Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Thursday, August 31, 2006

British Movie Writer/Director Assassinates President Bush

Is this wishful thinking coming out of Great Britain? It's sick and uncalled for despite the justification provided.
This is the dramatic moment when President George Bush is gunned down by a sniper after a public address at a hotel, in a gripping new docudrama soon to be aired on TV. Set around October 2007, President Bush is assassinated as he leaves the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago. Death of a President, shot in the style of a retrospective documentary, looks at the effect the assassination of Bush has on America in light of its 'War on Terror'. The 90 minutes feature explores who could have planned the murder, with a Syrian-born man wrongly put in the frame. Peter Dale, head of More4, which is due to air the film on October 9, said the drama was a "thought-provoking critique" of contemporary US society. He said: "It's an extraordinarily gripping and powerful piece of work, a drama constructed like a documentary that looks back at the assassination of George Bush as the starting point for a very gripping detective story. "It's a pointed political examination of what the War on Terror did to the American body politic. "I'm sure that there will be people who will be upset by it but when you watch it you realise what a sophisticated piece of work it is. "It's not sensationalist, or simplistic but a very thought-provoking, powerful drama. I hope people will see that the intention behind it is good." The film will premier at the Toronto Film Festival in September and was written and directed by Gabriel Range. It's my opinion that the writer, producer and director, Gabriel Range is no less than a sick twist and this protrayal is nothing more than a terrible swipe at George W. Bush. Reading this made me ill and angry. Where and when does the media stop with their hate? This is absolutely going to far!
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Two Failed Presidents Meet

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami is coming to the United States after he was granted a visa for the annual UN anniversary celebration. Harvard is offering Khatami a forum to spread his "message," and is scheduled to speak at the Washington National Cathedral on Sept. 7.
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Khatami's schedule may include speeches at the University of Virginia and to an Islamic group in Chicago. He may also pay a private visit to Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello and meet with our worst former president, Jimmy Carter, who has agreed to meet with Khatami. How nice!
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Carter's term as president was dominated by the rupture in relations after the 1979 Iranian revolution and the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days until the day he left office.
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Khatami was president of the Islamic republic from 1997 to 2005 and never disavowed Ayatollah Khomeini's actions when he was supreme leader. He was labeled a moderate and reformer but was feckless and never stood up to the Mullah's for change.
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Carter on the other hand recently stated to Der Spiegel and The Daily Telegraph in interviews that that Israel was unjustified in attacking Lebanon. Speaking to the British Daily Telegraph, Carter condemned British PM Tony Blair for being too compliant and subservient to President Bush. How diplomatic!
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Carter doesn't believe Israel has a right to defend itself upon attack. "I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for the massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon." Carter added that he believed he spoke for the vast majority of Democrats.
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Khatami on Sunday emphasized the legitimacy of Iran's nuclear technology development program. He is sticking with the hardline view so as to embrace his puppet masters.
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Khatami conceded he had failed to implement his democratic reform program while Iran's President, claiming he had bowed to the will of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his hard-line allies to avoid riots and preserve the ruling Islamic establishment. "If I retreated, I retreated against the system I believed in," said Khatami in 2004. A system he believed in? How does this mesh with his "reformer" label?
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"The only way to save the country is to establish democracy," said Khatami speaking of reform in Iran. "The way toward democracy is through and within the Islamic Republic." Is Khatami speaking of radical Islam or the so-called peaceful Islam many in the West are attempting to see through all of the violence.
Khatami was voted into office by landside majority in 1997 and 2001. Like Carter his presidency was failed. Students would later chant: "Khatami, Khatami shame on you! Incompetent Khatami, may our vote not bless you!"
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Khatami responded, "I considered it necessary to save the ruling establishment."
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Now we have come full circle while Iran thumbs its nose at the West and continues on the path to nuclear weapons. Two failed former Presidents may meet and chat about their failed policies and Carter will lament on George W. Bush and Tony Blair as failures in leadership.
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Carter is now a voice for the angry left and hate mongers at The Daily Kos and MoveOn.org. With the elections in November and the threat of a Democratic takeover in the House any rational and conservative minded individual should ask themselves one question. Do we want Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House?
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Khatami will meet with the worst President in U.S. history and will visit a memorial to one of the great Founding Fathers in American history. This all seems like an insult to Thomas Jefferson.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Colin Powell and Richard Armitage - Ultimate Betrayal

It is now presumed that Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State (2001-2005) is the Valerie Plame "leaker." Armitage comes from the Colin Powell era and did the Whitehouse no favors if he, in fact, did leak Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak.
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Powell and Armitage are considered moderates, I would see this as an understatement.
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Armitage signed "The Project for the New American Century" letter to President Bill Clinton in 1998. The letter urged Clinton to target the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power in Iraq due to erosion of the Gulf War Coalition's containment policy and the resulting possibility that Iraq might create weapons of mass destruction.
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During his years in the Bush administration Armitage was an internal Administration opponent of the conservatives who supported the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
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The Timeline Alledgedly Exposing Armitage:
  • According to an April 2006 Vanity Fair article (published March 14, 2006), former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee said in an interview "That Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption," though Bradlee later told the Post that he "[did] not recall making that precise statement" in the interview.
  • On March 2, 2006, bloggers discovered that "Richard Armitage" fit the spacing on a redacted court document, suggesting he was a source for the Plame leak.
  • On August 21, 2006, the Associated Press published a story that revealed Armitage met with Bob Woodward in mid-June 2003. The information came from official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • In the September 4, 2006 issue of Newsweek magazine, in an article titled "The Man Who Said Too Much," journalist Michael Isikoff, quoting a "source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities," reported that Armitage was the original source for Robert Novak's piece outing Plame.
  • Isikoff also reported that Armitage had also told Bob Woodward of Plame's identity in 2003, and that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald investigated Armitage's role "aggressively," but did not charge Armitage with a crime because he "found no evidence that Armitage knew of Plame's covert CIA status when he talked to Novak and Woodward."
  • Novak, in an August 27, 2006 appearance on Meet the Press, stated that although he still would not release the name of his source, he felt it was long overdue that the source reveal himself.
  • On August 29, 2006 Neil A. Lewis of The New York Times reported that Armitage is confirmed to be the first and primary source of the CIA leak investigation.
According to The Washington Note, Armitage has testified before the grand jury three times. Armitage has also reportedly been a cooperative and key witness in the Plame leak investigation.
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In "Fess Up, Mr. Armitage" the Wall Street Journal states for starters, fessing up would put to rest the conspiracy theories once and for all. Bush opponents have continued to promote this myth, with Mr. Wilson writing in June 2004 that "the conspiracy to destroy us was most likely conceived -- and carried out -- within the office of the vice president of the United States." Not a word of that was true. The White House, in short, was not engaged in any campaign to "out" Ms. Plame.
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According to the new book by David Corn and Michael Isikoff, Mr. Armitage never did tell the White House or the President, that he was the leaker. In October 2003 he told then Secretary of State Colin Powell, who told the State Department general counsel, who in turn told the Justice Department but gave the White House Counsel only the sketchiest overview of what he'd learned and didn't mention Mr. Armitage's name.
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Powell and Armitage let the President take political heat for the case, while also letting Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby and other White House officials twist in the wind for more than two years.
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The Wall Street Journal further states Powell's former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson and intelligence officer Carl Ford Jr. did much to trash John Bolton's nomination to be Ambassador to the U.N. in 2005. The State Department clique Mr. Bush tolerated for so long did tremendous damage to his Administration.
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While President Bush is known for his loyalty it seems he never received the same from State Department officials at the top or then Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who according to the Corn-Isikoff book, presumably knew by October 2003 about Mr. Armitage's role as the leaker and if the book's account is correct, misled the White House with his silence.
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It seems Mr. Bush has let his loyalty go to far and blind him to the reality that some of his closest members in the Cabinet allowed him to drown in false stories and media-liberal spin that there was some nefarious White House leaker to discover. Why did President Bush continue to let his closest aides, Scooter Libby and Karl Rove be hounded by a special counsel?
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We should seriously question what specific ax to grind Colin Powell and Richard Armitage had and how far their insubordination and betrayal should have been tolerated.

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FairTax Blogburst

by Julie of Degree of Madness Follow-up on last week's Blogburst about the outside collection agencies the IRS is employing to collect delinquent taxes. On August 23, this was the headline: IRS Warns Against Phony Debt Collectors. The IRS warned taxpayers Wednesday not to be duped by scammers posing as private debt collectors the agency has hired to chase unpaid tax debts. The program isn't even in place yet and concerns are already being raised, and not just by this Blogburst writer. The Internal Revenue Service designed the debt collection program to minimize that risk "because we know what it's like out there with regard to identity theft nowadays," said Brady Bennett, IRS Director of Collections. The IRS designed the program to minimize the risk. Well that's comforting. The IRS is looking out for you. And this article addresses something I wasn't sure about and that is whether the private collection agencies would have access to social security numbers. They will. The IRS plans to give the collection agencies basic identifying and account information about the chosen taxpayers, including their names, addresses and Social Security numbers. The agencies do not have access to tax returns. Also from the article: Identity thieves have posed as IRS agents in "phishing" schemes that use the tax agency's logo to lure victims. The e-mail schemes are designed to dupe taxpayers into revealing personal financial information. The IRS does not communicate with taxpayers through e-mail, and it will not e-mail taxpayers about debts turned over to private collectors. The IRS also does not ask taxpayers for any passwords or PIN numbers that would allow the agency to access bank or credit card accounts. Bennett also cautioned taxpayers chosen for the debt collection effort to make any check or money order payable to the U.S. Treasury, not a private company, and to send the money to the IRS. The collection agencies have been told to provide addresses to the taxpayers they contact. This is all well and good but the IRS cautioning taxpayers via articles such as this probably won't be very widely read. Is the IRS planning to contact taxpayers directly to advise them of this program? I've not received anything from them. And from the first line of the article, "The IRS warned taxpayers", how did they warn them? By telling the AP? I read some of the comments last week on blogs that posted the Blogburst. One commenter responded to the statement I made about our tax information being private by suggesting that since the government knows our tax information it is not private. Good point, but that doesn't mean I want them passing it out to employees of private companies. And if we had the Fair Tax the government would know much less about our private financial information. KnightHawk at PoliPundit had some really good responses to some of the questions raised. There were some good questions raised and worth a look. Now on to this week's blogburst. Our representatives in Congress are finally getting the message that Americans are "fed up" with the current tax code. The question is, how do we fix it? I contacted my (Alabama) Senators and Representative in Washington to let them know of my support for the Fair Tax. Three letters, three different responses. Congressman Spencer Bachus (6th district) is a co-sponsor of the Fair Tax Act of 2005, H.R. 25. Good news. Senator Jeff Sessions has not endorsed any specific proposal for reform, but does agree something has to be done about the tax code. From his letter: "Most taxpayers that I talk to are not only fed up with the complexity of the tax code, but the enormous tax burden that has been placed on them." Senator Richard Shelby supports "a flat tax, as opposed to a national sales tax". I wanted to address Senator Shelby's position because I believe his concerns about the Fair Tax are probably shared by many on Capitol Hill. From his letter: I support a flat tax, as opposed to a national sales tax, because I believe that the flat tax encourages savings in a more effective manner without leaving the federal budget vulnerable to fluctuations in our economy. Under a flat tax, government revenues would not fluctuate as severely because of changes in the economy as they would with a national sales tax. This is the same problem that many state budgets are facing today because they depend too much on sales taxes. I'm not really sure about the "encourages savings in a more effective manner", but his concern about the fluctuations in the economy is interesting. In other words, if our economy slows down the government should not have to slow down. Changes, I'm assuming he means negative changes, in the economy would surely affect the taxpayer but he would get no relief from Uncle Sam. While the taxpayer's personal economy fluctuates (downward), the government keeps right on spending. To me, this would be a good argument for the Fair Tax. If the American taxpayer had to cut back and budget better, why not the federal government? But according to a study by American Farm Bureau, #9 in the Fair Tax FAQ, consumption is a more reliable source of revenue anyway. Is consumption a reliable source of revenue? Yes, in fact, consumption is a more stable source of revenue than income. A recent study by American Farm Bureau economist Ross Korves shows the FairTax base is less variable than the income tax base. Why? Because during difficult times due to loss of a job or an inability to work, people may not have as much income, or may have no income at all. They borrow funds or use savings. They may not have earnings, but they still continue to consume. Another argument from Senator Shelby: Additionally, a flat tax better protects poor and low-income Americans because they are not forced to overpay taxes through their daily purchases, and then wait until the end of the month for a rebate check, as many national sales tax plans have proposed. These Americans need this money immediately to pay their bills and meet their needs. Under my proposal, the "Tax Simplification Act," low-income Americans would not have to pay for these distortions in the first place because of a personal deduction that would apply to all Americans. The Fair Tax proposes a "prebate", paid at the beginning of the month. And low-income Americans would have the same advantage as everyone else, no deductions from their paychecks for federal withholding or social security and Medicare. This is important. Even if the low-income American has no federal tax withheld, the social security and Medicare taxes will still be deducted under the Flat Tax. Currently it is 7.65% and everyone pays the same regardless of income bracket. Please follow this link for Senator Shelby's proposal for a flat tax. It certainly would be better than the current system, but it doesn't get rid of the IRS, it does not eliminate the corporate tax which is a huge plus for the Fair Tax, and it doesn't get rid of the social security and Medicare tax. The Fair Tax does. The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to host the weekly postings on your blog, please e-mail Terry. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina's Tragedy is Financial - Government Incompetence and Corruption

Oh the devastation, the horrid scenes, the replays ad nauseum. You would think "celebrating" the anniversary of a natural disaster wouldn't be as important as replaying scenes from 9/11 to remind citizens there is a danger and it has nothing to do with hurricane season. If you live on the ocean, below sea level, the chances of getting in the way of a natural disaster are pretty good.
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No I'm not heartless but I am a realist and the facts are the government at all levels have mismanaged billons of dollars and the incompetence is everywhere. New Orleans' plight is not the result of federal underspending, it's the fact Louisiana ranks at the top in U.S. corrupution.
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Let's examine past federal disaster spending:
  • Congress has approved $122.5 billion for the Gulf Region.
  • 9/11 spending was $22.0 billion.
  • 2004 hurricane spending was $12.5 billion.
  • Los Angeles earthquake was $8.1 billion.

Where did it all go in New Orleans?

  • FEMA $2,000 debit-cards intended to pay for necessities that were used for things like flat-panel TVs and tattoos.
  • The purchase of thousands of mobile homes that cost as much as $400,000 per family housed.
  • $200 million for renting the Carnival Cruise Ship.
  • Millions more in payments that went for season football tickets, luxury vacation resorts, even divorce lawyers.

It now comes down to local government incompetence as I have claimed in several posts. Mayor Nagin has a big mouth with very loose lips and his New Orleans city council has only recently come up with a "plan" needed to release even more funding.

Leadership in Mississippi has seen its communities almost back to full recovery. They didn't sit around pointing fingers and wringing their hands. Nor did they spend the money like drunken sailors without any accountibility. Private business such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart have contributed the most money that has produced any of the positive results in New Orleans and surrounding areas.

The Big Easy has always been to easy for the corrupt politicians. Capitalism has succeeded where the elected officials have miserably failed. Why should so much good money continue to chase more bad money?

Louisiana already ranked among the bottom five of all the states in crime, poverty, health care and school performance; the murder rate in New Orleans today is 10 times the national average. Instead of spending more on something so pathetic the area should simply be allowed to succumb to nature and become a "Beach Blowout."

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

FOX Journalists Free - Islam at Gunpoint or Else!

Two FOX News journalists were released by their kidnappers Sunday, nearly two weeks after they were taken hostage in the Gaza Strip. Steve Centanni, 60, and Olaf Wiig, 36, left Gaza and have since crossed into Israel after their release.
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"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint," Centanni told FOX News. "Don't get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn't know what the hell was going on."
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Before the journalists' release, a new video was released, showing Wiig and Centanni dressed in beige Arab-style robes. Wiig, of New Zealand, delivered an anti-Western speech, his face expressionless and his tone halting. The kidnappers claimed both men had converted to Islam.
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In one segment of the footage, Wiig is seen sitting cross-legged on the floor, dressed in a beige robe and reading from crumpled notes. Both announced in the tape that they have converted to Islam. And they both denounce U.S. President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
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So Islam displays what they're about once again. Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the terrorist group Hamas its with the released journalists like a proud father. However, Islam the religion holds two innocent victims at gunpoint and forces them into a scripted conversion statement.
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Where is the total and unequivocal condemnation of the entire act, including the "conversion" by gunpoint by leaders of the Muslim world? Where?

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Moon Bat(s) of The Week Award!

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan
and
French President Jacques Chirac
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Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac worked together this past week to place themselves center stage on the world scene but what really stands out is their narcissism and gutless demonstration pretending to be leaders.
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France, with U.S. backing, has brought two U.N. resolutions, 1559 and 1701, concerning Lebanon. As with resolutions concerning Saddam Hussein they mean absolutely nothing and Annan and Chirac are allowed to pretend, before the world, that they can lead. Nothing is further from the truth.
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The resolutions do not specifically call for the disarming of Hezbollah, they use the term "militias" as a reference point. Hezbollah is a terrorist group, not a member of the United Nations, therefore any resolution doesn't commit them to anything resembling a disarmament.
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France and Chirac wanted the leadership role in providing troops for "peace-keeping" but it's highly conditional. Initially Chirac backed off on his promise of 2,000 troops by sending 200 military engineers, some who arrived in rubber rafts powered by small outboard motors flying the colors of France. It wasn't a reenactment of D-Day.
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Annan and Chirac engage in photo-ops but they lack intestinal fortitude. They have both publicly criticized Israel but have never committed to removing Hezbollah or condemning Syria and Iran for funding the terrorist organization. Annan and Chirac are both anti-Israel and don't hide this fact.
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The Annan-Chirac resolution does not mandate a stabilization force going into southern Lebanon either to disarm Hezbollah, or to help the Lebanese government to disarm it. The resolution authorizes the international force to help the Lebanese Army establish a specific area between the border and the Litani River free of any weapons or armed personnel other than those belonging to the army or UNIFIL. But it does not mandate UNIFIL to help the army to disarm or dismantle Hezbollah. At the latest date UNIFIL forces were seen directing traffic while French forces observed.
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Hezbollah has said it is a national resistance movement, not a militia, and so was exempt from the resolutions. The Lebanese Army and some members of the Lebanese government, including the foreign minister, agreed.
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Northwestern University law professor Anthony D'Amato mulled the possibility that Hezbollah and the Lebanese government had done a secret deal in recent days.
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"What group in its right mind would consent to a resolution that calls for its disarmament to be likely followed by arrests and prosecutions for war crimes?" D'Amato asked.
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"The only reasonably conceivable reason Hezbollah has agreed to this resolution is that it has been assured, by secret agreement with the government of Lebanon, that its members will not be disarmed, arrested, or prosecuted."
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"My best guess is that the agreement calls for members of Hezbollah to be smoothly integrated into the armed forces of the Lebanese government. This would enable Hezbollah to dodge disarmament and simply change their uniforms," D'Amato said.
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Disarmament of Hezbollah is critical as it is a model for other countries and organizations on funding terrorists without directly involving themselves in war. Other regimes will take note of this model such as Somalia, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Colombia and eventually Pakistan. Hamas and Moqtada al-Sadr's Shi'ite militia in Iraq have already modeled themselves along the Hezbollah model.
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The Annan and Chirac model is appeasement and this is demonstrated on the current handling of Iran. Appeasing governments run by Mullah's and terrorists only allows them to set the time table and attain their goals of becoming nuclear entities.
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Annan and Chirac want the "disarming" of Israel by forcing them out of Lebanon where they can defend themselves from the sponsored terrorist threat. Both have repeatedly condemned Israel for its actions to defend itself. Annan and Chirac have never condemned Hezbollah or specifically called for their disarmament.
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Under U.N. resolution 1701, the Israelis are to withdraw "in tandem" with the arrival of the "enhanced" international force. Israel insists a U.N. force take up positions along the border to cut off arms shipments to Hezbollah, while Syria says such a move would be a "hostile" act.
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French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said Annan gave guarantees for the safety of European troops and on rules of engagement, and that France wanted an arms-free "exclusion zone" in south Lebanon. Why not ask for an arms free Hezbollah?
"We think the best solution for disarming Hezbollah is to make an exclusion zone with the retreat of the Israeli army on one side and the deployment of the Lebanese Army on the other, reinforced by the U.N. troops," Douste-Blazy said.
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Does anyone really believe an exclusion zone will stop Hezbollah? Annan and Chirac are liars and lack any leadership qualities. They are impotent in the face of serious terrorist issues and the war on terror.
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"It is generally accepted that the disarmament of Hezbollah cannot be done by force," Annan told reporters. "The troops are not going there to disarm Hezbollah, let's be clear on that."
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Annan supports our argument in his own words. The goal is to eliminate Israel from defending itself and allowing Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and the Lebanese government to work toward the goal of "removing Israel from the face of the earth." This is the "silent" goal of Chirac and Annan.
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Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac believe in a final solution for Israel. This is their resolution and it's supported by the puppet masters in the Middle East!

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Porker of The Month - Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.)

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.) Porker of the Month for burnishing his credentials as an unabashed champion of pork-barrel spending.
xxx As House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Taylor shows no shame when it comes to flaunting pork. He was even invited to attend an exclusive reception in Asheville, N.C., for the infamous Sparta Teapot Museum.
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CAGW gave the museum the “Tempest in a Teapot” Oinker Award in its 2006 Congressional Pig Book for the $500,000 earmark it received in the fiscal 2006 Transportation/Treasury/Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act.
xxx Rep. Taylor has not been shy about his appetite for pork. In a May 2006 letter to the Asheville Citizen-Times, Taylor’s chief of staff, Sean Dalton, proudly compared his boss to Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), two of the biggest porkers in Congress (The Hill, 7/26/2006). Sen. Byrd has embraced his title of “King of Pork,” while Sen. Stevens is well-known for defending the “Bridge to Nowhere.” Anyone who puts Sens. Byrd and Stevens on a pedestal is oblivious to the dire budget realities facing the government.
xxx Rep. Taylor is well on his way to following in Sen. Stevens’ footsteps with his own so-called “Road to Nowhere.” The 30-mile road was promised to residents of Swain County in 1943 to replace one that was destroyed to create a lake and national park, but construction was stopped for environmental reasons in the late 1960’s and never resumed. Rep. Taylor wants to spend an estimated $590 million in federal funds to finally complete the road, despite the county’s willingness to give up the project in exchange for a smaller federal reimbursement of $52 million.
xxx In the mold of Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), the senior Democrat on the House Ethics Committee who had to resign his post for securing millions of dollars in earmarks that may have benefited him personally, Rep. Taylor has come under fire for adding earmarks for the non-profit Education and Research Consortium of the Western Carolinas (ERC), which he helped to create. The ERC gets 100 percent of its funding from government grants and ERC directors have contributed to Rep. Taylor’s campaigns.
xxx For pigging out at the government trough and displaying shameless pride for bringing home the bacon, CAGW names Rep. Charles Taylor the Porker of the Month for August 2006.
xxx Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
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Liberally Conservative encourages you to write and let your displeasure in pork spending and earmarks be heard! A form link and address is provided below.
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Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.)
339 Cannon House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515
Tel: (202) 225-6401Fax: (202) 226-6422

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Apocalypse Now - The Iranian Threat

Not a Hollywood version starring left-wing nut Martin Sheen but another little fellow who plays a real president and puppet master for evil Mullahs. 'Apocalypse Now' is not playing at a local theatre but still in the planning stages on a back set in the Middle East.
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“The annihilation of the Zionist regime will come... Israel must be wiped off the map... And God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism” xxx “They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets.”
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“I officially announce that Iran has joined countries with nuclear technology.” xxx ~ Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
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The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. House of Representatives have released Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat: An Intelligence Challenge for the United States. (pdf. 29 pgs.) A brief summary by LC follows with sub-titles belonging to this author:
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The Threat Iran poses a threat to the United States and its allies due to its sponsorship of terror, probable pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and support for the insurgency in Iraq. Iran thus bears significant responsibility for the recent violence in Israel and Lebanon. Tehran's willingness to endure international condemnation, isolation, and economic disruptions in order to carry out nuclear activities covertly indicates Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The Program Since 2002, the IAEA has issued a series of reports detailing how Iran has covertly engaged in dozens of nuclear-related activities that violate its treaty obligations to openly cooperate with the IAEA. These activities included false statements to IAEA inspectors, carrying out certain nuclear activities and experiments without notifying the IAEA, and numerous steps to deceive and mislead the IAEA. The IAEA has also uncovered evidence that Iran has pursued another route for nuclear weapons by producing plutonium. Plutonium can be separated from irradiated nuclear material such as "spent" fuel rods from a nuclear power reactor. North Korea is believed to have produced plutonium for nuclear weapons by separating plutonium from spent fuel rods. Evidence Iran has covertly pursued two parallel enrichment programs – a laser process based on Russian technology and a centrifuge process. The Russian government terminated cooperation with Iran on laser enrichment in 2001, following extensive consultations with the United States, and it appears to be no longer active. To produce plutonium, Iran has built a heavy water production plant and is constructing a large, heavy water-moderated reactor whose technical characteristics are well-suited for the production of weapons-grade plutonium. In support of this effort, Iran admitted in October 2003 to secretly producing small quantities of plutonium without notifying the IAEA, a violation of its treaty obligations. The IAEA has discovered documentation in Iran for casting and machining enriched uranium hemispheres, which are directly relevant to production of nuclear weapons components. The IAEA is also pursuing information on nuclear-related high-explosive tests and the design of a delivery system, both of which point to a military rather than peaceful purpose of the Iranian nuclear program. The IAEA discovered evidence in September 2003 that Iran had covertly produced the short-lived radioactive element polonium 210 (Po-210), a substance with two known uses: a neutron source for a nuclear weapon and satellite batteries. Timeline Iran announced in April 2006 that it plans to build a 3,000-centrifuge cascade by early 2007 and ultimately plans to construct a 54,000 centrifuge cascade. Spent fuel from the LWR Russia is building for Iran in the city of Bushehr could produce enough weapons-grade plutonium for 30 weapons per year if the fuel rods were diverted and reprocessed. Chemical Weapons Although it does not have unequivocal evidence, the U.S. Intelligence Community believes Iran has an offensive chemical weapons research and development capability. Biological Weapons The U.S. Intelligence Community believes Iran probably has an offensive biological weapons program but lacks clear intelligence proving that this is the case. The U.S. Intelligence Community stated in its November 2004 721 Report: “Tehran probably maintains an offensive BW program. Iran continued to seek dual-use biotechnical materials, equipment, and expertise. While such materials had legitimate uses, Iran's biological warfare program also could have benefited from them. It is likely that Iran has capabilities to produce small quantities of BW agents, but has a limited ability to weaponize them.” This finding was echoed in the Department of State’s 2005 Report on Adherence and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments: "The Iranian BW program has been embedded within Iran’s extensive biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries so as to obscure its activities.
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"The United States judges that, based on available information, Iran has an offensive biological weapons program in violation of the BWC. Iran is technically capable of producing at least rudimentary biological warheads for a variety of delivery systems, including missiles." Iranian Ballistic Missile Program Iran claimed last fall that its Shahab-3 missile can currently strike targets at distances up to 2,000 km (1,200 miles), including Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and southeastern Europe. It is believed that Iran's Shahab-4 will have a range of 4,000 km (2,400 miles), enabling Iran to strike Germany, Italy, and Moscow. The U.S. Intelligence Community concluded in its November 2004 721 Report:
xxx "Iran's ballistic missile inventory is among the largest in the Middle East and includes some 1,300-km-range Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) and a few hundred short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs)-including the Shahab-1 (Scud-B), Shahab-2 (Scud C), and Tondar-69 (CSS-8)-as well as a variety of large unguided rockets.
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The report also covers other processes by Iran, which silently fights its war against the U.S., Coalition Forces and Israel.
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"Iran is pursuing a multi-track policy in Iraq, consisting of overtly supporting the formation of a stable, Shia Islamist-led central government while covertly working to diminish popular and military support for U.S. and Coalition operations there. Additionally, sophisticated bomb making material from Iran has been found in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq." Iran could at any time significantly ramp up its sponsorship of violent attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East if it believed doing so would keep the United States distracted or would otherwise be in Iran’s national interest. Non-government observers believe that Tehran consciously works to gain leverage with multiple political leaders, parties and organizations in the current Iraqi political system -- even those who are no fans of Iran, such as Shia cleric and Mahdi Army leader Muqtada al-Sadr -- to ensure it has options for influencing events no matter which group gains prominence in the Iraqi polity. The U.S. Intelligence Community, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense have reported that Iran provides training, funds, and weapons to a variety of Shia militias in Iraq which have been linked to assassinations, human rights abuses, and the planting of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) designed to maim and kill U.S. troops. Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2004 (issued April 2005) calls Iran “the most active state sponsor of terrorism,” stating that the MOIS and the IRGC both “provided Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups -- notably HAMAS, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command --with funding, safe haven, training and weapons.” Iranian assistance to Hezbollah consists of funds, training, equipment, and intelligence. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasarallah stated in a May 2005 speech that Hezbollah had more than 12,000 rockets with ranges of 25-45 miles. The IRGC reportedly has a strong presence in Lebanon to coordinate aid to Hezbollah, including Stinger surface-to-air missiles, Katyusha rockets, mortars, and other weaponry. The State Department Country Reports on Terrorism stated that Iran provided Hezbollah an unmanned aerial vehicle that it flew in November 2004 into Israeli airspace, providing target reconnaissance regarding northern Israeli cities.
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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
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The Department of State provided a persuasive assessment of Iran and WMD terrorism in its 2005 Country Reports on Terrorism: "State sponsors of terrorism pose a grave WMD threat. A WMD program in a state sponsorof terrorism could enable a terrorist organization to acquire a sophisticated WMD. State sponsors of terrorism and nations that fail to live up to their international obligations deserve special attention as potential facilitators of WMD terrorism. Iran presents a particular concern, given its active sponsorship of terrorism and continued development of a nuclear program. Iran is also capable of producing biological and chemical agents or weapons. Like other state sponsors of terrorism with WMD programs, Iran could support terrorist organizations seeking to acquire WMD."
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Truth or Consequences
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Although it is likely that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, there is the possibility that Iran could be engaged in a denial and deception campaign to exaggerate progress on its nuclear program such as Saddam Hussein apparently did concerning his WMD programs. U.S. leaders need more definitive intelligence to judge the status of the Iranian nuclear program and whether there have been any related deception efforts.
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In the end Iran and its leaders are playing a deadly game with announced threats of their intentions, if these are believed. Should the free world accept these threats as bluster or take them seriously before the Middle East, Europe and potentially the United States become a ball of nuclear fire? xxx The final conclusion of this report is the United States needs better intelligence to better assess conditions in Iran. The United Nations remains feckless and the Security Council will never deliver on its number resolutions. xxx Most disturbing is the intelligence community is out of touch and admits to having huge gaps in its ability to determine the actual realities on the ground in the Middle East. We hope the resources are appropriated to change this and politicians from both sides refrain from using this as a political football. xxx Iran cannot be trusted, the U.N. Security Council is useless, and therefore pre-eminence must be considered as a fact of survival. Open threats of annihilation need to be taken seriously and waiting for disaster to occur should not be an option. xxx If Iran continue down the path of creating a nuclear arsenal then a military solution must be taken to remove the imminent threat of a nuclear Iran. The Iranian government has also most recently made threats to any sanctions that may come from the U.N. Security Council. It seems diplomacy is out of the question.

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HDTV - Coming Soon, A Station Near You!

NEW YORK -- Authorities on Thursday announced the arrest of a man on charges that he conspired to violate federal laws by providing customers in the New York area with satellite broadcasts of a television station operated by Hezbollah.
xxx Javed Iqbal, 42 years old, of Staten Island, was arrested Wednesday on charges that he enabled the broadcasts of al Manar, which was designated by the U.S. government this spring as a global terrorist entity, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia.
xxx The charges were brought after federal agents executed search warrants at two storefronts in Brooklyn and at a Staten Island residence where several satellite dishes helped Mr. Iqbal distribute the broadcasts through a Brooklyn company called HDTV Limited, Mr. Garcia said.
xxx In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, investigator Charles Villani wrote that the probe began after a confidential source in February told law enforcement officers that Mr. Iqbal was selling al Manar broadcasts through a business in Brooklyn.
xxx He said he had reason to believe that the two locations searched by federal agents contained evidence that would prove violations of laws banning anyone from providing support to a foreign terrorist organization.
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That's HDTV Ltd......Hezbollah Direct Television Limited
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Source: Associated Press/Wall Street Journal

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Same Sex Relationships the Same - Oh Really?

A lesbian couple who entered into the nation's first same-sex civil union officially split up Wednesday.
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Beth Robinson, chairwoman of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, said the union's end shows that the state's civil union law is working.
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"One of the goals was to create a mechanism to protect people in a relationship and create a mechanism to help people dissolve relationships," Robinson said.
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"Same-sex relationships are no different than heterosexual relationships. Sometimes they last, sometimes they don't."
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So same sex relationships comes down to the comparison of a lasting relationship? Is it that easy to reconcile same sex unions to heterosexual marriage? Where does pro-creation come into play?
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Obviously the left-wing nuts, including Ms. Robinson spin their philosophy to fit the moment, even when things go amiss. We say to each his/her own but don't compare same sex unions with marriage here, it doesn't fly!

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Two Headed - Two Faced Hamas

Video footage of two kidnapped FOX News journalists was released by a previously unheard of Palestinian group Wednesday along with a statement demanding the release of Muslim prisoners in U.S. jails within 72 hours in exchange for the men.
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Palestinian security officials declined to comment on the statement and the video, but Mushir Masri, a Hamas lawmaker, appealed to the kidnappers to release the journalists.
xxx "The kidnapping (of civilians) doesn't represent the Palestinian culture. The Palestinian people respect all countries of the world and takes no one as an enemy, except the Zionist enemy that occupies our land," Masri said.
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But wait!!! Let's take a look at the "Except" clause.
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Hamas and Palestinians have trouble taking any responsibility for their plight.
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Masri said the U.S. bore some responsibility for the abduction. "We hold the Zionist enemy and the American administration responsible for such acts because of their unfair policies," he said.
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Hamas and their ilk condemn the kidknapping but blame Israel and the U.S. administration. Their land? What did they do in the "road map to peace." The roadmap is unilateral with only Israel making concessions. Instead of improving Gaza the leaders of Hamas kidnapped a soldier and lobbed bombs at Israel.
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Maybe Kofi Annan has a solution!

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Plan Your Work - Work Your Plan...In Iraq

Zalmay Khalizad, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, has supplied some details on the violence in Iraq, primarily in Bahgdad and details of the government's "Baghdad Security Plan" and it's three principal components:
  • Stabilizing Baghdad zone by zone: Four Iraqi Army battalions, two Coalition brigades and five military police companies will be redeployed to Baghdad, resulting in more than 12,000 additional forces on the city's streets. The National Police will simultaneously undergo intensive retraining, with each brigade to be subjected to a three-day assessment period, with its leadership evaluated and, if necessary, replaced. Each brigade will subsequently receive additional training focused on countering violent sectarianism before redeployment. Over the last 10 days this approach began to be implemented in five areas of Baghdad -- Doura, Ghazaliyah, Rashid, Ahmeriyya and Mansour. In coming weeks other districts will be added.
  • Disrupting support zones: Even as Iraqi and Coalition forces concentrate on securing specific neighborhoods, they will continue to conduct targeted operations in other zones that are staging areas for the violence. This includes targeted raids and other operations on areas outside of Baghdad's center, where planning cells, car-bomb factories and terrorist safe houses are located. This will degrade the ability of the terrorists and death squads to mount offensive operations into the areas we are working to stabilize.
  • Undertaking civic action and economic development: One of the most tragic elements of the increasing violence in Baghdad is that it has robbed the Iraqi people of the sense of normalcy they desperately seek after living under crushing tyranny for more than three decades. In the immediate aftermath of Iraq's liberation, the entrepreneurial spirit of the Iraqi people was demonstrated as Baghdad's shops overflowed with consumer goods prohibited under the previous regime. However, the increasing violence in the streets of Baghdad has forced many Iraqis to close their shops for fear of their safety.

Mr. Khalizad is not in denial, he understands the ramifications of increased sectarian violence and its cost to freedom. Laying out the plan in today's Wall Street Journal is better than the misconceptions drawn out in the MSN such as the New York Times and other defeatist rags. Ambassador Khalizad states:

It is understandable that when the American people hear of new U.S. casualties and witness the images of bloodshed from the streets of Baghdad, they conclude that our plans for stemming sectarian violence in Iraq have failed. Yet, implementation of the Baghdad Security Plan has only recently begun. Iraq's national unity government has been in office barely three months, and its ministers of defense and interior have been on the job for less than 80 days. Iraqi ministers are still hiring key staff, and they are learning to work together, under the leadership of a new prime minister. The Committee for National Dialogue and Reconciliation, charged with overseeing implementation of the reconciliation plan, was formed only three weeks ago.

The saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day" holds true. Neither was the United States of America built in one day or without strife. A true plan doesn't involve a "cut and run" policy. Politicians shouldn't be using the violence for political gain but should offer solidarity in an effort to demonstrate we are unified in the success of Iraq to become a Democratic model in the Middle East.

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Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Liberal front and Left-Wing Nut Closet enjoy whining about the "failure" to find stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Even Republican Senator Chuck Hagel opined on FOX News Sunday about Iraq and considers it a losing proposition. Of course Mr. Hagel has White House aspirations so he is cleaning up his house to begin campaigning in balance with the slew of polls.
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Saddam Hussein is on trial and listening to testimony of Kurdish people about the chemical attack on their villages is enlightening for those who wish to consider the facts about Mr. Hussein.
  • Anfal ("spoils of war") military campaign of 1987-1988 against the Kurds, in which tens of thousands are "alleged" to have been killed and some 2,000 villages razed. (The pictures of bloated bodies suggests "alleged" may be the incorrect term.)
  • Invaded Kuwait with the threat to use WMD.
  • Attacked Iran.
  • Threw out U.N. weapons inspectors.
  • Harbored terrorists including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and provided him with medical care.
  • Retained the infrastructure for making WMD (See Duelfer report).
  • Plotted to kill a former American President.
  • Allowed his two sons to freely operated torture chambers and fill mass graves with innocent women, children, elderly and political opponents.
  • Saddam was convicted in his first trial for the massacre of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail in the 1980s.

The list goes on if you seek facts and don't wish to play Liberal politics and remain in denial. In fact, Saddam Hussein was a personal "weapon of mass destruction."

"Birds were returning to their nests. I saw eight to 12 jets patrolling the sky. There was greenish smoke from the bombs. There was a smell of rotten apple or garlic," said Ali Mustafa Hama, about an April 16, 1987 attack on the Kurdish villages of Basilan and Sheik Wasan. "People were vomiting. We were blinded. We were screaming. There was no one to save us, only God."

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FairTax Blogburst

by Julie of Degree of Madness If you owe back taxes to the federal government, the next call asking you to pay may come not from an Internal Revenue Service officer, but from a private debt collector. Within two weeks, the I.R.S. will turn over data on 12,500 taxpayers — each of whom owes $25,000 or less in back taxes — to three collection agencies. Larger debtors will continue to be pursued by I.R.S. officers. (link) So now, private firms will have access to our tax information, or at minimum how much you (may or may not) owe to Uncle Sam. Our tax information is private. Or it was up until now. And the IRS isn't too particular about the business ethics of the firms they select to receive our tax data: One of the three companies selected by the I.R.S. is a law firm in Austin, Tex., where a former partner, Juan Peña, admitted in 2002 that he paid bribes to win a collection contract from the city of San Antonio. He went to jail for the crime. Last month the same law firm, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, was again in the news. One of its competitors, Municipal Services Bureau, also of Austin, sued Brownsville, Tex., charging that the city improperly gave the Linebarger firm a collections contract that it suggested was influenced by campaign contributions to two city commissioners. And how will these debt collectors be paid? They will receive 25% of what they collect. Whether or not the tax bill is accurate or actually owed at all (the IRS is in a league of its own when it comes to mistakes, errors and general incompetence), will not be the concern of these collectors. And the privacy issue is not insignificant. It's not clear whether these firms will be given the taxpayer social security number, but: Private collectors will have authority to set up installment payment agreements, and gather financial information about those targeted, presumably to assess their ability to pay or to locate assets that might be attached. Private collectors will have the authority to gather our personal financial information. Authority handed over to them by the federal government. Most everyone is aware of the aggressive, heavy-handed methods of collections agencies. I guess a partnership with the IRS just makes sense. A marriage made in heaven, so to speak.
xxx The federal government already has too much access to our private financial information. And the ability of the IRS to audit at will, with no constraints or accountability is something we should not tolerate. And should not be forced to tolerate. And now private firms can get in on the action. And profit from it. At our expense. There are so many good reasons to support the Fair Tax. Preventing the IRS from giving our private financial information to outside firms is just one more. With the Fair Tax, the IRS will be abolished. No other tax plan under consideration abolishes the IRS. This is important. The IRS operates under the "guilty until proven innocent" theory. And however unjust that may be, that's the way it is. It will never change. The IRS has power that most politicians only dream about. And IRS abuses are legend. And most of the abuses never make the headlines. They are relatively small in nature but very significant to those involved. The convoluted tax code is an outrage. The enforcer is an even greater outrage. Leave your Constitutional rights at the door when the IRS shows up, 'cause you no longer have any. The IRS has virtually free will to demand access to every single detail of your financial life. With no probable cause. Some things just can't be reformed. Our tax code is one of them. The IRS is another. With the Fair Tax, we will all pay our fair share, but we won't have to give up our privacy, or our sanity, to do it. The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to host the weekly postings on your blog, please e-mail Terry. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Do The Math! Liberals Don't Multiply

In The Fertility Gap (Wall Street Journal -Subscription) Arthur C. Brooks writes:
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It has become standard wisdom in American politics that voter turnout is synonymous with good citizenship, justifying just about any scheme to get people to the polls.
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On the political left, raising the youth vote is one of the most common goals. This implicitly plays to the tired old axiom that a person under 30 who is not a liberal has no heart (whereas one who is still a liberal after 30 has no head). The trouble is, while most "get out the vote" campaigns targeting young people are proxies for the Democratic Party, these efforts haven't apparently done much to win elections for the Democrats.
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The explanation we often hear from the left is that the new young Democrats are more than counterbalanced by voters scared up by the Republicans on "cultural issues" like abortion, gun rights and gay marriage.
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But the data on young Americans tell a different story. Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids.
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That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%--explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.
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The fertility gap doesn't budge when we correct for factors like age, income, education, sex, race--or even religion. Indeed, if a conservative and a liberal are identical in all these ways, the liberal will still be 19 percentage points more likely to be childless than the conservative. Some believe the gap reflects an authentic cultural difference between left and right in America today.
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As one liberal columnist in a major paper graphically put it, "Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation." It would appear liberals have been quite successful controlling overpopulation--in the Democratic Party.
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Liberally Conservative attributes two (2) factors to the "Fertility Gap."
  • Liberals love a good abortion.
  • Liberals are impotent.

I rest my case!

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Line Item Veto - Pass it Now!

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Line-Item Veto by a vote of 247-172 on June 22. Now the battle has moved to the Senate, which will vote in September.
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The Line-Item Veto would give the President the authority to strike specific items from bills passed by Congress, providing him with a valuable tool to rein in wasteful spending and eliminate special-interest tax breaks.
xxx Forty-three governors have the Line-Item Veto and have used it to save state taxpayers billions of dollars.
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As the scandals surrounding convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham have highlighted, parochial and special-interest earmarks are THE source of corruption in Washington. Giving the President Line-Item Veto authority will help stop Congress from running up the deficit by wasting our tax dollars on self-serving “Bridges to Nowhere” and indoor tropical rainforests.
xxx The Line-Item Veto will arguably be the single most powerful new weapon against wasteful spending and political corruption in decades!
xxx
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How Many French Lies? Gutless Once Again!

Once again France has convinced itself they are leaders of the world, taking initiative for a cease fire in Lebanon, promising to lead the way in writing a new U.N. resolution that has the shelf life of already stale French bread.
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Keeping in mind France initially sided with the U.S. on the nature of the new feckless resolution before than changed their mind. Is this where John Kerry gets his spin? Then the French make promise of leading a military contingent to serve as "peace keepers" and protectors of foreign borders. The French used this promise of a robust, French-led international force to get the U.S. and Israel to agree to a cease-fire and withdrawal.
xxx
Now the impotent Jacques Chirac has done some Olympic-sized back pedaling in a move that proves, once and for all, the French are gutless liars who pretend to be significant in foreign affairs. The French always need to be bailed out of problems and are never able to defend themselves. History confirms this yet the French want to be front and center stage.
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Chirac confirmed a Le Monde report that his government was prepared to offer only 200 combat engineers, in addition to the 200 French troops already in Lebanon, to what is supposed to be the resolutions centerpiece: A 15,000-man U.N. force that will help the Lebanese army patrol their southern border and ensure that Hezbollah will no longer use the area as a staging ground for future attacks against Israel.
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French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie stated her troops will remain in the lead only until February. One would think they could stick around until at least Bastille Day celebrations begin back home.
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This brings us back to disarming Hezbollah. The French couldn't disarm an 85- year old grandmother, they have zero leadership capabilities and will always need foreign aid to protect the French from themselves.
xxx
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made a televised statement last week insisting it was the "wrong time" to discuss disarmament. "Who will defend Lebanon in case of a new Israeli offensive?" he asked.
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Pro-Syrian Lebanese President who is also "commander-in-chief" of the army, has described the notion of disarming Hezbollah as "disgraceful": "How can they ask us to disarm while the blood of the martyrs is still warm?"
xxx
Siding with anything French will only lead to more U.S. embarrassment. Using the French or the U.N. under the guise of diplomacy will allow Hezbollah to re-arm and work around any unenforceable resolutions coming out of Turtle Bay.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Have a Problem with Surveillance?

So much in the news on the "illegal surveillance" programs but little on how 10 airplane bombings were foiled and the methods use, including surveillance and wiretapping.
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BERLIN -- German authorities on Saturday arrested a Lebanese student suspected of helping plant two bombs that failed to explode on trains last month, officials said.
xxx Chief prosecutor Monika Harms identified the 21-year-old suspect by his first names, Youssef Mohamad. She said he had been in Germany since 2004. He was arrested in the early morning at the main station in the Baltic Sea port city of Kiel, where he had studied.
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Youssef Mohamad is believed to be one of two men seen in a video recording from Cologne's main station on July 31, the day of the attempted bombing, who were believed to have planted the devices.
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The devices, made with gas canisters, were found on board trains in Dortmund and Koblenz, both of which had stopped in Cologne. They apparently were supposed to explode 10 minutes before the trains arrived at those stations.
xxx
Court order? FISA? Civil Liberties? How about potential innocent victims were spared!
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Source: Wall Street Journal (subscription)

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Kofi Annan On The Wrong Side of Terrorism - Again!

Israeli commandos raided a Hezbollah stronghold deep in Lebanon on Saturday, engaging in a fierce gunbattle, and the Lebanese government threatened to halt further troop deployments in protest as the six-day-old U.N.-brokered cease-fire was put to a critical test.
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Israel said the raid was launched to stop arms smuggling from Iran and Syria to the militant Shiite fighters, while Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called the operation a "flagrant violation" of the U.N. truce.
xxx
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the operation a violation of the U.N. truce. However, the impotent Annan said nothing in reference to arms deliveries by the puppet masters Syria and Iran.
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"If the Syrians and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah in violation of the resolution, Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. I concur but once again Annan is quick to criticize Israel for proactively defending itself.
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As we've written before the U.N. Resolution has no meaning the a non-State, non-member of the U.N. And resolutions are meaningless to Iran and Syria who Annan apparently supports. Prime Minister Saniora is open in his criticism of Israel but has done nothing to disarm Hezbollah. It's not in his best interests to do so.

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Moon Bat of The Week Award!

Federal Judge
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Anna Diggs Taylor
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U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. xxx
"Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution."
xxx
So how does our "Moonbat" recipient feel the public interest has "prevailed" and what does she feel she understands about the U.S. Constitution?
xxx
Our answer is Ms. Taylor is incompetent and has, by her own words, be "unemployed today" if it weren't for her receiving an appointment to her present position by the left-wing socialist nut, and other incompetent, Jimmy Carter.
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In Judge Taylor's opinion, President Bush had taken upon himself "the inherent power to violate not only the laws of the Congress but the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, itself."
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Over the years federal appellate courts have recognized the president's inherit constitutional authority to protect our nation from foreign threats against our national security without the requirement of warrants.
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Here are some relevant cases that passed Judge Taylor by: United States v. Truong, 629 F.2d 908 (4th Cir. 1980); United States v. Buck, 548 F.2d 871 (9th Cir. 1977); United States v. Butenko, 494 F.2d 593 (3rd Cir. 1974) (en banc); United States v. Brown, 484 F.2d 418 (5th Cir. 1973).
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Judge Taylor shows the real meaning of her leftist ruling when she becomes insulting and personal towards a sitting President during war. Taylor wrote:
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There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all “inherent powers” must derive from that Constitution.
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Search and Seizure:
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No one is being denied their liberty and no evidence is being brought in criminal proceedings based on what the NSA might learn through listening to al Qaeda communications. The wiretapping program is an intelligence operation, not a law-enforcement proceeding. Congress was duly informed, and not a single specific domestic abuse of such a wiretap has yet been even alleged, much less found.
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The wiretapping program is not preventing anyone from speaking on the phone. Quite the opposite -- if the terrorists stopped talking on the phone, there would be nothing to wiretap. The Wall Street Journal suggests, perhaps the plaintiffs should have sued the New York Times, as it was that paper's disclosure of the program that created the "chill" on "free speech" that Judge Taylor laments.
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Inherent Powers of the Presidency:
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The Constitution vests the bulk of war-making power with the President. It did so, as the Founders explained in the Federalist Papers, for reasons of "energy, dispatch, secrecy and accountability."
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No American court had ever ruled that the President lacked the Constitutional right to conduct such wiretaps. President Carter (of all people) signed the 1978 FISA statute that established the special court to approve domestic wiretaps even as his Administration declared it was not ceding any Constitutional power.
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In the 2002 decision In Re: Sealed Case, the very panel of appellate judges that hears FISA appeals noted that in a previous FISA case (U.S. v. Truong), a federal "court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information."
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The higher courts will decide this case in the end and Judge Taylor's "15-minutes of fame" will become an after-thought in the realms of fighting terrorists, civil rights and protecting Americans. Ms. Taylor's opinion will only reside as prejudicial not competent judicial thinking, preparedness or intellect.

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