Thursday, January 26, 2006

"Common Sense Pt.2" - Today's Thomas Paine

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/26/D8FCDB6O0.html

Chinese Editor Vows to Fight Censors

By AUDRA ANG
Associated Press Writer

BEIJING

The chief editor of a hard-hitting newspaper supplement shut down by Chinese authorities circulated an impassioned protest letter Thursday denouncing the closing as an arbitrary act and vowing to fight it.

Li Datong reproached Communist Party officials for shutting down the supplement, Bing Dian, which he founded in 1995.

"This action has no legal or constitutional basis and seriously violated and trampled upon the party's constitution and political standards," Li wrote in an essay circulated on the Internet. "Who gave them that kind of power? They're so disgusting I don't know whether to laugh or cry."

Bing Dian, published by the state-run China Youth Daily, won legions of loyal readers through in-depth articles on sensitive topics like rival Taiwan's democracy and wrongdoing by well-connected individuals.

Its shutdown, ordered by the newspaper's owner, the Communist Youth League, was the latest act in a year-old campaign by President Hu Jintao's government to rein in wayward media.

The move drew criticism from Bing Dian fans, who bombarded the Internet with expressions of support for Li and condemnations of the crackdown.

"In the past year, those who can be gotten rid of have been gotten rid of," Chinese journalist Wang Xiaofeng wrote on his blog. "Those who can be disposed of, have been disposed of _ all in secret."

Li said he would issue a complaint to the Central Discipline Inspection Committee, the party's internal affairs watchdog, over the closing.

Li said officials gave no reason for the shutdown, but he described it as the culmination of continuing tensions over the content of the four-page supplement.

"As a professional journalist, stopping the publication of Bing Dian is something I cannot understand, something I cannot accept," Li said.

He said Chinese journalists from other publications had been warned against writing about Bing Dian's closure and that some readers terminated their subscriptions to China Youth Daily in protest.

Gagging state media is the main focus of the Chinese government's effort to regulate the flow of information within the country. In the latest campaign, the government has fired aggressive editors and jailed or intimidated enterprising reporters.

Last month, the government forced the transfer of a senior editor at the Beijing News, another daring tabloid.

Li said the party's Propaganda Department came down hard on the supplement several times, notably for a report alleging plagiarism by a scholar favored by high-ranking party members. The supplement was suspended for one issue after that, and Li said they were forced to withdraw a follow-up report.

Bing Dian also got in trouble when it ran an essay by Taiwanese writer Lung Ying-tai highlighting the democratic evolution of the self- governed island in recent years. China considers Taiwan its territory, and state propaganda regularly portrays the island's people as enthusiastic supporters of unification unfairly thwarted by their political leaders.

"Certain people within the Central Propaganda Department accused this essay as being 'against the Communist Party at every step' and their narrow-mindedness was truly astonishing," Li wrote.

Lung rallied to Li's defense Thursday. In an open letter to Hu, Lung warned that the closure risks alienating Taiwan's people.

"People once thought that as a figure of the new era, your mind-set and vision would be deeper and more open than your predecessors," Lung wrote in a half-page commentary in Taiwan's China Times newspaper.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Not Everyone Was Created Equal

I guess the God given inalienable rights mentioned in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States doesn't apply to everyone. At least not in the eyes of US based (and highly liberal) "Google Inc.", the most recent search engine to cut a deal with the devil.

It's a good thing Google wasn't around decades earlier to work alongside the Nazi regime...or who knows what the world would look like today. Great thinkers like my personal hero...John Stuart Mill would be rolling in his grave. As Google claims and supports a liberal agenda, they continue to make money at the expense of the millions of human beings living in China today...and who knows, possibly at the expense of the rest of the world someday. Through this "propoganda", there is no telling where a country as strong as China is willing to go next. But who will stand up to Google? Not the many liberal organizations accepting political donations (or blood money passed on from the Chinese government to Google) from Google Inc. Like many brilliant corporations (such as Phillip Morris who spends more money advertising the good deeds they do than money spent actually doing the good deeds), Google Inc. has managed to confuse the masses and in doing so, make themselves appear as the good guys, or at least virtually boycott proof.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/25/D8FBONMG7.html

Google Agrees to Censor Results in China

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN
Associated Press Writer

SHANGHAI, China

Google Inc. launched a search engine in China on Wednesday that censors material about human rights, Tibet and other topics sensitive to Beijing _ defending the move as a trade-off granting Chinese greater access to other information.

Within minutes of the launch of the new site bearing China's Web suffix ".cn," searches for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement showed scores of sites omitted and users directed to articles condemning the group posted on Chinese government Web sites.

Searches for other sensitive subjects such as exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, Taiwan independence, and terms such as "democracy" and "human rights" yielded similar results.

In most such cases, only official Chinese government sites or those with a ".cn" suffix were included.

Google, which has as it's motto "Don't Be Evil," says the new site aims to make its search engine more accessible in China, thereby expanding access to information.

Yet the move has already been criticized by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, which also has chided Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN.com for submitting to China's censorship regime.

"When a search engine collaborates with the government like this, it makes it much easier for the Chinese government to control what is being said on the Internet," said Julien Pain, head of the group's Internet desk.

However, technology analyst Duncan Clark said such criticisms probably wouldn't generate problems for Google's business elsewhere, given weak responses to previous cooperation between foreign Internet companies and Chinese authorities.

Past incidents "haven't seemed to gel into anything that could dissuade Google," said Clark, the managing director of Beijing-based consultancy BDA China Ltd.

Chinese Internet users said Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc.'s move was inevitable given Beijing's restrictions on the Internet, which the government promotes for commerce but heavily censors for content deemed offensive or subversive.

"Google has no choice but to give up to the Party," said one posting on the popular information technology Web site PCONLINE, signed simply "AS."

Google's move was prompted by frequent disruptions of the Chinese- language version of its search engine registered under the company's dot-com address in the United States.

Government filtering has blocked access or created lengthy delays in response time.

Google's senior policy counsel Andrew McLaughlin defended the new site as better serving Chinese customers.

"In deciding how best to approach the Chinese _ or any _ market, we must balance our commitments to satisfy the interests of users, expand access to information, and respond to local conditions," McLaughlin said in an e-mailed statement, .

McLaughlin said search results would be removed based on local laws, regulations or policies.

"While removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission," he said.

There was no indication that Google would disable access to its .com site within China.

McLaughlin said the company wouldn't host its e-mail or blogging services in China that can be mined for information about users, and would inform users if information had been deleted from searches. Such messages appeared in searches for Falun Gong and other sensitive topics.

Clark said Google likely hopes to avoid the bad publicity incurred by Yahoo last year after it provided the government with the e-mail account information of a Chinese journalist who was later convicted of violating state secrecy laws.

"They want to avoid those kinds of headlines," he said.

Google hopes the move will shore up its competitiveness against both foreign competitors such as Yahoo and domestic ones like Baidu.com Inc., a Beijing-based company in which Google owns a 2.6 percent stake. Baidu.com is currently China's most popular search engine.

China has more than 100 million Web surfers and the audience is expected to swell.

Wang Lijian, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Information Industry which oversees Internet licensing, said he had not heard of Google's decision and had no comment.

Ray Nagin and the Chocolate Factory




http://www.local6.com/news/6425567/detail.html

Nagin's 'Chocolate' Remark Sparks T-Shirt Craze

T-shirts making fun of Mayor Ray Nagin's remark that New Orleans would once again be a "chocolate city" are in high demand, with recent orders coming in from overseas countries, according to a Local 6 News report.

A company said it has filled thousands of orders of T-shirts featuring Nagin in a top hat as Willy Wonka. The shirt has the words "Willy Nagin and the Chocolate Factory" printed on it.

A creator of Nagin T-shirts said he has received orders from as far away as Malaysia and Norway, according to a report.

"We all heard the speech and jaws hit the floor and we said, 'No he did not say that,'" a T-shirt creator said in the Local 6 News report. "The mayor unfortunately did (say that) and we said what can we do?"

The company also sells Nagin hats and bumper stickers with the "Willy Nagin and the Chocolate Factory" slogan.

A company representative said they have sold about 3,000 shirts in the first two weeks of offering the product.

Monday, January 16, 2006

E. Pluribus Unum

We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of American's finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, Mexifornia," explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal - was destroying the entire state of California He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and
gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy America It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.' "

Here is how they do it," Lamm said: "First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country."
History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: "The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy." Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, "Invent 'multiculturalism' and
encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an
article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds."

Third, "We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: "The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together." Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."

"Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least
educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated,
and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass
have a 50% dropout rate from high school"

"My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations
and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population."

"My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two
factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" -- From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'Unum,' we will balkanize America as surely as Kosovo."

"Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits; make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or xenophobe' halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the
cumulative impact of millions of them."

In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound
silence followed. Finally he said,. "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book."

There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.' American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in. America - take note of
California and other states - to date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength."

Governor Lamm walked back to his seat It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

Liberals want to feed the hungry but want to stop genetic research to help do so. They want to save the environment but want to stop the use of alternative (nuclear) energy. They want to plant trees and save greenery that contributes to the global warming they fear. They want to provide shelter but with no wood, but chemicals that make plastics, etc. harm the environment and should also be banned. What exactly is their stance?!

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060113/BUSINESS11/601130327/1071

Greenpeace co-founder praises global warming

By Sean Hao
Advertiser Staff

Global warming and nuclear energy are good and the way to save forests is to use more wood.

That was the message delivered to a biotechnology industry gathering yesterday in Waikiki. However, it wasn't the message that was unconventional, but the messenger — Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore. Moore said he broke with Greenpeace in the 1980s over the rise of what he called "environmental extremism," or stands by environmental groups against issues such as genetic crop research, genetically modified foods and nuclear energy that aren't supported by science or logic.

Hawai'i, which is one of the top locations nationwide for genetically modified crop research, has become a focal point in the debate about the risks and value of such work. Friction between environmentalists and other concerned groups and the biotech industry surfaced most recently in relation to the use of local crops to grow industrial and pharmaceutical compounds. Last year that opposition halted a Big Island project planning to use algae for trial production of pharmaceutical drugs.

Zero-tolerance standards against such research by environmental groups delay developments that could help those with unmet basic needs, Moore said. Instead Moore called for compromise rather than confrontation on the part of the environmentalists.

"There's no getting away from the fact that over 6 billion people wake up each day on this planet with real needs for food, energy and materials," he told those attending a luncheon at a three-day Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.

The event was sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Sponsors included Dupont, Carghill and the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which spent $15,000 to support the conference.

In direct opposition to common environmentalist positions, Moore contended that global warming and the melting of glaciers is positive because it creates more arable land and the use of forest products drives up demand for wood and spurs the planting of more trees. He added that any realistic plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and the emission of so-called greenhouse gases should include increased use of nuclear energy.

Among the 300 or so members in the audience yesterday was Henry Curtis, executive director for environmental group Life of the Land. Curtis said he found Moore's comments "interesting."

"He's obviously thought about things," Curtis said. "But I don't buy a lot of his arguments.

"I think the movement dealing with (genetically modified organisms) is very wide. You can't just say everybody that's against it is against it for this reason and they're totally against it.

"Part of what we're doing in the environmental movement is safeguarding the downsides," Curtis added. "We don't want to see a downside that we don't anticipate overwhelming the system."

Reach Sean Hao at shao@honoluluadvertiser.com.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060111/sc_nm/environment_methane_dc

New source of global warming gas found: plants

LONDON (Reuters) - German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change.

The culprits are plants.

They produce about 10 to 30 percent of the annual methane found in the atmosphere, according to researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany.

The scientists measured the amount of methane released by plants in controlled experiments. They found it increases with rising temperatures and exposure to sunlight.

"Significant methane emissions from both intact plants and detached leaves were observed ... in the laboratory and in the field," Dr Frank Keppler and his team said in a report in the journal Nature.

Methane, which is produced by city rubbish dumps, coal mining, flatulent animals, rice cultivation and peat bogs, is one of the most potent greenhouse gases in terms of its ability to trap heat.

Concentrations of the gas in the atmosphere have almost tripled in the last 150 years. About 600 million tonnes worldwide are produced annually.

The scientists said their finding is important for understanding the link between global warming and a rise in greenhouse gases.

It could also have implications for the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for developed countries to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

Keppler and his colleagues discovered that living plants emit 10 to 100 times more methane than dead plants.

Scientists had previously thought that plants could only emit methane in the absence of oxygen.

David Lowe, of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, said the findings are startling and controversial.

"Keppler and colleagues' finding helps to account for observations from space of incredibly large plumes of methane above tropical forests," he said in a commentary on the research.

But the study also poses questions, such as how such a potentially large source of methane could have been overlooked and how plants produced it.

"There will be a lively scramble among researchers for the answers to these and other questions," Lowe added.

Friday, January 06, 2006

LAUS DEO: A History Lesson

One detail that is not mentioned, in DC, is that there can never be a building of greater height than the Washington Monument.

On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, are displayed two words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably couldn't care less.

Once you know Laus Deo's history, you will want to share this with everyone you know. But these words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched a top the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America.

Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, un-noticed words. Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world.

So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say "Praise be to God!"

Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, Laus Deo ..............Praise be to God!"

>From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with its division into four major segments. From that vantage point, one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant...a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north. The Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state? Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the Constitution. So, read on. How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for those who bother to notice.

Praise be to God! Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message. On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th is a memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6. Praise be to God!

When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, and the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy .."One Nation, Under God."

I am awed by Washington's prayer for America. Have you never read it? Well, now is your unique opportunity, so read on!


"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Laus Deo!

When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation's capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look. You may forget the width and height of "Laus Deo", its location, or the architects but no one who reads this will be able to forget its meaning, or these words: "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." (Psalm 127: 1)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Stats Suggest Race Not a Factor in Katrina Deaths

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200512/NAT20051214b.html

Statistics Suggest Race Not a Factor in Katrina Deaths

By Nathan Burchfiel
CNSNews.com Correspondent
December 14, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans.

Liberals in the aftermath of the storm were quick to allege that the Bush administration delayed its response to the catastrophe because most of the victims were black.

Damu Smith, founder of the National Black Environmental Justice Network, in September said that the federal government "ignored us, they forgot about us ... because we look like we look."

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in October said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency wasn't fit to help the storm's victims because "there are not enough blacks high up in FEMA" and added that, "certainly the Red Cross is the same."

Rapper Kanye West used his time on NBC's telethon for the hurricane victims to charge that, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

But the state's demographic information suggests that whites in New Orleans died at a higher rate than minorities. According to the 2000 census, whites make up 28 percent of the city's population, but the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals indicates that whites constitute 36.6 percent of the storm's fatalities in the city.

African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population and 59.1 percent of the deceased. Other minorities constitute approximately 5 percent of the population and represented 4.3 percent of the storm's fatalities.

Overall for the state, 658 bodies have been identified. Forty-seven percent were African-American and 42 percent were Caucasian. The remaining bodies were either non-black minorities or undetermined.

An additional 247 victims have not been identified, so their demographic information has not been released.

The data showed that the majority of Katrina's victims lived in the Orleans parish. The nearby St. Bernard and Jefferson parishes had 91 and 25 victims, respectively.

The storm also did not discriminate based on gender. Fifty percent of the victims were male and 49 percent were female, with 1 percent being undetermined.

Calls requesting comment from Damu Smith and the Nation of Islam were not returned Wednesday.

Racism & Rhetoric!!!

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=/SpecialReports/archive/200512/SPE20051222a.html

Bush-Bashing Black Charity Sits on Katrina Cash

By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
December 22, 2005

(CNSNews.com) -The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which slammed the Bush administration for its allegedly slow and racially insensitive response to Hurricane Katrina, has yet to spend any of the estimated $400,000 that it raised for the victims of the Aug. 29 storm.

"We are collecting all the way up through the very end of the year and then our board has set aside a committee who is going to administer the funds," Patty Rice, spokeswoman for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), told Cybercast News Service on Wednesday. The Foundation is an offshoot of the Congressional Black Caucus and was founded in 1976.

In the days immediately following the hurricane, with parts of the Louisiana and Mississippi coastline demolished and the city of New Orleans under water as a result of broken levees, members of the Congressional Black Caucus condemned the Bush administration's handling of storm relief efforts.

"We have witnessed something shockingly awful and that is the lack of response, the quick response, from our government to those Americans who are suffering [and] who are dying," said U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr., (D-Ill.) on Sept. 2, four days after Katrina made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), also present at the Congressional Black Caucus' Sept. 2 news conference, declared that she was "ashamed of America."

"I'm ashamed of our government. We don't want another Iraq, where the money just goes off somewhere. This is real human need. And I'm outraged by the lack of response from our federal government," Kilpatrick said

The CBCF then launched its own relief fund on Sept. 21, with a stated goal of raising $1 million to help Gulf Coast residents rebuild their lives. As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the CBCF claimed immediate success, telling reporters on Sept. 21 that it had already received $700,000 in corporate pledges.

But on Wednesday, exactly three months after the news conference launching the CBCF relief fund, Rice told Cybercast News Service that the Foundation has actually raised "somewhere in the neighborhood of $350 to $400,000." She added that the distribution of the money would not begin until January or February of 2006 at the earliest.

Ken Boehm, chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a group that monitors charitable giving, was quick to criticize the CBCF.

"It sounds like the CBCF has been stressing the immediacy of the [victims'] needs when they raised the money and yet for some reason when it comes time to dishing it out they can't seem to get organized," Boehm told Cybercast News Service.

"The need is immediate and ongoing as they themselves have cited. For whatever reasons they have failed to give away a single cent as of the week before Christmas," Boehm said. "It appears that the CBCF has failed to meet the standard that it set up itself for: timely aid to Katrina victims."

Don Tharpe, president of the CBCF, described how the Katrina relief fund would be spent in an undated message on the group's website.

"A Katrina Relief Committee made up of CBCF board members will be appointed to oversee the disbursement of donated funds. Part of the role of CBCF's Katrina Relief Committee will be to dispense funds to entities that directly deliver services and tangible needs to people who are attempting to move back into and resurrect their neighborhoods," Tharpe wrote.

But Boehm ridiculed the need to form a committee to decide how to spend donations four months after the tragedy.

"Giving away money is far easier than raising it. The [victims'] needs are overwhelming. The CBCF has members from that part of Louisiana. There are many organizations doing fine work, that are in desperate need of those funds and yet for reasons that they have not quite explained, the CBCF has failed to dispense any of the aid," Boehm said.

Beginning almost immediately after the storm and continuing for weeks, members of the Congressional Black Caucus spared no criticism of the Bush administration for the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

In September, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), one of the caucus' most prominent members, compared President Bush to the notorious Birmingham, Ala., police commissioner and segregationist from the 1960s, Bull Connor.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, alleged that if a Democrat had won each of the last two presidential elections, the federal response to the hurricane would have been more timely.

"Watching family members and others cling to rooftops in Hurricane Katrina, I wonder whether or not the absence of attention [to the recovery effort] is attributable to the loss of a vote in 2000 and 2004," Jackson Lee said.

However, in spite of the charges that racism contributed to the government's response to Katrina, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals recently released statistics showing that a higher percentage of whites died in New Orleans as a result of the Aug. 29 hurricane than blacks.

Got Guns?!

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=\Culture\archive\200512/CUL20051229c.html

Canadian PM Blames U.S. for 'His Country's Crime Problem'

By Melanie Hunter
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
December 29, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - A gun rights group Thursday blasted Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin for accusing the U.S. of "exporting violence."

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said Martin is treating the United States like a scapegoat for his failed leadership and for crimes committed by Canadian citizens.

"On the same day that Prime Minister Martin was blaming the United States for his country's crime problem," said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, "CNN reported on a border arrest of two Canadian residents who were detained for trying to re-enter the country with handguns and ammunition concealed on their bodies.

"Ali Dirie and Yasin Mohamed are not Irish Americans from Boston, but residents of Toronto, apparently trying to import guns illegally," Waldron said in a press release. He warned that Martin's plan to ban guns will only succeed in driving up demand for weapons on the black market.

"And now that Mr. Martin has announced his plan to ban handguns in Canada, black market gun running is liable to take off just the same as illegal export of Canadian liquor into the United States during Prohibition, and with just as much success for the criminal underground in both countries," Waldron said.

Waldron said not only have Canadian handgun sales already gone up ahead of the gun ban according to wire reports, but law-abiding citizens, not criminals, will suffer as a result.

"What Martin and other Liberals in Canada don't seem to grasp, or maybe they just don't care, is that a ban is only going to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Criminals will still get guns, and Martin will continue blaming the United States for his administration's monumental failure to address a growing crime problem," Waldron said.

"Isn't it curious that crime has been climbing in Canada at the same time the Liberal government under Martin and his predecessor has been squandering billions of dollars on the gun registration fiasco," said Waldron.

"Martin and his Liberal cronies may not want to admit it, but gun rights activists down here in the states predicted this would happen from the outset. Canadian gun owners forecast the same thing, insisting that registering their guns would not prevent violent crime," Waldron said.

"Turns out gun owners were right, and all Martin can think of is taking further sanctions against his law-abiding citizens while doing nothing to actually reduce crime," added Waldron. "It's all flash, and no substance.

"The Prime Minister has no real solution to crime, so he blames honest gun owners and his good neighbor to the south for his government's failures," Waldron concluded.