation in the world.
At the same time, the number of rape charges in Sweden has quadrupled in just above twenty years. Rape cases involving children under the age of 15 are six times as common today as they were a generation ago. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in one court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents. Swedish politicians want to continue Muslim immigration because it boosts the economy, yet the evidence so far indicates that it mainly boosts the number of gang rapes. Meanwhile, research shows that fear of honor killings is a very real issue for many immigrant girls in Sweden. 100.000 young Swedish girls live as virtual prisoners of their own families.

An ever growing group of non-western immigrants in Norway is dependent on welfare. This was the conclusion of a study by Tyra Ekhaugen of the Frisch Centre for Economic Research and the University of Oslo. Ekhaugen's research contradicted the often heard assertion that Norway's labor market depends increasingly on immigrants. The study indicated quite the reverse. If the present evolution continues, immigration will increase the pressure on the welfare state rather than relieving it because many immigrants do not join the tax-paying part of the population. "Non-Western immigrants" in Norway are recipients of social security benefits ten times as frequently as native Norwegians. If we remember that "non-Western immigrants" include Chinese, Indians and other non-Muslims who are known for (and statistically proven to be) hard working, this speaks volumes of the heavy burden Muslims constitute on the welfare state.

Journalist Halvor Tjønn from newspaper Aftenposten, one of the few genuinely critical journalists in the country, in June 2006 cited a report from NHO, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise. NHO stated that the current immigration policies were a serious threat to the country's economy. Norway is the planet's third largest exporter of oil, next to Saudi Arabia and Russia. Yet according to NHO, there is a risk that much of the profit Norway earns from oil could be spent on paying welfare for a rapidly growing immigrant population. The most profitable immigration would be high-skilled workers who stay for period of limited duration, but at the same time not too brief. A Danish think tank has estimated that the net cost of immigration was up to 50 billion kroner every year, and those were cautious estimates. Denmark could thus save huge sums by stopping immigration from less developed countries. A study found that every other immigrant from the Third World -- especially from Muslim countries -- lacked the qualifications for even the most menial jobs on the organized Danish labor market.

Professor Kjetil Storesletten at the University of Oslo said that the net contribution of immigrants to the economy was probably negative in
Norway, too. "Admitting immigrants with low levels of education leads nowhere. We cannot continue the immigration policies we have followed until now," said Storesletten. In Norway, social benefits and salaries for low-skilled workers are among the highest in the world. At the same time, the salaries for highly skilled workers are comparatively lower and the taxes are high. This compressed salary structure is the result of decades of Socialist policies in Scandinavia. It leads to attracting people with lower skills and little education, but also makes the countries less attractive for researchers and scientists. Still, the agency that handles immigration to Norway, UDI, in 2005 thought that the country must make it more attractive for both skilled and unskilled workers to move to Norway. "We need more immigrants," claimed UDI chief Trygve Nordby. "Too few dare to say that we have a large need for non-professional workers as well," he said. UDI, in turn, should be able to have more flexibility in deciding cases, and process cases more quickly and efficiently. As it turned out later, the bureaucrats of UDI were in fact so "flexible" that they had been running their own, private immigration policies, and that the agency's liberal interpretation of asylum rules had "stretched the boundaries" of the law. UDI violated both the law and political directives when it granted residency permits to nearly 200 Iraqi Kurds in the fall of 2005. A commission that probed the controversial permits blasted the former head of UDI, Trygve Nordby, and his successor resigned. More than half of the social security benefits in the city of Oslo are spent of non-Western immigrants, a portion that has grown tremendously over the years. City council leader Erling Lae warns against prejudice and states that without immigrants, there would be "complete chaos" in Oslo. Meanwhile, Norwegian newspapers are worried that online debates are "flooded with racist comments" about Muslims. One of the racist comments they mentioned was this one: "A large number of Muslims out of their own, free will choose to live in parallel societies where they speak their mother tongue, watch foreign TV, despise the society they have moved to and pick spouses from their original homelands. The only contact they have with the natives is in the social security office."

"The debate is often colored by ignorance. It is not a human right to be heard at any given time. It requires a certain minimum of social intelligence to be allowed to participate in the public debate," says Esten O. Sæther, online editor of the Leftist, pro-Multicultural newspaper Dagbladet. Sæther warns that the newspapers may have to impose stricter censorship on their online discussion forums and the comments to online articles. However, Dagbladet seems to have little understanding of why so many people are fed up with Muslims and their demands. Neither have they admitted that they were wrong in their one-sided praise of the positive effects of Muslim immigration for decades, nor apologized for demonizing the right-wing Progress Party and its leader Carl I. Hagen throughout the 90s for their "racism" for questioning the real costs of this immigration.

On the contrary, although information about the costs of Muslim immigration has been available for several years, this was a non-issue
in Norwegian media prior to the national elections in 2005. Instead, they were focusing on "poverty" in Norway and the need for increased welfare spending. This in a country that is among the wealthiest in the world and which provides its citizens with the highest social security benefits in Europe. Norway's media coverage of the national elections revealed a desire for a Leftist government, said Election expert Aarebrot, a professor at the Institute for Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen. He argued that, with few exceptions, most of Norway's media leans to the left politically. "Most newspapers are what I would call politically correct. By politically correct in Norway today I mean slightly radical, urban and liberal," Aarebrot said. Nearly 70 percent of journalists vote Labor (Ap), Socialist Left (SV) or Red Electoral Alliance (RV) according to a poll, and this is reflected in the press, Aarebrot said.

Oslo will have a non-Western majority in a few decades, if the current trends continue. There are now several researchers who predict that in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, the native population and their descendants will become a minority in their own country within this century. The only question is when. Since the Islamic Jihad usually enters a much more aggressive and physical phase once the Muslim population reaches 10 – 20% of the total in any given area, this does not bode well for the future of the urban regions in Scandinavia. Will they turn out different from similar regions in Thailand, the Philippines or Nigeria?

Admittedly, part of the problem lies with the Western European welfare state system itself and cannot be blamed on the immigrants alone. Iranian Nima Sanandaji tells of his family's meeting with the Swedish system: "In Sweden my family encountered a political system that seemed very strange. The interpreter told us that Sweden is a country where the government will put a check into your mailbox each month if you don't work. She explained that there was no reason to get a job." "Although my mother got several jobs, we concluded that this really didn't improve our family's economy. During the sixteen years we have been in Sweden, my mother has in total worked less than one year."

However, part of the problem is also due to the mentality of some of the Muslims who move there, yet display no loyalty to their new countries. Immigrant men who divorce their wives according to secular law, but stay married to them according to sharia, Islamic law, represent an increasing problem in the city of Odense, Denmark, according to Erik Simonsen, deputy major in charge of administration. The result is a large number of "single" women who receive welfare support. From other countries, it is known that some Muslim men to do this trick with several women at the same time. Some observers blamed the Muslim riots in France in 2005, accurately described by writer Mark Steyn as the "first welfare funded Jihad in history," on polygamy practiced by Muslim men, paid for by French taxpayers. But also immigrants who are financially independent are cheating, says Simonsen. ඘ percent of the immigrant economy in Odense is a black market economy. That's a lot, and it cannot be tolerated, because the law is equal for all."

As one Muslim in Norway stated: "I worked in a Pakistani shop, but all of the work there is 'unofficial.' Neither the boss nor I pay taxes to Norwegian authorities. In addition to this, I receive 100% disability benefits and welfare. I have to be cunning to make as much money as possible, since this is my only objective with being in Norway." Undoubtedly, many Muslims view welfare money from the infidels as Jizya, the poll-tax non-Muslims according to the Koran are supposed to pay to Muslims as tribute and a sign of their inferior status and submission to Islamic rule. In Britain, one member of an Islamic group warned an undercover reporter against getting a job because it would be contributing to the kuffar (non-Muslim) system.

One of the reasons for the low participation in the work force among Muslims is a very high drop out rate from schools, especially for boys. Although Muslims themselves blame this on "poor integration efforts" and "marginalization," some of them are actively obstructing their kids' education, lest they become too much like the infidels. Thousands of Muslim children with Scandinavian citizenship are sent to Koran schools in Pakistan and other countries, to prevent them from becoming "too Westernized." When this practice was documented and criticized by the Norwegian organization Human Rights Service, Pakistanis in Norway had the galls to ask for a school for their children in Pakistan, funded by Norwegian taxpayers. They will probably get it.
According to the Copenhagen Post, in Denmark when the country's schools open their doors again after the summer holidays, not every student is there to enter. Some schools report one in every five students missing from the schoolrooms. Daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende reported that some children had not returned from vacation in their homelands with their parents. 'When students are kept away from school start, it's a big problem for their integration and can affect the children's educational level,' said Integration Minister Rikke Hvilshøj. She said a committee would discuss methods to get parents to send their children to school from day one. 'These are children who have problems beforehand following what's going on at school,' Hvilshøj said. 'Not being there when the school year starts won't make it any easier. We need to make parents understand that if their children are to get a good chance in Denmark, they need to make sure that they are there when school starts.' Author and journalist Rushy Rahsid said she had often gone on long vacations to Pakistan with her parents as a child. 'Families go on such long trips to give their children a healthy dose of religion, culture, traditions, and family,' she said. 'If you buy a very expensive ticket, you want to take full advantage of the trip and meet the entire family.'

Not that the problems always disappear when they actually attend school, either. Going to school is no child's game for many children in Copenhagen, where beatings, kicks, robberies, and threats have everyday occurrences. The perpetrators are normally their own age. Violence and threats pose such a big problem in high schools in Malmö, Sweden, that the local school board wants to install surveillance cameras and security guards in the buildings. The city's education director Matz Nilsson said unruly and aggressive students had become a more common sight in the high schools of Malmö, the home of some of Scandinavia's biggest and roughest slums.

In the spring of 2006, police were deployed at a Berlin school after teachers complained that they could not cope with their students' aggression and disrespect. A teacher who recently left the school told the Tagesspiegel newspaper that ethnic Arab pupils were bullying ethnic Turks, Germans and other nationalities. "School for them," said Petra Eggebrecht, former director of the Rütli school, "is simply a place to fight for peer recognition, where young criminals become idols." Young people are also easy targets for Islamist organisations. Outside the Rütli school, the children greeted visitors in Arabic.

When reporters went to school they were pelted with paving stones by masked youths from the schoolyard as the district's mayor stood helplessly at the entrance of the building. An increasing problem in German schools is that Arab male students often refuse to respect the authority of women teachers. Students at the Ruetli Hauptschule were not shy about expressing their views to reporters. "The German (students) brown nose us, pay for things for us and stuff like that, so that we don't smash in their faces." But there are also conflicts between Arab and Turkish students, mirrored in battles between the city's foreign-dominated youth gangs. Integration of foreign youths in Berlin is often poor. Even second and third generation children frequently do not speak fluent German and many fail to complete school - all of which leads to a high jobless rate among immigrant youths. White German families are moving out of districts like Neukoelln.

Muslim immigration has led to a spike in organized and violent crime, too. As early as 2002, Lars Hedegaard together with Dr. Daniel Pipes wrote about how Third-world immigrants - most of them Muslims from countries such as Turkey, Somalia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Iraq - constituted less than 5 percent of the population but consumed upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending. What's worse, however, is that Muslims were only 4 percent of Denmark's 5.4 million people but made up a majority of the country's convicted rapists, an especially combustible issue given that practically all the female victims were non-Muslim. Similar, if lesser, disproportions were found in other crimes.

In 2005, it was reported that 82 percent of crimes in Copenhagen were committed by immigrants or descendants of immigrants, and the police pressed charges against second-generation immigrants five times as frequently per capita as against ethnic Danes. Doormen working in the Danish capital are now often armed with guns or clubs so as to be able to defend themselves against violent immigrant gangs. There is more violence than ever before and some immigrant gangs have even been known to seek out doormen at their private homes. Immigrant criminal gangs are much more active than previously believed, and their brutality has them surpassing biker crime gangs like the Hell's Angels or Bandidos, the State Police said. A Norwegian researcher warned that ethnic gangs could give Norway the kind of immigrant-related organized crime that had previously been unknown in Scandinavia. Arne Johannessen from the Norwegian Police Organization warned in 2003 that the cost of crime may have been doubled during the previous decade, in part due to immigration.

In Sweden, there has been a steep rise in all kinds of crime and violence at the same time as an unprecedented amount of immigration to the country. Of course, Swedish politicians would never dream of connecting the two. However, in one of those rare cases where a Swedish newspaper has actually told the truth, Aftonbladet revealed that 9 out of the 10 most criminal ethnic groups in Sweden were Muslims, a trend known from other European countries such as France, where Muslims make up 10% of the general population, but maybe 70% of the prison population. The number of people under the age of 18 who are serving sentences in juvenile detention centres in Sweden has risen sharply over the last five years.

Not that Western European prisons will scare immigrant children too much. The relaxed regime at a prison housing some of Holland's most dangerous criminals has caused controversy. Pictures of tattooed prisoners enjoying a "social evening" and beer embarrassed the authorities which are sensitive to claims abroad that they are soft on crime. One inmate at Esserheem serving 14 years for murder said: "We have a party every weekend in our own prison bar. We can enjoy wonderful snacks, ice cream, beers, play cards or billiards and listen to music. If the weather is warm we can play tennis." Another prisoner spoke of "perfect" fresh food and said: "We can buy everything in the prison shop including sushi and sake." In the Netherlands, the economic argument deployed by both leftwing Multiculturalists and free-market conservatives - that immigration revives aging populations, provides new labor resources, and generates entrepreneurial activity – "simply does not apply." There has been no overall economic benefit to population change since unskilled guest workers were invited to the Netherlands in the early 1970s. According to Paul Scheffer, a leading critic of Multiculturalism and professor of urban sociology at Amsterdam University, up to 60% of first-generation Turkish and Moroccan populations are unemployed.

Andrew Bostom, editor of The Legacy of Jihad, quotes the observations made by Dr. Muqtedar Khan, a much-ballyhooed Muslim moderate from the U.S., after a trip to Belgium. Even Khan admitted the largesse of Belgium's welfare state towards its Muslims: "…the welfare check was normally 70 percent to 80 percent of the salary. For those [Muslims] who were married with children, welfare provided comfortable living and with low property values, even those on welfare could actually own homes." American expatriate writer Bruce Bawer, living in Norway, has documented in his book While Europe Slept how Oslo imams preach brazenly that Muslims should expect these welfare benefits—and feel justified in supplementing them by stealing from stores—as a form of jizya extracted from their infidel "host" societies. As Bostom points, out, "such attitudes, whatever their origins, raise this larger basic question: why does the West continue to validate the raw, imbalanced bigotry that denies non-Muslims any access to Mecca and Medina—upon pain of imprisonment, torture, and death—while Muslims demand and are granted the ability to settle, with generous accommodations, within Europe or America?"

Indeed, some of the Muslims are actively involved in supporting Jihad activities, verbally or physically. Mullah Krekar is convicted of terrorism in Jordan, he has been suspected of links to the Madrid terrorists, and the CIA claims he has been ordering bombings in Iraq. He has lived off Norwegian welfare money in Oslo for years, and reputedly gets a lot of free taxi rides from Muslim cab drivers who think he's a great guy. Norway's most controversial refugee has lodged a threat against the country that has hosted him and his family for the past 14 years. Mullah Krekar continues to fight deportation back to Iraq, and calls any such order "an offense" that should be punished. "I defend my rights in their court just like Western people defend their rights. I am patient like they are patient. But if my patience runs out, I will react like Orientals do." Asked how "Orientals" react, Krekar said: "I don't want to comment on that." Krekar has also spoken positively about terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and the recently killed Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

In Britain, the police have been investigating allegations that the four suspected London bombers from July 2005 collected more than £500,000 in benefits payments. The suspects are supposed to have used multiple aliases and addresses. One, Mr Ibrahim, is said to have had six aliases. Some are also shown to have claimed several nationalities, ages and national insurance numbers while in Britain. Investigators believe that bogus names were used to make some benefit claims. Two are also alleged to have obtained asylum using bogus passports and false names and nationalities. Mr Ibrahim, alleged to be the Hackney bus bomber, is believed to have used two dates of birth, six aliases, two national insurance numbers and two addresses. Mr Osman apparently went under five names, variously claimed that he was Eritrean or Somali, and used four addresses in southwest London. Mr Omar, 24, who is linked with the attack on a Tube train near Warren
Street, had five aliases.

The London Times quoted a report that expressed fears that Britain was "sleepwalking its way to apartheid" due to increased ethnic segregation. The paper, which took into account the background of the four July 7 suicide bombers who attacked London, pointed to social and economic deprivation as key drivers in their conversion to terrorism, ignoring the numerous calls for violent Jihad in the Koran and the hadith. It found that the Muslim community was the most "disadvantaged" faith group in the country, with lower educational attainment and higher unemployment. The document found that the unemployment rate among Britain's 1.6m Muslims was more than three times that of the general population and was the highest of all faith groups. About half of all Muslims were economically inactive (52%). That was higher than any other religious group.

DP111, an articulate British commentator at such websites as Jihad Watch, Little Green Footballs and Fjordman blog, points out that as Muslim families are very large, a single wage earner will find it hard to support all. They will need to supplement this by getting considerable benefits from the state. Thus at a minimum, "some 80% of the Muslim population" subsists on welfare benefits: "A considerable amount of this money to Muslims from the British taxpayer, finds its way to finance the Jihad. The same scenario must hold in all European states that have a considerable Muslim population." "We are in the ridiculous position of sheltering and feeding a population that is hell bent on destroying us. Islam's people, from the very outset, were nothing but a collective to gain plunder and loot at the expense of other people's work. In the past, it was conducted by war, conquest and then pillage. Now it is conducted by immigration (invasion), begging or crime. Meanwhile Muslim nations are given huge loans (aid), which we and they know will never be repaid. Thus, from a purely economic point of view, Islam seems to be a collective of people who live by the ethos of "beg, borrow or steal." So why do we, the capitalist countries, who do not believe in offering anyone a free lunch, subsidise the most lazy yet aggressive bunch of people on God's planet, who are bent on subverting our democratic system? The nub is, how has it come about, that the natural progression of the most advanced civilisation on earth is towards stupidity?"

He also points out that the cost of Muslim immigration is much higher than just welfare. "One really needs to factor the loss of confidence in the markets, loss of new investment because of a fear of flying or the disenchantment with intrusive security. Then there is the increased cost of insurance on all businesses." All this affects the competitivess of business with nations that do not have a significant Islamic presence, such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan. We may be talking of million dollars or more per Muslim individual per year. "And to top it all, we give them huge amounts of aid, welfare benefits on a grand
scale, while we live in fear, and our freedoms compromised."

Former Muslim Ali Sina claims that even in the USA, which has a smaller Muslim population and less social security benefits than Western Europe, Muslims are a huge drain on the economy: "Because about 2 million Muslims live in America and among them there are some who are terrorists, Americans are forced to expend hundreds of billions of dollars on homeland security. I have no idea how much is the actual cost. Let us be conservative and say it costs only $200 billion dollars per year. I reality it could be many times more. Does anyone have any idea? With just $200 billion dollars, every Muslim, including their children cost the taxpayers $100,000 dollars per year. This is the real "contribution" of Muslims to America Mr. President. Once you add the cost of the real damage caused in terrorist attacks, such as to planes, buildings, etc. this cost will be much higher. And here we are only talking about monetary cost. Can anyone calculate the cost that the families of the victims of terrorism pay? What is true in America is true in anywhere governments are forced to expend money to increase the security."

Bat Ye'or in her book Eurabia - The Euro-Arab Axis describes how we are in the middle of a total transformation of Europe, which is the result of an intentional policy. In an interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Bat Ye'or fears that Europe will become more and more Islamized until it becomes "a political satellite of the Arab and Muslim world." "The European leaders have decided on an alliance with the Arab world, through which they have committed to accept the Arab and Muslim approach toward the United States and Israel. This is not only with respect to foreign policy, but also on issues engaging European society from within, such as immigration, the integration of the immigrants and the idea that Islam is part of Europe."

Former French PM Charles de Gaulle, disappointed by the loss of the French colonies in Africa and the Middle East, as well as with France's waning influence in the international arena, in the 1960's decided to create a strategic alliance with the Arab and Muslim world to compete with the dominance of the United States and the Soviet Union. This alliance became the position of the European Community (pre-European Union) during the course of the 1970s, when an extensive European-Arab dialogue developed. However, this alliance, in the context of which Europe allowed the immigration of millions of Muslims to its territories and adopted an anti-Israeli and anti-American policy, will ultimately "transform Europe into a continent under the thumb of the Arab and Muslim world."

As Bat Ye'or points out, most of the workings of Eurabia are hidden from the public view, but sometimes we can catch glimpses of it if we know what to look for. Italian Leftist PM Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, the Politburo of the EUSSR, from 1999 to 2004, wants more cooperation with Arab countries. He talks about a free trade zone with the Arab world, but this implies the four freedoms of the EU, which includes the free movement of people. This is made clear in a document from 2003. This fact, and the implications of it, is virtually never mentioned in European media. During the Sixth Euro-Med Ministerial Conference in Brussels, 2003, it is stated that this initiative offers the EU's neighboring partners "gradual integration into the expanded European internal market and the possibility of ultimately reaching the EU's four fundamental freedoms: free movement of goods, services, capital and people." Ministers were also expected to back the Commission's proposal to set up a Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures, a Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly and a reinforced European Investment Bank (EIB).

In June 2006, after his Leftist coalition government signalized that they would be much more lenient with Muslim immigration to Italy, Romano Prodi announced that "It's time to look south and relaunch a new policy of cooperation for the Mediterranean." He was thinking of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, launched in 1994 in Barcelona. Prodi said he had raised the issue with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The prime minister then explained that the Barcelona Process – which includes the creation of a free trade zone by 2010 - was no longer sufficient and a new different approach was needed. "The countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean expect that from us" he added.

Muslim immigration is costing enormous sums and creating havoc across Western Europe, and EU leaders are working to give Muslims easier access to Europe – because Arabs expect this from them. Thank you for pointing this out, Mr. Prodi. And thank you for removing all doubts whether the European Union needs to be dismantled, and its treacherous and corrupt political elites removed from power.

>Fjordman is a noted blogger who wrote for the Fjordman Blog in the past. He has also been published on many other websites, including Gates of Vienna, which is the publication where this article originally appeared.

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tropicalstorm asked on 05/10/07 - Howard Dean on the hurricane

Listen to
Jim Quinn of
on XM satelite radio channel 165 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

For follow ups on....

He says reliable source says

The Kansas Governor told Brownback that she
'could not allow an opportunity pass. I made sure not to blame anybody outside the whitehouse. With Bush's numbers you can't really blame me for that'.

Brownback replied he was 'disappointed in her'.

She said, 'you know me I wouldn't say that if I didn't have to but Howard Dean told me [to].' She tried explaining it away saying 'well it could happen' [that way someday]. 'I didn't think it was right to use it either but in this climate I had to' [to not disappoint Dean]

She also said they have more than enough National Guard and humvees.

5 AM AND SAID HE WOULD GET BACK TO HER WITH THE DETAILS' [of what he wanted her to say].
Layhe is somehow involved too.

She (the governor) called Brownback's office and the call was forwarded to him personally on his cell phone.

tomder55 answered on 05/11/07:

you mean Howard Dean on the Tornado.

The report is now being linked by many blogs. Supposedly she went on a radio station and admitted the story is true. I would love to hear the audio.

This is nothing ....wait until they figure out a way to link tornados with global warming .An arsonist goes on a rampage in California and it's global warming . But at least the Governator ,who has disaster in a much larger geographic area to control is not belly aching about the lack of resources.....yet.

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Itsdb asked on 05/07/07 - The cost of CFL's

How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? About $4.28 for the bulb and labor — unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about $2,004.28, which doesn’t include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.

Sound crazy? Perhaps no more than the stampede to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) — a move already either adopted or being considered in California, Canada, the European Union and Australia.

According to an April 12 article in The Ellsworth American, Bridges had the misfortune of breaking a CFL during installation in her daughter’s bedroom: It dropped and shattered on the carpeted floor.

Aware that CFLs contain potentially hazardous substances, Bridges called her local Home Depot for advice. The store told her that the CFL contained mercury and that she should call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP sent a specialist to Bridges’ house to test for mercury contamination. The specialist found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of six times the state’s “safe” level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter.

The DEP specialist recommended that Bridges call an environmental cleanup firm, which reportedly gave her a “low-ball” estimate of $2,000 to clean up the room. The room then was sealed off with plastic and Bridges began “gathering finances” to pay for the $2,000 cleaning. Reportedly, her insurance company wouldn’t cover the cleanup costs because mercury is a pollutant.

Given that the replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFLs in the average U.S. household is touted as saving as much as $180 annually in energy costs — and assuming that Bridges doesn’t break any more CFLs — it will take her more than 11 years to recoup the cleanup costs in the form of energy savings.

Even if you don’t go for the full-scale panic of the $2,000 cleanup, the do-it-yourself approach is still somewhat intense, if not downright alarming.

Consider the procedure offered by the Maine DEP’s Web page entitled, “What if I accidentally break a fluorescent bulb in my home?”

Don’t vacuum bulb debris because a standard vacuum will spread mercury-containing dust throughout the area and contaminate the vacuum. Ventilate the area and reduce the temperature. Wear protective equipment like goggles, coveralls and a dust mask.

Collect the waste material into an airtight container. Pat the area with the sticky side of tape. Wipe with a damp cloth. Finally, check with local authorities to see where hazardous waste may be properly disposed.

The only step the Maine DEP left off was the final one: Hope that you did a good enough cleanup so that you, your family and pets aren’t poisoned by any mercury inadvertently dispersed or missed.

This, of course, assumes that people are even aware that breaking CFLs entails special cleanup procedures.

The potentially hazardous CFL is being pushed by companies such as Wal-Mart, which wants to sell 100 million CFLs at five times the cost of incandescent bulbs during 2007, and, surprisingly, environmentalists.

It’s quite odd that environmentalists have embraced the CFL, which cannot now and will not in the foreseeable future be made without mercury. Given that there are about 4 billion lightbulb sockets in American households, we’re looking at the possibility of creating billions of hazardous waste sites such as the Bridges’ bedroom.

Usually, environmentalists want hazardous materials out of, not in, our homes.

These are the same people who go berserk at the thought of mercury being emitted from power plants and the presence of mercury in seafood. Environmentalists have whipped up so much fear of mercury among the public that many local governments have even launched mercury thermometer exchange programs.

As the activist group Environmental Defense urges us to buy CFLs, it defines mercury on a separate part of its Web site as a “highly toxic heavy metal that can cause brain damage and learning disabilities in fetuses and children” and as “one of the most poisonous forms of pollution.”

Greenpeace also recommends CFLs while simultaneously bemoaning contamination caused by a mercury thermometer factory in India. But where are mercury-containing CFLs made? Not in the U.S., under strict environmental regulation. CFLs are made in India and China, where environmental standards are virtually non-existent.

And let’s not forget about the regulatory nightmare known as the Superfund law, the EPA regulatory program best known for requiring expensive but often needless cleanup of toxic waste sites, along with endless litigation over such cleanups.

We’ll eventually be disposing billions and billions of CFL mercury bombs. Much of the mercury from discarded and/or broken CFLs is bound to make its way into the environment and give rise to Superfund liability, which in the past has needlessly disrupted many lives, cost tens of billions of dollars and sent many businesses into bankruptcy.

As each CFL contains 5 milligrams of mercury, at the Maine “safety” standard of 300 nanograms per cubic meter, it would take 16,667 cubic meters of soil to “safely” contain all the mercury in a single CFL. While CFL vendors and environmentalists tout the energy cost savings of CFLs, they conveniently omit the personal and societal costs of CFL disposal.

Not only are CFLs much more expensive than incandescent bulbs and emit light that many regard as inferior to incandescent bulbs, they pose a nightmare if they break and require special disposal procedures. Should government (egged on by environmentalists and the Wal-Marts of the world) impose on us such higher costs, denial of lighting choice, disposal hassles and breakage risks in the name of saving a few dollars every year on the electric bill?


I have some Tyvek suits, goggles, gloves and respirators cheap. Will they now be selling these alongside the CFL's in Home Depot? I wonder how many have already been dumped in landfills?

tomder55 answered on 05/08/07:

Once they perfect LED technology this will all be mute .They can be made so they don't break. CFLs are a stop gap temporary answer.
Let's not count out the incadecent bulb yet.
G.E. is working on the next generation of those also . They are not going to surrender the market without a fight.

Elliot is right . There is less mercury in a CFL then in your wrist watch. But there should indeed be provisions for proper disposal .I think in the rush to ban Edison's bulb the gvts .are forgetting this basic fact.

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Itsdb asked on 05/07/07 - Breaking news?

Surely you've heard about the 'scandal' that is Fred Thompson playing a racist role on TV 19 years ago. Huffpo even had this 'scandal' link on their website as "breaking" news (thank you Google cached search) with minx' headline of "Fred Thompson's Campaign Ends In Racist Fireball: LAT Discovers Videotape of Him Using Anti-Semitic Smears, "Fondling" Mein Kampf.

How pathetic.

tomder55 answered on 05/08/07:

yeah and Alan Alda a right winger because he played a conservative Presidential candidate in 'The West Wing '. And Michael Douglas is a rabid unscrupled capitalist because he played the part in 'Wall Street' .

This is really lame stuff.

Sean Penn is an unstable gungo-ho militarist because he played the part in 'Taps' . And Carrol O'Conner is a biggoted conservative because it became his signature role in 'All in the Family '. and best of all ....Alec Baldwin is an American patriot hero because he played Lt. Col.James Doolittle in 'Pearl Harbor'.lololololol

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ETWolverine asked on 05/07/07 - A Change in France? For the better?


May 7, 2007 -- IF Nicholas Sarkozy, the new president-elect of France, reminds you of Rudy Giuliani, there's a reason. Sarkozy really is a kind of French Giuliani. More, he's clearly learned some things from Rudy (the two have met) - and his success may have lessons for Giuliani in his bid to become U.S. president.

Most accounts simply note that Sarkozy is remarkably pro-American for a French politician - describing America as "the greatest democracy in the world."

But when you get into the details of his admiration, you start hearing echoes of Rudy:

* "France," Sarkozy quips, "is like the Anglo-Saxon countries when it comes to inequality and poverty - but without their social mobility and full employment."

* He also mocks French anti-Americans as people who "envy" America's "brilliant success."

* Speaking to 300,000 French citizens who've fled the stagnation of their homeland for jobs in London, Sarkozy committed blasphemy by the normal rules of French politics: He praised England's less regulated and more dynamic economy as a model for France.

Yes, the French elected a man who promises a "rupture with the past" - for the same reason New Yorkers reluctantly elected Giuliani in 1993: because conditions were bad enough to risk change.

Some 70 percent of the French think their deeply indebted and grossly over-taxed country is in perilous decline; books on the country's bleak future have become a small publishing industry in Paris. Like Giuliani in ྙ, Sarkozy bluntly presents himself as a turnaround artist who can redeem the promise of lost greatness by challenging the conventional political assumptions of the permanent government of civil servants, political insiders and over-mighty interest groups who all feed off of a bloated state.

Both men are hard-edged originals with bruising political styles, energetic and inner-directed - outsiders to their political establishments who attract both a devoted following and bitter hostility.

Above all else, each has a hard-to-categorize politics - one that capitalizes on popular resentment of insulated elites clinging to the outdated ideologies of the 1960s.

Giuliani as mayor mocked the "compassionate" liberalism that left masses of people trapped in welfare while providing guaranteed jobs and votes for Gotham's Democrats. Sarkozy similarly mocks the "egalitarianism" of the French civil service - who have near-total job security and fat pensions, even as their management has left French unemployment running double the American rate for 30 years.

The two men met in 2002, when Giuliani had been invited to France to provide advice on how to combat the rising crime rate and Sarkozy was serving as Interior minister. The Frenchman talked to the American about "broken windows" policing and New York's famed COMSTAT program, which provided a meaningful metric for policing. More recently, Sarkozy has been talking up New York-style welfare reform - requiring the able-bodied to take available jobs.

Just as Giuliani wanted to make New York, with its Francified bureaucracies, more like the rest of America, Sarkozy wants to make France more like the more market-oriented Anglo-American economies. Both are critics of multiculturalism - and neither accepts that crime or terrorism can be explained by social causes.

Each talks in a language foreign to the elites - emphazing personal responsibility and the importance of the work ethic. In his recent book, "Témoignage" ["Testimony"], Sarkozy takes aim at those on the French left who depict the rioting Muslim youth of the banlieues as victims of police brutality and French racism. In a riff that's nearly pure Giuliani, he points to the massive social spending in the banlieue - and notes that it seems to have sown far more resentment than good will. Rudy-like, he argues that the young rioters have to adjust to France - rather than the other way around.

The similarities go beyond policy and persona. Sarkozy ran not only against Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, but against criticism of his own aggressive political style. Facing Royal in a crucial debate just days before the election, he managed to constrain his combatative personality lest he be seen as too aggressive. He passed the test, can Giuliani?

Sarkozy also had to overcome the unpopularity of sitting President Jacques Chirac, a member of his own party. Placed on the defensive by the failures of his fellow Gaullist, Sarkozy carefully but convincingly called for reversing the economic policies associated with the incumbent - without mentioning Chirac by name.

Giuliani, who has offered himself up as the salvation of a sinking Republican Party, should be watching closely. If he wins the Republican nomination, he'll similarly have to thread the needle of distancing himself from President Bush's foreign-policy failings without too directly criticizing the president.

The French Rudy pulled it off. Will the American Sarkozy manage it, too?

Fred Siegel is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; his books include "The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York and the Genius of American Life."


Does this bode well for the future relationship between the USA and France, and regarding France's place in the GWOT? I would certainly like to think so.

And can Giuliani learn the lessons of restraint or rhetoric that Sarkozy managed to learn? Sarkozy has learned from Rudy. Can Rudy learn from Sarkozy?

What's your opinion?


tomder55 answered on 05/08/07:

I said it on another reply .... With Sarkozy in France and Angela Merkel in Germany ;if Hillary should win the US elections there will be more pro-American leaders in France and Germany than in the US.

Ya gotta love a guy who says his administration would put an end to the influence of France's May 1968 generation, which he said was responsible for the decline of morality and authority in France.

Royal said there would be violence if he won . Then she hired a couple hundred goons to throw rocks near the Bastille. The violence she predicted was comparable to that which France routinely gets on Bastille Day celebrations and just as juvenile.

I hope this is a new age in the American French relationships. Perhaps this spells and end to Gaulism.

Rudy Giuliani cleaned up NYC by making sure "minor" and major infractions of the law didn’t go unpunished.By doing so he transformed the city to the best in the country .Sarkozy likewise has taken a no-nonsense approach to law and order.

I would not be opposed to a Rudy nomination and do in fact favor him over the rest of existing field. But there is one issue he could definitely learn from Sarkozy.

Sarkozy breached politically correct taboos on immigration and national identity and still won. That is one lesson Rudy could learn . He still tends to pander to illegals. Remember ,he was one of the first mayors to invoke a sanctuary policy fact he sued the Federal Gvt. over the issue. Perhaps he has modified his views since 9-11 ,but if so he has not said so publically in a forceful way. Of all the socially "moderate "positions that Rudy takes,that is the most disturbing one to me. How can he be a such a tough law and order guy and still support the sanctuary concept like Gavin Newsome ?

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Itsdb asked on 05/07/07 - Is a wake-up call needed?

Steve and Cokie Roberts (whose current columns I can never seem to find online) wrote a column on why Bush the elder was right on Iraq and Bush the younger was wrong, and discuss the reasons for American dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq:

    Vietnam (and Korea) both reflected a broad national consensus that international communism directly threatened American interests and had to be contained. The rationales for invading Iraq - finding weapons of mass destruction, thwarting terrorists, creating democracy - had some initial appeal in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Those arguments never had the resonance of anticommunism, and support for the war effort plummeted when many of Bush's justifications proved false.

    "This lower tolerance for casualties" in Iraq," wrote (Ohio State University Professor John) Mueller, "is largely due to the fact that the American public places far less value on the stakes in Iraq than it did on those in Korea and Vietnam."

My first question is why? Why doesn't the prospect of Islamic terrorism resonate with the American people? It certainly did on 9-11, why did that change - (and I don't buy the "justifications proved false" line as the primary reason)?


tomder55 answered on 05/07/07:

Steve ,I think that the wrong lessons were learned from Vietnam. Remember the Powell Doctrine ? 58,000 dead must never happen again . Get in fast with overwhelming force....achieve a limited objective ...and leave fast .Your exit strategy is a primary concern almost to a point that your raison de guerre is secondary .That was demonstrated in Desert Storm. Clinton further refined it by the false lesson of the Kosovo campaign ;that you can fight a casualty free ,relatively painless war.

The Vietnam analogy is almost an invitation to 'realist'isolationism (which the Roberts appear to be endorsing ). Those of us who supported the war ,and still do are more inclined to invoke a Munich analogy . We realize that Saddam had to be stopped in 1990 or he could've moved on to Saudi Arabi. We knew after 9-11 that the status quo in Iraq was deteriorating and we most likely could not contain Saddam much longer . He was a threat because of his potential for mischief . After 9-11 that threat had to be taken just a little more seriously .

Yes we could've taken him out and left but that would have been that post-Vietnam /limited objective thinking . Believe me ;the people arguing for intervention in Sudan are not thinking of going in/kicking butt /and leaving . They are looking to transform that society .

Likewise , leaving Iraq without transforing the country would've just handed the country off to the next threat .That is why we stayed in Europe all those years . That is why we stayed in Japan ;and South Korea and continue to stay in the Balkans. I ask the Roberts ;was it really 'realist' to stand toe to toe with the Soviets ,and come almost to the brink of nuclear exchange more than once,over German sovereignty ? Gimme a break! We did it because we remembered the lessons of Munich .

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tropicalstorm asked on 05/04/07 - HIllary sHillary

she accents a southern gospel persona
now she pitches her voice to sound like a farmer claiming she grow up on the farm working along side with illegal migrant Mexican workers babysitting their children
yet here is her biography
does it all add up or not?

Hillary Diane Rodham was born at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised in a Methodist family in Park Ridge, Illinois. Her father, Hugh Ellsworth Rodham, was a son of English immigrants and operated a small business in the textile industry. Her mother, Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham, was a homemaker. She has two younger brothers, Hugh and Tony.

As a child, Hillary Rodham was involved in many activities at church and at her public school in Park Ridge. She participated in a variety of sports and earned awards as a Brownie and Girl Scout.[2] She attended Maine East High School, where she had participated in student council, the debating team and the National Honor Society

A curmudgeon was the way one Hillary biographer, Norman King described Hugh while another, Roger Morris finds him guilty of the "psychological abuse of his children. Chief Petty Officer Hugh Rodham was a drill instructor who trained recruits in the Navy during World War II. Afterward he became a successful businessman in Chicago who moved his family to Park Ridge, an upper middle class suburb from a city apartment three years after Hillary was born. He was a regal presence in this family; Hillary says it was like the television sitcom, Father Know Best. But the humor was lacking according to Dorothy who said of Hillary, "She had to put up with him." Of course, Dorothy did too.
Hillary was Daddy Hugh's girl but what does this mean?
She was Hugh Rodham's victim who wanted his love and approval even as she tried to escape his stinginess, irascibility and perfectionism. The victim survived and was marked by an identification with the aggressor. Like Hugh the adult Hillary became irritable, demanding and the family breadwinner but that's getting ahead of her story. When she brought home a report card with all A's, Daddy replied that it must be an awfully easy school. We're not told what Dorothy Rodham said when she saw the grades maybe because this wasn't important or perhaps Mother Dorothy was also hard to please. It was Dorothy who said there was no room in the house for cowards when little Hillary ran home after an attack by an "obnoxious girl." Forced to confront her attacker, she won the battle and now had the respect of the neighborhood players, says biographer David Brock.

While Hillary's childhood is usually described as solidly middle class, Oppenheimer offers a grim portrait. Hugh Rodham may have driven a Cadillac and owned a home in a white-bread Chicago suburb, he writes, but he was a cheapskate who refused to take care of the place, and his drapery business was a one-man shop with walls stained brown from chewing-tobacco juice. Hillary has her brother Tony to thank for many of these details, since Tony told Oppenheimer about a cousin, Oscar Dowdy, who became the source for them. Dowdy also says that Hillary's mother was given to making anti-Jewish slurs (some about Hillary's grandmother's second husband Max Rosenberg).

tomder55 answered on 05/04/07:

The New Republic has this rather bizzare and not believable story that Hillary tried to enlist in the Marines when she was a law professor in Arkansas. According to the tale they spin ;the Marines turned her down because she was too old and wore coke bottle thick glasses.

Their point was that this is why Hillary has been so hawkish (snicker) . Well she may have been hawkish all reports she can toss an end table lamp pretty far...but that was before the Kossacks and the defeatocrats got to her. In her rush to the left to appease the loons at the base of her party she has gone from a hawk to una paloma amarillo .

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Itsdb asked on 05/03/07 - Notes from the convention

The California Democratic Party Convention was just held in San Diego. Here are some items of interest thanks to the staff at the San Diego Union-Tribune...

From the Convention report card:

    Candidate: Mike Gravel
    Appropriate career: Shock jock.
    Convention presence: None.
    Followers: None.
    Speech: Nothing to main convention—spoke during Friday reception while delegates grappled over the free crab cakes and hummus.
    X-factor: Pronounces name with emphasis on last syllable. Sounds French to us. Luckily, support cannot get below zero.
    Grade: A. May have enhanced name recognition.

    Candidate: Chris Dodd
    Appropriate career: Senator. Dude really looks like a senator.
    Convention presence: Not much. Media showed scant interest.
    Followers: One. And we think he's on the payroll.
    Speech: Theme of "When I was young" more likely to generate guilty calls to grandparents than votes.
    X-factor: Never trust a candidate when you can't see his eyes for his eyebrows.
    Grade: C. Why is he running?

    Candidate: Dennis Kucinich
    Appropriate career: Cult leader.
    Convention presence: Ubiquitous. Kucinich and his foxy red-haired Viking of a wife appeared at several of the caucuses and spent all Saturday in San Diego. He didn't spend money on much besides signs. Aging hippies promoted him for free.
    Followers: Somewhat smelly.
    Speech: For Kucinich, speeches are performance art, a full-body dance in which he and his audience rise and fall together. For a few minutes, he owned the room, but then he stopped and the Dems returned to the fluorescent light of reality.
    X-factor: After listening to Kucinich speak for 10 minutes, listeners lose the power of reason and logic. They begin to sway back and forth, muttering the words "Yes, Master."
    Grade: A. The right fit for liberal Californians.

Sensory overload, Seen and heard at the convention

    • Quote of the weekend: "Let's all get up and exercise out lower extremities."—State chairman Art Torres.

    • The Kucinich hootenanny wrapped up in just an hour on Friday night. We've been to some hootenannies, we've worked at hootenannies, and, Mr. Kucinich, that was no hootenanny.

    • The Guerilla Media workshop on Friday lasted half an hour and consisted of Dems complaining that Harry Reid had been misquoted when he said we lost the war. Good thing they had a workshop.

    • The Gore-Obama ticket pushed by some dreamers on Friday sounds good to us, but who's the top and who's the bottom?

    • City Councilmember Toni Atkins was a delegate this year. She attended a "small breakfast in La Jolla"with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Atkins said Pelosi told a story about admonishing the president to his face for suggesting "that the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives ‘just stay at home' in his comments about her trip to Syria.”

    • The Progressive Democrats of America offered impeach-mints to passers-by.

    • Does Dennis Kucinich remind anyone else of Mr. Sulu?

    • The Edwards campaign gets the award for the most arrogant theme song. After his speech, Edwards was played off with Foo Fighters singing, "There goes my hero. / Watch him as he goes.”

    • The Lyndon LaRouchians were out in force, but mainly they demonstrated why we need to put more money into our schools. One told CityBeat that "Abe Lincoln kicked the British ass in the civil War."Another argued that folk music is based on rock 'n' roll.

    • Gov. Bill Richardson, in his press conference, made the gaffe of the weekend, one-upping the LaRouchians by telling reporters that Byron White's U.S. Supreme Court stint didn't last past the ླྀs. White retired in 1993.

    • Democrats have bad hair, but the balding guy with the mullet really took the cake. The business in front closed, and the party in back should have ended long ago.

    • The convention crowd on Saturday wouldn't let Congresswoman Maxine Waters leave after her speech without coming back for an encore. She returned to the podium and shouted, "Not another nickel. Not another dime. Not another soldier. Not this time!”

    • There's never enough free food, but the shortage of free forks at the Friday reception was baffling. Luckily, neither Dems nor CityBeat reporters are above eating hummus with their fingers.

    • This guy at the Progressive Caucus held above his head a sign that read "What is depleted uranium?"for, like, an hour. Talk about a feat of stamina. We were impressed.

Raucous caucus

    • The first motion from the Children's Caucus was to have refreshments at the next meeting. The second was to have soft drinks.

    • The Environmental Caucus turned the lights off for a minute to save energy. Of course, the meeting had to be a minute longer, to finish its work. Also, if you want to get in with that environmentalist hottie you've been eyeing, bring up incandescent light bulbs. It seems to get them in a lather.

    • There was a three-way tie for most lively caucus: Progressives, the LGBT and the old folks in the Senior Caucus. Of course, they may have been loud just so they could hear each other.

    • Only one standing officer survived from the last meeting of the Senior Caucus to the current one.

    • The Progressives are the biggest, and their ranks may have been the most rank, which, trust us, is saying something. Our reporter had to change places several times to find a less aromatic seat.

    • The Business and Professional Caucus had the fewest members. Sure, they had a professional-looking easel with a giant pad, but that does not seem to have lured people from their actual paying jobs.

    • Everybody wants to get with the Labor Caucus. They have rules limiting who can speak, including a requirement that you be a member of the caucus. But they spent so much time recognizing officials in the room who were running for office that they didn't actually get anything done.

    • When members of the Chicano-Latino Caucus wanted to vote yea for a measure, they held up their membership cards, which were green. So, the chair would say, "Those in favor hold your green cards up!"which was awesome.

In pictures

Does that outfit remind you of anything? Maybe Chief George Earl in Demolition Man?

Maybe Hillary can tell us how to use those $#!! three seashells.

tomder55 answered on 05/04/07:

The seminar to attend was conducted by John Edwards who elaborated on his two Americas theme . The 2 Americas are those who pay $400 for a haircut and those who pay $20 .

Speaking of Kucinich's wife :

Yeah he looks a little like Sulu but more like Ed Grimley

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kindj asked on 05/03/07 - An add-on to TS's PC post....

Please don't misunderstand the meaning of my story. I love the school district where I work, and I love who I work for and with. I'm not exaggerating when I say it's the best place I've ever worked--bar none.

Earlier this year, we were figuring out how to spend our department budget. We'd spent quite a lot of our allocation on needed supples and stuff, and were really doing quite fine. However, as you know, these budgets are funny--spend every dime this year, or you don't get as much next year. Seems irresponsible to me, but who am I......

In any event, one of the things that my dept. head was going to order were these metal rods that you use to pull down the screen for overheads and stuff. Well, for four of them, they were going to charge us like sixty dollars. I said, "BS! I'll go to Home Depot and make us some good wooden ones for less than ten bucks." OK, Mr. K., you go and do that.

So I do. I bring them back, and there was much rejoicing and celebrating over my frugality, brilliance, ingenuity, and raw talent.

Until one day...

The principal (who I admire and respect, remember) comes to me and very apologetically said that we couldn't have our pull-down-rod-things. I asked if it was because I made them, to which she said no. I asked if we were supposed to irresponsibly over-spend to get them from the "approved" vendor. Again, no.

Why couldn't we have them, you ask?

Because the district (read: spineless, insulated, denying-there's-any-gang, violence, or drug problem school board, who are elected officials who don't know sh!t about education anyway) said they could be used as weapons.

My reply to my boss?

"You're damn right they could!"

You see, while it wasn't their original intent, I did in fact select the one-inch diameter dowel rods for my little project with just that very idea in mind.

I asked Ms. Principal if she would forward a question to our school board on my--and all the teachers in the school's--behalf: "So let me get this straight: We've had 3 students on 3 different campuses threaten violence in the school on a mss scale JUST IN THE LAST WEEK ALONE. Before that, a darn serious and well thought-out plot was discovered that involved the outright murder of MY principal and a few selected teachers--yours truly among them. There is NOTHING to prevent a student or an adult from strolling onto any campus in the district with heavy firepower and doing as they please.

Yet I can't even have a STICK? Well, OK. I'll do as I'm told. You see, I abide by the rules and laws that are given to me, unlike the aforementioned folks. The only request I have for you, Mr. School Board Dude, is 'Do you REALLY think that your dumbass and ignorant rules will be ANY comfort to my widow and my fatherless children? My blood--and that of countless other teachers and students--will be on YOUR inept hands."

She wouldn't relay my question, but did say that there was going to be a special meeting on school security over the summer, and she wanted me to present my plan for security that I had drafted at the beginning of the year to them.


Don't do a damn thing to keep punks with cheap pistols off the campus, that's bad enough. But take away anything that someone can use to defend the students--THAT ARE THEIR RESPONSIBILITY--and themselves.

Genius. Pure genius.

See what you get when the inmates run the asylum?


tomder55 answered on 05/03/07:

I have a titanium bat my wife named 'thumper'. Could always rig a tempoary hook on it to pull down the overhead.

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kindj asked on 05/03/07 - George Bush RESIGNS!!

We all have our disagreements with President Bush. Immigration, U.S. Attorney firings, Iraq, Darfur, etc. are all hot topics these days. The following "speech" was written yesterday by an ordinary Maineiac. While satirical in nature, all satire must have a basis in fact to be effective. An excellent piece by a person who does not write for a living. Sent with the author's permission.
The speech George W. Bush SHOULD give:

Normally, I start these things out by saying "My Fellow Americans." Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer.

I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: there's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.

The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people.

I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world. Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media. Polls show that the majority of you think the economy is in the tank. And that's despite record numbers of homeowners including record numbers of MINORITY homeowners. And while we're mentioning minorities, I'll point out that minority business ownership is at an all-time high. Our unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton Administration. I've mentioned all those things before, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in.

Despite the shock to our economy of 9/11, the stock market has rebounded to record levels and more Americans than ever are participating in these markets. Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.

We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this "blood for oil" thing. If I was trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq's oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell. And don't give me this 'Bush Lied People Died' crap either. If I was the liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be 'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty. Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named 'Clinton' established that policy. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to outspend and out-tech them.

That's not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill you. And the bastards are all over the globe.

You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor'. Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat's political campaign, well, dammit, you might just as well Fedex a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over the Internet. It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol.

I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, even if you're too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level and has a hurricane approaching. I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from. But I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford. I've got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. That means the smiling, vacuous nitwit Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there're just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.

So that's it. God bless what's left of America. Some of you know what I mean. The rest of you, * off.

Charles F. Hovey, Jr.
Managing Director
Molpus Woodlands Advisors
85 Eastern Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
Fax: 978-282-1182
Corporate offices in Jackson, Mississippi
please see:

tomder55 answered on 05/03/07:

although he would be perfectly justified to make such a speech he won't ...He cares too much for the country .He is a plain spoken patriot from Texas which means by nature he has a stuborn streak in him.

History will treat his presidency much kinder than his contemporaries are ;much like Harry Truman's .

I've said it before ; future Presidents will be fighting the war against jihadistan into the next generation no doubt .The Bush doctrine will still be the basic template that they will use to fight the war.

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ETWolverine asked on 05/02/07 - Global warming or just breaking wind?

Experts: Rice Farming Huge Source of Methane Emissions

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Associated Press
BANGKOK, Thailand —

As delegates to a climate conference here debate how to reduce greenhouse gases, one of the problems — and a possible solution — lies in the rice fields that cover much of Thailand, the rest of Asia and beyond.

Methane emissions from flooded rice paddies contribute to global warming just as coal-fired power plants, automobile exhausts and other sources do with the carbon dioxide they spew into the atmosphere.

In fact, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting this week in Bangkok concludes that rice production was a main cause of rising methane emissions in the 20th century. It calls for better controls.

• Click here to visit's Natural Science Center.

"There is no other crop that is emitting such a large amount of greenhouse gases," said Reiner Wassmann, a climate change specialist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.

"Methane emissions are unique to rice," he said. "If Asian countries are exploring possibilities to reduce greenhouse gas, they have to look at rice production. I'm not saying it's the biggest source, but in Asia it's a source that cannot be neglected."

It's the bacteria that thrive in flooded paddies that produce methane, by decomposing manure used as fertilizer and other organic matter in the oxygen-free environment. The gas is emitted through the plants or directly into the atmosphere.

A molecule of methane is 21 times more potent than a molecule of carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.

Although carbon dioxide is still the bigger problem, representing 70 percent of the warming potential in the atmosphere, rising levels of methane now account for 23 percent, reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

After decades of atmospheric buildup, methane — also emitted naturally from wetlands and from other manmade sources, such as landfills and cattle farming — has leveled off in the past few years.

Some scientists credit changes in rice production, and some also trace it to repairs in oil and gas storage facilities that can leak methane.

A 2005 study by U.S. scientists focused on China, which produces a third of the world's rice and where rice fields have shrunk by 24 million acres in the past decade as farmers shifted to other crops and abandoned marginal land.

The study also found that nitrogen-based fertilizer has replaced manure, and many Chinese farmers are using less water on their fields.

For Asians, modifying rice production might prove easier and cheaper than some of the other fixes proposed in the IPCC draft report, such as switching from coal to solar, wind power or other renewable energy sources.

But despite the recent leveling off, the EPA projects that global methane emissions will rise again, as rice fields expand with growing populations.

Wassmann said few countries have followed China's example, instead ignoring such solutions as periodically draining their fields or shifting to locations that need less water.

Scientists say such measures pose the same challenge for poor countries as proposals to introduce environmentally friendly tilling methods or capping methane from livestock manure: Farmers often lack the funds and know-how to shift away from techniques in use for generations.

"In the developing world, you really have to think first and foremost about providing population with food," said Pete Smith of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, lead author of the IPCC report's section on agriculture. "You can't start thinking about climate mitigation if you have to feed your family."

Thailand, the world's largest rice exporter, shows both the promise and limitations of trying to make the industry greener.

Most large mills here burn leftover rice husks for power — a more climate friendly source than coal or oil — and are increasingly selling excess power back to the state.

"Instead of letting it rot in the fields and produce bad gas, we burn it and make use of it," said Rut Subniran, executive chairman of the Patum Rice Mill and Granary outside Bangkok. "This is good for the country because it can reduce our oil imports. It's good for the environment."

But a few miles away, impoverished rice farmers have largely ignored government calls to periodically drain their fields to help reduce methane emissions.

Busy harvesting the latest crop, some blamed tradition and habit, but others said draining the fields was just too costly.

"The government has told us how rice paddies release methane," said Adisak Wantayachiwa, who farms 28 acres north of Bangkok. But most farmers "don't want to pay the cost of draining their fields," he said. "They would just rather keep them flooded."


So... technology is not solely responsible for global warming. Agriculture, specifically rice paddies, which are a main source of a staple food product in most third world countries, are a major source of greenhouse gasses.

So, what are we to do. We can't use technology because it causes carbon dioxide, and we can't farm because it causes methane. Can't raise cows, pigs or chickens either... they are also major sources of methane production. We also have to cork our own butts, since we also fart methane. How will we live?

That is the idiocy of the whole eco-movement. They try to get us to change our lifestyles based on their biases, with no scientific proof to back up global warming or the greenhouse effect. But in order to comply with the restrictions they would have on us, we literally would have to kill ourselves off.

Between you and me, if it came down to a choice of possibly dying off in a few hundred thousand years or definitely dying off now, I'll choose the first option. But that's just me; I'm selfish that way.


tomder55 answered on 05/03/07:

I can't take it anymore !!! An inconvenient tooth . They want us to switch from consuming live stock to grain ; eating the grain is no good ? I refuse to graze on switch grass ;besides..we have to conserve that for ethanol.

I think we should all look toward New Zealand to lead the way !! Maybe we can all buy fart credits .

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tropicalstorm asked on 05/02/07 - hotels taking Bibles out

of drawers and replacing them with An Inconvenient Truth.

California taking mom and dad out of books because some kids now have one parent or two same sex parents therefore promoting heterosexual behavior.

Pittsburgh delays smoking ban largely because of lawsuit by Mitchels restuarant (which happens to be where the Lawyers and Police go for lunch during court)

What next besides the threat of a ban on my barbque grill?

tomder55 answered on 05/03/07:

they don't call him the Goracle for nothing.I knew it wouldn't be long before a religion developed around his cult ideas .

They will take my grill when they pry my spatula from my cold dead fingers.

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Itsdb asked on 04/30/07 - Huh?

Sorry if this is old news to you, but did any of you hear Schmucky Schumer telling us what Harry Reid meant by saying the Iraq war is lost?

    "What Harry Reid is saying is that this war is lost -- in other words, a war where we mainly spend our time policing a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. We are not going to solve that problem. . . . The war is not lost. And Harry Reid believes this -- we Democrats believe it. . . . So the bottom line is if the war continues on this path, if we continue to try to police and settle a civil war that's been going on for hundreds of years in Iraq, we can't win. But on the other hand, if we change the mission and have that mission focus on the more narrow goal of counterterrorism, we sure can win."

It's good that Democrats are on board with Bush and Petraeus' counterterrorism efforts in Iraq. Or are they? Who the heck knows what they're thinking, they seem to be straddling both sides of the fence as usual.

tomder55 answered on 04/30/07:

I give you the schmuckster from 16 months ago :

December 11, 2005

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

As you know, the training and deployment of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) capable of defending Iraq from outside influences and policing against domestic insurgents is a key objective of our ongoing efforts in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one that must be completed before we can end our military presence. Like you, I recognize that America must succeed in Iraq and in order to accomplish that goal I steadfastly support the establishment of a competent and capable ISF.

I am troubled by recent reports that the establishment of such forces is not moving forward as well as was hoped, and by the continuing inability to obtain a definitive assessment of the current status and abilities of the ISF. These matters lie at the very heart of the length and success of American military involvement in Iraq, and it is important for the American people to fully understand how much progress we have made in helping to establish the ISF.

I am deeply concerned that the lack of this information will make it increasingly difficult to chart a proper course in Iraq and may ultimately serve to undermine our chances of success. In order to give America the best chance for lasting victory in Iraq, I urge you to appoint a senior delegation of distinguished retired military leaders to travel to Iraq, assess the situation for themselves, and issue a public report of their findings.

As you have often said yourself, “As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.” Unfortunately, information available on the training and readiness of the ISF makes it difficult to predict when this will occur. For instance, in October it was revealed that out of over ninety ISF battalions, the number of fully independent, or “Category One” ISF battalions was revised down from three to one. The fact that two battalions were apparently downgraded would appear to be a significant step backward. In order to prevent any further regressions, it is important to have full and clear accounting of the situation on the ground and an explanation as to how this occurred.

There are also important and unanswered questions as to the actual size and cohesiveness of the ISF. As of mid-November the Department of Defense indicated that there were 211,700 members of the ISF, only about 65% of the number hoped to be reached by August of 2007. If we are to be successful in Iraq, we must clearly understand whether it is possible to complete training those already enlisted, as well as recruit and train the remaining personnel before the deadline.

Similarly, information from the GAO would indicate that there is a significant chance that possibly tens of thousands of those in the police component of the ISF may have deserted. Concerns also abound that the ISF is still 18-24 months away from operational independence and lack a sufficient command structure, and are a target for insurgent infiltration. Obviously, we need to get to the bottom of whether or not the ranks of the ISF are stable and cohesive before we can certify that they have been fully trained and are ready to assume independent responsibility for Iraq’s security.

I agree with you that the stakes in Iraq and that the United States must succeed in its work there. By providing an unvarnished analysis of ISF numbers, capability, and cohesion the delegation I am asking you to appoint could provide the American people with an honest assessment of our progress, inform the Administration and Congress of the best path to take forward, and allow us to move toward the shared goal of bringing our troops home and out of harms way. I urge you to appoint this delegation as soon as possible.


Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate


Does he not see that many of concerns then are being addressed ? The Iraqi army is on its way to being an army, accepting training, showing up for training, giving their lives for their own country. But he may have missed that fact because he was too involved in his conflict of interest role in the recent Gonzales hearings .

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Mathatmacoat asked on 04/28/07 - Now for something of absolutely Earth shattering importance!

Cricket World Cup

Adam Gilchrist

Farce ruins Cup defence

By Toby Forage editor
April 29, 2007

AUSTRALIA won an historic third successive World Cup this morning, but not before celebrating prematurely as the tournament's troubled run ended in complete farce.

With three overs left in the match, reduced to 38 overs-a-side because of rain, Sri Lanka's batsmen were offered the light and accepted, sparking wild celebrations from the Australia players.

But after whoops of delight and much prancing around, Ricky Ponting's men were told the game wasn't over after all, and after a long discussion with umpires Aleem Dar and Steve Bucknor, as well as off-field officials, play continued in near darkness.

It was an appalling way to finish a tournament that has been pilloried for its excessive length and lack of depth, and the International Cricket Council will have much to ponder in the four years between now and the next tournament on the sub-continent

The biggest shame is that Australia historic moment, and a performance of sheer class from Adam Gilchrist, will be forgotten as a result of a quite ludicrous finale.

Even the presentation rostrum was sent back into the stands by the officials when the only result possible was an Australia victory.

Three overs in darkness and another wicket later, the game mercifully ended with Sri Lanka on 8-215, chasing Australia's imposing 4-281, losing by 53 runs in a match punctuated by rain delays and the chaos of the ilk Fawlty Towers scriptwriters would have been proud of.

Australia's total was set up by an awesome knock of 149 by Gilchrist, who racked up his runs in little more than two hours from just 104 balls to set a new individual high score record in the World Cup final, beating Ponting's record of four years ago of 140.

"It's been a while between drinks for my hundred, and really pleasing to do it on such an important day," Gilchrist said in the gloom as Australia celebrated in front of a crowd that was probably grateful for its bright yellow team colours, given the ridiculous gloom.

"It's an unbelievable feeling. The guys have worked so hard," he added, without making mention of the bizarre circumstances of victory.

Gilchrist, dropped on 31, and fellow left hander Matthew Hayden's stand of 172 was a World Cup final first-wicket record, surpassing the 129 shared by England's Mike Brearley and Geoff Boycott during West Indies' 92-run win at Lord's in 1979.

Gilchrist opened up in Chaminda Vaas's second over. He flicked the bowler's eighth ball for four over square leg, and next ball he drove him over long-on for six.

Vaas, after an expensive three-over spell costing 24 runs, was replaced by fellow quick Dilhara Fernando, retained despite conceding 45 runs in five overs during Tuesday's 81-run semi-final win over New Zealand.

Fernando, in his second over, dropped a low caught and bowled chance off Gilchrist's checked drive, with the keeper on 31 and Australia 0-47, and conceded 74 from his eight overs.

Next ball Gilchrist struck him for four through mid-wicket to bring up Australia's fifty. The ball after was lashed through long-on and Gilchrist immediately topped that with a six in the same area.

He completed a 43-ball fifty with two sixes and five fours.

Off spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan wasn't let off the hook, Gilchrist driving the bowler over his head for two superb straight sixes as he passed his previous best score this tournament, 59 not out against Bangladesh.

The 35 year old then saw Australia to 100 in just 102 balls by off driving Fernando for six.

Gilchrist swept Murali for a six that soared over mid-wicket before Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene brought back trump card Malinga in a bid to break the stand. His first ball back was smashed for six over long-off by Hayden.

Gilchrist then struck Malinga to the same boundary to bring up a superb century in 72 balls with six sixes and eight fours.

Hayden, renowned as a power-hitter and the tournament's leading run-scorer, was still in the 30s.

Sri Lanka's chase began badly when Upul Tharanga edged a ball into Gilchrist's gloves behind the wicket after less than 10 minutes of the reply.

But Kumar Sangakkara and veteran left hander Sanath Jayasuriya gave Sri Lanka hope of a repeat of the 1996 final, when it beat Australia, with a partnership of 116 before Sangakkara was caught on 54 by Ponting off Brad Hogg's spin bowling.

When part-time bowler Michael Clarke clean bowled Jayasuriya for 63 with a short ball that didn't bounce, Sri Lanka's chase had faltered, and victory began to look inevitable.

After the farce of the end that wasn't, victory eventually was Australia's, and it's third straight World Cup in the bag.

Australia did not lose a single match at this World Cup, extending an extraordinary run of victories that goes back to 1999 and defeat to Pakistan in the group stage of that tournament, which it won to start the hat-trick of titles.

With Agence France-Presse

tomder55 answered on 04/30/07:

see;even people familiar with the game aren't sure of the rules and when the game "mercifully "ends .

What does " offered the light " mean ? Is that before or after tea break ?

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Itsdb asked on 04/27/07 - 2008 Democratic National Convention agenda

I was able, through my sly and cunning, to find the agenda for the upcoming 2008 Democratic National Convention. This is top secret information that I acquired through a link on the DNC’s website, along with other documents and security related issues. It said something like…”New York Times - go here.

For you, dear readers, The Agenda!

7:00 P.M. Opening flag burning.

7:15 P.M. Pledge of allegiance to U.N.

7:30 P.M. Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

7:30 till 8:00 P.M. Nonreligious prayer and worship. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton.

8:00 P.M. Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.

8:05 P.M. Ceremonial tree hugging.

8:15- 8:30 P.M. Gay Wedding Barney Frank Presiding.

8:30 P.M. Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.

8:35 P.M. Free Saddam Rally. Cindy Sheehan , Susan Sarandon.

9:00 P.M. Keynote speech. The proper etiquette for surrender French President Jacques Chirac.

9:15 P.M. Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.

9:20 P.M. Collection to benefit Osama Bin Laden kidney transplant fund

9:30 P.M. Unveiling of plan to free freedom fighters from Guantanamo Bay. Sean Penn.

9:40 P.M. Why I hate the Military, A short talk by William Jefferson Clinton

9:45 P.M. Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

9:50 P.M. Dan Rather presented Truth in Broadcasting award, presented by Michael Moore.

9:55 P.M., Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

10:00 P.M. How George bush and Donald Rumsfeld brought down the World Trade Center Towers, Howard Dean.

10:30 P.M. Nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Mahmood Ahmadinejad.

11:00 P.M. Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

11:05 P.M. Al Gore reinvents Internet

11:15 P.M. Our Troops are War criminals , John Kerry

11:30 P.M.Coronation Of Mrs. Rodham Clinton

12:00 A.M. Ted Kennedy proposes a toast

12:05 A.M. Bill asks Ted to drive Hillary home

Also, I’ve acquired the manifesto. These are the 25 points of interest for the Democrats. And to think I’ve been a Republican all this time. Gosh, the Democrats are right.

1. Mandatory homosexuality

2. Drug-filled condoms in schools

3. Introduce the new Destruction of Marriage Act

4. Border fence replaced with free shuttle buses

5. Osama Bin Laden to be Secretary of State

6. Withdraw from Iraq, apologize, reinstate Hussein

7. English language banned from all Federal buildings

8. Math classes replaced by encounter groups

9. All taxes to be tripled

10. All fortunes over $250,000 to be confiscated

11. On-demand welfare

12. Tofurkey to be named official Thanksgiving dish

13. Freeways to be removed, replaced with light rail systems

14. Pledge of Allegiance in schools replaced with morning flag-burning

15. Stem cells allowed to be harvested from any child under the age of 8

16. Comatose people to be ground up and fed to poor

17. Quarterly mandatory abortion lottery

18. God to be mocked roundly

19. Dissolve Executive Branch: reassign responsibilities to UN

20. Jane Fonda to be appointed Secretary of Appeasement

21. Outlaw all firearms: previous owners assigned to anger management therapy

22. Texas returned to Mexico

23. Ban Christmas: replace with Celebrate our Monkey Ancestors Day

24. Carter added to Mount Rushmore

25. Modify USA’s motto to “Land of the French and the home of the brave”

tomder55 answered on 04/27/07:

free Saddam ? not while he's enjoying those virgins.

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kindj asked on 04/26/07 - Oil wars? Hmmmm....I think not.

Crude Oil and Total Petroleum Imports Top 15 Countries
February 2007 Import Highlights: Released on April 17, 2007
Preliminary monthly data on the origins of crude oil imports in February 2007 has been released and it shows that four countries have each exported more than 1.10 million barrels per day to the United States. Including those countries, a total of five countries exported over 1.00 million barrels per day of crude oil to the United States (see table below). The top five exporting countries accounted for 72 percent of United States crude oil imports in February while the top ten sources accounted for approximately 89 percent of all U.S. crude oil imports. The top sources of US crude oil imports for February were Canada (1.838 million barrels per day), Mexico (1.358 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (1.185 million barrels per day), Venezuela (1.115 million barrels per day) and Nigeria (1.061 million barrels per day). The rest of the top ten sources, in order, were Angola (0.451 million barrels per day), Algeria (0.392 million barrels per day), Iraq (0.325 million barrels per day), Ecuador (0.178 million barrels per day), and Kuwait (0.158 million barrels per day). Total crude oil imports averaged 9.047 million barrels per day in February, which is a decrease of 1.145 million barrels per day from January 2007.

Canada remained the largest exporter of total petroleum in February, exporting 2.386 million barrels per day to the United States, which was a slight decrease from last month (2.470 thousand barrels per day). The second largest exporter of total petroleum was Mexico with 1.507 million barrels per day.

Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)
Country Feb-07 Jan-07 YTD 2007 Feb-06 Jan - Feb 2006


CANADA 1,838 1,856 1,847 1,710 1,740
MEXICO 1,358 1,435 1,398 1,774 1,735
SAUDI ARABIA 1,185 1,559 1,382 1,418 1,375
VENEZUELA 1,115 955 1,031 1,178 1,204
NIGERIA 1,061 1,106 1,085 1,342 1,232
ANGOLA 451 553 504 464 441
ALGERIA 392 548 474 163 201
IRAQ 325 531 433 450 493
ECUADOR 178 269 226 222 302
KUWAIT 158 172 165 152 110
UNITED KINGDOM 137 61 97 82 58
BRAZIL 103 204 156 164 110
CHAD 87 70 78 77 76
COLOMBIA 73 137 106 126 148
LIBYA 63 9 35 58 48

Total Imports of Petroleum (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)
Country Feb-07 Jan-07 YTD 2007 Feb-06 Jan - Feb 2006


CANADA 2,386 2,470 2,430 2,262 2,287
MEXICO 1,507 1,566 1,538 1,878 1,835
VENEZUELA 1,353 1,195 1,270 1,475 1,508
SAUDI ARABIA 1,207 1,563 1,394 1,451 1,408
NIGERIA 1,102 1,136 1,120 1,377 1,277
ALGERIA 554 778 672 446 586
ANGOLA 464 574 522 478 454
IRAQ 325 531 433 450 493
VIRGIN ISLANDS 312 425 371 318 297
UNITED KINGDOM 257 194 224 205 196
RUSSIA 236 347 294 304 259
ECUADOR 185 272 231 234 311
KUWAIT 168 172 170 158 114
BRAZIL 150 250 203 203 152
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 135 121 128 62 102

Note: The data in the tables above exclude oil imports into the U.S. territories.

Seems to me that if the left wants to insist that we are waging war in Iraq over oil, then they need to step us and explain why--if oil is our motivation--why we haven't taken over Canada, Mexico, etc.

This was easy to find, it's here:

So why do we still get this erroneous babble from the left?


tomder55 answered on 04/26/07:

Of course it would make sense that Canada and Mexico would be our primary sources of foreign oil. I'm not thrilled about the Venezuela total . Oil of course is a comodity sold in the international market so origin does not determine price ; but there are some countries I'd just as soon not deal with .

The fictional narrative that the war was about controlling Iraqi oil was always fanciful . Anyone who even investigates it superficially would realize that there has been no plunder of Iraqi oil. Instead ;we have spent precious human and monitary resource trying to rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq.

So far there has not been a single contract awarded to a US firm by the new Iraqi government .A Norwegian firm signed a deal with the Kurds.Lukoil is in the negotiation phase ;Lukoil is Russian and the Russians did nothing to support the effort.South Korean oil ministers signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the development of Iraqi oil fields .China, India, Vietnam are all trying to take advantage of laws Iraq will soon pass. The Chief Executive Officer at Ivanhoe Energy;a Canadian firm , stated the company has signed a joint partnership agreement with Japanese Inpex Corp. to develop an oil field in Iraq.

If there is an oil grab going on ,we are too busy trying to defend and help secure the country to get on that gravy train.

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curious98 asked on 04/26/07 - Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch

For quite sometime I have been hammering on the head of some of our colleagues on these Q&A boards that Government Administrations all over feel no repulsion whatsoever about lying to us in the most deliberate and obnoxious way. I have read today this article which seems to show that I am not totally wrong:


The searing congressional testimonies from the family of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch may sound the long overdue death knell for mainstream American public support for the Bush administration and its criminal war.

Tuesday, one unwilling and outraged war poster child and the agonized family members of the other stood before Congress, looked the Bush administration in the eye, and said, “Enough.”

Kevin Tillman, who served with his brother, accused the Bush administration of intentional deceit.
The accounts of the Tillmans, Lynch, and their fellow soldiers lay bare the fact that the Bush administration engaged in an elaborate and deliberate criminal cover-up of Tillman’s fratricide, as well as Lynch’s ordeal, to deceive the American people.

In what can only described as post-facto rape, the administration hijacked the images of Tillman and Lynch for war propaganda, fabricated elaborate pro-war fantasies around both, and then flooded the media with these pro-Bush, pro-war falsehoods.

The violation of Tillman will prove to be even more grotesque and appalling if investigations determine that Tillman’s disapproval of the war contributed in any way to his death.

An historic turning point has been reached. The American people who embraced the Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch lie will “get” the Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch truth, now that it has been honestly and heroically presented.

Now the tidal wave begins.

Piece by piece, the Bush administration’s criminal construct is finally being undone. The Bush administration, and its “war on terrorism” (in its present incarnation), will not recover from this mortal blow.

By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

Apr 26, 2007, 00:40”


Your comments, please.


BTW. The above case is making a lot of noise in Europe and we are wondering what the Bush Administration is going to say in their defence.

tomder55 answered on 04/26/07:

Claude ;

I would like to add that since the war began I have made a deliberate and ,I could say a rather exhaustive search to bring stories of legitimate acts of bravery ,sacrifice and heroism of the fighting forces of the Multinational force . Why is it so difficult ? Because the press has not given us these type of stories . They instead have concocted a tale that highlights abuse and mismanagement that they roll out on a seemingly daily basis .Progress is never acheived ; good is never done .The only acts of courage they deem worthy of coverage is of the injured soldier's fight to cope .

The situation has gotten so rediculous that the military has our soldiers wearing freaking video camera's on their helmets just to prove that they are not doing an atrocity in the field .

Perhaps if the press were acting responsibly then the military would not be tempted to embellish the narrative . Heck ;I'd be happy with some stright up honest reporting .

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curious98 asked on 04/26/07 - Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch

For quite sometime I have been hammering on the head of some of our colleagues on these Q&A boards that Government Administrations all over feel no repulsion whatsoever about lying to us in the most deliberate and obnoxious way. I have read today this article which seems to show that I am not totally wrong:


The searing congressional testimonies from the family of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch may sound the long overdue death knell for mainstream American public support for the Bush administration and its criminal war.

Tuesday, one unwilling and outraged war poster child and the agonized family members of the other stood before Congress, looked the Bush administration in the eye, and said, “Enough.”

Kevin Tillman, who served with his brother, accused the Bush administration of intentional deceit.
The accounts of the Tillmans, Lynch, and their fellow soldiers lay bare the fact that the Bush administration engaged in an elaborate and deliberate criminal cover-up of Tillman’s fratricide, as well as Lynch’s ordeal, to deceive the American people.

In what can only described as post-facto rape, the administration hijacked the images of Tillman and Lynch for war propaganda, fabricated elaborate pro-war fantasies around both, and then flooded the media with these pro-Bush, pro-war falsehoods.

The violation of Tillman will prove to be even more grotesque and appalling if investigations determine that Tillman’s disapproval of the war contributed in any way to his death.

An historic turning point has been reached. The American people who embraced the Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch lie will “get” the Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch truth, now that it has been honestly and heroically presented.

Now the tidal wave begins.

Piece by piece, the Bush administration’s criminal construct is finally being undone. The Bush administration, and its “war on terrorism” (in its present incarnation), will not recover from this mortal blow.

By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

Apr 26, 2007, 00:40”


Your comments, please.


BTW. The above case is making a lot of noise in Europe and we are wondering what the Bush Administration is going to say in their defence.

tomder55 answered on 04/26/07:

I'm glad you posted this ;I was preparing a post on the very subject already so I may just as well use it as my response.I do not condone the circumstances behind the Tillman cover-up ;and as you will see below ,there is more to the Jessica Lynch story than she testified about .

The Army's attempt to portray the death of Pat Tillman as a heroic sacrifice instead of a classic friendly -fire FUBAR is only partly related to the CYA (cover your ass)syndrome. In the Second World War, similar incidents were also rewritten to put a positive gloss upon them.

Take the case of Captain Colin Kelly, a U.S. Army B-17 pilot in the Philippines . When the Japanese navy staged an amphibious landing, Kelly and his squadron were sent out to attack the invasion fleet. The bombers attacked individually, and Kelly's was hit as it dropped its bombs on the ships below. Kelly was killed when his plane crashed near its base, after the rest of the crew bailed out. The story that was circulated in the press was Kelly's plane had been hit on its attack run, that he had ordered his crew to bail out, and that he had then crashed his plane into the Japanese battleship Haruna, for which action he was supposedly awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

All very nice, except: Kelly's plane was hit after dropping its bombs, which failed to hit anything; the battleship Haruna was several hundred miles away when Kelly dropped his bombs ; Kelly's plane had almost returned to its field when he ordered the crew to bail out; Kelly was killed trying to bring the plane in for an emergency landing; for which action he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Other than that, the story in the press was absolutely true.

Now, Kelly was an authentic hero: he made an attack on the Japanese against heavy odds, and he saved most of his crew by bringing the plane close to its base. Why then, did the Army feel the need to embellish? Because, at the time, the war was going very badly, and the country needed heroes more than it needed the "truth."

One can find other similar examples, especially in the early days of World War II. General MacArthur, for instance, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and not court-martialed for gross incompetence over his defense of the Philippines. Ernest King remained as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Navy, and not relieved for his inept handling of the U-boat crisis off the coasts of America between January and May 1942. The military grossly inflated the number of U-boats sunk in that time (fewer than ten) and hid the number of Allied ships sunk; medals were awarded on the flimsiest of evidence because the country needed heroes and good news when both were scarce.

There is a word for this sort of thing. It is "propaganda". Now, this word has come to take on bad connotations in our day, but in fact, propaganda is a necessary component of any war effort .Our press sixty years ago understood this when they were willing agents of U.S. and Allied propaganda. Of course, back then, the Press considered themselves to be Americans first and journalists second, so the kind of mindless "objectivity"(in their words ;I have a less flattering description for their actions) we see in reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan would have been unthinkable in the Philippines, North Africa, Italy or Normandy. The Press was on our side, and spoke possessively of "our troops." There was none of this "U.S. commanders claimed today....", but rather, "Today our troops smashed... "There was a very good reason for this.

Clausewitz wrote that modern war rests on three pillars: the state, the army and the people. If one of the pillars is weak or collapses, the war effort collapses with it. It is impossible to wage a war without controlling the information the public receives concerning the conduct of that war. War is a terrifying business; it is hard enough on men who have been trained to endure its rigor and who have become accustomed to its images. Civilians, without any standard by which to judge, will find the whole thing repulsive, and will turn away from it. The morale of the home front will suffer. This is particularly true when they attempt to judge the progress and leadership of war by the standards of the civilian world. Wars are not won by armies that are 90% effective over those that are 85% effective, but by those that are 15% effective over those that are 10% effective. This is due to the compounding effect of myriad minor errors that combine to make even the simplest thing difficult; it is what separates "real" war from theoretical war . From the press perspective; wars are always being run badly. Civilian morale suffers, which in turn undermines support for the state and the army, and the war effort collapses.

If this war has demonstrated anything, it is the impossibility of waging a sustained war in a liberal democracy in the presence of an unfettered press. The enemies of liberal democracy, of course, do not believe in, nor have to deal with, a free press and this gives them an dangerous advantage in the kind of war where will to victory is far more important than actual victories on the battlefield.

To further illustrate this point ,all you have to do is critically investigate the circumstances behind the fanciful reporting of the Jessica Lynch capture and rescue .
First ;Jessica Lynch was a hero just by serving her country whether she fired a shot or was knocked out immediately during the ambush that injured her. BUT ;the story of her shoot-out with Iraqi forces was not a product of the US military but of the US media. The US media created this recounting of her exploits from vague, unofficial statements by "undisclosed officials" .

But when the truth war revealed ,they started looking for someone to blame. Who else would they pin it on but the US military?

The fact is that the Washington Compost first reported the fiction about her shoot out with the Iraqis .

'She Was Fighting to the Death'

Details Emerging of W. Va. Soldier's Capture and Rescue

By Susan Schmidt and Vernon Loeb

Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 3, 2003; Page A01

Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi hospital, fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, U.S. officials said yesterday.

Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk, continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her in fighting March 23, one official said. The ambush took place after a 507th convoy, supporting the advancing 3rd Infantry Division, took a wrong turn near the southern city of Nasiriyah.

"She was fighting to the death," the official said. "She did not want to be taken alive." Lynch was also stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in on her position, the official said, noting that initial intelligence reports indicated that she had been stabbed to death. No official gave any indication yesterday, however, that Lynch's wounds had been life-threatening

Several officials cautioned that the precise sequence of events is still being determined, and that further information will emerge as Lynch is debriefed. Reports thus far are based on battlefield intelligence, they said, which comes from monitored communications and from Iraqi sources in Nasiriyah whose reliability has yet to be assessed. Pentagon officials said they had heard "rumors" of Lynch's heroics but had no confirmation.

So there you have it .In the initial reporting ,the US Military was urging caution as they had not determined the facts yet . The Washington Compost sourced this story from one official that they couldn't or wouldn't even identify.

Why couldn't the Compost identify a military official praising a soldier?? Doesthat make sense to you ? Is that really a secret? This isn't a whistle blower or Bush Administration insider. It would more than likely be an officer if this person existed at all.

So why couldn't The Compost name the source? The answer is obvious; because the reporters don't even know who it was, or if the incident even occurred.

Jessica Lynch had the courage to go before the Congress to give her side of the story . However ,she is just as misinformed over the circumstances regarding the reporting of her case as most of the country and the world is . If the Washington Compost has a legitimate source for their original story then I would suggest that now is the time to come forward. They have let this fiction that it was the US Army trying to mythify Jessica Lynch linger far too long.

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/26/07 - new planet answer

the new planet they discovered that is 20 light years away may contain the answer for liberals they can take themselves and their PC life and live on that planet and leave us to destroy ourselves. Rosie O'Donell will weigh twice her current weight. I wonder what other wonders they would encounter when they get to their new planet????

tomder55 answered on 04/26/07:

Does the new planet appear to be cooling or warming ? A Class M planet .....beam me down Scotty !

You have a good idea .They can start over fresh, with an unspoiled planet, and implement their utopian nut case ideas there.I think we should call it Planet Kucinich .Send the Goricle first as a good will ambassador .

I actually like the Princes idea better. Strip-mine that place and really piss off the libs .

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PrinceHassim asked on 04/25/07 - New adventures for Bush ..................

................... The discovery of a new planet thought capable of sustaining life has had the White House abuzz, says a correspondent.

It has been mooted that there could be vast oil reserves a little over twenty light years away, and already

White House staffers are preparing plans to invade the planet and take over all availble fuel sources.

Karl Rove is understood to be collecvting a dossier on the putative inhabitants of the newly discovered orb, and has posited that they will have WMDs capable of blowing the earth back into the past in little over twenty years.

The denizens are not known to be friendly towards the Buish administration, so a pre-emptive strike is already on the table in the White House War Room.

Should we be worried? Should we join the National Guard?

tomder55 answered on 04/26/07:

I'll go !!! I think the discovery is exciting .If we can pick off Marvin the Martian...tanto mejor .

Frankly ;part of the reason for space exploration ;beyond the obvious persuit of *pure* science is to discover resources to exploit. We learned that from the Europeans .

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Itsdb asked on 04/24/07 - 'Kryptonite' discovered in mine

Kryptonite is no longer just the stuff of fiction feared by caped superheroes.

A new mineral matching its unique chemistry - as described in the film Superman Returns - has been identified in a mine in Serbia.

According to movie and comic-book storylines, kryptonite is supposed to sap Superman's powers whenever he is exposed to its large green crystals.

The real mineral is white and harmless, says Dr Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum.

"I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either - although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange," he told BBC News.

Rock heist

Researchers from mining group Rio Tinto discovered the unusual mineral and enlisted the help of Dr Stanley when they could not match it with anything known previously to science.

Once the London expert had unravelled the mineral's chemical make-up, he was shocked to discover this formula was already referenced in literature - albeit fictional literature.

"Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula - sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide - and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns.

"The new mineral does not contain fluorine (which it does in the film) and is white rather than green but, in all other respects, the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite."

The mineral is relatively hard but is very small grained. Each individual crystal is less than five microns (millionths of a metre) across.

Leave it to those Europeans though, "it will be formally named Jadarite" instead of kryptonite. Meanwhile, I hear Superman has been discovered also - and he's being prepped for his role as 'roving ambassador' on a mission to save the United States. Could this explain what happened to Captain America?

tomder55 answered on 04/24/07:

It was that florine reaction that was key! Too bad it wasn't blue .We could take on Bizzaro .White kryptonite kills plant life ...word to Al Gore.But it was used to kill Virus X so it can't be all bad .

Speaking of the roving ambassador. We were treated to some more Kentucky Fried Hillary at a gathering organized by Al Sharpton. Actually Hillary and Obama were both doing their best(worst) imitation of a Southern black accent but that is not really the point.

She was doing the 'women have to clean up the mess from our stupid white men 'screed and said "when I walk into the Oval Office in 2009 'aaammm afraid I'm going to lift up the rug and aammm going to see so much stuff under thair." This of course will be a departure from the previous Clinton terms when all the stains on the carpet to be cleaned were there for all to see.

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/23/07 - mor-on

now New York is banning metal bats and
Milwaukee wants to start using plastic handcuffs on rowdy students. You know that will have the liberals screaming about psychological damage!

tomder55 answered on 04/24/07:

I want to use the metal bats on the rowdy students. There's a nice *ping* when they connect .

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kindj asked on 04/23/07 - Liberals are "compassionate?" Please!!!

I've been practicing restraint for months now, trying to rise above the filth that contaminates a good portion of this globe. However, I am about to jump into the fray with both feet, loose the figurative broadsword and mace, and take some figurative scalps.

The "Everyone Hates Christianity" board is out of control, as most of you know.

The same group that preaches "tolerance," "compassion," and "understanding" cannot live by those words they spout everytime the opportunity comes up. I'm thinking of one in particular. She claims to be an "intelligent" person and a compassionate one; however, her posts belie her position, and reveal her as nothing more than a bitter, hate-filled person who has no tolerance or love for anyone who doesn't think exactly like her. A couple of the others that folks seem to have problems with will usually give credit where credit is due, and agree to disagree, at least to a point.

But a simple post showing the severe storms in our area--just for the sake of passing along the info--were met with disparaging comments about God by one (to which I think I responded appropriately) and another.....well, never mind.

I think I'm about done with them, on second thought. Between the people who rabidly defend their version of the faith while at the same time attacking others are getting on my nerves as much as the ones running any Judeo-Christian belief into the ground.

I seem to remember something about not casting pearls before think that applies to that board?

D "gettin' just plain pissed off" K

tomder55 answered on 04/24/07:

Most postings there I just ignore . I pick and choose my battles with the full knowlege that any insight I bring to the discussion will most likely be ignored out of hand. I let the personal insults roll off my back . Mostly I take it from the source.

The one expert you refer to has bitten the hand that feeds her and has turned on more than one expert who has shown concern for her condition (which she never seems to tire of telling to anyone who listens). I just don't bother and I find I often reply just to instigate the diatribe I am certain to receive .

Same thing with the expert with the cookie cutter god built in his own image . I can trigger alot of !!!!!! and horse hockey pucks with a timely reply to one of his invectives ....always good for a laugh .

I know in the eyes of some of the Christians there I'm a pagan and to the non-believers I'm a Christo-nazi. Between the whole group I figure I must be doing something right.

The way I figure it I could just go away;get pissed off and battle to no avail ,or just have some fun with it. Since I am here because it's fun then I choose option #3.

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Itsdb asked on 04/23/07 - Someone finally asks the question

after Hillary gave the answer...

Could a Vote for Hillary Be a Two-For-One Deal?

    It's something none of the other presidential contenders has to think about: If Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., wins, she's the only candidate who would have a first gentleman — Bill Clinton — available to take on duties.

    And of course he's not just any guy; he's a former president.

    Campaigning in Iowa this weekend, Clinton said she couldn't think of "a better cheerleader for America" than her husband and wants him to help rebuild international friendships.

    The senator has been careful not to suggest that a vote for her is a two-for-one deal the way her husband did in 1992.

    But she has made it very clear that she will, as she says, put her high wattage husband to work as a sort of wandering ambassador of good will.

    "I love her very much and I think she would be a great president," Clinton said last week about his wife. "And all presidents need help. They need all the help they can get."

    It makes sense. When he was president, he loved to travel. With the development of his foundation, his globe-trotting has only intensified.

    "What makes Bill Clinton special is he wouldn't just [be] viewed as the the spouse of a president, he would be viewed as a…former world leader in his own right," said Wall Street Journal writer John Fund.

    Hillary Clinton is not talking about a formal post for the ex-president; family members are not allowed to be members of the Cabinet. But even an informal role could be tricky.

    "Bill Clinton has so much prominence and such charisma, he's in danger of overshadowing everyone around him," Fund said.

    Some wonder if there would be conflicts of interest. Since he left the White House, Clinton has raked in roughly $40 million for speaking engagements in 36 countries, including China, Colombia, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

    Last year, top officials in Dubai called him for advice on how to proceed with a deal to control U.S. ports, just as his wife was fighting against the very same deal.

tomder55 answered on 04/23/07:

The First Philanderer's world tour !! He's like the sailor looking for a port in every storm or was that a storm in every port. Certainly the idea of him being a cheerleader for the US is patently absurd. But I'm sure he'd do a representative job keeping the American end up .

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Itsdb asked on 04/23/07 - How committed are you?

Since stopping global warming is all the talk now, how committed are you? Rocker Sheryl Crow makes the following suggestions:

    Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required. When presenting this idea to my younger brother, who's judgment I trust implicitly, he proposed taking it one step further. I believe his quote was, "how bout just washing the one square out."

    I also like the idea of not using paper napkins, which happen to be made from virgin wood and represent the height of wastefulness. I have designed a clothing line that has what's called a "dining sleeve." The sleeve is detachable and can be replaced with another "dining sleeve," after usage. The design will offer the "diner" the convenience of wiping his mouth on his sleeve rather than throwing out yet another barely used paper product. I think this idea could also translate quite well to those suffering with an annoying head cold.

Reportedly, Sheryl touched Karl Rove over the weekend and he objected, can she not figure out why?

Someone mentioned an Army directive on conserving toilet paper from the sixties this morning that might be helpful in deciding which way to vote:

    Take one square of toilet paper, fold it in half and then in half again so you have an equal square, tear off one corner to create a hole for your middle finger for traction.

OK, so who's in, one square of toilet paper per sitting?

Wearing snot on your sleeves, yes or no?

Bonus question, does anyone know what Sheryl's guitars are made of?

tomder55 answered on 04/23/07:

She should be happy to know that I frequently wipe my mouth with my sleeve ;wash my hands and wipe them on my shirt . I wonder how it would go over if she invited me to one of those fancy Brentwood gatherings so I can demonstrate for her eco-friendly swells. I bet I would be called (to quote Alec Baldwin) a pig .

bonus question ..... virgin forest wood and cat guts

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paraclete asked on 04/22/07 - Muslim conversion has a secret agenda

Islamic group paying criminals to become Muslims

April 23, 2007 08:24am
Article from: The Daily Telegraph

AN Islamic group in Sydney's southwest has been paying the state's most dangerous criminals to become Muslims under the belief they could hatch a prison outbreak.

Authorities said yesterday an outside network from Bankstown was paying the prisoners - some of them murderers and rapists - to convert to Islam.

Intercepted calls and messages indicated the 12 converted prisoners thought the outside contacts could help them escape Goulburn's super max jail. The "Super Max Jihadists" have been organising for 18 months under ringleader Bassam Hamzy.

Meetings, martyrdom

Speaking in Arabic and English, the gang holds regular meetings and talk about martyrdom.

The converted prisoners came to the attention of authorities when money was moved between their bank accounts and outside contacts.

Hamzy, jailed for 21 years for murder, has been separated from the gang and sent to Lithgow jail where he is in isolation.

Conversion allowed

Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham said the prisoners would still be allowed to practise Islam.

"We have known for quite some time there has been conversion not only in super max but in other correctional facilities," he said.

"It seemed innocent enough ... we later realised they were more organised than we realised."

Extreme high security

Hamzy, 28, has been declared extreme high security and will be allowed no outside contact as police conduct an investigation.

The other gang members have been ordered to speak only in English and have been banned from having visitors.

"Some of the people who have converted believe this outside network can assist them in an escape," Mr Woodham said.

A rift in the super max facility has since broken out between the gang and anti-Islamic prisoners such as contract killer Lindsay Rose, who is trying to re-convert the inmates.

Backpacker murder Ivan Milat has not joined the gang.

tomder55 answered on 04/23/07:

Our jails are also breeding grounds for jihadists . Something about radical Islamists and criminals is compatable.

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/21/07 - pc'ers at it again

Now they are complaining about Geico's caveman commerical's being insensitive to the dead. They
say just because cavemen are extinct doesn't give them the right to make fun of them.

tomder55 answered on 04/22/07:

What is the pc term anyway ? Cro-Magnon? Neanderthal? Neo sapien ? I guess the complaint is that it's so easy to offend that even a caveman commercial can do it.

If a cave man is so ubber-sensitive then what about other races (could they be code for other races )?????,

classes (the cave man orders roast duck with mango salsa at the doubt a subtle code for yuppies) ????,

genders(where are the female cavemen anyway ?)????? ,

or species (why do they use a cockney gecko ?) ????

all of whom have an ax of past discrimination to grind .

To the pc world the commericals may be making light of a very serious social problem. Remember ;we are living in a post-Imus world .My take on the ads however are a little different . To me they work because they poke fun at sterotyping and how we make fools of ourselves with presumptions.But maybe being a member of a group that gets descriminated against myself (angry white guy /christofascists;mackeral-smacking Romanist);perhaps I should be hyper-sensitive about the commercials also.

Best commercial :

One of the cavemen is on television being interviewed by a Bill OReilley type cable news anchorman. “How can it be offensive if it’s true?”, asks the presenter. “First of all, I’m not a hundred percent in love with your tone right now”, replies the caveman.

"Tone aside, historically, you guys have struggled to adapt”, retorts the commentator. “Right,” the caveman replies, “walking upright, discovering fire, inventing the wheel, laying the foundation for all mankind. You’re right. Good point. Sorry we couldn’t get that to you sooner.”

A female anchor comes onto the screen to say "someone woke up on the wrong side of the rock".

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Itsdb asked on 04/18/07 - Not so fast?

And I'm not speaking of Gov. Corzine...

    New turbulence in debate over effect of warming on hurricanes

    By Associated Press
    Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - Updated: 07:46 PM EST

    WASHINGTON - The debate over whether global warming affects hurricanes may be running into some unexpected turbulence.

    Many researchers believe warming is causing the storms to get stronger, while others aren’t so sure.

    Now, a new study raises the possibility that global warming might even make it harder for hurricanes to form.

    The findings, by Gabriel A. Vecchi of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Brian J. Soden of the University of Miami, are reported in Wednesday’s issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

    Vecchi and Soden used 18 complex computer climate models to anticipate the effects of warming in the years 2001-2020 and 2018-2100.

    Included in the results were an increase in vertical wind shear over the tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans.

    Vertical wind shear is a difference in wind speed or direction at different altitudes. When a hurricane encounters vertical wind shear the hurricane can weaken when the heat of rising air dissipates over a larger area.

    On the other hand, warm water provides the energy that drives hurricanes, so warmer conditions should make the storms stronger.

    "We don’t know whether the change in shear will cancel out the increased potential from warming oceans, but the shear increase would tend to make the Atlantic and East Pacific less favorable to hurricanes," said Vecchi, of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J.

    "Which one of the two _ warming oceans or increasing shear _ will be the dominant factor? Will they cancel out? We and others are currently exploring those very questions, and we hope to have a better grasp on that answer in the near future," Vecchi said.

    "What we can say is that the magnitude of the shear change is large enough that it cannot be ignored," he added.

    Any decrease in strength or frequency of storms caused by shear would apply only if all else was equal, Vecchi said, "but all else is not equal, since the shear increase is being driven by global warming."

    Soden, of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, added: "This study does not in any way undermine the widespread consensus in the scientific community about the reality of global warming."

    The massive destruction caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 focused attention on tropical cyclones _ as these storms are also known _ and some well-known researchers suggested the warming seas were fueling stronger storms.

    Last year an El Nino _ a warming of the water in the tropical Pacific that can affect weather worldwide _ dampened the Atlantic hurricane season.

Gee, and here I thought all this global warming stuff was already figured out. Now we have "unexpected turbulence." Note the article says things such as:

"aren’t so sure"
"raises the possibility"
"On the other hand"
"We don’t know"
"which ... will be the dominant factor?"
"only if"
"researchers suggested"

And my favorite, "complex computer climate models"


tomder55 answered on 04/18/07:

What do we have ;about a generation of seriously monitoring hurricane activity by satellite ? On what basis do they even create complex models from ? It's my opinion that if we hadn't built New Orleans in a sink hole that very few people in America would even remember the name Katrina . Quick ...what were the names of the other major hurricanes from that season ????

So this is what science is reduced to ..... If they are right they say ;just as we predicted global warming caused increased hurricane activity .But if it doesn't happen ;like last year ; then they say ...see global warming caused wind shear. They got all bases covered . Good job!!!

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Itsdb asked on 04/18/07 - Iran-made arms seized in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- U.S. forces recently intercepted Iranian-made weapons intended for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, the Pentagon's top general said Tuesday, suggesting wider Iranian war involvement in the region.

It appeared to be the first publicly disclosed instance of Iranian arms entering Afghanistan, although it was not immediately clear whether the weapons came directly from Iran or were shipped through a third party.

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that unlike in Iraq, where U.S. officials say they are certain that arms are being supplied to insurgents by Iran's secretive Quds Force, the Iranian link in Afghanistan is murky.

"It is not as clear in Afghanistan which Iranian entity is responsible, but we have intercepted weapons in Afghanistan headed for the Taliban that were made in Iran," Pace told reporters over breakfast.

He said the weapons, including mortars and C-4 plastic explosives, were intercepted in Kandahar province within the past month. He did not describe the quantity of the materials or say whether it was the first time U.S. forces had found Iranian-made arms in Afghanistan.

Asked about Pace's remarks, a Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Gary Keck, said he had not heard of previous instances of Iranian weaponry being found in Afghanistan but he was not certain this was the first time.

Iran has had an uneven relationship with Afghanistan over the years. During the wars of the past quarter-century -- the 1979-89 Soviet occupation, the subsequent civil war, Taliban rule starting in 1996 and the 2001 U.S.-led invasion -- millions of Afghans, particularly from the western provinces, took refuge in Iran.

In a statement responding to Pace's comments, the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition of Iranian opposition groups, said the Quds Force has been active in Afghanistan for years.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the Iranian group's foreign affairs committee, said, "Export of fundamentalism and terrorism to neighboring and Islamic countries has been one of the pillars of the clerical regime's foreign policy -- something that the Iranian resistance has warned about for the past two decades."

Perhaps we need to export a little something to Iran?

tomder55 answered on 04/18/07:

Gee ;now why would Shia Iran be cooperating with the Sunni Taliban ? Maybe the deliniations are not as clear cut as some would have us believe ? Previously, based on captured Iranian documents in Irbil ,we learned that Iran also assisted Sunni groups, and the name at the top of that list was Al Qaida in Iraq. At the time the report came out, detractors quickly pointed out that a Shia state would not help a Sunni group, nor that a Sunni group who slaughters as many Shia as possible and considers all Shia to be apostates would want a Shia state’s help.

I will be interested to see the reaction by our dhimmicrats .They claim to support the war effort in Afghanistan . I wonder if they will now support us taking action against a nation that is arming our enemies there ? I kinda doubt it.

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kindj asked on 04/17/07 - Concerning the Virginia Tech tragedy...

I've posted this before, but in light of the current tragedy I feel compelled to post it again. One small comment of my own follow the article.
On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs - Dave Grossman
By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...


This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

So the only questions that remain are these:

1. What are you today, either by nature or by choice?

2. What will you be tomorrow, by choice?

As for me, I am damn proud to have been a sheepdog for years, and God willing, will continue to be one for years.

The predators in our world NEED us to be sheep, so they can control us. Nothing irritates them more than someone who REFUSES to be a victim.

In fact, I gotta say it's downright gratifying to see the look in a predator's eyes change from aggression to fear as he realizes that HE is now the HUNTED.


tomder55 answered on 04/18/07:

glad you reposted it . I forgot to make a copy last time.

If only some trained instructors like yourself were permitted to carry I imagine these events would not be as terrible.

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curious98 asked on 04/17/07 - Virginia massacre

I wish to express from here my most sincere condoleances to the families, relatives and friends of the victims of the shooting rampage yesterday at the Virginia Tech University, which is already qualified as the deadliest attack of its kind in the USA.
I know your Constitution, as per the 2nd Amendment, guarantees everyone the right to carry a weapon..
Last month, a friend of mine and his wife went to visit their son in Newark (N.J) and they flew directly from Barcelona to that city.
They had to go through a considerable amount of police controls at the Barcelona airport, which makes sense to avoid any problems while flying. But when they went through the police at the Newark airport they had to go through all kind of security controls, like pictures, fingerprints plus having their entire luggage opened, removing their shoes, etc.
Theoretically, at least, they were basically looking for small weapons of some kind… which makes sense… except when you start considering how easy is for anyone in your country to get as many weapons and ammunition as he/she/they can afford to pay for.
Any terrorist does not have to go to the trouble of trying to sneak any weapons in your country, when they can be simply bought there…
And it must be real simple, as otherwise how can it be explained that this South Korean fellow could avail himself of 2 guns and enough ammo., to accomplish his deadly task?
In view of all previous letal experiences would not it be about time to start reconsidering this 2nd Amendment?

tomder55 answered on 04/17/07:

Why don't you wait for the facts to come out before you make presumptions ?

The criminals are not legally obtaining guns in this country. Law abiding citizens have the right to obtain guns and go through hoops of controls to get them including backround checks. I still say what happened could've been much less a tragedy if the school did not adopt a zero tolerance policy about students having guns on campus.

As to the last question ;I consider the right to defend myself a fundamental right of all humans . It not only protects us from vultures who would do us harm but more important guards our rights to defend ourselves from the tyrany of government . WE in America choose not to be sheeple .

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Itsdb asked on 04/16/07 - Bad advice?

Maybe Imus should have consulted some of these folks before talking to Al Sharpton...

1996 Pulitzer Prize finalist cartoonist Ted Rall, calls Condoleeza Rice Bush's "house nigga" in a cartoon:

In 2005, black, left-wing blogger Steve Gilliard posts a photo of Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele as Sambo:

Also in 2005, USA Today publishes a doctored photo of Condoleeza Rice making her appear like something out of "The Omen."

To this day, Washington Monthly magazine has posts on Kevin Drum's "Political Animal" blog from 2005 calling Michelle Malkin a "cunt" and a "whore."

    Michelle Malkin is a cunt.
    Posted by: hostile on April 7, 2005 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

    Michelle Malkin is a cunt.

    Check your talking points, dude. The Official Left-wing Anti-Malkin punch-word is "whore."
    Posted by: Once a dem on April 7, 2005 at 11:21 AM

Drum believes it's important to allow such comments to stand, even though his "comment section might be full of trolls and their vitriol."

I guess it's just all in who you are and who you insult.

tomder55 answered on 04/17/07:

Emerge, (a defunct black news monthly) once put on its cover a caricature of a grinning Clarence Thomas dressed as a lawn jockey, holding a lantern . The headline ... "Uncle Thomas, Lawn Jockey for the Far Right." Inside the mag was a cartoon of a kneeling Thomas shining the shoes of Antonin Scalia.

Pat Oliphant depicts Condi Rice as a parrot with exagerated black physical features . One cartoon has Bush saying "How woodums wike to be secwetawy of state?" to which Rice responds, "Awwrk!! OK, chief. Anything you say, chief. You bet, chief! You're my hero, chief!"

It is a complete racial insult to someone who Oliphant couldn't clean her shoes by comparison .

Hillary once joked that Mahatma Gandhi used to run a gas station in St. Louis.Joe Biden once said "You CANNOT go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts without an Indian accent."

Imus did everyone a favor . His remarks opened the pandoras box and out popped the hypocrites for all to see.

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ETWolverine asked on 04/16/07 - I finally figured out the cause of global warming.

I have done a study of this issue, and I have come to the conclusion that the Liberals are right. Global Warming is indeed a man-made occurance. Furthermore, it is the fault of the Federal Government of the United States, just as the Libs have been saying for years.

The cause of global warming?


After having done a study of the issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a positive corallary between taxes and temperature records.

First of all, just as temperatures have been going up for years, taxes have been going up as well. So there is the first correlation.

But the evidence is much stronger than that. I have done a review of Federal tax receipts as a percentage of GDP for the period of 1946 - 2006. I have also done are review of temperature records to obtain the average temperatures for the month of April (tax month) in Albany, NY. While temperature records for Federal tax collections were complete, the temperature records for Albany were missing 9 years worth of information. Nevertheless, despite the incompleteness of the data, I continued my study. (After all, if the pseudo-scientists who make claims of global warming can do so with huge amounts of data lacking, so can I.)

My study led to the following conclusion. Over the past 60 years, tax receipts as a percentage of GDP have gone up by 190 basis points. If we eliminate the years for which we do not have temperature records, the increase in taxes as a percentage of GDP increases by 210 basis points. During the same period, temperatures for the month of April have increased an average of 0.03 degrees Celcius. This shows a clear correlation... taxes up, temperatures up.

Furthermore, there were 23 cases where both temperatures and percetage of GDP moved in the same direction. That is, when taxes as a percentage of GDP went up, the temperature went up, and when taxes as a percentage of GDP went down, temperatures went down. That's 23 out of 51 times when there was congruity between the movement of taxes as a percentage of GDP and temperatures in Albany. This shows a clear correlation between taxes and global warming.

Since US Federal taxes are a function of the US government, temperature change must also be a function of the US government. This would mean that the US government is at fault for Global warming, just as the Liberals have stated.

There are two clear solutions to global warming. The first would be to increase GDP while holding taxes at their current level. We need to increase the productivity of the United States so that taxes become a smaller percentage of GDP, thus driving environmental temperatures down. Of course, this would require an increase in our industrial performance and capacity. But since we have now proven that industrial emmissions aren't the real cause of global warming, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The second solution would be to hold GDP steady, but lower taxes. This too would result in taxes being a lower percentage of GDP. This might sound easier than the first solution... after all, it just takes a vote of Congress to make that happen. However, in reality, getting Congress to agree to lower taxes is never an easy task. It is easier to build thousands of new industrial plants than it is to get Congress to cut taxes. Nevertheless, it might be time for Congress to take the hard actions necessary to protect the world from tax-driven global warming. The US government has a responsibility to act.

Below are the data used to come to the above conclusions.

.......Taxes..%Chng..Albany..Chng in
Year...% GDP...GDP.. Temp....Temp.
1976...17.2...-0.7...9.9..... 5.0

Average Change 0.19..........0.03

Hey, it makes about as much sense as any argument the pseudo-scientific knuckleheaded environ-mental cases put out.


tomder55 answered on 04/17/07:

When you put those numbers on a graph does it look like a hockey stick ? Elliot; I can understand doing all that statistical analysis for pay .... but is it also your hobby ?

All I know is that I have to plan my escape route tonight to get home from work . All the rivers around here are rising ,and already I had to take a serpentine route into work this morning to avoid closed roads. Now I hear that it may snow by the end of the week . As Sapph keeps on saying ;send some of that global warming my way. I am at least 2 weeks behind in my gardening work .

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paraclete asked on 04/16/07 - It appears the US needs l'ttle ol' us

to maintain its status as a "world power"?

Now that is bizzaire

Israel PM urges Australia Iraq stay
April 17, 2007 - 12:03PM

Australian and US troops have to leave Iraq some time, but should do so in a way which maintained the reputation of the US as a major world power, Israel's prime minister said today.

Ehud Olmert said he did not want to revisit whether the US should have gone into Iraq in the first place.

"You are there. Others are there. The question is how should America pull out and the other forces should pull out from Iraq," Mr Olmert told ABC radio from Jerusalem.

"I think they should pull out in a manner, which will maintain the prestige and the perception of America as a major power.

"Why? Because if the perception will be different then the possible consequences and ramifications will be very unpleasant for the moderate forces in our part of the world. And that is something we are worried about."

Mr Olmert said he was not saying that US and Australia and other forces should never leave Iraq.

"What I say is it is your decision to make. It is America's decision to make," he said.

"What I just tell you as someone that lives in this part of the world for so many years and has known a little bit about the dynamics of this part of the world, is that having known what you have invested for so many years, how much it has cost you.

"Just think of what will be the possible ramifications of a premature pullout on the standing of the forces which are essential for our interests and your interests and your security in this part of the world."


tomder55 answered on 04/17/07:

I would say that it has been the anglo-sphere that has been the guardians at the Gates of Vienna and have been most responsible for preventing the world from plunging into the abyss of a return to the dark ages.

"I think they should pull out in a manner, which will maintain the prestige and the perception of America as a major power.

"Why? Because if the perception will be different then the possible consequences and ramifications will be very unpleasant for the moderate forces in our part of the world. And that is something we are worried about."

Fogetting our prestige ;I think it would be the height of irresponsibly to leave Iraq without a suitable security arrangement alternative in place. I don't know or understand why Olmert would argue otherwise. An Iraq that is a terrorist haven is definitely not in Israel's interests .

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kindj asked on 04/13/07 - Concerning a previous question

The Navy's "directive" on t-shirts.

I seriously doubt the USN issued such a directive, but there are HUGE chunks of our population that would LOVE to see such an order given.

To them, I dedicate the following Ted Nugent song:

"Don't waste your time on me
I got my own direction
Watch me close, wait and see
I'm lookin' for perfection
I make up my own mind
And I'll leave you far behind
When the goin' gets tough
You can kiss my ass

I believe in animal rights
I let my dog hump on my shin
I can tolerate sexual choice
But not with the next of kin (uh-uh, boy)
I've heard it all before
I ain't gonna take any more
When the goin' gets tough
You can kiss my ass

Kiss my ass, (pucker up)
Kiss my ass
Kiss my ass
Kiss my ass, (c'mon babe)

I've heard it all before
And I ain't gonna take no more, no no
When the goin' gets tough
Kiss my ass!

I see the weenies with the dirty hair
Protestin' on the street
They condemn the clothes we wear
And the morality of what we eat, yeah
It's gotta be a fluke
They make me wanna puke
When the goin' gets tough
They can kiss my ass

Everybody gotta
Kiss my ass - C'mon gang bangers
Kiss my ass - Janet Reno
Kiss my ass - C'mon Billary
Kiss my ass - Callin' on Jesse Jackson
Kiss my ass - How about the IRS
Kiss my ass - Hey, Howard Stern
Kiss my ass - United Nations
Kiss my ass - All those Liberals
Kiss my ass - C'mon Sarah Brady
Kiss my ass - Oh, Courtney Love I've got your hole
Kiss my ass - Beavis, Butthead
Kiss my ass - How about Crips and Bloods"

To Elliot:

I LOVED that song! Got it saved on my classroom computer right now. Too bad I can't play it when students are around. As for me, if I were to ride back into the darkness today, I think I'd take this little ditty by Manowar with me:


When they see us they will run for their lives
To the end they will pay for their lies
So long did we wait, now we are home

Here once again there's a battle to fight
Gather together for the sound and the might
So long did we wait, now we are home

Now we will fight for the kingdom, fighting with steel
Kill all of them, their blood is our seal
Fight till the last of the enemy is dead
Ride through their blood that we gladly have shed

I now issue the call, are you ready to fight - yeah
Fight altogether as one for the right
To be free once again - tonight we will win

I can see by the look that you have in your eyes
You came here for metal, to fight and to die
Defenders of steel, now we are home

Fight for the kingdom bound for glory
Armed with a heart of steel
I swear by the brothers who stand before me
To no man shall I kneel
Their blood is upon my steel

Let the terrorists suck on THAT one for a while!


tomder55 answered on 04/13/07:

Have heard the Nugent song before . Most of the sites I went on said the Navy Directive wasn't real ...but had enough of the truth in it to be believable .

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Itsdb asked on 04/13/07 - A Nappy Hair Affair

A Nappy Hair Affair is best known for sponsoring grass roots hair grooming sessions called Hair Days. These are gathering where sisters come together with others who understand their natural hair care needs and their choice to embrace a style more in keeping with their culture. Hair Days, which have fostered a spirit of bonding and support, have become so popular since I held the first one at my home in May, 1998 that they are being held in several U.S. cities. We also have a Hair Day network in other countries.

But A Nappy Hair Affair (ANHA) is about so much more than hair. It is about reclaiming and respecting our culture. We have been conditioned to hate one of our most unique characteristics-our hair in its most natural state. We have been conditioned to accept European standards of beauty and to reject our own. ANHA exists to cause a shift in such negative mindsets and promote a positive image of people of African descent. We do it through support, affirmation and education.

But Hair Days are our hallmark. These simple gatherings where sisters and brothers symbolically celebrate their culture by nurturing their natural hair have had powerful and healing effects.

One of our most devoted members is Alpha Thomas who is a breast cancer survivor. Her story of losing her locks while undergoing chemotherapy but not losing her spirit has been an inspiration for other women in our group. Alpha's locks have grown back with a vengeance, and I count on her as my unofficial counselor for other women who have come to me with similar challenges. We welcome you to become a part of our nappy nation where we are very much into celebrating who we really are.


I am not making this up. You can buy her book Nappyisms, and a CD, Love and Nappiness, and apparently someone has made a Nappy T-shirt, which appears to read "I'm nappy, happy and free."

I wonder if Mosetta will call the Rutgers gals and encourage them to celebrate their "nappiness?"

tomder55 answered on 04/13/07:

Then there is this rap group called 'Nappy Roots' . They have this self appreciating album called 'Watermelon, Chicken and Gritz'.Some of the tracs that celebrate the culture are : Hustla ;Ballin' on a Budget;and Ho Down .

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Itsdb asked on 04/12/07 - Racist bile

I'm sure you've all heard about or seen the O'Reilly/Geraldo smackdown, and Joanne Ostrow,
Denver Post Television Critic has defined for us what "racist bile" is.

O'Reilly invited Ms. Ostrow to his program and she declined, so he sent his producer to talk to her. After asking her several times what "racist bile" O'Reilly had 'spewed' she finally boiled it down to this, he used the term "illegal alien" instead of "undocumented immigrant." There you have it, another phrase bites the dust - in spite of its accuracy, and in spite of the fact there is no indication of race in using the term.

Illegal - prohibited by law
Alien - foreign, owing allegiance to another country

Seems straightforward to me, but then what do I know, I'm apparently just a racist. And oh yea, I watched the video and read the transcript and the only one who used the term 'illegal alien(s)' was Geraldo - 8 times. One more episode of a liberal member of the media creating their own reality at the expense of the truth and someone else's reputation.

tomder55 answered on 04/12/07:

Words & Music by Bob Haworth
Copyright 2006 - Three Cats Music, BMI
All Rights Reserved








Geraldo MAY have had a point if this was the first time an innocent lost their life due to the lawless activity of an illegal alien .Sadly that is hardly the case . Local and State law enforcement look the other way because they claim it's a Federal concern.The Feds. hardly bother at all. Rivera can ignore the immigrant factor of the case all he wants to but that does not change the reality .Ramos would not have been driving drunk on American streets if laws were enforced . Instead he cynically claimed we "lure "them here . Well not really ,but the OReilley v. Geraldo shout out shows just how far from a serious debate we are really having on the issue .

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otoka asked on 04/11/07 - theatre and performance

proscenium theatre

tomder55 answered on 04/11/07:

not sure if there is a question here.

That is the typical construct of a theater with the stage "framed " so the audience sits in front (the house) and from their vantage point are looking through to a room where the play is being performed . Most Broadway stages are set up this way.

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/11/07 - LOL

driving directions from New york to London

1. Head southwest on Broadway toward Warren St 0.2 mi
1 min

2. Turn left at Park Row 0.1 mi
1 min

3. Slight right at Frankfort St 0.3 mi
1 min

4. Turn left at Pearl St 56 ft

5. Turn right onto the F.D.R. Dr N ramp 0.4 mi
1 min

6. Merge onto FDR Dr N 7.7 mi
12 mins

7. Take exit 17 on the left for Triboro Bridge/Grand Central Pkwy toward I-278/Bruckner Expy 0.4 mi
2 mins

8. Merge onto Triborough Bridge
Partial toll road 0.4 mi
1 min

9. Merge onto I-278 E via the ramp to I-87 N/Bronx/Upstate N Y/New England 0.6 mi
1 min

10. Take exit 47 to merge onto Bruckner Expy/I-278 E toward New Haven 1.9 mi
2 mins

11. Take the I-278 E exit toward New Haven 0.3 mi

12. Merge onto Bruckner Expy 5.0 mi
6 mins

13. Continue on I-95 N
Partial toll road
Entering Connecticut 62.1 mi
1 hour 12 mins

14. Take exit 48 on the left to merge onto I-91 N toward Hartford 36.8 mi
37 mins

15. Take exit 29 for US-5 N/CT-15 toward I-84/E Hartford/Boston 0.4 mi

16. Merge onto CT-15 N 1.7 mi
2 mins

17. Merge onto I-84 E
Partial toll road
Entering Massachusetts 40.7 mi
38 mins

18. Take the exit onto I-90 E/Mass Pike/Massachusetts Turnpike toward N.H.-Maine/Boston
Partial toll road 56.0 mi
56 mins

19. Take exit 24 A-B-C on the left toward I-93 N/Concord NH/S Station/I-93 S/Quincy 0.4 mi
1 min

20. Merge onto Atlantic Ave 0.8 mi
3 mins

21. Turn right at Central St 0.1 mi

22. Turn right at Long Wharf 0.1 mi

23. Swim across the Atlantic Ocean 3,462 mi
29 days 0 hours

24. Slight right at E05 0.5 mi
2 mins

25. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto E05/Pont Vauban 0.1 mi

26. Turn right at E05 5.7 mi
10 mins

27. Take the exit onto A29/E44 toward Amiens
Toll road 27.8 mi
23 mins

28. Take the exit toward Dieppe/Amiens/Calais/A151/Rouen
Toll road 1.1 mi
1 min

29. Merge onto A29/E44
Toll road 22.6 mi
19 mins

30. Take the exit onto A28/E402 45.6 mi
37 mins

31. Take the exit onto A16/E402 toward Boulogne/Calais
Toll road 44.3 mi
38 mins

32. Take exit 29 toward Boulogne-Centre/Outreau/Le Portel 0.6 mi
1 min

33. Merge onto N416 1.1 mi
1 min

34. At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto N1 0.4 mi
1 min

35. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on N1 0.1 mi
1 min

36. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on N1 0.9 mi
2 mins

37. At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit 0.6 mi
1 min

38. Slight left at Rue Ferdinand Farjon 427 ft

39. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit 0.4 mi
1 min

40. Slight right at Dover - Boulougne-sur-Mer 30.1 mi
1 hour 50 mins

41. Continue on Dover - Boulogne-sur-Mer 0.2 mi

42. Continue on Eastern Service Rd 0.3 mi
2 mins

43. Turn right at E Ramp 0.4 mi
2 mins

44. Slight right at Dock Exit Rd 0.1 mi

45. At Eastern Docks Roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto A20 0.6 mi
2 mins

46. Slight left to stay on A20 0.3 mi

47. At Prince of Wales Roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto A20/Limekiln St 0.2 mi
1 min

48. At Limekiln Roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto A20 0.3 mi
1 min

49. At Western Heights Roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on A20 7.0 mi
8 mins

50. Continue on M20 (signs for M20/London/Ashford) 49.7 mi
47 mins

51. Continue on A20 (signs for London (SE)/Lewisham) 9.7 mi
15 mins

52. At Clifton's Roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A20 2.2 mi
6 mins

53. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on A20 1.3 mi
4 mins

54. Slight left at A2 0.7 mi
2 mins

55. Slight right at A2/Kender St 72 ft

56. Turn right at Kender St 0.3 mi
1 min

57. Turn left at A2 1.9 mi
5 mins

58. At Brick Layers Arms, take the 1st exit onto A201/New Kent Rd 0.6 mi
2 mins

59. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto A302/St George's Rd 0.4 mi
1 min

60. Turn left at A3203/Lambeth Rd 0.6 mi
3 mins

61. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto A3203 0.2 mi
1 min

62. At Horseferry Rd, take the 3rd exit onto A3212


Driving directions from Myrtle Beach, S.C. to San Diego, Ca

1. Head northeast on N Kings Hwy toward 5th Ave N 0.4 mi
1 min

2. Turn left at Main St 0.2 mi
1 min

3. Continue on US-501 14.1 mi
20 mins

4. Turn left at US-378 28.8 mi
42 mins

5. Slight right at SC-51 29.8 mi
44 mins

6. Continue on W Evans St/SC-S-21-31 0.2 mi
1 min

7. Turn left at W David H McLeod Blvd 1.6 mi
3 mins

8. Continue on I-20 W
Passing through Georgia
Entering Alabama 420 mi
6 hours 17 mins

9. Take exit 136 for I-459 toward Montgomery/Tuscaloosa/Gadsden 1.1 mi
1 min

10. Merge onto I-459 S 28.5 mi
25 mins

11. Take the I-20 W/I-59 S exit toward Tuscaloosa 1.2 mi
1 min

12. Merge onto I-20 W
Passing through Mississippi, Louisiana
Entering Texas 1,084 mi
15 hours 50 mins

13. Merge onto I-10 W
Passing through New Mexico
Entering Arizona 542 mi
7 hours 33 mins

14. Take exit 199 to merge onto I-8 W toward San Diego
Entering California 336 mi
4 hours 43 mins

15. Take the CA-125 S/CA-125 N exit toward CA-94 0.3 mi

16. Keep left at the fork to continue toward CA-125 S and merge onto CA-125 S 2.4 mi
3 mins

17. Continue on CA-94 W (signs for CA-94 W) 8.5 mi
8 mins

18. Exit onto F St 0.7 mi
3 mins

19. Turn right at 9th Ave 0.1 mi

courtousy Google

from shore to shore
62 steps across the ocean
19 across the USA

tomder55 answered on 04/11/07:

I don't mind the swim.It's the driving through the People's Republic of Massachusetts I onject to . Why can't I just start the swim off the tail end of Long Island N.Y. ?

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/11/07 - Did Nancy Pelosi violate the Logan Act?

Robert F. Turner’s opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal (page A10, subscription required for online access) contends that House Dhimmi, excuse us, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have committed a felony by conducting unauthorized diplomacy with the dictator of Syria. Given her habit of selecting people like John Murtha of Abscam fame, Alcee Hastings (impeached and removed from office for taking a bribe), and William “Cold Cash” Jefferson for important posts, this would be entirely consistent with her “most ethical Congress in history.”

Illegal Diplomacy
April 6, 2007; Page A10

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may well have committed a felony in traveling to Damascus this week, against the wishes of the president, to communicate on foreign-policy issues with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

…The “Logan Act” makes it a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to three years for any American, “without authority of the United States,” to communicate with a foreign government in an effort to influence that government’s behavior on any “disputes or controversies with the United States.” Some background on this statute helps to understand why Ms. Pelosi may be in serious trouble.

…The U.S. is in the midst of two wars authorized by Congress. For Ms. Pelosi to flaunt the Constitution in these circumstances is not only shortsighted; it may well be a felony, as the Logan Act has been part of our criminal law for more than two centuries. Perhaps it is time to enforce the law.—-000-.html

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 45 > § 953

§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

Meanwhile, that headscarf that Pelosi put on to show her second-class status as a woman and as a dhimmi (second-class citizen in a militant Islamic country) is very appropriate, and we think she should continue to wear it in Congress. It shows her acceptance of the demeaning status of a kafir female (worth one-quarter of a Muslim male under Saudi Arabian blood money compensation tables), and is on a par with an African-American addressing white people as “Massah” in the 21st century. The Speaker of the House has not only allegedly violated the Logan Act by conducting diplomacy with a hostile foreign power, she has engaged in behavior far more suitable for female Islamic property or for a slave than for a free American. Self-owning American men and women should therefore treat her with the respect that one accords an individual who is a slave by choice; that is, with total and unmitigated contempt.

Posted by Bill Levinson on
pelosi post )

tomder55 answered on 04/11/07:

yes she did ,but frankly ,politicians in Congress have been violating it for as long as I can remember.I am more critical of the trip over the mixed message it sent rather than any issues of legality .She is after-all the 3rd in line to the Presidency (God help us).

Newt Gingrich when he was speaker took a junket romp to China with John Boehner in 1997 .Gingrich did make pronouncements about how the US would respond if China attacked Taiwan .The US policy has been vague about Taiwan ,not wanting to definitely commit to the defense of the Island .The Clinonoids released a statement to the effect that Gingrich was speaking for himself . Gingrich of course now has been a vocal critic of the Pelosi trip.I think he has a short memory .

I think the Gonzales Justice Dept. should launch an investigation ;perhaps Pat Fitzgerald isn't doing anything now . Then President Bush should gracefully pardon Madam Meme from any wrongdoing and for the bad taste in headress. But before he does he should correct her on US policy . The road to Damascus isn't the road to peace .... The Road THROUGH Damasus is .

The Pelosi trip is old news . What I want to know is why Majority Leader Steny Hoyer went on a junket to Cairo to meet with terrorists ????? Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has refused in the past to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood,because of their ties to Hamas. It appears that the Democrats are very comfortable hob-nobbing with murderous thugs .

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/10/07 - LOL remember Tomder's post

of the poplar bears "stranded" on the iceberg.
Rush says they can swim 60 miles so animal instinct would probably tell them SWIM. Land being within 60 miles MIGHT be another story though!

tomder55 answered on 04/10/07:

they've never had it better .In fact they have an abundance of food since the Alaska cold spell prevents > sea otters from swimming to safety .

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curious98 asked on 04/10/07 - 4th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad

When on occasion of the 4th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad to the US forces hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in the city of Najaf gather for a big anti-US rally called by fiery cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, with the crowd burning US flags; while Baghdad has spent last Monday under curfew to avoid the risk of serious confrontations and while Rear Admiral Mark Fox told reporters yesterday “We acknowledge that while there have been substantial accomplishments in Iraq since 2003, but the past four years have also been very disappointing, frustrating and increasingly dangerous in many parts of Iraq”, is it not about time for Americans to start wondering what the heck are you doing there, risking every day the life of your soldiers, when the majority of the Iraqi population considers you as an invading force…?

Your mission is over. Saddam is no longer a menace. WMD have never existed. Whatever “democracy” that is possible in Iraq has already been established. Your forces cannot obviously cope with the latent civil war going on right now. And on top of everything a great part of Americans are yearning for a retreat of your troops…

Why is Bush so adamant to continue over there, come what may? What is he going to gain out of this stubburness?

Any comments?

tomder55 answered on 04/10/07:

See Gen. Petraeus letter to the Iraqi's on the post below . I quote :

On this April 9th, some Iraqis reportedly may demonstrate against the coalition force presence in Iraq. That is their right in the new Iraq. It would only be fair, however, to note that they will be able to exercise that right because coalition forces liberated them from a tyrannical, barbaric regime that never would have permitted such freedom of expression.

Those who take to the streets should recall, moreover, that were it not for the actions of coalition forces in 2003 (and, to be sure, actions by Iraqi, as well as coalition, forces since then), they also would not have been able to celebrate the recent religious holidays as they did in such massive numbers. Nor would they have been able to select their leaders by free and democratic elections, vote on their constitution, or take at least the initial steps toward establishment of a government that is representative of, and responsive to, all Iraqis.

I'd like to point out that your figures on the number of protesters is WAY OFF . What you are quoting is what was expected ;not the turn out . Even al-AP and the NY Slimes only put the numbers at tens of thousands ".Reuters called it thousands .Rear Admiral Mark Fox who you quote to support your thesis noted that the Coalition closely monitored the protest, and put the number of demonstrators between 5,000 and 7,000.

Above is an aerial view of the protest .If there are hundreds of thousands there ,then they are standing 10 deep on top of each other .

Too bad the 3000 people who gathered calling for an end to sectarian violence did not garner the same media attention as the 1800+ articles that covered the Najaf demonstration . Wonder why that is so ?????????

The fat cleric Mookie al-sadr crawled out of his spider hole long enough to call on his supported to stage this protest . Big deal . It is my impression that whenever a Muslim cleric calls followers out to the street they are more than willing to put on a show. Just like they got whipped up to a frenzy over cartoons of Mohammed . I have no reason to believe that their calls for us to leave represent more than a small faction's desires . I also think it is of note that Fat Mookie was a no show for his own demonstration .

Yes ,much of our mission has been achieved . We could've just as easily walked away from Europe after WWII . Why not ? Germany was defeated . We however did not think it was in the best interest of the Europeans to be over-run by the dominant Soviet forces . You don't do you ? Do you think it is a good idea to allow the newly liberated Iraq to get gobbled up by their stronger neighbors ? Would you care for that to perhaps expand into a regional conflict ? Maybe you don't care .

As far as the American reaction . Well let's say that yes ;many of us would like it to end . Despite the European opinion of us as a bunch of Conservative bullies itching for a fight ,we really don't like sending our loved ones to hell on earth.(ironically the Muslims complain we are too liberal ) Most of us do not support leaving Iraq if the job is not finished. .I was in the Capital last weekend . The only protests that were going on in Washington DC was a handful of people who think circumcision is brutality .

WE never "yearn for retreat " That appears to be a Spanish trait .

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HANK1 asked on 04/07/07 - Wouldn't This Be A Hoot:

In 2008:

President: Hillary Clinton

Vice - President: Nancy Pelosi

Secretary of State: Bill Clinton

Is it probable and/or possible?


tomder55 answered on 04/07/07:

President Evita is possible . I don't think she will pick Pelosi as a running mate . She probably would do well with Bill Richardson but she will more likely make some kind of deal with Obama.There is also rumors of a possible Evan Bayh VP run;but I think she may go with someone like Mark Warner of Virginia .

She would not pick Bill Clinton to serve in her cabinet but would use him instead as an advisor and special envoy . ohhh; who am I kidding .....he would be running the country . Does anyone really think she could do it herself ?

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/07/07 - A TWIST TO THE POLITICAN

tomder55 answered on 04/07/07:

The poor kid will need therapy for years with those nightmares of being man-handled by the hilderbeast .

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Itsdb asked on 04/07/07 - A global warming Easter

For the first in my life as far as I can recall, we're expecting a white Easter. And this just a couple of days after scientists predicted a return of the dustbowl and the water supply running out in 20 years for many people.

But hey, the good news is now that "desalination is the wave of the future," all that rising seawater will have somewhere to go.

And by the way, we've had a wetter than normal winter and spring thus far, local lake levels are rising and farmers are predicting record crops.

Happy global warming Easter.

tomder55 answered on 04/07/07:

as you well know you cannot point to specific regional weather patterns to make a case about global warming ....well ,that is unless you point to regional weather patterns to support the case that global warming is a fact .

I was in Washington DC over the weekend and enjoyed 80 degree warmth and those wonderful cherry blossoms . The last 2 days back in NY we woke up to below freezing mornings. (btw ..the only protesters in DC were a handful in front of the empty Capitol wanting a ban on circumcisions.)

Desalination is a good thing to develop. Certainly no one argues that humans will increasingly compete for potable water .Of course if they are planning to do it to keep the golf courses green then perhaps their priorities are skewed.

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ETWolverine asked on 04/06/07 - Probably the best discussion of How Liberals Think...

...that I have ever heard. Check out Evan Sayet's speech to The Heritage Foundation.

Its long... about 45 minutes... but worth the time.

Let me know what you guys think.


tomder55 answered on 04/06/07:

"The modern liberal will invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success,"

"How could you possibly live in the freest nation in the history of the world and only see oppression? How could you live in the least imperialist power in human history and see us as the ultimate in imperialism? How can you live in the least bigoted nation in human history ... and see racism lurking in every dark shadow?"

Robert Fulghum book, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," "reads like the bible of modern liberalism and the playbook of Democratic Party policy."

Pretty hard hitting . Leave it to a reformed liberal to be the harshest critic . Former Bill Mahr writer ,wow ! He's looking for one of those pies in the face ....oh wait... they save that type of treatement for petite women like Ann Coulter .

We are beginning to gather a collection of conservative comedy commentators. Sayet ,Dennis Miller ,and Jackie Mason who's new book 'Schmucks!: Our Favorite Fakes, Frauds, Lowlifes, Liars, the Armed and Dangerous, and Good Guys Gone Bad' should be an instant best seller.

Check out Sayet's web site .He blasts Chris Matthews and the left media today .

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Itsdb asked on 04/05/07 - The Score

al-AP writes...

    TEHRAN, Iran - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defused a growing confrontation with Britain, announcing the surprise release of 15 captive British sailors Wednesday and then gleefully accepting the crew's thanks and handshakes in what he called an Easter gift.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed "profound relief" over the peaceful end to the 13-day crisis. "Throughout we have taken a measured approach - firm but calm, not negotiating, but not confronting either," Blair said in London, adding a message to the Iranian people that "we bear you no ill will."

    The announcement in Tehran was a breakthrough in a crisis that had escalated over nearly two weeks, raising oil prices and fears of military conflict in the volatile region. The move to release the sailors suggested that Iran's hard-line leadership decided it had shown its strength but did not want to push the standoff too far.

    Iran did not get the main thing it sought - a public apology for entering Iranian waters. Britain, which said its crew was in Iraqi waters when seized, insists it never offered a quid pro quo, either, instead relying on quiet diplomacy.

    Syria, Iran's close ally, said it played a role in winning the release. "Syria exercised a sort of quiet diplomacy to solve this problem and encourage dialogue between the two parties," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said in Damascus.

    The announcement of the release came hours after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with President Bashar Assad in Damascus, trying to show that a U.S. dialogue with Syria - rejected by the Bush administration - could bring benefits for the Middle East. The British sailors were not part of their talks, and it was not clear if the release was timed to coincide with her visit.

    Iran's official news agency said the British crew was to leave Iran by plane at 8 a.m. today. By Wednesday evening they had still not been handed over to the British Embassy in Tehran and the embassy said it was not clear where they would spend the night. Britain's ambassador met with the sailors and confirmed they were in good health, Britain's Foreign Office said.

    Several British newspapers credited Blair's foreign policy adviser Nigel Sheinwald and Iranian chief negotiator Ali Larijani with laying the groundwork for an agreement during telephone contacts that began Tuesday night. Larijani had gone on British TV on Monday and signaled that Tehran was looking for a diplomatic solution.

    British officials were told to pay close attention to Ahmadinejad's press conference but were unsure the release would come until they heard his words, The Independent newspaper said.

    Ahmadinejad timed the announcement so as to make a dramatic splash, springing it halfway through a two-hour news conference.

    The president first gave a medal of honor to the commander of the Iranian coast guards who captured the Britons, and admonished London for sending a mother, Leading Seaman Faye Turney, on such a dangerous mission in the Persian Gulf.

    He said the British government was "not brave enough"
    to admit the crew had been in Iranian waters when it was captured.

    Ahmadinejad then declared that even though Iran had the right to put the Britons on trial, he had "pardoned" them to mark the March 30 birthday of the Prophet Muhammad and the coming Easter holiday.

    "This pardon is a gift to the British people," he said.

    After the news conference, Iranian television showed a beaming Ahmadinejad on the steps of the presidential palace shaking hands with the Britons - some towering over him. The men were decked out in business suits and Turney wore an Islamic head scarf.

    "Your people have been really kind to us, and we appreciate it very much," one of the British men told Ahmadinejad in English. Another male service member said: "We are grateful for your forgiveness."

    Ahmadinejad responded in Farsi, "You are welcome."

The score? al-AP/Iran/Ahmedinejad/Syria/Islamofascism - at least 5

US & British Foreign policy/British Marines/women's rights/GWOT - 0

The Mahdi Hatter looks like a god for 'towering' British Marines (and one in a scarf) "thanking" him for his Easter gift. Syria gets a triple play for Pelosi's visit, her idiotic misrepresentation of Israel's message and perfect timing for 'facilitating' the release of the hostages. And they all get a boost from al-AP's glowing account of the whole affair. Can it get any more pathetic?

tomder55 answered on 04/06/07:

I guess the rest of the story was over-looked . There are many angles to explore in this debacle but the key one I think is that this appears to be a great victory for Iran.

Jalal Sharafi had been captured during what was described as a botched raid by US forces on an Iranian counsulate in Irbil Iraq .The Independent claimed the raid was a failure, and that two other men, who went uncaptured, were the only meaningful targets.But that was not the truth .[The paper also incredibly implies that kidnapping is somehow a new tactic for the Iranians lol.]

US and Iraq had to this point denied that Sharafi had been detained ,but suddenly this week not only did we reverse course and admit it ;but also released the scum coincidently right before the release of the British sailors.

According to Eli Lake at the NY Sun ;The decision to release Jalal Sharafi on Tuesday was made at the White House, according to an administration official who asked to be anonymous because of the sensitivity of the information. The release took place over the objections of some commanders in the field. Mr. Sharafi, the second secretary of the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, is believed by American military intelligence also to be a member of the lethal Quds Force, the terrorist-supporting organization whose members have been fair game for American soldiers and Iraqi allies since a change in the rules of engagement was issued in December.....

The release of Iranian nationals detained by America was one of the primary Iranian demands during the negotiations. "They think they won this round. They were able to take the hostages and suffer no consequences," an American official said.

Indeed they are correct in that opinion . They secured the release of one of their key asset in Iraq for the return of the British sailors caputed in Iraqi waters . Yes it's true as Lake points out that we still have a number of Iranians in custody ,but the Iranians now know we are willing to negotiate with pirates and terorists . The table has been set . Having successfully gained the release of Sharafi ,it is almost certain that they will make a play to secure the release of the rest of their assets .Charles Krauthammer claims they were granted access to the five Iranian "consular officials" detained.

The Iranians have found our soft spot ;the Brits who's only real concern at this point is how fast they can bolt and still appear to save face . I hate to say it ,but the whole performance of the Brits ;from the hotages themselve to Tony Blair was weak and lame. Contrast the prisoners compliance with those of former American POWs like John McCain who is crippled by the actions of his captors.

Four British soldiers were killed in a Basra roadside bombing by what the Guardian described as Shia "rogue militia" suspected of having links with Iran.

As Amir Taheri wrote :"President Bush’s decision to change the rules of engagement for US forces in Iraq with the new “surge” strategy, allowing Americans to kill or capture any Iranian perceived as a threat, made it more difficult for the mullahs to do an Abi Waqqas. As a result, the British, whose rules of engagement prevent them from fighting Iranians even in self-defence, were chosen as the softer target."

That the British rear-guard is coming under attack was predictable .It should be a lesson for those in our country who think it wise to give a date when we cut and run. But we have ourselves shown our vulnerability by complying with the demands of pirates/terrorists /kidnappers which I think damages our effort there .

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/04/07 - need another invention here

Tomder inc
We need to invent a comment back recording device that goes DIRECTLY back to a REAL person ASAP!
Yesterday I was at the car wash and noticed that it went up one whole dollar since last summer. Needing the bird poop washed off my windshield I figured what the hey! So I started plopping my quarters in the machine. After EACH and every quarter the machine says, (in a Betty Boop voice) 'Stop, don't hit me. Vandalism is just wrong'. I wanted to comment back, 'YOU are the one vandalizing me charging a whole dollar more for you to annoy me!'
THEN each button I pushed presoak, wash, rinse
it said the same thing 'Stop, don't hit me. Vandalism is just wrong"
I had to have heard that at least 15 times in the whole 2 minute and 54 second amount of my car wash time.

Tomder inc


tomder55 answered on 04/05/07:

I bet more than one of them eventually get vandalized. Primarily the speaker gets smashed.

Heard this on the radio.....During one of those damn telemarketting calls the person at the receiving end had had enough and decided to teach them a lesson. When he received a call he asked the telemarketer Why do you want to speak to the deceased ?

He then went on to pretend that he was in the house because he was doing a homicide investigation and proceeded to grill the telemarketer ...asking how he knew the deceased and what was the nature of the business he had with him ? He got very aggressive with the line of questioning asking for his name. When the telemarketer refused he claimed the call was being traced.

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/04/07 - conspiracy theory or no conspiracy

For -various- reasons I believe "THEY" knew it was coming.
ignored warning )

“I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa’ida would attack cities with aeroplanes” Whistleblower the White House wants to silence speaks to The Independent By Andrew Buncombe in Washington

02 April 2004

A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which prove senior officials knew of al-Qa’ida’s plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.

She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was “an outrageous lie”.

Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission’s investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used “state secrets privilege”.

She told The Independent yesterday: “I gave [the commission] details of specific investigation files, the specific dates, specific target information, specific managers in charge of the investigation. I gave them everything so that they could go back and follow up. This is not hearsay. These are things that are documented. These things can be established very easily.”

She added: “There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used ­ but not specifically about how they would be used ­ and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities ­ with skyscrapers.”

The accusations from Mrs. Edmonds, 33, a Turkish-American who speaks Azerbaijani, Farsi, Turkish and English, will reignite the controversy over whether the administration ignored warnings about al-Qa’ida. That controversy was sparked most recently by Richard Clarke, a former counter-terrorism official, who has accused the administration of ignoring his warnings.

The issue ­ what the administration knew and when ­ is central to the investigation by the 9/11 Commission, which has been hearing testimony in public and private from government officials, intelligence officials and secret sources. Earlier this week, the White House made a U-turn when it said that Ms Rice would appear in public before the commission to answer questions. Mr. Bush and his deputy, Dick Cheney, will also be questioned in a closed-door session.

Mrs. Edmonds, 33, says she gave her evidence to the commission in a specially constructed “secure” room at its offices in Washington on 11 February. She was hired as a translator for the FBI’s Washington field office on 13 September 2001, just two days after the al-Qa’ida attacks. Her job was to translate documents and recordings from FBI wire-taps.

She said it was clear there was sufficient information during the spring and summer of 2001 to indicate terrorists were planning an attack. “Most of what I told the commission ­ 90 per cent of it ­ related to the investigations that I was involved in or just from working in the department. Two hundred translators side by side, you get to see and hear a lot of other things as well.”

“President Bush said they had no specific information about 11 September and that is accurate but only because he said 11 September,” she said. There was, however, general information about the use of airplanes and that an attack was just months away.

To try to refute Mr. Clarke’s accusations, Ms Rice said the administration did take steps to counter al-Qa’ida. But in an opinion piece in The Washington Post on 22 March, Ms Rice wrote: “Despite what some have suggested, we received no intelligence that terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using airplanes as missiles, though some analysts speculated that terrorists might hijack planes to try and free US-held terrorists.”

Mrs. Edmonds said that by using the word “we”, Ms Rice told an “outrageous lie”. She said: “Rice says ‘we’ not ‘I’. That would include all people from the FBI, the CIA and DIA [Defence Intelligence Agency]. I am saying that is impossible.”

It is impossible at this stage to verify Mrs. Edmonds’ claims. However, some senior US senators testified to her credibility in 2002 when she went public with separate allegations relating to alleged incompetence and corruption within the FBI’s translation department.

tomder55 answered on 04/05/07:

She was fired from the FBI in April 2002 .Edmonds alleges she was fired after complaining to managers about shoddy wiretap translations and told them an interpreter with a relative at a foreign embassy might have compromised national security after the Sept. 11 terror attacks by passing information from an FBI wiretap to the target of an investigation.The Justice Department investigation into Edmonds' firing, which remains classified, determined that Edmonds never qualified for formal whistle-blower protection because she was a contract worker, not a full-time FBI employee.But FBI Director Robert Mueller did admit to the Senate that she was discharged at least partly for being a whistle-blower.

The translator she was complaining about is Melek Can Dickerson . According to her letter to Tom Kean , CoChair of the 9-11 Commission :

Melek Can Dickerson, a Turkish translator, was hired by the FBI after September 11, and was placed in charge of translating the most sensitive information related to terrorists and criminals under the bureau's investigation. Melek Can Dickerson was granted Top Secret Clearance, which can be granted only after conducting a thorough background investigation. Melek Can Dickerson used to work for a semi-legit organizations that were the FBI's targets of investigation. Melek Can Dickerson had on going relationships with two individuals who were FBI's targets of investigation. For months Melek Can Dickerson blocked all-important information related to these semi-legit organizations and the individuals she and her husband associated with. She stamped hundreds, if not thousands, of documents related to these targets as "Not Pertinent". Melek Can Dickerson attempted to prevent others from translating these documents important to the FBI's investigations and our fight against terrorism. Melek Can Dickerson, with the assistance of her direct supervisor, Mike Feghali, took hundreds of pages of top-secret sensitive intelligence documents outside the FBI to unknown recipients. Melek Can Dickerson, with the assistance of her direct supervisor, forged signatures on top-secret documents related to certain [September 11-related] detainees. After all these incidents were confirmed and reported to FBI management, Melek Can Dickerson was allowed to remain in her position, to continue the translation of sensitive intelligence received by the FBI, and to maintain her Top Secret Clearance. Apparently bureaucratic mid-level FBI management and administrators decided that it would not look good for the bureau if this security breach and espionage case was investigated and made public, especially after going through Robert Hanssen's case (FBI spy scandal). This case (Melek Can Dickerson) was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee (please refer to Senator Leahy's and Grassley's letters dated June 19 and August 13, 2002, and Senator Grassley's statement on CBS 60 Minutes in October 2002, provided to your investigators in January-February 2004). This Dickerson incident received major coverage by the press (please refer to media background provided to your investigators in January-February 2004). According to [FBI] director [Robert] Mueller, the inspector general criticized the FBI for failing to adequately pursue this espionage report regarding Melek Can Dickerson (please refer to DOJ-IG report Re: Sibel Edmonds and FBI Translation, provided to you prior to the completion of your report). I provided your investigators with a detailed and specific account of this issue, the names of other witnesses willing to corroborate this, and additional documents (please refer to tape-recorded 3.5 hours' testimony by Sibel Edmonds, provided to your investigators on February 11, 2004).

Today, more than two years since the Dickerson incident was reported to the FBI, and more than two years since this information was confirmed by the United States Congress and reported by the press, these administrators in charge of FBI personnel security and language departments in the FBI remain in their positions and in charge of translation quality and translation departments' security. Melek Can Dickerson and several FBI targets of investigation hastily left the United States in 2002, and the case still remains uninvestigated criminally. Not only does the supervisor facilitating these criminal conducts remain in a supervisory position, he has been promoted to supervising Arabic-language units of the FBI's counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence investigations. Your report has omitted these significant incidents, has forgone any accountability whatsoever, and your recommendations have refrained from addressing this serious information security breach and highly likely espionage issue. This issue needs to be investigated and criminally prosecuted. The translation of our intelligence is being entrusted to individuals with loyalties to our enemies. Important "chit-chats" and "chatters" are being intentionally blocked. Why did your report choose to exclude this information and these serious issues despite the evidence and briefings you received? How can budget increases address and resolve this misconduct by mid-level bureaucratic management? How can the addition of a new bureaucratic layer, "intelligence czar", in its cocoon removed from the action lines, address and resolve this problem?

Now what I read into this is not a coverup of information as much as the fact that the FBI and all the intelligence agencies were poorly managed prior to 9-11 . That frankly has already been confirmed, and the appointment of an intelligenc czar's effectiveness may indeed be a debatable point.However ,it is an attempt to correct the deficiencies Edmonds points out. In such an atmosphere of over-all shoddy performance it should not be a suprise that when confronted by specific intelligence related to a possible attack on U.S. soil that the Bureau approached it like a bunch of key-stone cops. But here is an important point to consider .... Robert S. Mueller III became the director of the FBI September 4,2001 week before 9-11 . That has to be considered when reading her specific charges related to 9-11 :

Over three years ago, more than four months prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, in April 2001, a long-term FBI informant/asset who had been providing the bureau with information since 1990, provided two FBI agents and a translator with specific information regarding a terrorist attack being planned by Osama bin Laden. This asset/informant was previously a high-level intelligence officer in Iran in charge of intelligence from Afghanistan. Through his contacts in Afghanistan he received information that: 1) Osama Bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting four to five major cities, 2) the attack was going to involve airplanes, 3) some of the individuals in charge of carrying out this attack were already in place in the United States, 4) the attack was going to be carried out soon, in a few months. The agents who received this information reported it to their superior, Special Agent in Charge of Counter-terrorism Thomas Frields, at the FBI Washington Field Office, by filing 藾" forms, and the translator translated and documented this information. No action was taken by the special agent in charge, and after [September 11] the agents and the translators were told to "keep quiet" regarding this issue. The translator who was present during the session with the FBI informant, Mr Behrooz Sarshar, reported this incident to director Mueller in writing, and later to the Department of Justice inspector general. The press reported this incident, and in fact the report in the Chicago Tribune on July 21, 2004, stated that FBI officials had confirmed that this information was received in April 2001, and further, the Chicago Tribune quoted an aide to director Mueller that he (Mueller) was surprised that the commission never raised this particular issue with him during the hearing (please refer to Chicago Tribune article, dated July 21, 2004). Mr Sarshar reported this issue to your investigators on February 12, 2004, and provided them with specific dates, location, witness names, and the contact information for that particular Iranian asset and the two special agents who received the information (please refer to the tape-recorded testimony provided to your investigators during a 2.5 hours' testimony by Mr Sarshar on February 12, 2004). I provided your investigators with a detailed and specific account of this issue, the names of other witnesses, and documents I had seen (please refer to tape-recorded 3.5 hours' testimony by Sibel Edmonds, provided to your investigators on February 11, 2004). Mr Sarshar also provided the Department of Justice inspector general with specific information regarding this issue (please refer to DOJ-IG report Re: Sibel Edmonds and FBI Translation, provided to you prior to the completion of your report).

Mueller ,was on the job one week before 9-11. If he indeed have information handed to him about possible terrorist attacks he certainly did not have sufficient time to act on them. Before he took over Thomas J. Pickard was interm director . He took over after Clinton appointee Louis Freeh left office June 25, 2001.

As you can see ,the delay in transition due to the 2000 election recounts had a major role in the intelligence agencies fumbling the ball. As we have documented many times here ,the intelligence community was not up to the task during the Clinton years. I am very certain that enough raw intel. was available to come to the conclusion that there would likely be a major attack on the US by OBL. That hardly means there was a conspiracy inside the gvt. to allow it to happen .

Edmonds has also claimed that FBI translators of Middle-Eastern origin openly praised the 9-11 attacks .

"During my work with the bureau, I was seriously taken aback by what I heard and witnessed within the translation department," she said. "There were those who openly divided the fronts as 'Us' – the Middle-Easterners who shared certain views – and 'Them' – the Americans who were the outsiders [whose] arrogance was now 'leading to their own destruction.'"

Not long after the attacks, Edmonds said one translator said: "It is about time that they get a taste of what they have been giving to the rest of the Middle East."

She says the remark was made in front of the unit supervisor, also of Middle Eastern origin.

"These comments were neither rare nor made in a whisper," Edmonds said. "They were open and loud."

She says such attitudes call into question "the integrity and accuracy" of information Arabic translators are feeding agents.

Edmonds says agents who don't speak Arabic have no way of knowing whether the information they receive from translators is tainted.

"They simply have to trust the information given to them by translators," she said, "and based on that, decide to act or not act."

That makes open the possibility that information about al-Qaeda was being passed on to superiors by moles inside the agency .Another issue then is ;How can you act in a timely manner if you cannot trust the veracity of the inflrmation you receive ? Foreign translators are never to be trusted. But how many Americans speak the language ? If possible foreign translators should always be teamed with an American counterpart who has enough knowlege of the language to verify that the translation is likely accurate.

The dept. was in transition ;the information could not be trusted by her own admission. Even if the FBI had the correct information that al-Qaeda was planning an attack by planes ,the FBI was not permitted by law to contact the CIA to gather names of suspects. Ok then ..what to do ? Inform the public ? ...shut down the airlines ? There was nothing actionable to do without more detailed information.

Based on her being canned ,which was probably unjust ,she set up a web site just in time to try to influence the 2004 elections and has been playing this conspiracy card.There is no basis to conclude conspiracy however ;just incompetence in the construct of the intelligence agencies and the rules they were forced to work under ......but we knew that already .

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tropicalstorm asked on 04/02/07 - john travolta
wants us to

here is his house complete with two double garages and room for his five planes.

travoltas planes and excuses )

Clocking up at least 30,000 flying miles in the past 12 months means he has produced an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions – nearly 100 times the average Briton's tally.
Travolta, a Scientologist, claimed the solution to global warming could be found in outer space and blamed his hefty flying mileage on the nature of the movie business.

Think we should contribute to the cause???

tomder55 answered on 04/03/07:

in his defense he did admit that he may not be the best spokesperson on the issue. I guess the ability to understate is part of his fine acting skills . Not to worry ,John has the solution . He is a scientologist who has a deep held faith that aliens will provide us with the alternate fuels needed to solve the crisis.

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Itsdb asked on 04/01/07 - Good news on Iraq

In the form of no news? For the first time I can remember since the Iraq war began, our paper had NO articles on bombings and troops killed today. There were 4 blurbs, Biden and Obama criticizing the war, the UN sending staff back to Baghdad, and an agreement to relocate Arabs that Saddam had moved to Kirkuk to force out Kurds.

Could the tide be turning in the media? Or is it just that global warming has overtaken Iraq as the cause of the day?

tomder55 answered on 04/02/07:

Taking a few days in DC to see cherry blossoms and the sites. Not much time for news or net. The big story here I guess was the Matthew Dowd noisy defection . Either he has a book coming soon or he is planning on hitching a ride on a Democat candidate's wagon is the way I read it .(he was a democrat...former Lloyd Benson staffer; before opportunity's fortune steered him Bush's way. ) Dowd in many ways is like David Gergen ,a man who has no real conviction and will work for whoever is in power and adjust their beliefs accordingly .

But the real question I have is this : how long has Dowd opposed the war and what did he do as a chief aid to the President in steering while he was opposed ? He was a major pollster/analysist for the President . The US pr on this war has stunk .The adminstration has been behind the curve in dealing with issues like Abu Ghraib or the Haditha Marines. How much of this was Dowd responsible for ? Has he been steering Bush away from the words that would communicate to the public ? Has he been altering his data or selecting phraese that would not resonate with the public ?

The news reported 6 soldiers killed in car road side bombings and of course the press here is gaga over Pelosi's gravitas as our new Sec.State . Meanwhile McCain is in Iraq saying the surge is working .The a**hole reporter for CNN Michael Ware was harrassed him and mocking him during a press conference.(this is the same joker who admiringly reported that he witnessed insurgents assembling chemical bombs [no wmd?] to use as terrorist weapons...he also is responsible for airing the sniper snuff video of a US soldier).

Iraqi security forces clashed with al-Qaeda near Syria and killed 21 .

Thosands of Iraqis in Basrah will have tap water for the first time in 25 years thanks to the MNF. In reality the US Corp of Engineers have over 1000 projects ongoing inside the country including a $235 million water treatment facility in Nasiriya. Mrs. Bush has sponsored 'Project Hope 'which builds schools in Iraq. Unfortunately our military has the worst PR dept in US history and apparently there have been moles inside the White House bent on undermining the effort.

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PrinceHassim asked on 03/31/07 - Terry Jones speaks out

Call that humiliation?

No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilised bunch

Terry Jones
Saturday March 31, 2007
The Guardian

I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this - allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world - have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God's sake, what's wrong with putting a bag over her head? That's what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it's hard to breathe. Then it's perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can't be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.

It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn't be able to talk at all. Of course they'd probably find it even harder to breathe - especially with a bag over their head - but at least they wouldn't be humiliated.

And what's all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It's time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That's one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.

The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn't rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it's just invaded. The inmates of Guantánamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!

What's more, it is clear that the Iranians are not giving their British prisoners any decent physical exercise. The US military make sure that their Iraqi captives enjoy PT. This takes the form of exciting "stress positions", which the captives are expected to hold for hours on end so as to improve their stomach and calf muscles. A common exercise is where they are made to stand on the balls of their feet and then squat so that their thighs are parallel to the ground. This creates intense pain and, finally, muscle failure. It's all good healthy fun and has the bonus that the captives will confess to anything to get out of it.

And this brings me to my final point. It is clear from her TV appearance that servicewoman Turney has been put under pressure. The newspapers have persuaded behavioural psychologists to examine the footage and they all conclude that she is "unhappy and stressed".

What is so appalling is the underhand way in which the Iranians have got her "unhappy and stressed". She shows no signs of electrocution or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric shocks to their genitals, they should be photographed, as they were in Abu Ghraib. The photographs should then be circulated around the civilised world so that everyone can see exactly what has been going on.

As Stephen Glover pointed out in the Daily Mail, perhaps it would not be right to bomb Iran in retaliation for the humiliation of our servicemen, but clearly the Iranian people must be made to suffer - whether by beefing up sanctions, as the Mail suggests, or simply by getting President Bush to hurry up and invade, as he intends to anyway, and bring democracy and western values to the country, as he has in Iraq.

Terry Jones - film director, actor and Python a la Monty Python

tomder55 answered on 04/01/07:

The Sydney Morning Hreald reported that David Hicks showed up for his hearing overweight. So now the accusation is that the Americans tortured him by forcing him to over eat .

After all the hearings and stuff Hicks will be released after confessing to supporting efforts to murder innocent civilians. Many people in Iran will rot in jail for the rest of their lives for much less.

Terry Jones is very funny in a British sort of way . But , has he ever read the human rights record of Iran ?
Human rights have significantly deteriorated there in recent years (not that they were ever that great);despite the decision by the UN Human Rights Watch group to give up monitoring the country . I know that it is a tongue in cheek commentary but it is telling that his sympathy lies with jihadists and not with his nations sailors.

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Itsdb asked on 03/31/07 - Fact-finding?

The leader of the US House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in coming days will visit Syria, a country President George W. Bush has shunned as a state sponsor of terrorism, despite being asked by the administration not to go.

"In our view, it is not the right time to have these sort of high-profile visitors to Syria," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters Friday.

Pelosi will not be the first member of Congress in recent months to travel to Syria, but as House speaker she is the most senior.

"This is a country that is a state sponsor of terror, one that is trying to disrupt the Saniora government in Lebanon and one that is allowing foreign fighters to flow into Iraq from its borders," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi, arrived in Israel on Friday on her second fact-finding trip to the Middle East since she took over in January.

Among those in her delegation is Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress. Others traveling with Pelosi include Rep. Tom Lantos, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The group planned to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and to travel to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said Ellison's spokesman, Rick Jauert.

The speaker plans to address the Israeli Knesset on Sunday in what will be her first address to a foreign government legislature and as the highest ranking American woman to speak before the Israeli parliament, according to Pelosi's office.

She is expected to discuss "America's commitment to Israel and the challenges facing the two nations in the Middle East," according to a statement.


Just curious here, what 'facts' is Pelosi hoping to find - traveling to Syria with "the first Muslim" in congress no less? Yes, congressmen take these 'fact-finding' missions all the time, but is anyone besides me concerned this congress is trying to subvert the President's foreign policy?

tomder55 answered on 04/01/07:

The bad news is she is coming back.Finally has a real exuse for flying on a 747.

If you log onto the NY Post today there is a clever picture of Pelosi dressed as Miss Syria. This all comes in the wake of her refusal to allow Resolution 267(59 co-sponsors including 22 Democrats....a true test of her call for bipartisanship),calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the British sailors to get debated in the House ;basically telling the Brits to drop dead .One just has to wonder what she'll tell the Knesset !

What we have is the Speaker of the House ,the third in line to the President dissing our allies and paying homage to our enemies. The world turned upside down .

This is another in a growing line of Democrats who have travelled to Syria to assure them that a new boss is in town and that they have nothing to fear of the US (remember ...the real enemy is President Bush).Notice that fellow Democrat Elliot Engel ;author of the 'Syria Accountability and Lebaese Sovereignty Act' is NOT one of her entourage. I wonder why ? Ellison is there instead to show just how dhimmi we can become.

Details of the agenda reveal that she plans to make sure our surrender date is acceptable to Assad and the other terror masters ; to summarize the first quarter of shame of her reign and to get marching orders for the second;to formally apologize for the unfair treatment of Syrian musicians on that Northwest flight.

But all of this is seconday to her real reason for going .Let's face it ;it's Easter recess and every other Congress person went home .But if Pelosi went back to San Fran she would have to deal with those Code Pink loonies . So she's going to Syria instead .....her home away from home .

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Itsdb asked on 03/30/07 - You gotta love her...

Fresh off her sparring match with the Donald, Rosie O'Donnell sides with Iran and talks up the 9/11 conspiracy. From The View yesterday...

    ROSIE O’DONNELL: Alright we’re going to take a break and come back and talk about the situation in Iran with the soldiers, the British soldiers who were in international waters. The British say they were in the right waters and the Iranians say no they were in our waters, and so it begins.

    JOY BEHAR: Do you think people are now clicking us off because you promoed that?

    O’DONNELL: Well, I don’t know, but we're going to talk about it and I'm sure it will make the news.

    O’DONNELL: Here’s the problem with what you just said, "us," because it's now Britain and the United States pretty much against the rest of the world. How did this happen?

    O’DONNELL: It's just it’s very hard in America when anyone from the mid-east has been so demonized that no matter what, it's impossible for some people to believe that the Iranians in any way could ever do anything ethical in any capacity. They are not people. They have somehow been dehumanized to the point where they’re not people who they’re just the enemy, the terrorists.

    MARCIA GAY HARDEN: That digresses from what the real issues are. You worded a war on terror, personally that is propaganda.

    O’DONNELL: Exactly, Marcia. Thank you.

    HARDEN: I don't like the wording of it.

    O’DONNELL: Right, because it makes people into evil and good.

    BEHAR: This guy Amanidajaja (sic), whatever his name is. He is a bad guy, he is a very bad guy. He stated explicitly he wants to wipe Israel off the map. This guy is a bad guy.

    O’DONNELL: I'm not saying he's a good guy and I want him over for breakfast. No I’m not. I’m saying that in America we are fed propaganda and if you want to know what's happening in the world go outside of the U.S. media because it's owned by four corporations one of them is this one. And you know what, go outside of the country to find out what's going on in our country because it's frightening. It’s frightening.

    HASSELBECK: So you think we're being brainwashed as a whole country? I think not. I think it’s a media

    O’DONNELL: Democracy is threatened in a way it hasn't been in 200 years and if America doesn't stand up we're in big trouble.

    HASSELBECK: Do you believe that the government had anything to do with the attack of 9/11? Do you believe in a conspiracy in terms of the attack of 9/11?

    O’DONNELL: No. But I do believe the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Tower Seven, building seven, which collapsed in on itself, it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved, World Trade Center Seven. World Trade Center one and Two got hit by plains. Seven, miraculously, for the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.

    HASSELBECK: And who do you think is responsible for that?

    O’DONNELL: I have no idea. But to say that we don't know it was imploded, that there was implosion in the demolition, is beyond ignorant. Look at the film. Get a physics expert here from Yale, from Harvard. Pick the school. It defies reason.

So according to Rosie, it's the US and Britian against the rest of the world, which means 'we' have no standing in the current Iranian/UK standoff, we've 'demonized' everyone in the mideast - they're not human - just terrorists ("Don't fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers"). We would also have to go outside of the US to learn about all the 'frightening' things happening here (which might explain why she has "no idea" who attacked us on 9/11).

Rosie also accuses the British of instigating this whole hostage affair on her blog:

    False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.

    the british did it on purpose
    into iranian waters

    we will be in iran
    before summer
    as planned

    come on people
    u have 2 c
    i know u can

Why give this woman any attention? She's dangerous, so here's hoping more people will 'click her off.' She could use some time off to work on juvenile poetry anyway.

tomder55 answered on 03/30/07:

There is not enough tin foil in the world to cover her big head.

With the exception of Liz Hasselback there is no reason to watch 'The View' at all. Laura Ingraham was having a field day ripping Rosie. She asked if Rosie had steel beams on her roof to support her when she hangs upside down.

I'd like her to explain how steel gets made if fire won't melt it. Maybe she should ask some of those physics expert from Yale, or Harvard what smelting means . We Americans are sure a bunch of brainwashed people . I wonder if ABC Network appreciates that accusation .

I just gotta wonder if Rosie thinks the mullahs would let her and her wife live in peace in Iran .

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paraclete asked on 03/29/07 - forest plan fools the greens?

Forest fund better than Kyoto, Howard says

March 29, 2007 10:04am
Article from: AAP

THE Government's plan to stop regional deforestation would cut greenhouse gas emissions more than signing the Kyoto Protocol, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

Mr Howard said the $200 million plan would address climate change by slowing the rate of trees being cut down in Indonesia.

"As everybody knows, if you can do that you will reduce greenhouse gas emissions," he said on ABC radio.

"In fact, 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from clearing the world's forests and that is second only to emissions from burning fossil fuels to produce electricity.

"And it's more than all the world's emissions from transport. What this initiative will do, in a shorter period of time, is make greater contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions than, in fact, the Kyoto protocol."

Under the plan, Australia will form a global fund to fight illegal logging and forest destruction, principally in Indonesia.

It is designed to help developing countries start sustainable forest industries, plant new forests, stop illegal destruction of rainforests, provide monitoring of forest production and education in forest management, and help communities dependent on illegal rainforest timber find alternative jobs.

Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull said reviving forests was the only way to materially reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere in the near term.

"We will be working with other countries, developed countries, developing countries, to stop the destruction of the world's remaining forests, to promote sustainable management of forests, to promote new planting of forests," he said today.

Labor treasury spokesman Wayne Swan said the idea had merit but Mr Howard could do more closer to home by signing the Kyoto agreement.

"I'm pleased he recognises the importance of that (but) why doesn't he recognise the importance of this country getting on board with a comprehensive and ambitious agenda to combat dangerous climate change at home and abroad," Mr Swan said.

"That's the whole point. If he can recognise it (climate change) in Indonesia why can't he recognise it at home."

Labor Deputy Leader Julia Gillard said Labor would look at the proposal but also challenged the government to effect change in Australia.

The Australian Greens called the Government hypocritical for discouraging logging in developing nations while condoning the same activity here.

Greens leader Bob Brown said Prime Minister John Howard thought he could simply write a cheque to improve his climate change credentials.

"It's a stunning piece of hypocrisy that he is putting $200 million into stopping forest burning in South-East Asia while he is authorising forest burning in southern Australia," Senator Brown said.

"Under his signature yesterday, 14 massive forest burns took place in Tasmania, sending thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

"Our Prime Minister is a forest fool."

tomder55 answered on 03/29/07:

I think a comprehensive plan of reforestation and controlled land use would bring greater results then the idiotic Kyoto accords .

I see the environmentalists are just a wacky there as here. Conservationists have long recognized the importance of controlled burns and even the benefits of controlled logging in the overall health of forests . Part of the problem that the US has is that undergrowth is permitted to grow unchecked by controlled fires .When they ignite instead we are left to combat uncontrolled fires . If they were serious,they would insist on legislation to selectively thin, selectively log, and selectively burn forests - especially those that are overgrown, old, and dry, and at greatest risk for wildfires . This would expand the logging industries of the countries involved ;create lots of jobs ;keep forests young and healthy;maximize the carbon-uptake efficiency of the forests in question .

Scientists at UC Irvine have discovered that cooling may occur in areas where charred trees in boreal forests expose more snow, which reflects sunlight into space which cancel out any greenhouse gas warming that may occure due to the fire. I know that does not apply to the regions that Howard is concerned about .But I imagine the natural progression of forest growth and destruction by fire that has occured since humans were cave dwellers is probably of little impact in either the temperature of the planet or the climate fluctuations.

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/28/07 - what to do!

with San Francisco's ban on plastic garbage bags
what are the alternatives for people walking their dogs
and obeying the law to clean up after Rover?
Now I guess you have to walk with the dog chain in one hand and a super dupper pooper scooper and something to bag it in in the other. A paper bag doesn't sound very good of an option.
I think we should come up with an invention here.

tomder55 answered on 03/28/07:

"If You're Gooiiiing To San Francisco...Be Sure To Carry A PooperScooper In Your Hand"

Despite the biodegradability of paper, it takes a hell of a lot more energy to process the wood pulp to make the paper, and the chemicals used aren't exactly environmentally friendly. Plastic is just a recyclable as paper . I don't get it.

I wonder if Gavin Newsom's body condom is made of recycled plastic ?

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/27/07 - vote for your favorite

tomder55 answered on 03/28/07:

The Evita /Ceasar Romero Joker simularity is scary .

Another one :

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Itsdb asked on 03/27/07 - An unbeatable team?

Hillary Clinton, who I've heard is the "smartest woman in the world," declared at her star-studded fundraiser over the weekened that "Bill is probably the most popular person in the world."

How in the world can anyone else compete with that tandem, especially since she's already been sworn in as Commander-in-Chief?

tomder55 answered on 03/27/07:

He is the most popular . He was at Elton John's birthday so you know it's true. Leading politicians compare themselves to him . He has something to say about all the popular trends from the TV show 24 to Britney Spears (I see a cigar in her future ) .He has recently campaigned to save TV Land channel. He donned spandex to raise money for Evita's campaign at a "spinning class" (sweating to the sleezy )

Sounds like the perfect candidate for his lifetime ambition .....Sec Gen. of the UN .

Back when Bill Clinton and Hillary got married Bill told her, "There's one thing I want you to know. There's a box under my bed and I don't want you to look in it until I die."

Hillary agreed to this but, over the years, the curiosity got the better of her and she finally looked in it. She found three beer cans and 1.5 million dollars in cash.

When she asked Bill what the beer cans were for, he replied, "Well, those are for all the times I've cheated on you."

Hillary said, "Well, that's not bad after all these years and you being a politician and traveling and all."

She was about to leave, but then she said, "Hey, Bill, what about the 1.5 million dollars?"

Bill replied, "That's for all the times the box got full and I had to cash the cans in."

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kindj asked on 03/26/07 - Viking's Home Journal

Viking's Home Journal

(Today's Journal for the modern Viking)

* Three fast and tasty village dog recipes for the working Viking
who doesn't have all day to cook.
* War wound stitchery-Don't throw away those severed body parts.
Needle point tips that can make that foot or arm good as new.
* Surprising reader's poll: 9 out of 10 Viking women are not
satisfied in bed. Find out what they really want.
* Burning pitch techniques that can really let you rain hell on your
* Surrounded by intellectuals-How one Viking escaped. By David-the-Saxon.
* Viking mid-life crisis-Is raping murdering and pillaging all there is ?
* Is your son a Pansy?-A candid article by Erick-the-Red which every father
should read.
* Don't let your Viking Tupperware party end in a blood bath-Do's and don'ts
for a successful evening.
* Detroit unveils the New 89 line of warships-Faster, sleeker, fewer
slaves in the galley!


tomder55 answered on 03/27/07:

The Norse god Thor decided to become a mortal for a while and went down to earth.

He met a beautiful girl and they spent the evening together.

In the morning Thor decided to reveal his identity to the woman.

"I'm Thor" he said.

"You're thor!????" she said, "Lithen buthter, I'm tho thor I can hardly thit down!"

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paraclete asked on 03/26/07 - The answer to the SUV?

Trust the French to lead the way and come up with a real alternative to the urban blight of the SUV

Let them ride bikes: Parisians to hit roads
March 26, 2007

PARIS: On July 15, the day after Bastille Day, Parisians will wake up to discover thousands of low-cost rental bikes at hundreds of high-tech bicycle stations scattered throughout the city, an ambitious program to cut traffic, reduce pollution, improve parking and enhance the city's image as a greener, quieter, more relaxed place.

By the end of the year, there should be 20,600 bikes at 1450 stations - or about one station every 250 metres across the entire city. Based on experience elsewhere - particularly in Lyon, France's third-largest city - regular users of the bikes will ride them almost free.

"We think it could change Paris's image - make it quieter, less polluted, with a nicer atmosphere, a better way of life," said Jean-Luc Dumesnil, an aide to the Mayor, Bertrand Delanoe.

Anthonin Darbon, director of Cyclocity, which operates Lyon's program and won the contract to run the one in Paris, said 95 per cent of the roughly 20,000 daily bicycle rentals in Lyon are free because of their length.

Cyclocity is a subsidiary of the outdoor advertising behemoth JCDecaux. London, Dublin, Sydney and Melbourne are reportedly considering similar rental programs.

The Cyclocity concept evolved from utopian "bike-sharing" ideas tried in Europe in the 1960s, most famously in Amsterdam. But in the end, the bikes were stolen and became too beaten-up to ride.

JCDecaux developed a sturdier, less vandal-prone bike, along with a rental system to discourage theft: each rider must leave a credit card or refundable deposit of about €150 ($250). In Lyon, about 10 per cent of the bikes are stolen each year, but many are later recovered.

To encourage people to return bikes quickly, rental rates rise the longer the bikes are out. In Paris, for instance, renting a bike will be free for the first half-hour, €1 for the next, €2 for the third, and so on.

In a complex, 10-year public-private partnership deal, JCDecaux will provide all the bikes and build the pick-up/drop-off stations. Each will have racks connected to a centralised computer that can monitor each bike's condition and location. In exchange, Paris is giving the company exclusive control over 1628 city-owned billboards.

The Washington Post

tomder55 answered on 03/27/07:

I've been to Paris and it was quite a video game navigating the traffic. I expect that on a bike I'd be road kill.

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PrinceHassim asked on 03/25/07 - Iraq.

I told you it was a civil war and ye believed me not!

Since al-Qaeda bombed one of the most important Shiite shrines in Iraq 13 months ago, tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and whole neighborhoods have undergone sectarian cleansing. The bombing caused the once-relatively quiescent Shiite community to rise up in a campaign of revenge.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq said 34,452 Iraqis died last year alone.

Perhaps the American war of independence was nothing but an insurgency. Mel Gibson fought in it in the patriot and he and his militia wore farm clothes not military uniform.

Being a prophet is a hard calling. Ho hum!

tomder55 answered on 03/26/07:

And who burned down the Reichstag ? Check your premise first and ask yourself ;could al-Qaeda possibly have had access to the mosque long enough to set precision munitions in place ? Just ask yourself... who benefits most ? More likely it was an inside job by the Iranian stooge al-Sadr to incite the reaction that it got.You will note that immediately after the explosion al-Sadr lashed out at the US and the Iraqi government ;not al-qaeda.

I won't get into a pissing contest over semantics . Call it a civil war if you choose.I don't think it is an inevidibility unless we retreat .Do you wish for defeat ? I think you should be up front about that .Forgetting the rational for the invasion and if you supported it ;why would you be rooting for a negative outcome ?

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Itsdb asked on 03/23/07 - Remarks by the President on the Iraq War Emergency Supplemental

THE PRESIDENT: Today I'm joined here at the White House by veterans, family members of people serving in combat, family members of those who have sacrificed. I am honored that they have joined me here today.

Here in Washington, members of both parties recognize that our most solemn responsibility is to support our troops in the war on terror. Yet, today, a narrow majority in the House of Representatives advocated its responsibility by passing a war spending bill that has no chance of becoming law, and brings us no closer to getting our troops the resources they need to do their job.

The purpose of the emergency war spending bill I requested was to provide our troops with vital funding. Instead, Democrats in the House, in an act of political theater, voted to substitute their judgment for that of our military commanders on the ground in Iraq. They set rigid restrictions that will require an army of lawyers to interpret. They set an arbitrary date for withdrawal without regard for conditions on the ground. And they tacked on billions for pet projects that have nothing to do with winning the war on terror. This bill has too much pork, too many conditions and an artificial timetable for withdrawal.

As I have made clear for weeks, I will veto it if it comes to my desk. And because the vote in the House was so close, it is clear that my veto would be sustained. Today's action in the House does only one thing: it delays the delivering of vital resources for our troops. A narrow majority has decided to take this course, just as General Petraeus and his troops are carrying out a new strategy to help the Iraqis secure their capital city.

Amid the real challenges in Iraq, we're beginning to see some signs of progress. Yet, to score political points, the Democratic majority in the House has shown it is willing to undermine the gains our troops are making on the ground.

Democrats want to make clear that they oppose the war in Iraq. They have made their point. For some, that is not enough. These Democrats believe that the longer they can delay funding for our troops, the more likely they are to force me to accept restrictions on our commanders, an artificial timetable for withdrawal, and their pet spending projects. This is not going to happen. Our men and women in uniform need these emergency war funds. The Secretary of Defense has warned that if Congress does not approve the emergency funding for our troops by April the 15th, our men and women in uniform will face significant disruptions, and so would their families.

The Democrats have sent their message, now it's time to send their money. This is an important moment -- a decision for the new leaders in Congress. Our men in women in uniform should not have to worry that politicians in Washington will deny them the funds and the flexibility they need to win. Congress needs to send me a clean bill that I can sign without delay. I expect Congress to do its duty and to fund our troops, and so do the American people -- and so do the good men and women standing with me here today.

Thank you for your time.


How many Democrats have complained that Bush did not supply our troops with adequate armor and other supplies? Recently?

Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) and others

Harry Reid

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

John Murtha

How many others? Pardon my French, but how the hell do Democrats reconcile slamming the President for not supplying adequate armor while either endorsing or voting to cut the funding they need to survive?

The President is absolutely correct, not only has the Democratic majority in the House ... shown it is willing to undermine the gains our troops are making on the ground, they're more than willing to cut their throats, too.

tomder55 answered on 03/24/07:

I think the vote demonstrated how weak the Democrat majority coalition really is. Pelosi had to use our tax money to bribe and arm twist her fellow Demoncrats to gain the slightest of majorities for this vote. I guess that promise to reform pork barrel legislation is off the table ,much like their other lies about reform.

I guess it will probably be lost on most people that Pelosi and Murtha treated funding for our troops as the equivalent of just another piece of highway legislation. The bill shows more concern of the needs of a handful of spinach farmers than to our troops.

Ironically this vote will do nothing to take the pressure off of Pelosi by the Code Pinkos (unless she cut an under the table deal with Maxine Waters and the "pull out now" crowd that isn't being reported ).They will still protest outside her home. But at least she will meet her mortage payment. The same cannot be said for the families of the troops

But anyway my real point is that if she has the mandate she claims ,she wouldn't have needed all the machinations and gyrations to get this bill passed. I have to wonder if she has exhausted all her political capital .If a deal was cut with Maxine Waters it will be revealed soon enough and then we'll see how blue the blue dogs really are .

Time for some Mitch-slapping .McConnell has to get the timetable and if possible the pork out of the Senate version of the bill.Otherwise it's time for the President to wield his veto pen. I'd personally rather see the Senate deal with it however. The Democrats will not be shy in levelling the charge that it was not them ,but the President ,who didn't support the troops by vetoing the funding legislation.

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ETWolverine asked on 03/22/07 - Some prices of common products (approximations only)

Jack Daniels Bourbon =$94.90 per gallon

1792 Bourbon = $149.90 per gallon

Reposado Tequila = $139.90 per gallon

Balvinie Single Malt Scotch Whiskey = $179.90 per gallon

Crappy domestic merlo = $29.90 per gallon

Crappy domestic beer = $23.09 per gallon

Sparkling water = $18.90 per gallon

Pantene Pro V shampoo with conditioner = $41.50 per gallon

Listerine mouthwash = $26.52 per gallon

Toothpaste (cheap stuff) = $42.45 per gallon

Evian bottled water = $11.43 per gallon

Tropicana Orange Juice = $7.99 per gallon

Coca Cola = $6.20 per gallon

Gatorade sports drink = $14.56 per gallon

Pet Promise canned dog food = $16.25 per gallon

And the cost of gasoline at the pump averages about $2.57 per gallon (nationawide average as of 3/19/07).

What in the hell is the big issue with gas prices. Why is everyone in such an uproar over the high cost of gas or the profits that oil companies are making? Your shampoo maker is making more per gallon than your oil company is. Why isn't anyone talking about the high price of shampoo and the shampoo company profits that should be taken away from them?


tomder55 answered on 03/23/07:

I think a better comparison would be what the price of gas should be if it had followed the inflation rate in the last 20 years .I believe that even with the spikes in the last year or two ,the inflation adjusted price in 1981 was more . Captn has a point . Petroleum products drive the economy and price fluctuations do have a greater ripple effect . All told ;I'd rather put the $35 fill up to get a magnum of Moet .Just imagine what I'd save if I did not have to fire up the heater the last couple of months . I could've had my fill of liquid refreshments .

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Itsdb asked on 03/22/07 - GOP Scandal?

Followup to Sapph's youtube video...

As I noted on here post, ABC (and the SF Chronicle and others) took the bait and hinted at a GOP conspiracy:

    CLAIRE SHIPMAN: "Robin, the ultimate conspiracy theory, some Democrats think a Republican operative could be responsible because it not only makes Hillary Clinton look bad but Barack Obama look bad, since it's an attack ad."

    ROBIN ROBERTS: "Something to think about."


    Mystery creator of anti-Clinton ad steps forward
    By Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — The Internet video sensation that targeted Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton now has rival Sen. Barack Obama on the spot.

    Heralded by many as the embodiment of Web-driven citizen activism, the mysterious YouTube ad now stands revealed as the work of a Democratic operative employed by a consulting firm with Obama links.

    "It's true ... yeah, it's me," said Philip de Vellis, a 33-year-old strategist with Blue State Digital, a Washington company that advises Democratic candidates and liberal groups.

    Blue State designed Obama's website, and one of the firm's founding members, Joe Rospars, took a leave from the company to work as Obama's director of new media.

    Obama, Blue State and de Vellis all say de Vellis acted on his own. De Vellis left the company on Wednesday. He said he resigned; Thomas Gensemer, the firm's managing director, said he was fired.

    The entire episode hangs a cloud over the Obama camp.

    Since he arrived on the national political scene, Obama has won convert after convert with a vow to rise above the bare-knuckle fray of politics.

    However tenuous, any link to the ad, with its Orwellian image of Clinton as Big Brother, raises questions the Obama camp would rather not face.

    In a statement, the Obama campaign said it "had no knowledge and had nothing to do with the creation of the ad."

    "Blue State Digital has separated ties with this individual and we have been assured he did no work on our campaign's account," it added.

    De Vellis, in a blog he wrote after he had been identified by, appeared to acknowledge the trouble he had brewed. "I support Senator Obama," he wrote. "I hope he wins the primary. (I recognize that this ad is not his style of politics)."

    It's not as if Obama's campaign is not willing to mix it up.

    Last month, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs referred to the infamous Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers of the Clinton era after the Clinton team demanded that Obama apologize for anti-Clinton remarks by Hollywood producer and Obama backer David Geffen.

    And this week, Obama consultant David Axelrod publicly challenged Clinton strategist Mark Penn over his characterization of Obama's stance on the war in Iraq.

    The unmasking of de Vellis also cracks the enticing image of the Internet as a freewheeling arena where average citizens engage in vigorous, often provocative, discourse.

    De Vellis said he acted like any techno-savvy, politically attuned Web surfer. He said he worked on a Sunday in his apartment, using his Mac computer and video editing software to alter an updated version of a classic Apple ad that aired during the Super Bowl in 1984.

    But the fact remains that de Vellis was a political professional. He had worked for Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown in his successful campaign for U.S. Senate in Ohio. And he was working for a firm with political clients, including Obama.

    "Obviously some people are going to look at this and see that I'm working in politics and they'll think that it's kind of disingenuous or not genuine," de Vellis said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I still think that ordinary citizens can change politics. It could have been anyone else who could have made this ad."

    The ad portrayed Clinton on a huge television screen addressing an audience that sat in a trancelike state. A female athlete, running ahead of storm troopers, sprints into the auditorium and tosses a hammer at the screen, destroying Clinton's image. "On January 14th the Democratic primary will begin," the text states. "And you will see why 2008 isn't going to be like 1984." It signs off with ""

    In the interview, and later in a blog written for the Huffington Post, de Vellis expressed pride in his creation, while acknowledging that his employers are "disappointed and angry at me, and deservedly so."

    "It changes the trajectory of my career," he said.

OK, who'll be first to come out and apologize for blaming this on Republican dirty tricks?

tomder55 answered on 03/22/07:

I doubt there will be and apology but if I was involved in any other campaign I'd hire the guy in a nano-second if the Obama camp is indeed dumping him.

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/22/07 - Hybrid green car lie

Once I get more facts and sources I plan to post this on the Christianity board----oooowwwwwhh!

"The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles"
"The Hummer costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 mile"

green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.
The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.
“The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.
The Prius is powered by not one, but two engines: a standard 76 horsepower, 1.5-liter gas engine found in most cars today and a battery- powered engine that deals out 67 horsepower and a whooping 295ft/lbs of torque, below 2000 revolutions per minute. Essentially, the Toyota Synergy Drive system, as it is so called, propels the car from a dead stop to up to 30mph. This is where the largest percent of gas is consumed. As any physics major can tell you, it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving. The battery is recharged through the braking system, as well as when the gasoline engine takes over anywhere north of 30mph. It seems like a great energy efficient and environmentally sound car, right?

The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.
“The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.
All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn’t end there. The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?
Wait, I haven’t even got to the best part yet.
When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.
Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.
The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.
SO, IF you are really an environmentalist - ditch the Prius. Instead, buy one of the most economical cars available - a Toyota Scion xB. The Scion only costs a paltry $0.48 per mile to put on the road. If you are still obsessed over gas mileage - buy a Chevy Aveo and fix that lead foot.
One last fun fact for you: it takes five years to offset the premium price of a Prius. Meaning, you have to wait 60 months to save any money over a non-hybrid car because of lower gas expenses.

green lie

tomder55 answered on 03/22/07:

Both vehicles are overhyped for different reasons .

The Belmont Club had a nice posting on this subject yesterday .

Wrechard asks this compelling question :

The sad fact about most of these environmental question is that it may require us to trade off one set of objectives against another. Maybe the "world" should decide which it values more. In the case of "Global Warming" for example, many of the policies designed to reduce "Greenhouse Gases" may exacerbate poverty in the Third World. How does one rank different goals -- such as for example reducing "greenhouse gases" and reducing hunger -- and combine them into a single policy?

I have noted in the past the the Prius is constantly down graded in MPG ratings . It turns out that on short drives the Prius battery works fine . But if you are a commuter who drives significant highway miles the mpg is actually reduced because the car depends more on the traditional combustion engine .

Another example of wrechard's point is in the case of incandescent light bulb vs. fluorescent lights. Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury. The standard fluorescent lamp contains approximately 20 milligrams of mercury.improper disposal of fluorescent lamps can contaminate the environment. Over 800 million lamps are produced each year to replace 800 million lamps that are disposed. 1 gram of mercury is enough to contaminate a 2-acre pond,so there is enough mercury in those bulbs to contaminate 20 million acres of water.The manufacture of PCBs was discontinued for just this reason .

But as you see there is a movement across the country by State and local governments to mandate the use of fluorescents because they are more energy efficient than the standard bulb. But I have yet to hear any proposal by these same gvts. to mandate a recycling program to deal with the huge increase in these these bulbs and their proper disposal . Safe disposal requires storing the bulbs unbroken until they can be processed. Once they are cracked for any reason they discharge the toxins.

My opinion is that no one can convince me that there is a compelling need to own a Hummer. To me it's a luxury car and I think that they should be taxed differently than your standard car or light truck. It is a gas guzzler and a road hog ;especially in an urban setting .Edmunds lists the 5 year, 75,000 mile cost of a Prius to operate at $35,000. The Hummer H2 is $70,000. Consumer Reports has the Hummer has one of the worse reliability records ;the Prius ranks number 1 in customer satisfaction ( although I suspect that Prius drivers are trying to make a statement : look at me ...I am green!!)

Also I seriously doubt that most Hummers actually reach that magical 300,000 milage .I also doubt the life expectency of the Prius is only 100,000 . The warranty is 100,000 . So the comparision is misleading .Also I question the travel route of the battery (to China, Europe, the U.S., and Japan) .Toyota did not become a leading car seller by being inefficient. Most likely the US auto companies are going to follow Toyota's lead and introduce their own version of hybrid autos. Why ? Because there is a huge consumer demand for them. Yes I think hybrids in their present form are over-rated ,but I do think they are part of the solution towards a goal of energy independence.

As for the zinc factory . I suspect they do alot more than just make batteries for the Prius.But regardless I don't think anyone would disagree that smoke stack scrubbers should be employed and that should be mandated by law.

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kindj asked on 03/21/07 - Sudden Jihad Syndrome

Perspectives: 'Sudden Jihad Syndrome' - A reason to carry firearms for self-defense
Larry Pratt - Guest Columnist
March 8, 2007

I have compiled (quite easily, I might add) a list of murders and attempted murders carried out by Muslims acting on the basis of what the founder of Islam taught them.

Convinced that they will go to heaven if they die killing infidels who Mohammed taught his followers to hate, some Muslims don't bother joining al Qaeda or some other organized band of thugs. They get so filled with hatred from hearing Islamic sermons and visiting jihadi web sites that they decide to become freelance Jihadis.

The condition is recognizable and has been labeled Sudden Jihad Syndrome (SJS) -- although some people are unable, or unwilling, to recognize SJS. Politically correct spokesmen for the FBI and other agencies seem to be under orders to issue a denial that a SJS-related murder could possibly have anything to do with Islam.

The rest of the population should come to grips with the fact that many in America are susceptible to SJS. The best antidote for many SJS-related acts of terrorism is a bullet fired from the gun of a prospective victim.

The following list is offered to show that SJS is a reality, and that rational Americans should be prepared to deliver the most effective known antidote – a bullet administered at the first sign of an outbreak of SJS.

March 1994 – Rashid Baz, a Muslim from Lebanon, opened fire on a van containing members of the Lubavitch Hassids in Brooklyn. One was killed.

February 1997 – Palestinian-born Ali Abu Kamal opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, killing a tourist and injuring six other people before committing suicide. His daughter, Linda Kamal, said in 2007 that the family is tired of lying and admitted that a letter had been found on her father's body explaining his Muslim hatred for Israel and America.

July 2002 – Egyptian-born Hesham Mohammed Hadayet walked into the Israeli Airlines El Al terminal at the Los Angeles airport and began shooting Jews. He killed two and injured another four. He was known to sympathize with al Qaeda.

September 2002 – Patrick Gott killed one and wounded another in the New Orleans airport. He had entered the terminal with a shotgun and his Koran.

October 2002 – John Mohammed and Lee Malvo killed 13 people in the Washington, DC area. Both were converts to Islam and had attended a jihad training camp in southwestern Virginia.

August 2003 – Mohammed Ali Alayed almost totally decapitated his erstwhile Jewish friend, Ariel Sellouk, following Alayed’s getting serious about his Islamic faith. He went to a mosque after killing Sellouk.

October 2005 – Joel Henry Hinrichs III, a convert to Islam, was an engineering student at Oklahoma University. His student career ended when a bomb he had strapped on himself went off prematurely outside a crowed stadium, killing only himself. Police subsequently cleared explosives from the apartment that Hinrichs had shared with Muslim students from Pakistan.

April 2006 – Muslim Ayhan Surucu was so angry when his sister started to wear make-up and date men in Berlin, Germany, that he put a gun to her head at a bus stop and killed her. Boys at a nearby school, attended mainly by the children of immigrant Muslim families, cheered and applauded when news of the murder reached them.

May 2006 – Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student, rented an SUV and drove it through a crowded part of the campus-- intentionally trying to hit people and wounding nine. In a series of letters to the student newspaper, he explained that he acted in obedience to Koranic dictates.

June 2006 – Michael Ford, a Muslim convert, walked into work at a Safeway warehouse in Denver and opened fire on his coworkers, killing one and injuring five. Relatives explained that he was being teased at work because he’s a Muslim and he could not take it anymore.

July 2006 – Naveed Alzal Haq, a Pakistani, walked into the Jewish Federation Center in downtown Seattle and shot six women-- killing one, and wounding five( one of whom was pregnant). He stated matter-of-factly: "I am a Muslim American angry at Israel."

August 2006 – Omeed Aziz Popal, a Muslim Afghan refugee, used his SUV as a weapon and ran down at least 14 people and a bicyclist in the San Francisco Bay area. He was targeting Jewish neighborhoods to terrorize.

January 2007 – A 22-year-old Muslim, Ismail Yassin Mohamed, stole a car in Minneapolis and rammed it into other cars before stealing a van and doing the same, injuring several drivers and pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks before police caught up with him. Mohamed called himself a "terrorist."

February 2007 – Ibrihim Ahmed, a Nashville cab driver and Muslim, was enraged that two passengers did not agree with him about Islam. When they got out of the cab, he tried to run them down, striking one in a parking lot.

February 2007 – Sulejman Talovic, a Bosnian Muslim immigrant, went to a Salt Lake City mosque on a Friday night. Then he went to one of only two malls in the state which prohibits civilian carrying of concealed weapons. He killed five before an off-duty cop (not subject to ban) used a concealed firearm stopped his murder spree.

Cornell University did a study estimating that there are seven million Muslims in the U.S. If even a single percent of that population is motivated to go kill a few infidels for Allah, the country would be facing 70,000 murderers on the loose.

The examples that I have found of Islam being the driving force for murder show that the prospect of Sudden Jihad Syndrome should be reason to loosen the country’s concealed carry laws. The Utah Jihadi did not have a concealed carry permit, but he carried his weapons to the scene of the crime concealed anyway. Why should the laws make it harder for the rest of us to counter what criminals are already doing?

Put another way, our current restrictions on concealed carry on the books in most states facilitate murder by tying the hands of victims.
The law should be on our side, not on the side of the bad guys.


Seems like an irrefutable argument to me.

How 'bout you?


tomder55 answered on 03/21/07:

I'd have to say that besides the DC snipers , John Mohammed and Lee Malvo ,most of the cases were intentionally underplayed in the US press and mass media.

I'm with you on the conceal and carry laws . There was predictions of a return to the Wild Wild West after Fla. loosened it's gun laws and those fears have proven to be unfounded .Not in Florida or in any of the other 37 states with legalized concealed carry laws has the violent crime rate increased .Time after time it has been proven that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens is not an issue ;it saves lives . But even more basic is that there is a constituional guaranteed right to bear arms .

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/20/07 - is she hill=arious?????

Remake of an old super bowl commerical

big sister hillary )

type in hillary big sister or vote different

tomder55 answered on 03/20/07:

let's see ...Hillary spouting pablum and nonsense cliches ...and a desperate attempt to shut her up. Even though it is clearly a rip off of the 񓟠 " Apple ad and probably violates copyrights ,it is nonetheless a powerful message. It could end up being the most powerful attack ad since the 1964 anti-Goldwater ad where the girl picking daiseys gets nuked. It morphs everyone's fears of a Evita Presidency into a single image. The far right and the far left find common ground. It strips away all the warm colorful images she has tried to convey in her internet forays and leaves the essence unvanished .....Big Sister.

I'd bet that this ad gets more hits in less time than the combined forces of both campaigns and all their Madison Av. polish could generate . If the campaigns are not involved then anyone with a pc and a creative bone in their body can post ads that are campaign changing . This could represent a moment in history that will not be forgotten . For people who have been looking for a new pardigm from business as usual politics, the new era has arrived .This could easily make McCain-Feingold obsolete .......and it never would've been possible without the internet . No wonder Hillary talks so often of regulating the net !

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/19/07 - when will we hear the truth about dry runs

I keep hearing stories of dry runs like the other day the latest one I heard is a guy carrying metal bomb making devices in his rectum
and today the Pittsburgh airport found threatening letters )


THE notorious case of U.S. Airways Flight 300 gets stranger by the minute, as more facts emerge about why six traveling Muslim clerics were asked to deplane. A passenger on that flight - I'll call her "Pauline" - has inadvertently publicized some facts via a much-forwarded e-mail; she gave me more details in an interview this week. The airport police report confirms some of her claims and holds more revelations of its own. And U.S. Airways spokeswoman Andrea Rader also confirmed much of Pauline's account.

One detail that's escaped most reports is that other Muslim passengers were left undisturbed and later joined in a round of applause for the U.S. Airways crew. "It wasn't that they were Muslim," says Pauline. "It was all of the suspicious things they did." Sitting by Minneapolis-St. Paul's Airport Gate C9, she noticed one imam immediately. "He was pacing nervously, talking in Arabic," she said.

As the plane boarded, she said, no one refused to fly. The public prayers and an Arabic phone call triggered no alarms. But then a note from a passenger about suspicious movements of the imams got the crew's attention. To Pauline, everything seemed normal. Then the captain - in classic laconic pilot-style - announced there had been a "mix-up in our paperwork" and that the flight would be delayed.

In reality, the crew was waiting for the FBI and local police to arrive.

Contrary to press accounts that a single note from a passenger triggered the imams' removal, Captain John Howard Wood was weighing multiple factors.

* An Arabic speaker was seated near two of the imams in the plane's tail. That passenger pulled a flight attendant aside and, in a whisper, translated what the men were saying: invoking "bin Laden" and condemning America for "killing Saddam," according to police reports.

* An imam seated in first class asked for a seat-belt extender - the extra strap that obese people use because the standard belt is too short. According to both an on-duty and a deadheading flight attendant, he looked too thin to need one. A seat-belt extender can easily be used as a weapon - just wrap one end around your fist, and swing the heavy metal buckle.

* All six imams had boarded together, with the first-class passengers - even though only one of them had a first-class ticket. Three had one-way tickets. Between the six men, only one had checked a bag.

And, Pauline said, they spread out - just like the 9/11 hijackers. Two sat in first class, two in the middle and two back in the economy section, police reports show. Some, according to Rader, took seats not assigned to them.

* Finally, a gate attendant told the captain she was suspicious of the imams, according to police reports.

So the captain made his decision to delay the flight based on many complaints, not one. He also consulted a federal air marshal, a U.S. Airways ground-security coordinator and the airline's security office in Phoenix. All thought the imams were acting suspiciously, Rader told me.

One more odd thing went unnoticed at the time: The men prayed both at the gate and on the plane. Yet observant Muslims pray only once at sundown, not twice.

"It was almost as if they were intentionally trying to get kicked off the flight," Pauline said.

While the imams were soon released, Pauline is fuming: "We are the victims of these people. They need to be more sensitive to us. They were totally insensitive to us and then accused us of being insensitive to them."

The flight was delayed for some 31/2 hours. Bomb-sniffing dogs swept the plane, and every passenger got re-screened.

"I think it was either a foiled attempt to take over the plane or it was a publicity stunt to accuse us of being insensitive," Pauline told me. "It had to be to intimidate U.S. Airways to ease up on security."

So far, U.S. Airways refuses to be intimidated, even though the feds have launched an investigation. "We are absolutely backing this crew," Rader said.

Tucked away in the police report is this little gem: One imam had complained to a passenger that some nations don't follow sharia law and had said his job in Bakersfield, Calif., was a cover for "representing Muslims here in the U.S."

What are the imams really up to? Something more than praying, it seems.

Some argue that these Imans behaved this way in hopes that they would be deplaned. Once deplaned, they could yell discrimination. Others, like contributor to "The Aviation Nation", Annie Jacobsen, would argue that it is distinctly possible that they were practicing a dry run. That they may have wanted to see just how much they could get away with for a jihad attempt further on down the line. Annie makes a good argument for dry runs; the jihadists have been known to make several attempts on one target before they get it right. For example, Annie sites; "The recent dry run or probe on American Airlines flight 63 occurred on a flight that has already been saved once from a terrorist attack by the heroics of flight crew and passengers. If you recall, it was American Airlines flight 63 that "shoe bomber" Richard Reid tried to take down with explosives hidden in his shoes, in December of 2001". Click here to read her article

When it comes right down to it, I think that both arguments are quite right. While the Imans could have been hoping to make a cry of discrimination -- it doesn't negate the idea that, on it's own -- that, too, is a form of a dry run. It really is the perfect plan isn't it? Cry discrimination now on a "dry run" so that later, when they are fully prepared to execute another attack -- they are assured that their plan would go uninterrupted because we have become conditioned to be sensitive. We are learning that a Muslim passenger can do what the rest of us can not -- make those around us uncomfortable. Remember the story of the woman who became "claustrophobic" on the British flight? She had to be overcome by her fellow passengers and escorted off of the plane.

The reason she was escorted off the plane was because she made others on the plane uncomfortable by her behavior. That was o.k. because she was a white female. But, if an Arab-looking, loudly praying, Muslim who's behavior is questionable, should make you uncomfortable, you'd better just shake that feeling off as a discriminating thought.

While shaking it off -- we've once again made ourselves easy targets. Or, as "Pauline" would say; "we are the victims".

tomder55 answered on 03/19/07:

Snakes on a plane

The Immams are now suing the passangers . I think the law suits against both the airlines and the passangers should be vigorously contested .

This is terrorism's M.O. ....FEAR . If we are afraid to even report a perceived threat then our ability to fight terrorism is severely weakened .

The fact is that the Immam's actions caused this response. It was terrorist profiling not racial profiling . The reality is that no one is in a better position to change this perception than the Immams themselves .

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Itsdb asked on 03/16/07 - Iraqi leader thanks U.S. for assistance

An Iraqi leader told President Bush on Thursday that the latest security crackdown in his country is working, but cautioned it will take more time. He thanked the American people for supporting Iraq.

"We are not finished, but we are doing better than expected," said Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a leading politician in the powerful Shiite Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Bush met with Abdul-Mahdi in the Oval Office for just under an hour. The meeting happened as House Democrats advanced legislation setting a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal despite a veto threat from the White House.

"I appreciate the progress that you're making," Bush told the Iraqi leader. "I know it's hard work. It's hard work to overcome distrust that has built up over the years because your country was ruled by a tyrant."

Ain't that a kick in the teeth, Democrats trying to pull the rug out from under the Iraqis just as they express gratitude...

tomder55 answered on 03/17/07:

Last month there was an assassination attempt against Adel Abdul Mahdi .The bombing was an inside job. Loyalists of al-Sadr bombed the Public Works Ministry .He received minor wounds. Twelve were killed and 42 wounded.

The assassination of Vice President Mahdi ,an economist ,would have serious political rammifications .He is an influencial politician, and is next in line to succeed President Talibani.The assassination of a prominent Shia politician would help promote Sadr's image as protector of the Shia, and allow him to return to Iraq from his self imposed exile in Iran unnopposed.

Sadr's grip on the Mahdi Army has slipped and that in itself is a positive development that is a direct result of the surge. We have further undermined his power by directly negotiating with the Mahdi militia in his absence.

The wife of Ayatollah Abdul Majid al-Khoei , the pro-U.S. Shia cleric who was executed just days after the liberation of Iraq, has openly accused Sadr of murdering her husband. He was knifed to death by a mob on the steps of the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf. Khoei's wife claims Sadr ordered the execution. Sadr was charged with the murder of Khoei by an Iraqi court in 2003, but the government has never executed the arrest warrant.

As far as the Dems. What more can be said about how wrong they are ? Their whole political future rests in the defeat of the US .What an unfortunate position to put oneself into.

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Itsdb asked on 03/16/07 - Now this is creepy

Barack Obama Thinks John Edwards is 'Kind of Cute'
By Michael Amsterdam
Mar 15, 2007

    At least he didn't call him gay. Or worse drop the 'f' bomb. Barack Obama, one of the leading candidates for president from the Democratic side of the aisle has basically dubbed one of his rivals a 'cute.' Shockingly, he wasn't speaking of former First lady and frontrunner Hillary Clinton. According to a report from 'The Hill' Barack saved his praise for the man dubbed the 'Breck Girl' by liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

    Elana Schor reports from the paper: Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) slipped in a compliment — of sorts — about a fellow 2008 hopeful during his appearances on the Iowa stump last weekend. “I want to wait and hear what John Edwards has to say, he’s kind of good-looking,” Obama envisioned Iowa caucus-goers from the small town of Clinton telling themselves. During an appearance in West Burlington, Iowa, the phrase appeared again, this time with Edwards as “kind of cute.”

    Oh the humanity. Edwards recently made headlines by pulling out of a debate in Nevada because it was co-hosted by Fox News. Besides the Ann Coulter 'f' bomb, Edwards is fighting a perception that he is 'soft.' Was this an attempt by Obama to marginalize Edwards even further?

    The Hill notes that at least one Edwards supporter was nonplussed by the reference, coming as Obama stresses rising above petty politics and chafes at press attention to his own good looks. “Substance is what makes Edwards stand out from the pack,” the supporter said. “Amid the hype, he’s proven time and again to be the candidate with substantive ideas, and that’s what matters most to caucus-goers.”

I'm not sure which is more creepy, Obama calling Edwards cute, that the writer of this article being 'shocked' that he wasn't referring to Hillary - or that I might honestly have to consider him cuter than Evita.

tomder55 answered on 03/17/07:

Maybe Obama is secretly jealous of Edwards hair doo.

“Substance is what makes Edwards stand out from the pack,”
thanks for the laugh of the week. The only person of substance in the Democrat pack is Bill Richardson but I disagree too much with the positions he takes.

See where Bill Clinton is blasting the NY Slimes for not going after Obama hard enough ? While his wife waffles on a daily basis about what her Iraq position should be ,Clinton says tthat Obama was hesitant about taking a stand initially about the war at the outset and claimed that had Obama been in the Senate at the time he would've voted for the war .He is probably correct about that but of that we will never really know. In Clinton's view if Obama is going to make an issue out of the fact that he didn't vote for the war, then more attention should be paid to the fact that Obama didn't have to grapple with the intel that Senators had to deal with, and can't be certain what he would have done if he had. Curtis Sliwa was at a Hillary fundraiser and reported that Clinton was railing about the Slimes not giving Hillary a fair shake because she refuses to apologize for her vote authorizing the Iraq war and has not adequately taken Obama to task .

Imagine that.....the Slimes taking sides....hard to believe .

I think the real point is that all the Senators were privy to the most recent intel and armed with that ,they determined that overthrowing Saddam was justified .Clinton's view however is correct. The Slimes treats Obama with favor because they think his opposition is some kind of moral stand he takes while the truth is probably that given the intel ,Obama most likely would've been persuaded to vote in favor of the war. But ,if this is what the Clintonoids are clinging to then their campaign is in more danger than I thought. It's amazing that the Clinton machine is struggling against such a light weight.

Looks like the spectre of Obama's Islamic childhood will dog him throughout the campaign. The LA Slimes has an article that addresses this . Brit Humes at Fox suggests that the article contradicts Obama's accounts of his childhood.

Barack Obama's chief spokesman has been saying since January that the Democratic presidential candidate has never been a practicing Muslim. Now the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Obama was registered as a Muslim when he attended primary school in Indonesia as a boy. The Times quotes friends and teachers as saying Obama took Muslim religious classes in school and went to prayers at a local mosque.

The Obama campaign reacted to the story this morning by reiterating its position that the senator, quote, "has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

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Itsdb asked on 03/16/07 - Diagnosis: Cheney

Sorry folks, not hogging the board just too much juicy stuff today :)

    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, March 16, 2007; Page A21

    "What is wrong with Dick Cheney?" asks Michelle Cottle in the inaugural issue of the newly relaunched New Republic. She then spends the next 1,900 words marshaling evidence suggesting that his cardiac disease has left him demented and mentally disordered.

    The charming part of this not-to-be-missed article (titled "Heart of Darkness," no less) is that it is framed as an exercise in compassion. Since Cottle knows that the only way for her New Republic readers to understand Cheney is that he is evil -- "next time you see Cheney behaving oddly, don't automatically assume that he's a bad man," she advises -- surely the generous thing for a liberal to do is write him off as simply nuts. In the wonderland of liberalism, Cottle is trying to make the case for Cheney by offering the insanity defense.

    She doesn't seem to understand that showing how circulatory problems can affect the brain proves nothing unless you first show the existence of a psychiatric disorder. Yet Cottle offers nothing in Cheney's presenting symptoms or behavior to justify a psychiatric diagnosis of any kind, let alone dementia.

    What behavior does she cite as evidence of Cheney's looniness?

    (a) Using a four-letter word in an exchange with Sen. Patrick Leahy. Good God, by that standard, I should long ago have been committed and the entire borough of Brooklyn quarantined.

    (b) "Shoot a man in the face and not bother to call your boss 'til the next day?" Another way of putting that is this: After a hunting accident, Cheney tried to get things in order before going public. Not the best decision, as I wrote at the time, but perfectly understandable. And if that is deranged, what do you say about a young Teddy Kennedy being far less forthcoming about something far more serious -- how he came to leave a dead woman at the bottom of a pond? I am passing no judgment. I am simply pointing out how surpassingly stupid it is to attribute such behavior to mental illness.

    (c) Longtime associate Brent Scowcroft quoted as saying, "Dick Cheney I don't know anymore." Well. After Sept. 11, 2001, Cheney adopted a view about fighting jihadism, America's new existential enemy, that differed radically from the "realist" foreign policy approach that he had shared a decade earlier with Scowcroft. That's a psychiatric symptom? By that standard, Saul of Tarsus, Arthur Vandenberg, Irving Kristol, Ronald Reagan -- to pick at random from a thousand such cases of men undergoing a profound change of worldview -- are psychiatric cases. Indeed, by that standard, Andrew Sullivan is stark raving mad. (Okay, perhaps not the best of counterexamples.)

    I, too, know Dick Cheney. And I know something about the effects of physical illness on mental functioning. In my younger days, writing in the Archives of General Psychiatry, I identified a psychiatric syndrome ("Secondary Mania," the title of the paper) that was associated entirely with organic (i.e., underlying physical) disorders. The British medical journal Lancet found this discovery notable enough to devote an editorial to it and to alert clinicians to look for its presenting symptoms.

    And as a former chief resident of the psychiatric consultation service at Massachusetts General Hospital -- my house staff and I were called in to diagnose and treat medical inpatients (many of them post-op, many with cardiac disease) who had developed psychiatric symptoms -- I know something about organically caused dementias. And I know pseudoscientific rubbish when I see it.

    I was at first inclined to pass off Cottle's piece as a weird put-on -- when people become particularly deranged about this administration, it's hard to tell -- but her earnest and lengthy piling on of medical research about dementia and cardiovascular disease suggests that she is quite serious.

    And supremely silly. Such silliness has a pedigree, mind you. It is in the great tradition of the 1964 poll of psychiatrists that found Barry Goldwater clinically paranoid. Goldwater having become over the years the liberals' favorite conservative (because of his libertarianism), nary a word is heard today about him being mentally ill or about that shameful election-year misuse of medical authority by the psychiatrists who responded to the poll. The disease they saw in Goldwater was, in fact, deviation from liberalism, which remains today so incomprehensible to some that it must be explained by resort to arterial plaques and cardiac ejection fractions.

    If there's a diagnosis to be made here, it is this: yet another case of the one other syndrome I have been credited with identifying, a condition that addles the brain of otherwise normal journalists and can strike without warning -- Bush Derangement Syndrome, Cheney Variant.

Ain't that a hoot? No, it's about as condescending, demeaning - and low - as one can get politically. Nothing like having a bunch of moonbats walking around now saying, "he can't help it, the poor thing is suffering so," and feigning compassion. I would post the Cottle column but I refuse to pay TNR a dime, but here is the preview:

    What is wrong with Dick Cheney? Since the earliest days of his vice presidency, people have been asking this question. At first, it was mostly out of partisan pique; but, increasingly, it's in troubled tones, as one of the most powerful men on the planet grows ever more rigid, belligerent, and just plain odd in both his public utterances ("Go f_ _ _ yourself," Senator Leahy) and private actions (shoot a man in the face and not bother to call your boss 'til the next day: What's up with that?). In October 2005, longtime Bush-Cheney pal Brent Scowcroft fanned the Dick-has-changed flames when he told The New Yorker, "I consider Cheney a good friend--I've known him for thirty years. But Dick Cheney I don't know anymore." By the following February, a Newsweek profile noted that speculation as to the causes of the vice president's "darkening persona" had become a favorite Beltway parlor game. ("Has he been transformed, warped, perhaps corrupted--by stress, wealth, aging, illness, the real terrors of the world or possibly some inner goblins?") Fast-forward a year, and Cheney can hardly open his mouth without setting off a fresh wave of buzz about whether he has finally gone 'round the bend. As Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland recently asked, "Is the vice president losing his influence, or perhaps his mind?"

Personally I think Cheney is as lucid as ever, and the things he's said during his recent travels have been refreshing. At times I think he may be the only Republican in office left with a spine, and I know that's unacceptable to the left - no one dare challenge the left on anything, let alone tell them to go "f_ _ _ themselves."

I know, as a Christian I shouldn't think this way but I know a few more on the left that could use a good expletive thrown their way. And no I haven't lost my mind either - and I darn sure don't need their phony, condescending compassion.

tomder55 answered on 03/17/07:

I know someone who had a heart attack and needed multiple bypasses. This marked in my opinion this persons slow decline diagnosed as Alzheimers . I don't know Cheney but I see no evidence of any decline in facility from his public statements or the events of the last year. Honestly ;I have had some concerns about the President . I remember his speeches and press conferences of the past and he increasingly seems less able and comfortable to articulate his thoughts and positions.Even his prepared statements are plodding like it's an effort to complete them .

With both men I like their plain spoken honesty . When I think of some of the questions fools like Wolf Blitzer has asked him I think he could've made a good case in court if he had turned around and blasted some pepper into Blitzer's face.....well maybe not that far ....but to tell him to F~~~off.

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JacquelineA2006 asked on 03/16/07 - John Naisbitt

I think somebody needs to read a book by John Naisbitt. I think you guys should read Mind Sets because he knows how to look at the trends.. and he is the one that wrote the book called Megatrends. He knows the ten or twelve mind sets to apply to things objectively and to look at the situation in a more transparent passion.

tomder55 answered on 03/17/07:

He has recently been on the lecture circuit and when the topic of global warming comes up he is like many of us here ;as DC says a charlatin .He says that Al Gore's movie is not called "An Inconvenient Conjecture" or "An Inconvenient Supposition" .It is called "An Inconvenient Truth", and, "truth" is a term associated with religious conviction. He wonders who gave Gore the sacred tablets.

He also predicted that Africa would be the next big human battle ground and that appears to be shaping up as an accurate assessment .The US Military recently reorganized and added a Africa as a seperate command area.

Naisbitt once worked in the Kennedy Adm. and was also a top executive at IBM and Eastman Kodak. There are many who say that in the current climate ,Kennedy would've been a Republican.

Naisbitt's suggestion that we process information without filtering it through the preconceived ideas imposed by PC is sound advice.

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ETWolverine asked on 03/16/07 - A TRUE FEMALE LEADER

With all the media coverage such sub-par female leaders as Hillarious Rotten Clinton and Nancy "Stretch" Pelosi have been getting, I thought it might be nice to post this article about a REAL female leader... Lady Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady.

The Lady Is a Mensch
by Rabbi Irwin Katsof

Margaret Thatcher's lesson in what makes people truly great.

While working as a fundraiser for Aish HaTorah, I often moved among the rich and famous - most of them men - and learned a great deal about the drive for success, nerves of steel and risk-taking. But it was from a lady that I learned what it means to be a mensch -- a caring human being.

Larry King, with whom I had co-authored the book Powerful Prayers, introduced me to Lady Margaret Thatcher, and we invited her to receive the King David Award in recognition of her support for the Jewish people while she was the prime minister of Great Britain.

Why did she care so much for the Jews? In answer to that question, she told me a fascinating story.

During World War II, a Jewish family from Eastern Europe had somehow connected with her parents and requested that they temporarily house their daughter. The Jewish family could not get out, but they were able to arrange a visa and ticket for their only child. At the time, Lady Thatcher's family was very poor and had barely enough for themselves, but they took in this Jewish girl, who ended up staying with them the entire length of the war and sharing Lady Thatcher's room. Lady Thatcher said that her parents taught her that it was essential to help all people in need, but it was especially important to help the Jewish people, who had been so unfairly persecuted throughout history.

This was someone we very much wanted to honor.


After a year of back and forth discussions with her staff and attempting to co-ordinate her schedule with ours, she agreed to accept the King David Award at an elegant dinner at the Carlyle Hotel in New York to be held in March of 1997.

During the course of the evening, everyone wanted to have their picture taken with Lady Thatcher. She knew this would happen and she had her assistant call us before the evening to find out color of the wall coverings in the room, so that her outfit would not clash.

She was popular. All one hundred of the participating couples posed for a picture with her, one couple at a time. After they all filed through, you would think she'd had enough -- all the flash bulbs can be very irritating -- but then she requested that we ask the orchestra members if they too wanted their picture taken.

I was impressed. I had never seen such graciousness. I had worked with many celebrities and political leaders and some were quite haughty about the whole picture-taking experience. They limited the number of photos or they wouldn't do posed shots, or they insisted that no flash be used. Others were very accommodating but I have never had anyone suggest additional photos with staff.

After I arranged the photos for the violinist and the harp player, Lady Thatcher suggested that perhaps the chef of the hotel and his staff would also like their picture taken. I was amazed. I was also getting a bit concerned. I wasn't sure just how long this was going to continue. There is a big staff at the Carlyle -- we could be doing this all night. Luckily, it stopped after the chef. I was impressed though. She was a real lady who understood the importance of being good to "the little people."


A few months later, she agreed to come on one of our missions to Israel and I witnessed the same behavior. She was accompanied by three Scotland Yard security personnel. She had an armored van and a chase car that followed the van. Her security detail came to Israel three days prior and cased each venue. They explained that for the first dinner -- at the Rockefeller Museum in Arab-populated East Jerusalem -- that everyone would need to be seated and then she would walk in and proceed straight to her seat and sit down. She would have her back to the wall with guards beside her to stop anyone from approaching her.

Well, I saw why she was known as the "Iron Lady." She had her own plans. She walked into the banquet room, and to the consternation of her Scotland Yard guards, she took the next 20 minutes to circle around each table and shake hands with each and every guest. People were so enthused and felt so touched by her personal warmth, lack of pompousness and genuine human caring.

When she came to our table, she stopped and kneeled down to meet my 5-year-old daughter Bracha eye-to-eye. She shook her little hand and had a short conversation. She asked Bracha her name and her age, and looked as if she was genuinely enjoying herself.

A dinner at the Knesset concluded the trip, and there were many important guests and speakers. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu spoke, Mayor of Jerusalem Ehud Olmert spoke, Senator Joe Biden spoke, New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman spoke. Of course, each speaker was introduced, with their many accomplishments listed. During this time, the dinner participants had been served the salad course only. When it came Lady Thatcher's turn to speak, she got up and said only a few words, announcing that she had just ripped up her prepared speech "to ribbons." Then she declared, "I have never lost an election and this is because I can read a crowd. This crowd is hungry. As a woman and mother, I say 'Serve dinner!'"

As she sat down to tremendous applause, I was reminded of the quality that God values above all in a great leader. Both Moses and David were shepherds who were chosen to lead the Jewish people because they showed compassion for small defenseless lambs. It was when each had demonstrated this trait that God said "You who tend little sheep with such mercy will be a compassionate leader for My people."

Lady Thatcher brought home this important lesson about what makes people truly great: It is their sensitivity to the people they don't have to care about or be nice to. That's when you see their true character.


There is nothing like a great leader, and in my opinion, Hillary and Nancy are nothing like a great leader. But Maggie Thatcher sure is. G-d bless her.


tomder55 answered on 03/16/07:

It was Maggie who convinced GHW Bush to grow a pair and lead the coalition to retake Kuwait . She also sent the British fleet on a risky mission to free the people of the Falkland Islands when they were invaded by Argentina (It is only when you look now and see success that you say that it was good fortune. It was not. We lost 250 of our best young men. I felt every one.
).She also made a valiant attempt to move the British away from disasterous socialism (There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty). But most of all she personified leadership

Being prime minister is a lonely job... you cannot lead from the crowd.

If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.

If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

and moral clarity

I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.

Of course it's the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.

she would know how to respond to events today

I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air.

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Itsdb asked on 03/16/07 - E-Mail Indicates Rove Role in Firings

    E-mails released this week, including a set issued Thursday night by the Justice Department, appear to contradict the administration's assertion that Bush's staff had only limited involvement in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, which Democrats have suggested were a politically motivated purge.

    Each new piece in the rapidly unfolding saga of how the prosecutors came to be dismissed has made it more difficult for the White House to insulate itself from the controversy.

    The latest e-mails between White House and Justice Department officials show that Rove inquired in early January 2005 about firing U.S. attorneys.

    The one-page document, which incorporates an e-mail exchange in January 2005, also indicates Gonzales was considering dismissing up to 20 percent of U.S. attorneys in the weeks before he took over the Justice Department.

    In the e-mails, Gonzales' top aide, Kyle Sampson, says that an across-the-board housecleaning "would certainly send ripples through the U.S. attorney community if we told folks they got one term only." But it concludes that "if Karl thinks there would be political will to do it, then so do I." ...

    he e-mails "show conclusively that Karl Rove was in the middle of this mess from the beginning," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "Every time new information comes out, it proves that the White House was not telling the truth."

    Earlier Thursday, Rove said the controversy was being fueled by "superheated political rhetoric," adding that there was no similar uproar when President Clinton dismissed all 93 U.S. attorneys at the beginning of his first term.

    "We're at a point where people want to play politics with it. That's fine," Rove told students at Troy University in Alabama.

Here's my take on this 'outrage,' so what! Tim Russert comes out a hero in the Plame Affair for his impressive gaps in recall, yet the Bush administration is conspiring and get this - playing politics - over something he has complete legal authority over.

As I pointed out to Tom, US Code states simply Each United States attorney is subject to removal by the President. I've spent over a dozen years trying to understand government codes at work and I have yet to find anything as simple and straightforward as this one.

The president is to appoint US attorneys "with the advice and consent of the Senate" but is under no obligation to consult them on removal. If anyone is playing politics it is the Democrats. They have no basis to question Bush on this, and if it upsets them that a Senator might interefere with the president's appointments they need a Cheney to Leahy moment.

Democrats have had a long list of demands on this president to oust a member of his team, Rumsfeld, Bolton, Rove, Rove, Rove (who wasn't the leaker), Gonzales, Ashcroft, Condi - who else? Who the hell are they to whine about his administration firing some on his own? And when will the rest of the GOP get a spine?

tomder55 answered on 03/16/07:

The last question is the key one. I hope this gives a really foul taste in the mouth of the Repubicans who evidently forgot the implications of being the minority party . Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal makes some good observations today .

Their GOP brethren are no longer running Congress, and the Democrats who took over want blood. The administration made its first, costly, mistake by underestimating the opposition.

Democrats can't be accused of the same naivete. They understood on Nov. 8 that their real majority power would rest in investigations and the almighty subpoena.

She goes on to detail what was essentially a lie that Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty made when testifying about the firing.

What it[the Bush Adm.] failed to consider was the new political landscape. A White House and Justice Department on their game, scanning the Schumer-Feinstein battlefield ahead, would have sent Mr. McNulty to the Hill with a very different script. The deputy AG would have laid out the president's absolute right to hire and fire, and pleasantly noted that while the eight attorneys were all fine people, the chief was making a change. He would also have declined to serve up any gory specifics of the administration's personnel decisions. If details had later leaked, the administration would have at least staked out a principled position, and an honest one at that.

What was really pissing me off was this attempt by Bush and the Republicans after the election to make an effort at bi-partisanship . Yeah ,Pelosi ,Reid et al were all playing lip service to the idea but you didn't have to be Nostradamus to see that they would stab at him once his guard was down.

In this affair and in his overall performance Alberto Gonzales has been a lame AG . and yes the Dems. will go after him also because he dared defend "torture " ,and they know that they are planning on continuing to chip away at Presidential powers regarding security and law enforcement ; but their eyes have always been on Rove because he is competent . Libby got convicted of a non-crime .Why shouldn't Rove be destroyed for a non-coverup? But for the life of me I can't figure out how an e-mail almost a year before the event took place could have had any relevence.

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Dark_Crow asked on 03/15/07 - New philosophy forum......

It looks promising.

tomder55 answered on 03/16/07:

Went there this morning . I will probably sign up ;but I spend alot of time on this board and life goes on outside of cyberspace. Got my garden and good hiking opportunities coming soon (after today's global warming noreaster passes ).

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Itsdb asked on 03/15/07 - Shifting again - or just shifty?

In her speech to the DNC last month, Evita said "If we in Congress don't end this war before January of 2009, as president I will."

Now, in an interview with the NY Slimes she offers a "more nuanced position than the one she has provided at her campaign events, where she has backed the goal of “bringing the troops home.”

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton foresees a “remaining military as well as political mission” in Iraq, and says that if elected president, she would keep a reduced military force there to fight Al Qaeda, deter Iranian aggression, protect the Kurds and possibly support the Iraqi military.

Her "scaled-down American military force that she would maintain would stay off the streets in Baghdad and would no longer try to protect Iraqis from sectarian violence — even if it descended into ethnic cleansing."

Nothing like another good ethnic cleansing under a Clinton's watch, eh? I guess she's now almost in line with Michael Moore's "there isn’t much you can do ‘til the smoke settles and blood is mopped up" position - at least for today.

tomder55 answered on 03/16/07:

I can't keep track of all the contradictory and conflicting positions the Dems. are taking on the Iraq war. Sen. Mitch McConnell (who continues to impress me as minority leader ...much better than Frist) made a floor speech during the recent Senate debate where he detailed position shifts by Madame Defarge ;Harry Reid ; and Joe Biden in a short few months .He Mitch-slapped them !!

“It is unprecedented in the powers it would arrogate to the Congress in a time of war; it is a clear statement of retreat from the support that the Senate only recently gave to General David Petraeus; and its passage would be absolutely fatal to our mission in Iraq. “Previous resolutions proposed by the Democrats were a mere statement of opinion, or sentiment. This one has a binding quality. It would interfere with the President and General Petraeus’ operational authority to conduct the war in Iraq as he and his commanders see fit. It would substitute for their judgment the judgment of 535 members of Congress.

How dare he invoke the Constitution into the debate !!

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Itsdb asked on 03/13/07 - Inconvenient news for the Goracle

Times disses Al film as convenient stretch of truth
By Herald staff
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - Updated: 01:37 AM EST

The New York Times fires a shot today at Al Gore and his Academy Award-winning global warming film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” saying it involves “hype” and shoddy science.

“Hollywood has a thing for Al Gore and his three-alarm film . . . So do many environmentalists, who praise him as a visionary, and many scientists, who laud him for raising public awareness,” the Times reports. “But part of his scientific audience is uneasy . . . these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore’s central points are exaggerated and erroneous.”

The Times quotes geologist Don J. Easterbrook, addressing the Geological Society of America: “I don’t want to pick on Al Gore. But there are a lot of inaccuracies . . . we have to temper that with real data.”

James E. Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a Gore adviser, told the Times, “Al does an exceptionally good job of seeing the forest for the trees,” but his work has “imperfections.” He singled out Gore’s dire prediction of more, deadlier hurricanes as exaggerated.

The Times cites a recent U.N. report’s prediction of a maximum 23-inch ocean rise this century, while Gore claims the ocean will rise 20 feet over an unspecified time, flooding entire cities.

Gore told The Times his movie made “the most important and salient points” about climate change,” but not necessarily “some nuances and distinctions.”

Some scientists recently have been publicly questioning the greenhouse-gas theory, saying evidence points to natural heating and cooling cycles. Gore has been demanding political action to cut emissions, but scientists also are divided on whether that would actually alter the warming trend.

Last week, Britain’s Channel 4 announced “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” a counter-documentary in which scientists dispute manmade global-warming theories and discuss professional pressures to go along with them.

What's an exaggeration or imperfection here and there as long as you get the 'nuances' that lead to an Oscar?

tomder55 answered on 03/14/07:

the fallacy is the term concensus .unproven contentions that have a consensus cannot be science. How is their theory testable ?

When Gore found out that Mars was warming he said "It was bad enough when just the Earth was affected, but now it looks like the entire solar system may be in danger...We must act before it is too late."

On a positive note ;they did find out why the Arctic is melting

Where are the sinking PI evacuees, Mr Gore?

Whereabouts in New Zealand are the sinking Pacific Island evacuees, Mr Gore?

The New Zealand Super Fund has been challenged to ask Al Gore, when he visits the country next month, for the whereabouts of the Pacific Islanders that Gore says in his film have been evacuated to New Zealand because their islands are drowning.

This challenge has been issued by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, through Owen McShane, chairman of its policy panel. The coalition also wants to know who is paying for the visit. The challenge follows the announcement at the Labour Party conference that Al Gore is to visit New Zealand on 14 November for a private meeting with the Super Fund board, invited MPs and business leaders – but no media.

“In view of the announcement at the Labour Party conference and the linkage with the Super Fund, New Zealanders are entitled to know just who is meeting the cost of bringing to New Zealand a rabble rouser who has admitted to being liberal with the truth,” said Mr McShane. The Super Fund should be asked to explain how it can have faith in a man like Gore who made the following admission in an interview in the United States with David Roberts of Grist magazine (9 May 2006):

"Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis."

“How much ‘over-representation’ can we expect from Mr Gore in New Zealand? He has been liberal with the truth about Pacific Islanders being evacuated to New Zealand because their islands are sinking; he has ignored the fact that Antartica is accumulating ice; and he still promotes the “hockey stick” curve that has been unmasked as scientific fraud; just how much else of his film and claims on global warming can we believe?” asked Mr McShane.

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Itsdb asked on 03/13/07 - Darn those conservatives...

...they just won't go away.

By rights, American conservatism should be dead or on life support by now. -Gary Kamiya, in The Coulterization of the American right

First question, by rights? Why?

Kamiya also wrote, now that its ideology has been exposed as empty and its leadership incompetent and corrupt, free-floating hatred is the only thing it has to offer. Of course while informing us of this right-wing hatred he offered these kind words about conservatives:

    "vacuous bottom-feeders"

    "factually challenged right-wing hack"

    "pathetic figure"

    "marginally less creepy"




    "slimy Gollum"

    "obsessive mean-spiritedness"


    "obsessive mean-spiritedness"

    "intellectual sterility"

And my favorite, "Christo-jihadists."

Is this just another example of what Elliot calls the George Carlin rule, "all of your stuff is $h!t and all of my $h!t is stuff?" Or is it something deeper, like hatred, intolerance and bigotry?

tomder55 answered on 03/14/07:

See where Hillary reconstituted the old "vast Right Wing Conspiracy "mantra into her stump speech ? Let them keep their rhetoric and blast Coulter . No one pays attention to their warblings ,that is why they have attempted to use more toxic language .The more they complain ,the more books Coulter sells .That is not the case when an idiot like Franken speaks.

....and yes Edwards is a faggot.

As for conservatism , Peggy Noonan advised after the 2006 election that we take a breath and have a dialogue about what has worked and what hasn't . I think that is sound advice so long as we don't get too much into naval gazing . There are real issues to confront that liberals have seized the initiative on ;and it's only their incompetence that prevents them from making even bigger gains . Competence appears to be an issue that will be a major factor in the election cycle .

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Itsdb asked on 03/12/07 - Capitalism 3.0?

Long read but worth it...

Gore Funding Plan For "A New World Order"

If your employer began paying you 80 cents on the dollar, but, not to worry, the other 20 cents was going to support "good causes", thereby giving you value instead of capital, would you be pleased?

If not, you won't like what Al Gore has been quietly planning along with his Global Warming initiative. He and others are working to achieve that very thing and to bring it about in a manner which doesn't give you a vote in which values your dollars end up supporting.

Gore is quietly funding an assault on Capitalism as we know it, one that begins but doesn't end with Global Warming. That's only the model for what's coming next.

Sans news conferences and Oscar nods, it's a well-funded, grand design to re-shape, not just America, but the global economy in such a manner so as to inculcate Liberal values into the world's system of finance.

Defeated at the ballot box, it seems Gore has figured out that if he can follow, or perhaps even lead the money, he and other liberals can bring about the social and economic change they want, whether the middle class likes it, or not.

Gone unnoticed in the recent controversy over Gore's Generation Investment Management LLP (GIM) is this blurb below from the European partnership's web site:

    Dedicated to thought leadership on sustainability and capital markets -5% of our profitability is allocated to the Generation Foundation

The Generation Foundation is not your typical foundation involved in giving money to what it views as deserving causes. And the ramifications of its work should be of genuine concern for fiscal and social conservatives, civil libertarians and anyone who supports the free market system and the economics, or laisser-faire capitalism of Milton Friedman.

By their own admission, Gore and his well-heeled, high-minded brand of liberal thinkers believe Capitalism is either dead, or deserves to be. Here's the first quick look at a now Gore supported and funded, self-proclaimed New World Order as ruminated upon back in 2002.

    Above all, the man is wondering whether Americans need to pause for a moment, now that the millennium has turned and the market has crashed and corporate ethics seem like the quaint idea of a bygone era. And then, after this pause, the man wonders if we need to think long and hard about what we want and how money -- and, in particular, value -- figures into the arc of our lives.

    He has come up with an idea that admittedly might not solve any of our financial and social ills, but that he hopes might solve quite a few of them.

    The man's name is Jed Emerson. And his idea is called the "blended value" proposition.

Jed Emerson used to spend his afternoons walking into shooting galleries to dispense clean needles and condoms in San Francisco's Tenderloin district and now lecture(s) to the most powerful business leaders on the planet. (emphasis mine)

Those facts aren't inserted to disparage Emerson's work, but to highlight precisely the brand of social values Gore wants to build into our economic system so that they are realized though a non-democratic system controlled by wealth, as opposed to votes. And conservatism's good friend George Soros is linked to the work, as well.

Gore's foundation has employed the now well-credential-ed Emerson as their first senior research fellow.

    Jed Emerson is the first Generation Foundation Senior Fellow. Learn more about his body of work on Blended Value.

    Additional Link: Jed Emerson Wants To Change The World His goal: a kind of capitalist utopia in which sound business practices are rewarded, shareholders are empowered and our portfolios do more than just make money.

GIM is based in Europe, that's fitting, as Gore's plans for the American economy appear to be based more on socialist European values than America's. Actually, the effort is much larger than Gore and impossible to paint as anything other than the fiscal championing of an extreme Left wing ideology: Capitalism 3.0.

    In Capitalism 3.0, Peter Barnes redefines the debate about the costs and benefits of the operating system known as the free market. Despite clunky features, early versions of capitalism were somewhat successful. The current model, however, is packed with proprietary features that benefit a lucky few while threatening to crash the system for everyone else. Far from being "free," the market is accessible only to huge corporations that reap the benefits while passing the costs on to the consumer. Barnes maps out a better way. Drawn from his own career as a highly successful entrepreneur.

Really? But wait. I thought Capitalism 3.0 was the conceptualization of Gore's minion Emerson?

    Capitalism 3.0 February/March 2006
    by Jed Emerson and Sheila Bonini
    Originally published as part of the Blended Value Map and a chapter in the book series The Accountable Corporation

And who is Peter Barnes?

    Peter Barnes, founder of Working Assets and a board member at the Tomales Bay Institute's On The Commons

You might recall my post on Working Assets, the Leftist publishing company that plucked Glenn Greenwald out of the blogosphere to publish a hastily written book to bash Bush and oppose the Patriot Act. Their financial backing links them to the Phoenix Group, does the name George Soros ring a bell? It isn't me making these connections, it's the New York Times.

    To understand the financial connections that can now be documented, you'll also want to understand the Phoenix Group (PG), as reported on here in The Hill, and in depth through the New York Times, Wiring the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, July 2004. Wealthy associates of the group have been propping up the Netroots movement, enjoying the cachet of a ground up grass roots movement that's actually financed and, I'd argue, controlled from the top down by big money, just as is most all contemporary politics. The Times piece is an absolute must read.

    Some of the key PG players, though far from all, are Howard Dean, George Soros, Simon Rosenberg, Andy Rappaport, and SEIU President Andy Stern.

Take a moment and process that. Some of the very same individuals, now well networked, can almost immediately launch a New York Times best seller written by an all but unreadable blogger, a book intended to attack Bush and defeat the Patriot Act; meanwhile the same individuals are drawing a road map for the US economy based upon a self-labeled Utopian neo-capitalist ideology. Scary? It should be, as the Right has not kept up.

This is not a battle to be won or lost tomorrow, or even next year. It's a battle conservatives and libertarians must understand and engage over the next decade if they wish to prevail.

Now that we understand who would design this new values-based economic system Gore and his Leftist buddies have in mind, it's important to understand the notion behind Blended Value. Building moral or social value into our economic system may sound nice, but whose values? Who gets to decide? Not you. The system only works provided the society marches in lockstep on difficult choices. In Gore's proposed system, decisions don't flow from the bottom up, as with democracy. They flow from the top down with the money.

If Gore has his way, the wealthiest of the world, those who invest and support corporations in the largest measure, get to decide how everyone gets to live, what causes are supported, or dropped. And he has the nerve to call it freedom? It's not even close.

Corporate valuation based upon social and moral judgments means one could devise a better mouse trap, one that every body wants, but if it doesn't measure up within some grand Utopian plan, it's corporate valuation will always be sub par, so it would not attract the type of investment required to launch. What happens to choice? You can't choose to buy, or not buy, that which never gets built.

And what of the cost of building these social and moral values into our system of economics? Given what we have seen from Gore and other elitists preaching Global Warming, while preparing to preach social values, do you think the seven and eight figure salaried elite are going to do the sacrificing? You can call social programs value, they still cost money in the end.

Man2 The result of such a system would be upward pressure on prices and downward pressure on wages as profitability declines. In Gore's developing system, the middle class will pay the price for the implementation of a left wing, liberal-socialist agenda - and they will never even be asked to vote on whether to do it, or not. Gore's efforts regarding Global Warming establish precisely that paradigm. There's no telling where they'll go next.

For maximum valuation, will a corporation need to plant trees? build abortion clinics? pass out hypodermics, as one of its authors once did? Whose to say? Not you or me, that much is clear.

In short, what globally thinking socialists like Soros, and now Gore, have not been able to achieve through America's ballot box, they would seek to impose on our economic system. If you think I'm crazy, take a look at one of Gore's tracts. Both the illustrations and the text remind one more of the Eastern Block than the freedom we've come to know as Americans.

    It’s time for capitalism to mutate again. We’re due. Here’s why: “Release 1.0” — the original model — created not only wealth, but also a blizzard of economic, social, and environmental costs. In succeeding in its mission, it also exploited the world’s resources and peoples as if there were no tomorrow.

    “Release 2.0” — evolving since the late 1960s — has been increasingly regulated and “civilized” as it has attempted to keep pace with increasing awareness of its costly “side effects.” But Release 2.0 has hit a plateau in its efforts to build wealth and at the same time make deposits in the bank of social value.

    Layering regulations over regulations, and social initiatives over more social initiatives, just isn’t going to result in the hoped-for economic, social, and environmental returns. The problem is that even the most forward-thinking corporations are still driven by a mindset that is obsolete.

    What’s needed is the next iteration of capitalism — a new model that stems from an understanding that our common goal should be to maximize our value potential. The model should be based on a common understanding of what value is (to our minds, it should be a blend of economic, environmental, and social factors). And, it should be implemented with the common understanding that maximizing value, regardless of whether one is the “customer of” or the “investor in” the entity, requires taking all three elements into account.

    Capitalism 3.0, as we’re calling it, represents an opportunity to break existing frameworks and create a model of accountability that addresses the realities of the world we’re living in.

Read the other publications if you wish, they make it very clear. And Global Warming is only the beginning, albeit a critically important one. If Gore has his way, if we alter our economics to address his over-heated fear of Global Warming, we will be walking on the very path Gore and Soros and whomever else wants, while putting money in their pockets to fund their agenda. It's a path to the ruination of a free America, not some cure.

As Friedman knew, in capitalism money is freedom. If Gore and his new found European friends succeed in controlling our money while selling us on the concept of greater value through support for social programs of their liking, not necessarily ours - it won't be freedom, or Capitalism 3.0, it'll be a sham akin to Socialism from which America may never recover.

The current Global Warming debate is only the beginning, not the end. Just ask Gore, after all, it's his plan. If you think it isn't critical to push back, or tread carefully around global warming, you may want to think again.

We're already seeing significant appearances of this "blended value" concept with the recent corporate alliance, it's no longer just a Ben & Jerry thing. Public schools are pushing the global warming agenda on our kids, not to mention exploiting them. Climate change was the cover story in last week's Sports Illustrated:

With the help of some university professor, SI speculated that if it would have been one degree warmer, Vic Wertz' smash hit in game 1 of the 1954 world series would have glanced off of Willie Mays fingertips (and I wondered if it were 1 degree cooler would it have bounced off his wrist?).

The global warming scam is coming at us from every angle, in education, economics, politics - and golf courses, ski slopes and ballparks. What are you going to do?

tomder55 answered on 03/12/07:

How dare you question the musing of the Goracle !

Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out.

This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high school classrooms.

I don’t mean global warming. I’m talking about another theory, which rose to prominence a century ago.

Its supporters included Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Winston Churchill. It was approved by Supreme Court justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis, who ruled in its favor. The famous names who supported it included Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone; activist Margaret Sanger; botanist Luther Burbank; Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University; the novelist H. G. Wells; the playwright George Bernard Shaw; and hundreds of others. Nobel Prize winners gave support. Research was backed by the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations. The Cold Springs Harbor Institute was built to carry out this research, but important work was also done at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Johns Hopkins. Legislation to address the crisis was passed in states from New York to California.

These efforts had the support of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, and the National Research Council. It was said that if Jesus were alive, he would have supported this effort.

All in all, the research, legislation and molding of public opinion surrounding the theory went on for almost half a century. Those who opposed the theory were shouted down and called reactionary, blind to reality, or just plain ignorant. But in hindsight, what is surprising is that so few people objected.

Today, we know that this famous theory that gained so much support was actually pseudoscience. The crisis it claimed was nonexistent. And the actions taken in the name of theory were morally and criminally wrong. Ultimately, they led to the deaths of millions of people.

The theory was eugenics, and its history is so dreadful —- and, to those who were caught up in it, so embarrassing —- that it is now rarely discussed. But it is a story that should be well known to every citizen, so that its horrors are not repeated.

Michael Crichton

Did you know that during the Clinton days it was Enron that was the top promoter of the global warming fears and a big promoter of Kyoto. Why would an energy company take such a position ? Enron did not supply or generate energy;it was the middleman in the energy market.

If co2 emissions were to be curbed by treaty, it would take the form of a cap-and-trade system. Power plants would be given allowances of CO2 emissions, and if one came under the cap, it could sell its emission credits to a producer who was having trouble coming under the limits.
Enron figured it was positioned to be the broker. Basically, the cap-and-trade scheme was creating an artificial market, and Enron planned on cornering it.

So, when Bush rejected the Kyoto protocol, the administration stuck a stake in the very scheme that an Enron internal memo had declared, according to the Washington Post, would "do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States."

Evidently with Enron out of the picture there was an inconvienient void to be filled that Gore was more than willing to fill . No wonder he hasn't thrown his hat in the ring ....there are much more lucrative enterprises to persue.

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Itsdb asked on 03/10/07 - Does it matter or not?

Tell me if you've heard this before?

    Why are you obsessed with Bill Clinton’s sex life?

    Clinton's private life has nothing to do with his public life.

    The man's sex life is none of our business.

Or any number of similar quotes. So why are the media and other moonbats scrutinizing Rudy and Newt's personal lives if it doesn't matter? I hear the NY Times has been on a mission against Rudy this week, and even though Gingrich isn't running for anything yet his "sordid" personal life is suddenly under scrutiny again.

al-AP is doing their hit jobs on Rudy this week, I'm sure hoping to break his stride and sway social conservatives from getting behind what is likely the Reps best chance. If Giuliani can't keep his family together, how will he keep the country together? It was good of al-AP to form that question in our minds wasn't it?

Steve and Cokie Roberts asked this:

    To much of America, Rudy Giuliani is a genuine hero, but not to his ex-wife or their children. So which images will have more power? America's Mayor or Broadway Rudy? The Faithful Leader or The Unfaithful Husband? The Able Manager or The Absent Dad?

I don't know, and frankly I don't care, but the Roberts seem certain the "smart political money" says Rudy's negatives will "prove fatal" before the election.

tomder55 answered on 03/12/07:

I honestly thought that the impeechment of Clinton for what he was accused of was wasted effort. There were plenty of good reasons to dump the chump ,but not the one they used. The whole Lewinsky/Paula Jones thing came from the exactl thing we always complain about ;prosecutors gone wild . The whole investgation was supposed to be centered around the White Water corruption .Indeed there were many "fall guys" who took a hit for the Clintoons including Susan McDougal and Jim Guy Tucker ,a sitting govenor . But the investigation strayed to matters of sex and lying to cover up infidelity .Clinton was punished for his lying during deposition but I never did think that it merited removal from office.

I think Rudy and Gingrich are wise to air out their dirty laundry now ,rather than wait. Gingrich ..... let's face the facts ;he was a complete hypocrite and I do think the revelation will negatively affect his chances . But I don't think the electorate really cares who was or wasn't divorced or how many times . The Democrats are delusional if they think they can peel away the conservative or religious base . Who exactly are they offering as an alternative ?

Rudy's chances rest on whether another candidate emerges that has all the attributes the Republican base is looking for . There have been no perfect candidates to date but everything else being equal ,I'd rather they pick someone who can win the general election because besides Richardson ,I don't see a Democrat who wouldn't be a disaster.

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/11/07 - a start anyway at disillusionment of Moore fans

USTIN, Texas - As documentary filmmakers, Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine looked up to Michael Moore.

Then they tried to do a documentary of their own about him — and ran into the same sort of resistance Moore himself famously faces in his own films.

The result is "Manufacturing Dissent," which turns the camera on the confrontational documentarian and examines some of his methods. Among their revelations in the movie, which had its world premiere Saturday night at the South by Southwest film festival: That Moore actually did speak with then-General Motors chairman Roger Smith, the evasive subject of his 1989 debut "Roger & Me," but chose to withhold that footage from the final cut.

The husband-and-wife directors spent over two years making the movie, which follows Moore on his college tour promoting 2004's "Fahrenheit 9/11." The film shows Melnyk repeatedly approaching Moore for an interview and being rejected; members of Moore's team also kick the couple out of the audience at one of his speeches, saying they weren't allowed to be shooting there.

At their own premiere Saturday night, the Toronto-based filmmakers expected pro-Moore plants in the audience heckling or trying to otherwise sabotage the screening, but it turned out to be a tame affair.

"It went really well," Melnyk said. "People really liked the film and laughed at the right spots and got the movie and we're really happy about it."

Moore hasn't commented publicly on "Manufacturing Dissent" and Melnyk thinks he never will. He also hasn't responded to several calls and e-mails from The Associated Press.

"There's no point for Michael to respond to the film because then it gives it publicity," she said.

"(President) Bush didn't respond to `Fahrenheit 9/11,' and there's a reason for that," Caine added.

The two were and still are fans of all his movies — including the polarizing "Fahrenheit 9/11," which grossed over $119 million and won the Palme d'Or at the
Cannes Film Festival — and initially wanted to do a biography on him. They traveled to his childhood home of Davison, Mich., visited his high school and traced his early days in politics and journalism.

"The fact that he made documentaries entertaining was extremely influential and got all kinds of people out to see them," said Melnyk, whose previous films with Caine include 1998's "Junket Whore." "Let's face it, he made documentaries popular and that is great for all documentary filmmakers."

"All of these films — `Super Size Me,' `An Inconvenient Truth' — we've all been riding in his wake," said Caine. "There's a nonfiction film revolution going on and we're all beneficiaries of that. For that point alone, he's worth celebrating."

But after four months of unsuccessfully trying to sit down with Moore for an on-camera interview, they realized they needed to approach the subject from a different angle. They began looking at the process Moore employs in his films, and the deeper they dug, the more they began to question him.

The fact that Moore spoke with Smith, including a lengthy question-and-answer exchange during a May 1987 GM shareholders meeting, first was reported in a Premiere magazine article three years later. Transcripts of the discussion had been leaked to the magazine, and a clip of the meeting appeared in "Manufacturing Dissent." Moore also reportedly interviewed Smith on camera in January 1988 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

Since then, in the years since "Roger & Me" put Moore on the map, those details seem to have been suppressed and forgotten.

"It was shocking, because to me that was the whole premise of `Roger & Me,'" Melnyk said.

She and Caine also had trouble finding people to talk on camera about Moore, partly because potential interview subjects assumed they were creating a right-wing attack piece; as self-proclaimed left-wingers, they weren't.

Despite what they've learned, the directors still appreciate Moore.

"We're a bit disappointed and disillusioned with Michael," Melnyk said, "but we are still very grateful to him for putting documentaries out there in a major way that people can go to a DVD store and they're right up there alongside dramatic features."

tomder55 answered on 03/12/07:

That's funny .'Roger and Me ' was the only Moore movie I liked . I was in fact looking forward to his next hit piece about the Pharmaceutical Industry .It is something I know about so it would be easier to separate the BS and dogma conventional wisdom from the truth .

He also avoided the guy who made "Michael Moore Hates America" which also examines Moore's methods. But the difference is apparently they did this film without any pre-conceived conclusions that they used as a template for their filming .

Apparently truthful documentaries do not get the airing they deserve ;but throw in some good ole fashion Bush bashing and you get a Canne's film festival award or an academy award.

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kindj asked on 03/09/07 - A great quote

"It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers!

In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late.

Accordingly, I'm readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I'll, in turn, do my best for the Cause by writing editorials - after the fact."

Robert E. Lee, 1863

tomder55 answered on 03/10/07:

Amazing .or he could've waited and become a revisionist historian .

I believe that Robert E. Lee was a great man -- able, intelligent,
well-motivated and moral, and much beloved by his army. He did
what he believed to be right. On the other hand, I have long been
uncomfortable with certain aspects of the Lee tradition. I suspect that
this discomfort has several sources. Without revealing too much about
myself, I acknowledge that a parochial grade school education may
have provoked in me a perverse skepticism of lives of the saints. Lincoln
scholar Don E. Fehrenbacher characterizes the "idealized Lincoln" as
"insufferably virtuous" -- a characterization that I can appreciate.

In the case of Lee my discomfort has been more specific. He was a master strategist and tactician but was so
committed to the offensive that he suffered grievous and irreplaceable
losses that progressively limited the viability of his army. He was mag-
nanimous toward the North but fought bitterly and aggressively against
it. He was kind and protective of his soldiers but regularly risked their
lives in daring offensive strokes, ordered the July 3 attack on Cemetery
Ridge, and continued the war long after a Southern victory was possi-
ble. He was conciliatory after the war yet categorical in his defense of
what the South had done and outspokenly critical of the North's post-
war treatment of the South.

This book is an effort to rationalize these conflicting pictures of Lee.

That was from the Preface of "Lee Considered: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History" by historian Alan T.Nolan (1996).

Until I read it Lee was universally recognized as one of the worlds greatest Generals. It's a good thing ole Nolan came along to debunk that myth !From genious General ;who divided his outmanned army at Chancellorsville and routed the much larger army commanded by Joe Hooker by suprising him with a Battle of Cannae maneuver,to reckless commander who wasted his men's lives needlessly by being aggressive.

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Itsdb asked on 03/09/07 - Thompson to run?

WASHINGTON — Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker Jr. said today he is urging his friend Fred Thompson to run for president and encouraging others to convince him.

Baker, R-Tenn., in a telephone interview with The News Sentinel, said: "I'm planting the seed that he might run or might be convinced to run." Baker also was White House chief of staff to President Reagan and most recently served as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Thompson, 64, an actor on the TV drama "Law & Order" also was a Republican senator from Tennessee for eight years through 2002.

Baker said he's talked to Thompson about running for president. "He doesn't confirm that he's interested and he also doesn't tell me to stop," Baker said.

Thompson could not be reached for comment.

Baker and Thompson go way back and both got national attention when Baker in 1973, as a senator, named Thompson as Republican counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee exploring the Nixon Administration's connections to the Watergate burglary and its cover-up.

Thompson also helped Baker in his 1980 presidential campaign when Ronald Reagan won the GOP nomination and the presidency.

A couple of potential complications in a Thompson race is that he is good friends with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a presidential candidate. Thompson endorsed McCain for president in his 2000 bid.

Also, Thompson has two small children in his second marriage: ages 4 and younger than 1.

Baker said his wife, former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker, R-Kan., already supports McCain for president and Baker said he too may back McCain if Thompson does not run.

Baker said he has not talked to any big money people about helping Thompson. "I'm just sending up some trial balloons so we'll see how that works."


Hmmm, whaddya think? Another conservative actor, well spoken, well respected - even in Hollywood (for the moment)?

tomder55 answered on 03/09/07:

I heard that rumor last week . It would make the race interesting .

I am not at all happy with the process this cycle. The nominee will be decided before most of the country is even paying attention. The nominee will lock up enough delegates to clinch it by this time next year . That's 6 months before the conventions . Plenty of time for a nominee to have a major melt down . ...Then what ?

Conservatives do not appear to be thrilled with the current group of candidates and Thompson could fill that void if he answers the all important question ....can he win ?

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Itsdb asked on 03/09/07 - Plame to testify

We've spent millions of dollars to get Rove/Cheney/Bush in an investigation with no conspiracy, no coverup, no administration leak, no charges filed, and now Plame is going to testify before a congressional panel on how the White House handled the disclosure of her 'secret' identity as a 'covert' agent.

Why in God's name do we need a congressional investigation now? Will they wonder why we wasted that much time, money and reputations on an investigation in which the prosecutor knew 3 months ahead of time the 'leaker' was a fierce bureaucratic opponent of the White House? Or why the judge refused to allow evidence of "the fallibility of the witness whose testimony was most decisive," namely Russert's statement "under oath that he did not know that one may not be accompanied by a lawyer to a grand jury hearing."

    The defense had tapes showing Russert saying on television three times that lawyers are barred from grand jury proceedings.

What important light is Plame going to shed on this event? I'm betting her "victimhood" will be played out for every ounce of sympathy that can be mustered. Shouldn't this whole affair be put rest now?

tomder55 answered on 03/09/07:

She's to testify in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee run by Henry Waxman (remember Excon's warning about the guy . He is a pit Bull. ). The only purpose for these hearings is to gather evidence in an impeachment play . Fitzgerald is also slated to testify . Waxman also thinks he can bring down Karl Rove. Here is a letter Waxman sent to Rep.Davis when Waxman was ranking minority member last year . Here is Waxman's invitation to Fitzgerald. Here is Waxman's version of a chronology of events .

I doubt if she will be sworn in ;although I think the Repuublican members insist that EVERY witness who testify be sworn in.

Plame is there for the sympathy effect . No doubt the tears will flow as she describes how her life has been ruined .... Then off to another Vanity Fair photo session and a cocktail party or 2 . Everyone already knows that she recommended Wilson when the CIA wanted a flunky to go sip sweet tea by a Niger pool side .

Maybe she is there to testify about the Pay Plame Act to reward her for her steller contributions to the good of the country ??

Note that Joe Wilson is conspicuosly absent from the invitees . Maybe that's because the Senate has already found him to be an insufferable liar .

Byron York wrote on NRO blog :

If Valerie Plame Wilson testifies before Congress, she will likely be asked detailed questions about her job status. Judge Reggie Walton tried, unsuccessfully, to keep the issue out of the Libby trial. But as Henry Waxman pointed out, that was a narrow legal proceeding, and a congressional hearing would have a broader scope.

So Mrs. Wilson will likely be asked what years she operated under non-official cover. She will likely be asked about her return to the United States, about her maternity leave, and about her job description when she returned to work. She will likely be asked whether that job description could accurately be called covert. She will likely be asked whether her area of work had changed, or was changing, at the time of Robert Novak's July 14, 2003 column that mentioned her name. And she will likely be asked what, if any, damage to national security resulted from the publication of her name.

Valerie ....What do you think about the fact that the person who leaked your name, Richard Armitage, was given immunity by the prosecutor ? Is Richard Armitage named in your law suit ? Maybe she will reveal a block buster like the fact that she had already been outed a decade ago by Aldridge Ames ?

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/08/07 - I want one to scrap!

Four F-14 fighter jets seized at two California airfields

03:20 PM MST on Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Press-Enterprise

Federal authorities seized four F-14 Tomcat fighter jets from two air museums in Chino and a Victorville company on Tuesday, declaring that a Navy official improperly sold them.
Story continues below
Terry Pierson / The Press-Enterprise
William J. Hayes, an assistant special agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, right, stands with an agency officer near one of the F-14 Tomcats seized at the Chino Airport.

Featured in the 1986 film "Top Gun," the Navy stopped using its fleet of F-14s last year.

Two Tomcats were seized at Yanks Air Museum, and a third at Planes of Fame, both located at the Chino Airport.

A Yanks employee, who showed the plane to an undercover investigator in 2005, bragged that he had rebuilt the F-14 from parts and that it still had its afterburners, which give a jet extra thrust, according to an affidavit prepared by an investigator with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The fourth Tomcat, used as a prop on the TV show "JAG," about military lawyers, was seized at Aviation Warehouse, a business tenant of the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.

The seizure was intended, in part, to prevent the non-functioning jets or their parts from being bought by U.S. companies acting on behalf of Iran, the only country whose air force still flies the F-14, the affidavit said.

The Inland owners of the jets are not suspected of supplying parts to Iran, according to a federal agent involved in the investigation.

A Navy official sold three of the planes to a scrap dealer, who sold them to a used aircraft dealer who sold them to Yanks, which sold one to Planes of Fame. The Navy official sold the fourth plane to a scrap dealer which resold it to Paramount Pictures, which sold it to the aircraft dealer, according to the affidavit.

The F-14 was introduced in 1972 as a replacement for the Navy's primary fighter, the F-4 Phantom.

The United States permitted the government of Iran to buy F-14s during the 1960s and 1970s under the regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran.

After the fall of the shah and the Iranian hostage crisis, the United States placed an embargo on the trade of parts for the plane, and a flourishing black market developed, the affidavit said.

The Pentagon halted sales of spare parts from its recently retired F-14 fighter jet fleet because of concerns they could be transferred to Iran, The Associated Press reported in February.

Investigators from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the Navy Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service seized the four planes, immigration and customs spokeswoman Virginia Kice said.

The agency has the authority to seize military and technical equipment to prevent it from falling into the hands of terrorists or countries hostile to the United States. The other two agencies have jurisdiction over the disposal of surplus military equipment.

"It is important that we eliminate the vulnerability that any of this technology could be transferred to those who would wish to harm us or our national security," said William Hayes, assistant special agent in charge of investigations for the immigration and customs agency in Orange County.

Headed for Scrap

The planes will be reduced to scrap, Hayes said.

The owners of the airplanes are not suspected of selling spare parts to Iran or any company representing Iran, Hayes said.

Investigators discovered the planes' existence in September 2005 during the probe of a Bakersfield company that is suspected of being a company secretly acting on behalf of the Iranian government.

Federal law requires military aircraft to be destroyed when they are sold as scrap for recycling, but an officer put in charge of disposing of the four planes at Point Mugu Naval Air Station failed to do so, the affidavit said.

Instead, the officer sold relatively intact planes to two scrap metal companies for $2,000 to $4,000 each in 1999, depositing the proceeds in a base "morale, welfare and recreation" account.

An investigation is continuing into the circumstances of those sales,

rest of story


tomder55 answered on 03/09/07:

The Tomcat is my all time favorite jet .

here was the patch I wore in Iran :

The Tomcat can still out perform most jets in the sky . But alas ;there is one better now ;the F 22 Raptor .

I don't think the Tomcat should be consigned to scrap . I think they should be donated to museums like the Grumman Memorial Park ;on the grounds that I spent many a summer day picnicing with mine and other Grumman employee families. But if they have to retire ....I just wish they would let them do it in style ....over the skys of Tehran

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Itsdb asked on 03/08/07 - Speaking of the media...

As you are probably aware, I love the media. It used to be that what wasn't on the opinion pages at least appeared to be news, but al-AP doesn't even pretend to print news any more. Take for example this from today's paper (note that they declare the media as losers askide from Russert, though al-AP came through unscathed):

    CIA Leak Trial Winners and Losers

    By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN, Associated Press Writer
    Wednesday, March 7, 2007

    (03-07) 13:37 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

    Convicted of four felonies, "Scooter" Libby has to lead the list of losers in the CIA leak trial, but he's got company. His boss Dick Cheney didn't fare so well. Neither did the news media.

    And the winners? A less obvious group with some surprises: Bloggers. A juror who knew trial witnesses personally. Even a Sunday talk show host who survived a brutal five-hour cross-examination.


    _ I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby: Jurors saw him every day, heard him on eight hours of taped grand jury testimony and didn't believe him. Even should he win an appeal, his life could remain in limbo for years and he'll be forever known as the only guy tried in the CIA leak case.

    _ Dick Cheney: Portrayed as a thin-skinned Machiavelli who lurked behind the scenes while orchestrating a bungled response to criticism of the Iraq war.

    _ The Bush administration: Still can't get past the story of how it messed up intelligence about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

    _ Richard Armitage: His original leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's job was exposed as far more calculated than the accidental afterthought he claimed. On tape, he blurted it out to Bob Woodward of The Washington Post five separate times in 66 expletive-laced seconds. And out of the blue he called in columnist Robert Novak to tell him — two years after Novak had given up trying to interview him.

    _ Big-time Washington reporters: Exposed as imperfect note-takers eager to shield their high-level official sources even when the sources were just spinning them. Woodward; Judith Miller, then with The New York Times; John Dickerson then with Time, and David Gregory of NBC appeared to shrug off exclusives dropped in their laps.

    _ Matthew Cooper: The former Time magazine reporter won't get work as a note-taker after defense attorneys picked apart his notes and described him interviewing Libby while sprawled on his bed after swimming at the country club. He also used off-the-record material to confirm a story.

    _ Courtroom 16 clock: Original equipment with the courthouse that opened in 1952. Hadn't worked for years, but was repaired once The New York Times reported that "time stands still" at the trial. Couldn't go the distance, was hours behind by trial's end.


    _ Patrick Fitzgerald: Special prosecutor with an air of righteous indignation battled two of the nation's best criminal defense lawyers head-to-head and won.

    _ Denis Collins: Both sides thought the other would strike this juror who once worked for Woodward and was a neighbor of another witness, NBC's Tim Russert. In seven weeks, the ex-Washington Post reporter developed the hottest insider book proposal in circulation. Publishers: See the preview on

    _ Karl Rove: President Bush's political adviser was spared prosecution, and the trial only added to his reputation as the powerful operative behind the curtain. Defense attorneys said the White House was willing to sacrifice Libby to save Rove.

    _ Tim Russert: Survived having the Bush team label his "Meet the Press" as the most pliable venue on Sunday TV and being coaxed early on by an FBI agent into spilling details of his talk with Libby. Stuck to his story during a grueling five-hour cross-examination, and jurors believed him over Libby.

    _ Ari Fleischer: Ex-White House press secretary leaked but got immunity, displayed a previously unknown self-deprecating wit that helped persuade jurors of his credibility and proved he could fend off high-priced defense lawyers as easily as he had White House reporters.

    _ Valerie Plame: Although the leak ended her CIA career, the wife of war critic Joseph Wilson seems to be doing just fine in the limelight with a book on the way, a movie in the works and a lawsuit pending against Bush officials.

    _ Don Imus: Defense attorneys praised the radio and MSNBC morning show host for asking NBC colleagues tough questions that prosecutors weren't asking. "The man in the cowboy hat" appeared in several of video clips in court.

    _ Reggie Walton: In his big-media debut, the presiding judge won admirers for his willingness to change his mind as he doggedly searched for the right path through innumerable legal thickets. Thanks to closed-circuit television, trial observers saw Walton in his element as he handled drug defendants with tough love during breaks in the Libby trial.

    _ Bloggers: They made headlines for taking seats on press row for the first time in a big trial and parlayed it into more Web readership.


    Theodore Wells and William Jeffress: Displayed the full range of courtroom skills in a lost cause, but they still have another at-bat in the Court of Appeals.

They certainly didn't mince any moonbat-worthy words when it came to the administration.

Thin-skinned Machiavelli who lurked behind the scenes while orchestrating a bungled response...

Can't get past the story of how it messed up intelligence about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction...

I thought I was reading HuffPo. In declaring Fleischer a winner they insulted him - I guess they must have missed him on Letterman - and Rove the winner is still just "Bush's brain." And of course Fitzgerald and the wounded Plame are rock stars.

What exactly was accomplished with this time and money spent getting one guy for perjury for an investigation in which the prosecutor knew 3 months ahead of time who the leaker was?

tomder55 answered on 03/08/07:

where is Andrea Mithchell ? I think her testimony would've been the key to a Libby aquitial as it would've driven home the point of misstatements and lapses in memory . She said that it was "widely known" amongst reporters following the Wilson/Niger story that Wilson wife was with the CIA.She ,Russert ,and probalby Mattthews all knew in advance. Andrea Mitchell has since disavowed the statement, saying she was confused, or it was taken out of context, or she was just wrong. Here's one of her explanations :

“So clearly back in October of ’03, I screwed it up. . . . I was quite surprised to hear about [making the October 2003 statement] because it isn’t consistent with anything in my memory. I can’t find any notes that reflect this, this alleged knowledge, and so I was muddled on the timeline, that is all I can imagine.”.

The judge would not allow her to be questioned during the trial .

Tim Russert is a lying MF .He knew about Plame before the Novak column.
Judge Reggie Walton provided cover for Russert who would've been grilled on the stand during the defense phase when Walton asked for it . Russert was lying out of his ass when he said that he did not know about Plame before his conversation with Libby and he was lying out of his ass when he testified that he did not reveal sources . It was later learned that he fingered Libby to an FBI agent and this was a cornerstone of the prosecution's case.Russert’s interview with the FBI agent was buried in a footnote, allowing Russert to claim he had never revealed a source.Russert did talk to the FBI and they tried to conceal the conversation . He has no integrity .

Russert ,a lawyer himself lied under oath when he said he did not know that people testify before grand juries without their lawyers present. The matter was relevant because the government allowed Russert to give his testimony to the Grand Jury in his office, with his lawyer by his side. These facts would've come out with additional cross examination and the reasonable doubt would've been fortified .

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Itsdb asked on 03/07/07 - That's all she wrote...

It's over, it's done, no need to campaign any more. Emily's List has already sworn Hillary in as president on our behalf.

Now that she's in charge perhaps she can do something about we selfish Americans, you know, the ones that led John Edwards to invoke the name of Jesus...

"I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs...I think he would be appalled, actually."

Wow, the left has sure gotten religious all of a sudden, Hillary reading scripture, equating climate change with "tinkering with God's creation" and doing her best James Cleveland impersonation ... and now Edwards telling us what Jesus would think. I think maybe he might be appalled Edwards wasn't housing a couple dozen homeless at his estate paid for with his earnings as a personal injury lawyer...

A hat tip to tom on the Edwards pic...

tomder55 answered on 03/08/07:

It is clear to me that Edwards is doing his best version of Buddy Holly's fadeaway . He will be irrelelvent to the race by Labor day (which would be a prefectly ironic day for him to drop out of the contest ). I think the contest between Hillary and Obama is which one gets to sit on the back of the bus. I think both will be on the ticket .

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/07/07 - ownapieceofamerica

anybody can now own a piece of America

pieceofamerica )

tomder55 answered on 03/08/07:

Well I own a bigger piece than that but I hear rumors that the adjacent property is slated to house a 400 foot high wind farm so I don't think the property will be of much more value than the little sliver the site offers . Maybe I should do a trade in now .

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/07/07 - Please keep me updated

when the Artic villages need to turn their air conditioners on. Right now it is below zero there.
just curious what they call a heat wave.
would it be 70 degrees or 100 or what?
From what I looked up their average high is 70 degrees
but is that air conditioner weather to them?

tomder55 answered on 03/08/07:

I hear it is very rough on the doggies at the Idiotrod this year.

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paraclete asked on 03/07/07 - A cost of climate change that can't be counted in dollars - survival, or can it?

In a week that has seen one group absolutely refute man's imput into climate change, isn't it time we stoped arguing the why's and started arguing the abatement of the effects? Who is going to make room for the displaced, look after the sick and increase food production to make up for losses? There will be no point Australia opening it's doors to the displaced of the Pacific rim when it's own agriculture will be devistated, or Europe opening it's doors to the displaced of Africa. America already has a migrant problem whether it admits it or not.

Tony McMichael
March 8, 2007

Doubts about the reality of human-induced climate change have largely dissipated, so now we must face the challenge.

The primary and urgent task is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, since the climate change genie is already partly out of the bottle, we must also devise ways of adapting and lessening adverse effects.

Much of the early public debate about climate change focused on the need to keep the economy ticking over, protect infrastructure, and maintain tourism and recreational facilities. The real problem, though, goes much deeper. Climate change, if not constrained, is ultimately a biological threat. We have been slow to grasp this fundamental point.

Warming is affecting physical and biotic systems. Icesheets are melting faster than was expected just five years ago. Long-term drying is emerging in southern and western Africa, southern Europe, India and Australia. The seasonal cycles of birds, bugs, bears and buds are changing, and are getting out of kilter with one another. This evidence that climate change is disrupting many of Earth's life-support systems means that human health is also at risk.

Initially, the health risks will be greatest in - though not confined to - poorer and vulnerable populations. Many of these vulnerable populations are in tropical and subtropical regions.

In Australia, climate change (including greater weather variability) will cause more death, illness and injury from heatwaves, storms, floods and bushfires. It will influence the range and seasonality of various infectious diseases. For example, outbreaks of the mosquito-borne viral disease dengue will tend to extend southwards, near the coastlines.

Changes in climate will also impair various ecological processes that underpin our health. Crop yields, for example, will be affected by changes in soil moisture, pollinating insect activity, and temperature-sensitive photosynthesis. Recent research indicates that rice yields will decline with warmer temperatures. Such changes in local food production and, hence, prices will affect food choices, nutrition and health.

Meanwhile, the rising probability of population displacement and environmental refugee flows in much of the Asia-Pacific region, due to climatic and other large-scale environmental changes, will pose other risks to social stability, wellbeing and health.

The severity of this drought raises another worrying prospect. Much of rural southern Australia now seems destined for long-term drying. CSIRO modelling indicates that drought frequency is likely to increase over much of Australia this century.

This prospect of prolonged dry conditions casts a long shadow over the outlook for rural livelihoods and living conditions. Rural communities are likely to suffer a range of adverse effects on their health. Their specific health risks include increased exposures to extremes of heat, airborne dusts, and bushfire smoke.

Mental health may be affected. In the more vulnerable communities, where collective resources and resilience are low, there are well-recognised risks of anxiety, depression and suicide. Child health, too, will be jeopardised - especially in relation to emotional experiences, family tensions and the loss of community facilities for play and development.

There are also issues of fresh water and hygiene; food choices and nutrition; and the effect of economic stresses and community erosion on unhealthy behaviours (such as smoking, alcohol consumption and self-medication). For remote indigenous communities, there is the additional risk of loss of traditional plant and animal food species.

This all poses a major research challenge. We need to understand the health risks. We need to understand how different patterns of community response can modify the impacts on wellbeing and health. This will help us shape intervention strategies, social policies and health-care services.

Such interventions are needed more generally in Australia. We should be developing adaptive strategies to protect communities everywhere against the health risks posed by climate change. This discussion is already well advanced in Europe, Canada and, recently, the US.

Meanwhile, two things are clear. First, some degree of human-induced climate change has very likely already occurred. Second, more warming is in the pipeline from recent greenhouse gas emissions whose climatic effects have not yet been fully realised.

Yet the world community has not really understood the full biological and ecological import of this remarkable human-induced environmental change.

The UK Stern report highlighted the long-term risks from unabated climate change to our economic system. Awareness of the risks to species survival, ecological systems and human health should draw our attention to the more serious, fundamental prospect of damage to the world's life-support system.

Tony McMichael is the director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. This is an edited version of an ABC Radio National's Perspectives program and is based on a paper given yesterday at the National Rural Health Conference.

tomder55 answered on 03/08/07:

Chicago : 9th coldest February in 137 years; 4th snowiest since 1929

FEBRUARY SUMMARY: It was the coldest February since at least 1989 (18 years) and possibly 1979 for the nation as a whole, and the month is expected to rank between the 8th and 15th coldest in 113 years of national records. National precipitation trended up 134% over last year with snowfall up 60% over last year.

An analysis of the United Nations widely-touted 2007 IPCC Global Warming Summary for Policymakers by UK Lord Viscount Monckton has found 31 errors and exaggerations. Since Lord Monckton alerted the UN about its errors , the UN substantially rewrote and corrected the report, Monckton claims in his new analysis.

The UN's climate-change body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, did not reply directly to Lord Monckton's criticism, but made many of the corrections nevertheless. "The tradition of elementary but serious scientific errors, of which the notorious `hockey-stick' graph of estimated global temperatures over the past 1,000 years is an example, is alive and well in the UN's 2007 report," Lord Monckton said.

"The UN has still not corrected or apologized for the `hockey-stick', by which it falsely abolished the mediaeval warm period, when temperatures were 2 or 3C warmer than today, and disaster failed to ensue. But it has been forced to correct several schoolboy howlers - though it has not had the honesty to announce publicly and clearly that it has done so," Monckton said. "The heavily-corrected version of the IPCC report has been furtively posted on the IPCC's website, There has been no public statement by the IPCC admitting to the errors," Monckton added.

The UN has been forced to halve its high-end estimate of the rise in sea-level to 2100, and it has also sharply reduced its estimate of our entire effect on the climate since 1750, according to Monckton. Monckton echoed UK Lord Nigel Lawson's call that the IPCC be disbanded. "It is too politicized and too incompetent to serve any useful purpose," Monckton said.

Monckton's new analysis also points out significant science errors in Al Gore's Oscar winning film "An Inconvenient Truth." "The IPCC's exaggerations and errors parallel those of Al Gore in his notorious sci-fi horror film An Inconvenient Truth, now being peddled to schoolchildren worldwide," Monckton said.

The growth of methane -- one of the most potent global warming gases -- has stalled after rapidly rising in the Earth's atmosphere for more than a century, Oregon scientists say. In the most detailed look at methane measurements, researchers at Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University find that the buildup of methane in the atmosphere has been slowing for nearly a quarter of a century. And the Oregon scientists don't foresee methane emissions increasing again anytime soon because of human activities. "It's good news because you have one global-warming gas that's not increasing very rapidly, or at all," said Aslam Khalil, an atmospheric physicist at PSU.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that the left will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly.

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/07/07 - someone on yahoo asked can my trailer court
do this too???

BOSTON (Reuters) - More than 30 Vermont towns passed resolutions on Tuesday seeking to impeach
President Bush, while at least 16 towns in the tiny New England state called on Washington to withdraw U.S. troops from

Known for picturesque autumn foliage, colonial inns, maple sugar and old-fashion dairy farms, Vermont is in the vanguard of a grass-roots protest movement to impeach Bush over his handling of the unpopular Iraq war.

"We're putting impeachment on the table," said James Leas, a Vermont lawyer who helped to draft the resolutions and is tracking the votes. "The people in all these towns are voting to get this process started and bring the troops home now."

The resolutions passed on Vermont's annual town meeting day -- a colonial era tradition where citizens debate issues of the day big and small -- are symbolic and cannot force Congress to impeach Bush, but they "may help instigate further discussions in the legislature," said state Rep. David Zuckerman.

"The president must be held accountable," said Zuckerman, a politician from Burlington, Vermont's largest city.

After casting votes on budgets and other routine items, citizens of 32 towns in Vermont backed a measure calling on the U.S. Congress to file articles of impeachment against Bush for misleading the nation on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and for engaging in illegal wiretapping, among other charges.

Five Vermont towns passed similar resolutions last year.

The idea of impeaching Bush resides firmly outside the political mainstream.

The new Democratic-controlled Congress has steered clear of the subject, and Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold's call last year to censure Bush -- a step short of an impeachment -- found scant support on Capitol Hill, even among fellow Democrats.

Vermont's congressional delegation has shown no serious interest in the idea.


Sixteen Vermont towns passed a separate "soldiers home now" resolution calling on the White House, the U.S. Congress and Vermont's elected officials to withdraw troops from Iraq.

"The best way to support them is to bring each and every one of them home now and take good care of them when they get home," the resolution said.

It was unclear how many towns had put the resolutions to a vote, and the results of all the town meetings in the state of about 609,000 people may not be known for days.

Residents of Burlington were voting on a separate question calling for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks.

Voters were asked to circle "yes" or "no" to the question: "Shall Vermont's Congressional Delegation be advised to demand a new, thorough, and truly independent forensic investigation that fully addresses the many questions surrounding the tragic events of September 11, 2001?"

Doug Dunbebin, who gathered signatures to get the issue on the ballot, said questions linger about September 11, when hijacked plane attacks killed nearly 3,000 people at New York's World Trade Center, at the
Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

A group known as Scholars for 9/11 Truth believes the events of that day were part of a conspiracy engineered by the U.S. government and that it took more than two planes to bring down the Twin Towers in New York.

Vermont's new U.S. representative, Peter Welch (news, bio, voting record), a Democrat, said there was no need for a further investigation.

tomder55 answered on 03/07/07:

Funny thing about impeachments . The Costitution clearly gives that power to Congress ;not to some local yokel town board.

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5--The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6--"The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.

Maybe the people of the good state of Vermont ought to pick up a copy and read it.

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/06/07 - SUICIDE?

MOSCOW - A journalist who fell to his death from a fifth-story window had received threats while gathering material for a report claiming Russia planned to provide sophisticated weapons to
Syria and
Iran, his newspaper said Tuesday.

Prosecutors have opened an inquest into the death of Ivan Safronov, a military affairs writer for the daily Kommersant who died Friday in what some media said could have been murder.

Kommersant reported that Safronov told his editors he would write a story about Russian plans to sell weapons to Iran and Syria via Belarus, but they said he had not yet submitted the article.

Kommersant said Safronov recently told colleagues that he had been warned he would face a criminal investigation on charges of revealing state secrets if he reported allegations that Russia had struck a deal to supply highly advanced Iskander missiles to Syria. If confirmed, such a contract would upset the balance of forces in the Mideast and likely anger
Israel and the United States.

Safronov did not say where the warning came from, according to Kommersant, but he had repeatedly been questioned in the past by the Federal Security Service or FSB, which suspected him of divulging state secrets in his reports. The FSB is the main successor agency to the KGB.

"Ivan Safronov said he was not going to write about it for a while because he was warned that it would create a huge international scandal and the FSB would launch a criminal case on charges of breaching state secrets," it said.

Russia's arms sales to such nations as Iran and Syria have been an irritant in its relations with the United States and have drawn criticism from Israel.

Ignoring U.S. and Israeli criticism, Russia has delivered 29 Tor-M1 mobile surface-to-air missile systems to Iran under a $700 million contract. Russian news reports have said repeatedly the Iranians were pushing Russia to sell much more potent, long-range S-300 air defense missile systems.

Kommersant reported that, before his trip to an international arms fair last month in the United Arab Emirates, Safronov said he would try to confirm indications that Russia planned to sell S-300 missiles to Iran and Su-30 fighter jets to Syria via Belarus. Safronov later called his editors from Abu Dhabi and said he had received the necessary confirmation from Russian officials who attended the exhibit, Kommersant reported.

Upon his return from the trip, it said, Safronov told colleagues that he also had learned about Russian plans to provide Syria with Iskander missiles, MiG-29 fighter jets and Pantsyr-S1 air defense systems.

The Iskander, a sophisticated surface-to-surface missile with a range of 175 miles, would give Syria the capability to strike targets in Israel with high precision. Israel has complained about past sales of anti-tank missiles to Syria, saying that some landed in the hands of the militant group Hezbollah.

A spokeswoman for the Rosoboronexport state arms trading monopoly refused to comment on Kommersant's report on the alleged weapons deals.

Russia has been plagued by attacks on reporters who seek to expose official corruption and other abuses. The problem was highlighted by the October killing of Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative reporter and a harsh critic of human rights abuses in

A report Tuesday from the Brussels-based International News Safety Institute listed
Iraq, Russia and Colombia as the deadliest countries for journalists and their support staff. There were 138 deaths in Iraq over the past decade, 88 in Russia and 72 in Colombia, the report said.


tomder55 answered on 03/07/07:

Gives new meaning to the line "Don't kill the messenger " .This last decade has been rough on the profession with over 1000 reporters slain worldwide with Iraq and Russia topping the list as the deadliest countries for the profession.[88 journalists were killed in Russia. 136 journalists have been killed in Iraq.]

Safronov lived on the 3rd story but went up 2 flights so he could do his Peter Pan imitation from the 5th floor.I don't know. The KGB in the old days had much more imagination. When they poinsoned someone it could never be traced back to them.

But these activities have taken new turns that are disturbing . Alexander Litvinenko we all know was offed in London . But just recently a Putin critic,Paul Joyal , was shot and wounded in the groin (ouch)in front of his house in Prince George’s County Va.;Two days after a national television appearance on 'Dateline'questioning whether Putinwas behind the poisoning of Litvinenko. It has been attributed to a robbery attempt.(yeah right!).On Dateline, Joyal gave this assessment of the Kremlin’s special way of handling critics and journalists:
“A message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin: ‘If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will find you, and we will silence you — in the most horrible way possible.’” and that includes getting shot in the nuts .

Other hits against Americans have included :

Paul Klebnikov ; an editor at Forbes magazine,was shot nine times outside his office in Moscow in 2004 and died in a hospital.

Yesterday it was reported that two American women are now in the hospital in Moscow having been poisoned by the colorless, odorless and highly radioactive Thallium.

As far as arms sales go ;I'm sure the Ruskies weren't thrilled when we were providing Stingers to the Afghans in the 1980s .

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Itsdb asked on 03/06/07 - That reminds me...

Tom mentioned Jim Webb - did any of you read or hear about this?

Lies and damn lies
Cal Thomas

    In the words of Hollywood mogul David Geffen, "Everybody in politics lies…" But when some politicians tell lies that damage a person's character in the eyes of voters and ultimately lead to his defeat, those are damnable lies that need to be corrected.

    Last fall, about a month before the November election, the Associated Press ran a story that claimed Sen. George Allen, Virginia Republican, had failed to disclose stock options he had earned while serving as a director of Commonwealth Biotechnologies Inc. (CBI). The story suggested Allen might have violated ethics rules because the company, which is based in Richmond, had conducted business with the state when Allen was governor. Allen had served on CBI's board between his departure as governor and his election to the Senate.

    Allen reported the stock options in 2000, but he did not file subsequent reports because the price of CBI stock plunged, making the options worth less than he paid for them, denying him a profit.

    Last October, the Associated Press ran a story that said Allen had failed to report his CBI stock options and hinted at possible wrongdoing by Allen when he was governor because the company had done business with the state. This was all that Allen's challenger, now Sen. James Webb, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee headed by New York Sen. Chuck Schumer needed. They prepared an attack ad, alleging that Allen's stock options were worth $1.1 million and were not worthless, as he had claimed. The ad also made the connection between CBI and the state, charging Allen tried to "steer government contracts to a company that paid him in stock options." AP did not report anything about Allen trying to steer government contracts to the state, but Jim Webb "approved this message" anyway.

    An analysis of the negative ad by AP political writer Bob Lewis revealed its inaccuracies. One must conclude that, since the information was available to Webb and Schumer, the two deliberately used factual inaccuracies in the negative ad. But why let truth get in the way of an effective election strategy? The damage was done and since the ad fit nicely into the Democrats' theme of "the culture of corruption" in the Republican majority, the desired result was achieved. Allen lost the election by 9,000 votes.

    The Allen camp asked for a formal ruling by the Senate Ethics Committee and on Feb. 16, it came. In a letter to Allen, signed by committee chairman Barbara Boxer, California Democrat and committee vice chair John Cornyn, Texas Republican, Allen was exonerated of any wrongdoing: "The committee has determined that your ownership of CBI stock options did not constitute deferred compensation during the relevant reporting periods." Therefore, they said, Allen was not required to amend the reports.

    Allen made his share of mistakes during his re-election campaign, but this was not one of them. His opponent and Sen. Schumer, neither of whom has apologized or retracted their accusations, unfairly smeared him.

    In commenting on the Senate Ethics Committee letter and the incorrect negative ad that contributed to Allen's defeat, a Richmond Times Dispatch editorial asked a question familiar to many public figures who have been unfairly slimed, "So where does George Allen go to get his reputation back, never mind his job in the Senate?"

    Where, indeed? The AP printed a story on Feb. 21 correcting the errors in its earlier story that were used in the Allen attack ad, but it came nearly four months too late.

    This saga is important for a number of reasons. First, it cost a good man an important job. Second, it significantly contributed to a change in the balance of power in the Senate. Third, it again exposed an unholy alliance between liberal politicians and the leftist big media who are quick to attack someone whose policies and party they don't like, but rarely correct errors of their own making, or investigate bogus charges when they help the policies and party the media prefer.

Culture of corruption indeed. It's a real shame the American public failed to recognize where the real culture of corruption was...

tomder55 answered on 03/07/07:

I can't for the life of me undersatnd why anygood person would want to run for public office these days . It has become a blood sport where the losers reputations are forever smeared or in the case of Libby ,thrown into jail. The press being much less than observers to the process have increasingly become arbiters . If you lie or misrepresent the facts in the right way, at the right time, the damage is permanently done. Retractions do not have anywhere's near the same weight. You note that it took commentary by Cal Thomas and lesser read journals like NewsMax for this to get any coverage .The electorate for the most part work their asses off and become "infomed electorate " by watching a 25 minute segment of the evening news . Frankly they are easy to manipulate . What Allen brought to the table ultimately was not as relevent as the uttering of a single nonsensical word :"Macaca.""Macaca.""Macaca.""Macaca."
Now we have Jim Webb instead....Iran's greatest ally next to Hafez al-Assad .

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Itsdb asked on 03/06/07 - Refusing to move on?

Often when issues of race are mentioned here I've wondered when we can just move past all of the nonsense. Sure there is still racism but will it ever be eradicated? I don't think so, but I do believe if people will quit reminding us of their color and telling us how bigoted and racist we are then things will get better. I don't need anyone to tell me they're black, I can see it - and I don't care.

Bruce S. Gordon just resigned as president of the NAACP, "after clashing with the board over the group's mission."

Apparently Gordon wanted to "pull (them) into the post-civil rights period" according to Julian Bond. Bond of course "firmly rejected the idea."

"We're not post civil rights," he said. "The struggle continues."

Gordon had another vision, "We are going to be very outcome-oriented, very results-oriented," he said in July, "as opposed to activity and effort-oriented."

Who needs results? Bond insisted the NAACP is "resisting philosophical change. We're staying the course."

Doesn't Bond realize how much trouble that phrase got Bush into? I guess black leaders are still more interested in victimhood than solving problems. So apparently are the Democratic presidential frontrunners as they showed in their gratuitous church visit on Sunday.


tomder55 answered on 03/06/07:

That is what makes the Obama campaign so intriguing . Did you catch any of his address this weekend ? He sounded at times like Bill Cosby .He recognized the contributions and paid tribute to the Civil Rights movement; while at the same time he said something was missing from the current generation.He could've pandered like Madame Defarge but instead he tried to expand the dialogue fact it could've easily been made by a white candidate .

“I can’t says for certain that we have instilled that same sense of moral clarity and purpose in this generation. Sometimes I feel like we’ve lost it a little bit,”

“I don’t know who taught black kids that reading and writing and conjugating yo’ verbs was “acting white,” we gotta get over that mentality. "

"don't tell me that it doesn't have a little to do with the fact that we got too many daddies not acting like daddies. Don't think that fatherhood ends at conception."

If a Sista Soulja moment is required he already made it . It was an impressive performance.

Now I have a ton of questions about the guy ;he is still a blank slate in my book .But in a race between him and Evita he wins hands down .It would be wise not to underestimate him.

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ETWolverine asked on 03/06/07 - Israel, The Bully.

Neighborhood Bully

Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man,
His enemies say he's on their land.
They got him outnumbered about a million to one,
He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,
He's criticized and condemned for being alive.
He's not supposed to fight back, he's supposed to have thick skin,
He's supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.
He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land,
He's wandered the earth an exiled man.
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn,
He's always on trial for just being born.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
The bombs were meant for him.
He was supposed to feel bad.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he'll live by the rules that the world makes for him,
'Cause there's a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac.
He's the neighborhood bully.

He got no allies to really speak of.
What he gets he must pay for, he don't get it out of love.
He buys obsolete weapons and he won't be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he's surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease.
Now, they wouldn't hurt a fly.
To hurt one they would weep.
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Every empire that's enslaved him is gone,
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon.
He's made a garden of paradise in the desert sand,
In bed with nobody, under no one's command.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon,
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on.
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth,
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health.
He's the neighborhood bully.

What's anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin', they say.
He just likes to cause war.
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed,
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed.
He's the neighborhood bully.

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers?
Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill,
Running out the clock, time standing still,
Neighborhood bully.

By Robert Allen Zimmerman, AKA Bob Dylan

From the album "Infidels", Copyright © 1983 Special Rider Music

tomder55 answered on 03/06/07:

I think the neighhood bully should've adopted the Andy Jackson solution .The United States could not have survived and prospered with such a deadly enemy threatening it's borders .So he relocated the problem . The settlers built their communities in peace. It seems to me that the more Israel concedes the more existential danger it places itself into.

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/06/07 - Libby verdict

WASHINGTON - Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted Tuesday of obstruction, perjury and lying to the
FBI in an investigation into the leak of a
CIA operative's identity.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President
Dick Cheney, was accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative
Valerie Plame's identity to reporters.

He was acquitted of one count of lying to the FBI.

Libby had little reaction to the verdict. He stood expressionless as the jury left the room. His lawyer, Theodore Wells, said they were "very disappointed" with the verdict.

The verdict was read on the 10th day of deliberations. Libby faces up to 30 yeaerrs in prison, though under federal sentencing guidelines likely will receive far less.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered a pre-sentencing report be completed by May 15. Judges use such reports to help determine sentences.

Libby faced two counts of perjury, two counts of lying to the FBI and one count of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he discussed Plame's name with reporters and, fearing prosecution, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous.

Libby's defense team said he learned about Plame from Cheney, forgot about it, then learned it again a month later from NBC newsman Tim Russert. Anything he told reporters about Plame, Libby said, was just chatter and rumors, not official government information.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said that was a lie. But Libby's defense team had argued that it would be unfair to convict Libby in a case where so many witnesses changed their stories or had memory problems.

Wells said he would ask the court for a new trial by April 13. Such requests are common following criminal convictions.

"Despite our disappointment in the jurors' verdict, we believe in the American justice system and we believe in the jury system," Wells told reporters outside the federal courthouse. "We intend to file a motion for a new trial and if that is denied, we will appeal the conviction. We have every confidence that ultimately Mr. Libby will be exonerated.... We intend to keep fighting to establish his innocence."

Libby will be allowed to remain free while awaiting sentencing, which is set for June 5.

As the verdicts were read, Libby's wife choked out a sob and sank her head. Moments later, she embraced the defense attorneys.

The jury acquitted Libby of one count of lying to the FBI about his conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.

tomder55 answered on 03/06/07:

Always take the fifth . That's the lesson I take out of this and the Martha Stewart trial.Evidently reporters like that weasel Russert, whose own notes contradict their version of events are more believable to a jury than an administration employee .

The other lesson is don't go on trial in DC . The only jurors they could find that didn't have much pretrial knowledge of the case were too ignorant to deliberate and judge the facts of the case.Even today they were asking the judge what the charges agaisnt Libby were .Friday they asked the judge what "reasonable doubt " meant. I'm sure the jurors when questioned will prove that they had no clue about what they convicted him on .The MSM will of course egg them on and the headlines will be about outing Plame.Already that p.o.s.Harry Reid is sending out statements about manipulation of intelligence and demanding that Bush don't pardon Libby .

I think the punishment should fit the crime . The precedence for committing pergury to a grand jury is getting your license suspended (Clinton) . The precedence for theft of national security documents is community service and a $50,000 fine (Sandy Berger ).The precedence for stuffing your freezer full of bribe money is losing a seat on an important House of Representative comittee.(William Jefferson) This is the Martha Stewart verdict redux. Libby guilty ...unbelievable ...Two border agents are sent to prison on the word of a Mexican drug dealer who's granted immunity..even better .

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Itsdb asked on 03/05/07 - The makeover continues?

For the life of me I can't recall Hillary ever showing her religious side before, or maybe she did and I just missed it. Excerpts from yesterday's love fest in Selma:

    This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. And I want to begin by giving praise to the Almighty for the blessings he has bestowed upon us as a congregation, as a people, and as a nation. and I thank you so much, Reverend Armstrong, for welcoming me to this historic church.

    And I thank the First Baptist Church family for opening your hearts and your home to me and to so many visitors today. I have to confess that I did seek dispensation from Reverend Armstrong to come because you know, I'm a Methodist. And I'm in one of those mixed marriages.

She can't say those things can she? Mixed marriage? Is she referring to Baptist/Methodist or black/white, since Bill was "the first black president?" (On a side note, notice this remark by Clinton back on 2001, "And those of us who don't happen to fall in those categories are infidels and all of us are fair game.")

    I come here this morning as a sister in worship...

A sister in worship?

    How can we say everything is fine when we have an energy policy whose prices are too high, who make us dependent on foreign governments that do not wish us well, and when we face the real threat of climate change, which is tinkering with God's creation?

Wow, invoking "tinkering with God's creation" in relation to climate change? How in the world is she going to reconcile that one?

    We have to stay awake. We have a march to finish. On this floor today, let us say with one voice the words of James Cleveland's great freedom hymn, "I don't feel no ways tired/I come too far from where I started from/Nobody told me that the road would be easy/I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me."

Isn't the idea of Hillary quoting a song like this a bit patronizing?

    And we know -- we know -- we know, if we finish this march, what awaits us? St. Paul told us, in the letter to the Galatians, "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due seasons we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."

First black gospel, now the bible? OK, any takers on how many times she quotes scripture, uses the word worship, cites a James Cleveland song or mentions "God's creation" anywhere but at a church from here on out?

tomder55 answered on 03/05/07:

I said to Saphh this morning : Isn't it the liberals who always denounce the introducing of religion into politics ? Yet both Obama and Clinton did campaigning in churches this weekend;with Hillary doing a God-aweful imitation of Billy Graham.So much for that separation of church and state.

Drudge has the audio .He called it a Kentucky Fried Hillary . That would be :

1 skinny leg
1 fat thigh
1 left wing
No Breast.

AAAAAAhhh don' feel no ways taahrd .Ah come to faaaaaaaaaar Can't wait the hear her in a Brooklyn Synagogue . Maybe she can take Chinese lessons from Rosie

Imagine a Republican trying to pander to the Mex.-American vote sounding like Speedy Gonzales .

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Itsdb asked on 03/05/07 - On Walter Reed Hospital

Let me first say I believe it is our duty to furnish first rate care for our veterans. On the other hand I have to question the timing and motive of WaPo's exposé on Walter Reed. That VA hospitals have had a history of mismanagement and poor conditions is not news. What is news is that since the deplorable conditions many were in in the 90's, the quality of care has seen a sharp increase.

A 2005 article in Washington Monthly notes most grievances are about access to the system, not about the quality of care received by those who get in.

The article also noted the VHA system received the National Committee for Quality Assurance's seal of approval, In every single category, the VHA system outperforms the highest rated non-VHA hospitals.

Since WaPo's article, bloggers and other critics have seized on another Bush 'failure.'

    Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the scandal is emblematic of the Bush administration.

    "I believe this disgraceful neglect has been the result of two things. One is a lack of accountability," said Levin, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    Levin said the second factor "is the overoptimism which just symbolized this administration right from the beginning of this war, that the mission was accomplished."

Chucky Schumer wrote to SecDef Gates, “To think that men and women are serving their country in the most honorable and courageous way possible and all we give them is a dilapidated, rat-infested, run-down building to recover is a disgrace. My fear is that Walter Reed is just the tip of the iceberg, and merely highlights the pervasive and systemic mistreatment of our service members.”

He said on ABC's "This Week" yesterday, "I'm worried about if it's this bad at the outpatient facilities at Walter Reed, how is it in the rest of the country? Because Walter Reed is our crown jewel."

Crown Jewel, eh? So why is Walter Reed moving to Bethesda as part of the latest BRAC decisions?

    An Office of Integration was formed in November 2005 to oversee ... the merger of Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center by September 2011 into one tri-service military medical center located on the Bethesda campus. That facility will be called the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and it will be staffed by Air Force, Army, and Navy military personnel.

Sustandard conditions for our military heroes is unacceptable on any level, but since WRAMC will be moved completely to the Bethesda campus by 2011 aren't these comments by the left about dilapidated, run-down buildings a bit disengenuous ... particularly when they can't make up their minds on whether or not they give a damn about the troops? And, is a failure in any government-run operation a surprise?

tomder55 answered on 03/05/07:

I don't think that Walter Reed is part of the VA . It's a DOD facility . Bethesda is a first rate and as you pointed out ;Walter Reed was scheduled for shut down and consolidation with Bethesda .Note my link is from May of last year and this consolidation was part of BRAC .Why would the Compost be suprised that the facilities at Walter Reed were not first class ? But still, the conditions there were being ignored and someone needed to say it.

You hit the nail on it with the last sentence. We should all keep this in mind as we contemplate nationally managed health care for everyone. I'd say Walter Reed and the VA are symbolic of the problem .Military families have always known this truth(although the quality of the care varies depending on the location).

I don't know when the shoddy conditions began. All I know is that the primary care of the injured troops have been 1st class. The survival rate has never been better.

I don't think it is news that the VA has generally been a sloppily run institution and I'm sure the increases in clientelle due to the war against jihadistan has added pressure on them .

Where was Henry Waxman's grandstanding about this 10 years ago ? This did not suddenly happen within the last 6 years .Military hospitals were only one of the casualties suffered by the huge cutbacks in military spending under Clinton.

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Itsdb asked on 03/03/07 - Clamping down on kids

Critics denounce Pizza Hut program that rewards young readers with free pizzas

By David Crary

12:51 p.m. March 2, 2007

NEW YORK – You've read the book, now eat the pizza.

Since 1985, that's been the gist of Pizza Hut's Book It, an incentive program used by 50,000 schools nationwide to reward young readers with free pizzas. The program is now under attack by child-development experts who say it promotes bad eating habits and turns teachers into corporate promoters.

Book It, which reaches about 22 million children a year, “epitomizes everything that's wrong with corporate-sponsored programs in school,” said Susan Linn, a Harvard psychologist and co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

“In the name of education, it promotes junk food consumption to a captive audience ... and undermines parents by positioning family visits to Pizza Hut as an integral component of raising literate children,” Linn said.

This week, Linn's organization called on parents to end their schools' participation in the long-standing program.

Though some activists have previously questioned Book It, Linn said Friday that only after the recent upsurge of concern over child obesity and junk food did her group feel it could make headway with a formal protest campaign. She said many schools are trying to reduce students' access to soda, and contended that Book It should face similar scrutiny.

But the program – which has given away more than 200 million pizzas – has deep roots and many admirers at the highest levels of politics and education. It won a citation in 1988 from President Reagan, and its advisory board includes representatives of prominent education groups, including teachers unions and the American Library Association.

“We're really proud of the program,” said Leslie Tubbs, its director for the past five years. “We get hundreds of e-mails from alumni who praise it and say it helped them get started with reading.”

Dallas-based Pizza Hut says Book It is the nation's largest reading motivation program – conducted annually in about 925,000 elementary school classrooms from Oct. 1 through March 31. A two-month program is offered for preschoolers.

Participating teachers set a monthly reading goal for each student; those who meet the goal get a certificate they can redeem at Pizza Hut for a free Personal Pan Pizza. Families often accompany the winners, turning the event into a celebration that can boost business for the restaurant.

Teachers find the program an enjoyable way to build interest in reading, Tubbs said. “We're helping them to do their jobs,” she said.

At Strafford Elementary School in Strafford, Mo., the roughly 500 students collectively read 30,000 books a year with Book It's help, said principal Lucille Cogdill.

“I don't have any negative things at all to say about it,” Cogdill said. “I know there's concern about obesity, but Book It is not causing it, and the schools aren't causing it.”

Chris Carney, principal at Bennett Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., also is a Book It fan, saying it encourages family togetherness and provides a tool for persuading children to try books instead of video games.

“I don't want to see kids gorging pizzas,” he said. “But the positive effects outweigh other effects.”

Among those campaigning against Book It is Alfie Kohn, an author whose 11 books on education and parenting include “Punished By Rewards, which questions the value of incentive programs.

“The more kids see books as a way to get pizza or some other prize, the less interest they'll have in reading itself,” Kohn, a former teacher, said in a telephone interview. “They tend to choose easier books to get through faster.”

Another critic of Book It and the broader phenomenon of corporate incursions into schools is Alex Molnar, director of the Commercialism in Education Research Unit at Arizona State University.

He described Book It as a “dreadful program” that puts pressure on parents to celebrate with their reward-winning children at Pizza Huts.

“This is corporate America using the schools as a crow bar to get inside the front doors of students' homes,” he said. “It's very hard for children whose parents who don't want to engage in this to not feel ostracized.”

Molnar acknowledged that Book It is well-regarded by many educators and politicians, but said it might be reevaluated in light of rising concerns about child obesity.

“To the extent that this program is correctly identified as part of the problem, then there's a chance of reducing its scope,” he said.

I'm sorry, but this just makes me mad. Why the %$#@ should anyone care if a kid gets rewarded with a pizza for reading books? These Nazis, the very ones that tell everyone else to mind their own business, want to dictate every facet of YOUR life. It's a wonder kids can have any fun any more or ever learn a *&%^ thing. Don't teach them about competition or winning, don't use red pencils for marking papers any more because it might damage their little psyches, pass them when they don't know the material - and take away their incentives.

Oh that's right, you can't teach them how to think because then they'll be able to recognize when they're being controlled, indoctrinated and used as pawns in this dangerous "progressive" game being played.


tomder55 answered on 03/04/07:

It is absolutely un-American to attack pizza .You can cater a pizza to anyones desires. Although it originated in Italy a a peasants food it never obtained popularity until America adopted it and tinkered with the recipes.The ways to make it are unlimitted today .With the choices available it is the perfect American food .It almost replaces apple pie.

Pizza is a combination food .It takes ingredients from many of the food groups on the pyramid and combines them in one healthy and tasty recipe. A teacher could make a whole lesson out of dissecting a pizza and asking the students to catalogue the food groups used to make a pizza.The crust is from grain .... Carbohydrate for energy.The sauce is from veggies.Tomatos are high in Vitamin A for night vision ;antioxidants and the new hot nutritional item lycopene.
The cheese from dairy ;a good source of calcium for strong bones...very important in a young child's development .Any meat is from the meat or protein group which is necessary in developing strong muscles .

OK ;so it is often loaded with sodium and saturated fats the way places like Pizza Hut makes it but no one says it has to be eaten all at once.The biggest problem in America isn't what we eat ,but our portion control.

It is patently rediculous to condemn corporate influence in the public schools. The same people doing it are the loudest critics of how schools are funded today .Heck ,their new rock star candidate Barak Obama has made "Encourage private or corporate investment in public school programs".
one of his education goals I think we need to put MORE pressure on the corporate world to assist in the education of our students. These students are the future employees and any education they get in the childhood will be less on the job training needed. Corporations like J&J and Microsoft have contributed heavily to public education and that model should be encouraged for more American companies. In fact it’s surprising that there’s not more of an investment in education by corporations ;it happens to be a great reputation booster. For the life of me I cannot find a down side to it .

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Itsdb asked on 03/02/07 - Is the American Nuremberg near?

As you may recall, the latest rage among the greens is to call for a "climate Nuremberg" for those "bastards" destroying the climate. Now we know for sure those "bastards" refer to the U.S.

    Arctic residents tell panel U.S. carbon emissions violate their human rights

    By George Gedda

    10:16 a.m. March 1, 2007

    WASHINGTON – Northern Canadians told an international commission Thursday that carbon emissions from the United States have contributed so much to global warming that they should be considered a human rights violation. One activist said temperatures have climbed so much that Arctic residents need air conditioners.

    The case was pressed by the Inuit community before the 34-nation Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In a petition, the group asked the commission's assistance “in obtaining relief” from the impact of global warming, and makes specific reference to the United States as the country most responsible for the phenomenon.

    The commission, however, lacks the legal authority to compel the United States to take action.

    Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuit activist, said the well-being of her people is under threat – and that the need for air conditioning is just one example of the spread of global warming.

    Climate change, she said is “destroying our right to life, health property and means of subsistence,” she said. “States that do not recognize these impacts and take action violate our human rights.”

    She said ice formations are much more likely to detach from land, and take unsuspecting hunters out to sea where they face an uncertain fate.

    Beyond that, she said hunters can no longer be sure of ice thickness and whether it is safe to travel.

    “Many hunters have been killed or seriously injured after falling through ice that was traditionally known to be safe,” she said.

    The United States did not respond to the Inuit claims before the commission, an arm of the Organization of American States. The Bush administration has said it is taking steps to reduce global warming, but domestic and international critics say it is not doing enough, given that the United States is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

    Scientists generally agree the Arctic is the first place on Earth to be affected by rising global temperatures. They say that unless developed nations such as the United States – responsible for one-fourth of world's greenhouse gases – do not dramatically reduce their emissions within the next 15 years, the Arctic ice likely will melt by the end of the century.

    The Inuit population hails from Canada, Russia and Greenland, as well as Alaska, where they are known as Eskimos. They have been trying to tell the world for more than a decade about the shifting winds and thinning ice that have damaged the hunting grounds the Northern peoples have used for thousands of years.

    Watt-Cloutier was nominated with former Vice President Al Gore for a Nobel Peace Prize for their work on climate change.

Well I guess if they can't defeat us militarily or economically they might as well get us for "crimes against humanity" for destroying the earth. I hear it gets upwards of 60 and occasionally 70 in the arctic interior - I'm sure that feels pretty warm to the Inuits. I even heard that Fort Yukon, Alaska - just north of the arctic circle - actually hit a high of 100°F once. On June 27, 1915.

This is sure to influence the Nobel committee to continue their trend of selecting ecologists and micro-credit pioneers instead of more traditional winners like terrorists. Why?

"This is clearly some of the most import conflict prevention work that is being done. Climate change could lead to enormous waves of refugees, the likes of which the world has never seen before," Heidi Soerensen, a Socialist Left MP who nominated Gore and Watt-Cloutier, told daily Aftenposten on Thursday.

"One hundred million climate refugees, major changes in drinking water supplies and a reduction in biological diversity ... will rapidly become a major security threat," co-nominator Boerge Brende, of the Conservative party, told the paper.

Climate Nuremberg, climate refugees, what's next?

tomder55 answered on 03/02/07:

Here is my answer and what will earn me a one star rating to the same question by Pericles on the Christianity board :

Between 1994 to 2004, carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. increased by 12.9%, the same increase as that of France and a smaller increase than that of Canada, and China. U.S. emissions grew at a slower rate than the emissions from 143 of 213 countries (67%). The United States forests are carbon dioxide sinks, meaning they absorbs a significant amt of the carbo the US produces . For that matter ,so is the oceans of the world ("Picoplankton do some heavy lifting." Science, Vol. 315, Feb 9, 2007, pp. 777-778) Picoplanktons absorb and "sequester" huge amounts of carbon.

I think they should bring Al Gore up on charges . His electric bills resemble phone numbers (221,000 kilowatt hours last year in only One of his homes).Good thing he buys carbon offsets or we would really be in trouble !

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Itsdb asked on 03/01/07 - Is there no shame?

I heard this PSA entitled The Gift (Windows Media File) on the radio at lunch. You hear these innocent little children saying things like...

    "I'm getting a catcher's mitt"

    "I'm getting ice skates"

    "I'm getting a jigsaw puzzle"

And then...

    "I'm getting dying coral reefs"

    "A blue bicycle"

    "A walkie-talkie"

    "I'm getting a severe drought"

    "A cool black skateboard"

    "I'm getting melted ice caps"
    "A killer heat wave"
    "A shrinking glacier"
    "I'm getting a devastating flood"

    Now wait for the voiceover...

      "Adults are generous. We're even giving kids global warming ... but it's not too late.

    Isn't that child exploitation? It isn't enough to hammer us with global warming stories every day? Do they have to take sweet sounding children, tease you with what sounds like a kid describing a birthday present and then hit you with "I'm getting dying coral reefs?"

    The media can't even tell the truth, they have to manipulate and scam - and then everyone wonders why some of us are skeptical. Take this for instance, the headline in the Daily Mail on February 1st, Global warming sees polar bears stranded on melting ice. They cling precariously to the top of what is left of the ice floe, their fragile grip the perfect symbol of the tragedy of global warming.

    A recap from a 2004 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution expedition shows another picture of these bears with the caption, Mother polar bear and cub on interesting ice sculpture carved by waves.

    From "I'm getting a catcher's mitt" to "I'm getting a devastating flood," and from "Mother polar bear and cub on interesting ice sculpture carved by waves" to "Global warming sees polar bears stranded on melting ice." Is there no shame with these people?

    tomder55 answered on 03/02/07:

    this isn't new of course . there was that famous attack ad from LBJ in 1964 that had a nuke targetting a little girl picking flowers .

    The Vatican warns of exploiting children in advertising .

    Even today, some advertising is simply and deliberately untrue. Generally speaking, though, the problem of truth in advertising is somewhat more subtle: it is not that advertising says what is overtly false, but that it can distort the truth by implying things that are not so or withholding relevant facts. As Pope John Paul II points out, on both the individual and social levels, truth and freedom are inseparable; without truth as the basis, starting point and criterion of discernment, judgement, choice and action, there can be no authentic exercise of freedom. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting the Second Vatican Council, insists that the content of communication be “true and — within the limits set by justice and charity — complete”; the content should, moreover, be communicated “honestly and properly.”

    To be sure, advertising, like other forms of expression, has its own conventions and forms of stylisation, and these must be taken into account when discussing truthfulness. People take for granted some rhetorical and symbolic exaggeration in advertising; within the limits of recognised and accepted practise, this can be allowable.

    But it is a fundamental principle that advertising may not deliberately seek to deceive, whether it does that by what it says, by what it implies, or by what it fails to say. The proper exercise of the right to information demands that the content of what is communicated be true and, within the limits set by justice and charity, complete. … Included here is the obligation to avoid any manipulation of truth for any reason.

    The Dignity of the Human Person

    There is an imperative requirement that advertising respect the human person, their right to make a responsible choice, their interior freedom; all these goods would be violated if man’s lower inclinations were to be exploited, or his capacity to reflect and decide compromised.

    These abuses are not merely hypothetical possibilities but realities in much advertising today. Advertising can violate the dignity of the human person both through its content — what is advertised, the manner in which it is advertised — and through the impact it seeks to make upon its audience. It can appeal to lust, vanity, envy and greed, and of techniques that manipulate and exploit human weakness. In such circumstances, advertisements readily become vehicles of a deformed outlook on life, on the family, on religion and on morality — an outlook that does not respect the true dignity and destiny of the human person.

    This problem is especially acute where particularly vulnerable groups or classes of persons are concerned: children and young people, the elderly, the poor, the culturally disadvantaged.

    Much advertising directed at children apparently tries to exploit their credulity and suggestibility, in the hope that they will put pressure on their parents to buy products of no real benefit to them. Advertising like this offends against the dignity and rights of both children and parents; it intrudes upon the parent-child relationship and seeks to manipulate it to its own base ends.

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JacquelineA2006 asked on 03/01/07 - 2007.. part II

i was trying to post a follow-up question but it wasn't working on here for some reason. anyhow this is an example of one of the many responses i get from men on this topic..
Whats wrong with a girl a having the car and offering to pick the guy the up?

It's a date and a 2 way thing...

If your both interested in each other meet half way... She drives the guy pays?

Next time it can be the other way around.

Now, that is just stupid.

tomder55 answered on 03/02/07:

I would say that if a relationship is established then these deals could be made as the exception .

Maybe I have been married so long that I don't understand the dynamics but as long as I could get transportation I always picked up my dates at their homes ;showed up on time ,and when possible had some small conversation with her parents.I have worked since Middle school so I always had the money to pay.

As I got older if a date offered to pay ,or offered to pick me up, and we had been dating for a while ,then, as I said ,those exceptions were made. As a first time date ...never .

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Itsdb asked on 03/01/07 - This and that...

NYC Urges People Not to Use N-Word

    Thursday March 1, 2007 4:46 AM
    Associated Press Writer

    NEW YORK (AP) - New York declared the n-word off limits to all races Wednesday in a purely symbolic resolution prompted by the common, casual use of the slur in hip-hop music, comedy and street slang.

    ``People are using it out of context,'' said Leroy Comrie, a black city councilman who sponsored the unanimously passed measure. ``People are also denigrating themselves by using the word, and disrespecting their history.''

    New York's resolution is not binding and merely calls on residents to stop using the slur. Leaders of the nation's largest city also hope to set an example.

    Rudis Mata, 21, of New York said it was pointless to ban the word if city had no plans to enforce it, adding that he thinks it's a violation of free speech.

    ``I don't necessarily think people should ban the word, but it's a derogatory term and it shouldn't be used,'' he said. ``It's different from other curse words. It has a history.''

    Other municipalities have already passed similar measures in a debate that rose to a fever pitch late last year after ``Seinfeld'' actor Michael Richards spewed the word repeatedly at a comedy club in Los Angeles.

    Hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow Walker said when the resolution was proposed that blacks needed to stop using the word so ``we can elevate our minds to a better future.''

    Others argue that use of the word by blacks is empowering, that reclaiming a slur and giving it a new meaning takes away its punch. Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, for example, said he would not stop using the word, and did not see anything inappropriate about blacks using it within their own circles.

    But in the uproar over Richards' outburst, black leaders including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and California Rep. Maxine Waters said it is impossible to paper over the epithet's origins and ugly history of humiliating blacks. They challenged the public and the entertainment industry to stop using the epithet.

    ``I forgive those young people who do not know their history, and I blame myself and my generation for not preparing you,'' Councilman Albert Vann said. ``But today we are going to know our history. We are not going to refer to ourselves by anything negative, the way the slave master referred to black people, using the n-word...''

    A group of black teenagers having lunch in a Dallas mall disagreed, saying the resolution won't affect their use of the word.

    ``We grew up saying it and it's what I say all the time,'' said 17-year-old Tiara Smith. ``It's not going to stop anybody from saying it.''

Everything goes back to Seinfeld. It took Kramer to get blacks (some anyway) to see it doesn't "empower" them?

'That's so gay': Is it OK?

    By LISA LEFF Associated Press Writer
    © 2007 The Associated Press

    SANTA ROSA, Calif. — When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, "Do you have 10 moms?" she shot back: "That's so gay."

    Those three words landed the high school freshman in the principal's office and resulted in a lawsuit that raises this question: When do playground insults used every day all over America cross the line into hate speech that must be stamped out?

    After Rice got a warning and a notation in her file, her parents sued, claiming officials at Santa Rosa's Maria Carillo High violated their daughter's First Amendment rights when they disciplined her for uttering a phrase "which enjoys widespread currency in youth culture," according to court documents.

    Testifying last week about the 2002 incident, Rice, now 18, said that when she uttered those words, she was not referring to anyone's sexual orientation. She said the phrase meant: "That's so stupid, that's so silly, that's so dumb."

    But school officials say they took a strict stand against the putdown after two boys were paid to beat up a gay student the year before.

    "The district has a statutory duty to protect gay students from harassment," the district's lawyers argued in a legal brief. "In furtherance of this goal, prohibition of the phrase `That's so gay' ... was a reasonable regulation..."

    Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing plans to issue a ruling in the non-jury trial after final written arguments are submitted in April. Her gag order prevents the two sides from discussing the case.

    Derogatory terms for homosexuality have long been used as insults. But the landscape has become confusing in recent years as minority groups have tried to reclaim terms like "queer," "ghetto" and the n-word..."

    Eliza Byard, deputy executive director of the New York-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, said nearly nine out of 10 gay students her organization surveyed in 2005 reported hearing "That's so gay" or "You're so gay" frequently.

    "It bothers them a lot," Byard said. "As odd or funny as the phrase sounds, imagine what it feels like to be in a setting where you consistently hear it used to describe something undesirable or stupid, and it also refers to you."

    She said it is OK to discipline students for using the phrase after efforts have been made to educate them.

Man is it ever confusing. All this "empowerment" by blacks "reclaiming" the "n-word" and "ghetto" and homosexuals reclaiming "queer," but nobody else can say it? Apparently there's no word yet on if the Santa Rosa school district considers asking a Mormon if she has 10 moms is offensive, hurtful or harrassing.

And finally, in al-AP's analysis of the decision by the Bush administration to join in talks between Iraq, Iran and Syria...

    Yet there were hints that the administration is testing Iranian, and domestic American, willingness to go further. In the diplomatic world, tough talk can sometimes be a cover for more conciliatory gestures.

Any of you recall the media, a Democrat or a liberal blogger say something like "tough talk can sometimes be a cover" whenever Bush has engaged in tough talk about Iran before? I can certainly recall many an instances of downplaying Ahmadinejad's "tough talk," but never Bush. Did they just figure this out or was it just never politically expedient to acknowledge sometimes the president has to talk tough until now?

tomder55 answered on 03/01/07:

Michael Richards is speechless.

I got a better idea ;let's ban symbolic laws and non-binding resolutions . It's amazing what passes for responsible governance these days .I wish I could symbolically pay my taxes .

I guess I'll now be able to walk the streets without hearing some boom box blasting gangsta rap . Good job city council !!!

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tropicalstorm asked on 03/01/07 - whats is the sense?

On the radio they were talking about Germany is cutting back on I guess their equivalent to HUD Sect 8. They said everybody in bigger places had to move to smaller places. Then they ran out of smaller places. So they told everybody that didn't get to move they are not allowed to use some of the rooms in their house and they send the housing authority around to make sure their off limits rooms are kept empty.

tomder55 answered on 03/01/07:

boy is this stupid ! Gives new meaning to Lebensraum I guess.

The local housing authority in the eastern town of Loebau said on Friday the new regulations stipulate the tenants -- who all live on welfare -- now only qualify for smaller homes.

Because there is a shortage of smaller dwellings, the tenants are being allowed to stay, so long as the space they use does not exceed the new limit.

"The recipients are only allowed apartments of a certain size, but there aren't enough smaller apartments available," said Matthias Urbansky, head of the local housing authority.

"The people involved seem to be quite happy with the new set up," he said, noting that inspectors nevertheless make regular patrols to ensure the rooms standing empty are not being used.

Not everyone sees the sense of living in an apartment with off-limits areas.

"It feels stupid not being able to go into all the rooms of your apartment any more," one 49-year-old woman was quoted as saying in the Dresdner Morgenpost newspaper.

yeah stupid sums it up well . typical nanny state cradle to grave stupidity .They are paying brown shirts to inspect the empty spaces !! lolololololol "Achtung!! Getten sie houseplanten out of der dead spacen! Schnell!.....Erbarmlich, ich folgte nur Reihenfolgen "

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Itsdb asked on 02/28/07 - Fix the media?

The recent National Conference for Media Reform was held, where such notables as FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps, Bill Moyers, and Jane "a truly powerful media is one that can stop a war, not start one" Fonda spoke.

Jane seems to have a different view of reality than I do...

    Eighty percent of expert guests on TV news shows come from far-right think tanks like the Leadership Institute. Knowing this, is it any surprise that it’s been so hard for us to frame the issues and set the terms of the debate?

I guess she's never seen Hardball, watched a Democratic party spokesman shout down a conservative, or read a paper lately. That type of nonsense was to be expected, but what got me is the NCMR's vision for a better media:

    We were reminded that media reform is crucial not just in creating better media but advancing every issue we care about: civil rights, education, the environment, the economy, health care, fair elections. Solving any of these problems will be impossible without fixing the media.

Is that your vision for a better media?

tomder55 answered on 03/01/07:

Obviously it was a loaded conference ;a typical moonbats on parade affair . Dennis Kucinich was there ;that about sums it up . It is his committee in the House that will soon hold hearings to reinstate the fairness doctrine.

Bottom line ;in a free market the liberals are having a difficult time competing in the arena of ideas so they are returning to the basics ;which is legislation restricting the 1st amendment . Kucinich' basic argument is a pile of sh*t..that the gvt. owns the airways so therefore it is right to make conditions on content. SCOTUS backed up that position in 1969

"A license permits broadcasting, but the licensee has no constitutional right to be the one who holds the license or to monopolize a... frequency to the exclusion of his fellow citizens. There is nothing in the First Amendment which prevents the Government from requiring a licensee to share his frequency with others.... It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount."
Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 1969.

Before the Fairness Doctrine was repelled in 1987 there was no real conservative talk radio . There were some pioneers that had shows but they were the exception . Repealling the doctrine enabled Rush and other celebrity conservative hosts to do their shows without the rediculous requirement of being compelled to air alternate commentary . As a result there was a revival of AM radio that had taken a terrible beating when FM began to dominate in music radio.Lately the libs tried to get into the game with Airhead America .As I said ,they had real trouble competing in the market place. But ,they still control the major alphabet soup networks and publicly supported PBS .So their argument that their ideas aren't aired is a lie.

There MAY have been a case when there were only a few media outlets ,but with the explosion of cable and satellite options there are plenty of places where all views can be freely aired . The logic for the renewal of the Fairness Doctrine comes down to repression of certain speech .The result of a reinstituted fairness doctrine would not be fair at all. Controversial speech(read conservative speech ) would be stifled as the threat of random investigations and warnings discouraged broadcasters from airing what FCC bureaucrats claim is "unbalanced" views.Most stations rather than deal with that will just change format and eliminate political talk show formats . The bottom line would be censorship of ideas .

I have no doubt that if the Democrats retain the majority and gain the Presidency in 2008 that the doctrine will indeed be reinstated . That is what is at stake in 2008....the roll back of free speech.

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Itsdb asked on 02/28/07 - You gotta love those moonbats

Several people have noted comments from yesterday's Huffington Post entry on the alleged "targeting" of Cheney (which at least have since been removed):

    "Cheney's spokeswoman said he was fine."

    "F**K" - by geoman77

    "So Cheney is personally responsible for the deaths of 14 innocent people...and then he waddles off to lunch!! What a piece of sh*t" - by fantanfanny

    "They missed! Too bad" - by DinahM

    "You can't kill pure evil. Like an exorcism you have to drive a stake through it." - by Caeser

    "If at first you don't succeed..." - by tented

    "Better luck next time." - by TDB

    "What a different world we would be living in today if they had succeeded." - by pakiman47

    "Dr Evil escapes again...damn" - by truthtopower01

    "Who'd have thought that Afghanistan would make such a valiant attempt to save the United States of America?" - by DumbFireman

    "Another 14 people dead, and their blood is literally on Dick's hands." - by micdago

    "All this naive talk about Cheney "dying" ... He's SATAN, for Christ's sake!! Even if the bomb did get him, he would just come back as another right wing war monger.." - by neoconcriminals

    "If Cheney was seized by the Iraqi government, tried, convicted, and hung by the neck until his freakin head popped off, then I wold say Iraq is making "remarkable progress." - by lornejl

I wonder if that's the kind of "meaningful dialogue" the left wants us to have with Iran?

tomder55 answered on 02/28/07:

Randi Rhodes said such clever things as :

"You can't kill the undead ...use garlic next time "

"don't they realize if they kill Cheney Bush becomes President ?"

Me ;I'm just wondering why the Pakistani ISI would target him ? My guess is that we will hear of a plane crash soon with some ISI officers on board ........oops

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JacquelineA2006 asked on 02/27/07 - 2007..

This is not exactly political but still a good question to put up in my opinion. I would like to say i am 25 before continuing. You know it use to be like this.. the guy would pick the girl up and take her out and then take her back home after the date. Nowadays i run across men and these are all types that want you to drive out and meet them at the club you were planning to go dancing at or drive into the city and meet up somewhere and go from there. If a lady has to drive out and meet them then that is not a date! Why are these men like this..? Why do they not want to treat the opposite sex like a lady? I like your responses to the other topics we talk about and wanted to get your views on this.

tomder55 answered on 02/28/07:

They are losers ;ignore them .I'm old fashion in that regard I guess. Any guy who would not come to your house and pick you up,and pay for the date is not worthy of you . Keep high standards and expect your standards to be met .... Otherwise the man will ultimately disappoint you . I insist on meeting who my daughter dates . She's 20 now so it is becoming harder to enforce but my values are imbedded .

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rusty asked on 02/27/07 - The Final Inspection

The Marine stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, Marine,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with