"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

AWESOME: HOUSE BANS AID TO SAUDI ARABIA

Congress has taken an important step in dealing with the zygote of Islamofascism (Hat tip: Michelle Malkin):
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to prohibit any aid to Saudi Arabia as lawmakers accused the close ally of religious intolerance and bankrolling terrorist organizations.

The prohibition, reflecting persistent tensions with the kingdom after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, was attached to a foreign aid funding bill for next year that has not yet been debated by the Senate.

It also faces a veto threat from the White House because of an unrelated provision.

A spokesman for the Saudi embassy in Washington declined to comment on the legislation.

In the past three years, Congress has passed bills to stop the relatively small amount of U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia, only to see the Bush administration circumvent the prohibitions.

Now, lawmakers are trying to close loopholes so that no more U.S. aid can be sent to the world’s leading petroleum exporter.

“By cutting off aid and closing the loophole we send a clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that they must be a true ally in advancing peace in the Middle East,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat.

According to supporters of the legislation, the United States provided $2.5 million to Riyadh in 2005 and 2006.
Besides banning aid to them, there should also be legislation made to ban business and trade with the House of Saud. No country like them that supports fascism should have to have business deals made with. And prince Alwaleed shouldn't be allowed to make investments in American companies either.

LEFTIST SOPHISTICATION WATCH: SHIITES AND SUNNIS DO WORK TOGETHER, IRAN ADMITS FUNNELING MONEY TO HAMAS

Some time after 9/11, the Onion ran a piece about an insufferable leftist douchebag who, having suddenly acquired dozens of books about the history of Afghanistan, was casting himself as a self-styled expert of the region. We're reminded of that story every time some LA Times reading academic condescendingly explains to us that "Sunnis and Shiites are very different" and "hate each other". Yeah, they hate each other so much that Shiite Iran is willing to fund Sunni Hamas in their mutual cause of wiping Israel off the map:
Ali Larijani, the chairman of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, denied in an interview with Newsweek that Iran was providing arms to the Hamas. He admitted, however, that his country was funneling finances to the Islamic group, as well as to Hizbullah. "We do support Hizbullah and Hamas, that is right," Larijani said. "But these two are not terrorist groups. These are the two groups that are defending their own land."
There's a post to be written about Newsweek letting a terrorist supporter rationalize his terrorist supporting ways in their august pages (we recall how during WWII Mussolini was regularly interviewed by American press outlets "to help the American people understand", right?) But that's a post for a different time. For now: it turns out that Sunnis and Shiites do work together. Who knew?

[Cross-posted to Mere Rhetoric]

HAMAS POPULARITY GROWING AS OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF PALESTINIANS CALL FOR ELECTIONS

We're not saying that this most recent news is in any way related to previous reports of an underwhelming tsunami of Abbas support (more like a gently rolling wave, really). But we are saying that we're beginning to get a sense of how West Bank elections might go. And make no mistake, elections they are a'comin:
A survey published Thursday by an independent Palestinian research center found that 75 percent of Palestinians would back new elections. The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research conducted the poll during and after the Hamas military takeover of Gaza last week. It was conducted among 1,270 respondents in the West Bank and Gaza and had an error margin of 3 percent. If new presidential elections were to be held, 49 percent would vote for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah movement, and 42 percent would vote for his political rival, deposed prime minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, the survey said.
Keep this in mind: Hamas just murdered dozens upon dozens of Palestinian citizens. They have spectacularly succeeded in getting the world to say "to hell with" a million and a half Palestinians in Gaza. But they're still just outside the margin of the ostensible good guys. With news like this, you know what we would do? Rush to give arms and money to Abbas - that way if Hamas takes over, there'll be little presents for them to unwrap on Inauguration Day. Which is often just a couple of days before Atrocities Against Israeli Civilians Day.

[Cross-posted to Mere Rhetoric]

SCOTUS bans Free Speech about Athletics

We read:

"The Supreme Court said Thursday that athletic associations can enforce limits on recruiting high school athletes without violating coaches' free speech rights. The high court ruled in a longstanding dispute between the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association the private school Brentwood Academy.

The school challenged a rule of the TSSAA, which governs high school sports in the state. The association bars schools from contacting prospective students about their sports programs.

In a unanimous ruling, the court said that 'hard-sell tactics directed at middle school students could lead to exploitation, distort competition between high school teams and foster an environment in which athletics are prized more highly than academics.'

Games have rules, Justice John Paul Stevens said for the court. 'It is only fair that Brentwood follow them.'"

Source

Game rules trump the U.S. Constitution??


(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

ISRAELI VERSATILITY TURNS EVEN WAR INTO AN ASSET

The writer of the excerpts below has tried to turn it into a "Hate-Israel" piece but the facts marshalled are in fact another wonderful Gideon story -- of how high human quality can grab triumph from a much more numerous enemy. SCA has a fisking of the pathetic anti-Israel component in the article, mostly not reproduced below

Gaza in the hands of Hamas, with masked militants sitting in the president's chair; the West Bank on the edge; Israeli army camps hastily assembled in the Golan Heights; a spy satellite over Iran and Syria; war with Hizbullah a hair trigger away; a scandal-plagued political class facing a total loss of public faith. At a glance, things aren't going well for Israel. But here's a puzzle: why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it's 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China's?

Israel's economy isn't booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines but because of it. This phase of development dates back to the mid-90s, when the country was in the vanguard of the information revolution - the most tech-dependent economy in the world. After the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, Israel's economy was devastated, facing its worst year since 1953. Then came 9/11, and suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack, and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners.

Within three years, large parts of Israel's tech economy had been radically repurposed. Put in Friedmanesque terms, Israel went from inventing the networking tools of the "flat world" to selling fences to an apartheid planet. Many of the country's most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel's status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of 24-hour-a-day showroom, a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war. And the reason Israel is now enjoying supergrowth is that those companies are busily exporting that model to the world.

Discussions of Israel's military trade usually focus on the flow of weapons into the country - US-made Caterpillar bulldozers used to destroy homes in the West Bank, and British companies supplying parts for F-16s. Overlooked is Israel's huge and expanding export business. Israel now sends $1.2bn in "defence" products to the United States - up dramatically from $270m in 1999. In 2006, Israel exported $3.4bn in defence products - well over a billion more than it received in American military aid. That makes Israel the fourth largest arms dealer in the world, overtaking Britain.

Much of this growth has been in the so-called homeland security sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2bn, an increase of 20%. The key products and services are hi-tech fences, unmanned drones, biometric IDs, video and audio surveillance gear, air passenger profiling and prisoner interrogation systems - precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories.

Next week, the most established of these companies will travel to Europe for the Paris Air Show, the arms industry's equivalent of Fashion Week. One of the Israeli companies exhibiting is Suspect Detection Systems (SDS), which will be showcasing its Cogito1002, a white, sci-fi-looking security kiosk that asks air travellers to answer a series of computer-generated questions, tailored to their country of origin, while they hold their hand on a "biofeedback" sensor. The device reads the body's reactions to the questions, and certain responses flag the passenger as "suspect". Like hundreds of other Israeli security start-ups, SDS boasts that it was founded by veterans of Israel's secret police and that its products were road-tested on Palestinians. Not only has the company tried out the biofeedback terminals at a West Bank checkpoint, it claims the "concept is supported and enhanced by knowledge acquired and assimilated from the analysis of thousands of case studies related to suicide bombers in Israel".

Another star of the Paris Air Show will be Israeli defence giant Elbit, which plans to showcase its Hermes 450 and 900 unmanned air vehicles. As recently as last month, according to press reports, Israel used the drones on bombing missions in Gaza. Once tested in the territories, they are exported abroad: the Hermes has already been used at the Arizona-Mexico border; Cogito1002 terminals are being auditioned at an unnamed American airport; and Elbit - also one of the companies behind Israel's "security barrier" - has set up a deal with Boeing to construct the Department of Homeland Security's $2.5bn "virtual" border fence around the US.

Source.

********************************

Vast Israeli inventivesness in the civil sector too

Sat-nav and voicemail are just two of the technologies born in a country approximately the size of Wales

Think of technological innovators and you think of Japan, Korea, the United States. Possibly Germany. You probably don't think of Israel. But you should - Israel produces more innovative ideas and new start-up companies than almost any other country in the world. Every time you send a text, or power up your sat-nav system to plan your route, you're using a piece of kit that has its roots in Israel. Not bad going for somewhere roughly the size of Wales, with a population of seven million, and which didn't even exist as a nation state 60 years ago.

In 2005, venture capital investment in Israel was US$1.34 billion - Britain, by comparison, has almost ten times the population but less than twice the venture-capital investment. This is due in part to the Israeli government, which contributes heavily towards funding start-up companies, and which has, for the past 10 years, run a venture-capital fund through the office of the chief scientist. It believed that if it kick-started funding domestically, foreign capital would follow.

The risk paid off: a Morgan Stanley report published in January showed that foreign capital flows to Israel rose from $3.2 billion in 2002 to $11.6 billion in 2005, and then to a massive $23.4 billion just a year later. There are 75 Israeli companies on the Nasdaq, more than from any other country except the US.

The reasons for Israel's success in the technology arena are complex [Rubbish! It's just another example of the power of IQ]. Cultural, social and political factors all play a role, as does the investment ploughed into the country's military, and the training and expertise acquired by Israelis through compulsory national service.

Ronen Saffer, chief technology officer at Telmap, a digital navigation company founded in Israel, blames fruit. "There's only so much you can do with oranges," he says. "We produced all we could out of those in the 1960s and 1970s, then we had to come up with something else in order to make a living." Telmap is the epitome of this new approach - it provides mapping software for the likes of AOL, Ericsson, Palm, Nokia and BlackBerry. Helen Davis, author of Israel in the World: Changing Lives Through Innovation, agrees. "There's no alternative. There are no natural resources at all, except what is between the ears of the country's people. That is Israel's only raw resource." .....

Many of the technologies used all over the world today were either invented or developed further in Israel, or by Israeli companies. From voice components developed for combat systems, an Israeli company called Efrat Systems created voicemail; eventually it became Comverse, one of the largest voicemail companies in the world today.

Instant messaging, an application used by millions today, came from a small Israeli business called Mirabilis, which developed a project called ICQ ("I seek you"). Vardi was the founder investor of Mirabilis, while his son was one of the three jobless youngsters who started the company. Less than two years after its formation, it was bought by AOL, which wanted ICQ. The instant-messaging craze was largely born out of this deal.

Unsurprisingly, much of this technology has its roots in the military, which focuses on developing cutting-edge hardware and software. Israel operates a system of compulsory military service, and students are cherry-picked by the military from high schools across the country in order to match conscripts to the roles that best utilise their talents.

Roy Timor-Rousso, vice president for product marketing at Fring, a VOIP company (VOIP allows you to make phone calls over the internet via services such as Skype) that has its roots in Israel, says: "The military can pick who it wants. A lot of young, very talented Israelis go through special units where they are exposed to a lot of responsibility, trained and given the top military technologies early on in their careers, while they are still creative."

Telmap's Ronen Saffer says that the military research and development budget has been responsible for developing things such as GPS, maps and communications technology. The people involved in creating these tools of war have had the foresight to understand their potential as everyday applications, and have gone about tweaking the technology for the mass consumer market upon being demobbed from the services.

More here


(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

BANNED BY PBS: MUSLIMS AGAINST JIHAD

PBS refused to air a documentary entitled, Muslims Against Jihad so Fox News picked it up. It will air tonight on the FNC at 9:00 pm ET. It will be repeated at 3 am the next morning. It is hosted by E.D. Hill. Here is a brief description of it by Fox News:
Tune in this weekend, as FOX News Channel presents the documentary the Public Broadcasting System didn't want you to see.

It's a film about the difference between moderate Muslims and the radicals who want to kill us. It asks where are the moderate Muslims and why aren't they speaking out against the jihadists? And it was financed with $675,000 of taxpayers' money.

It was commissioned as part of the PBS series "America at the Crossroads" about the post 9/11 world, but PBS executives rejected it.

PBS claims the filmmakers were "alarmist, overreaching and unfair."

The filmmakers say they were censored because of liberal bias at PBS.

On a topic this important, we think you have the right to decide for yourself.

To watch a clip of it, and an interview with producer Martyn Burke, go here. Frank Gaffney, another producer of the documentary was on Hannity and Colmes last night, also talking about the show.

Friday, June 22, 2007

MORE SENATORS TURNING AGAINST AMNESTY

There's reason for optimism in the hope that the Senate Amnesty bill will be deep-sixed. Day by day, another Senator or two announces that he or she will vote against cloture. We've got the two Texans and the two Georgians coming around as well as the Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill (amazing what representing a Red State can do for a Senator's decision-making skills).

Now, there's word that Gordon Smith of Oregon will vote against cloture (which smart readers of the Astute Bloggers know is the real vote on Amnesty).

More via PoliPundit.

THE GOP RACE SLOWLY COMES TOGETHER


Things are slowly falling into place in the race for Republican nomination for president. Rudy, while scary to some conservatives, continues to impress many on the Right where there's common ground. Jim Geraghty over at National Review reports on his latest speech covering taxes, terrorism and immigration.

Meanwhile, there's word (though it comes with many denials) that Fred Thompson will make his big announcement next week in Nashville. Either way, I really long for the day when we can get the field widdled down to the three candidates that I'd be happy to see in the White House: Giuliani, Thompson and Romney. I don't mean to disparage many of the well-meaning folks running (except for Ron Paul), but these three are the only ones that stand a chance in a national election and I'd like to see them have an intelligent debate on the issues. Here's hoping in 2008, I'll get my wish.

CLINTON AND BOXER DENY INHOFE STORY

Well, of course they do. What the hell does anyone expect them to say, "Yes, it's true, we're neo-fascists with plans to crush free speech." It's just like Bill Clinton always said, "Deny, deny, deny." Of course, Oliver Willis says their denials are proof that Inhofe is a liar:

You mean the senate's leading global warming denier just pulled something out of his ass, sent it over talk radio and had it filtered throughout the blogs and Fox News? Simply astounding.


Kryptonite my ass! It's ironic that he would bring global warming into the argument. Global Warming is the issue that Ole's friends on the Left say is completely settled...NO DEBATE, DON'T QUESTION IT! Hell if you try and question it, you could go before a Nuremberg-Style court, if some folks had their way. Hmmm, silencing an opposing view on Global Warming...just like some want to silence the views of, wait for it....conservative talk radio!

Are you getting this?

UPDATE: Inhofe says the story is true but it's an old one, from three years back, when Hillary and Boxer were in the minority. That should be enough to convince everyone that these two have only the best intentions. I know I'm convinced. We were wrong to ever suspect them of anything untoward.

MORE: The Lefties are steamed at Inhofe for daring to tell such a story. Hillary and Boxer deny it, case closed. So, am I to take from this that these two ladies are against bringing back the Fairness Doctrine? If Inhofe did make it up (which is unlikely), he sure did hit a nerve.

UPDATE: Inhofe explains the timetable to Breitbart TV.

FREUND SAYS: TAKE BACK GAZA NOW

Michael Freund discusses why Israel needs to start taking back Gaza now, to topple the Fatah as well as the Hamas and try its leaders, among other things.

The Right Wing Domination Of Talk Radio And How To End It

The heading above is from a Leftist site. They go on to say:

"The Center for American Progress and Free Press today released the first-of-its-kind statistical analysis of the political make-up of talk radio in the United States. It confirms that talk radio, one of the most widely used media formats in America, is dominated almost exclusively by conservatives.

The new report - entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio" - raises serious questions about whether the companies licensed to broadcast over the public radio airwaves are serving the listening needs of all Americans.

Source

One guess what their solution is to this "problem"? More government regulation of course!

The fact that Leftist talk radio has been tried (Jim Hightower and Air America, for instance) and failed to get much of an audience was not mentioned. Most people just don't want to listen to whiners and scolds. They just want to listen to people who make sense.

Quite a few other bloggers have commented on this latest attack: e.g. here and here.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

'Live and let live' is a foreign idea to the Left

Excerpt from Ted Nugent:

Especially here in the great Republic of Texas, a smiling, drooling preference for succulent, protein-rich, nutritious backstrap over aromatic mesquite coals is as American and natural and right as Mom, apple pie and the flag. It's beautiful, really. But a culture war rages against such universal, self-evident truths. It would be laughable if it were not so deranged. Some weirdos actually are on a crusade to outlaw the consumption of flesh.

I have musical touring associates who have been fired from their jobs with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney for sneaking a hamburger. You heard that right. Fired for eating meat by an animal-rights maniac, hard-core vegan bass player. The entire agenda of the gazillion-dollar-financed joke known as PETA literally is dedicated to outlawing meat.

Neither I, nor any hunter or meat eater on the planet, has any desire whatsoever to influence any vegetarian's choice of diet or to force them to eat meat. We are the friendly, tolerant Americans. This is but one of many issues that represent the line drawn in the sand between liberals and conservatives.

Our own intrepid opinion editor at the Trib, my friend John Young, doesn't want to simply make the choice to be unarmed and helpless for himself. He has again recently insisted that you and I must also comply with his soulless condition of unarmed helplessness in "gun-free zones." Nobody from our side wants to force anybody to have a gun or defend themselves. It is us, the conservatives, who are for individual choice.

As for the American left: One hears the words of Mao Tse-Tung come broiling out of the mouths of its heroes, when Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton et al unflinchingly push for "redistribution of wealth." Central Texas' own Chet Edwards has the audacity to support taxing the after-tax life savings of American families following the death of a loved one. The unfair, un-American, unconstitutional death tax literally destroys mom-and-pop businesses across the land. Think about it.

The wall that once symbolized communism is down, yet some still want to give it a shot. Dear God in heaven, help us.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

DEAD WOOD U.N: CHOP IT OFF


Many of us on the right side of the political spectrum have long despaired at the uselessness and bias of that self-serving entity we know as the United Nations. From its total failure to contain the spread of communism in Korea and Vietnam up to its current inability, dare I say unwillingness, to do anything about the catastrophe in Darfur, not to mention its general bias against western democracies. Now Anne Bayefsky, editor of the website Eye on the U.N. writing in the Wall Street Journal slams the hopeless United Nations:
WHAT is it about standing up for human rights that the UN finds so difficult? A year ago, then secretary-general Kofi Annan dissolved the UN Commission on Human Rights under pressure after the commission discredited itself repeatedly, even electing a Libyan chairman. Now its successor, the UN Human Rights Council, is proving itself to be worse than what it replaced.
This week the council marked its first anniversary in Geneva by adopting an agenda that is an affront to the civilised world. It deletes the job of investigating human rights violations in the brutal dictatorships of Belarus and Cuba and instead focuses its attention uniquely on Israel .

The UN General Assembly created the council without specifying membership criteria, such as, say, respecting human rights. The council now includes the likes of Angola , Azerbaijan , China , Cuba , Egypt , Qatar , Russia and Saudi Arabia . Less than half of its members, using the Freedom House's yardstick, are fully free democracies. And after a successful takeover bid of regional blocs within the council, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference dominates it.

The result is a decimation of a human rights system created over decades, with a new, intense focus on Israel . Israel has been the subject of three special sessions, has been singled out in 75 per cent of the council's state-specific resolutions and will continue to be routinely condemned until council members decide "the occupation" is over, an occupation many members believe began with Israel 's creation.

More here…..

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Kids Are Alright!

GOLDBERG ASKS BEINART WHAT THE PROBLEM IS THAT LIBERALS HAVE WITH ISRAEL

In their latest podcast on NRO, Jonah Goldberg asks The New Republic's Peter Beinart what problem liberals have with Israel.

LIVE FREE? NOT IN EUROPE

The new Bruce Willis movie is called Live Free Or Die Harder. Pretty much everyone knows that, right?


Well, the people of Europe will not know that, because for some reason the name has been changed for the European audience.


Do you think some elites, either at the movie studio or within some obscure government bureaucracy, thought that the title sounded to much like Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death"?


Does the idea of Freedom not fly in Europe? I doubt our European brothers would agree with that.

GLOBAL COOLING!

Big chill hits Queensland, Australia. (Queensland is about the size of California and Texas combined)

BONE-chilling winds of up to 75km/h have blasted through southeast Queensland, bringing down trees, powerlines and even a brick wall. The southwesterly winds saw Brisbane record its lowest June temperature on record. A maximum of 13.1C was recorded at the airport but the wind chill factor dragged this down to only 5.6C.....

Weather bureau statistician Ann Farrell said the previous June record for the airport was 13.9C in 1958 and the coldest overall was 10.6C in August 1954. Toowoomba was worse off, recording a wind chill temperature of -9.3C overnight, with parts of the Darling Downs reporting a blast of early morning sleet and snow. At noon it had risen to -3.8C. All of the Downs and Granite Belt reported extremely cold conditions, with Warwick 1C at 2pm and Applethorpe -1.2C, thanks again to the wind. Overnight Brisbane dipped down to -2.5C, allowing for the wind factor....


Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Dems Trying to "Get" Conservative Broadcasters

Conservative speech is hate-speech, after all:

"The heads of the House committee and subcommittee overseeing communications issues, respectively, have asked the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) to study the use of "telecommunications to commit hate crimes."

While NTIA, which is the Bush administration's telecommunications policy advisory arm, already produced a study on the topic under the first president Bush back in 1992, Reps. John Dingell and Ed Markey urged it to update the study given the rise in the Internet since them. But, according to a release from the commitee issued Monday, they also said they are also "particularly" interested in studying "uses by broadcast facilites licensed on behalf of the public by the FCC, and whether such uses convey messages of bigotry or hatred, creating a climate of fear and inciting individuals to commit hate crimes."

A committee source would not say what had engendered that particular concern about broadcasters' conveying "messages of bigotry and hatred," adding that it was a general query rather than targeted at any one group. But some Democrats and media activist groups have been highly critical of conservative talk radio, labeling it hate speech.

Source


(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

SOME US LAWMAKERS ARE UNEASY WITH GOVERNMENT'S AID POLICY FOR FATAH

Following the news that the Dubya administration wants to lift the embargo against Fatah, which it still views as legitimate in spite of everything, including Fatah's willingness to give funding to Hamas, some US lawmakers are uncomfortable with it, though this AP article predictably insists on all but whitewashing Fatah:
WASHINGTON - President Bush's decision to resume U.S. aid to the Palestinian government has left some lawmakers uneasy, including at least one Republican who wants to pass a law that would reverse it.

"I have grave concerns that we would set aside our current preconditions for support in the wake of this emergency," said Rep. Mike Pence, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Middle East and South Asia subcommittee. "What we ought to be doing is reconsidering our policy."

Last week, Hamas seized control of the tiny coastal territory of the Gaza Strip from Fatah security forces. The rout prompted President Mahmoud Abbas to evict Hamas from the Hamas-Fatah coalition government, a move Hamas decries as illegal.

The almost 3 million Palestinians now essentially have two governments. Nearly half are under Hamas' control in the Gaza Strip, with the rest under Abbas' authority in the West Bank. Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction and is regarded a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, while Abbas' more moderate Fatah movement seeks peace with the Jewish state.
Ah ah ah. As some analysts in recent years have said, it's far less than three million, and Fatah is not moderate and does not seek peace with Israel, nor the US for that matter.
Congress has been mostly quiet on the issue, although some Republicans say they have grave concerns the money will end up in the hands of Hamas.

"I think that's a noble intention but in a practical sense it will end up giving U.S. taxpayer dollars to a terrorist organization, which is Hamas," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Pence, R-Ind., said he is drafting legislation that would restrict money from being given to the Palestinians so long as Hamas has control of Gaza. Pence wants to offer the measure as an amendment to a $34.2 billion bill that funds the State Department and foreign assistance programs.

Pence said his concern is that Bush's decision to resume aid will "open the flood gates of support for authorities within the Fatah government that could ultimately be used against Israel," he said in an interview Wednesday.

"Right now we're at a time when Hamas is sitting behind the desk of government buildings in Gaza City wearing ski masks and holding AK-47s," he added. "It's hard for me to see where we can provide any funds directly or indirectly to supplement or support what is an emerging terrorist Palestinian state."
It's good to see that some Republicans are concerned. Perhaps they too might be willing to acknowledge the fact that Fatah, as an offspring of the PLO, is still a terrorist organization themselves?

Most important of all is that the government is spending millions of taxpayers' money on a terrorist organization, and I think there should be questions about if they're doing the right thing to be paying other people's money to those who would doubtlessly exploit it for evil.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

GOOD PRE-VICTORY INTERVIEW WITH PAUL POTTS

NPR SPOKE WITH HIM BEFORE HE WON - (6/15). LISTEN HERE.

Previous post here.

UNIFIL: WE SUCK. WE TOTALLY, TOTALLY SUCK

When UNIFIL members are condescendingly deigning to address the Israeli public, they're full of patronizing bluster:
Here's the UNIFIL field commander talking about how well UNIFIL is doing its job... "In my area of operations there is no open hostile activity and we also do not see a rearmament happening," he said. "We are physically patrolling every corner of southern Lebanon.
But when they can't even stop what seems to be a fly by night group of thugs from bombing Israeli cities - well, they're... still full of patronizing bluster, but this time it's in the service of explaining how hard their job is:
Khaled Aref, a senior official with the mainstream Palestinian Fatah movement in the southern Lebanon refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh, said he had no knowledge of the group. He said Palestinians had agreed not to use south Lebanon to attack Israel because "we don't want to put more pressure on Lebanon."... The UNIFIL officer rejected criticism by the IDF that the peacekeeping force should have prevented the attack, claiming that even "100,000 peacekeepers were not capable of preventing a couple of people from firing a crude rocket."
No? What happened to physically patrolling every corner of south Lebanon? They sure sounded awful confident a couple weeks ago. And for that matter - if they can't stop people from bombing Israel, then what exactly are they doing? Potential answers: (1) providing tens of thousands of human shields for Hezbollah (2) carelessly letting slip the occassional UN license plate, which Hezbollah then uses to lure in and kidnap Israeli soldiers.

[Cross-posted to Mere Rhetoric]

NEW FATAH PM: WE'RE GOING TO GIVE WESTERN AID TO HAMAS TERRORISTS IN GAZA

Of course the US and the EU rushed to restore aid as soon as they had a colorable excuse. And of course Fatah is going to use it to help fund Hamas terrorists, including those in the Gaza Strip:
The new Palestinian government headed by Salaam Fayad will use international aid to pay salaries to all civil servants of the Palestinian Authority, including those who are affiliated with Hamas, PA officials here said Monday. "The new government is in charge of all the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," said one official. "All those who are on the payroll of the Palestinian Authority will soon receive full salaries." Another PA official said Fayad's government will allocate millions of dollars to "support the people of the Gaza Strip... We're not going to give money to the Hamas government there, but we can't ignore the people. We will find ways to channel funds directly to the people."
Many of those people, of course, are unrepentant terrorists and die-hard Hamas soldiers - they're the same ones who were murdering Fatah people in the streets a couple days ago. This certainly seems to have worked out nicely for them: Hamas employees are now getting paid with Western funds, just as if the boycott had been lifted with Hamas in power. This is a trick Abbas has pulled before. The West's eagerness to blindly aid the Palestinian is so overwhelming that the Palestinians don't need to bother subtly plotting how to coordinate their terrorism with Western acquiescence. It works out that way anyway.

[Read an extended version of this post at Mere Rhetoric]

British Food Fascism Hits Egg Advertisement

We read:

"Fifty years after Britons were implored to "Go to work on an egg", an advertising watchdog has banned a revival of the campaign, saying that it breaches health guidelines. Plans to mark the anniversary by broadcasting the original television advertisements featuring Tony Hancock have had to be called off.

The ban by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre, which vets television advertisements, was condemned as ridiculous yesterday by the novelist Fay Weldon, who used to work in advertising and helped to create the campaign. "I think the ruling is absurd," she said. "We seem to have been tainted by all the health and safety laws. If they are going to ban egg adverts then I think they should ban all car adverts, because cars really are dangerous, and bad for the environment.

The advertising clearance centre, a government-backed watchdog, says that it blocked the campaign because eating an egg for breakfast every day was not a "varied diet". ....

The egg information service offered to add a line to the adverts saying that eggs should be eaten as part of a varied diet. The compromise was rejected.

The egg information servicesaid it was shocked by the ruling. It said eggs were a healthy food recommended by nutritionists and many other advertisers promote their products to be eaten every day, "so we are very surprised eggs have been singled out.

Source


For a clear example of how official health policy can be disastrously wrong, see todays posts on FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

LEFTIST PRINCIPLES

From Tom Delay

In one controversy after another, Democrat leaders in the last 40 years have shown themselves almost wholly without any compass other than partisanship.

Nixon obstructed justice to cover up a scandal, Democrats hounded him from office; Clinton did the same thing, Democrats rallied to his defense.

G. Gordon Liddy tried to steal stuff from the DNC, he's a pariah; Sandy Berger successfully stole stuff from the 9/11 Commission, he's a hero.

Ronald Reagan says he wants to reform welfare, he's a racist; Bill Clinton says he wants to reform welfare, he's a visionary.

Sen. Robert Torricelli quits his reelection race in New Jersey, Democrats demand the party replace him with a better candidate; I quit my reelection race in Texas, Democrats demand that Republicans not be given the same opportunity.

Clarence Thomas is incredibly accused of sexual harassment, Democrats fly into a rage; Bill Clinton is credibly accused of sexual assault, Democrats play deaf.

Bill Clinton says Saddam Hussein needs to go, Democrats rattle their sabers; George W. Bush actually does something about it, Democrats howl.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

UNCLE VLADIMIR GIVES SYRIA A PRESENT


Oh how angelic you look, Putin as you shake the hands of Western leaders. And yet, what a snake!

The treachery of Russia knows no bounds. Russia has wiped out a huge debt to Syria in order to 'sell' expensive high powered weaponry to the Islamic nation. Syria is now armed to the teeth!

Five MiG-31E fighter-interceptors are being dispatched from Russia to Syria as well as a lot of MiG29M/M2 jets. The total cost of these aircrafts is estimated at around $1 billion:

FINALLY, A WOMAN SUITED TO BE PRESIDENT

If most political fields would consider politicians like India's Pratabha Patil, who boldly said that women should throw off the "veil of the invader", then they'd know just who the women are who are suited to be presidential candidates. Mrs. Patil has made a bold statement, and I hope she remains firm upon it.

THE CLIFFsNOTES VERSION OF THE CIVIL WAR IN GAZA

I consider my fellow bloggers here at TAB to be experts on Middle East issues. Alas, I am not. So I spent considerable time this past weekend trying to wrap my brain around what has been going on in Gaza. I read all of my fellow TAB's posts and many, many articles and posts on it all. As a result, I came up with this cliffs notes version of some of what is going on. I figure there are probably at least a couple other people out there whose eyes glaze over when they hear about Gaza in the news. I hope this will help others, like myself, to understand things a little better.
Washington politicians take note: Gaza is what can happen when you precipitously pull your military forces out of a Middle Eastern war zone without making sure there is in place a truly democratic government and adequately trained and armed security forces capable of insuring law and order.--Joel Rosenberg

Hamastan is here, Welcome to Hell--Israeli Press

The basics:
Gaza--A 25 mile strip of land with a population of 1.4 million people

Lands occupied by Palestinians--Gaza and The West Bank

Hamas--Recognized Terrorist organization supported by Iran and Syria

Fatah--Supposed to be a more moderate Palestinian group backed by the Western World but some argue it is also a terrorist group that just pretends to acknowledge Israel, was started by Yasser Arafat (who publicly would denounce suicide bombers but was known to secretly support them)

Palestinian President--Mahmud Abbas (member of Fatah)

2006 elections--Members of Hamas were elected to the Palestinian government which thus gave a known terrorist organization shared power with Fatah.

Civil War--Between Hamas and Fatah for control of Gaza, which fell within a few days to Hamas

When did the Civil War start?--Acts of violence started escalating on Sunday, June 10th.

Control--Hamas now controls the Gaza strip and Fatah controls the West Bank

Killed--At least 113 Palestinians have been killed so far in the bloodshed

Gang-style executions--Carried out by masked Hamas against Fatah and PA security forces in front of their wives and children

Fleeing--Many Palestinians, especially members of Fatah have tried to flee from Gaza knowing their lives are at risk but Gaza has been sealed off

International Embargo--After Hamas took control of part of the Palestinian government an embargo was placed on aid to the Palestinian people. The embargo may be lifted against the West Bank since Hamas will no longer be in the government there.

Whose fault is all of this?--According to our very own Boston Globe, Israel. It is unfathomable to me how 2 Palestinian groups at war with each other could be Israel's fault but it is like everything here, somehow no matter what happens everything is George W. Bush's fault.

Israel's response--Plans are already being made to take out Hamas in Gaza.

Bibi Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky warned in 2005 that it wasn't a good idea for Israel to take troops out of Gaza. They had argued that it would show weakness and surrender, I think they have been proven right. I'm not sure what the solution is to this mess now but Joel Rosenberg concludes his excellent post with these 2 thoughts:
1) Iran's efforts to surround Israel and prepare to "wipe Israel off the map" has just been significantly advanced and thus the prospect for a full-blown war in the Middle East this summer or fall now seems more likely, not less; and 2) U.S. politicians had better think twice about a precipitous withdrawal of American military forces in Iraq before the Iraqis are ready unless they want a repeat of the nightmare now unfolding in Gaza.

**I wrote this post several days ago in preparation for the radio show and then of course, never even got to it. Since I wrote this more has happened. Joel Rosenberg has this update at his blog.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

IF THERE'S ANYONE MOST DESERVING OF KNIGHTHOOD IN THE UK, IT'S SALMAN RUSHDIE

Unfortunately, Islamofascists worldwide don't think so. Worse, they're using this now as a justification for suicide bombings, and worse:
Britain's decision to award Salman Rushdie a knighthood set off a storm of protest in the Islamic world today, with a Pakistani government minister giving warning that it could provide justification for suicide bomb attacks.

Rushdie was awarded the title in the Queen's Birthday Honours on Saturday. He has lived under police protection since the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran pronounced a fatwa (death sentence) on him over alleged blasphemies against Islam in his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses.

Today, Pakistan's religious affairs minister suggested that the knighthood was so grave an offence that any Muslim anywhere in the world would be justified in taking violent action.

"If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified," Mr ul-Haq told the National Assembly.
I hope the British government doesn't appease the cowards by revoking the awards they've given to Rushdie, who had true courage when he first published the Satanic Verses in 1988. But alas, we can't be sure.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin and Hot Air.

BUSH, ARAFAT/ABBAS AND HAMASTAN: WHO'S TO BLAME?

THE SO-CALLED PALESTINIAN ARABS. EXCERPT:
The elected governors of the Palestinians have now murdered their way into complete control of Gaza, with a display of barbarity that sets a new standard for depravity (throwing political opponents to their death off roofs, killing men in front of their wives and children, raiding hospitals to find more opponents to murder).

I don't think this is the result of a "hands off" policy of the Bush administration.

But the "hands off" accusation, trumpeted by the New York Times in the opening paragraphs of its "news" story on Gaza, illustrates a number of points about the perspective of the perennial peace processors.
IOW: THE BLAME AMERICA FIRST CROWD.

RTWT.

FRED THOMPSON ON UNIONS - AND THEIR ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THE FEDERAL LAW TO PROP UP THEIR WANING POLITICAL POWER



FRED SPEAKS.

WE LISTEN.

AND ENJOY.

CUZ TRUTH IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.

HILLARY'S CELINE DION SONG VERSUS MINE

HERE'S THE SONG HILLARY CHOSE:


HERE'S THE ONE I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN.


WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER? VOTE:
Free polls from Pollhost.com
Which Celine Dion song is a better campaign theme for someone running for the presidency?
"You and I" "God Bless America"   


They Take Liberalism Seriously

The University of Chicago sent my mate and I a generic College survey asking generic questions about our opinion of our son's college experience.

We come to the usual race class and gender questions such as:
This college is a place where...
students of all religious backgrounds can feel welcome

people of all economic backgrounds can feel welcome

people of different sexual orientations can feel welcome

people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds can feel welcome
However, this last one really surprised me and my mate.
This college is a place where people with differing political points of view can feel welcome.
Fortunately our answer was AGREE strongly. At Chicago they take liberalism seriously.

Cross Posted at Power and Control and at Classical Values

BLOOMBERG LEAVES GOP

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially decided to stop pretending to be what he never was in the first place: a Republican.

Now the lifelong Democrat is a registered "Independent," which means he wants to be a Democrat but keep his "moderate" street-cred. I don't blame Rudy or any of the others who supported Bloomberg in 2001, (he was running against Mark Green, after all) but now it's time to get scared. My first inclination is to not give a damn about anything Michael Bloomberg says or does, but if he has his way, he'll do exactly what H. Ross Perot did; make sure a Clinton is elected president.

G-d help us.

NEGROPONTE'S VISIT TO PAKISTAN GET'S RESULTS

BILL ROGGIO:
A joint al-Qaeda and Taliban training camp was struck in a missile attack in Pakistan's lawless Northwest Frontier Province. A strike, believed to have been launched by U.S. forces from Afghanistan, hit a train camp in the town of Mami Rogha in the Datta Khel district of North Waziristan. Upwards of 32 Taliban and possibly foreign al Qaeda were killed in the strike on the camp, which is situated about 26 miles west of Miramshah.

"A U.S. pilotless drone aircraft carried out the attack at around 10:30 a.m. (0530 GMT)," Reuters reported, based on an anonymous Pakistani intelligence source and local residents. "There was a cluster of three houses and a tent which were hit. There were about 45 people in that area... Intelligence officials said some foreigners were among those killed in Mami Rogha, raising the possibility that al Qaeda fighters might have also been present."

An anonymous intelligence source familiar with al Qaeda's training camps in the region told The Fourth Rail that the Mami Rogha camp known to the intelligence community. "There is a camp there, also barracks and supply posts," said the source. There are "dozens" of camps in the Northwest Frontier province, but the source refused to give specific numbers. There are also several camps "run by lesser groups," such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, "in Azad Kashmir and other parts of Pakistan."

The strike on the Mami Rogha camp is the latest in a series of U.S. strikes against al Qaeda and Taliban training facilities strung across the Northwest Frontier Province. Al Qaeda camps in Damadola, Danda Saidgai, Chingai, Zamazola, and again in Danda Saidgai over the course of 2006 and 2007.
THIS ATTACK COMES ON THE HEELS OF A HIGH LEVEL VISIT BY US OFFICIALS WITH MUSHARRAF. TAB SAID WE TALKED TOUGH IN SECRET, AND THIS US LED ATTACK WITHIN PAKISTAN IS PROOF.

MUSHARRAF GETS IT.

FRED THOMPSON'S FOREIGN POLICY - RTWT



Fred Thompson's Remarks to Policy Exchange in London

Watch video of the speech by clicking here.

Thank you very much. Charles Moore, Anthony Browne, Dean Godson, distinguished guests: I appreciate the cordial welcome to London. I always look forward to visiting the United Kingdom, and this time around I couldn’t ask for a better host than the Policy Exchange.

We have a few policies back home that we’d like to exchange, and think tanks like this are the place to come. After just five years, the Policy Exchange ranks among the best, and the fine reputation of your work has reached Washington as well. I congratulate all of you, and I thank you for the hospitality.

Your kind invitation brings me here just as Great Britain prepares to greet an incoming prime minister.

Back in the U.S., we’re able to watch the House of Commons’ “Prime Minister’s Question Time,” which Mr. Brown will now endure. I’ve thought that America needed a weekly question and answer period between the President and Congress. But in the past few months I’ve decided it isn’t such a good idea.

Your system also allows a change in the head of government at a moment's notice. Even your general election campaigns are mercifully brief.

Of course we believe in long presidential campaigns in the U.S. Most American politicians are afraid they won’t be considered serious candidates until they’ve made a promise a hundred times and spent a hundred million dollars. Though every now and then you still get some slow-poke who takes his time before announcing.

I congratulate Mr. Brown, and I wish him well as the 53rd prime minister of the United Kingdom. And if you’ll allow me a word about the 52nd … we’ll miss him. There are disputes of party here that are strictly British affairs. But sometimes the better points of statesmen possibly are seen more clearly at a distance.

We are profoundly grateful for the friendship of the British people, and in America we’ll always remember Mr. Blair as a gallant friend, even when it did him no good politically.

When we in the States take the measure of your leaders, their party affiliation doesn’t really count for a whole lot. It’s been this way for a while now, at every moment when it mattered. It was true in the days of Churchill and Roosevelt … of Thatcher and Reagan … and Blair and Bush.

Differences of party and domestic policy are incidental, compared to the bigger considerations that define Britain and America as allies. On both sides of the Atlantic, what matters most are the commitments we share, and the work we are called to do in common. This work is based upon the principles we hold – primarily, the right of free people to govern themselves. We also believe that the rule of law, market economies, property rights, and trade with other nations are the underpinnings of a free society.

When historians of the modern era speak of the great democracies, of civilization and its defenders, that’s us they’re talking about – we and our democratic friends across Europe and beyond.

In the long progress of the world toward liberty, it was not by chance that this lowly province of the Roman Empire became a great teacher of democracy and the model of self-government. And it wasn’t just luck that turned a troublesome British colony into the inspiration for all those who seek freedom. There is a reason why Britain and America were thrown together as partners in this world. The things that unite the American and British peoples? They don’t change with the names of leaders or with the passing of years.

It was Harold MacMillan who best summed up the shared experiences of British and American leaders in the last century. In his later years, Lord Stockton was asked what he considered the greatest challenge in all his years as a statesman. And in that English way, he put it in a word: “Events, my dear boy, events.”

Events often have a way of intruding upon the plans of free people. As a rule, people in democratic societies prefer to take care of the business of life. They raise families. They work and they trade. They create wealth and they share it. Above all in free societies, we live by the law – and, at our best, we look after one another, too. Yet in every generation, “events” can be counted on to change the plan, sometimes in tragic ways.

Often the cause of our grief is a misplaced trust in the good intentions of others. In our dealings with other nations, people in free countries are not the type to go looking for trouble. We tend to extend our good will to other nations, assuming that it will be returned in kind. No matter how clear the signals, sometimes in history even the best of men failed to act in time to prevent the worst from happening.

The United States and the United Kingdom have learned this lesson both ways – in great evils ignored, and in great evils averted. We learned it from a World War that happened and, in the decades afterward, from the World War that didn’t happen.

We must conclude that the greatest test of leadership – in your country or mine, in this time or any other – can be simply stated. We must shape events, and not be left at their mercy. And in all things, to protect ourselves and to assure the peace, the great democracies of the world must stick together. We must be willing to make tough decisions today in order to avert bigger problems tomorrow. We must be prepared to meet threats before threats become tragedies.

These are not considerations relevant only to the people of Great Britain and the United States. The relationship between the United States and all of Europe is valued by both sides and has benefited the world. NATO has not only been an effective tool for our efforts, it symbolizes our commonality.

Changes in leadership on both sides of the Atlantic will give us new opportunities. Often in the history of nations, leaders rise to meet the times. These times require those with the wisdom and courage to see past the next election cycle.

The United States and our European allies must begin to forge a new understanding that matches the times we live in. This must be an understanding based upon candor if we are to come closer to agreement as to the nature of the challenges we face.

I have great hope for such a new understanding among NATO allies. We would never want to look back on a campaign we’d undertaken to realize we’d fallen short for lack of commitment or material support. Today our enemies do not doubt our military strength. They do question our determination. Our efforts will require ongoing dialogue based upon mutual respect and mutual interests.

For many Americans, there is a concern that even among our friends, some people are instinctively uncomfortable with U.S. power. Some on the Continent speak of the need for Europe to balance U.S. influence. Americans worry that this sentiment could, over time, lead to an uncoupling of the alliance. And if constraining U.S. power is that important, would our European friends be comfortable with other powers serving as a counterweight to the United States?

Some who seek to check U.S. power believe that legitimacy may only be conferred by international consensus as represented by the UN Security Council. They ask, “If a country can invade another nation for its own good reasons, what is the logical stopping point?”

The American response is to ask how, then, does one justify non-Security-Council-sanctioned actions, such as Kosovo? What are nations allowed to do when the UN cannot muster the political will to act? How many countries must be involved in an action before legitimacy is conferred? Is it just European countries that count? And, how do we deal with problems in concert when many of us don’t agree on the extent or nature of the problem?

For our part, we in the United States must make a better case for our views and our actions. It is possible that things that are perfectly obvious to us may not be so obvious even to those who wish us well. We must be willing to listen and we must be willing to share our intelligence to the maximum extent appropriate.

We must be prepared to make our case not just privately, but to the people of Europe and the world in order to build political support for cooperation. The world is not stronger if America is weaker – or is perceived to be weaker. The same is true of Britain and truer still of our NATO alliance. And we must be capable of making that case.

In return, it is fair to expect that our allies will not put their trade and commercial interests above world security. It is also fair to ask that Europeans consider the consequences if they are wrong about the threat to the Western world.

Many in Europe simply have a different view from that of the United States as to the threat of radical Islamic fundamentalism. They think that the threat is overblown. That despite September 11th, and July 7th and other attacks in Europe and elsewhere, America is the main target and therefore the problem is basically an American one. The fact that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq at a particular point in time resolves the matter for them. Also, they see no meaningful connection between terrorist groups and countries like Iran.

Admittedly, even some in America think that the threat is overblown, and that if we had not gone into Iraq, we’d have no terrorism problem.

However, most Americans feel differently. We understand that the Western world is in an international struggle with jihadists who see this struggle as part of a conflict that has gone on for centuries, and who won’t give up until Western countries are brought to their knees. I agree with this view. I believe that the forces of civilization must work together with common purpose to defeat the terrorists who for their own twisted purposes have murdered thousands, and who are trying to acquire technology to murder millions more.

When terrorists in their video performances pledge more and bigger attacks to come, against targets in both Europe and America, these are not to be shrugged off as idle boasts. They must be taken at their word.

When the president of Iran shares his nightmare visions before cheering crowds, those are not just the fanatic’s version of an empty applause line. The only safe assumption is that he means it. If we know anything from modern history, it is that when fanatical tyrants pledge to “wipe out” an entire nation, we should listen. We must gather our alliance, and do all in our power to make sure that such men do not gain the capability to carry out their evil ambitions.

Of course, diplomacy is always to be preferred in our dealings with dangerous regimes. But I believe diplomacy, as Franklin Roosevelt put it, is more than “note writing.” The words of our leaders command much closer attention from adversaries when it is understood that we and our allies are prepared to use force when force is necessary.

The campaign in Afghanistan is a prime example of this, both as a largely successful effort against a terrorist state and as a logical extension of the mission of NATO, which now reaches far beyond the boundaries of Europe.

As in Iraq, the effort has involved great sacrifice from the brave sons and daughters of Britain. By their valor, and by the sustained action of NATO in Afghanistan, we have shown our seriousness of purpose against terrorism … an ability to move beyond the military models of Cold War days … and a capacity to shift tactics and technology to fight an enemy who defends no state and observes no code.

Even in the midst of all the divisiveness with regard to our actions in Iraq, the United States, Great Britain and our coalition should be proud of what we have averted. Imagine Saddam Hussein and his murderous sons in power today successfully defying the international community and free to pursue weapons programs.

Of course political realism is back in the ascendancy since the difficulties in Iraq. It’s true that we have learned that geography, history, and ethnicity are important factors to consider in making decisions regarding today’s enemies.

We’ve also been reminded of the importance of preparation, of alliances, and the continuing support of our people.

But that does not change the fact that we sometimes must address events in far-away places that endanger our people. Or that we believe in universal values that do not allow us to ignore wholesale human suffering.

Realism? Yes. But also idealism, which is what makes us different from our enemies.

We should also remember that beyond the War on Terror, there are other threats we must meet together that extend well into the future. One way or another, the challenges we face today will recede. Other challenges to our shared interests and security have not been waiting patiently in line for our attention.

Some cannot yet be seen, but it is obvious that our energy needs for example are not going away. Disruptions in energy supplies, sharp price increases and thuggish behavior by energy suppliers are threats to all democracies with growing economies. Also, rapid military build-ups by non-democratic nations should be of concern.

More and more, if things go wrong in disputes that were once considered just regional problems, there will be no “over there” or “over here.” We’ll all be affected. Globalization is not limited to economic matters. As we go through these perilous times, we must keep firmly in mind the things that bind us together, not disagreements.

We’ve been through a lot together, our two nations – and not just in the storied exploits of our parents’ generation. Though there are many moments in British political history from which leaders today can take instruction, there is one in particular that I’ve always admired in the career of Sir Winston Churchill.

It was when Neville Chamberlain died in November 1940. In memorializing in the House of Commons his longtime adversary, Churchill pronounced the bitter controversies put to rest. He said, quote, “History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.”

In the end, he reflected, “The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions.” We are “so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.”

Maybe it’s the actor in me that admires this scene so much. It’s a moment that no script-writer could improve upon. I am struck by its spirit, the magnanimity and generosity of the man … the willingness to let old arguments go, and move on to great objectives held in common.

We in this alliance have had our own share of hopes mocked and plans upset. And now it is time to shake off the disappointments, to let go of controversies past, and to press on together toward the great objectives. To ensure security for our people. To be a force for stability in the world. To remain the stalwart friends of freedom.

For our part, we in the United States have never had occasion to doubt the fortitude and faithfulness of the British people. As much as ever, we count ourselves lucky to call the United Kingdom our closest ally, and we are proud to call you our finest friend.

Thank you.

Fred Thompson is an actor and former Senator. His radio commentary airs on the ABC Radio Network and be blogs on The Fred Thompson Report. VIDEO OF THE Q&A. HIS BLOG.

JIMMY CARTER IS NOW OPENLY PRO-HAMAS

Jimmy Carter has come out as being, unequivocally, in favor of Hamas:
The United States, Israel and the European Union must end their policy of favoring Fatah over Hamas, or they will doom the Palestinian people to deepening conflict between the rival movements, former US President Jimmy Carter saidTuesday.

Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was addressing a conference of Irish human rights officials, said the Bush administration’s refusal to accept the 2006 election victory of Hamas was “criminal.”

Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Let's look at what the Hamas political party stands for. Here are some excerpts from the Hamas Charter:
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

"After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Moslem Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Moslem Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Moslem Brotherhood in 1968 and after.

Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:
"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).
The Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement:

Article Eight:

Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.
Conclusion: The openly stated goal of Hamas is to kill Jews.

Therefore, Jimmy Carter is now clearly advocating for genocide; the second Holocaust.

An outbreak of extreme stupidity, or perhaps malice, from the Spanish government

Imagine you run a business, already imperilled by new technology and the like, and the government comes up with the idea of obliging you to make 25% of your stock something that you do not believe there is a market for. Furthermore, you have limited space, and your business is very time sensitive.

And that is the extraordinarily liberal, laissez faire, well thought out, rational proposal that is threatening Spanish cinema operators.

Spain's cinema law "would oblige cinemas to ensure that one out of every four films they show is of European origin". Perhaps like the gems that the EU part funds. Possibly Madrile├▒os are hideously frustrated that there is not enough Ken Loach being screened at El Odeon, but if so they are best off lobbying cinema owners to show more non-Hollywood (because that is *exactly* where this is aimed, isn't it folks?) films, or otherwise voting with their feet. There will always be would be arts commissars who think that it is acceptable to interfere with the market in entertainment as 'the proles' need to be educated for their own good, while lacking the courage to start businesses and take risks themselves. Perhaps if this is a 'success', next steps might include compelling shoe shops to make a quarter of their stock sandals, or for supermarkets to load up on organic / 'fair' trade / what ever is fashionable this week in the same way.

We have, of course, been here before. The French inflicted a quota of French language songs on radio stations, thus unleashing dangerous levels of Celine Dion on a blameless public.

Meanwhile, the Spanish cinema owners are protesting loudly, and 93% refused to open yesterday. I wish them every good fortune in fighting this cretinous bill.

LORD LEACH VS LORD MAY ON CLIMATE SCIENCE

A succinct and dignified reproof in the best British tradition:

As a non-scientist I cannot have read one-hundredth of the number of scientific articles read by Robert May, yet I am familiar with at least a score (each citing a score more) questioning key parts of the theory that there is a threat of catastrophic man-made global warming. So when Lord May claims (April 6) that "not one" respected scientist is unconvinced, far from persuading me he only makes me doubtful of his other claims.

Moreover, by applying the term "denial" (with all its loaded undertones) to sceptical scientists; by referring to them inaccurately as "well funded" by the oil industry; and by likening those who stress the uncertainties of climate science to unprincipled lobbyists for tobacco companies, Lord May enters on the field of personal vilification - not a suitable place for a distinguished former President of the Royal Society.

There is a great deal more money and acceptability available to consensus scientists than to dissenters. This suggests that the work of the doubters should be taken very seriously, since it brings with it problems both of funding and of exclusion from the friendly embrace of the Establishment. I admire such people, much as I have admired other dissidents like Solzhenitsyn, Pastor Bonhoeffer - oh, and Galileo and Darwin.

LEACH OF FAIRFORD
Matheson & Co, 3 Lombard Street, London EC3

Source

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