Sanity in the World?

Into all lives, a little Sanity must fall.

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Location: Michigan, United States

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Despicable Kansas Church Fined

The pathetic excuse for a Kansas church that is Anti-Gay, Anti-Catholic, Anti-Troops, Anti-American, ect. has been fined $5,000 for seeking police protection for an upcoming Marine funeral that was killed in Iraq, so they could rant and rave to the loved ones of the fallen Marine on how "God hates America," "Thank God for 9/11" and "God blew up the troops."

Don't know about him?

Let me introduce you to this piece of garbage:

The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps' children, grandchildren and in-laws.

The church members carried signs and shouted things such as 'God hates fags' and 'God hates you.'

"The same God that has the power to bless America has the power to curse America," he said. "The scriptures are very clear and very plain. God does not love everyone. He hates people."

Not to get all religous, but God doesn't hate people, He hates SIN. He does NOT hate people.

It is people like these idiots that make normal religous people have a bad name, because people have a tendency to lump groups, and with this tending to be a so-called "church", some will think religous people are all insane zealots like this group.

This group makes me sick to my stomach.

Hey dumbass, if God's word is everything to you, maybe you want to try reading the damn bible and check out this portion:

"John 3:16. God loves everyone."

It doesn't say God hates him, or you, or this other person.
He hates the SIN people do, same as the disgusting actions you take in His name.

I seem to have gotten off track here slightly, but now that you have gotten an idea of just what kind of insanity this LAWYER / "pastor" spews, let's continue with the most recent actions.....

MUNDY TOWNSHIP, Mich. An anti-gay Kansas church has been slapped with a five-thousand dollar bill for not showing up for a military funeral in Genesee County.

Mundy Township police say the group asked in advance for special police protection but never arrived for a July first memorial service for Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Webb.


A church member says the bill is a joke and will be ignored. She says the Holy Ghost told them at the last minute to stay home.


The church tells the Flint Journal it will not pay the bill.


More here:

The church told officials that they planned to demonstrate at a recent memorial service for Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Webb, 20, of Swartz Creek. It was held at Swartz Funeral Home in Mundy Township, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

Officials said the church members asked for special police protection and broke an agreement for security service when they failed to arrive.

"They didn't even give me a courtesy call to say they weren't coming," township police Chief David Guigear told The Flint Journal.

Westboro church member and lawyer Shirley Phelps-Roper said group members bought airline tickets but said the Holy Ghost told them at the last minute to stay home.

Police "took an oath, and their duty is to keep the peace," Phelps-Roper said.

"If they do anything as foolish" as sending a bill, she said, "I'll laugh all the way to the trash can."

This group is beyond disgusting and contempt.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Boycotting American Products

Parvin Heydari, an Iranian mother of two, was flipping back and forth between the nightly news and Oprah when a bulletin on an Iranian state channel caught her attention. It urged Iranians to boycott what it called "Zionist products," including those made by Pepsi, Nestlé and Calvin Klein, and warned that profits from such products "are converted into bullets piercing the chests of Lebanese and Palestinian children." As evidence, the voice-over intoned, "Pepsi stands for 'pay each penny to save Israel.'" Heydari says she changed the channel, as she has no intention of crossing Nestlé's Nesquik off her shopping list. "Lebanon has nothing to do with us," she says. "We should mind our own business and concentrate on policies that are good for our economy, and our kids."

Wow, the code has finally been broken!

I never knew that PEPSI stood for "Pay each penny to savbe Israel".

In fact, I didn't think Pepsi had any kind of stance on foriegn policy, except to sell their products as much as possible.

Iranian TV, propaganda and lies to try and influence their people.
How long till they have jack-booted Mullahs and their cronies at the groceries stores telling their people, "You cannot buy this!" and take food and other items away from their own people?

Good for her to see what they are broadcasting as drivel.
She has no intentions of removing items that she and her family enjoys. Good for you.

Unfortunately she may not be correct in that Lebanon has nothing to do with Iran, because Hezbollah has direct connection and backing from Syria and Iran, and Hezbollah's actions certainly seem to be an extention of Syria and Iran's arm from their own countries......

To many observers in the Western world, Hizballah, the Lebanese guerrilla group battling Israel, is a mere puppet of Iran. Some are convinced that Hizballah triggered the crisis on Tehran's orders to divert world attention away from Iran's controversial nuclear plans. But client states are not necessarily as docile as one might think. Just as Israel sometimes takes actions that surprise (and even displease) the U.S., Hizballah does things Iran has neither ordered up nor necessarily approves of.

I would agree with this if the relationship between Israel and the US was the same as Iran/Syria and Hezbollah.

It isn't.

There is a big difference between how we help and support Israel, and how Iran and Syria command Hezbollah. America does not command Israel. There lies a big difference.

It's impossible to know the precise origins of the current crisis in Lebanon, but since it erupted two weeks ago, the mood in Tehran has swung between indifference--the fighting rarely makes the headlines--and resentment over Iran's longstanding sponsorship of Hizballah.

This is a joke right?
It is impossible to know the precise origins on the current crisis in Lebanon?

Has the Author not been paying attention?

Hezbollah inviaded Israel, killed it's citizens, kidnapped it's soldiers and then high-tailed it out to hide amongst civilian population.

Hezbollah controls S. Lebanon, not the Lebonese government. Lebonese government needs PERMISSION to enter the southern portion of their own country.

Hezbollah is a terrorists group. It is responsible for over 200 + US Marines deaths.

You don't know how this "crisis" started?

It's not only ordinary Iranians who are worried about what the Middle East explosion means for Iran. Even as state infomercials order Iranians to boycott soft drinks, officials in Tehran--pragmatists and conservatives alike--concur that the conflict is bad news for the Iranian regime because it exacerbates the West's image of Tehran as a regional troublemaker. Rather than helpfully distracting attention from Iran, as many have charged, the conflict "undermines Iran's position," says a university professor close to senior Iranian officials.

Iran as a troublemaker? Say it isn't so!

I mean who can argue with that...expect for when our favorite "Israel will be wiped off the map" dictator from Iran comes out and says this today:

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared Sunday that Israel had "pushed the button of its own destruction" by launching its military campaign against the Iranian-backed Hizbullah in Lebanon.


Iran helped create the anti-Israel Hizbullah movement in the early 1980s and is among its main supplier of arms and funds. But Teheran has denied Israeli claims it is sent Hizbullah long-range missiles that have reached Haifa and other points in northern Israel since the battles broke out nearly two weeks ago following a cross-border Hizbullah raid that captured two Israeli soldiers.


In Teheran, the government has sanctioned billboards showing Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and a message that it is the duty of Muslims to "wipe out" Israel. Officials also organized a demonstration in the southern city of Shiraz by Iran's small Jewish community calling for Israel's destruction and praising Hizbullah.


Iran a troublemaker? Naaaaaa.
More like an INSTIGATOR.

I believe they have proven the weapon used against the Israeli ship was supplied from Iran earlier.

Our resident psycho still beats the Israel must be wiped out drum.

He does nothing to show Iran is not involved, and he ramps up the rhetoric and threats each time he speaks. He is instigating the violence as much as Hezbollah is. Even if he didn't command Hezbollah to do this (which is doubtful), Hezbollah still looks to Iran for 'spiritual leadership' and guidance, and they will see this as permission to continue.

In the low-rent neighborhood of Tehran Pars, patrons at a café talk of how to balance faith with the politics of aiding Islamic militant groups. Mehdi Sedaghat, 27, a clothing-store clerk, speaks between bites of his bologna sandwich. "It's our religious duty to aid Muslims who are being killed," says Sedaghat, whose car bears a sticker on the rear window that reads INSURED BY IMAM REZA (Shi'ite Islam's revered figure). "But reality is reality, and we can't afford it." He quotes a Persian proverb: "If the lantern is needed at home, donating it to the mosque is haram [forbidden]."

Bologna sandwich?

Does he realize what Bologna is made of?

Bologna is a cooked, smoked sausage made of cured beef, pork, or a mixture of the two. A typical recipe for this sausage uses seasonings such as salt, sugar, pepper, and spices, plus a curing mixture that includes sodium nitrite to prevent botulism. While beef and pork are the most traditional bologna meats, exotic fare such as moose and venison can even be used.


I thought Pork products were forbidden in Islamic Culture?

The prohibition of eating pork in Islam is relevant in this context. There is a saying in English that "a man becomes what he eats." According to physicians and medical experts, pork is a harmful diet. Consumption of swine-flesh creates lowliness in character and destroys moral and spiritual faculties in a man.


It is interesting that he would be eating a pork-based product.

Meanwhile back here on the homefront, John Kerry decides it is time to take an Armchair Quarterback stand and stated:

"If I was president, this wouldn't have happened," said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John's bar and grill in Detroit's Cass Corridor.


John Kerry still beating that dead horse how many years now?

All I can say is THANK GOD john Kerry is not President.

He would hand the reigns of the US over to the UN.
He would expect the UN Security Council to handle this, which they would just stand by and let the killing continue anyways, or rebuke Israel because israel has the audacity to try and protect its people. If the UN truly was to handle this, they would enforce Resolution 1559, yet they haven't. (Wikipedia's version Resolution 1559)

"This is about American security and Bush has failed. He has made it so much worse because of his lack of reality in going into Iraq.…We have to destroy Hezbollah," he said.


Isn't that what Israel is doing right now?
But you and other Liberal Democrats want a time table for Israel now. First Iraq time table and now Israel must have one.

Do you have another plan? What is the plan Mr. Armchair Quarterback?

A cease-fire so Hezbollah can re-arm themselves and kill more Israelis?

Oh, talk with Iran and Syria - and we see how well they have been responding to talks. Talks and negotiation only works when BOTH sides want it, and Iran and Hezbollah do not want peace. Negotiation and talks do not work when one side keeps saying NO.

I seem to remember Arab countries respect STRENGTH, and what Israel is showing is unified strength and determination. John Kerry shows yet again weakness. His way would make the terrorist laugh with contempt at how the Americans cower and beg for them to stop.

It is always easy to sit on the side-lines and say you could do better. You are not President, you will never be President. No matter how much you beat that dead horse, it still remains the same, YOU ARE NOT PRESIDENT.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Catch and Release is Live and Well for ICE

It seems differences in opinion and the law between local law enforcement and US Border Patrol Agents have allowed illegal aliens to go free.

Maricopa County Jail inmates convicted or cleared of human-smuggling charges and presumed to be undocumented ILLEGAL ALIENS [Emphasis mine - sanity] were allowed to walk out of jail without being removed from the country because of a spat over jurisdiction between the Sheriff's Office and federal immigration agents.


Anyone in the federal government not have their head up their rear ends?

Your allowing illegal aliens to walk free on American soil, even after they have been caught by local law enforcement, because of jurisdiction?!?!?

Would it matter any if any of them were, say a terrorist? Would jurisdiction be a problem then?
Would you endanger American lives because of jurisdiction?
Would you allow them to walk freely away after being caught by local law enforcement, because of jurisdiction issues?

Could you be that pathetic?

I am not saying every illegal alien coming over the border is a terrorist, not by far, but we need to treat this like they could be.

The US has gotten complacent again, 911 is on many minds, but seems to have been forgotten, especially on how easily the terrorist got in, stayed in, got by and around our own laws.

We are fools and our government is acting very foolish right now.
This is petty and rediculous.
If your going to protect the borders, then do so CONSISTENTLY.

This may not seem right, but I say treat every illegal alien coming into America as a potential terrorist.

The possibility exists, it is there, we have already had reports of catching some terrorists coming across our southern border. Unfortunately it barely gets noticed, because we might encroach on the rights of illegal aliens illegally entering into our country. Rights?!?!

You have the right to be deported to the country of your origin.
You have the right to be treated fairly, fed and given humanitarian aid before being removed from our shores.
You have the right to ask for asylum from hardship or war torn areas.
You have the right to go through the process of LEGAL immigration into our country like everyone else.

These are the rights I think they should have.

Since the first arrests made under Arizona's human-smuggling law in March, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has filed 268 cases, 31 against suspected coyotes and the rest against suspected conspirators assumed to be undocumented immigrants.

So far, 63 have pleaded guilty to lesser offenses, 15 have been dismissed, two acquitted and one convicted by a jury.

But 17 have walked right out of the jail and into the community - including six who pleaded guilty to human-smuggling felonies - because the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency decided it wouldn't transport out of the country people prosecuted under the controversial coyote law.

Instead, they slipped unnoticed through the red tape of a giant jail system and onto the streets.

First of all it is not up to Immigration whether they will transport those convicted under a "controversial" law, that is up to the courts, and the supreme court to determine if a law is legal or not. It is not up to Immigration to make that determination.

These illegal aliens have been convicted, or found to be here illegally, and should be deported.

"Why would they refuse to pick up the felons?" Sheriff Joe Arpaio asked.

Exactly. Why would you refuse to pick up felons?
Why would you allow them back onto American Soil, on to American streets?

Because, according to an ICE spokesman, only federal agents with ICE, the Border Patrol and other U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials are legally empowered to determine who is a citizen and who is in the country legally, which they do through specific interviews and checks.

"An officer must base the determination of status upon either an interview of the subject or through fingerprint comparison with existing records," ICE Special Agent in Charge Roberto Medina said in a July 6 letter to Arpaio. "Furthermore, only federal officers . . . can place detainers pursuant to the (Immigration and Nationality Act)."

State and county law enforcement can't make such determinations about "alienage."

Then make that determination when you receive the felons. Why would you release them?
Why would you refuse to even accept them?

Law enforcement does YOUR JOB, and then turns them over to you, and your continue to not do your job by not even accepting them, not running them through the process? You say they are not allowed to make that determination, that only ICE or Federal is allowed. Well, they have turned them over to your custody, MAKE THE DAMN DETERMINATION THEN!!!

Yes, this is very frustrating to me.
Our government officials and agencies don't seem to be doing their damn jobs and hampering or making it extremely difficult when local enforcement decided to do it for them.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas was distressed.

"ICE's refusal to pick up and deport acknowledged illegal immigrants arrested by local law enforcement shows that the federal policy of 'catch and release' is still the order of the day," he said. "The federal government's continued unwillingness to perform its basic duty of securing our border makes Arizona's human-smuggling law all the more important."

According to the Sheriff's Office, there are an average of 900 to 1,000 prisoners in the jail at any one time with immigration detainers, or holds, indicating that ICE is to be contacted before they can be released.

I really wish our government would treat our borders and the protection of our borders as seriously as they do the war on terrorism. In all actuality this should be a part of that war, because the possibility of terrorist coming across our southern border is very great.

When suspects are booked into Maricopa County jails, they are questioned on their immigration status. And if the interviewing officers doubt the suspect's immigration status, they send a teletyped message to ICE, which responds with its decision of whether to place a detainer on that suspect after running the information through its databanks.

Arpaio claimed that 35 of the suspects charged with human-smuggling violations had immigration holds that were later removed.

The reasoning for dropping the holds, according to Medina's letter, was that even though the suspects were being held on suspicion of human smuggling, which presupposes they are here illegally, ICE officials determined their interviews had not been conducted by qualified ICE personnel.

"In which case it should be incumbent on them to do an interview," said MCSO Chief Michael Olson, who is in charge of the jails.

Instead, as the charges were dropped, or as the convicts were sentenced to probation, they were released by deputies because there were no holds against them.

The lapse was discovered June 11 when a judge acquitted two men of conspiracy to commit smuggling and MCSO personnel called to have them transported from the jail.

When ICE refused, Arpaio announced he would have his own deputies do the transport.

"Now we have to waste our manpower," Arpaio said. "I don't have to do this. I can just let them go on the street. Who cares? Because they're convicted felons. They deserve to go back to Mexico because a judge said they're going back to Mexico. He didn't say how."

A judge convicts them and says they should go back to Mexico....
Local law enforcemnt contacts ICE to set that up.
ICE says, nope, not going to do it.

Do your damn jobs.
If you can't do your jobs perhaps we as Americans need to look at finding a way to replace these people with individuals that will do their jobs.

It is bad enough Immigration is so overwhelmed, I can understand that. But when local law enforcemnt is helping, they are doing YOUR JOB for you, and yet you cannot even make the effort to finish the process, do an interview, make a determination or transport them back across the is really sickening!

Maybe we need to replace everyone in ICE with Mexicans, I hear they are doing the jobs that Americans don't or won't do.....

Monday, July 17, 2006

Americans and Israelis - Thoughts and Comparisons

I ran across Israellycool while reading through those that are Liveblogging what is going on in this conflict.

He has some excellent observations, in which I expand on, in comparison with how we seem to take for granted these same things in America.

Give it a read.

Liveblogging the War: Saturday July 15th - Sunday July 16th
By Aussie Dave

6:20PM: Our Defense Minister Amir Peretz:

"Hizbullah is very surprised...We had the audacity to strike Hizbullah’s most sensitive center. They are surprised by the resilience of the home front; they are surprised because they do not hear the Israeli public panicking and calling on its government to call off the operation (In Lebanon. On the contrary, Hizbullah sees before it a united country and it is vital that this resilience continues, because it will determine the outcome of the entire war."

I have mentioned this before. We are becoming more unified here in Israel, as left-wing and right-wing find common ground: the will to survive. For instance, I spoke with a very left-wing colleague of mine at work, with whom I hardly ever agree. Today I asked him if he agrees with what we are doing in Lebanon. He answered: "Absolutely."

Hizbullah have made a grave error: they have underestimated the power of a united Israel.

We as Americans should take a good, long, hard look at Israel, and their Unity. It is something that does not exists here anymore.

And I am very afraid that when it comes time for Americans to act, we will not have any sort of unity at all. We have become splintered, full of hatred of each other based on ideologies. It should be what ever is best for America, yet, you are reviled and rediculed if you call yourself a Republican or on the opposite calling yourself a Democrat.

What seems to escape those that redicule and revile either side, is that no matter what ideology or political philosophy you follow, WE ARE ALL AMERICANS!

If and when the terrorists come, they will come for ALL Americans, not just one specific ideology or philosophy. Race will not matter, color will not matter, what party you are affiliated with, what kind of car you drive, how old you are, all of this will not matter to the terrorists.

Unlike Americans it seems, terrorists see all of us, all those I listed above and more, as AMERICANS. They do not see hyphenated Americans such as Irish-Americans, African-Americans, they don't see Black Americans, White Americans, they don't care!

Get it through your thick skulls!

They see ALL of us as Americans, and they will do whatever it takes to do as much damage, and take as many lives of Americans as they can possible.

It is sickening that Americans cannot even see themselves as Americans. The terrorists have a better understanding of who we are even more than we Americans do.

6:10PM: It's official: Al Jazeera are aiding the enemy.

The Israel Police on Sunday detained an Al-Jazeera news team after it broadcast live footage which disclosed the area of Sunday's deadly Katyusha attack in Haifa, in violation of military censorship rules, police and security officials said.


This seems very reminiscent of our media here, one example being the New York Times.

I am sure if the New York Times tried the same thing they have here in America over in Israel, they would have been physically thrown out of the Country and banned from ever coming back or be in jail right now.

You want to know where our Men and Women in the Military stand on this issue?

I am the Marine that wrote to you about the News Media betraying us.

I just wanted to tell you that we, Marines, SUPPORT Israel in their war against Hamas and Hizbullah. I cannot express to you how many Marines I have talked to or have heard say how proud of Israel they are. I cannot tell you how happy I am that Israel is destroying Hamas and Hizullah. We all CHEER when we watch Lebanon being bombed on TV in the Chow Hall. I hope Israel annihilates Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria. Because the way we see it, that is less Jihadists for us to fight. I can't speak for all Marines, but the Marines that I know and talk to stand by Israel 100%. And I am in the infantry, we are front line Marines. Warriors. We support Israel because we have fought the same people they are fighting, Jihadists. This is a world war. It has been a world war since 11 September 2001. Hopefully now people are realizing the true scale of this conflagration. And Israel is fighting the same enemy in Gaza and Lebanon as America is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, just on another front in the same war. And we see the Israeli Soldiers as brothers in arms against a common enemy. Myself and the Marines in my unit, Veterans of 2 tours in Iraq, support Israel all the way to victory. And I THANK the State of Israel for their determination, fortitude and vigilance in the destruction of Evil.

God Bless America.
God Bless Israel.
And God Bless all freedom loving people worldwide.

- US Marine and Veteran of the current world war.

PS Pay attention to Somalia. We are currently losing Somalia to the Jihadists and we are doing nothing about it. Someday we will have to go back Somalia and it will be a bloody mess.


I by no means encourage or want civilian casualties, but that is a war zone at the moment, and those that stay behind run the risk of being hurt or killed.

Meanwhile, here's why civilians are being killed in Lebanon.

"We have a pretty good idea where they are launching their rockets from - villages and small communities - and [as such] we have warned civilian residents to evacuate their homes," he said.

It is also a well known tactic, and has been noted that terrorists hide, shoot their weapons and rockets from and dwell among the cilvilian populations to force those they attack to kill the innocent. They expect to hide like cowards among women and children while killing others. It is the most sickening and depraved tactic, and it works. The media eats up and reports down to the very person who was injured or killed for civilians, but barely will mention any casualties on Israeli side.

Do they think that Israeli civilians are not getting hurt and killed either?
Does it matter to the media?

Do you even know how many Israelis that have died or been injured during this? Even an approximation? In the pictures that are show all around, I have seen 500 + pictures of scenes shot during this conflict, of which I think I saw maybe 3 injured Israeli pictures, all the rest were of Lebanon citizens.

If the news media is going to report, at least do so from BOTH sides.

Best I could find seemed to be through Wikipedia, not sure how accurate, but here is the totals:

Israeli: Twelve Israeli soldiers were killed, two captured, and six more wounded. 12 civilians have been killed, Eight in Haifa city on 16 July, and another 500 civilians were injured, 56 seriously. The INS Hanit was fired upon and heavily damaged. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz confirms 4 sailors dead.

Lebanese: At least nine Hezbollah members have been killed as well as 11 soldiers in the Lebanese army.

Reuters reports that 141 Lebanese civilians have been killed and another 323 have been wounded.

BBC News reports the total killed, as of 17 July, to be "more than 130".
CNN International cites Lebanese authorities as reporting about 130 total killed.

Foreign nationals:

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry has reported that two Kuwaiti nationals have been killed by Israeli bombing.

A family of four Brazilians, including two children, was killed in the Israeli bombings in Srifa, drawing condemnation from foreign relations minister Celso Amorim.

Four members of a German-Lebanese family, including 2 minors, from Mönchengladbach, Germany were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Chehour in southern Lebanon while on vacation.

An Argentinean woman died in a rocket attack on Nahariya, Israel.

Seven Canadians, including four children, were killed and 6 severely injured by an Israeli attack on Aitaroun in South Lebanon on 16 July.


It looks like Israel will definately have their hands full locating and destroying all the Ammunition and armaments Hezbullah has gotten from Iran:

Ynetnews reports:

According to the A-Sharaq Alwasat news agency, an Iranian military source said that Iran transferred 11,500 missiles and rockets to Hizbullah between the years 1992 to 2005.

According to their report, Hizbullah currently has four kinds of advanced ground-to-ground missiles: the short-range FajR (100 km range), the Iranian 130 missile (90-110 km range), the Shahin missile (up to 150 km range) and a rocket 335 mm in diameter (150 km range).


If your wondering what Israel wants, that it may have broader plans for the region, well, it has:

"Only if the two goals which Israel has set for itself – removing Hizbullah and disarming it, including rockets, and returning the kidnapped soldiers – there will be a point in discussion the Lebanese offer," a senior state official said.


A commenter, Andrew, on Israellycool, seems to hit the nail squarely when reminding an errant Israel-basher about history and defense.

Your world view seems to be that the Jewish people being subjegated and oppressed is a naturally consigned role. It's OK for thousands of missiles to rain down on Israel, but its not OK for Israel to move towards removing this existential threat?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sneaky Immigation Policy Right Under Our Noses

The Senate immigration bill would require that foreign construction laborers here under the guest-worker program be paid well above the minimum wage, even as American workers at the same work site could earn less.

The bill "would guarantee wages to some foreign workers that could be higher than those paid to American workers at the same work site," says a policy paper released this week by the Senate's Republican Policy Committee. "This is unfair to U.S. workers, inappropriate, and unnecessary."

Not only do they wish to give them Amnesty for breaking our laws, but under their provisions for a "Guest-Worker" program, ***cough**amnesty**cough***, they want to pay them higher wages than real American citizens.

They really must want that Hispanic voting block, don't they?

I despise both the Republican and Democrats that are pulling this crap.

Across the Capitol, House Republicans are no more charitable about the Senate's immigration bill. They announced yesterday seven new House hearings for later this month into how bad they think the Senate bill is. One such hearing is titled: "Do the Reid-Kennedy bill's amnesty provisions repeat the mistakes of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986?"


The Davis Bacon Act of 1931 (DBA) requires that the local prevailing wage be paid to all workers employed in federally contracted construction or projects done for the District of Columbia. Those wages -- up to four or five times higher in some fields than the federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour -- are set by the Department of Labor.

The Senate's immigration bill would require that the higher wages be paid to foreign temporary workers in all construction occupations, even if the project isn't federally funded and doesn't otherwise fall under DBA.

"In other words, foreign workers employed in a construction job for which a DBA wage rate has been determined could be guaranteed wages higher than those paid to American workers doing the same job on the same private construction project for the same employer," the policy paper reports.

The DBA wage rate for an air conditioning mechanic in Alexandria or Montgomery County, for instance, is $30.27 an hour. That mechanic also is guaranteed paid holidays for New Year's Day, Martin Luther King's birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

And the Flip-Flop of the day goes to.....

Less than two months after voting overwhelmingly to build 370 miles of new fencing along the border with Mexico, the Senate yesterday voted against providing funds to build it.

Sneaking that by with barely a peep from anyone, barely a blip on bloggers radar, or the news, under the cover of what is happening with Israel, Gaza and Lebanon, we find that they managed to break their word yet again. Our government officials wore flip-flops to vote down funding to build the wall / fence along the border of Mexico.

Our Government officials waffled so fast it put Waffle House to shame.

But the May vote simply authorized the fencing and vehicle barriers, which on Capitol Hill is a different matter from approving the federal expenditures needed to build it.

"If we never appropriate the money needed to construct these miles of fencing and vehicle barriers, those miles of fencing and vehicle barriers will never actually be constructed," Mr. Sessions told his colleagues yesterday before the vote.

Virtually all Democrats were joined by the chamber's lone independent and 28 Republicans in opposing Mr. Session's amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Only two Democrats -- Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Thomas R. Carper of Delaware -- supported funding the fence.

All told, 34 senators -- including most of the Republican leadership -- voted in May to build the fence but yesterday opposed funding it.

Senators Waffle House is hiring, and they want YOU!!
They say you make the BEST WAFFLES!!

The overall bill, which appropriates more than $32 billion to the Homeland Security Department, including $2.2 billion for border security and control, passed on a 100-0 vote last night.


So they voted for authorizing the building of the wall 100-0.
Hey we are the security conscious senators, build the wall, yes, we are all for it....

But when it comes time, these Senators are serving waffles and wearing flip-flops to vote down funding what they were 100 percent for earlier.

Did you think we would miss this while Israel, Gaza and Lebanon occupy the news and the blogs?

Mr. Sessions said that if his colleagues were serious about building the fence that they promised, they would find the funding.

"We will rightly be accused of not being serious about the commitments we've made to the American people with regard to actually enforcing the laws of immigration in America, which many Americans already believe we're not serious about," he said. "They don't respect what we've done in the past, and they should not. We have failed, and it's time for us to try to fix it and do better."
To prove his point, Mr. Sessions offered another amendment, which appropriated another $85.7 million to enable Homeland Security to hire 800 more full-time investigators to probe immigration-law violations. The vote against that amendment was 66-34.

Better believe it!

Illegal Immigration is still a hot topic and just because the Israel/Gaza/Lebanon conflict occupies most American's thoughts at the moment, does not mean that when the dust settles that they will forget about where they left off with Illegal Immigrations and see the flip-flop tracks you have left behind.

Kris Kobach, who was a counsel to the attorney general under John Ashcroft, told a House subcommittee last week that one of the most unusual aspects of the Senate bill is a provision -- slipped into the more-than-800-page bill moments before the final vote -- that would require the United States to consult with the Mexican government before constructing the fencing.

"I know of no other provision in U.S. law where the federal government requires state and local governments -- every state and local government on the border -- to consult with state and local governments of a foreign power before the federal government can act," he said.

"Now, from my experience as a Justice Department official, when we had consultation requirements with the State Department, just getting two agencies in the executive branch to consult took months or years," said Mr. Kobach, now a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. "If you add this, three levels of government and a foreign power, your delay" will never end.

Where in history have we had to consult with a foriegn government before initiating actions on our own soveriegn soil?

Sometimes I wonder just what or even IF our Senators are thinking things through at all.

What is next? Asking permission from the UN before we pass any Laws for our own Nation? Consulting with other countries before our Courts make any major decisions regarding legalities or whether something is Constitutional or not?

If someone can point out where in our history we ever consulted with a foriegn power before initiating action on our own soil before, I would be greatly interested.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Israel attacking on two fronts - Gaza and Lebanon

There has been some speculation that Iran and Syria are directly behind or guiding what is going on with Hamas in Gaza and and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

This could be supported by this:

Israel has information that Hizbullah guerrillas who captured two Israeli soldiers are trying to transfer them to Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.


Hizbullah guerrillas, who are backed by Iran, seized the soldiers Wednesday in a cross-border raid.


Could this be guided or instituted by Iran, being that Hizbollah is backed by Iran, and Iran is going before the UN Security Council about its nuclear ambition?

Could this be a diversion?

The Israeli's hold the Lebanese Government responsible for Hezbollahs actions:

Trapped between the two sides was Lebanon, which Israel said it held responsible for Hezbollah's actions. The Lebanese government insisted it had no prior knowledge of the Hezbollah raid and did not condone it.

Hezbollah fighters operate with almost total autonomy in southern Lebanon, and the government has no control over their actions. But Lebanon has long resisted international pressure to disarm the group.


So, Israel is holding the Lebanese government responible for Hezbollahs actions, and the Lebanese government condemns the actions but does nothing to rid itself of this group, nor does it do anything to get control of the group. I have no problem with Israel making the Lebanese government responsible for Hezbollah's actions. If enough pressure is put on the Lebanese govenrment, say with war declared because of Hezbollah's actions, perhaps the Lebanese government will finally start taking direct action at removing Hezbollah from their country.

Western countries, Russia and the United Nations called for restraint and demanded the return of the soldiers. The Arab League called an emergency meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday. The Lebanese Cabinet urged the U.N. Security Council to intervene.

The Lebanese governemnt wants the UN to intervene (which is a joke I think), yet will do nothing to remove the threat of Hezbollah themselves. Until the Lebanese government begins removing this terrorist organization from their midst, I do not think there should be any help for them.

Calls for restraint?!?! C'mon people, Israel has been attacked on two fronts, from Hamas in Gaza, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. They have made incursions INTO Israel, to kill and to take Israeli soldiers prisoner and people are calling for restraint?

At least they decided to add in that they demand the return of the soldiers.
If that doesn't happen, what will the UN do, issue a strong letter of reprimand to be laughed at?
Beg and plead for the US to try and force Israel into submission or to send troops to the region?

This has been brewing for sometime, and Hamas and Hezbollah very well may have pushed Israel past its limits, and we may begin seeing a war in Lebanon to wipe out Hezbollah, and another to go in and kill Hamas.

The European Union criticized Israel for using what it called "disproportionate" force in its attacks and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he was planning a peace mission.

This is a joke right?

If you go to war, you do everything you can to win, you don't try and match your soldiers to the enemies soldiers and say, ok, we can fight now, we are evenly matched!

Has the European Union suddenly gotten a severe case of stupid?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that Israel's Lebanon offensive "is raising our fears of a new regional war" and urged world powers to intervene.

I think Abbas may want to try and get control of Hamas instead of trying to make them out as the victims.

Hamas instituded an act of war, by raiding into Israel, killing and taking prisoners, and Abbas has the gaul to beg the world powers to intervene?

Clean your house first Abbas before asking for help.

Poweline notes that the New york Times has taken sides in its reporting.
Israel is invaded, it's citizens / soldiers have been kidnapped, but the NYT writes it not as Israel is the victim, but as the terrorists are:
Once Again, Gazans Are Displaced by Israeli Occupiers.

This action would not have taken place had not Hamas invaded into Israel and provoked this retaliation.

It is time the Palestinians look at what they elected, because the elected Hamas terrorists have brought them this.

Some the actions taken so far and running updates from Lebanese Bloggers that are live blogging as much as they can of the conflict at this time:

Update 1 - 8:20 AM : The number of deaths in Lebanon has risen to twenty seven.

Update 3 - 8:30 AM: Hizballah claims that it has launched over 70 missiles into Northern Israel. Naharaya. Kiriyat Shemona. Kiriya Shemona Airport. Roshbina. Roshbina Airport. Mt. Hermon. And other regions and towns that Hizballah boasts have never been hit since 1982.

Update 4 - 8:32 AM: Beirut's southern suburbs are being bombed. Israeli Navy ships can be seen from Beirut's airport.

Update 6 - 8:56 AM: The Israeli raid on Beirut's airport was conducted at 6:00 AM. Israeli Army radio declared that Israel is implementing an "air blockade" on Lebanon as a means of punishing the Lebanese government for not disarming Hizballah. The airport was hit with six rockets.

Update 8 - 9:14 AM: The main artery that connects Beirut to the South is a highway that pass underneath the airport runways that were just destroyed. Some of the Israeli missiles hit the runways at precisely the point where the tunnels pass. The tunnels are no longer usable.

Update 9 - 9:32 AM: Israeli fighter jets have just bombed the town of Bouday in the Baalbek Valley.

Update 10 - 9:38 AM: The Israelis actually bombed a Shi'a Mosque in Bouday.

Update 11 - 9:43 AM: Hizballah claims that it has repelled an Israeli force attempting to enter into Lebanese territory. They also claim that they have hit several major Israeli military bases with missles, and hit the Nahariya settlement again.

Update 12 - 10:01 AM: Israeli artillery is pounding the Hasbayya region. Aircraft have bombed the village of Bayyada.

Update 13 - 10:22 AM: The Middle East Quartet has just announced that its members are in the midst of intense discussions, the aim of which is to diffuse the situation on the Lebanese-Israeli border. They are trying to prevent the situation from developing into all-out war - i.e. Israeli invasion.

Update 14 - 10:23 AM: The Israeli Navy has just initiated a maritime blockade on Lebanon to complement the aerial blockade.

Lebanon's tourist industry employs around 500,000 individuals in a country with a population of 3.5 million. It is the country's largest employer. Projections for 2006 were that Lebanon would gain $4.5 billion from tourists. Poof!

Update 15 - 11:02 AM: The North-South Highway between Beirut and Saida was cleared of rubble about an hour ago by the Lebanese Army's Core of Engineers. It is now clear for those daring or desperate enough to pass through.

Update 16 - 11:10 AM: Israeli Defense Minister: We will not allow Hizballah to return to its positions on the Lebanese-Israeli Border.

Update 18 - 11:30 AM: Lebanese who can are beginning to seek refuge in Syria, of all places!

Update 20 - 12:25 PM: Israeli artillery pounding eastern and southern entrances of Ayta village in the South, trapping the residents in their homes. Developing story...

Something tells me that everything the Israelis are doing right now is preparation for something much bigger. Going somewhere safer. Will try to update as much as I can.


Hizbullah just released a statement threatening Israel: If the Israeli Army shells the southern suburbs of Beirut (a Hizbullah stronghold), Hizbullah will shell Haifa! And this of course means that Hizbullah will start using some long-range artillery it has.

The Israeli army through Reuters has asked the Lebanese civilians residing in the southern suburbs of Lebanon to evacuate.

Update: Jumblatt released a statement which condemned the Israeli attacks, especially that the government is not responsible for what happened. He also added that now the Israeli soldiers are kidnapped, then perhaps it's a time to talk about getting back the Lebanese prisoners in Israel. He called on the importance of brokering a cease-fire via the help of the international community. (so....a bit soft on Hizbullah this time...)

Read More at the Lebanese Bloggers.

I don't think Israel has even begun yet.
They are an angry hornets nest that Hamas and Hezbollah hit with sticks, and now that the angry hornets are out, they are going to get stung over and over again, till they remove the threat once and for all. They feel they have been provoked, and they have been. They feel they are completely justified in their actions.

Funny thing now is:

Update 13 - 10:22 AM: The Middle East Quartet has just announced that its members are in the midst of intense discussions, the aim of which is to diffuse the situation on the Lebanese-Israeli border. They are trying to prevent the situation from developing into all-out war - i.e. Israeli invasion.

They suddenly recognize Israel now, don't they?

Reports of a Fox News reporter David Lee Miller broadcasting Israeli troop movements and then shortly afterwards getting fired on... See the video Here or Here.

Others blogging on this Issue:

Sister Toldjah with "The latest developments in the Israel vs. Lebanon conflict (UPDATED)"

Michelle Malkin with "ROCKETS' RED GLARE"

Interesting Theory at Austin Bay with "UPDATED: Israel squares off against Hamas and Hezbollah"

Macsmind with "Israel: This IS War"

Atlas Shrugs with "War with Iran"

Stop the ACLU with "Hizbullah wants soldiers moved to Iran"

Woman Honor Thyself with "Israel BashinG"

Something... and Half of Something with "Lebanon Has Declared War On Israel"

Monday, July 10, 2006

Judge Rules Congressman's Office Seizure Legal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge on Monday upheld the FBI's unprecedented raid of a congressional office, saying that barring searches of lawmakers' offices would turn Capitol Hill into "a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime."

The argument that Jefferson and other lawmakers were saying, that their offices could not be searched, I found to be completely ridiculous and I am glad the court seems to see it that way also.

Stating as such, that if the lawmakers who opposed this had their way it would turn into, "a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime."

The overnight search was part of a 17-month bribery investigation of Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat.

In a 28-page opinion, Hogan dismissed arguments by Jefferson and a bipartisan group of House leaders that the raid violated the Constitution's protections against intimidation of elected officials.

Hogan acknowledged the "unprecedented" nature of the case. But he said the lawmakers' "sweeping" theory of legislative privilege "would have the effect of converting every congressional office into a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime."

A member of Congress is bound by the same laws as ordinary citizens, said the judge, who had approved the FBI's request to conduct the overnight search of Jefferson's office.

I love this term that keeps being thrown out, "unprecedented".

The search and seizure of a congressmans office documents and materials in conjuntion of an ongoing investigation, and a warrant to search was obtained, that it is "unprecedented".

It may be unprecedented because no one has had the cojones to go after a congressman and their illegal activity they seem to have been involved in. It is time to show these senators and congressman that they are not above the law, and their offices (public ones that we pay for) are not their personal playgrounds to harbor illegal activity and expect that they are immune to searches - as long as it is done properly with a warrant.

I understand that there has been a lot of jawing back and forth about proper type of etiquette in searching a congressmans office, that the Speaker should have been informed, blah, blah, blah.

That is ridiculous. Why would the FBI inform other congressmen that they are about to do a search of one of their colleagues? So they can warn the colleague?

We see how well our government officials keep secrets alright, looking at several top secret programs that have been leaked to the press by government officials. Why in the world would the FBI trust informing others of their plans in light of this?

They did it right. They obtained a warrant, they searched, they seized what they thought was material to the case, and then they left. The court also sees this has completely legal.

Jefferson had sought the return of several computer hard drives, floppy disks and two boxes of paper documents that FBI agents seized during the 18-hour search of his Rayburn Building office.

Hogan said the Justice Department can retake custody of the materials, which President Bush ordered held by the solicitor general until Congress and the agency could work out procedures for future raids on congressional offices.

It must have been a very detailed search also, if it was 18 hours.

I do have a problem with President Bush seemingly intefered with this investigation. I understand he is trying to please both sides, but he needs not be part of this. He needs to let the law and investigation continue to do their jobs.

Now that the courts have determined this was completely legal, President Bush needs to stand back and let them finish the investigation.

Jefferson's lawyer, Robert Trout, said he was not surprised by the ruling and would appeal as soon as possible. Trout is expected to ask Hogan to stay his ruling to keep the materials away from investigators until an appeals court looks at the case.

"While a congressman is not above the law, the executive branch must also follow the law," Trout said. "We appreciate the consideration the judge accorded our motion for the return of the seized property, but we respectfully disagree with his conclusion."

I am not surprised this will be appealed, but unless they can get a higher court to issue a hold on that ruling, Judge Hogan's ruling should be acted on immediately.

Just a quick question...if you get sentenced to prison and then you appeal the sentence, do you get out of jail while you go through the appeal process?

Not that I have seen.

So why shouldn't this investigation continue and the documents and materials seized gone over while they appeal the ruling?

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California also said Congress will continue to work with the Justice Department on procedures for searches.

Are we expecting further searches of wrong-doing Nancy?

Snarky comment aside, why does there need to be a procedure for searching their offices?

Are they not subject to the same search and seizures by law that the ordinary public citizen is?

The judge has already ruled they are, and that the special provisions and protection of congressmen and senators does not apply to their offices.

So why special meetings to hammer out some sort of special procedure for legal searching of congressmen and senator's offices?

Still, "This particular search could have been conducted in a manner that fully protected the ability of the prosecutors to obtain the evidence needed to do their job while preserving constitutional principles," she said.

At issue was a constitutional provision known as the speech or debate clause, which protects elected officials from being questioned by the president, a prosecutor or a plaintiff in a lawsuit about their legislative work.

Which seems to be a moot point, because the congressmans office does not apply in the constitutional provision.

Also, a majority of the American public think the same way, that congressmen and senators should not be immune to such actions, as long as it is done legally. Which in this case the judge believes and has ruled it has.

The raid on Jefferson's office angered members of Congress, some of whom threatened to retaliate by tinkering with the FBI and Justice Department budgets.

This infuriates me to no end here, and I am surprised it has not gotten more time in the public spotlight.

Because the members of congress did not like that one of their own member's office has gotten searched LEGALLY, with a WARRANT, they threaten to intefere and mess with the budget of the FBI and Justice Department?!?!?

Are you freakin' nuts?

Congress threatens law enforcement departments and officials that they may retaliate by going after their budgets?

I would say that is blackmail, coercion, and intefering in the lawful actions of a law enforcement official in the execution of his/her job.

I am surprised that this has not gotten more public airing, that congress threatens these departments, public blackmail, and attempts at coercion because law enforcement did their jobs legally.


An affidavit filed with Hogan to justify the May search says the FBI videotaped Jefferson in August 2005 accepting $100,000 from a business executive, who actually was a government informant. The FBI said it subsequently recovered $90,000 from a freezer at Jefferson's home.

The House leaders told Hogan in a court filing that the Justice Department had overstepped its authority by prohibiting Jefferson's private lawyer, House counsel and the Capitol Police from observing the search of Jefferson's office.

Maybe I missed something, where does it say counsel needs to be present in a search warrant?

If the FBI comes into my home with a legal search warrant, does the sheriff and the city police (local law enforcement) need to be there also to observe the FBI search?

Being as this was a Federal investigation, and not a local one, I think their points on this are not valid.

They also complained that agents showed up at the Rayburn Office Building unannounced and demanded that the Capitol Police chief let them into Jefferson's office immediately or they would "pick the office door lock."

And the problem is?

In a search, you want to surprise the location and individual being searched, you don't want it announced your coming so they can shred and destroy documents and material that is incriminating to the person being searched.

I have no problem with the FBI actions, and as far as I know, they do not have to wait around for people to go wake up the congressman or his staff, or to go find the Speaker of the House, while they sit in front of the doorway asking please can we come in now?

They obtain a search warrant and they come in fast, and unannounced to make sure no one has forewarning so they can be surprised and not have the time or the ability to destroy documents and materials.

Hogan said investigators do not need approval from elected officials or their lawyers to seize possible proof of a crime.

"The power to determine the scope of one's own privilege is not available to any other person, including members of the coequal branches of government: federal judges ... or the President of the United States," the judge said.

He also said judges have a legitimate role to play in ensuring prosecutors don't overstep their authority in investigating legislators.

"A federal judge is not a mere rubber stamp in the warrant process," Hogan wrote, "but rather an independent and neutral official sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution."


Couldn't have said it better myself.

Congressman Jefferson, one last thing....

"You have the right to remain silent.
The right to a court-appointed attorney.
You have the right to sing the blues.
You have the right to cable TV.
You have the right to sublet.
You have the right to paint the walls.
No loud colors."

- Steve Guttenberg in Police Academy II

In doing a full complete search on Congressman Jefferson, I think the FBI needs to go back and request this:

Excuse me. Could I have your signature for this?

-Sure. What do you got?
-Authorization for a body cavity search.

- Steve Guttenberg in Police Academy II

Others blogging this issue:

Sister Toldjah with "Take that, Congress"

Leaning Straight Up with "Poor Congress- Not above the law after all…"

Flopping Aces with "Rule Of Law Prevails Despite Democrats Efforts"

Ankle Biting Pundits with "Take That You Arrogant Bunch of Congressional Clowns (Of Both Parties)"

ABC News: The Blotter with "Jefferson Corruption Case "Back on Track"

California Conservative with "Judge Rules Search of Jefferson’s Office Constitutional"

Iowa Voice with "FBI Raid Of Congressman's Office Legal"

White Collar Crime Prof with "Judge Kaplan's Decision - KPMG"

Say Anything with "Judge Rules On Search Of Rep. Jefferson's Office"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

L.A. Jail Bans New York Times Reporter for Impersonating Inmates Lawyer

The Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles has barred a New York Times reporter from the facility for allegedly misrepresenting herself in an effort to interview Anthony Pellicano, the celebrity detective at the center of a Hollywood wiretapping scandal.

Allison Hope Weiner, who has written about the Pellicano case, got into the jail last month after presenting a State Bar of California card and asking to speak with the investigator. Weiner, who earned a degree 20 years ago from the USC law school, is registered with the California bar but has never done legal work for Pellicano or the New York Times.

Michael Benov, warden of the detention center, issued an order in February saying that, for security reasons, no one could visit Pellicano except his lawyer or immediate family. After learning that Weiner was admitted to a room in the jail where prisoners meet with their lawyers, Benov ordered an investigation.

Guards brought Pellicano from his cell to the meeting room, but he refused to talk to Weiner after learning that she was a reporter.

A spokeswoman for the New York Times confirmed that Weiner had received a letter from Benov permanently barring her from the facility.

The spokeswoman, Diane McNulty, said the newspaper believed that the ban was unjustified and intended to appeal Benov's action to the regional director of the federal Bureau of Prisons.


The New York Times ethics code states that "staff members may not pose as police officers, lawyers, businesspeople or anyone else when they are working as journalists."


The spokeswoman said that when Pellicano entered the room, Weiner identified herself as a reporter for the New York Times and the inmate told her that he did not want to speak to her.

Pellicano described the meeting from his perspective.

"I was upstairs in my cell and was told by the guards that 'my lawyer' was here to see me," he said in a statement relayed by his attorney, Steven F. Gruel. "I told [the guards] I did not think that was possible, because I knew that my only lawyer, Mr. Gruel, had returned to San Francisco the day before."

Pellicano said the guard insisted that his lawyer was waiting and led him down to the meeting room.

"I'm outraged," Pellicano said in the statement. "Based on my knowledge of MDC procedures, I believe this reporter misrepresented herself as my attorney by using her legal bar card to get in to see me."

He said he reported the incident to the warden. Gruel told the jail's legal department what happened.

"I was shocked," Gruel said. "Every time I go to see him … it's like trying to get into Ft. Knox."


Funny that the NYT has an ethics code, especially after publishing leaked Top Secret Programs that were to catch terrorists.

Somehow I do not believe the NYT or the reporter. I think they would do whatever they wanted to get a story, including posing as his lawyer to get to see him.

The fact the reporter did not want to answer questions and gave all comments through the NYT's spin machine spokeswoman, gives me the feeling that something was not right, and the NYT has to cover for the wrongful actions of its reporter.

I will tend to believe the Detention Center officials over the NYT and its reporter, especially when his own real lawyer says, "Every time I go to see him … it's like trying to get into Ft. Knox."

If it is that hard to get to see him and that is his real lawyer, what kind of tricks did this reporter pull to get in and see him, especially if it is that difficult to get in?

Army Officer to be Charged with Three Separate Charges

Army charges officer for refusing to fight in Iraq
Jul 5, 8:28 PM (ET)

SEATTLE (Reuters) - The U.S. Army filed three charges on Wednesday against an officer who refused to fight in Iraq due to objections over the legality of the war.

First Lt. Ehren Watada, who supporters say is the first commissioned U.S. officer to publicly refuse to serve in Iraq and face a military court, remained at Fort Lewis base in Washington state when his unit shipped out to Iraq on June 22.

Watada called the war and U.S. occupation of Iraq "illegal" and said participation would make him a party to war crimes.

In a statement, the Army said it had charged Watada, 28, with missing movement, contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer.

"Officers are held to a high moral and legal standard. Acts contrary to this standard may be tried by court-martial," said the Army statement.

If found guilty of all charges, Watada could face several years in confinement, dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay, according to the Army. The missing movement charge carries the heaviest punishment of confinement of up to two years.

Watada's lawyer said he expected the missing movement charge, but was somewhat surprised by the decision to charge the officer with contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer, because it raises free speech issues.

"What he said about the war and the way the war began and the misrepresentations by the Bush administration are all true. Not only does he have a right to make those statements, he has an obligation to make those statements," said Eric Seitz, Watada's Honolulu-based attorney.

"The reasons why they are going after him for the things he said is because they want to muzzle him," Seitz said.

Watada's objection to the war sparked rallies in support and protest near Fort Lewis, Seattle and in other U.S. cities.

Watada, who had said he did not apply for conscientious objector status because he isn't against war in general, now faces a pre-trial investigation and will continue to work at the base, Army officials said.

He first attempted to resign in protest over the war in January, but the Army refused to accept his resignation, according to his supporters. Watada has said he would be willing to serve in Afghanistan, but not Iraq.


Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and/or belief, but when you become an officer, you are sworn to obey all lawful orders. Whether you believe the order is lawful or not is not up to YOU to make that decision. You have channels you are allowed to take and procedures you can follow to check to make sure if the orders you received are lawful - and it seems this officer did not do this. He simply was going on his belief, and probably what he read in the Main Stream Media.

The first thing I would question would be why he did not file for conscientious objector status. Yes, I realize they say because he is not against war, just this one, but why did he not apply for it anyways?

Second thing I would question is why the Army did not accept his resignation of his commission? I would be curious as to the reasons behind that.

The lawyer for this officer should not have been "suprised" at the charges leveled at the AWOL officer. Did the lawyer think that the Army would not pull out all the stops to make this officer an example? I am suprised he was not charged with more.

Officers by many of the lower ranks are given respect due to their rank, and personally I have met some officers that were not fit to stir my coffee but it is not my choice whom I show the respect due to officer rank. They are officers and accordingly, I respect the rank if I do not respect the person. But at no time do I have the excuse to say what I feel like to that officer without having consequences to those actions.

Freedom of Speech is never really free, there is a price to pay one way or another.

And being former Army myself, I can tell you there is a helluva lot less 'freedom of speech' than you normally would have in the civilian world.

I think many people fail to recognize just how the military works. Everyday civvy life is not the same as Military life.

You have freedom of speech, but if your wrong, you will pay a price for your words.

You have freedom of choice, but again, you make the wrong choice, there are severe punishments that go along with it.

It is hard to describe the way the Military world works, but it will have to suffice to say there are big differences between civvy world and military world.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Detained But Not Charged

How the media is reacting, I would have thought Customs made the biggest drug bust in history...

Cocaine? Heroine? Meth?


Viagra, with ONE pill missing out of the bottle.

As much hatred as there is for Rush Limbaugh out in the media and among Liberals, it is not a wonder this is being splashed all over the place.

I felt the need to post on this, not because I feel I need to defend him, that isn't my job and he has no need of defending, but I think there are some things that need to be set straight on.

First and foremost, what is most disturbing is he was detained for a prescription of Viagra that was in his doctors name (for purposes of protecting his privacy and because of the embarrassing nature of having such in the media), that isn't the disturbing part though....

What is disturbing is that this was "leaked" out to the media even before he made it out of customs. Which the way that looks, is either the police or the custom agents involved leaked it to the media.

Another thing that was pointed out was that his (Rush) was the only bags searched (not his luggage but only his briefcase and a small white bag), which in itself should not be a problem, but how it was handled seems to be crude and made to embarrass him. (I am going on what he has said on how the search was conducted, the actions and the attitude of the searching agent).

I had this bottle of Viagra in my briefcase. I've had it in there since December. I forgot it was even in there. There were 30 pills prescribed, and when they counted them out, there were 29 -- and yet, everybody thinks I loaded up on the stuff for a trip to the Dominican Republic, and that's what everybody was saying. "Wow, what went on in the Dominican Republic? Oh! (muttering)." In fact, when I cleared Customs there was this... I'm going to be very restrained in describing the agent but... I'll save that for another time. Anyway, I pointed out I have a briefcase that's got many different zippers. It's not a top that closes over a bottom. It's this thing that stands up; it's got side pockets and all that, and I opened the primary compartment where most of the things in the briefcase are, just to be cooperative, and she reaches in there, pulls out this bottle, says, "What have we here?" There are twenty-five people in the room. "What have we here? Viagra!" she shouts, "and look, it's not your name on the bottle! This is a crime! This is a violation of law!"

She's shouting this all over the Customs Office, and the whole room has come to a dead stop, and she races behind some closed door to her supervisor.

Rush Transcript Link

Is this normal behaviour for a customs agent?
She didn't even question him at this point, but announced to one and all he was guilty of a crime, without investigating further - something which her supervisor did AFTERWARDS.

The supevisor comes out to finish in what seems to be alot more professional manner, but what isn't said is what the loud, female custom agent was doing after she ran behind closed doors and the superviser took over. This is purely speculation, but could she have been notifying the media? Again, that is just speculation.

After all that, and how he was treated, we come to find he will not be charged:

The State Attorney's Office said today that it will not file charges against conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh for possessing a bottle of Viagra prescribed to his doctor.

Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours last week at Palm Beach International Airport after customs agents found the pills in his luggage.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Paul H. Zacks wrote in memo that Dr. Steven Strumwasser agreed to have his name on the label to avoid "potentially embarrassing publicity" for Limbaugh.


"Thus, the medication contained in the subject pill bottle was legitimately prescribed to the suspect by his physician," Zacks wrote in the memo.


All completely legal, imagine that.

Though I do think that Rush should have had some sort of doctors note the explained the situation, so something like this could have been prevented. After the original customs agent went off on the 'he is guity, see everyone, an illegal drug' type rant, and the supervisor took over, Rush could have been saved hours of hardship if he had a doctors note that explained why the prescription was in the doctors name and not Rush's name.

SO as it stands, we have a prescription of Viagra in Rush's doctors name, not Rush's, for Privacy reasons (completely legal, as it turns out)....

It was a bottle of 30, and there were 29 left in it from Decemeber, approximately 6 months ago.

Yet, there are many that are saying Rush went down to the Dominican Republic for some wild time (remember, 1 pill out 30 was used in 6 months), and some are painting him as some crazed man out for sexual romps blasting through bottles of Viagra.

Completely rediculous.

Memorandum from the Office of the State Attorney for Palm Beach County can be seen at The Smoking Gun.

Others blogging this issue:

Sister Toldjah with "Limbaugh won’t be charged over possession of Viagra"

Expose the Left with "Rush: ‘I’m Not Going To Put Myself In The Position Of Being Framed’ "

Iowa Voice with "No Charges For Rush....Yet"

Left Wing = Hate with "Liberal DA will not press charges against Rush Limbaugh. Turns out Viagra is Legal in this Country"

Hot Air with "Hard feelings: Rush cleared in Viagra case"

Outside the Beltway with "Rush Limbaugh Will Not be Charged over Viagra"

Ken Delay - R.I.P.

The day after the 4th of July, Ken Delay dies.

Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay, who was convicted of helping perpetuate one of the most sprawling business frauds in U.S. history, has died of a heart attack in Colorado. He was 64.


Lay, who faced life in prison, was scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 23.


He was convicted May 25 along with former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling of defrauding investors and employees by repeatedly lying about Enron's financial strength in the months before the company plummeted into bankruptcy protection in December 2001. Lay was also convicted in a separate non-jury trial of bank fraud and making false statements to banks, charges related to his personal finances.


Lay was born in Tyrone, Mo. and spent his childhood helping his family make ends meet. His father ran a general store and sold stoves until he became a minister. Lay delivered newspapers and mowed lawns to pitch in. He attended the University of Missouri, found his calling in economics, and went to work at Exxon Mobil Corp. predecessor Humble Oil & Refining upon graduation.

He joined the Navy, served his time at the Pentagon, and then served as undersecretary for the Department of the Interior before he returned to business. He became an executive at Florida Gas, then Transco Energy in Houston, and later became CEO of Houston Natural Gas. In 1985, HNG merged with InterNorth in Omaha, Neb. to form Enron, and Lay became chairman and CEO of the combined company the next year.


I am sure the usual suspects will have nothing but vitriol to spew even on the mans death.

May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Space Shuttle set to Launch on this Glorious Day:

Story Here.

The White House Independence Day site can be viewed here.

And because this is humorous and reflects the thoughts of many I give you....

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day!

Please make it a safe one.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Journalists, Reporters and "Leakers" Under Severe Scrutiny

The United States is not the only country that has a problem with the press thinking they are the end all of information.

In different countries, the governments are taking steps, investigating, and prosecuting "leakers", reporters and journalists for divulging information that is secret or classified, that has the potential to cause great harm.

Headline by headline, a trickle of news leaks on Iraq and the antiterror campaign has grown into a steady stream of revelations, and from Pennsylvania Avenue to Downing Street, Copenhagen to Canberra, governments are responding with pressure and prosecutions.

The latest target is The New York Times. But the unfolding story begins as far back as 2003, when British weapons expert David Kelly was "outed" as the source of a story casting doubt on his government's arguments for invading Iraq, and he committed suicide.

And it will roll on this fall, when Danish journalists face trial for reporting their government knew there was no evidence of banned weapons in Iraq.

In London's Central Criminal Court, too, accused leakers will be in the dock this fall, for allegedly disclosing President Bush talked of bombing al-Jazeera, the Arab television station. The British government threatens to prosecute newspapers that write any more about that leaked document.

Media advocates are alarmed at what they see as a mounting assault on press freedom in country after country, arguing it is potentially chilling the pursuit of truth as U.S. and European leaders pursue wars on terror and in Iraq.

"It's grotesque that at a time when political rhetoric is full of notions of democracy and liberty that we should have this fundamental right of journalists to investigate and report on public interest matters called into question," Aidan White, general-secretary of the Belgium-based International Federation of Journalists, told The Associated Press.

But others counter that national interest requires stopping leaks of classified information, and that some media reports endanger lives by tipping terrorists to government tactics.

"We cannot continue to operate in a system where the government takes steps to counter terrorism while the media actively works to disclose those operations without any regard for protection of lives, sources and legal methods," Sen. Pat Roberts said in Washington.

The Kansas Republican was reacting to a June 23 report by the Times _ and other papers _ detailing a U.S. government program that taps into a huge international database of financial records to try to track terror financing.

Some Republican lawmakers called for criminal investigations of the journalists responsible and of the government insiders who leaked the information.

Investigations are already under way in other U.S. cases, reaching back to 2003, when whistleblower Joseph Wilson questioned a Bush administration claim about Iraq's supposed nuclear program. Times reporter Judith Miller spent three months in jail in that complex case last year, as investigators sought whoever leaked the name of Wilson's CIA-agent wife.

The Washington Times says the Justice Department is also investigating New York Times and Washington Post reporters _ the Times for disclosing in 2005 that the government was monitoring Americans' phone calls without court warrants and the Post for reporting that the CIA was operating secret prisons for suspected terrorists in eastern Europe. The CIA in April fired a top analyst as an alleged source for the reports on covert prisons.

Just as the stories cross borders, so do the crackdowns.

Swiss investigators are looking for the leaker of an intelligence document attesting to the CIA prison network and are weighing criminal charges, under secrecy laws, against three journalists at the weekly SonntagsBlick who reported the story.

In Britain, revelations and retributions have filled news columns and airwaves since the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq in 2003, when the British Broadcasting Corp., citing an unidentified government source, said allegations of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction _ now known to have been false _ had been "sexed up."

In July that year, bioweapons expert David Kelly informed superiors he was the BBC's source. He expected confidentiality, but his identity was disclosed and he was compelled to testify, under harsh questioning, before two parliamentary committees. Within days, Kelly killed himself.

In 2004-05, at London's Daily Telegraph and then at The Times, correspondent Michael Smith reported on leaked memos from Prime Minister Tony Blair's government indicating the Bush administration was long committed to invading Iraq, and weapons intelligence was "fixed" around that aim. Smith says he has been investigated under Britain's Official Secrets Act, but neither he nor any leaker has been charged.

For David Keogh, a former British Cabinet Office spokesman, and Leo O'Connor, an ex-Parliament aide, the outcome was different.

Both are charged under the secrecy act in the alleged leaking of a classified memo about a Bush-Blair meeting in 2004 at which Blair was said to have argued against a Bush suggestion of bombing al-Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar. Keogh and O'Connor face up to two years in prison if convicted this fall.

After London's Daily Mirror reported on that memo last November, Britain's attorney general warned other editors they could face prosecution if they divulged any more of the leaked document.

Across the North Sea, Michael Bjerre and Jesper Larsen of Berlingske Tidene, a major Danish daily, face two years in prison at their trial this fall _ the first such prosecution of journalists in Denmark's modern history.

They reported in 2004 that before joining the Iraq invasion, the Danish government was told by military intelligence there was no firm evidence of banned weapons in Iraq, a finding the Danes presumably based on U.S. and British information.

Because it involved going to war, "the articles published were obviously in the public interest," the newspaper's chief editor, Niels Lunde, told AP.

The Danish leaker, a former intelligence officer, was convicted and jailed for four months last year. Now "the court must decide whether the penal code provision banning publishing secret information applies to these journalists," said prosecutor Karsten Hjorth. The government contends the leak damaged its intelligence relations with other nations.


_Two journalists in Romania face up to seven years in prison for possessing classified documents about the Romanian military's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though their newspapers never published the information.

_A German parliamentary report May 26 disclosed Berlin's foreign intelligence agency had been illegally spying on German journalists since the 1990s to find the sources of leaks.

_De Telegraaf, the Netherlands' biggest paper, had to go to court to win a ruling last month ordering the Dutch secret service to stop wiretapping calls of two reporters who obtained leaked information about official corruption.

"Systematic surveillance is becoming one of the most worrying features in relations between authorities and media worldwide," said the journalist federation's White.

Even whistleblowers who don't divulge state secrets can feel the heat _ like Australia's Rod Barton.

After the Canberra government dismissed what he privately reported about phony weapons "intelligence" and prisoner abuse in Iraq, the former Iraq weapons inspector went public last year with the information. Soon Barton's government contract work evaporated, he was "disinvited" from official functions, and former colleagues were ordered to shun him.

"Although there is still freedom of speech, it is not entirely free. There is a price," he told AP.


The Press is not King of Information. They paint President Bush as King, but our Government has to go to them and ASK them not to run classified and top secret information that was leaked to them? They have to ASK?

And they sit there and patronize President Bush by calling him King Bush.
If he was King, they wouldn't be around to print anything bad, that is for certain.

Bill Bennett has some excellent quotes on how the Media affects things when they print classified information that help the enemy:

Katherine Graham on the Press' Failures in National Security

"Tragically, however, we in the media have made mistakes. You may recall that in April 1983, some 60 people were killed in a bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut. At the time, there was coded radio traffic between Syria, where the operation was being run, and Iran, which was supporting it. Alas, one television network and a newspaper columnist reported that the U.S. government had intercepted the traffic. Shortly thereafter the traffic ceased. This undermined efforts to capture the terrorist leaders and eliminated a source of information about future attacks. Five months later, apparently the same terrorists struck again at the Marine barracks in Beirut; 241 servicemen were killed.

"This kind of result, albeit unintentional, points up the necessity for full cooperation wherever possible between the media and the authorities."

Read the whole speech: HERE

John F. Kennedy on the Questions the Press Should Ask of Themselves.

"I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all. "Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: 'Is it news?' All I suggest is that you add the question: 'Is it in the interest of the national security?' And I hope that every group in America-unions and businessmen and public officials at every level--will ask the same question of their endeavors, and subject their actions to this same exacting test."

Full Speech: HERE

The hypocrisy of the New York Times can be seen with what they wrote about how we must act on ALL fronts, including FINANCIAL ones:

The New York Times Must Have Changed Its Mind--A 9/24/2001 Editorial: "If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one."

The New York Times

Finances of Terror

Sep. 24, 2001

Organizing the hijacking of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon took significant sums of money. The cost of these plots suggests that putting Osama bin Laden and other international terrorists out of business will require more than diplomatic coalitions and military action. Washington and its allies must also disable the financial networks used by terrorists.

The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also must be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies.

Osama bin Laden originally rose to prominence because his inherited fortune allowed him to bankroll Arab volunteers fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Since then, he has acquired funds from a panoply of Islamic charities and illegal and legal businesses, including export-import and commodity trading firms, and is estimated to have as much as $300 million at his disposal.

Some of these businesses move funds through major commercial banks that lack the procedures to monitor such transactions properly. Locally, terrorists can utilize tiny unregulated storefront financial centers, including what are known as hawala banks, which people in South Asian immigrant communities in the United States and other Western countries use to transfer money abroad. Though some smaller financial transactions are likely to slip through undetected even after new rules are in place, much of the financing needed for major attacks could dry up.

Washington should revive international efforts begun during the Clinton administration to pressure countries with dangerously loose banking regulations to adopt and enforce stricter rules. These need to be accompanied by strong sanctions against doing business with financial institutions based in these nations. The Bush administration initially opposed such measures. But after the events of Sept. 11, it appears ready to embrace them.

The Treasury Department also needs new domestic legal weapons to crack down on money laundering by terrorists. The new laws should mandate the identification of all account owners, prohibit transactions with "shell banks" that have no physical premises and require closer monitoring of accounts coming from countries with lax banking laws. Prosecutors, meanwhile, should be able to freeze more easily the assets of suspected terrorists. The Senate Banking Committee plans to hold hearings this week on a bill providing for such measures. It should be approved and signed into law by President Bush.

New regulations requiring money service businesses like the hawala banks to register and imposing criminal penalties on those that do not are scheduled to come into force late next year. The effective date should be moved up to this fall, and rules should be strictly enforced the moment they take effect. If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one.

That was September 24, 2001.

The administration does exactly what you are suggesting, but you blow all that time and effort out of the water, you endanger American and ally lives by allowing them to circumvent what you now have disclosed.

The American people did not "need" to know this, but the terrorists sure did. They needed to know what and where, the facts of the program so they can figure out ways to get around it. Congratulations NYT, you did it, you managed to give the terrorists all the information they needed on a program that was LEGAL AND WORKING!

I don't think you have the right to hide behind Freedom of the Press.

Freedom of the Press does not give you Carte Blanche to do whatever you think. The press does not have the right nor the duty to de-classify information. That is the President's job, not yours.

Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, chair of the 9/11 Commission talks about the damage done with this leak: HERE

That is what, four Classified or top secret programs and information on the War on Terror that the New York Times has ran to press in eight months?

An EXCELLENT article written by Andrew C. McCarthy gives very detailed information on the program on how it worked, how it kept us safe, and how it was put in place and supervised (A MUST READ!).

An Excerpt:

That’s because SWIFT, as it is better known, is not a financial institution at all. It is a consortium, centered not in the U.S. but in Belgium, which simply — albeit importantly — oversees how funds are routed globally. It is a messenger, not a bank. Nevertheless, in an abundance of caution, the government uses administrative subpoenas — which were expressly provided for by Congress in the aforementioned Financial Privacy Act and the Patriot Act — when it seeks SWIFT information. That’s not just legal; it’s hyper-legal.

Nor is there any credible worry that the Bush administration is secretly and dictatorially running roughshod over privacy interests. Prominent members of Congress — including elected officials from both parties who serve on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees — have been briefed on the program since its inception after the 9/11 attacks.

The administration, moreover, has worked closely with SWIFT managers, who are led by the National Bank of Belgium and include such other independent financial powerhouses as the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan, as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve. The resulting collaboration has both narrowed the information gathered and ensured that its use is limited to counterterrorism purposes — not the prosecution of ordinary crimes. As if that were not enough, the TFTP is regularly subjected to independent auditing as an additional safeguard ensuring that information is accessed only for terrorism-related purposes.

No, the most salient thing we learn from today’s compromise of the TFTP is that the program has been highly effective at keeping us safe. According to the government, it has helped identify and locate terrorists and their financial backers; it has been instrumental in charting terrorist networks; and it has been essential in starving these savage organizations of their lifeblood: funding.

The TFTP was evidently key to the capture of one of the world’s most formidable terrorists. Riduan bin Isamuddin, better known as “Hambali” — the critical link between al Qaeda and its Indonesian affiliate, Jemaah Islamiya, and thus at the center of the 2002 Bali bombing in which 202 people were slaughtered — is now in U.S. custody rather than wreaking more mayhem. He was apprehended in Thailand in 2003, thanks to the program, which identified a previously unknown financial link to him in Southeast Asia.


Thank you New York Times for 'outting' a completely legal program, the next terrorists attack that we miss because this program has been outted, the next attack that kills Americans or allies abroad - it is on your head. The blood of those innocents will be on your hands.

It is possible we could have stopped another attack with this program, but the NYT for profit and to sell their newspapers, ran it front and center as a frontpage story.
I wonder if Osama has a subscription to the NYT?

Yes, I am very angry at the media for doing this, but I am furious at our government officials who are "leaking" information to the press to undermine this administration because they either do not agree with it, don't like it or are disgruntled. Their actions are treasonous, and we should root them out, and make examples out of them - prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the Law and sentencing them to the maximum.

It is time for our Government to take a firm hand, quit playing with the issue of leakers, investigate, root them out and prosecute them severely. If reporters get in the way, jail them. This is National Security - and both the "leakers" and the reporters have endangered American and Ally lives in divulging this information to the terrorists.

Others blogging this issue:

Michelle Malkin with "DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC, II"

Sister Toldjah with "Subtility in media bias"

Atlas Shrugs with "The NY TImes Lies and the Liars That Tell Them"

Patterico's Pontifications with "Which Terrorists Knew What About Terror Finance Monitoring?"