Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:56pm IST
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Communists expect the global financial crisis will cause social unrest and help them challenge for power, the party's leader said on Saturday.
Gennady Zyuganov told the party's annual congress the Communists should make maximum use of the growing public discontent caused by the economic downturn to try to restore their political strength.
"The wind of history is blowing in our sails again ... At this time of crisis the world of imperialism is starting to die. We are standing on the threshold of political and social shifts," Zyuganov said in a 2-hour speech opening the congress.
Russia's Communists ruled the Soviet Union for eight decades and remained a major opposition force for several years after the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.
But the party has since lost much of its authority and many analysts say it is too weak to seriously challenge for power.
The Russian authorities are trying to minimise the impact of the financial crisis by promising billions of dollars of state aid. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has pledged higher social payments to the needy and lower taxes for business.
"The authorities are clearly not coping with managing the country ... A mass social protest is brewing and it is hard to predict now when and in what shape it will explode," Zyuganov said.
The Kremlin has acknowledged the crisis will lead to a rise in popular discontent, challenging the massive popularity that Putin secured in eight years as president and handed on to his successor, Dmitry Medvedev.
Medvedev has ordered police to stamp out any social unrest arising from the crisis and Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev has said higher unemployment could lead to a rise in crime.
"We should secure the support of society well before the political crisis comes ... We have to squeeze everything we can from this situation," Zyuganov said.
Zyuganov trailed far behind Medvedev at the presidential election in March and his party's contingent in parliament is dwarfed by the pro-Kremlin majority.
Many Russians associate Communist rule with empty shelves in the shops and endless queues.
Russia has been among the biggest losers from the global financial crisis. The benchmark RTS stock exchange has fallen about 70 percent since peaks in May, and the rouble has been hit by tumbling prices for oil, Russia's main export.
The impact on ordinary people so far has been limited, partly because share ownership is not widespread and few people have private pensions. But firms in some sectors have started laying off staff.
Russia's liberal opposition movement, Solidarity, also predicts that the fallout from the economic crisis will force Putin and Medvedev from power by 2012.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wasn't it McCain who preached the importance of staying the course in Iraq until the Iraqi government is capable of defending themselves and Obama that claimed just the opposite and promised to remove troops from Iraq within 16 months?
Wasn't it McCain who preached the importance of Bush's tax cuts to stimulate the economy and Obama who claimed just the opposite and promised to repeal the Bush tax cuts immediately and provide tax relief ONLY to those who make less than $250,000 a year (and then changed his mind to those making les than $200,000 and then changed it again to those making less than $150,000 a year http://visionsfromthehorizon.blogspot.com/2008/10/obama-already-changing-tunes-on-taxes.html)
And what happened to Obama's campaign slogan of "CHANGE"? He has filled his cabinet with Washington insiders and former Clinton aides. Sounds like more of the same to me?
Looking at Obama's plans now, one would think McCain is advising him on policies. Take a look:
- Iraq's government approves security pact with US - 3 MORE YEARS!!! http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081116/D94G86LG0.html Iraqi's want us for 3 more years to help maintain security until they are capable of defending themselves. Iraq and US governments agree to the pact. "President-elect Barack Obama would honor the agreement". Isn't this EXACTLY what McCain was saying he wanted to do while Obama said it was a bad idea? Am I missing something here?
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/23/AR2008112302064_pf.html The article mentions, "that Obama might be forced to delay his pledge to repeal President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy." Why would that be? Could it be that the Republican's plans to stimulate the ecnonomy through tax cuts (especially on the wealthy who spend more) would have worked in the first place?! And why repeal them at all then...ever, if they work to stimulate the economy. Read between the lines people...it doesn't take a genious to realize what is being admitted by Obama and the democrats here!!!
- President-elect promised change, picking insiders http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D94IIPN00&show_article=1
- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article5239776.ece Barack Obama defended his decision to pack his new Cabinet with veteran Washington insiders and former Clinton officials yesterday after a campaign in which he promised change.
The President-elect responded after naming the former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, a veteran of the Carter and Reagan Administrations, as the head of a new economic panel to stop “groupthink” infecting his inner circle of White House financial advisers.
There have been mounting concerns, particularly from the liberal wing of his Democratic Party, that Mr Obama has pivoted sharply to the centre-right with his choice of top Cabinet posts.
His main economic advisers have close ties to the Clinton White House and Mr Obama has already chosen Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State. His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, once served Bill Clinton, and more appointments still to be announced will include a slew of officials who served in the most recent Democratic Administration.
The bloggers' view
“Is it true he is going to allow Bush’s tax cuts to continue until 2011? We voted for change, not to govern with the same old cronies”
“How can economists who supported deregulation of the markets provide the answer to regaining our economic viability?”
“Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano, Jim Jones, and Robert Gates — that is, overall, a centre-right foreign policy team. All of them, with the possible exception of Jones, supported the Iraq war from the outset”
(Chris Bowers, openleft.com)
“Not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive has, as far as I can tell, even been mentioned for a position in the new administration”
(Christopher Hayes, Leftout.com)
Carla, San Diego, CA , USA
The choice of Volcker is, all by itself, proof that Obama is simply another tool of the Oligarchy. So those on the right can at least take comfort that nothing much has changed, while those on the left can watch their leftist revolutionary hopes just get folded in to the same old rule by money.
Gian Paolo, Sakura,
Russia to help Venezuela develop nuclear energy...
Russia to complete Iran nuclear plant in 2009...
Russia to help Venezuela develop nuclear energy
Nov 27 11:29 AM US/Eastern
By CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER
Associated Press Writer
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to help start a nuclear energy program in Venezuela and said Moscow is willing to participate in a socialist trade bloc in Latin America led by President Hugo Chavez.
Medvedev used his visit to Venezuela—the first by a Russian president—to extend Moscow's reach into Latin America and deepen trade and military ties. Chavez denied trying to provoke the United States, but he welcomed Russia's growing presence in Latin America as a reflection of declining U.S. influence.
Chavez and Medvedev planned to visit a Russian destroyer docked in a Venezuelan port on Thursday. The arrival of Russian warships this week for training exercises with Venezuela's navy was the first deployment of its kind in the Caribbean since the Cold War.
Accords signed Wednesday included one pledging cooperation in nuclear energy for peaceful uses. (Yeah right...Chavez and Venezuela have more oil than they know what to do with, I don't think they really need nuclear energy for "peaceful" reasons.) Russia also agreed to work with Venezuela in oil projects and building ships.
Moscow plans to develop a nuclear cooperation program with Venezuela by the end of next year, said Sergey Kirienko, head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency.
"We are ready to teach students in nuclear physics and nuclear engineering," he said through an interpreter. He said the help would include "research and development" and "looking for uranium in the territory of Venezuela."
Chavez says Venezuela hopes to build a nuclear reactor for energy purposes.
The Venezuelan leader—one of the world's most strident U.S. critics—thanked Medvedev for helping to create a "multi-polar" world with declining U.S. influence.
Medvedev called Venezuela "one of our most important partners in Latin America" and pledged to keep supplying the South American nation with weapons. But he said arms sales to Venezuela "are not aimed against any other country."
Chavez's government has already bought more than $4 billion in Russian arms, including Sukhoi fighter jets, helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles.
Chavez had assembled a group of Latin American allies for talks hours before Medvedev's visit, and leaders including Bolivia's Evo Morales and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega joined them for a late-night meeting.
Medvedev said Russia is ready to "think about participating" in the Bolivarian Alernative for the Americas, likely as an associate member. Chavez launched the socialist trade bloc, named after South American independence hero Simon Bolivar, as an alternative to U.S.-backed free-trade pacts.
The Russian naval squadron deployed to the Caribbean includes the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, the largest in the Russian fleet.
The military show of force is widely seen as a demonstration of Kremlin anger over the U.S. decision to send warships to deliver aid to Georgia after its conflict with Russia, and over U.S. plans for a European missile-defense system.
But U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that "a few Russian ships is not going to change the balance of power" in the region.
Medvedev was to finish his four-nation Latin American tour in Cuba.
Medvedev said he also discussed the global financial crisis with Chavez, and "exchanged different ideas of what actions to take in this situation." Chavez blames the financial crisis on U.S. free-market capitalism.
Russia to complete Iran nuclear plant in 2009 -Tass
Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:52pm IST
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will complete Iran's first nuclear power plant in 2009, Itar-Tass news agency quoted the head of Russia's state nuclear corporation as saying on Thursday.
The launch of the Bushehr plant's nuclear reactor has frequently been delayed. Russian and Iranian officials have given different dates for the start-up. Iran's foreign minister said last year the plant would launch in mid-2008.
Russia has already delivered nuclear fuel under a $1 billion contract to build the Bushehr plant on the Gulf coast in southwest Iran. Russia has blamed previous delays on problems with receiving payment from Iran.
"Work is ongoing and certain difficulties which arose, including those connected with timely financing, are being resolved due to joint efforts between the Iranian purchaser and the Russian contractor," Tass quoted Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear corporation, as saying.
"Next year we should conclude all the work," Kiriyenko was quoted as saying. Kiriyenko was in Caracas, Venezuela, accompanying President Dmitry Medvedev on a visit.
Russia agreed in 1995 to build the plant on the site of an earlier project begun in the 1970s by German firm Siemens. The Siemens project was disrupted by Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution and the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
"The position of Russia has not changed: that Bushehr should be finished as soon as possible," a spokesman for Rosatom said. "But that must not affect the security of the plant and the functioning of its systems."
"The main question is the integration of Russian equipment with the equipment delivered to the plant at Bushehr by the Germans," the spokesman said.
Atomstroyexport, the Russian firm building the plant, said in September the plant was nearing completion and that it would start "technological work" in December 2008 to February 2009 that would put the plant on an "irreversible final" course.
Analysts say Russia has used Bushehr as a lever in relations with Tehran, which is at loggerheads with the West over its nuclear programme.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly said Moscow does not want Iran to be armed with nuclear weapons but that Russia has seen no evidence that Tehran is seeking to build atomic bombs.
Iran denies having a bomb programme and says it has the right to develop civilian nuclear power.
Russian and U.S. officials point to cooperation over Iran as an area where Moscow and Washington have been able to work together despite a general cooling of ties.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili said Wednesday that Russian forces were erecting a "Berlin Wall" as part of a campaign to cut off rebel regions from the rest of the country.
Russia is trying to divide Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the rest of Georgia, she said in a speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank in London.
Tkeshelashvili said Russia was building a wall at Zugdidi, a city at the Abkhaz border.
"Russia physically destroys physical links between the regions of Georgia," she said. "It is blowing up bridges in Gali region so that it is harder for people to go to the neighbouring region of Samegrelo.
"In Zugdidi city, for that matter, they are building a wall which will be not perhaps the size of the Berlin Wall but is something resembling that.
"The same goes for South Ossetia with which the roads and then bridges are being blown up. In physical terms, they try to dismember these regions in such a way that there's a physical detachment of these regions.
And she warned: "If Russia is allowed to continue along the way, that would damage the process of talks and negotiations."
Russian troops and tanks poured into Georgia on August 8 to repel a Georgian military attempt to retake South Ossetia, which had received extensive backing from Moscow for years.
Russian forces occupied swathes of the country, but later withdrew to within South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which Moscow recognised as independent states.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday she would not insist on granting NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine at the military alliance's ministerial meeting in Brussels next week.
Tkeshelashvili, 31, said Georgia still aspired to join Western community frameworks.
"It's not NATO membership that unnerves Russia," she said. "It's the very fact of the independence of Georgia and the possibility of independence of other countries (formerly under Moscow's control).
"The blackmailing of Russia cannot be successful."
She added: "If Russia is allowed to be effective in reinstating the Soviet Union, it will be a danger not only for Georgia."
Outgoing US President George W. Bush was a staunch ally of Georgia during the August war with Russia.
But despite Washington cooling its support for a formal path to help Georgia join NATO, Tkeshelashvili said she was not worried about the incoming US president-elect Barack Obama being less attentive to Georgia.
"There are no concerns of that type attached to the situation," she said.
"We have had very interesting consultations with the possible new administration and then with the president-elect himself."
Both Obama and vice president-elect Joseph Biden had made a "very firm commitment to the cause of Georgia's independence and sovereignty" on a number of occasions.
Key members of the incoming administration have "a very full understanding what is the situation in the in the region, what are the challenges ahead, what needs to be done," she said.
"I don't think that there will be any chance of fading interest from the United States."
Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Medvedev’s message was delivered just hours after Barack Obama was elected - an unmistakable signal to the incoming U.S. administration.
(click on link above to read message)
Putin had a reputation for being tough, but it was under Medvedev that Russia used excessive force against Georgia, occupying part of its territory and crushing its military. Medvedev then defied world opinion by accusing the United States of instigating the war and by recognizing the independence of Georgia's two separatist regions.
The Cold War rhetoric continued with the Kremlin blaming the United States for the global financial crisis.
Moscow has pursued close ties with countries like Venezuela and has even sent warships to the Caribbean for joint naval exercises.
The latest from President Medvedev is a threat to deploy missiles on the border with Poland as a response to the U.S. missile-defense program in eastern Europe. It is the first time in decades that Russia's leader has officially announced his readiness to target a NATO country with tactical weapons.
Venezuela's Chavez welcomes Russian warships
LA GUAIRA, Venezuela – Russian warships sailed into port in Venezuela on Tuesday in a show of strength as Moscow seeks to counter U.S. influence in Latin America. Russia's first such deployment in the Caribbean since the Cold War is timed to coincide with President Dmitry Medvedev's
Chavez, basking in the support of a powerful ally and traditional U.S. rival, wants Russian help to build a nuclear reactor, invest in oil and natural gas projects and bolster his leftist opposition to U.S. influence in the region.
He also wants weapons — Venezuela has bought more than $4 billion in Russian arms, including Sukhoi fighter jets, helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles, and more deals for Russian tanks or other weaponry may be discussed after Medvedev arrives Wednesday.
Tue Nov 25 2008 09:04:22 ET
A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts.
Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the respected daily IZVESTIA published on Monday: "The dollar is not secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse."
The paper said Panarin's dire predictions for the U.S. economy, initially made at an international conference in Australia 10 years ago at a time when the economy appeared strong, have been given more credence by this year's events.
When asked when the U.S. economy would collapse, Panarin said: "It is already collapsing. Due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street have already ceased to exist, and two are barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator."
When asked who would replace the U.S. in regulating world markets, he said: "Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia."
Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles."
He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions."
He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.
He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all." Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare.
"Promote then as an object of primary importance, Institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened." -George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
On November 4th, 2008 millions of Americans were shocked that a man of Barack Obama's limited experience, extreme liberal positions and radical political alliances could be elected President of the United States. For many of these Americans, the explanation was rather simple... the news media, completely enamored with Obama, simply refused to do their job.
On Election day twelve Obama voters were interviewed extensively right after they voted to learn how the news media impacted their knowledge of what occurred during the campaign. These voters were chosen for their apparent intelligence/verbal abilities and willingness to express their opinions to a large audience. The rather shocking video below seeks to provide some insight into which information broke through the news media clutter and which did not.
OVER 1,400,000 VIEWS ON YOUTUBE! (Check out the website and view the video on youtube by visiting the link above.)
Because obviously interviewing a relative handful of Obama voters, while interesting, is hardly scientific proof of anything, we also commissioned a Zogby telephone poll which asked the very same questions (as well as a few others) with similarly amazing results.
Zogby Poll: Almost No Obama Voters Ace Election Test
Survey finds most Obama voters remembered negative coverage of McCain/Palin statements but struggled to correctly answer questions about coverage associated with Obama/Biden
For full poll results visit link above.
512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points
97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates
Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions
57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)
71.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)
82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)
88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)
56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).
Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes
Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter
And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her "house," even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!
Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.
Only .5% got all of them correct. (And we "gave" one answer that was technically not Palin, but actually Tina Fey)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government is prepared to lend more than $7.4 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, to rescue the financial system since the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.
"When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. Now, as regulators commit far more money while refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return, some Congress members are calling for the Fed to be reined in."
“Whether it’s lending or spending, it’s tax dollars that are going out the window and we end up holding collateral we don’t know anything about,” said Congressman Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. “The time has come that we consider what sort of limitations we should be placing on the Fed so that authority returns to elected officials as opposed to appointed ones.”
“There is a lack of transparency here and, given that the Fed is taking on a huge amount of credit risk now, it would seem to me as a taxpayer there should be more transparency,” Kasriel said.
"The worst financial crisis in two generations has erased $23 trillion, or 38 percent, of the value of the world’s companies and brought down three of the biggest Wall Street firms."
"Most of the spending programs are run out of the New York Fed, whose president, Timothy Geithner, is said to be President- elect Barack Obama’s choice to be Treasury Secretary." (well isn't that convenient. In other words, the Obama could pay off Geithner to buy up American businesses for the governement, aka: Obama. Yeah that doesn't sound corrupt to me! Yeah that's nothing like communism is it?! SARCASM!!!)
The money that’s been pledged is equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It’s nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country’s mortgages.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said he was angry that banks used the money for acquisitions.
“The only purpose for this money is to lend,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. “It’s not for dividends, it’s not for purchases of new banks, it’s not for bonuses. There better be a showing of increased lending roughly in the amount of the capital infusions” or Congress may not approve the second half of the TARP money. (maybe that's why we need transparency!!! We shell out the money and it gets abused. Way to go government! We aren't a country with a representative form of government any longer. They just raised our taxes and took this money WITHOUT our approval and against our wishes and now they loan our money out without our approval and we don't get to see where it is going or what kind of risk is involved, our money is misused and abused and we are forced to sit here and take it. Sounds like NOW is a perfect time for a little bit of "CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!!!)
Political correctness apparently has a rather weaker hold in Italy than in most Western countries, if we are to judge by the campaign posters. Please scroll down the web page at the link above,and see the poster which says 'Indovina chi e el ultimo?' The image is that of several 'diverse' immigrants and one Italian man waiting in a social service line. Notice the rather caricatured features of the immigrants. Can we imagine such a poster by any political party in this country? Enough said. And the message, which translates to 'guess who is last?' is rather frank, too. We all know that in our Western countries, the immigrant and the minority (the two terms overlap) are given precedence, while the native-born citizen is pushed to the back of the line.
But is the American Indian's situation, or ''plight'', as the old books called it, analogous to that of white European-descended people as the West is being broken up and given away to Third Worlders? There are some parallels but the circumstances are rather different. At least the Indians were able to fight for their land, --- though they ultimately lost, but modern European-descended people are stifled by political correctness and thwarted in many places by laws proscribing any kind of 'hate speech' (i.e.criticism) against the invaders. The Indians at least were not crippled by guilt-trips and propaganda in their struggle to maintain their territory.
This question of how European colonists and settlers ''stole the Native Americans' land'' is a persistent thorn in the side of Americans who are resisting the loss of their country. I can't count the number of times that some liberal has triumphantly introduced this accusation in a debate over immigration. They always flourish this as their trump card, their ultimate retort, so they think. They smugly say 'white people stole this country from the Natives', and they then expect this rather juvenile statement to silence their opponents.
I've said to such people that if they truly believe this, they should show some integrity and give all their property to the Indians and pack up to go to Europe, rather than remaining on 'stolen' land where they have no right to remain. I haven't yet gotten a response to that from any liberal. They obviously don't literally believe that this land 'belongs to the Indians', or else they would vacate it.
Another question I pose to these pestilent liberals is: ''were the Indians racist and xenophobic when they tried to expel or kill the whites? Why didn't the Indians 'embrace diversity' and why weren't they 'tolerant' and inclusive enough to accept the whites rather than attack them?"
This usually elicits no response, or a changing of the subject, usually accompanied by angry sputtering.
I continue: "if the Indians were within their rights to try to keep their land, why aren't we?"
The usual answer, if any, to that is: ''well, that was different; they belonged here, but our ancestors didn't." This, of course, dodges the question of the origins of Indians, and of their being transplants from Asia.
As for the accusation that whites killed and dispossessed the Indians, I remind the accusers that Indians did the same to each other; there was mutual hostility among many tribes, with constant conflict and frequent skirmishes, and sometimes considerable bloodshed. Indians displaced other Indians in their conflicts.
Indians also enslaved other Indians. Captives became slaves in many cases. The foolish idea that all Indians lived in some kind of idyllic noble savage utopia before the whites intruded still persists.
The liberal always wants to introduce guilt trips about how the Indians were ''forced onto reservations."
David Yeagley gives an Indian point of view on this: he says that far from being forced into isolation, the Indians preferred this solution. They in no way desired to be part of white society; they just wanted to remain Indian and to continue to live in their traditional ways. In a way, their position was the opposite of the black demands for integration, and for the right to live, work, go to school, and mingle socially with whites. Indians preferred to stay with their own kind in most cases. The idea that Indians follow the pattern established by blacks in their campaign for integration and 'equality' is false.
And if it happens that we become, like the original 'vanishing Americans', displaced and relegated to being walking museum pieces, will we want to be 'integrated' into the polyglot, Babelized society that supplants our civilization, or would we want to have our own sovereign, separate areas, where we can continue our own culture and way of life? I think I would choose the latter, if I had to choose between the two. Being swallowed up by some alien culture, among people who are hostile to me and mine, would seem like annihilation to me.
Still, though a 'reservation' or enclave of some sort would be the lesser of evils, I think that most of us are not meant for that kind of life; ''we must be free or die...'' as the poet said.
But I think that Italian campaign poster is a timely warning. We, all of us in the West need to contemplate, and realize how late is the hour, and how precarious our position.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
- Singer Britney Spears
- Actor Kelsey Grammer
- Actress Angie Harmon
- Action Star Chuck Norris
- Actor Dennis Hopper
- Author Tom Clancy
- Singer/Songwriter Naomi Judd
- Actor Danny Aiello
- Hall of fame quaterback John Elway
- Singer Sara Evans
- Singer Lee Ann Womack
- Founding member of punk rock group "The Ramones", Johnny Ramone
- Actress Shannen Doherty
- NASCAR driver Richard Petty
- Singer Mari Osmond
- Actor Mel Gibson
- NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Award-winning actor and Comedian Jackie Mason
- Championship baseball pitcher Curt Schilling
- Singer Trace Adkins
- Super model Kathey Ireland
- Actor Jon Voight
- Actor Bruce Willis
- Actor Scott Baio
- Actor Rick Schroder
- Dr. Phil
- Model / Actress Bo Derek
- Singer Nick Lachey
- Actor Stephen Baldwin
- NBA star Karl Malone
- Bodybuilder, Actor, Businessman & Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Emmy award winning actress Susan Lucci
- Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar
- Actor Kirk Cameron
- Singer / Songwriter Martina McBride
- Singer Gloria Estefan
- PGA golfer Jack Nicklaus
- Actress Heather Locklear
- Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan
- Singer / Actress Jessica Simpson
- Model Kim Alexis
- Actor / Pro-wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
- Singer, Author & Actress Cheryl Ladd
- Actor Robert Duvall
- Musician Kid Rock
- Actor Ben Stein
- Actor Dennis Franz
- Actor James Earl Jones
- Actor Tom Selleck
- Actor / Filmmaker Clint Eastwood
- Singer / Songwriter Loretta Lynn
- Academy-award nominated actor James Woods
- Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton
- Boxing promoter Don King
- Model & Actress Rachel Hunter
- Actor Dean Cain
- Actor Charlton Heston
- Stand-up comedian Dennis Miller
- Singer Meat Loaf
- Actor Tony Danza
- Former NFL player and coach Mike Ditka
- Game show host Pat Sajak
- Actress Patricia Heaton
- Actress Elisabeth Hasselbeck
- Former world #1 tennis player Chris Evert
- New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
- Comedian Drew Carey
- Actor, Director, Producer & Screenwriter Vincent Gallo
- Actor Sylvester Stallone
- Actress Dixie Carter
- Actor Adam Sandler
- Former M*A*S*H* star Jamie Farr
- Guitarist Ted Nugent
- Singer & Entertainer Wayne Newton
- Actor & Director Robert Conrad
- Singer & Actress Shirley Jones
- Actor Robert Davi
- Singer LeAnn Rimes
- Actor, Director & Producer Ron Silver
- Actress Janine Turner
- Actor Andy Garcia
- Rapper LL Cool J
- Rock star Alice Cooper
- Former Van Halen member Sammy Hagar
- Rapper 50 Cent
- Actor John Travolta
- Singer Billy Ray Cyrus
- Singer / Actress Miley Cyrus
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Cardinal Stafford criticizes Obama as ‘aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic’
Washington DC, Nov 17, 2008 / 02:27 pm (CNA).- Cardinal James Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, delivered a lecture on Thursday saying that the future under President-elect Obama will echo Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane. Criticizing Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,” he went on to speak about a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.
Delivered at the Catholic University of America, the cardinal’s lecture was titled “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul,” the student university paper The Tower reports. Hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, his words focused upon Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, whose fortieth anniversary is marked this year.
Commenting on the results of the recent presidential election, Cardinal Stafford said on Election Day “America suffered a cultural earthquake.” The cardinal argued that President-elect Obama had campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform” and predicted that the near future would be a time of trial.
“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” he said, contrasting the year of Humane Vitae’s promulgation with this election year.
“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Cardinal Stafford told his audience. Catholics who weep the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” should try to identify with Jesus, who during his agony in the garden was “sick because of love.”
The cardinal attributed America’s decline to the Supreme Court’s decisions such as the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which imposed permissive abortion laws nationwide.
“Its scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” Cardinal Stafford commented, according to The Tower.
His theological remarks centered upon man’s relationship with God and man’s place in society.
“Man is a sacred element of secular life,” he said, arguing that therefore “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”
Cardinal Stafford also touched on the state of the family, saying that the truest reflection of the relationship between the believer and God is the relationship between husband and wife, and that contraceptive use does not fit within that relationship.
"He said Obama's victory was an "admission of defeat in Iraq."
Al-Qaida No. 2 insults Obama in new audio message
Nov 19 09:50 AM US/Eastern
By MAAMOUN YOUSSEF and LEE KEATH
Associated Press Writers
CAIRO,Egypt (AP) - Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri insulted Barack Obama in the terror group's first reaction to his election, calling him a demeaning racial term implying that the president-elect is a black American who does the bidding of whites.
The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites Wednesday, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.
Al-Zawahri also called Obama—along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice—"house negroes."
Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term "abeed al-beit," which literally translates as "house slaves." But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as "house negroes."
The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters' house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.
The 11-minute 23-second video features the audio message by al-Zawahri, who appears only in a still image, along with other images, including one of Obama wearing a Jewish skullcap as he meets with Jewish leaders. In his speech, al-Zawahri refers to a Nov. 5 U.S. airstrike attack in Afghanistan, meaning the video was made after that date.
Al-Zawahri said Obama's election has not changed American policies he said are aimed at oppressing Muslims and others.
"America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always," the deputy of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden said.
He said Obama's plan to shift troops to Afghanistan is doomed to failure, because Afghans will resist.
"Be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them," he said.
Al-Zawahri did not threaten specific attacks, but warned Obama that he was "facing a Jihadi (holy war) awakening and renaissance which is shaking the pillars of the entire Islamic world; and this is the fact which you and your government and country refuse to recognize and pretend not to see."
He said Obama's victory showed Americans acknowledged that President George W. Bush's policies were a failure and that the result was an "admission of defeat in Iraq."
But Obama's professions of support for Israel during the election campaign "confirmed to the Ummah (Islamic world) that you have chosen a stance of hostility to Islam and Muslims," al-Zawahri said.
Monday, November 17, 2008
A prominent reporter in Russia`s Ingushetia region, Magomed Yevloyev, was shot dead in police custody in September.
Published: November 17, 2008 21:57h
A Russian reporter who challenged alleged corruption in local government was close to death on Monday after a savage beating, a close friend said.
Mikhail Beketov, the editor of a newspaper in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, was found unconscious and covered in blood near his home on Nov. 13. He had multiple fractures.
Doctors have amputated one of his legs and have had to delay another operation at Moscow's main emergency hospital, the Sklifosovsky Institute, because his condition is so serious.
"Mikhail is floating between life and death," Lyudmila Fedotova, a friend of Beketov's, told Reuters by telephone.
"He remains in a coma. The doctors say he is the most seriously ill patient in the intensive care unit of the Sklifosovsky Institute."
"This is what happens when you oppose certain people," Fedotova said. "If they finish me off then you can write a story about that too. I am no longer scared."
Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said that threatening calls had been made to the hospital where Beketov was treated. The Sklifosovsky Institute declined to comment.
"Beketov has lost a leg and is still in a coma, but that is not all -- threatening calls were also made to the hospital where he was taken," Reporters Without Borders said.
"Violence against journalists continues to be very much in the news in Russia... This cycle of violence must stop."
Reporters in Russia risk beatings and even death if they delve into the murky world where Russian politics and business overlap. Attackers are rarely convicted and journalists say they regularly receive threats.
Beketov, owner and editor of the paper Khimskaya Pravda, was known for his opposition to plans by local officials to fell a forest to make way for a major road. He also wrote about corruption.
Those behind the killings of Anna Politkovskaya and Paul Klebnikov -- the highest-profile reporters murdered during the eight-year rule of former President Vladimir Putin -- have still not been brought to justice.
Politkovskaya was shot dead on Oct. 7, 2006 outside her flat in Moscow. The judge in the trial of three people accused of involvement in her killing opened the hearings to the public on Monday. Klebnikov was shot near his office on July 9, 2004.
A prominent reporter in Russia's Ingushetia region, Magomed Yevloyev, was shot dead in police custody in September. Investigators said a police officer had accidentally fired his gun at Yevloyev's head.
"It is impossible not to get angry when you think about these murders that too often remain unpunished," said Reporters Without Borders.
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges.
However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.
Of course, as your employer, I am forbidden to tell you how to think politically- it is against the law to discriminate based on political affiliation, race, creed, religion, etc. Yes, the elections are now over, but as Americans, we still have a powerful voice through letter writing, placing phone calls to Congress, and volunteering our time & effort for causes near & dear to us. After all, they were elected to represent you. Please do (or not do) whatever you think will serve your interests and the interests of the country the best.
However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interest.
First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last year’s Christmas party. I'm sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.
However, what you don't see is the back story.
I started this company 12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you. My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business – hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.
So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the
office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, shit, and breathe this company every minute of the day.
There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... you never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made.
Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.
Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds.
Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why: I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.
The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.
The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts.
Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.
Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.
When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the mud of America is the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.
So where am I going with all this?
It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem anymore.
Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.
While tax cuts to 95% of America sounds great on paper, don't forget the back story: If there is no job, there is no income to tax. A tax cut on zero dollars is zero.
So, when you make your decision whether to support or fight against the President Obama’s tax & economic plans, ask yourself, who understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job?
Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of saving your job. While the media wants to tell you "It's the economy stupid" I'm telling you it isn't.
If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me in the South Caribbean sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Mr. Speaker, I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, as any man in this House. But we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it.
"We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.
"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bills asks."
He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed and as, no doubt, it would but for that speech, it received but few votes and was lost.
Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:
"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on.
"The weather was very cold and, when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced, appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.
"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than in any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road.
"I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.
"I began: 'Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and - '
"'Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.'
"This was a sockdolager... I begged him to tell me what was the matter.
"'Well, Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not the capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case, you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine.
"'I will say to you what, but for my rudeness I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.'
"I said, 'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any Constitutional question.'
"'No, Colonel, there's no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?"
"'Well, my friend, I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.'
"'It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the treasury no more money than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means.
"'What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how many thousands are worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000.
"'If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other.
"'No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.
"'The Congressmen chose to keep their own money which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people of Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is stipulation, and a violation of the Constitution.
"'So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'
"NOT YOURS TO GIVE"
"I tell you, I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:
"'Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard.
"'If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.'
"He laughingly replied: 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again on one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.'
"'If I don't,' said I, 'I wish I may be shot; and, to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say, I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.'
"'No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.'
"'Well, I will be here. But, one thing more before I say goodbye. I must know your name.'
"'My name is Bunce.'
"'Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.
"It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words, but in act. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintances.
"Though I had never met him before, I had heard of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition and been beaten. One thing is certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.
"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.
"Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.
"I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him - no, that is not the word - I reverence and love him more than any living man. I got to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.
"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I have not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted-at least, they all knew me.
"In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:
"'Fellow citizens, I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to my self as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration.'
"I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them that I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:
"'And now, it remains for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.
"'It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with this convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.'
"He came up on the stand and said:
"'Fellow citizens, it affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.'
"He went down, and there went up from the crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.
"I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some drops rolling down my cheeks. I tell you, the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have made as a member of Congress.
"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday.
"There is one thing to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men - men who think nothing of spending a week's pay for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude owed the deceased - a debt which could not be paid by money - and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighted against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."
Nov 16, 3:28 PM (ET)
By HAMZA HENDAWI and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's Cabinet overwhelmingly approved a security pact with the United States on Sunday, ending prolonged negotiations to allow American forces to remain for three more years in the country they first occupied in 2003.
The deal detailing the conditions of the U.S. presence still needs parliamentary approval, and lawmakers could vote as soon as Nov. 24. For Iraqis, the breakthrough was bittersweet because they won concessions from the Americans but must accept the presence of U.S. troops until 2012.
"It's the best possible, available option," said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh. He was referring to the conflict between Iraq's desire for full sovereignty and control over security and its need for American support and cooperation to achieve that goal.
Al-Dabbagh described the pact - intended to supplant the U.N. mandate expiring Dec. 31 - as an "agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. troops," and Washington welcomed the Cabinet's approval.
"While the process is not yet complete, we remain hopeful and confident we'll soon have an agreement that serves both the people of Iraq and the United States well and sends a signal to the region and the world that both our governments are committed to a stable, secure and democratic Iraq," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House's National Security Council.
There is a good chance parliament will pass the agreement with a large majority, since the parties that make up Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition government dominate the legislature.
The pact was due to be completed by the end of July, but negotiations stumbled over parts pertaining to Iraqi sovereignty and judicial oversight.
Al-Dabbagh said Iraq's government has received U.S. assurances that the President-elect Barack Obama would honor the agreement, and pointed out that each side has the right to repeal it after giving one year's notice. Obama, who takes office in January, has said he would pull U.S. combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months of moving into the White House - or May 2010.
Iraq's neighbors and U.S. adversaries, Iran and Syria, oppose the pact, arguing that the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces offered the best option for Iraq.
The Iraqi government sought to allay their fears, amending the document to prohibit the Americans from using Iraqi territory to attack neighboring nations.
The Cabinet's decision was made amid violence, despite a dramatic improvement in security over the past year. Fresh attacks underlined doubts about whether Iraq's nascent security forces can stand without U.S. military support and training.
Hours after the Cabinet vote, seven people died and seven were wounded in a suicide car bombing at a police checkpoint in Diyala, a turbulent province northeast of Baghdad, according to police Col. Ahmed Khalifa, chief of Jalula police station.
The U.S. military said the attack in Jalula occurred at a police station and that four police and six civilians died. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy in the reports.
Earlier Sunday, a roadside bomb killed three people and wounded seven in northern Baghdad, Iraqi authorities said.
Al-Dabbagh said all but one of 28 Cabinet ministers present in Sunday's meeting, in addition to al-Maliki, voted for the pact. The sole vote of dissent came from Minister of Women's Affairs Nawal al-Samaraie, a member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the country's largest Sunni Arab party.
She said she voted against the pact because she preferred that it be put to a nationwide referendum. She also wanted the U.S. military to free Sunni security detainees not charged with specific crimes, rather than hand them to Iraqi authorities as provided by the agreement.
The Cabinet vote followed Washington's decision last week to grant a request by al-Maliki for final amendments.
Khalid al-Attiyah, parliament's deputy speaker, said the changes removed ambiguous language that could have allowed U.S. forces to ignore a timeline for their withdrawal from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009 and from the country by Jan. 1, 2012. The changes also tightened Iraq's control over security raids and the arrest of Iraqis.
The agreement is believed to have met Iraqi concerns over its sovereignty and its security needs as it continues to grapple with a diminished but persistent insurgency. It gives Iraq the right to try U.S. soldiers and defense contractors in the case of serious crimes committed off-duty and off-base.
Al-Attiyah said he expected parliament to vote on the agreement by Nov. 24. If parliament approves the deal, President Jalal Talabani and his two deputies must ratify it.
Iraq's parliament is due to go into recess at the end of the month or in early December because of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, when many lawmakers travel to Saudi Arabia on the annual pilgrimage.
Parliamentary speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani canceled all leave for lawmakers and suspended foreign and out-of-town visits to ensure a quorum for the security pact vote, al-Attiyah said.
"I'm optimistic that this agreement will be passed through the Council of Representatives (parliament)," spokesman al-Dabbagh told Associated Press Television News. But he added: "You cannot guarantee 100 percent approval of anything."
Barring unforeseen developments, the document should receive the support of the 85 lawmakers of the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, the 54 Kurdish lawmakers and most of the 44 lawmakers in the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni Arab bloc.
Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who commands the loyalty of 30 lawmakers, urged parliament in a statement Sunday to reject the agreement "without the least hesitation." The statement was read by a top al-Sadr aide on Iraq's al-Sharqiya Television.
Al-Sadr, whose militiamen battled U.S. forces in the past, has threatened to resume attacks on U.S. forces if they don't immediately withdraw from Iraq. He called for a mass prayer and protest in a central Baghdad square on Friday.
The Cabinet vote came a day after Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, indicated he would not object to the pact if it passes by a comfortable majority in parliament.
Associated Press writers Sameer N. Yacoub, Sinan Salaheddin and Saad Abdul-Kadir contributed to this report.
November 14, 2008
Obama Advisor Valerie Jarrett Linked to Real Estate Scandals
Barack Obama's personnel decisions as President-Elect are crushing any hopes that his administration will bring a new spirit of integrity and honesty to Washington. First there was the selection of Clinton attack dog Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff. Then there was the selection of another Clinton crony, John Podesta, to co-chair Obama's transition team. And now Barack Obama has tapped Valerie Jarrett to partner with Podesta in handling the transition.
Who is Valerie Jarrett?
Characterized as "the other side of Barack Obama's brain" by CBS News, Jarrett first met the Obamas seventeen years ago when she offered Michelle Obama a job. Since that time Jarrett has served as a very close advisor to both Obamas. While some have speculated that Jarrett is interested in taking Obama's place in the U.S. Senate, the New York Times reported that it is more likely she will become a senior White House adviser. And that is terrible news.
Judicial Watch recently obtained documents linking Valerie Jarrett to a series of real estate scandals, including several housing projects operated by convicted felon and former Obama fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.
According to the documents, which we obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State, Valerie Jarrett served as a board member for several organizations that provided funding and support for Chicago housing projects operated by real estate developers and Obama financial backers Antoin "Tony" Rezko and Allison Davis. (You may recall that Davis is also Obama's former boss.)
Jarrett was a member of the Board of Directors for the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corporation along with several Davis and Rezko associates, as well as the Fund for Community Redevelopment and Revitalization, an organization that worked with Rezko and Davis. Jarrett wrote of her support for Davis/Rezko projects, and was also one of the strongest supporters in revitalizing two struggling Chicago banks which later provided loans and mortgages for the Davis/Rezko housing projects.
And what sort of housing projects were Davis and Rezko operating? According to press reports, housing projects operated by Davis and Rezko have been substandard and beset with code violations. The Chicago Sun Times reported that one Rezko-managed housing project was "riddled with problems -- including squalid living conditions…lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers." Davis, meanwhile, was nailed for a code violation when sewage began to seep through electrical outlets in one of his low income apartment buildings.
Of course, Jarrett would have no issues supporting these kinds of housing projects. As Chief Executive Officer of the Habitat Company, Jarrett managed a controversial housing project located in Obama's former state senate district called Grove Parc Plaza. According to the Boston Globe, the housing complex was considered "uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage…In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale - a score so bad the buildings now face demolition." It is no stretch to say that she was a slumlord. Jarrett refused to comment on the conditions of the complex.
Valerie Jarrett is a product of the corrupt Chicago political machine. Washington already has plenty of corruption; we don't need to import more of it from Chicago.
Friday, November 14, 2008
FACTS: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's home district includes San Francisco .
Star-Kist Tuna's headquarters are in San Francisco , Pelosi's home district.
Star-Kist is owned by Del Monte Foods and is a major contributor to Pelosi.
Star-Kist is the major employer in American Samoa employing 75% of the Samoan workforce.
Paul Pelosi, Nancy 's husband, owns $17 million dollars of Star-Kist stock.
In January 2007 when the minimum wage was increased from $5.15 to $7.25, Pelosi had American Samoa exempted from the increase so Del Monte would not have to pay the higher wage. This would make Del Monte products less expensive than their competition's.
Last week when the huge bailout bill was passed, Pelosi added an earmark to the final bill adding $33 million dollars for an 'economic development credit in American Samoa'
And Pelosi has the audacity to call the Bush Administration 'CORRUPT'? ?
How do you spell 'HYPOCRISY'? ?
Fri Nov 14, 6:40 am ET
MOSCOW – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev plans to travel this month to Cuba and Venezuela, which have increasing military and trade ties with Moscow.
The U.S. has objected to Russia's greater links with the two countries that have antagonistic relations with Washington.
Medvedev will visit Cuba on Nov. 27, the Kremlin press service said. He will also visit Brazil during the trip.
The Soviet Union was a stalwart supporter of Cuban leader Fidel Castro during the Cold War. Under Hugo Chavez, Venezuela has moved to buy millions of dollars in Russian weaponry and invited Russian energy giants to drill in the country's oil fields.
A Russian naval flotilla is on its way to the Caribbean to hold joint military exercises with Venezuelan forces.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."
The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.
"Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.
"Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation."
During the 2008 presidential campaign, many bishops spoke out on abortion more boldly than four years earlier, telling Catholic politicians and voters that the issue should be the most important consideration in setting policy and deciding which candidate to back. A few church leaders said parishioners risked their immortal soul by voting for candidates who support abortion rights.
But bishops differ on whether Catholic lawmakers—and voters—should refrain from receiving Communion if they diverge from church teaching on abortion. Each bishop sets policy in his own diocese. In their annual fall meeting, the nation's Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights.
According to national exit polls, 54 percent of Catholics chose Obama, who is Protestant. In South Carolina, which McCain carried, voters in Greenville County—traditionally seen as among the state's most conservative areas—went 61 percent for the Republican, and 37 percent for Obama.
"It was not an attempt to make a partisan point," Newman said in a telephone interview Thursday. "In fact, in this election, for the sake of argument, if the Republican candidate had been pro-abortion, and the Democratic candidate had been pro-life, everything that I wrote would have been exactly the same."
Conservative Catholics criticized Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 for supporting abortion rights, with a few Catholic bishops saying Kerry should refrain from receiving Holy Communion because his views were contrary to church teachings.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said she had not heard of other churches taking this position in reaction to Obama's win. A Boston-based group that supports Catholic Democrats questioned the move, saying it was too extreme.
"Father Newman is off-base," said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats. "He is acting beyond the authority of a parish priest to say what he did. ... Unfortunately, he is doing so in a manner that will be of great cost to those parishioners who did vote for Sens. Obama and Biden. There will be a spiritual cost to them for his words."
A man who has attended St. Mary's for 18 years said he welcomed Newman's message and anticipated it would inspire further discussion at the church.
"I don't understand anyone who would call themselves a Christian, let alone a Catholic, and could vote for someone who's a pro-abortion candidate," said Ted Kelly, 64, who volunteers his time as lector for the church. "You're talking about the murder of innocent beings."
On the Net:
St. Mary's Catholic Church: http://www.stmarysgvl.org/
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: http://www.usccb.org/
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
NOVEMBER 13, 2008
History Favors Republicans in 2010
The 2008 election numbers are not as stark as the results.
By KARL ROVE
Political races are about candidates and issues. But election results, in the end, are about numbers. So now that the dust is settling on the 2008 presidential race, what do the numbers tell us?
First, the predicted huge turnout surge didn't happen. The final tally is likely to show that fewer than 128.5 million people voted. That's up marginally from 122 million in 2004. But 17 million more people voted in 2004 than in 2000 (three times the change from 2004 to 2008).
Second, a substantial victory was won by modest improvement in the Democratic share of the vote. Barack Obama received 2.1 points more in the popular vote than President Bush received in 2004, 3.1 points more than Vice President Al Gore in 2000, and 4.6 points more than John Kerry in 2004. In raw numbers, the latest tally shows that Mr. Obama received 66.1 million votes, about 7.1 million more than Mr. Kerry.
Four out of five of these additional votes came from minorities. Mr. Obama got nearly 3.3 million more votes from African-Americans than did Mr. Kerry; 2.9 million of them were from younger blacks aged 18-29. A quarter of Mr. Obama's improvement among blacks -- 811,000 votes -- came from African-Americans who voted Republican in 2004. Mr. Obama also received 2.5 million more Hispanic votes than Mr. Kerry. Over a third of these votes -- 719,000 -- cast ballots for Republicans in 2004.
One of the most important shifts was Hispanic support for Democrats. John McCain got the votes of 32% of Hispanic voters. That's down from the 44% Mr. Bush won four years ago. If this trend continues, the GOP will find it difficult to regain the majority.
Mr. Obama won 4.6 million more votes in the West and 1.4 million more in the Midwest than Mr. Kerry. Mr. McCain, on the other hand, got more than 2.6 million fewer votes in the Midwest than Mr. Bush. In Ohio, for example, Mr. Obama received 32,000 fewer votes than Mr. Kerry in 2004 -- but Mr. McCain got 360,000 fewer votes than Mr. Bush. That turned a 119,000 vote GOP victory in 2004 into a 206,000 vote Democratic win this year.
Then there were those who didn't show up. There were 4.1 million fewer Republicans voting this year than in 2004. Some missing Republicans had turned independent or Democratic for this election. But most simply stayed home. Ironically for a campaign that featured probably the last Vietnam veteran to run for president, 2.7 million fewer veterans voted. There were also 4.1 million fewer voters who attend religious services more than once a week. Americans aren't suddenly going to church less; something was missing from the campaign to draw out the more religiously observant.
In a sign Mr. Obama's victory may have been more personal than partisan or philosophical, Democrats picked up just 10 state senate seats (out of 1,971) and 94 state house seats (out of 5,411). By comparison, when Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in 1980, Republicans picked up 112 state senate seats (out of 1,981) and 190 state house seats (out of 5,501).
In the states this year, five chambers shifted from Republican to Democrats, while four shifted from either tied or Democratic control to Republican control. In the South, Mr. Obama had "reverse coattails." Republicans gained legislative seats across the region. In Tennessee both the house and senate now have GOP majorities for the first time since the Civil War.
This matters because the 2010 Census could allocate as many as four additional congressional districts to Texas, two each to Arizona and Florida, and one district to each of a number of (mostly) red-leaning states, while subtracting seats from (mostly) blue-leaning states like Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania and, for the first time, California. Redistricting and reapportionment could help tilt the playing field back to the GOP in Congress and the race for the White House by moving seven House seats (and electoral votes) from mostly blue to mostly red states.
History will favor Republicans in 2010. Since World War II, the out-party has gained an average of 23 seats in the U.S. House and two in the U.S. Senate in a new president's first midterm election. Other than FDR and George W. Bush, no president has gained seats in his first midterm election in both chambers.
Since 1966, the incumbent party has lost an average of 63 state senate and 262 state house seats, and six governorships, in a president's first midterm election. That 2010 is likely to see Republicans begin rebounding just before redistricting is one silver lining in an otherwise dismal year for the GOP.
In politics, good years follow bad years. Republicans and Democrats have experienced both during the past 15 years. A GOP comeback, while certainly possible, won't be self-executing and automatic. It will require Republicans to be skillful at both defense (opposing Mr. Obama on some issues) and offense (creating a compelling agenda that resonates with voters). And it will require leaders to emerge who give the right public face to the GOP. None of this will be easy. All of this will be necessary.
Mr. Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.