Sunday, September 30, 2007
Tom Brokaw likes to give credit to what he calls the “Greatest Generation” for the sacrifices and the efforts they gave to survive the depression of the 1930’s and then go on to win the world’s worst war, World War II. All of that is true. It is also true that they stood behind the most magnanimous act any country has ever performed, the Marshall Plan, where, for the first time in history, the victor rescued the losers when the United States helped bring prosperity and democracy to Germany and Japan. Always in the past, losers were looted by the winners.
The problem is that this “Greatest Generation” vowed that when they got home, they would see that their children would never have to suffer the depravations and the humiliations that they had to face in childhood and young adulthood. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. My generation was in-between; I was a child during that war and experienced only a little of the deprivations of depression and war, but all that ended, and the generations that followed never knew what it was like to go hungry and to be completely powerless. From the 1950’s on, America has experienced a prosperity for the average person heretofore unknown in the history of mankind. The results have been uneven.
Unfortunately two debilitating events happened in the 1960’s and early seventies – President Kennedy was assassinated, and the Vietnam War dragged on – crushing the aspirations and frazzling the bonds between country, authority and youth. In addition, this youth was well-fed and had enjoyed a childhood of comfort and convenience – not exactly character-building experiences. Out of the Vietnam experience also developed the infusion into America’s colleges and universities of professors who had no connection with anything greater than themselves and who saw themselves as the vanguard of a new belief system – me, me, me. Grades were inflated to help students avoid the draft, and a “hate-America” philosophy began to be woven into the curriculum. That Watergate also happened was icing on the cake – further proving to them that representative government was a sham, and that all power was corrupt.
Below is an excerpt of a recent review of his book, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, Dinesh D’Souza, Doubleday, 352 pages
“[W]hat has changed in America since the 1960s,” he writes, “is the erosion of belief in an external moral order. This is the most important political fact of the past half century.” He provides numerous examples of how this changed view of morality has transformed America, from the debasement of popular culture, to the rapid spread of pornography, to the widespread acceptance of what was universally regarded in the past as sexual immorality, to what D’Souza regards as the inevitable result of such changes: the breakdown of the American family.”
Now we have a situation where not only our universities contain this poison, but also our public school system is staffed with many teachers (graduates of those colleges) who seem to know nothing else but the philosophy of nihilism. They know no history but the distorted versions fed to them, they respect no values, and they teach our children what they have been taught; and the older generations, like me, look on in horror. Do they know that their country and Western culture were the first to recognize the evil inhumanity of slavery and voluntarily ended the practice? Do they know that slavery was practiced throughout history by all cultures and is still practiced in some African and Middle Eastern countries today? No, they have only been taught that previous generations of Americans enslaved blacks.
The other main criticisms we hear of American and Western culture are ethnocentrism and colonialism. Again, what is missing in the lessons taught our students is that these practices were common in all civilizations throughout history, and it is America (with some British examples) that threw off ethnocentrism by recognizing and absorbing the best from other cultures – and ended colonialism. It is the height of patronizing condescension to impose current standards of morality on people who lived hundreds of years ago, and to judge them to be deficient.
What can be done about this other than to lament its existence and predict its obvious outcome – the complete disintegration of American society and with it the joining of other once-great civilizations on the scrapheap of history? Obviously no-one would or should advocate deliberately ending our prosperity; the cure would be worse than the disease. But there is something we can do – attack the center of where the cancer is the greatest – American academia. Expose the nonsense being inculcated in our young people by the new fascists. Expose them and get rid of them, as happened with Ward Churchill, a poster boy for those out to destroy all that made us great.
Fortunately there are several organizations that have been hard at work fighting this evil – among them are: Frontpagemag.com where David Horowitz has been doing heroic work for years, the Individual Rights Foundation, Judicial Watch and Students for Academic Freedom.
Support these organizations; contribute to them and inform them of instances that you see of this anti-American lunacy we have been putting up with for far too long.
Final Note: I know this piece has been largely gloomy about our future and the fight we are in, but I actually believe that most Americans do not endorse the anti-Americanism and nonsense I have described. Most Americans support their country and understand what our Founding Fathers meant when they spoke of being “endowed by our Creator”. The problem is that the destroyers have wormed their way into our most influential bodies – our schools, our colleges and universities, our media and our entertainment industry. Their influence is much greater than their numbers.
And the fact is that there have been several “Greatest Generations” throughout America’s history. Fifty years from now our grandchildren will be calling the men and women now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan – the “Greatest Generation”.
On Jan. 10, 1963, Congressman Albert S. Herlong Jr. of Florida read a list of 45 Communist goals into the Congressional Record. The list was derived from researcher Cleon Skousen’s book “The Naked Communist.” These principles are well worth revisiting today in order to gain insights into the thinking and strategies of much of our so-called liberal elite.
1. U.S. should accept coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2. U.S. should be willing to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
These encapsulate the Kennan Doctrine, which advocated for the "containment" of communism. Establishment figures supporting the amoral containment policy at least implicitly worked with the communists in scaring the wits out of the American people concerning atomic war.
President Ronald Reagan undid the doctrine when he took an aggressive stand against the Evil Empire by backing freedom fighters from around the world that were struggling against the left-wing communist jackboot. As a result, the Soviet Union and its satellites imploded, a considerable and unexpected setback to the international communist edifice.
3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the U.S. would be a demonstration of "moral strength."
The nuclear freeze advocates supported a freeze on American nuclear development only. Rarely were Soviet nukes or those of other nations mentioned in their self-righteous tirades. The same advocates now call for reducing American military might, claiming that there is something immoral about America preserving its military pre-eminence in the world.
4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
Today, there are calls to end the embargo on the slave island of Cuba, there were complaints about the embargo against Iraq, and the U.S., not Saddam Hussein, was blamed for the suffering of the Iraqi people. Would they have advocated for free trade with Hitler and his National Socialist regime? (note: China has "Most Favored Nation" status with us)
5. Extend long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
Such aid and trade over decades contributed greatly to the left-wing communist liquidation of over 100 million people worldwide, according to the well-documented "Black Book of Communism."
This aid and trade marks a shameful chapter in American history. Without the aid and trade, the left-wing international communist behemoth would have imploded on its own rot a lot sooner and umpteen millions would have been saved from poverty, misery, starvation and death.
7. Grant recognition of Red China and admission of Red China to the U.N.
Not only did President Jimmy Carter fulfill this goal but he also betrayed America’s allies in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Iran, Afghanistan, Angola and elsewhere.
8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the Germany question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the U.S. has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces.
There are still American intellectuals, and elected members of Congress, who dream of an eventual one world government and who view the U.N., founded by communists such as Alger Hiss, the first secretary-general, as the instrument to bring this about.
World government was also the dream of Adolf Hitler and J.V. Stalin. World government was the dream of Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers.
12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
13. Do away with loyalty oaths.
14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
While the idea of banning any political party runs contrary to notions of American freedom and liberty, notions that are the exact opposite of those held by the left-wing communists themselves, nevertheless these goals sought to undermine the constitutional obligation of Congress to investigate subversion. The weakening of our government’s ability to conduct such investigations led to the attack of 9/11.
It is entirely proper and appropriate for our government to expect employees, paid by the American taxpayer, to take an oath of loyalty. (note: An islamist took an oath on the koran Thomas Jefferson was using to study the islamist threat)
15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the U.S.
In his book "Reagan’s War," Peter Schweizer demonstrates the astonishing degree to which communists and communist sympathizers have penetrated the Democratic Party. In his book, Schweizer writes about the presidential election of 1979. (note: fast forward- why are the Republican "front-runners" pushed by the media? Why do they have shady pasts? Why are the candidates with REAL integrity (Tancred, Hunter) shunned?)
16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions, by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
This strategy goes back to the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union by Fabian Socialists Roger Baldwin and John Dewey and Communists William Z. Foster and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn among others. (note: pretty much every major case in the news)
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for Socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers associations. Put the party line in textbooks. (note: self-evident, I don't even need a note here)
18. Gain control of all student newspapers. (note: "open-mindedness" "multiculturalism" and "PC" nonsense abound because that is what is drilled into students. They never had a chance!).
19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations that are under Communist attack.
The success of these goals, from a communist perspective, is obvious. Is there any doubt this is so?
20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions.
21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV & motion pictures.
22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all form of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings," substituting shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.
23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. " Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art." (note: look at what passes for art! I can hear pseudo-intellectuals now, "Oh, that lump of poo is so expressive of the artists feelings!")
24.Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV.
26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural and healthy."
This is the Gramscian agenda of the "long march through the institutions" spelled out explicitly: gradual takeover of the "means of communication" and then using those vehicles to debauch the culture and weaken the will of the individual to resist. Today those few who still have the courage to advocate public morality are denounced and viciously attacked. Most Americans are entirely unwitting regarding the motives behind this agenda.
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a "religious crutch."
This has been largely accomplished through the communist infiltration of the National Council of Churches, Conservative and Reform Judaism, and the Catholic seminaries. (note: The gov't has special controls, regulations, and codes, over most churches.).
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state"
Replacing belief in the creator with belief in the earthly man-controlled State.
29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
And replace our nation of "laws, not men" with royal decree emanating from appointed judges and executive orders. Replace elected officials with bureaucrats.
30. Discredit the American founding fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man." (note: Lafayette is erased from the history books, despite being George Washington's right hand man and pretty much adopted son! He was an aristocrat who risked his life to come here and fund the revolution with his own money and fight without pay, leading men into pitched battles, getting wounded, returning home, and being thrown in prison. ALL FOR LOVE OF THE COMMMON MAN!)
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of "the big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
Obliterating the American past, with its antecedents in principles of freedom, liberty and private ownership is a major goal of the communists then and now. (note: more brain-washing in school to create more sheep)
32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture – education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
Public ownership of the means of production, the core principle of totalitarianism.
33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI. (note: DHS anyone?)
36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
Turn America into a socialist police state.
38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.
The Soviets used to send "social misfits" and those deemed "politically incorrect" to massive mental institutions called gulags. The Red Chinese call them lao gai. Hitler called them concentration camps.
39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose communist goals.
Psychiatry remains a bulwark of the communist agenda of fostering self-criticism and docility.
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
Done! The sovereign family is the single most powerful obstacle to authoritarian control. (note: marriage has lost its meaning in society- what was valued as life-long is now convenient to throw away! Some ranking european socialists even want marriages that expire after 8 years!)
41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
Outcome-based education, values clarification or whatever they’re calling it this year. (Hillary's book - "It Takes a Village") (note: Look how quickly they'll try to take kids away for teaching them right and wrong, or homeschooling. Remember that girl in Germany? It could soon happen here!)
42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special interest groups should rise up and make a "united force" to solve economic, political or social problems.
This describes the dialectical fostering of group consciousness and conflict, which furthers the interests of authoritarianism. (note: the terrorists want insurgent warfare, and there were certainly plenty of traitors calling for violent revolution on the protest of 15 September 2007!)
43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
The results of this successful campaign are increasingly obvious in the world today.
44. Internationalize the Panama Canal. (note: look it up)
45. Repeal the Connally Reservation so the U.S. cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction over nations and individuals alike.
This would mark a complete subversion of our Constitution and an end to representative sovereign government as we know it, which is the whole idea.
They've already managed to do a lot of this. I don't have time to make notes for each, and most of my notes aren't even necessary. Just look around you!
In Brussels at the moment there is an extraordinary struggle playing out. On the one hand you have the industrious Dutch-speaking Flemish half of the country and the, for want of a more charitable word, lazy Walloons, the French-speaking half of the country addicted to welfare.
Be sure to click on the picture to understand why you should never disrobe if you are fat, stupid, ugly and a Raving Leftard Moonbat!
ALL we are saying...is put your damn clothes on! UGH!!!
The Kingdom offers what may be the only honest bigscreen depiction of our enemy since the 9/11 attacks. Even television’s 24 ignores the religiosity of the Muslim extremist, but The Kingdom’s bad guys are scary Allah chanting head-takers; cold blooded murderers who turn young children’s eyes towards the carnage to pass on the bloodlust. Most refreshing is that there’s none of that Mighty Hearted moral equivalence we’re so conditioned to. Either director Peter Berg understands what we’re up against or just forgot to tell us we had it coming.
The Rest Of The Story HERE
Both incidents raise the question: Just who controls these seemingly trigger-happy guys? For that matter, who told them to open fire on civilians? And who sent them into Fallujah without a much larger armed escort?
The issue of command and control of private military contractors—where exactly they fit in the military chain of command—is important not just in a practical sense, but in a profound, constitutional one. The military makes war and conducts peacekeeping operations in our name. But when private contractors open fire, in whose name are they shooting?
The Rest Of The Story HERE
That comment, "phony soldiers" was posted yesterday afternoon on the famous Media Matters website, which is where all leftists go to find out what I say. I have a website, and I have a radio program that reaches far more people than Media Matters could ever hope to, but the critics of this program never listen to this program. They never go to my website. All they do is read Media Matters and they get the lies and the out-of-context reports. They assume it's all true because they want it to be true, and then they start their campaigns. This has led to me being denounced on the floor of the House. Howard Dean has released a statement demanding I apologize; Jim Webb; John Kerry issued a statement, three Congress people went out on the floor of the House last night and said some things, and it's starting to blossom now in the Drive-By Media. So this is the anatomy of a smear, and this is how it starts. The same group is trying to get Bill O'Reilly into problems because of some innocent comments that he made about going to dinner at a restaurant in Harlem. So the illustration begins with just a sample report from MSNBC whose content is produced almost exclusively by Media Matters for America and MoveOn.org. This is this morning with the anchorette Contessa Brewer reporting on the phony soldier controversy, spawned by me.
Rush Limbaugh Explains Smear On Video
The death of a culture is an uncanny event, for it erases not only the future but also the past, that is, the hopes and fears, the sweat and sacrifice of countless generations whose lives no longer can be remembered, for no living being will sing their songs or tell their stories.
When nations go willingly into that dark night, what should we conclude about human nature? Unlike extinctions of the past, today's cultures are dying of their own apathy rather than by the swords of their enemies. People of dying cultures kill themselves at a frightful rate, as in the case of Brazil's Guarani Indians, who after their displacement from traditional life have the world's highest suicide rate. I long have argued, for that matter, that the Arab suicide bomber is the spiritual cousin of the despondent aboriginal of the Amazon rain forest (Live and let die, Asia Times Online, April 13, 2002).
The Rest Of The Story At Asia Times
A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition in the case.
Video: Murtha Refuses To Talk To Reporter On This Issue
A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 16-term congressman for alleging "cold-blooded murder and war crimes" by unnamed soldiers in connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.
The deaths became known in May 2006 when Murtha, who opposes the Iraq war, said at a Capitol Hill news conference that a Pentagon war crimes investigation will show Marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians in the town in 2005.
Murtha's office declined to comment on the ruling. He has said his intention was to draw attention to the pressure put on troops in Iraq and to cover-up the incident.
The Justice Department wanted the case dismissed because Murtha was acting in his official role as a lawmaker. Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Henault said the comments were made as part of the debate over the war in Iraq.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said the congressman might be right, but said she won't know for sure unless Murtha explains himself. She did not set a date for Murtha's testimony but said she would also require him to turn over documents related to his comments.
"You're writing a very wide road for members of Congress to go to their home districts and say anything they choose about private persons and be able to do so without any liability. Are you sure you want to do that?" Collyer said, adding later, "How far can a congressman go and still be protected?"
Collyer said she was troubled by the idea the lawmakers are immune from lawsuits regardless of what they say to advance their political careers.
Mark S. Zaid, the attorney for the plaintiff, Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, said he wanted Murtha's deposition and limited documents from the congressman, including calendars and documents related to which reporters he spoke to.
Zaid said Murtha was not acting within his congressional duties and was instead trying to embarrass then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, with whom Zaid said Murtha had a personal dispute.
Collyer, who was appointed to the bench by President Bush, said the case wasn't about whether to recall troops from Iraq and she didn't "particularly care" about Murtha's views on the war. She said the law cares only about what Murtha intended when he made the comments.
Charges have been dismissed against four of the eight Marines who were initially charged with murder or failure to investigate the deaths in Haditha. A battalion commander has been recommended for a court-martial; a final decision is pending.
The investigating officer overseeing the Haditha case is expected to recommend soon whether Wuterich should stand trial. Wuterich, 27, of Meriden, Conn., is accused of unpremeditated murder in 17 of the killings.
War On Terror: A new movie called "The Kingdom" shows Saudis fighting terrorism alongside FBI agents. That's certainly what we'd like to see. But like the flick, it's pure fiction.
There's new evidence the Saudis aren't cooperating in our battle to eradicate terrorists or those who bankroll them. Their negligence is shocking even to cynics.
According to the Treasury Department's top anti-terror official, the kingdom has not prosecuted a single person named by the U.S. or the United Nations as a terror financier. Asked by ABC News how many Saudis have been charged with funding terror since 9/11, Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey said, "There have not been any." Not one? "No," he asserted.
In a rare public rebuke of our alleged war ally, Levey pointed out that the Saudi government has failed to go after even men like Yasin al-Qadi, a wealthy Saudi businessman whom both the U.S. and U.N. blacklisted as an al-Qaida financier one month after the 9/11 attacks.
Al-Qadi remains free, still a prominent figure in the kingdom. "And he remains designated to the United Nations for his material support to al-Qaida," Levey fumed. "When the evidence is clear that these individuals have funded terrorist organizations and knowingly done so, then that should be prosecuted and treated as real terrorism."
In another example, a top Saudi charity official whom U.S. prosecutors accused of funneling funds to al-Qaida fighters in Chechnya is still at large.
After the Al-Haramain Foundation was shut down as an al-Qaida front, the official left its U.S. branch in Portland, Ore., and returned to Saudi Arabia. He now works for the city of Riyadh.
The Saudis were supposed to create a commission to police such charities. We're still waiting. Meanwhile, Saudi charities continue to pump millions into the global jihad.
U.S. officials say al-Qaida's resurgence is due in part to a renewed flow of money from the kingdom to operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Riyadh continues to look the other way as cash is sent from mosques and charities to support jihadists and Sunni insurgents next door in Iraq.
It's official Saudi policy, moreover, to ignore the flow of Saudi fighters joining the jihad in Iraq. Lost in all the saber-rattling over Iran is the inconvenient fact that the majority of suicide bombers in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia.
Administration officials concede Saudi's role in Iraq has grown "counterproductive," one of many euphemisms used to avoid alienating the Saudi royal family.
Under other circumstances, such behavior might be called acts of war. After all, this is the old home of Enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden, and 15 of the hijackers he ordered to attack us.
It's highly likely that some of the Saudi nationals killing our troops in Iraq may be recycled al-Qaida terrorists.
Last December, we agreed to release into the custody of Saudi authorities 29 Saudi killers from Gitmo. What did they do with them? Jail them? Work them over for information about new terror plots or leads on other terrorists?
No, Saudi police freed all 29 of them.
That now makes 53 Gitmo terrorists we've returned to Saudi Arabia only to watch them go free. Some have rejoined the battlefield after being released.The Saudi government wants the remaining Saudis held at Gitmo returned. No doubt all of them will be set loose too.
Saudi Arabia's promise to crack down on terrorists is as empty as its vow to clean up its hateful textbooks calling for jihad against infidels.
With friends like the Saudis, who needs enemies?
By The Green Arrow
Back to the future
Officials from the top of Government to lowly council officers will be given unprecedented powers to access details of every phone call in Britain under laws coming into force tomorrow.
"One of these days, though Winston, Syme will be vaporized, he sees to clearly and speaks too plainly..." George Orwell - 1984
The new rules compel phone companies to retain information, however private, about all landline and mobile calls, and make them available to some 795 public bodies and quangos.
The move, enacted by the personal decree of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, will give police and security services a right they have long demanded: to delve at will into the phone records of British citizens and businesses.
But the same powers will also be handed to the tax authorities, 475 local councils, and a host of other organisations, including the Food Standards Agency, the Department of Health, the Immigration Service, the Gaming Board and the Charity Commission. The initiative, formulated in the wake of the Madrid and London terrorist attacks
of 2004 and 2005, was put forward as a vital tool in the fight against terrorism. However, civil liberties campaigners say the new powers amount to a 'free for all' for the State snooping on its citizens.
And they angrily questioned why the records were being made available to so many organisations. Similar provisions are being brought in across Europe, but under much tighter regulation. In Britain, say critics, private and sensitive information will inevitably fall into the wrong hands.
Records will detail precisely what calls are made, their time and duration, and the name and address of the registered user of the phone.
The files will even reveal where people are when they made mobile phone calls. By knowing which mast transmitted the signal, officials will be able to pinpoint the source of a call to within a few feet. This can even be used to track someone's route if, for example, they make a call from a moving car.
"There will be no love, but the love of Big Brother. No laughter, but the laughter of triumph over a defeated enemy. No art, no science, no literature, no enjoyment, but always and only, Winston, there will be the thrill of power. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever."
Files will also be kept on the sending and receipt of text messages.
By 2009 the Government plans to extend the rules to cover internet use: the websites we have visited, the people we have emailed and phone calls made over the net.
The new laws will make it a legal requirement for phone companies to keep records for at least a year, and to make them available to the authorities. Until now, companies have been reluctant to allow unfettered access to their files, citing data protection laws, although they have had a voluntary arrangement with law enforcement agencies since 2003.
Many of the organisations granted access to the records already have systems allowing them to search phone-call databases over a computer link without needing staff at the phone company to intervene.
Police requests for phone records will need the approval of a superintendent or inspector, while council officials must get permission from the authority's assistant chief officer. Thousands of staff in other agencies will be legally entitled to retrieve the records once the request is approved by a senior official.
The new measures were implemented after the Home Secretary signed a 'statutory instrument' on July 26. The process allows the Government to alter laws without a full act of Parliament.
The move was nodded through the House of Lords two days earlier without a debate.
It puts into UK law a European Directive aimed at the 'investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime'. But the British law allows the information to be used much more widely to combat all crimes, however minor.
The huge number of organisations allowed to access this data was attacked by Liberty, the civil liberties campaign group. Other organisations allowed to see the data include the Royal Navy Regulating Branch, the Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary, the Department of Trade and Industry, NHS Trusts, ambulance and fire services, the Department of Transport and the Department for the Environment.
A spokesman for Liberty said: 'Hundreds of bodies have been given the power to look at this highly sensitive information. It is yet another example of how greater and greater access is being given to information on our movements with little debate and little public accountability.
'It is a free for all. There is a lack of oversight of how and why public bodies are using these records. There is no public record of what they are using this information for.'
Tony Bunyan, of civil liberties group Statewatch, said: 'The retention of everyone's communications data is a momentous decision, one that should not be slipped through Parliament without anyone noticing.'
Last year, the voluntary arrangement allowed 439,000 searches of phone records. But the Government brought in legislation because the industry did not routinely keep all the information it wanted.
Different authorities will have different levels of access to the systems. Police and intelligence services will be able to see more detailed information than local authorities. And officials at NHS Trusts and ambulance and fire services can obtain the records only in rare cases when, for example, they are trying to save a patient's life.
"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed—would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper—the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."
The commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy, reports to the Prime Minister and already carries out random inspections of some agencies legally allowed to see phone records under the existing voluntary scheme. Last year inspectors visited 22 councils already making 'significant' use of their powers' to access phone records. A report said the results were 'variable', but within the law.
"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"
Privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner, which has responsibly for protecting personal information and policing the Data Protection Act had virtually no role in the new laws.
A spokeswoman said its only function was to ensure 'data security' at the phone companies, adding: 'We have no oversight role over the release of this information.'
The Home Office said there were safeguards to ensure the new law was being used properly. Every authority had a nominated senior member of staff who was legally responsible for the use the phone data was put to, 'the integrity of the process' and for 'reporting errors'.
A spokesman said: 'The most detailed level of data can be accessed only by law enforcement agencies such as the police. More basic access is available to local authority bodies such as trading standards and environmental health who can only use these powers to prevent and detect crime.'
A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils across England and Wales, said: 'Councils would only use these powers in circumstances such as benefit fraud, when the taxpayer is being ripped off for many thousands of pounds.'
He added that it was 'very unlikely' the powers would be used against non-payers of council tax or for parking fines 'as the sums involved are not sufficient to justify the use of this sort of information or the costs involved in applying it'.
"Underneath the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me. They lie here, and here lie we, 'neath the spreading chestnut tree."
But some of you readers will still vote for the Tri-Axis parties that are now almost one in their unity to destroy Our Country and Our Freedoms. Why? Will just one of you tell me why?
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."
Saturday, September 29, 2007
How quickly things can change. How remarkably the Democratic candidates reflect the new reality. How significantly the French grow close and want to help. Here are excerpts of four reports published today. Get the full flavor of these reports by going to the links and reading them through.
A Quiet Triumph May be Brewing
By Ray Robison, September 28, 2007 , The American Thinker
"There are signs that the global Islamic jihad movement is splitting apart, in what would be a tremendous achievement for American strategy. The center of the action is in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the very territory which is thought to harbor Usama, and from which Al Qaeda was able to launch 9/11. Capitalizing on existing splits, a trap was set and closed, and the benefits have only begun to be evident.
There were already signs of a split, but recent events strengthen the that trend. In March and again in May of this year I reviewed relevant South Asian media reporting to predict that the global Islamic jihad movement was cracking up. That theory focused on a split between the leadership of al Qaeda and the jihad groups that secure them in Pakistan such as the Taliban."
Bin Laden: A Fallen Star
Tuesday 25 September 2007, Asharq Al-Awsat
The leading Arabic international paper
”Osama Bin Laden’s recent televised appearance has failed to elicit the impact he desired after a disappearance of three years in which there has been increasing speculation about him and his fate.
The image of Al Qaeda’s leader has been ingrained in the minds of his supporters as a rebel or revolutionary who is mounting a horse and brandishing a weapon, or practicing his shooting and fighting skills or the art of bombing or as a tired man due to running to and away from the Afghan mountains. Meanwhile, those who reject his violence only see the image of someone taken in by the devil in such a way that he has lost all feeling of humanity.”
A weakened bin Laden; an Iraq as decisive front
Jonathon Last, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/28/07 (Excerpt)
“But all of that's just icing: For those worried that the war on terror has been prosecuted, shall we say, sub-optimally, the new tape suggests that Osama bin Laden is now operating from a position of weakness.
To understand the change, you have to go back to bin Laden's two fatwas declaring war on America. His goals and grievances back then were much more expansive.
In 1996, bin Laden was primarily concerned with getting every American out of Saudi Arabia. "[T]o push the enemy - the greatest Kufr [unbelieving ingrate] - out of [Saudi Arabia is] a prime duty. No other duty after Belief is more important," he said.
In 1998, in his second fatwa, bin Laden was still torqued about Americans - not just in Saudi Arabia, but anywhere on the Arabian Peninsula - writing about "the crusader armies spreading in it like locusts, eating its riches and wiping out its plantations." The reason the dim-witted crusaders were there, of course, was "to serve the Jews' petty state."
He concluded that fatwa by claiming that "the ruling to kill the Americans and their allies - civilians and military - is an individual duty for every Muslim . . . in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam." Which is tricky because, technically speaking, all lands belong to Allah.
Remember, this was during the Clinton years, when bin Laden wanted, for starters: (1) all infidels banished from the Arabian Peninsula; (2) the Saudi ruling class replaced with "true Muslims"; and (3) the Zionist Entity gone from Jerusalem. To get this, he called for a battle royal, us-against-them, end-times conflict with the forces of paganism, secularism and sin (you and me) on one side and the forces of the Prophet (peace be upon him!) on the other.
Fast-forward to last week: Bin Laden now says we can all make nice if America will just pull out of Iraq.”
Silence in Syria, Panic in Iran
By Dr. Jack Wheeler, To The Point News Sep 25, 2007 - 12:09:27 PM (Excerpt)
"Everyone in the government and military can only talk of one thing,' he reports. 'No matter who I talked to, all they could do was ask me, over and over again, 'Do you think the Americans will attack us?' 'When will the Americans attack us?' 'Will the Americans attack us in a joint operation with the Israelis?' How massive will the attack be?' on and on, endlessly. The Iranians are in a state of total panic.'
And that was before September 6. Since then, it's panic-squared in Tehran. The mullahs are freaking out in fear. Why? Because of the silence in Syria. On September 6, Israeli Air Force F-15 and F-16s conducted a devastating attack on targets deep inside Syria near the city of Dayr az-Zawr. Israel's military censors have muzzled the Israeli media, enforcing an extraordinary silence about the identity of the targets. Massive speculation in the world press has followed, such as Brett Stephens' Osirak II? in yesterday's (9/18) Wall St. Journal. Stephens and most everyone else have missed the real story. It is not Israel's silence that 'speaks volumes' as he claims, but Syria's.
Why would the Syrian government be so tight-lipped about an act of war perpetrated on their soil? The first half of the answer lies in this story that appeared in the Israeli media last month (8/13): Syria's Antiaircraft System Most Advanced In World. Syria has gone on a profligate buying spree, spending vast sums on Russian systems, 'considered the cutting edge in aircraft interception technology.' Syria now 'possesses the most crowded antiaircraft system in the world,' with 'more than 200 antiaircraft batteries of different types,' some of which are so new that they have been installed in Syria 'before being introduced into Russian operation service.' While you're digesting that, take a look at the map of Syria: Notice how far away Dayr az-Zawr is from Israel. An F15/16 attack there is not a tiptoe across the border, but a deep, deep penetration of Syrian airspace. And guess what happened with the Russian super-hyper-sophisticated cutting edge antiaircraft missile batteries when that penetration took place on September 6th. Nothing.
El blanko. Silence. The systems didn't even light up, gave no indication whatever of any detection of enemy aircraft invading Syrian airspace, zip, zero, nada. The Israelis (with a little techie assistance from us) blinded the Russkie antiaircraft systems so completely the Syrians didn't even know they were blinded. Now you see why the Syrians have been scared speechless. They thought they were protected - at enormous expense - only to discover they are defenseless. As in naked. Thus the Great Iranian Freak-Out - for this means Iran is just as nakedly defenseless as Syria.”
A Powerful Christian Minister, John Hagee, speaks about the Third World War.
Hagee is the President and CEO of John Hagee Ministries which telecasts his national radio and television ministry carried in America on 160 TV stations, 50 radio stations and eight networks. The ministries can be seen and heard weekly in 99 million homes. John Hagee Ministries is in Canada on the Miracle Channel and CTS and can be seen in Africa, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and is in most developing nations.
He is also the president and CEO of Global Evangelism Television, which telecasts his radio and television ministry. Hagee has received numerous honors and accolades from national Jewish organizations for his unwavering support of Israel. In pursuit of his support of Israel, Hagee helped found Christians United for Israel on February 7, 2006 as a "Christian AIPAC" lobbying Congress to support Israel.
Is this the start of World War III?
A few dozen angry callers to Sussman's show stated they would stay out of San Francisco if at all possible and not shop there anymore. Sounds like a plan to me.
"Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity...It's up to you teachers to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future."
Today, I found the above shocking, crystal clear bullet to the brain type quote by one of the so-called 'thinkers' of our academic movement. This is Gramscian tactics in action.
Via My Flanders Field.
Why is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad so eager to speak at American universities and, it turns out, to host dinner parties for leading American journalists and academics? He knows that what most disarms the West is the illusion that tyrants and dictators are really reasonable fellows, to whom the proper response is dialogue and diplomatic persuasion.
The Iranian regime particularly needs to convey that impression now, because their whole strategy is to drag out negotiations and diplomacy with the West long enough to give them time to acquire nuclear weapons.
In short, they know they can have free reign to achieve their goals through force only if we agree to limit ourselves to achieving our goals through persuasion and diplomacy.
And of course, the left-leaning media falls for this sort of thing uncritically. See, for example, an account of the dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer, who describes her overall impression: "The overwhelming sense I had from the dinner was of opportunities being squandered to improve US-Iranian relations."
Conservative blogger Hugh Hewitt has the best response to this: "What I cannot understand is how any American can accept an invitation to dine on Iran's tab even as that regime ships weapons and advisors into Iraq to kill more of the nation's finest. It is beyond moral confusion—it is moral collapse."
Is the Tide Turning Against Iran?
Ahmadinejad's charm offensive may be working on academia and the mainstream media, but overall my sense is that his visit to America drew more attention to Iran's crimes—particularly its responsibility for the killing of US troops in Iraq—and has served to help mobilize the right against Iran.
Charles Krauthammer describes two factors that are helping to turn the tide of events against Iran. The first is France's reversal of its policy of appeasement toward Iran:
On the largest possible stage—the UN General Assembly—President Nicolas Sarkozy put Iran on notice. His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, had said that France could live with an Iranian nuclear bomb. Sarkozy said that France cannot. He declared Iran's nuclear ambitions "an unacceptable risk to stability in the region and in the world."… "Weakness and renunciation do not lead to peace," he warned. "They lead to war."
The second factor is the effort of congressional Republicans to focus more attention on the Iranian threat.
The mood in Congress also has significantly shifted.
Just this week, the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for very strong sanctions on Iran and urging the administration to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards a terrorist entity. A similar measure passed the Senate Wednesday by 76-22, declaring that it is "a critical national interest of the United States" to prevent Iran from using Shiite militias inside Iraq to subvert the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad.
A few months ago, the question was: Will the Democratic Congress force a withdrawal from Iraq? Today the question in Congress is: What can be done to achieve success in Iraq—most specifically, by countering Iran, which is intent on seeing us fail?
It may be only 403 days until the 2008 presidential election, but things are falling into place very early in this contest. John Podhoretz looks at the races for each party's nomination and concludes—correctly, I think—that both parties already have a runaway front-runner who will be almost impossible to beat, so that we can expect the general election match-up to be Hillary Clinton versus Rudy Giuliani.
The Saffron Revolution
Things are looking bad for the so-called "Saffron Revolution" in Burma—the series of protests led by saffron-robed Buddhist monks against the ruling military junta.
In every such rebellion, the key swing vote is the men with guns: between the dictators and the demonstrators are thousands of men in the police and the military, the ones who are supposed to carry out the order to suppress anti-regime demonstrations. If they balk at using brutality (as in Eastern Europe), the regime falls. If they don't (as at Tiananmen Square in China) then the regime can buy a few more years in power.
Meanwhile, Pakistan also continues to waver between military dictatorship and liberal, civilian rule—with a third possibility, a takeover by radical Islamists, waiting in the wings.
The New York Times has the latest updates. Pakistani courts have ordered that arrested opposition politicians must be released—but they have also voted to allow Musharraf to seek another presidential term without first resigning from the military, a setback for the principle of civilian rule.
The Lessons of the Forbes 400
The problem with intellectuals (or at least with today's intellectuals) is that they are interested in ideas—as opposed to being interested in the facts on which ideas are supposed to be based. This is a key root cause of the long-standing anti-capitalist prejudice among intellectuals in academia and the mainstream media.
Over at RealClearPolitics, John Tamny offers a nice corrective. He uses the recently released Forbes 400 list to explore the actual facts about the dynamism of capitalism and the actual source of fortunes of America's wealthiest people.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Socialized Medicine's Front Door
By Robert Novak, RealClearPolitics, September 27, 2007
“The Alice-in-Wonderland quality of legislating in Congress was typified this week. The Democratic Congress quickly passed a national health insurance bill, drafted in secret and protected from amendment, that constitutes the most important legislation of this session. While designed for a presidential veto, it is national health insurance -- through the front, not the back, door. Democrats view it as no-lose: either landmark health care will be enacted over President George W. Bush's veto, or, if overridden, they'll have a lovely 2008 campaign issue.
This outcome was previewed a week ago by Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer and Republican Whip Roy Blunt in a colloquy on the House floor. Blunt questioned the procedure under which radical expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) would be passed as a "bill that has not been debated." No matter, Hoyer replied. It will not really be a new bill because "there will be nothing, I think, in the bill that was not in the House or Senate bills" that were passed previously. Such is the sad state of congressional procedure today.
This business as usual on Capitol Hill is worth noting because SCHIP extension covers much more than the poor children originally intended to be helped. The new bill covers families with income up to $82,000 a year, threatening to crowd out the private health industry. Only Congress could conceive making families simultaneously eligible for SCHIP to help the poor and AMT (the alternative minimum tax) to punish the rich.”
INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY. 9/26/2007 (Excerpt)
“As Democrat Charles Rangel of New York noted, when lawmakers go back to their districts, "the question is, were you with the kids or were you not?" Some Republicans won't have an answer.
Too bad. The only hope now is that President Bush will follow through on his threat to veto it. Because 290 votes would be needed to override a veto, it looks like he might succeed.
In doing so, Bush will be vilified and excoriated for being against children. But let's look at this bill without blinders, shall we?
As passed by the House, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, known as SCHIP, will create a major new middle-class entitlement even as we face looming national bankruptcy from our $50.5 trillion (yes, you read that number right) in planned spending under Social Security and Medicare.
Today, some 6.6 million kids are covered under SCHIP, at a cost of about $25 billion over five years. The new bill raises that to 9 million kids covered, at a cost of $60 billion….”
“That's the problem — SCHIP's expansion sets up perverse incentives, such as encouraging those with private insurance to dump it in favor of subsidized care. This isn't just talk. According to health care economists David Cutler and Jonathan Gruber, for every 10 children enrolled in SCHIP, six drop their private insurance.
There are other problems. For instance, far from being "about the children," SCHIP already covers 670,000 adults. The new law will increase that. Thanks to loopholes, illegal aliens are eligible too.
Add it all up, and SCHIP's costs will be much, much higher than the $60 billion forecast — just as happened with Medicare.”
Why are we such stumble-bums, as my father might say?
We invite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to lunch at the grown-up's table, then insult him.
I don't think it takes a Mensa member to figure out that inviting the little monkey-man puppet of the Mad Mullahs of Iran to speak at a major American university was a really stupid idea, one that only a Liberal could have thunk up, and upon consideration, still considered it a dandy plan.
The idea that inviting the president of a country that has declared war on America (oh yes, they have, look it up!), is currently and directly involved killing our troopers in Iraq is not a stupid, offensive, unpatriotic thing to do apparently did not even cross the minds of the excessively educated boobs at Columbia.
And once having committed the grotesquely moronic public relations faux pas, Bollinger, in an attempt to salvage some appearance of Americanism...commits a further idiocy by insulting a guest from the Middle East, where hospitality is sacred.
At a stroke, the President of Columbia University demonstrated that Americans are both weak and barbaric. Nice work. Leave it to academia.
And the Media. You'd think they'd get tired of being played by pipsqueaks and Third-Worlders. But they go for it every time. I'd say they were Pollyannas and eternal optimists if I didn't see the cruel and malicious joy they take in the damage their "accidental blindness" and "naivete" causes their chosen victims.
False stories about Israeli soldiers targeting children.
Forged documents about Bush's military record.
Wilson's lies about his trip to Africa.
Plame's absurdist "outing" scenario.
Endless fake torture stories about Abu Ghraib.
Palestinian Yellow Helmet repeatedly posing dead children "killed in Israeli attacks" in Lebanon.
Lies about U.S. Marines slaughtering Iraqi civilians.
Uncorroborated fantasy reports of atrocities at the "front" by privates with literary ambitions stationed in Kuwait.
And on and on and on and on...
If I didn't know better, I'd begin to suspect their motives.
As Gen. Petraeus made clear, the adoption of a true counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq in January 2007 has led to unprecedented progress in the struggle against al Qaeda in Iraq, by protecting Sunni Arabs who reject the terrorists among them from the vicious retribution of those terrorists. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also touted the effectiveness of this strategy while at the same time warning of al Qaeda in Iraq's continued threat to his government and indeed the entire region.
Yet despite the undeniable successes the new strategy has achieved against al Qaeda in Iraq, many in Congress are still pushing to change the mission of U.S. forces back to a counterterrorism role relying on special forces and precision munitions to conduct targeted attacks on terrorist leaders. This change would bring us back to the traditional, consensus strategy for dealing with cellular terrorist groups like al Qaeda--a strategy that has consistently failed in Iraq.
The Rest Of The Story
The Bush Presidency is running out of time to act if it wants to stop Iran from gaining a bomb. With GIs fighting and dying in Iraq, Mr. Bush also owes it to them not to allow enemy sanctuaries or weapons pipelines from Iran. If the President believes half of what he and his Administration have said about Iran's behavior, he has an obligation to do whatever it takes to stop it.
Meanwhile, The Politico reports on a visit by neoconservative sage Norman Podhoretz to the White House, in which he urged President Bush and Vice-President Cheney to bomb Iran, and during which he believes the two men implicitly acknowledged that they expected diplomacy and sanctions to fail.
But the administration is still sending mixed signals, leaking preparations for war, while also leaking stories like the one below in the New York Times, which plays up the idea of new hope for European economic sanctions that would allegedly induce Iran's "moderates" to overrule the nation's fanatics.
If President Bush finally decides to bomb Iran, rumor and precedent indicate that he is likely to do so between the presidential primaries and the national conventions—which is to say, in the spring of next year. In the meantime, we can expect to see the US dragged through the deadly delays of more ineffectual diplomacy.
"Washington Sees an Opportunity on Iran," David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker, New York Times, September 27 A year and a half after President Bush told top aides that he feared he might be forced someday to choose between acquiescing to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and ordering military action, the struggle to find an effective alternative—sanctions with real bite—is entering a new phase.
The speech at the United Nations on Tuesday by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is already being used by American officials in an effort to convince European allies that Iran’s leadership will respond only to a sharp new wave of economic pressure, far greater than anything it has endured so far. Mr. Ahmadinejad, trying to make the case that no additional sanctions would derail Iran’s uranium enrichment program, declared that “the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed.”
Until now, Washington has relied on gradually escalating sanctions, including convincing a growing number of banks that it is risky to lend new funds to Iran for major oil projects. Yet in interviews, American diplomats, White House officials and military officers acknowledge that the strategy has been largely ineffective.
So have veiled threats of military action….
Administration officials say that the chances appear slim that the United States can enlist Russia and China behind really tough sanctions against Iran, and that it could take several months for such sanctions to emerge, if they do at all.
But for the first time, administration officials say, the European allies are talking about a far broader cutoff of bank lending and technology to Iran than any tried so far. The lead is being taken by the new government in France, whose president, Nicolas Sarkozy, issued a starker warning to the United Nations this week about a nuclear Iran than did Mr. Bush.
That has created a new initiative between Washington and Paris unlike any since they split over the invasion of Iraq. The effort, said Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, is intended to convince Iranians that the nuclear program is “taking us into the ditch,” and to make the pressure so great “that they finally have to make a strategic choice.”
In the US Senate, the Democrats held up and watered down a resolution calling on the president to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Here is how the New York Times describes it:
In negotiations, two crucial paragraphs were deleted from the measure in an attempt to reassure critics who had said the proposal seemed to urge the Bush administration to deal with Iran on a war footing.
Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, warned Tuesday that an early draft of the proposal “could be read as tantamount to a declaration of war.”
“What do we do with terrorist organizations if they are involved against us?” Mr. Webb asked in a speech on Tuesday. “We attack them.”
Even with the two paragraphs deleted, Mr. Webb voted against the resolution.
But of course, the IRGC is a terrorist organization, and it is "involved against us" and has been for a long time. Yet Senator Webb is trying to write these facts out of existence in an attempt to evade the conclusion they logically lead to.
Meanwhile, at last night's debate of the Democratic presidential candidates, everyone except Hillary Clinton condemned this Senate vote and opposed any potential military action against Tehran. The Washington Post reports:
When Clinton defended the vote as something that could lead to sanctions against a group responsible for manufacturing weapons that are being used against US forces in Iraq…[John] Edwards challenged her for that vote.
"I voted for this war in Iraq, and I was wrong to vote for this war," he said. "And I accept responsibility for that. Senator Clinton also voted for this war. We learned a very different lesson from that. I have no intention of giving George Bush the authority to take the first step on a road to war with Iran."
But the most shocking example of sympathy for the enemies of civilizations comes, unsurprisingly, from academia. Below, the New York Sun reports a backlash against Columbia University President Lee Bollinger—not because he invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak, but because he was not polite and deferential enough toward the Iranian fanatic.
"Backlash Against Bollinger Hits Columbia," Annie Karni, New York Sun, September 27 A backlash against the president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, who on Monday delivered a harsh rebuke to President Ahmadinejad, is coming from faculty members and students who said he struck an "insulting tone" and that his remarks amounted to "schoolyard taunts." The fierceness of Mr. Bollinger's critique bought the Iranian some sympathy on campus that he didn't deserve, the critics said, and amounted to a squandered opportunity to provide a lesson in diplomacy….
"It's odd to invite someone and then deal with the objections to inviting him by insulting him before he gets to talk," a professor of political science at Columbia, Richard Betts, said during an interview in his office yesterday. "He's having it both ways in a sense, honoring the principle of free speech by not choosing speakers on the basis of how nice they are, but being sharp to him before he speaks."…
Students said they interpreted the severity of Mr. Bollinger's opening, in which he called Mr. Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust "brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated," as a cowing to political and financial pressure from elected officials who in the days leading up to the event criticized Columbia for providing a platform for Mr. Ahmadinejad and said they would consider reducing capital aid to the university….
The professor of history and Iranian expert who had a role in bringing Mr. Ahmadinejad to campus, Richard Bulliet, said that if Mr. Bollinger led a mission of faculty and students to Iran, which he has expressed interest in doing, he would likely receive a more courteous welcome than was provided to Mr. Ahmadinejad….
"There are students in SIPA who feel very strongly that President Bollinger didn't teach an enlightening lesson in diplomacy," Mr. Bulliet said in an interview yesterday.
Mr. Bollinger's opening speech "was pitched in a deliberately insulting tone, descending almost to the level of schoolyard taunts. (I hope students did not take away the lesson that this is how international politics should be conducted.)," a senior fellow at Columbia's Middle East Institute, Gary Sick, wrote on Gulf 2000, a listserv created to allow academics, analysts, and journalists to discuss Iran and Iraq issues….
Students at the university's School of International and Public Affairs said they were planning to send a petition to Mr. Bollinger later this week telling him that his behavior was out of line.
Here is a fascination report on two obscure US government officials—both naturalized citizens who originally hailed from Eastern Bloc countries—who are crisscrossing the globe negotiating agreements to sequester bomb-grade nuclear materials held by dozens of small countries with Cold War era research reactors.
"A Race with the Terrorists," Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times, September 27 Over the last three years, two US nuclear weapons experts have quietly crisscrossed the globe, racing to secure bomb-grade uranium before terrorists can lay their hands on a single kilogram….
What may seem like a simple idea to make the world safer by locking down nuclear bomb materials is actually a tangle of political details, technical arguments about transportation safety and complex international shipping licenses….
The two engineers scored their latest success less than two weeks ago: they moved nearly 10 pounds of highly enriched uranium from a reactor in Vietnam to Russia, where it will be blended down into commercial reactor fuel….
Bieniawski's team has conducted 13 missions to civilian reactors in former Soviet Union republics and client states, securing enough fissile matter to build 20 nuclear bombs….
Nuclear weapons experts like Matthew Bunn of Harvard University say the program, known as the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, is one of the most effective US efforts to preclude nuclear terrorism, not to mention one of the cheapest.
[L]ike many research reactors, security [in Vietnam] hardly meets Western standards.
At the front gate on a recent day, two young unarmed guards were on duty inside a glass-walled booth. A lone telephone sat on a desk to enable contact with a local police garrison.
Bieniawski's jaw dropped when he saw that the massive doors to the reactor containment building were held shut by a piece of old pipe jammed into the door handle….
When the plane was ready to go, the Russian pilot opened his cockpit window and waved goodbye to the Americans.
As the wheels left the ground, a beaming Bieniawski turned to Bolshinsky: "One more country cleaned out."
This last is particularly dangerous, because the Democrats have realized that they do not need to pass some massive, unfamiliar new program. They just need to pass legislation expanding existing government health-insurance programs—some of which were created by Republicans.
That's the meaning of the latest congressional maneuver: an attempt to expand SCHIP—a small program passed by Republicans ten years ago to provide government health-insurance coverage to children in poor families—so that it would cover much of the middle class.
As Robert Novak points out below, this is not an incremental step toward socialized medicine; it is a giant leap. It is an open attempt to replace private health insurance with government health insurance for most workers.
"Socialized Medicine's Front Door," Robert Novak, Washington Post, September 27 The Democratic Congress quickly passed a national health insurance bill, drafted in secret and protected from amendment, that constitutes the most important legislation of this session. While designed for a presidential veto, it is national health insurance—through the front, not the back, door….
[A]n extension of SCHIP would cover many more than the poor children originally intended to be helped. The new bill would cover families with income up to $82,000 a year, threatening to crowd out the private health industry. Only Congress could conceive making families simultaneously eligible for SCHIP to help the poor and the alternative minimum tax to punish the rich.
SCHIP was conceived in 1997 by a Republican-controlled Congress, still uneasy about defeating Hillary Clinton's health-care plan four years earlier and intending to provide supplementary health insurance for poor children. When Democrats took control of Congress this year, they sought to transform a relatively modest program into a government takeover of health care….
The legislation would extend SCHIP to families earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level ($82,000 a year) in New York, 350 percent in New Jersey and 300 percent elsewhere. States also could extend the aid to childless adults. Indeed, "children" would include anyone younger than 21.
Here is another excellent column from Will on this subject, this time exposing the hypocrisy of the New York Times in the case of the infamous MoveOn ad. In defending this ad, the Times is seeking to exempt itself from the very campaign finance controls that it has so vigorously advocated.
"Sauce for the Times," George Will, Washington Post, September 26 In June, the Times was in high dudgeon—it knows no other degree of dudgeon—about the Supreme Court's refusal to affirm a far-reaching government power to suppress political speech. The court ruled that a small group of Wisconsin residents had been improperly refused the right to run an issue advocacy ad urging the state's two senators not to filibuster the president's judicial nominees….
Less than three months after the Times excoriated the court for weakening restrictions on issue ads, the paper made a huge and patently illegal contribution to
Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., defending the decision to run the ad, said: "If we're going to err, it's better to err on the side of more political dialogue.... Perhaps we did err in this case. If we did, we erred with the intent of giving greater voice to people." Bauer notes that Sulzberger might have used words from a Supreme Court decision: "In a debatable case, the tie is resolved in favor of protecting speech." And: "Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor." So spoke Chief Justice John Roberts in the Wisconsin decision that Sulzberger's paper denounced because it would magnify the voices of, among other things, "wealthy corporations." The Times Co.'s 2006 revenue was $3.3 billion.
The Times' performance in this matter confirms an axiom: There can be unseemly exposure of mind as well as of body.