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Kick Assiest Blog
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Rock Stars could serve Africa better by battling Greenpeace
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

'Junk Science' says that instead of targeting debt relief, rock stars could save millions of African lives by pushing back Greenpeace's efforts to block the use of insecticide and other agriculture technologies on the impoverished continent.

Rock Stars' Activism Could Be Put to Better Use

Bob Geldof's Live 8 concerts scheduled for July 2 will spotlight the problem of global poverty ahead of the July 6-8 G8 summit in Scotland.

But like Geldof's 1985 Live Aid concert, Live 8 it is a noble idea that, unfortunately, isn't likely to make any significant or lasting progress toward reducing poverty in Africa.

What Africa needs is genuine economic development that can be sustained over time, a goal that has been continually thwarted by the environmental policies forced upon developing nations by groups such as Greenpeace — an organization publicly supported by many of the Live 8 performers.

One necessary step toward economic growth in Africa, for example, is eradicating the continent's crippling famine and perpetual epidemics of disease. Yet, Greenpeace's successful campaign against the use of pesticides such as DDT has resulted in millions of deaths from diseases like malaria that pesticides could have prevented.

If Geldof and the other Live 8 performers really wanted to help Africans, they would rock-and-rail at their Greenpeace friends rather than at the G8 leaders.

Live 8 consists of rock concerts in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Toronto and Philadelphia and features dozens of mega-stars including U2, Elton John, Sting, Paul McCartney, and Madonna.

Geldof's vision is that the Live 8 shows will enable "ordinary people" to "show [the G8] that enough is enough" and to "demand from the 8 world leaders at G8 an end to poverty."

"The G8 leaders have it within their power to alter history," says the Live 8 Web site. "By doubling aid, fully canceling debt, and delivering trade justice for Africa, the G8 could change the future for millions of men, women and children," it states.

Despite the rhetoric, it's not at all clear how staging pop concerts to pressure G8 leaders on policy options of debatable merit will solve Africa's problems.

But many Live 8 performers — including Geldof, U2's Bono, Sting and Elton John, to name a few, have long and close associations with Greenpeace, from participating in protests to providing much-needed financial support. Greenpeace often uses rock stars and other celebrities in an effort to mainstream its anti-development, anti-technology — and, consequently, anti-Africa — agenda.

Millions of lives could be saved and economic development could be helped along if the Live 8's rock stars pressured Greenpeace to end its senseless campaigns against the insecticide DDT and biotechnology.

Although the Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT use in the U.S. in 1972, the ban and its tenuous rationale was never intended to be applied outside the U.S. Environmental groups, including Greenpeace, nevertheless exported the ban, making control of malaria-bearing mosquitoes in poor countries essentially impossible. Every year, the ban helps cause hundreds of millions of cases of malaria and tens of millions of resulting deaths in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

Greenpeace is now trying to formalize a worldwide ban of DDT by pressing for the United Nations' treaty on so-called "persistent organic pollutants" (POPs). Although the treaty is careful not to ban DDT outright, it makes DDT more difficult to use and so operates as a practical ban.

"The POPs treaty could virtually eliminate the use of DDT, perhaps the most affordable and effective pesticide and repellant in existence," said Richard Tren of Africa Fighting Malaria, a nonprofit health advocacy group.

The World Health Organization estimates that the deaths and illness caused each year by malaria cuts the gross domestic product (GDP) of African nations by 1.3 percent and costs them $12 billion in economic losses. The Greenpeace-supported POPs treaty will only guarantee that such health and economic devastation continues.

While discussing the African malaria problem at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, in January, U2's Bono said that "no one should die from a mosquito bite." Indeed. And now it's time for Bono to put his influence with Greenpeace where his microphone is.

Greenpeace also campaigns against the use of agricultural biotechnology, including "Golden Rice," which could help with the severe Vitamin A deficiency that afflicts hundreds of millions in Africa and Asia — including 500,000 children who lose their eyesight each year.

Scientists developed Golden Rice using the gene that makes daffodils yellow. The gene makes the rice rich in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.

But as pointed out by Greenpeace co-founder and former President Patrick Moore, now a vociferous critic of the activist group: "Greenpeace activists threaten to rip the biotech rice out of the fields if farmers dare to plant it. They have done everything they can to discredit the scientists and the technology.

"A commercial variety is now available for planting, but it will be at least five years before Golden Rice will be able to work its way through the Byzantine regulatory system that has been set up as a result of the activists' campaign of misinformation and speculation, " Moore said. "So the risk of not allowing farmers in Africa and Asia to grow Golden Rice is that another 2.5 million children will probably go blind."

Twenty years ago, Geldof's Live Aid concert raised $100 million for Africa, but he acknowledges on the Live 8 Web site that "poverty, famine and disease are still major problems in Africa." That result isn't surprising. Although the $100 million raised by Live Aid sounds like a lot of money, given the scope of the problem in Africa, it was a futile drop in the bucket.

Perhaps Geldof, Bono, Sting and other celebrities could make a dent in that problem by pressuring Greenpeace to stop its mindless campaign against DDT and agricultural biotech.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and CSRwatch.com, is adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and is the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

Fox News ~ Steven Milloy ** Rock Stars' Activism Could Be Put to Better Use

Posted by uhyw at 12:47 PM EDT
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Canadian posing as American tourist suffers anti-Americanism
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

A local reporter set out to see how bad anti-American sentiment is Canada.

The ugly anti-American

Reporter David Bruser poses as a friendly U.S. tourist on Toronto's streets and finds Canadians aren't as affable or open-minded as we'd like to think.

Warmonger. Bible thumper. Braggart.

All popular, contemporary stereotypes of Americans.

Though one would think us "polite" Canadians would not utter these to an American's face, a reporter posing as a U.S. tourist learned his place in this city right quick.

During a couple of days walking major streets in the centre of Toronto, this pretender introduced himself to several locals and limped away with sore feet and the feeling that I'd been picked on.

Having lived in Mississippi for a couple of years, I felt impersonating a Southerner was within my limited acting skills. Nothing too obvious, no 10-gallon cowboy hats or "I do declare's". Just a few "y'alls," mixed in with support of George W.

While many were happy to talk geopolitics and differentiate between the U.S. government and its citizens, several others did not make that distinction, projecting the perceived sins of a nation onto me.

In Kensington Market, the tone was shrill. Of five people I approached, two were downright sanctimonious.

First, I approached John, sitting on a stoop smoking, a Toronto hat on his head. I asked for a lighter, introduced myself and said I'd noticed anti-Americanism in Toronto. He asked if I was a Republican and I said I was.

Then John asked, "Are you a fundamentalist of some kind?"

"This is Kensington Market," he added. "It's about the worst place for fellow right-wingers."

After I thanked him for his time and started walking away, he instructed, "Reconsider your views."

Yessir.

By no means a scientific or comprehensive survey, I sidled up to strangers bearing no ill will to ask for directions or the use of a lighter for a cigarette, introduced myself, told them where I was from, then turned the conversation to politics.

Up Augusta Ave., closer to College St., Charlie, an elderly man sitting outside smoking, needed only my introduction as an American.

"You like Americans?" I asked.

"They brag too much, don't they?" he said.

"They boast. They have this and they have that. (If they spent less) time doing that, they'd just get their problems solved, eh?"

Toronto is about to reap the benefits of American tourists, who travel here in the millions each year, mainly between July and September. In 2001, 3.4 million Americans visited this city and 3.2 million came in 2002, spending a total of $2.4 billion, according to Tourism Toronto. (SARS curbed tourism in 2003.)

But a November poll by Ipsos-Reid of 1,000 residents in each of the two countries showed one in seven Canadians (15 per cent) agree with the statement that "at the heart of it, I am actually anti-American. I don't like or respect anything the United States and its people stand for or what it is about."

Seven of the 30 I approached acted snotty, and several other Americans found in the city during this time said they too were the targets of mean-spirited locals.

While anti-Americanism has long existed in Canada, it seems to many that the attitude has intensified in recent years.

In a speech just a few weeks ago, Frank McKenna, our ambassador to the United States, acknowledged the self-righteousness and urged Canadians to cease gratuitous attacks and "endlessly" moralizing.

"I've seen some really appalling behaviour simply because I'm an American," said New York-native Clifford Krauss, Canadian correspondent for The New York Times, who has lived in Toronto and travelled the country for several years.

Though he feels the attitude has improved a little since the November re-election of President George W. Bush and beginning of the war in Iraq, Krauss said he's noticed this "waving a virtuous finger of superiority" is most pronounced in Ontario.

"I think that the anti-Americanism is part of a regional character that fills a vacuum. The Canadian identity, which in some parts of Canada is quite strong, is not so strong here. I say with some trepidation, because it might sound very arrogant, but there are other places in Canada where the culture is richer and where people are more confident in their culture," said Krauss. And, as he points out, the feeling is ingrained in the national psyche, even if what makes an American ugly to some Canadians changes through time (from isolationist in the early days of World War II to world's cop today).

"It goes back to the American Revolution. It's inbred — the Loyalists coming up here, the fact that there was quite a bit of fighting going on between the United States and Canada," Krauss said. Now fully into character and with my hackles up, I went in a bookstore near Bloor St. and Brunswick Ave., where I asked a man and woman in their late 20s for suggestions of neighbourhoods to walk. It was my very first encounter in this part of the city, and it went like this:

"I've been in town just for a few days. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've noticed a little bit of anti-American sentiment."

"It's an easy target," the man said.

"What is an easy target, Americans?" I asked.

"Yeah, it's an easy go-to," he said. "We're not mucking up the world are we?" Then he and the woman both said, "Ooohhh," evidently enjoying a good dis on me. The way they carried on, I thought they were going to high-five each other.

Other Americans, real Americans, found in the city last week were also unimpressed.

Of a group of six animated St. Louis Cardinals fans sitting behind their home team's dugout at the Rogers Centre, four loved Toronto, but two related their stories of an inhospitable city.

Twenty-one-year-old Kiesha Jones rode in her first Toronto cab. "The (Bangladeshi) cab diver told me Americans was killers," she said. "I'm an American and I'm not a killer."

And at a conference hosted by the International Right of Way Association — attended by scores of Americans in the highway, pipeline and power line construction business — a man from Houston said his wife went to a souvenir store on Queens Quay W. to buy some gifts for their children but left empty-handed after finding a T-shirt that read, "What's the definition of a Canadian? An unarmed American with healthcare."

"We don't particularly like that," the man said.

But Ed Peck, also in town for the conference, liked Torontonians just fine.

If ever there was an American in Toronto, Peck was it.

Moustachioed, athletic build, a tall cowboy hat fit snugly on his head. And unfailingly polite, with a firm handshake to send you off.

"Nobody's said a thing to me. Everybody's been real friendly," said the Houston resident.

Maybe I should've worn a cowboy hat.

"Look forward to coming back," Peck said.

Y'all come back, hear?

(Origional story requires registration)
Toronto Star ~ David Bruser ** The ugly anti-American

Posted by uhyw at 12:01 AM EDT
ACLU defends Polygamy
Mood:  smelly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

One of the central concerns of gay-rights opponents is that the left is trying to undermine traditional marriage. In an attempt to prove their enemies right, the President of the ACLU defended polygamy as a right.

ACLU defends polygamy

Legal group backs 'freedom of choice'

The president of the American Civil Liberties Union says polygamy is among the "fundamental rights" that her organization will continue to defend.

During a question-and-answer session after a speech at Yale University, ACLU president Nadine Strossen stated that her organization has "defended the right of individuals to engage in polygamy," reported AgapePress, noting that the comments cited by the Yale Daily News received little attention.

The student paper said Strossen was responding to a "student's question about gay marriage, bigamy, and polygamy."

The ACLU chief said her organization defends "the freedom of choice for mature, consenting individuals," making it "the guardian of liberty ... defend[ing] the fundamental rights of all people."

Some opponents of same-sex marriage -- including, notably, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. -- have argued that its acceptance will create a slipperly slope, leading to the sanctioning of other types of relationships, including polygamy.

Crawford Broadcasting radio talk-show host Paul McGuire says the ACLU "has declared legal war on the traditional family."

"Now the ACLU is defending polygamy," he said, according to AgapePress. "You know, there are male and female lawyers who wake up in the morning and are actually proud of being ACLU lawyers. But I think the majority of Americans view ACLU lawyers as people who hate America and who want to destroy all Judeo-Christian values and beliefs."

McGuire asserts Strossen's organization seems "to only defend things that tear down the fabric of society."

National Review correspondent Ramesh Ponnuru says the ACLU might be defending a right for people to establish households in this way without necessarily fighting for governmental recognition of polygamous marriages.

"Even if so," Ponnuru concludes, "it is hard to see how the ACLU, on its own principles, could stop short of demanding a change to the marriage laws to allow for polygamy."

Strossen, president of the ACLU since 1991, also serves as acting professor of law at New York Law School and is the author of "Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex & the Fight for Women's Rights."

World Net Daily.com ** ACLU defends polygamy

Posted by uhyw at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, June 24, 2005
LATEST: Yahoo Chat Room Crackdown Affects Non-Sex Rooms (as if we regs didn't know)
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff


Yahoo Chat Room Crackdown Affects Non-Sex Rooms
Users Irate At Loss Of Chat Rooms

HOUSTON - A crackdown on chat rooms aimed at children is being felt around the world, affecting those that have nothing to do with sex, the Local 2 Troubleshooters reported Thursday.

Hundreds of innocent chat rooms were taken offline by Yahoo in addition to those targeted for sex with children.

Now, those innocent computer users are wondering how they will fill the massive void on the Internet.

National newspapers, radio talk shows and television networks have picked up the story the Troubleshooters broke on Monday. For people in other cities, it finally shed light on why chat room screens are blank.

But that's no help to people who have nowhere to turn for important information they've always received from clean chat rooms.

"It's not right. It's not right. And Yahoo needs to address this quickly," said Rod Mitchell, a local chat room creator.

Mitchell hosted a chat room called "Indiefilmworkers" for casting and crew on movies for eight years. That's all changed for the Spring man and the 869 other members of his chat room forum.

"A lot of times, they like to get insight. If they're in Austin, San Antonio, New York, they want to find out about Houston, and so they'll chat with each other. They can no longer do that," Mitchell said.

The same hole in the Internet exists for hundreds of other rooms with a wide array of interests, from hobbies to jobs to studies.

That's because the nation's most-used Internet site, Yahoo, shut down hundreds, potentially thousands, of chat rooms after the Local 2 Troubleshooters exposed what's really going on in those rooms.

They're called "user-created rooms." Local 2 found Yahoo displaying advertising from major corporations in rooms geared only toward sex with children.

♠ 9-17-Year-Olds Wantin' Sex
♠ Younger Girls 4 Older Guys
♠ Girls 13 And Under For Older Guys
♠ Girls 13 And Up For Much Older Man
♠ Girls 8 to 13 Watch Boys (In A Particular Sex Act)

In those rooms, Local 2 posed as a 13-year-old girl and Houston men lined up at the Troubleshooters' door after arranging sex meetings. Countless men tried to display pornography with children.

The big sponsors pulled their advertising because of the station's reports and Yahoo removed all of the rooms, leaving nothing but blank screens where the rooms used to be.

"People are irate and don't know where to go. They are casual Internet users," said Peter Carr, with Chatmag.com.

Carr runs a Web site called ChatMag.com, which is a registry of chat rooms and advice. He said hundreds of thousands of chat room users are logging in, wondering how to adjust their whole lives.

"A lot of them feel betrayed that Yahoo did not give them prior warning," Carr said.

Yahoo is still not commenting, saying only that it is working on improving chat rooms so that more users comply with Yahoo's terms of service, which ban harmful material with minors.

Online ads account for most of Yahoo's revenue, and investors are noticing. They are clicking on links to the Troubleshooters story, posted on various stock-quote Web pages.

Yahoo's stock dropped 70 cents Thursday, a decline of 2 percent.

Click2Houston.com ** Yahoo Chat Room Crackdown Affects Non-Sex Rooms

Related story sourced from Yahoo News...
Yahoo News ~ Reuters - Duncan Martell ** Yahoo shuts chat rooms amid sex concerns

Posted by uhyw at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2005 12:57 AM EDT
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Dems Pissing Lava, Say Rove Should Apologize or Resign
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Democrats Say Rove Should Apologize or Resign

White House Defends Advisor's Comments

WASHINGTON - Democrats said Thursday that White House adviser Karl Rove should either apologize or resign for accusing liberals of wanting "therapy and understanding" for the Sept. 11 attackers, escalating partisan rancor that threatens to consume Washington.

Rove's comments _ and the response from the political opposition _ mirrored earlier flaps over Democratic chairman Howard Dean's criticism of Republicans, a House Republican's statement that Democrats demonize Christians and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin's comparison of the Guantanamo prison to Nazi camps and Soviet gulags.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan came to Rove's defense, saying the president's chief political adviser was "simply pointing out the different philosophies and different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism."

"Of course not," McClellan said when asked by reporters whether President Bush will ask Rove to apologize.

Rove, in a speech Wednesday evening to the New York state Conservative Party just a few miles north of Ground Zero, said, "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

He added that groups linked to the Democratic Party made the mistake of calling for "moderation and restraint" after the terrorist attacks.

During the 2004 campaign, Bush dismissed the notion of negotiating with terrorists and said, "You can't sit back and hope that somehow therapy will work and they will change their ways."

Rove's comments quickly escalated the bitter divide between the parties that could get worse as Congress prepares for what may be a drawn-out political fight, possibly this summer, over a Supreme Court nominee.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer said Rove "took something that is virtually sacred to New Yorkers" _ the tragedy of the Sept. 11 attacks _ "and politicized it for political, opportunistic purposes."

"Karl Rove is not just another political operative," added New York's other Democratic senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton. "He sits in the White House, a few doors down from the president."

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday, Clinton urged Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to repudiate the "insulting comment."

Rumsfeld replied that it "is unfortunate when things become so polarized or so politicized."

Schumer and Clinton joined the four Democratic senators from Connecticut and New Jersey in a letter to Rove requesting that he immediately retract his comments. "To try to score partisan, political points at the expense of the 3,000 victims and their families was unacceptable and opportunistic," they wrote.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., wrote a similar letter to Rove from House Democrats.

Schumer said Rove's comments might have been made in the heat of the moment and he was willing to accept an apology. But "if they try to stonewall," he said, "then I think resignation would be called for."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also said Rove, the political mastermind behind Bush's election victories, should fully apologize for his remarks or resign. Dean said Bush should "condemn Karl Rove's desperate and divisive attempt to help the Republicans regain their political footing."

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., went to the Senate floor with Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., whose son served in Iraq. Until America becomes safe, Kerry said, "don't dare question the patriotism of Americans who offer a better direction."

Republicans, meanwhile, have recently condemned House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for calling the Iraq War a "grotesque mistake," and demanded and finally got an apology from Durbin for his linking detainee abuse and Nazis.

And they were unapologetic about Rove's comments.

Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman, speaking in Puerto Rico, said there was no need to apologize because "what Karl Rove said is true." White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, asked about the Rove dispute on CNN, noted, "We have seen pretty hot rhetoric from both sides of the aisle lately."

White House communications director Nicolle Devenish said Rove was speaking "very broadly about the liberal movement" and that he never referred to Democrats. "I think the Democrats are misguided in their attacks on Karl Rove," she said.

Increasing public doubts about the Iraq war have emboldened Democrats to challenge the president's policies. Republicans, in turn, contend that criticism undermines the war on terror.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican running for re-election in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, issued a statement urging both sides to keep politics out of the war on terrorism. "We owe it to those we lost to keep partisan politics out of the discussion and keep alive the united spirit that came out of 9/11," he said.

On the Net: White House

Washington Post ~ Associated Press - Jim Abrams ** Democrats Say Rove Should Apologize or Resign

Posted by uhyw at 11:49 PM EDT
Rove Criticizes Liberals' Response To 9/11 Attacks
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

Rove Criticizes Liberals on 9/11

By Patrick D. Healy

Karl Rove came to the heart of Manhattan last night to rhapsodize about the decline of liberalism in politics, saying Democrats responded weakly to Sept. 11 and had placed American troops in greater danger by criticizing their actions.

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State.

Citing calls by progressive groups to respond carefully to the attacks, Mr. Rove said to the applause of several hundred audience members, "I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble."

Told of Mr. Rove's remarks, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, replied: "In New York, where everyone unified after 9/11, the last thing we need is somebody who seeks to divide us for political purposes."

Mr. Rove also said American armed forces overseas were in more jeopardy as a result of remarks last week by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who compared American mistreatment of detainees to the acts of "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others."

"Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year?" Mr. Rove asked. "Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

Gov. George E. Pataki of New York, speaking after Mr. Rove, also touched on the Sept. 11 attacks. He promised that the proposed Freedom Tower, the new building at ground zero, would retain patriotic touches in its architecture, like a height of 1,776 feet, despite the concerns of some observers who fear that it would become a target for terrorists.

"We're going to have a Freedom Tower that soars 1,776 feet high, symbolizing our independence," Mr. Pataki said. As for the memorial, he said: "No one is going to turn it into something that is a negative statement about America and our belief in freedom, so long as I am governor of this state."

Speaking to reporters afterward, Mr. Pataki disclosed that he did not plan to reveal in the coming days if he will seek a fourth term, contrary to previous statements that he would make an announcement after the State Legislature adjourned today.

"I'm going to evaluate the bills that the Legislature has passed at the end of the session and then make a decision at the appropriate time, but not in the next couple of weeks," Mr. Pataki said.

NY Times ~ Patrick D. Healy ** Rove Criticizes Liberals on 9/11

Posted by uhyw at 11:41 PM EDT
RNC makes Biden eat crow on failed Iraq predictions
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Funny Stuff

Now that we now that Joe Biden wants to be Commander In Chief, the GOP has decided to use the Senator’s words against him. This article includes dire predictions from the candidate covering the Iraqi elections and transfer of power.

RNC: Biden's Predictions All Wet

The Republican National Committee let loose against Democratic Senator Joe Biden after he attacked the administration on its progress in Iraq.

"Senator Biden's gloomy view of the significant progress made in Iraq should earn him the title of Pessimist in Chief, RNC Press Secretary Tracey Schmitt said. "While his pessimism is nothing new, it ignores that facts. Freedom is on the march in Iraq and Biden's flawed rhetoric is nothing more than political pandering in an effort to grab headlines."

The RNC outlined Sen. Biden's previous pessimistic predictions on the Iraqi elections, most of which turned out to be nonsense:

Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.): "The Elections Are Going To Be Much Messier. We Are Left With A Bad Choice In Holding Elections And A Worse Choice Of Not Holding It." (CNN's "Late Edition," 1/9/05)

Biden: "And I Think There's Going To Be The Whole Question Of Whether Or Not The Sunnis Participate, Whether There's Any Legitimacy In The Process If They Don't, Et Cetera." (CNN's "Late Edition," 1/9/05)

Biden Said Of The Iraqi Elections: "It's Going To Be Ugly." (PBS' "Charlie Rose Show," 1/5/05)

Biden: "(Election) Success Is Still Possibility. But It Is Receding Rapidly. It's Being Made Much More Difficult." (ABC's "This Week," 12/5/04)

"(D)emocrat Joe Biden Of Delaware, Said Postponing The Election Without A Guarantee Of Sunni Participation Later On Would Just Add More Trouble To Iraq's Already Difficult Road." (NPR's "All Things Considered," 12/2/04)

"Biden Believes Iraqi Elections Scheduled For January Should Be Delayed To Stabilize The Country And Gain Wider Support For The Vote From Sunnis. The Situation Is Still Salvageable, He Said." (Sean O'Sullivan, "Biden Has New Hope For Peace In Mideast," The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal, 12/2/04)

"Sunnis Must Still Be Involved Politically, Democratic Senator Joe Biden Said. 'They're Going To Have To See More Sunnis Brought Into The Constitution Writing If There's Going To Be Any Legitimacy At The End Of The Day, And I Think We'll See That.'" (Michael McDonough, "British And U.S. Officials Congratulate Iraqi Victors; Turkey Complains Results Skewed," The Associated Press, 2/13/05)

Sen. Biden's Pessimistic Predictions On The Transfer Of Sovereignty:

Sen. Biden Said Iraq Would Need A Referee After Ambassador Bremer Left Iraq. "(W)ho's going to be the referee when Bremer leaves?" (CBS' "The Early Show," 4/7/04)

Sen. Biden Said There Would Be "Absolute Chaos" From The Time Ambassador Bremer Departed Till The Iraqi Elections. "Does anyone think there's not going to be absolute chaos from June 30th until January 1st or 31st when we have general elections?" (CBS' "The Early Show," 4/7/04)

As the RNC notes, the administration has made significant progress in Iraq:

President Bush: "The World Saw Long Lines Of Iraqi Men And Women Voting In A Free And Fair Election For The First Time In Their Lives." (Nedra Pickler, "Bush Congratulates Iraqi Candidates In Final Election Results," The Associated Press, 2/14/05)

75 percent Of Iraqis Support The Government, Up 10 percent From Last Year. (Adriana Lins De Albuquerque, Michael O'Hanlon and Amy Unikewicz, Op-Ed, "The State Of Iraq: An Update" The New York Times, 6/3/05)

"At The End Of 2004...3,100 Schools Have Been Renovated, 364 Schools Are Currently Under Rehabilitation, 263 New Schools Are Under Construction And 38 New Schools Have Been Built." (Department Of Defense Website, "Iraq Year In Review 2004 Fact Sheet," http://www.defendamerica.mil http://www.defendamerica.mil/downloads/ MNFI-Year-in-Review_2004-Fact-Sheets.pdf, Accessed 6/2/05)

Over 100,000 More Iraqis Are Using The Internet Than Last Year. (Adriana Lins De Albuquerque, Michael O'Hanlon and Amy Unikewicz , Op-Ed, "The State Of Iraq: An Update" The New York Times, 6/3/05)

There Are More TV Stations Than Last Year And 20 More Independent Newspapers And Magazines. (Adriana Lins De Albuquerque, Michael O'Hanlon and Amy Unikewicz, Op-Ed, "The State Of Iraq: An Update" The New York Times, 6/3/05)

Over 50,000 More Trained Iraqi Security Forces. (Adriana Lins De Albuquerque, Michael O'Hanlon and Amy Unikewicz, Op-Ed, "The State Of Iraq: An Update" The New York Times, 6/3/05)

NewsMax.com ~ Carl Limbacher ** RNC: Biden's Predictions All Wet

Posted by uhyw at 1:50 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
ACLU suspends NM chapter because a director joined Minutemen
Mood:  silly
Now Playing: INVASION USA
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Clifford Alford was board member of the Las Cruces chapter of the ACLU until the national organization discovered he formed a New Mexico Minutemen organization. To avoid having to fire Alford, the ACLU disbanded the local chapter, saying the Minutemen are racist.

ACLU man joins Minutemen, local chapter gets suspended

State officials say group will not tolerate racism, vigilantism in leadership structure

The American Civil Liberties Union may fight for those holding unpopular beliefs and taking controversial stands, but the ACLU of New Mexico suspended an entire chapter of the organization because a member of the board of directors is leading the state's Minuteman group.

The state organization suspended its Las Cruces chapter after learning that a member of the group's board, Clifford Alford, was heading the formation of a Minuteman group in New Mexico.

Gary Mitchell, a Ruidoso attorney and president of the ACLU board of directors, said the suspension of the southern chapter was a technical move to make sure the leader of the New Mexico Minutemen, a civilian border patrol group, no longer had authority to act or speak on behalf of the ACLU.

"We will not tolerate racism and vigilantism in the leadership structure of our organization," Mitchell told the Albuquerque Journal. "They are repugnant to the principles of civil liberties and the mission of the ACLU."

Alford has said he's not a hateful vigilante and that he would like to see immigration policy reformed. He has said that if the federal government allowed more immigrant workers to enter the country legally, many problems on the border would be solved. He reportedly scouted the New Mexico-Mexico border two weeks ago for sites to station his 42 volunteers to detect illegal immigrants sneaking into the country. His group plans to offer food, water and medical aid while reporting the illegal immigrants to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Mitchell said the ACLU was not trying to muzzle Alford. It is just a matter of not wanting him representing the ACLU in a leadership position. When Alford refused to resign, the state board decided over the weekend to temporarily suspend the 14-member southern board until new elections are held. Mitchell said the ACLU's rules do not provide a means for removing a single board member, so the entire board had to be suspended.

"We are not going to tolerate anyone depriving anyone of liberty without due process of law, not going to tolerate vigilante groups on the border without speaking out against them and without monitoring," Mitchell said.

Alford said the dust-up is the result of a lack of understanding about how the Border Watch group plans to operate. He said the ACLU didn't ask questions, "just attacked."

The ACLU has mobilized nationally against the Minuteman Project and last April stationed its own volunteers on the border to watch the border monitors watch the illegal aliens – reporting any civil liberties violations to authorities.

The president of the ACLU's Southern District chapter, former State Rep. William Porter, said he didn't know how the local board would respond to being suspended.

"We are not 100 percent happy with it," Porter said.

Porter said he does not support Alford's Border Watch group and would personally like Alford to resign but believes it is up to the local board to seek Alford's removal if that is its decision.

World Net Daily ** ACLU man joins Minutemen, local chapter gets suspended

Posted by uhyw at 12:14 PM EDT
Dems' disdain for the 'common man' shows
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Columns

Ed Lasky argues that the Dems have a clear disdain for working people, which shows in the way they describe Republican leaders' earlier careers. This, he says, is fed by the disproportionate number of self-starters in the GOP and inheritors and windfall recipients in the Democratic Party. An interesting read, whatever your viewpoint.

The rise of the disdainful Democrats

Senator Robert Byrd's previous occupation as a butcher never seems to come up when the press describes his history. It seems that mundane occupational histories of politicians matter only when they are Republicans. This is a method employed by the liberal media to demean Republicans, implicitly characterizing them as being made of "lesser stuff" and to disparage their intellectual abilities.

For example, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's career as a wrestling coach is routinely brought up, since jocks are probably a lesser caste in the Washington D.C. pecking order. That his well-honed talent for inspiring his troops and creating a sense of teamwork are skills undoubtedly enhanced by his teaching history matters not at all. The media similarly depicts Majority Leader Tom DeLay as a former exterminator. His nickname, the Hammer, subtly implies a view of him as a destroyer, and this merits frequent mention.

In ways both subtle and overt, the Democrats and their press allies hold up as objects of derision those Republicans who have actually worked with their hands, or even those who plied their skills in professions which do not require a graduate degree. The American dream of self-starters rising to prominence is part of the legendary appeal of America. But the media refuse to celebrate these stories as worthy of emulation when they are accomplished by Republicans.

The most offensive aspect of the Democratic disdain for the common man is exemplified by their abhorrence of soldiers. While these men and women defend our shores and protect us from terrorism, they are routinely slandered by Democratic politicians eager to use the wayward actions of a few to indict all soldiers. The New York Times, the house organ of the Democratic Party, has always portrayed volunteers going into the military as dead-enders-people who have no hope of getting into or finishing college and are unemployables who have no way to earn a living other than joining our military. The condescension is overwhelming.

Howard Dean’s recent condemnation of Republicans as people who "have never made an honest living in their lives" simply is out of touch with reality. Au contraire, Monsieur Dean, for your characterization seems to apply far more readily to Democratic leaders than to Republicans.

Teddy Kennedy is a proto-typical trust fund baby: a man who would not be a senator, or a leader of any sort, but for his father's ill-gotten gains and any sheen that rubbed off him as the brother of two slain American legends. After all, Kennedy cheated on Harvard exams and has had a less than stellar history when it comes to his romantic life and driving skills, and much-rumored problems involving his sobriety.

Nancy Pelosi and Senator Feinstein have family wealth derived from husbands who engage in the very behavior often condemned by liberals: venture capital and LBO financing. Tom Harkin lied about his Vietnam war experience. Joe Biden cheated in school and plagiarized in order to draft his speeches. John Edwards used junk science to accumulate a fortune. Star Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton was a long-time board member of Wal Mart-the bete noir of liberals. Howard Dean is the Park Avenue triplex-raised, private-school-educated beneficiary of the Dean Witter fortune. John Kerry is a serial gold-digger who has an obsession with marrying wealthy women.

There are a number of Democrats who have earned fortunes on the basis of their own efforts. John Corzine, formerly of Goldman Sachs, used his immense Wall Street fortune to finance his Senate seat election campaign, and now plans to use even more of his millions, by the score, to win his state’s governorship. Frank Lautenberg, the other New Jersey Senator, is also loaded. He was the founder of ADP, which - gasp! – has been outsourcing data processing jobs from corporations for decades now. And don't forget Herb Kohl from Wisconsin, with a retailing fortune of his own, building up family-owned grocery stores, and starting Kohl’s Department Stores, only to sell it in 1979, and seeing it become a major retailing success story. A wealthy investor since then, he owns the Milwaukee Bucs basketball team. Like President Bush, Senator Kohl sports a Harvard Business School MBA. If he attended his graduation exercises in Harvard Yard, he would have been hissed by the diploma-winners from the other Harvard faculties, as is traditional in Cambridge. All of these Democrats used hard work and business skill to build legitimate fortunes.

Other Democrats, however, came by their fortunes with less work.

Hillary and Bill Clinton have each made a windfall in the low 8 figures from their books, and the ex-president has doubled his lucre with public speaking fees. The ultimate trust fund baby in the Senate, Jay Rockefeller, sports the name most identified around the world with robber baron predatory capitalism. He is a plutocrat elected from West Virginia. Why isn’t Thomas Frank asking, “What’s wrong with West Virginia?” instead of picking on Kansas? Another trust fund plutocrat is Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota, whose grandfather built a department store fortune which has morphed into today’s Target Corporation, purveyor of discount urban chic to the masses. Senator Dayton, who is in his late 50s, has a resume unblemished by a private sector job in his entire career.

To be sure, there are a few wealthy Republican office-holders, beginning with President Bush. Perhaps the richest among them is Senator Frist. He inherited his Hospital Corporation of America fortune, but despite his family wealth, which he could have indulged in (as Jay Rockefeller, Teddy Kennedy and Mark Dayton did) as a way to avoid dirty work, he used his time to get his hands dirty in the noblest of professions, enduring years of arduous medical school and becoming a heart surgeon. With no publicity whatsoever, he has for many years traveled at his own expense to Africa to perform heart surgery on patients unable to pay.

One of the founding principles of America is that a man or woman ought to be able rise from humble origins to the pinnacle of power. Look at Harry Truman, for instance: a failed haberdasher who rose to become President. There are any number of other leaders in our history of not just humble origins, but also who experienced repeated failures before their eventual success. These people should become role models to be emulated, not dismissed with condescension and snobbery, as seems to be the current inclination of the Democrats’ leader. This potential of America to be a place to fulfill one's dreams has been a magnet for 300 years of immigrants. It is part of our national character.

A political class drawn from the ranks of those who have ascended on the basis of their own work and talents is far preferable to selecting from those whose background is shuffling papers or cashing checks from a trust fund. Democrats have adopted a Chirac-like attitude towards the common working men and women: shocked that they don't vote the way their social betters direct them. As in the old joke goes, "If I want your opinion, I will give it to you."

It may be a bit of a stretch, but the Democratic Party leadership looks more like the House of Lords and the Republican Party looks more like the House of Commons. Judging by its leadership, one of our political parties can legitimately claim the be the party of the common man and woman. And it isn't the Democrats.

American Thinker ~ Ed Lasky ** The rise of the disdainful Democrats

Posted by uhyw at 12:04 PM EDT
Black Enterprise: Let liberals opt to may more taxes
Mood:  sharp
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

Black Enterprise Magazine has a great solution for Liberals who hate tax cuts, the IRS can let them pay more.

A Welcome Tax for Guilty Liberals

President Bush's bipartisan Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform should propose a measure to assist a neglected segment of society: the avowedly under-taxed. The H.O.T. Tax would give those who think their levies are too low the ability to pay the steeper tax bills they say they deserve. This is the truly compassionate thing to do.

The H.O.T., or Higher-rate Optional Tax, would offer relief to powerful Democrats and wealthy liberals who cannot stand it when Republicans cut their taxes. Look how lowering taxes has raised the blood pressure of these Americans:

♠ "I don't need a tax cut," Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., announced on the Senate floor. "It will not do me any more good. I can't buy more. I can't eat any more. I can't do more, and I want it distributed among the ordinary people who work every day."

♠ "If you think it's good policy to pay for my tax cut with the Social Security checks of working men and women and borrowed money from China, vote for them (the GOP)," former President Clinton told the Democratic Convention.

♠ "I am a traitor to my class," actor Paul Newman said. "I think that tax cuts for wealthy thugs like me are borderline criminal. I live very high off the hog."

♠ "I want no tax cuts and want to pay MY FULL SHARE of taxes to support the public good," Oregonian Harry Demarest stated on the Web site of United for a Fair Economy, an anti-tax-cut group co-founded by Chuck Collins, heir to the Oscar Meyer wiener fortune.

The H.O.T. Tax would ease all this pain. The IRS simply would add a small box to the 1040 tax form beside these words:

"If you believe you should be taxed at a rate above that assigned to your income bracket, please indicate here the higher rate you prefer. Kindly calculate your tax liability, and send it in."

With that easy step, congressional liberals and residents of Malibu and Martha's Vineyard no longer would have to keep the tax cuts conservatives keep throwing their way. Instead, they could send 50, 75, or even 99 percent of their incomes to Washington so the GOP Congress and President Bush can spend it even better than they can.

While this reform would increase taxpayer choice, it might generate little revenue. Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Virginia taxpayers already may pay above and beyond their usual top rates, though few do this.

When Massachusetts cut its top tax rate to 5.3 percent in 2001, it let guilty liberals pay the old 5.85 percent rate. According to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, as of June 15, only 930 taxpayers chose to do so on their 2004 returns, generating an extra $246,505.

Pro-tax Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., spurned the higher rate that year. "No, I won't" pay some $800 extra, Frank told Boston radio host Howie Carr.

"I don't trust the legislative leadership and Gov. (Mitt) Romney to make the right decisions, so I'll donate the money myself." How inspiring to see a confirmed progressive like Frank choose private charity over public assistance.

"Americans recognize, as Congressman Frank also figured out, that government doesn't spend its money wisely as is and already takes too much of what we earn," National Taxpayers Union president John Berthoud observes.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., sailed into hot water last year when tax returns revealed that he also paid the Bay State's lower tax rate. Kerry thus enjoyed state tax cuts akin to the federal tax reductions he excoriated on the campaign trail. Then again, perhaps he intended to pay Massachusetts' higher rate, but his calculator slid off his yacht.

Beneficent supply-siders should introduce the H.O.T. Tax in Congress even before the tax-reform commission's Sept. 30 reporting deadline. American liberals should be given the earliest opportunity to stop resisting tax relief and send the Treasury as much of their own money as their bleeding hearts desire.

Black Enterprise ~ Deroy Murdock ** A Welcome Tax for Guilty Liberals

Posted by uhyw at 11:51 AM EDT

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