Friday, November 30, 2007

GALLUP: Republicans Report Much Better Mental Health Than Others

PRINCETON, NJ -- Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats or independents to rate their mental health as excellent, according to data from the last four November Gallup Health and Healthcare polls. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans report having excellent mental health, compared to 43% of independents and 38% of Democrats. This relationship between party identification and reports of excellent mental health persists even within categories of income, age, gender, church attendance, and education.

The basic data -- based on an aggregated sample of more than 4,000 interviews conducted since 2004 -- are straightforward.

View Poll

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Global Incident (Live) Map!

When you click on the web site link below, a world Map comes up showing what strange and dangerous things are happening right now in every country in the entire world and it is updated every few minutes.

You can move the map around, zero in on any one area and actually up-load the story of what is going on. It is amazing when you can see the things that are happening right here in the U.S.--sometimes right in your own state or even your city.

Global Incident Map: There is a lot happening in our world every minute. This "map" updates every 300 seconds...constantly 24/7.

http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

O Lucifer! My Lucifer!

Monday, November 26, 2007

PARENTS: Nine-Point Guide to Discern Islamist from Non-Islamist Schools

Begin the Debate: Nine-Point Guide to Discern Islamist from Non-Islamist Schools

By M. Zuhdi Jasser


Islamism is a veiled political insurgency


Last month, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released specific concerns about the Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia. The USCIRF raised a number of issues of concern for American security in their October 19 release not least of which is the operation of a school for high school age children, The Islamic Saudi Academy, on American soil in northern Virginia administered and funded by a foreign embassy. The USCIRF also specifically brought attention to hate and violence against other faiths expressed in some of the texts used at the Academy.


The Commission press release stated, “Several studies, including by Saudi experts themselves, have pointed to serious concerns that these texts encourage violence toward others, and misguide the pupils into believing that in order to safeguard their own religion, they must violently repress and even physically eliminate the “other.” This is only one example poignantly raised by the USCIRF on the heels of their recent trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a nation whose metastatic Wahabism is arguably the primary cancer cell in global militant Islamist ideology. It should, however, just be the first step in an American journey toward a public accountability for “Islamic” educational institutions in the United States.


Islamic education or Islamist education?


America’s public attention to the curricula and texts of Islamic parochial schools should not only be limited to this single foreign school on our soil, but also more comprehensively to the curricula of all Islamic schools in the United States. This is not about profiling much as Islamists may try to say in their protestations to this debate. But rather it is about understanding the penetration of an ideology which consciously and subconsciously teaches the superiority of a political system of governance at odds with the American political and justice system. This is also centrally relevant in the conflict against militant Islamism. At odds with the American way of life is not only the more obvious militant ‘jihadist’ fringe component of political Islam but also the less obvious, more pervasive and more insidiously dangerous movement of political Islam as a way of life.


For the Islamic educational institutions in America founded only with the purpose of teaching our Muslim children the love of God, righteousness, Islamic theology, pluralism, humanitarianism, character, humility, charity, and other personal religious principles as it applies to God, I see no threat to our freedom in the U.S. However, the more relevant questions are how these institutions of Islamic education handle topics of American government and law. As an anti-Islamist Muslim, I am waiting anxiously to hear a public debate about what is taught in their U.S. history and government classes as compared to the Islamic jurisprudence classes of these “Islamic” schools. The schools around the country are all relatively new and wasting no time in creating a generation of students which are more likely than not to be defenders of Islamism over anti-Islamist systems based in universal liberty. While only a minority of Muslims send their children to these schools, they are a growing and significant minority countered only by a silent majority of Muslims.


Most American Muslims are not products of Islamist education


Having grown up in a small Midwestern town, I am a product of K-12 and undergraduate public education in northeastern Wisconsin. While I mostly learned the personal rules of my faith and theology from my family and weekend school at the mosque in my youth, I gained the foundations of my appreciation for the sanctity of our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and American legal system through that Wisconsin public education system. For example, I recall participating in the American Legion Constitution contest- an annual competition of Wisconsin high school students best able to memorize the U.S. Constitution. Islamic schools will similarly have Koran memorization contests which are also admirable, but will they also have Constitution contests? More importantly will their government classes teach primary allegiance to it over the Koran in as far as guiding documents for governments?


Permeating my own educational experience was the preeminence of America’s pluralism and Constitutional legal system based in individual liberty over all other systems from communism to fascism to theocracy. I was taught the value of criticizing authority and proving my ideas in the public arena of debate. Do Islamic schools teach their students to question the authority of their imams (teachers)? The Enlightenment was taught as a liberation of the human mind over the suffocation of the theocrats. How do Islamic schools teach Enlightenment compared to an Islamist theocratic society?


It is time to discuss in a comprehensive public manner, the context in which Islamic parochial schools teach Islamic history. Is the Islamic state and its history with a caliphate, Islamic dynasties, and Islamic law taught to naïve Muslim children as the ‘glory days’ of Islamic dominance? Or was it simply a period of historical advancement in the context of mankind’s evolution toward the far more free and humanitarian western societies of today based in real religious liberty?


This historical paralysis is manifested in two basic areas. First, Islamic law as it exists in our Muslim theological texts today is frozen in basically the 13th or 14th Century when ijtihad (modernization of Islamic law) ended. Additionally, do these Muslim youth learn in their formative years that access to government and political leadership should be open to every citizen equally regardless of faith or religious education (as it is in the west)? Or do they contrarily learn that government and rule-making is the domain of the self-appointed Islamist scholars (ulemaa) who seek to control societal law?


Schooling which teaches the ‘preeminence’ of a sharia-based legal system (Islamic jurisprudence) over any other governmental system should raise profound concern in non-Muslim and Muslim Americans about the creation of an insidious political insurgency.


Discerning Islamist from non-Islamist Schools - a guide to begin the debate


The only way to counter such an insidious ideological insurgency is for us as a nation to undertake a far-reaching analysis and public discussion about what students at these Islamic schools are actually being taught about ‘sharia’ law and its role in the society. Here are a few questions American communities may want to pose to principals and curriculum coordinators of local Islamic schools in order to understand whether the school has a political agenda in its teachings or not.


1. How does the school teach American history and the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights? What is taught about the struggle of our founding fathers against theocracy? Is European Enlightenment ideology taught? Are students encouraged to learn from non-Muslim philosophers especially those who influenced our founding fathers and taught liberty and freedom?

2. Are students taught that sharia is only personal or that it also specifically guides governmental law? Does their answer change whether Muslims are a minority or a majority?

3. Do they view non-Islamic private and public schools as part of a culture of ‘immorality’ and decadence since they are not Islamicized or can non-Islamic schools be morally and equally virtuous?

4. Do they teach their children that ‘being American’ and being ‘free’ is about moral corruption or is being American and free about loving the nation in which they live and sharing equal status before the law regardless of faith tradition?

5. Is complete religious freedom a central part of faith and the practice of religion? In the Islamic school, how are children treated who refuse to participate in school faith practices?

6. Are the children taught Muslim exclusivism with regards to the attainment of paradise in the Hereafter? From that, are the children also taught that government and public institutions must thus be ‘Islamic’ in order for the community as a whole to be able to enter the gates of Heaven?

7. How are student discussions, debate, and intellectual discourses approached regarding American domestic and foreign policy? Do the teachers have a political agenda? Does that agenda demonstrate a dichotomy between Islamist interests and American interests?

8. Is the historical period of Muslim rule of Spain (Andalusia) taught in the context of the history of the world during the Middle Ages or is it looked upon as superior to current day American ideology even after the advances of the Enlightenment?

9. Is the pledge of allegiance administered every day at the beginning of the school day?


Certainly, this analysis and exposure would not be in any way to limit the freedom of Muslims to establish and operate these private educational facilities. But rather, quite the contrary, with exposure of the political Islamist agenda of many of these schools, Islamist schools will be slowly marginalized or obligated to reform. Then the non-Islamist and anti-Islamist schools will flourish while teaching reasoned pluralistic Islamic thought wholly compatible with the foundational principles of America.


It is not too much to expect schools operating on American soil to manifest an ideology which is not politically anathema to the founding ideals of our nation.


The scope of the problem – taxpayer complicity


A recent 2004 study by the NCES documented 182 Islamic private schools in the United States. Just last week the Voice of America trumpeted a report that, “Muslim Americans Establish own Schools in the U.S.” This statement of fact was presented with the apparent assumption that such a fact was good for Muslims and good for America. That would be the case if Islamism was not being taught and they would in fact be an asset if anti-Islamist ideas were being encouraged and debated. However, the simple fact that the schools taught Arabic seemed enough to the VOA reporters. Someone needs to inform them that translation services are often only as good as the ideological and political agenda of the translators themselves. In today’s oversimplified discourse on Islam it seems to matter little to the media or government whether Islamic schools are creating growing legions of pro-Islamist Muslims or not.


Let us also not forget that many of these institutions are operating with tax benefits and tacit government endorsement. A few receive direct government support as charter schools which is incomprehensible in the setting of what should be a separation of religion and state in America. Others, however, receive indirect government support through tax incentives as exists in Arizona or voucher programs as have been implemented in Ohio. There needs to be a greater public awareness of whether the ideology taught at these schools is compatible with Americanism and freedom as we know it.


Islamic schools are an important front in the battle of ideas


Many are finally realizing that as a nation we are not simply fighting a tactic of terrorism but rather an ideology—militant Islamism. The origins of that malignant ideology is political Islam and the dreams of an Islamist state and Islamic hegemony over Muslim dominated lands and for some Islamists over the western world.


Some have begun to try and unravel the mystery of the generation of homegrown terror cells- despite protestations of American Islamist organizations. The recent NYPD report on “Radicalization in the West: the Homegrown Threat” began to peel the onion of the realities behind the transformation of nonviolent Islamists into militant ones willing to die for the cause and barbarically murder innocents in the process. The LAPD recently announced a similar project to attempt to map the LA Muslim community by “assessing groups that might be susceptible to ideologically based extremism and propaganda.” In the predictable fashion of victimology the local and national Islamist groups including CAIR and MPAC immediately objected to the plan while providing little to no reassurance to American security agencies that the community would lead such an organized counter-Islamist effort on its own.


They know all too well that behind those who commit terror are not only organizations and individuals which have names that they generally refuse to specify in their condemnations but they are also driven by a political motivation which they refuse to intellectually deconstruct.

Simply denying that terror has anything to do with Islam or Muslims misses the diagnosis and thus avoids the treatment. However, realizing that Islamist terror arises from the transnational goals of political Islam will awaken Muslims to their responsibility of defeating Islamism from within the faith.


Militancy may be a tool of only a very small portion of Islamists who accept violence. But ultimately activists and specifically youth who are driven by an understanding that the “Islamic state” is superior to any other form of governance on earth will always remain apologists for the cause of militants whether they believe in the means or not. A far more effective treatment in the prevention of radicalism in the name of Islam would be to evaluate the origins, education, and inculcation of political Islam in the Muslim community and replace it with a different narrative separating the political from the spiritual from a very young age.


Muslim Youth of Islamic Schools - Finding an American nationalist Identity


The only logical way to defeat the transnational goals of political Islam in a lasting manner is to separate the national identity of Muslim youth, their Americanism, from their spiritual identity- Islam. But this must come from within the Islamic consciousness. I was able to do this in my youth growing up in a small Midwestern town, going to public schools, and learning my faith from devout conservative Muslim parents who had never equivocated about their American nationalism. They freely admitted to me and my siblings in our youth all the benefits of freedom given to them as they embraced American nationalism and the complete failure of Syrian nationalism in their own youth. There was never an equivocation in that battle of ideas.


I also somehow learned to internalize enlightenment ideas and to separate my faith identity and my personal relationship with God from my national and political identity as an American citizen. If I have learned anything as an anti-Islamist activist in the Muslim community over the past 25 years is that youth who have not been irrevocably conditioned by Islamists are very receptive to this separation. Established Islamists are, however, as a rule intransigent in their willingness to look upon national identity through anything but a collectivist Muslim lens- the lens of the ummah (the Muslim nation). If Muslim youth are unable to wrap themselves comfortably in the warmth of American freedom and nationalism, defeating Islamism, whether militant or not, will be nearly impossible. One indicator would be to compare the number of American Muslim youth who join the American military out of parochial Islamic schools versus those who do so out of public schools.


While all Americans should be free to establish parochial schools. They should not be insulated from public scrutiny. While my personal belief is that Islamic schools contribute to the segregation and isolation of Muslims psychologically and physically, I will always endorse their right to exist especially as spiritual institutions. However, our national security interests demand that we not allow them to become incubators for political Islam where they can influence and control impressionable youth.


# #

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor M. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix Arizona. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, a physician in private practice, and a community activist.

He can be reached at Zuhdi@aifdemocracy.org
read full author bio here

If you are a reporter or producer who is interested in receiving more information about this writer or this article, please email your request to pr@familysecuritymatters.org.

Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Is Google in Trouble & Facing Bankruptcy?

NEW YORK - Wednesday] - by Devon Melk. Rumors are now running amok that the 2nd most powerful website on the entire Worldwide-Web may file BANKRUPTCY, with the deadline set for this December; being the date of both discharge and dissolution in a Federal Court of Law.

This would come as a SHOCK to investors and "Googlers" alike who both profit and benefit from the use of the World's largest and most powerful search engine which receives far in excess of 100 MILLION unique daily visitors and well over 300 million individual searches daily - making it perhaps the single most valuable public data resource as an "information bank" online the world over.

But is the rumor true or false?

The origin of the rumor occurred when some savvy Internet marketers began making statements that they had heard "insiders' talk" that the company (now publicly traded since April 30, 2004, just over 3 years ago) may face financial disaster with the release of a "new system" that would allow advertisers to get their otherwise pay-per-click (PPC) advertising completely free.

This, of course, would naturally lead directly (like a domino-effect) to the collapse of Google's sibling program AdSense; as its only revenue comes from the direct sales of AdWords "clicks."

The "new system" in question and responsible for the controversy over getting AdWords pay-per-clicks free is that developed by Dr Jon Cohen of New York City, New York (now retired) who discovered a simple, yet effective means, for getting Google PPC ads without having to suffer the costs involved.

The retired New York doctor and native has a publicly disclosed net worth now in excess of $70 million [US], having generated well over $377 million in product sales from sixteen (16) separate online businesses within just nine (9) years since first venturing online in 1998 (about the same time as Google was founded).

It is estimated by company insiders and leading financial analysts that the "good doctor" (as he's called by "all who know him") has purportedly saved well over $93 million (some estimates suggest closer to $136 million) in otherwise paid advertising at Google and the other major players in the PPC targeted-search arena online - including Yahoo, MSN, AskJeeves, AllTheWeb.com, HotBot, AltaVista, Lycos and Netscape, just to name a few.

The "secret" became available to the general masses last April, and its very release caused such a major sweeping stir among the community of Internet-marketers, affiliate-marketers, webmasters, ecommerce company owners and surfers alike that the site quickly rose to break the top most visited 1,000 websites on the entire planet briefly; and as can be seen here:

http://tinyurl.com/39lnjn (Alexa data on this!)

When asked if the "secret" would somehow ruin Google, Dr Cohen revealed almost cryptically that it actually would bring about just the opposite effect, and "stimulate" even more business volume for the virtual giant.

Many people were dismayed to find that Google itself is deliberately allowing the purchase of 100,000's of PPC ads offering the secret system to the general public -- which indicates to most observers that either they [Google] haven't caught it, or they simply feel that it somehow is not a threat to their continued operation.

For anyone's inspection factual and hard evidence supporting this can be seen by simply looking to the right-hand column when doing a search for "get google ads free" (specifically in quotation marks) at Google.com under the "Sponsored Links" section.

Or take this direct and instant SHORTCUT:

http://tinyurl.com/2ctu6j

You can also see nearly 100,000 specific results in the "organic" fields index located in the center and which occupies the bulk of the results pages.

One would think that if Google felt threatened by such a release as this earth-shaking "secret" is, they would hardly allow for either paid-ads or organic content to make the top searches regarding it.

However, evidence supports to the contrary - and this being the case now for a full six (6) months.

Mysteriously, within just two (2) hours of its initial release last April, Google itself actually did in fact 'pause' the parent firm's attempts at advertising the new system using PPCs on their search engine - only, however, to release the hold after a Review Team consisting of some of Google's top executives completed performing an in-depth investigation and made the determination to ALLOW the ads to run.

The secret system was recently revised however to include "major new content" and "more exhaustive instructions," and is now available at its Home Site:

Click Here

The most important addition is that of a so-called "string of code" (tech-talk for some HTML) that can be added to any webpage(s) that instantly causes the elimination of the page owner's AdWords costs right away.

Even a "live" woman spokes-representative ("Rachel") has been added to the site, and who appears to literally walk out onto the webpage and talk to visitors and explain a bit more how the mysterious new breakthrough system works.

Since the addition of this new "live" spokes-woman has now appeared at the site, company Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Mr Todd Coutrin states that "sales for the system have skyrocketed above 2,430% suddenly and with no limit in sight."

Coutrin continues: "With the newest revision now in place, plus all the additions added, affiliates for the new system can expect to earn even more than ever before!" (Note: Affiliates make up the bulk of the firm's sales generation.)

The refund rate for the new revised version of the secret (named V5.1) has dropped to less than half of what it was before the newer version's release; meaning it's now even more readily-received and put to use than ever before (perhaps in large part to the newer simplicity of application) - now making it the safest and one of the best resellers for the networks of affiliate marketers who earn their revenues from the reselling of other electronic publishers' stock and digital product lines.

When asked, Google company representatives stated matter-of-factly that the rumors of bankruptcy for the ecommerce giant are simply not true, and that the rumor millings are in fact simply the result of "panics" brought on by the usual hysteria associated with anything large, new or revolutionary - or in this case, all three.

Attempts to contact both Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the former Stanford University students who founded Google in 1998, to request comment were unsuccessful.

Again, Google itself seems to be the biggest supporter of the "new system" as it's allowing more and more advertisers to promote the new system on its search engine before over 100 million daily searches and surfers.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Medical Ethics


Dem's fiscal policy: Covetousness

“’The question is, should we be giving an extra $120 billion to people in the top 1 percent?’ So asked Gene Sperling, Hillary Clinton’s chief economic advisor, at a recent National Press Club panel discussion. Translation: It’s the government’s money, and anything left over after Uncle Sam picks your pockets is a ‘gift.'

Indeed, to hear leading Democrats talk about the ‘richest 1 percent’ —a diverse cohort of investors, managers, entrepreneurs and, to be sure, some fat-cat heirs—one gets the impression that wealthy Americans are a natural resource, to be pumped for as much cash as we need. Further, the Democrats don’t think that well will ever run dry... According to Democrats, it’s greedy to want to keep your own money, but it’s ‘justice’ to demand someone else’s...

Meanwhile, Democrats keep telling the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers that America’s problems would be solved if only the rich people would pay ‘their fair share’ of income taxes. Not only is this patently untrue and a siren song toward a welfare state, it amounts to covetousness as fiscal policy.” —Jonah Goldberg

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Insanity of Bush Hatred

Our politics suffer when passions overcome reason and vitriol becomes virtue.

BY PETER BERKOWITZ
Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:01 a.m.

Hating the president is almost as old as the republic itself. The people, or various factions among them, have indulged in Clinton hatred, Reagan hatred, Nixon hatred, LBJ hatred, FDR hatred, Lincoln hatred, and John Adams hatred, to mention only the more extravagant hatreds that we Americans have conceived for our presidents.

But Bush hatred is different. It's not that this time members of the intellectual class have been swept away by passion and become votaries of anger and loathing. Alas, intellectuals have always been prone to employ their learning and fine words to whip up resentment and demonize the competition. Bush hatred, however, is distinguished by the pride intellectuals have taken in their hatred, openly endorsing it as a virtue and enthusiastically proclaiming that their hatred is not only a rational response to the president and his administration but a mark of good moral hygiene.

This distinguishing feature of Bush hatred was brought home to me on a recent visit to Princeton University. I had been invited to appear on a panel to debate the ideas in Princeton professor and American Prospect editor Paul Starr's excellent new book, "Freedom's Power: The True Force of Liberalism." To put in context Prof. Starr's grounding of contemporary progressivism in the larger liberal tradition, I recounted to the Princeton audience an exchange at a dinner I hosted in Washington in June 2004 for several distinguished progressive scholars, journalists, and policy analysts.

To get the conversation rolling at that D.C. dinner--and perhaps mischievously--I wondered aloud whether Bush hatred had not made rational discussion of politics in Washington all but impossible. One guest responded in a loud, seething, in-your-face voice, "What's irrational about hating George W. Bush?" His vehemence caused his fellow progressives to gather around and lean in, like kids on a playground who see a fight brewing.

Reluctant to see the dinner fall apart before drinks had been served, I sought to ease the tension. I said, gently, that I rarely found hatred a rational force in politics, but, who knows, perhaps this was a special case. And then I tried to change the subject.

But my dinner companion wouldn't allow it. "No," he said, angrily. "You started it. You make the case that it's not rational to hate Bush." I looked around the table for help. Instead, I found faces keen for my response. So, for several minutes, I held forth, suggesting that however wrongheaded or harmful to the national interest the president's policies may have seemed to my progressive colleagues, hatred tended to cloud judgment, and therefore was a passion that a citizen should not be proud of being in the grips of and should avoid bringing to public debate. Propositions, one might have thought, that would not be controversial among intellectuals devoted to thinking and writing about politics.

But controversial they were. Finally, another guest, a man I had long admired, an incisive thinker and a political moderate, cleared his throat, and asked if he could interject. I welcomed his intervention, confident that he would ease the tension by lending his authority in support of the sole claim that I was defending, namely, that Bush hatred subverted sound thinking. He cleared his throat for a second time. Then, with all eyes on him, and measuring every word, he proclaimed, "I . . . hate . . . the . . . way . . . Bush . . . talks."

And so, I told my Princeton audience, in the context of a Bush hatred and a corollary contempt for conservatism so virulent that it had addled the minds of many of our leading progressive intellectuals, Prof. Starr deserved special recognition for keeping his head in his analysis of liberalism and progressivism. Then I got on with my prepared remarks.

But as at that D.C. dinner in late spring of 2004, so again in early autumn 2007 at dinner following the Princeton panel, several of my progressive colleagues seized upon my remarks against giving oneself over to hatred. And they vigorously rejected the notion. Both a professor of political theory and a nationally syndicated columnist insisted that I was wrong to condemn hatred as a passion that impaired political judgment. On the contrary, they argued, Bush hatred was fully warranted considering his theft of the 2000 election in Florida with the aid of the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore; his politicization of national security by making the invasion of Iraq an issue in the 2002 midterm elections; and his shredding of the Constitution to authorize the torture of enemy combatants.

Of course, these very examples illustrate nothing so much as the damage hatred inflicts on the intellect. Many of my colleagues at Princeton that evening seemed not to have considered that in 2000 it was Al Gore who shifted the election controversy to the courts by filing a lawsuit challenging decisions made by local Florida county election supervisors. Nor did many of my Princeton dinner companions take into account that between the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, 10 of 16 higher court judges--five of whom were Democratic appointees--found equal protection flaws with the recount scheme ordered by the intermediate Florida court. And they did not appear to have pondered Judge Richard Posner's sensible observation, much less themselves sensibly observe, that while indeed it was strange to have the U.S. Supreme Court decide a presidential election, it would have been even stranger for the election to have been decided by the Florida Supreme Court.

As for the 2002 midterm elections, it is true that Mr. Bush took the question of whether to use military force against Iraq to the voters, placing many Democratic candidates that fall in awkward positions. But in a liberal democracy, especially from a progressive point of view, aren't questions of war and peace proper ones to put to the people--as Democrats did successfully in 2006?
And lord knows the Bush administration has blundered in its handling of legal issues that have arisen in the war on terror. But from the common progressive denunciations you would never know that the Bush administration has rejected torture as illegal. And you could easily overlook that in our system of government the executive branch, which has principal responsibility for defending the nation, is in wartime bound to overreach--especially when it confronts on a daily basis intelligence reports that describe terrifying threats--but that when checked by the Supreme Court the Bush administration has, in accordance with the system, promptly complied with the law.

In short, Bush hatred is not a rational response to actual Bush perfidy. Rather, Bush hatred compels its progressive victims--who pride themselves on their sophistication and sensitivity to nuance--to reduce complicated events and multilayered issues to simple matters of good and evil. Like all hatred in politics, Bush hatred blinds to the other sides of the argument, and constrains the hater to see a monster instead of a political opponent.

Prof. Starr shows in "Freedom's Power" that tolerance, generosity, and reasoned skepticism are hallmarks of the truly liberal spirit. His analysis suggests that the problem with progressives who have succumbed to Bush hatred is not their liberalism; it's their betrayal of it. To be sure, Prof. Starr rejects Bush administration policies and thinks conservatives have the wrong remedies for what ails America today. Yet at the same time his analysis suggests, if not a cure for those who have already succumbed, at least a recipe for inoculating others against hating presidents to come.

The recipe consists above all in recognizing that constitutional liberalism in America "is the common heritage of both modern conservatives and modern liberals, as those terms are understood in the Anglo-American world," writes Prof. Starr. We are divided not by our commitment to the Constitution but by disagreements--often, to be sure, with a great deal of blood and treasure at stake--over how to defend that Constitution and secure its promise of liberty under law.

The conflict between more conservative and more liberal or progressive interpretations of the Constitution is as old as the document itself, and a venerable source of the nation's strength. It is wonderful for citizens to bring passion to it. Recognizing the common heritage that provides the ground for so many of the disagreements between right and left today will encourage both sides, if not to cherish their opponents, at least to discipline their passions and make them an ally of their reason.

Mr. Berkowitz is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a professor at George Mason University School of Law.

The Insanity of Bush Hatred

Copyright © 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A nasty surprise

For those of you who don't mind that Senator Clinton, in order to get through a debate, must be coddled and propped up, you will have a very nasty surprise if she becomes your next President. And if you think it'll be ok because Bill will be the hand in the puppet...well, he'll be about as handy as he was during the attacks in the '90's:

World Trade Center Bombing, February 26, 1993

U.S. Embassy Bombings in East Africa, August 7, 1998

Attack on U.S.S. Cole, October 12, 2000

CNN's Las Vegas Post Debate Analysis-- A Clinton Reunion



Friday, November 16, 2007

Teachers beware

Battle-scarred 'sub' in L.A. barrios speaks out
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: November 16, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern


By Migdia Chinea


Hi, my name is Migdia Chinea and I'm a recovering LAUSD "substitute."

Oh, I'm also UCLA-educated with honors, refined, empathetic, college-level Spanish fluent and a Googleable professional screenwriter.

To make ends meet during hard economic times, I became a "substitute teacher" for the Los Angeles Unified School District, or LAUSD – or to put it more kindly, a "guest teacher." As a guest LAUSD teacher I thought I would be an asset, but the system has never appreciated nor taken advantage of my educational or professional hard-earned accomplishments.

There's no teaching going on at LAUSD – only confinement of the sort one may find in a penal colony, complete with walkie-talkie-carrying wardens and bullhorns. And I have "confined" at many different schools within central Los Angeles in the last six months. Many students scream "suuuuuuuub" when they see someone like me – a "guest teacher" – in their classroom and trample anyone and/or anything as they push and shove their way inside.

Recently, I was privy to a narrative by a teacher in which he complained that after a one-day absence, his classroom was in shreds and wall posters were torn down. His VHS player and flash drive with all lesson plans were stolen as was his computer. Lab equipment was broken and tagged with gang symbols in permanent marker and completely nonfunctional. He was subsequently informed that his substitute teacher had walked out of the classroom numerous times throughout the day and had left the students to themselves. He wondered how the substitute could be so irresponsible and how he would break the news to his seventh-graders about their tagged notebooks with profane language and two-weeks worth of work in the garbage. Oh, woe!

I have covered the school at which that individual teaches. It is surrounded by criminal street gangs and is widely considered one of the most dangerous campuses in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The South Side Village Boys, South Side Watts Varrio Grape, Grape Street Crips, East Side Village Bloods, Hacienda Bloods, Circle City Piru and Bounty Hunters street gangs all claim turf in that area, and frequent flare-ups of gang violence are common. I have found most classes in this school to be in a complete state of disaster, absolutely filthy, with no computers available. There are no simple supplies, such as pencils, pens or paper, nothing to be found anywhere. Was this teacher's class an exception? Did he not know that some of his students are probably gang members themselves?

I have observed that many students at this school (and other LAUSD schools) are violent and unpredictable. I was present, in fact, during a violent melee involving hundreds of students that brought in several police squad cars and helicopters flying overhead. I have also endured several school "lock downs." Here's how a "lock down" works: As in a prison, the inmates and their jailers are not allowed to leave for any reason, nor let anyone out.

I then wondered if this teacher had ever asked his students why they behaved the way they did. Are there still people out there who believe that students are ALWAYS right and eager to learn and downtrodden and good. Why are these LAUSD schools so dilapidated – is it the "suuuuuuubs"? I have actually been advised to take pictures of these areas of confinement, er, pardon me, "schools," just in case someone makes an accusation after I'm long gone and I have no way to defend myself. And I always try to leave one classroom door open because I am often afraid for my life – my life.

I've been injured more than once. On Oct. 5, 2007, at another notorious middle school, I was deliberately body-slammed on the head by two to three large young men in a P.E. class of 53 students, while another teacher (someone I had never met before) was decent enough to give a formal declaration to school and police authorities of what he had witnessed. I sustained a concussion and sciatica nerve damage as a result of this personal attack intended to "terrorize [me]." I have memory lapses and continued head and leg pain. I'm told by the local police that this sort of physical abuse on teachers occurs with disturbing regularity. The LAUSD case nurse assigned to my case labeled my attack "boys will be boys."

I've been burglarized (on June 11, 2007), by a stalker with key access to my locked classroom (likely by another teacher or custodian). This theft occurred during lunch break while I was on a five-minute bathroom errand and included a $2,600 2-week-old Sony Vaio notebook, my RX glasses, credit cards, etc. The incident was also reported to the jurisdictional police. But I will have to take LAUSD to Small Claims Court, because district officials will accept NO responsibility.

I've been insulted repeatedly, e.g., "hey, you bitch!," among many vile expletives, by students at various schools.

I've been vandalized. My Mini S Cooper has been broken into twice. I'm usually so tired after a full day of "teaching" that I once never even noticed the damage until I opened the car's hatchback several days later.

I've been harassed and pelted with the same Halloween candy I bought as a treat for the students on Oct. 31, 2007. In the pandemonium that usually ensues at these "underprivileged schools," the bungalow class door handles that I reported as missing came off upon touching, fell off, and the students began using these door handles as weapons – their behavior and the school's fire code violation were reported to the LAUSD Board of Directors and the fire department. What a laugh.

My class was rampaged at a barrio middle school on May 23, 2007 – witnessed by two other substitute teachers who were sent in to "help me." One happened to be a lactating mother. These two individuals were also pelted with various objects. This incident was reported to the dean and to school security. No response from the dean for two whole class periods. This was also reported to LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer – no response at all.

I've been maltreated and threatened at all of these schools. But you're not supposed to complain about maltreatment. You're supposed to contain these students and stay quiet with your head down. Is anyone aware of that? Is anyone aware that "substitutes" cannot complain about anything? Is anyone aware that with an obesity and diabetes epidemic in our youth, regular teachers sell junk food for profit to students at many schools? I have reported that fact to the State Department of Education and Social Services. But you have to do so on a school by school basis because state bureaucrats believe it's a singular problem.

I have reported every single incident listed here and many, many more not listed here. However, the LAUSD has only aggravated the situation by doing nothing and ignoring everything.

In my view, the LAUSD is completely corrupt, inept and broken, with many students having serious behavioral problems and disinterested in learning, whereas the teachers remain underpaid and exhausted – some of them just marking time until their retirement and giving out charity passing grades to high school students who can barely write or do math at a third-grade level.

I believe that the students who commit acts of dishonesty (like cheating), violence and outright destruction of property should be suspended. When the recidivist students are suspended, their parents or guardians should pay a fine, which may grow incrementally according to the student's offense – and I believe that when such offenses are perpetrated against a substitute, the fine should be doubled (like driving violations in construction zones). I believe that when these citations are enforced a few times, we will all see a marked improvement in student conduct. If there are no consequences to students for unruly behavior, and all they get is a nice little talk at the dean's office, unruly behavior is reinforced. These bad students know how to lie and abuse a system that appears to be afraid of them. They know there are no consequences. They're not learning much now, and the teachers cannot be teaching much in a chaotic environment – so it's a self-perpetuating situation.

As for me, I am exhausted. I feel exploited and I'm also injured, to boot. It's almost impossible for anyone in my position – in a few short days – to instill in these students any sense of decency, good manners and respect because they should be learning these civilities at home. Please know that I get paid very little with no health insurance coverage in sight. And while those incompetents in high-level administrative positions collect their big, fat paychecks for their lack of humanity, there seem to be no end to the problems.

This is a difficult economy, especially for educated single mothers. And women must do what they can do to support themselves and their families. But the press covers this aspect of survival from the teacher's perspective very little, concentrating instead (and almost exclusively) on the students' persistent test failures. I am aware that some teachers, and some "substitutes," may be incompetent and don't care about performing well on their jobs, nor do they care about their students. However, since I'm not one of those people, I believe that the media has an obligation to acknowledge the problems and report truthfully on what is going on. The schools are a mess, filthy, dilapidated and without supplies. The students are dangerous, disrespectful and out-of-control.

The country should take notice that teaching has become a very dangerous job and that my life as a teacher is very, very, cheap.

Migdia Chinea is a Cuban-American screenwriter and actress. She was a writer for the TV series "The Incredible Hulk" and "Superboy," and has contributed episodes to other series. Since 1971 she has appeared in several TV and movie roles.

Ron, Ron, the neo-con

I count myself firmly in the tradition of Wilson, FDR, Truman and Kennedy…and yes, Reagan and George W. Bush. “Go anywhere, bear any burden,” “try to do our best to make a world safe for democracy.” Our national mission, a worthy and ennobling one, is to expand freedom where we can. These are revolutionary goals very much in keeping with our Founders’ vision. They are hardly conservative, let alone neo-conservative goals.

JFK reportedly remarked, “sometimes the party asks too much.” He was referring to the deal his Democratic Party made with southern segregationists to maintain control of Congress. His words are as true now as they were then. Sometimes the party asks too much.
Read the whole thing

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dead Dog Beach

"...a place where teenagers drive over live puppies sealed in bags or cruelly kill them with machetes and arrows, according to animal welfare groups that photographed the atrocities."

Pet Massacres Carried Out in Puerto Rico

Monday, November 12, 2007

Breast Cancer Epidemic Linked to Abortion: New UK Study

A new UK study says that induced abortion is the “best predictor” of breast cancer, and calls the current widespread incidence of breast cancer “epidemic.” The study appears in the Fall edition of The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, and is authored by Patrick Carroll, M.A., who is the Director of Research for the Pension and Population Research Institute in London.

The study is based on data collected in eight European countries: England and Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland; the Irish Republic, Sweden; the Czech Republic; Finland; and Denmark. The national cancer registration data in each of these eight countries was correlated with comprehensive abortion data on file. The study made special note of the fact that such detailed, reliable data is not available in the United States, asserting that “official abortion statistics in the United States and France are known to understate the numbers of legal induced abortions.”

The forecasts for the increase in breast cancer in the eight countries studied are huge and they are dire. In England and Wales, for instance, the cases are expected to explode from the 39,229 cases reported in 2004 to over 65,000 in 2025, an increase of more than 66 percent. Similar trends are forecast in the other seven countries.

The study lists seven known factors which either raise the risk of breast cancer or lower it.

Factors that raise the risk:

Induced abortion. Induced abortion is given as the number one risk-raising factor, especially when a woman has never given birth to a child because, the researchers said, such an abortion “leaves breast cells in a state of interrupted hormonal development in which they are more susceptible.”
Hormonal contraceptives
Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)

Factors that lower the risk:

Bearing children
Giving birth at a low age.
Higher fertility — giving birth to a larger number of children.
Breastfeeding

The study concludes that the increase in breast cancer rates is tied first to an increase in abortion rates, and second to lower fertility (fewer births). For the immediate future, the study said a further increase in breast cancer is to be expected because women who are now older than 45 have had more abortions and fewer children than previous generations.

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Al Gore is selling you some *really bad* shit



The link, btw, is good.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)






Sean Penn gets free cocaine?

Hugo Chavez's criminal paradise

Under the anti-globalization president, Venezuela has become a haven for global crime.

By Moises Naim
November 10, 2007

While President Hugo Chavez has been molding Venezuela into his personal socialist vision, other transformations -- less visible but equally profound -- have taken hold in the country.

Venezuela has become a major hub for international crime syndicates. What attracts them is not the local market; what they really love are the excellent conditions Venezuela offers to anyone in charge of managing a global criminal network.

A nation at the crossroads of South America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe, Venezuela's location is ideal. Borders? Long, scantly populated and porous. Financial system? Large and with easy-to-evade governmental controls. Telecommunications, ports and airports? The best that oil money can buy. U.S. influence? Nil. Corrupt politicians, cops, judges and military officers? Absolutely: Transparency International ranked Venezuela a shameful 162 out of 179 counties on its corruption perception index. Chavez's demonstrated interest in confronting criminal networks during his eight years in power? Not much.

While this situation has so far been rather invisible to the rest of the world, it is patently clear to those in charge of fighting transnational crime. Anti-trafficking officials in Europe, the United States, Asia and other Latin American countries are paying unprecedented attention to Venezuela. These officials are not particularly interested in Venezuelan politics or in Chavez's policies. All they care about is that the tentacles of these global criminal networks are spreading from Venezuela into their countries with enormous power and at great speed.

The numbers speak volumes: About 75 tons of cocaine left Venezuela in 2003; it is estimated that 276 tons will leave the country this year. Before, the main destination was the United States; now, Europe is increasingly the target. Italy and Spain are two new important and lucrative end-user markets, and earning in euros is undeniably better than getting paid in dollars these days.

A senior Dutch police officer told me that he and his European colleagues are spending more time in Caracas than in Bogota, Colombia, and that the heads of many of the major criminal cartels now operate with impunity, and effectiveness, from Venezuela. The cartel bosses aren't exclusively Colombians -- there are Asians (especially Chinese) and Europeans too. Caracas' most posh neighborhoods are home to important kingpins from around the world, including some from Belarus, a country that Chavez notably has visited several times.

Venezuela appears near the top of lists compiled by the anti-money-laundering authorities as well. Money moves in and out, and not just through electronic inter-bank transfers. The combination of private jets, suitcases full of cash and diplomatic immunity has opened up new possibilities. Recently, one Venezuelan member of the boliburguesía -- the new mega-rich -- was caught carrying at least one suitcase full of money. He was discovered by a customs officer in Buenos Aires but not arrested. Turns out he was traveling on an executive jet with senior members of the government of Argentina's president, Nestor Kirchner.

In Uruguay, an outraged legislator dropped this bombshell a few weeks ago: A group of Venezuelans had engineered the sale of Iranian arms and munitions to his country, using Venezuelan companies as a cover to bypass the U.N. embargo on Iran's arms trade. Likewise, the guerrillas in Colombia seem to have no trouble acquiring weapons -- many of which come through Venezuela-based arms dealers.

Diamond traders are doing equally well. "Venezuela is allowing massive smuggling of diamonds," stated a recent report by Global Witness and Partnership Africa, two respected nongovernmental organizations. They recommended that Venezuela be expelled from the Kimberley Process, the U.N.-sponsored mechanism designed to combat the smuggling of "blood diamonds" -- the gems sold to fund military conflicts around the world.

And as if diamonds, guns, drugs and tainted money weren't enough, human traffickers have made their way to Venezuela as well. The country has become a haven for human traffickers because its laws offer so little protection to their victims, especially women. It is also a major stopover for illegal immigrants from China, the Middle East and other parts of Latin America who are on their way elsewhere. They can obtain a Venezuelan passport in a matter of hours.

The great paradox of this terrible story is that, despite Chavez's constant denunciations of globalization, he hasn't protected Venezuela from its worst consequences. His nation has been globalized -- by criminal gangs. And they import and export corruption, crime and death. And that may be more critical in shaping Venezuela's future than any of Chavez's political experiments.

Moises Naim is the editor of Foreign Policy magazine and the author of "Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats Are Hijacking the Global Economy."

Throwing off the entitlement mindset

Written by Star Parker
Posted: November 3, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

The U.S Comptroller General and head of the GAO, Government Accountability Office, has described the entitlements crisis facing this country as a "tsunami" that approaches while we continue to party on the beach

What GAO head David Walker is talking about are the massive upcoming obligations under Social Security and Medicare that we have no funds to meet. Tens of trillions of dollars of supposed commitments, promises made to us by our government, that today we have no clue how we'll pay.

In those rare moments when our political "leaders" screw up sufficient courage to acknowledge this dark and ominous fiscal cloud hanging over us, the discussion is invariably technical. Proposed tax increases, cap increases, retirement age increases, benefit cuts, indexing -- all geared to "save the system."

But who has considered that, despite all the discussion about unfunded liabilities, what we really have on our hands is, at root and core, a moral crisis?

No one explains this better than my friend Jose Piñera. And no one has better credentials to talk about this problem.

Twenty seven years ago, in November 1980, Chile, Dr. Piñera's home country, approved Social Security reform in which a tax-based, pay-as-you go government retirement system -- essentially identical to what we have here -- was replaced with an ownership based system of individually owned retirement accounts. Yes, in principle the kind of reform that President Bush proposed.

As the then-youthful Minister of Labor and Social Security of Chile, Piñera was the godfather, mastermind, architect, navigator, and quarterback of the reform.

Key in execution was to allow every Chilean worker the dignity of choice.

They could choose to stay in the existing system, continue to pay payroll taxes, and qualify for government benefits at retirement, or they could get out and use those same funds to open and invest in their own personal retirement account.

Within months, 90 percent of the Chilean workforce opted out of the government system and into their own personal ownership regime.

The result has been more than just an enormously successful transformation of a failed government retirement system. Chile's social security privatization -- if I may use the word that politicians, even the conservative ones, choke on these days -- has been a driving piston in Chile's economic engine, now the most powerful in Latin America.

The average real (adjusted for inflation) annual return of Chile's personal retirement accounts over the last 26 years has been over ten percent (the historical real annual return on stocks in the U.S. is 7 percent).

And Chile catapulted from one of the lowest per capita GDP countries in Latin America in 1980 to the highest today.

But, where, amidst all this great economic news is the moral lesson?

In talking about the transformation of all pension systems -- government and private alike -- from defined benefit (controlled by others and they tell you what you'll get) to defined contribution (you own it, and put your own funds into it), Piñera touches the root of the problem of today's welfare state He sums things up, pointing out that "life is not a defined benefit."

When our founding fathers signed off, in our Declaration of Independence, on the words that "all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights," they meant "rights" to live your life freely and unimpeded by others. Government's job, as the Declaration goes on, is "to secure these Rights." It's there to protect you.

Over the years, as we've become intoxicated with our own success, and detached from our own roots and principles, our understanding of "rights" and government has morphed into things altogether different. "Rights" have become what everyone is allegedly entitled to (our claims on others) and we look to government to enforce delivery of these entitlements.

The ocean of Social Security and Medicare red ink in which we are about to drown speaks to the efficacy of the entitlement mindset. The nanny state violates, rather than protects, our rights. It doesn't work.

Today we must look to Chile to learn what America's founders knew. Freedom is built on and fueled by personal responsibility

In an international survey released by the Pew Global Attitudes project last July, 62% of Chileans responded that they expect the next generation to be better off than their parents -- highest in Latin America.

In a just released USA Today Gallup poll, only 46% of respondents in the U.S. expressed optimism that the next generation in our country would "live better than their parents."

The entitlements crisis is a moral crisis and we ought to grasp that ownership is part of the "values" agenda. Life is not a defined benefit.

Star Parker is a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News as well as author of White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay.

Throwing off the entitlement mindset"


READ ABOUT THE SOLUTION HERE!



Friday, November 09, 2007

ONE TOUGH BROAD - QUOTES FROM HILLARY CLINTON

"Where is the G-dam f***ing flag? I want the G-dam f***ing flag up every f***ing morning at f***ing sunrise."

--From the book "Inside The White House" by Ronald Kessler, p. 244 - (Hillary to the staff at the Arkansas Governor's mansion on Labor Day, 1991)

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"You sold out, you m***er f***er! You sold out!"

--From the book "Inside" by Joseph Califano, p. 213 - (Hillary yelling at a Democrat lawyer.)

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"F*** off! It's enough that I have to see you sh**-kickers every day,
I'm not going to talk to you too!! Just do your G*dam job and keep your mouth shut."

--From the book "American Evita" by Christopher Anderson, p. 90 - (Hillary to her State Trooper bodyguards after one of them greeted her with "Good Morning.")

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"You f** *ing idiot"

--From the book "Crossfire" p. 84 - (Hillary to a State Trooper who was driving her to an event.)

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"If you want to remain on this detail, get your f***ing ass over here and grab those bags!"

--From the book "The First Partner" p. 259 - (Hillary to a Secret Service Agent who was reluctant to carry her luggage because he wanted to keep his hands free in case of an incident.)

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"Get f***ed! Get the f*** out of my way!!! Get out of my face!!!"

--From the book "Hillary's Scheme" p. 89 - (Hillary's various comments to her Secret Service detail agents.)

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"Stay the f*** back, stay the f*** away from me! Don't come within ten yards of me, or else! Just f***ing do as I say, Okay!!!?"

--From the book "Unlimited Access", by Clinton FBI Agent in Charge, Gary Aldrige, p. 139 - (Hillary screaming at her Secret Service detail)

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"Where's the miserable c**k sucker?"

--From the book "The Truth About Hillary" by Edward Klein, p. 5 -
(Hillary shouting at a Secret Service officer)

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"Put this on the ground! I left my sunglasses in the limo. I need those sunglasses. We need to go back!"

--From the book "Dereliction of Duty" p. 71-72 - (Hillary to Marine One helicopter pilot to turn back while en route to Air Force One.)

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"Son of a bitch."

--From the book "American Evita" by Christopher Anderson, p. 259 -
(Hillary's opinion of President George W. Bush when she found out he secretly visited Iraq just days before her highly publicized trip to Iraq)

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"What are you doing inviting these people into my home? These people are our enemies! They are trying to destroy us!"

--From the book "The Survivor" by John Harris, p. 99 - (Hillary screaming to an aide, when she found out that some Republicans had been invited to the Clinton White House)

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"Come on Bill, put your d**k up! You can't f*** her here!!"

--From the book "Inside The White House" by Ronald Kessler, p. 243 -
(Hillary to Gov. Clinton when she spots him talking with an attractive female at an Arkansas political rally.)

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" You know, I'm going to start thanking the woman who cleans the restroom in the building I work in. I'm going to start thinking of her as a human being" --- Hillary Clinton

--From the book "The Case Against Hillary Clinton" by Peggy Noonan, p. 55

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"We just can't trust the American people to make those types of choices.... Government has to make those choices for people "

--From the book "I've Always Been A Yankee Fan" by Thomas D. Kuiper, p. 20 - (Hillary to Rep. Dennis Hastert in 1993 discussing her expensive, disastrous taxpayer-funded health care plan.)

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"I am a fan of the social policies that you find in Europe" ---Hillary in 1996"

--From the book "I've Always Been A Yankee Fan" by Thomas D. Kuiper, p.6

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This ill-tempered, violent, foul- mouthed, hateful, abusive, beastly woman wants to be your president and have total control, as your commander-in-chief of our Military, the very Military for which she has shown incredible contempt and disdain throughout her public life.


Surely we the people of the The United States can easily do better than this!!!

The references given for these quotes have been confirmed by Snopes http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/hildabeast.asp but the publications do not always give the source of the quotes.

Got kids? You'll pay $500 more a year each one! Got a business? You'll pay $4,000 more each year!

Let's also be clear about what it means to roll back the president's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as the Democrats want to do. Every income-tax payer will pay more as all tax rates rise. Families will pay $500 more per child as they lose the child tax credit. Taxes on small businesses would go up by an average of about $4,000. Retirees will pay higher taxes on investment retirement income. And now we have the $1 trillion tax increase proposed as "tax reform" by the Democrats' chief tax writer last month.
Read the bad news

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A History of Liberal Disasters

By Jeffrey Lord


It's a long list.

Add Hillary Clinton's endorsement of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants ("it makes sense") to a very long list.

The list? A seemingly unending series of bad policy proposals and loopy values that liberals have championed during the course of decades. What all of these subjects have in common is that they upended common sense in favor of a fit of moral superiority and emotional feel-goodism. They are a history of liberal disasters. All backfired or were proved dead wrong. Sometimes they were outright lethal. Collectively they are part and parcel of the real reason the once honorable term "liberal" has won such disdain from so many Americans when it isn't being hooted out of a serious policy discussion with laughter. And lying just under the surface of all the current crop of polls that predict a Democrat victory in the race for the White House is the lurking reality that any candidate who makes a point of flying the liberal flag stands a serious chance of being defeated outright. Why, after all, do you think Senator Clinton hemmed and hawed her way through the driver's license issue in last week's debate?

Here's just a handful of my personal favorites:

* Forced School Busing
The idea: to raise the education level of blacks by forcibly integrating urban schools with white kids who lived in "segregated" neighborhoods. The result? Disaster. School enrollment in Boston plummeted, the percentage of whites dropping from 65% to 28%. In one urban area after another across the country where forced busing was instituted amidst angry turmoil "white flight" to the suburbs took off, igniting a surge of what liberals now moan as "suburban sprawl." And education? A study by the National Institute of Education could not find a single study that showed black kids were better off as a result. Prominent liberal advocates, of course, sent their own kids to private schools. Slowly, painfully, most busing programs wound to a stop. But the damage -- to the kids, to the neighborhoods and to the cities -- was done

* Welfare
The idea: The Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was established in 1935 with the objective to provide welfare relief for needy families and their children. The result? It wound up promoting baby bearing-for-benefits scams, smothered incentive to work, destroyed marriages and created what came to be called a "culture of dependency" that helped devastate the family structure, particularly in the black community. The election of a Republican Congress in 1994 forced the issue to the front, with Speaker Newt Gingrich making it point three of the ten-item Contract with America. Conservatives insisted on a five year lifetime limit to be on the welfare rolls, and a system that led from welfare to work. Only after vetoing the resulting bill twice, as his presidential re-election campaign loomed, did President Clinton sign the conservative reforms. The consequences were dramatic. Welfare rolls plummeted by 57%, costs fell significantly, the work requirement was a success and child poverty rates for African-American families dropped sharply. But again, the damage done before reform was considerable.

* Luxury Tax
The idea: Pushed by liberals in a 1990 tax bill, the idea was to tax big-ticket luxury items and increase government revenue. The result? Buyers of luxuries such as yachts, jewelry, furs and cars stopped buying them in the United States. Among others, American carpenters, electricians, fiberglass and metal workers lost their jobs. Boat building businesses went bankrupt. And the revenue? A projected gain of five million in taxes resulted in an actual loss of $24 million. The luxury tax was finally repealed, but not soon enough to undue the damage to hundreds of thousands who lost their jobs or businesses.

* Alternative Minimum Tax
The idea: Enacted in 1969, the AMT was to disallow deductions and exemptions in computing tax liability. Why? There were 155 -- 155! -- "rich" households who were deemed by liberals to have too many tax breaks, thus meaning they paid little or no income tax. The AMT would supposedly cure this. The result? The Congressional Budget Office now says that 34% of taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $100,000 will have to pay the tax -- which is another way of saying that liberals believe if you earn $50,000 you are rich. That 155 taxpayers has now expanded to 11% of all taxpayers. The CBO also says that if this is not changed by 2010, nearly every married taxpayer earning between $100,000 and $500,000 will be forced to pay the AMT. Predictably, after all the unintended consequences have kicked in once again, liberals in Congress are now frantically calling for repeal to avoid the wrath of their constituents.

* Bringing Peace to Vietnam and Cambodia
The idea: Withdrawing from Southeast Asia completely in 1975 would bring "peace" to the people of Vietnam and Cambodia. The result? A tsunami of murder, concentration camps and desperate "boat people" engulfed the area, not only not bringing peace to the region but resulting in what is now recorded as "the killing fields." The subject usually brings forth a deafening if not embarrassed silence from liberals when they are not busy, in face of massive evidence to the contrary, in denying the result of their idea altogether.

* Free Love
The idea: If it feels good, went this old idea that was dusted off at the end of the 1960's do it. Promiscuity? No problem. Result? The AIDS epidemic, a stunning rise in sexually transmitted diseases. Oops.

* Drugs
The idea: Turn on and drop out. Glamorized by the media, hey man, this was supposed to be great stuff! Let's party! The result: when the party was over for all those cool white kids from the sixties America woke up to a generation of drug addicts who had either died of overdoses or gotten hooked for a lifetime on any number of drugs. It drove up crime rates and the cost of health care, ruining families and wreaking havoc in the black community. Way to go.


TO SUM UP: Whether it was education policy, welfare policy, economic policy, foreign policy or social policy, time after time after time what became the guiding lights of modern American liberalism proved to be utter disasters. Obvious consequences were ignored and unintended consequences were rampant. All too frequently people who were supposed to be helped -- African-Americans, the poor, the Vietnamese and Cambodians, women, the young -- were severely harmed. Most disturbingly, the proponents of these policies seemed to simply shrug their shoulders at the results and move straight on the next disaster.

This time? The idea is to provide a driver's license to illegal aliens. In other words, an official government photo ID that can be used to facilitate everything from voting to travel to obtaining government benefits for people who aren't American citizens. Smart, no?

Liberalism today as a philosophy is burning up faster than Southern California. Bereft of common sense, wreaking havoc on whole sections of the American and global population, it is still being championed by followers utterly oblivious to the consequences already long on the record.

"I have a million ideas," Senator Clinton said recently, thoughtfully adding that "the country can't afford them all."

No kidding.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Here are the issues that Hillary Clinton is both FOR and AGAINST (simultaneously!)

Behind the Hillary Clinton Doubletalk

Monday, November 5, 2007 9:14 PM

By: Dick Morris


Every time she approaches a microphone, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton labors under the necessity of fudging on her program - offering, instead, an artificial personality and a variety of poll-tested bromides that let her duck key issues.


The resulting circumlocutions were evident in Tuesday night's Democratic debate. Her plans for Social Security? Clearly, she thinks she may need to raise Social Security taxes - but she can't say so. Instead, she repeats the poll-tested mantra of "fiscal responsibility" and a "bipartisan commission."


By "fiscal responsibility," she means ending Treasury borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund, a policy already in place. By a "bipartisan commission," she means sharing the blame for unpopular policies with Republicans to minimize the deadly electoral impact. But she can't explain any of that, so she just repeats the mantra.


How about Iraq? Obviously, she doesn't plan to pull out. As she said in a newspaper interview before the presidential race really got under way, she recognizes that we need to keep troops there to train and support the Iraqi army, patrol the border with Iran and hunt al Qaeda in the provinces.


But she can't say that without getting chewed up by the Democratic left. So she speaks about the logistical impossibility of an immediate withdrawal and acts as if the force she would leave to pursue these missions would be minimal - even though she knows that Pentagon plans put the troops needed for even these limited missions at upward of 80,000.


Health-care reform? Her program of extending insurance to illegal immigrants and others who aren't now insured will trigger a massive increase in the demand for medical services. The result would be a steep price rise that would force rationing of health care, particularly for the elderly. But she mustn't say any of that - so she pretends that her health-care prescription is just a band-aid to cover the nagging little problem of 50 million uninsured and that her solution won't bother anybody else.


Driver's licenses for illegal immigrants? Certainly, she favors them. During her husband's administration, she helped kill proposals to ban them. In the Senate, she voted against prohibiting them. But she can't say so without seeming to be soft on terror, so she temporizes, expressing sympathy - but not support - for the plan.


A day after the other Democrats battered her over the issue in the debate, she released a statement of "general" support for Gov. Spitzer's goal of making illegal immigrants eligible for driver's licenses in New York. But, once again, a la Hillary, she sent confusing signals by stating that she hadn't studied it and wasn't "endorsing" any plan. So she's apparently for it but not for it. Get it?


The Alternative Minimum Tax? Bill Clinton vetoed legislation to repeal it in 1999. She voted against repealing it in 2006. She likely intends to limit or terminate it once she's elected, but only in return for other massive tax hikes in its place. But, again, she has to criticize the tax because of her need to attract middle-class voters and speak of opposing a "trillion-dollar" tax increase on them.


Iran? Thinking ahead to the general election, she must show toughness on terrorism. To court Jewish voters, in particular, she needs to stand up to Iranian nuclear ambitions. But, in the primary, she can't be seen to be too far to the right on the issue, so she speaks of "diplomacy" and of opposing a "rush to war." As Frederick the Great said, "Diplomacy without military might is like music without instruments." She knows this full well, but she can't mention the word "military" without forfeiting liberal votes in the primaries.


On issue after issue, Hillary mustn't let voters know what she plans or what she wants to do. That's the difficulty in being Hillary.


© 2007 Dick Morris & Eileen McGann

Monday, November 05, 2007

Americans have become dangerously overconfident in their personal opinions on matters they really have no knowledge of at all.

When at War Listen to the Warriors

JB Williams

A very dangerous pattern has developed in American culture and politics. Everyone wants to be an expert about everything. Yet too few are even equipped to have a valuable opinion, much less qualify to be an expert. This is particularly true in matters of national security, where so few have any direct experience, any knowledge of classified threat assessments, any war planning background or implementation expertise.

Americans have become dangerously overconfident in their personal opinions on matters they really have no knowledge of at all. Sure, each of us has a right to our opinion. But how valuable are those opinions when they are often not based on fact, history, logic, reason, expertise, or even first hand experience?

In any representative republic, the will of the people is intended to establish public policy. But what happens when the will of the people is tainted by bad information, calculated misdirection and politically motivated hogwash? The people’s decisions can never be any better than the information used to make them. If the information is bad, the decisions will be equally bad.

Most Americans, especially those on the anti-war left, have no idea how to defend their individual home or family from neighborhood thugs. Yet they feel quite confident in shouting out national security advice and military strategies as if they actually know something about the subject. Tell me what Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn or Susan Sarandon knows about national security, basic intelligence or military strategies?

Most Americans know little about the world outside their own back yard, or in the case of Hollywood types, outside their gated compounds. Yet they feel quite confident in handing out advice on how to navigate that world. This is an amazingly dangerous trend that sooner or later, will cost a great deal in innocent loss of life and maybe America’s entire future.

What Every American MUST Understand About 9/11

9/11 wasn’t just another simple terror attack that happened to kill 3000 innocent Americans on their way to work. It was a well planned and well implemented “decapitation” strike.

International Islamic terror groups worked together from within a multitude of nations, including allies, under the operational name of Al Qaeda, in an attempt to take out the Pentagon, Americas command and control center over all armed services, Wall Street, America’s financial center, and Washington DC, the central hub of our entire government, all in one day, in one single unconventional strike. We were completely unable to prevent it and we remain completely unable to prevent it today.

The Sobering Truth About This Ongoing Threat

Since 9/11, I have listened to many self-styled “experts” with no experience whatsoever on the matter, make claims like “Hussein was no threat to America” – “Iran has no capacity to strike America” – or – “We should bring our troops home where they belong, and defend America from here on our own soil.”

Whether coming from anti-war leftists, average American citizens or isolationist libertarians like Ron Paul, these statements are not only incorrect, they are very dangerous.

These statements demonstrate just how ill-equipped the average American is to deal with such matters, even to establish formal public policy by voting, if on this basis, void of any understanding of our enemies and the very real threats they pose.

Do you understand the concept of a “decapitation strike,” or the potential consequences of a successful decapitation strike, which was almost a reality on 9/11? And do you understand the fact that the terror organizations that carried out those strikes on 9/11 had far less capability to hit America than Hussein, Iran or North Korea?

Do you understand that we are NOT in a conventional war like WWI or WWII? Do you understand that our enemy has NO rules of engagement? Do you understand that you are their primary target, not our armed services capable of striking back? Do you grasp that they will NOT attack through conventional means, in a manner we are prepared to defend against, but instead, via unconventional means almost impossible to defend against in any free open society?

If You Don’t Understand These Basic Truths, Your Opinion Has No Value At All

Those who do understand these simple realities - also understand that we do NOT want to fight this type of war on our own soil. They understand that unless we want the streets of NY, LA, Atlanta and Chicago to look just like the streets of Baghdad, we MUST fight this war on foreign soil.

We must choose our field of operations and tactics, or our tactics will be dictated to us on a field of battle chosen by our enemies. On 9/11, our enemies chose Manhattan, Virginia and Washington DC as their chosen field of battle. They chose the rules of engagement, using civilian aircraft to attack civilian targets, causing as much innocent death and destruction as they could muster in a matter of minutes.

On 9/11, they won that battle on their terms. Then we changed the terms of the war from that point forward. U.S. streets have indeed been safer ever since, but not without cost.

The Price of Peace on American Streets Is Sometimes War Abroad

This is not the first time in our brief history, that this has been true. Germany never attacked America in WWI, but they did attack American interests and allies. 116,708 American soldiers lost their lives from 1917-1918 in WWI and nobody attacked America. Democrat Woodrow Wilson ordered the troops into battle.

Germany didn’t attack the U.S. in WWII either, Japan did at Pearl Harbor. Yet again, American troops went to Europe to defend freedom and liberty abroad. 407,316 American soldiers lost their lives from 1941-1945, most of them in the European theater of operations, and again, no European nation attacked America. Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the troops into battle and Democrat Harry S. Truman ended the war by leveling Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Korea did not attack America, yet from 1950-1953, 36,914 American soldiers lost their lives in Korea. Vietnam didn’t attack America, yet another 58,169 American soldiers died between 1964-1973 fighting for freedom and liberty in Vietnam. Democrat John F. Kennedy and Democrat L.B. Johnson ordered American troops into battle.

Republican President Ronald Reagan lost 19 American soldiers in Grenada in 1983. He also defeated the Soviet Union in the 80’s without losing a single American soldier in battle. Some think this same strategy will work today against international terror cells. They are sadly mistaken. Assured mutual destruction won’t work against an enemy with no nation to protect.

Republican President George H.W. Bush lost 269 American soldiers expelling Iraq’s Hussein from Kuwait in Gulf War I in 1991. Hussein did not attack America, but he did attack our ally in the region, and American soldiers came to their defense.

Since 9/11, when some 3000 innocent Americans lost their lives on the way to work one morning, Republican President George W. Bush has taken the war to the enemy off American soil. Some 350 American soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan and some 3500 in Iraq, between the fall of 2001 and today, in the fall of 2007. This time, America was attacked on U.S. soil.

But we were attacked by no nation and as a result, we are at war with no nation. This is why we have “declared war” against no nation.

The Myth That Congress “Must” Declare War

First, there is NO constitutional language which requires congress to “declare war” before or as a result of “authorizing” troop deployment. There’s also no constitutional language that limits national defense to only reactionary strategies.

Second, since WWII, we have not been “at war” with any nation. In Korea, we fought to defend South Korea from North Korea. In Vietnam, we fought to defend South Vietnam from North Vietnam. In Gulf War I, we fought to defend Kuwait against an invading Hussein regime from Iraq and the war ended upon Hussein’s expulsion from Kuwait and a cease fire agreement.

In Afghanistan, we went after Al Qaeda leaders and terror cells harbored and protected by the Taliban. In Iraq, we deposed the world’s most brutal regime and known terror sponsor of the 20th century and liberated more than 25 million innocent Iraqi men, women and children. Today, we fight by their side to rid their country of equally brutal terror cells hoping to destabilize the newly elected Iraqi government and leave the region in a vacuum of terror and destruction.

In none of these cases were we or are we “at war” with the people of these nations. Quite the contrary and every soldier, American or coalition, knows exactly this truth, what they are doing, why they are doing it and almost without exception, they wish to complete their mission and return home only after they have secured a peaceful free Iraq able to provide for its own security.

When At War, Listen to the Warriors

I said “listen to the warriors,” not listen to the lone dissenting warrior.

The anti-war left likes playing this little game of cat-n-mouse in which they come upon a single dissenting view and use it as though it represents the collective opinion of the “expert” warriors, such as the case with congressman Jack Murtha, or former Presidential candidates John Kerry or Wesley Clark.

Like any other organization the size of the U.S. Military, 100% agreement rarely if ever happens on any subject at any time. War related issues must be decided by people with proper experience, knowledge of current events and threats and the responsibility to make such decisions and stand behind them

Such decisions must respect the general consensus of the people in-the-know. The consensus of average Americans who live far from the facts needed to make such decisions will get it wrong almost every time. But the vast majority of real experts will not get it wrong very often. In the case of the war against international terrorism, the real (not pretend) experts have it exactly right.

While one can find dissenting views within the ranks, there is NO doubt that the general consensus of war, intelligence and security experts is represented by the strategies currently being employed, both here and abroad. The real experts must have the final say. The average American, the average congressman or even the average President is ill-equipped to make such decisions. Like it or not, the average American is the least equipped of all.

Keeping the War Away From American Streets

To the degree that this is possible, this is desirable. We do NOT want this war taking place in our own cities. This means that we must take this war somewhere else.

In order to avoid a bloodbath on American streets, the fight must be taken to the enemy on their turf, rather than on ours. In the case of international terrorism, where we are “at war” with no particular nation, rather a warring enemy operating in several nations, but under no flag, the fight must be taken either wherever the enemy resides, as in the case of Afghanistan, or to a central battle field of our choosing, as in the case of Iraq.

The problem with the anti-war left is that they comprehend and respect none of these facts. The left has no good intentions for America. In the case of libertarians like Ron Paul and his supporters, though I believe they have good intentions, I also know that they do not understand or respect any of these facts either.

This makes both groups equally dangerous to the future of this nation and those of us who do understand and respect these truths, owe it to current and future generations to hold these truths up for all to see.

In times of war, threat of attacks on our own soil and risk of great peril, the experts must be trusted to do what only they know how to do best. We must respect and support the decisions they make based upon the real-time information that only they have access to.

To do any less would be national suicide.

Sadly, too many Americans are so focused on their personal political agendas that they are no longer able to use basic common sense, even to save their own lives. Hopefully, I speak for the majority of Americans who do still understand and respect these simple truths.

I talk with real warriors daily, so I know that I speak for the vast majority of active duty and retired warriors. God help this nation if we are in the minority now…

JB Williams is a business man, a husband, a father, and a writer. A no nonsense commentator on American politics, American history, and American philosophy A hard hitting columnist, attacking the socialist cancer plaguing America today. He has a pragmatic “common Joe” approach to even the toughest issues facing our nation.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Why does Mrs. Clinton want driver's licenses for illegal aliens?

'This Will Make Voter Fraud Easier'
Why does Mrs. Clinton want driver's licenses for illegal aliens?

Friday, November 2, 2007 12:01 a.m.

Sen. Hillary Clinton was asked during a debate this week if she supported New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. At first she seemed to endorse the idea, then claimed, "I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it."
The next day she took a firmer stand (sort of) by offering general support for Gov. Spitzer's approach, but adding that she hadn't studied his specific plan. She should, and so should the rest of us. It stops just short of being an engraved invitation for people to commit voter fraud.

The background here is the National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as "Motor Voter," that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. It required all states to offer voter registration to anyone getting a driver's license. One simply fills out a form and checks a box stating he is a citizen; he is then registered and in most states does not have to show any ID to vote.

But no one checks if the person registering to vote is indeed a citizen. That greatly concerns New York election officials, who processed 245,000 voter registrations at DMV offices last year. "It would be [tough to catch] if someone wanted to . . . get a number of people registered who aren't citizens and went ahead and got them drivers' licenses," says Lee Daghlian, spokesman for New York's Board of Elections. Assemblywoman Ginny Fields, a Long Island Democrat, warns that the state's "Board of Elections has no voter police" and that the state probably has upwards of 500,000 illegal immigrants old enough to drive.

The potential for fraud is not trivial, as federal privacy laws prevent cross-checking voter registration rolls with immigration records. Nevertheless, a 1997 Congressional investigation found that "4,023 illegal voters possibly cast ballots in [a] disputed House election" in California. After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote.

Under pressure from liberal groups, some states have even abandoned the requirement that people check a citizenship box to be put on the voter rolls. Iowa has told local registrars they should register people even if they leave the citizenship box blank. Maryland officials wave illegal immigrants through the registration process, prompting a Justice Department letter warning they may be helping people violate federal law.

Gov. Spitzer is treading perilously close to that. Despite a tactical retreat this week--he says he will only give illegal immigrants a license that isn't valid for airplane travel and entering federal buildings--Mr. Spitzer has taken active steps to obliterate any distinctions between licenses given to citizens and non-citizens.

In a memo last Sept. 24, he ordered county clerks to remove the visa expiration date and "temporary visitor" stamp on licenses issued to non-citizens who are legally in the country. A Spitzer spokeswoman explained the change was made because the "temporary" label was "pejorative," given that some visitors might eventually stay in the U.S. Under fire, Mr. Spitzer backed down this week, delaying the cancellation of the "temporary visitor" stamps through the end of next year.

But he has not retreated from another new bizarre policy. It used to be that county clerks who process driver's licenses were banned from giving out voter registration forms to anyone without a Social Security number. No longer. Lou Dobbs of CNN reported that an Oct. 19 memo from the state DMV informed the clerks they don't "have any statutory discretion to withhold a motor voter form." What's more, the computer block preventing a DMV clerk from transmitting a motor voter registration without a Social Security number was removed.

Gov. Spitzer's office told me the courts have upheld their position on Social Security numbers. Sandy DePerno, the Democratic clerk of Oneida County, says that makes no sense. "This makes voter fraud easier," she told me.

While states such as New York are increasing the risk of such fraud, a half-dozen states have recently adopted laws requiring voters to offer proof of identity or citizenship before casting a ballot. A federal commission, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, gave such laws a big boost in 2005 when it called for a nationwide policy requiring a photo ID before voting.

Mr. Carter has personal knowledge of why such laws are needed. He recounts in his book "Turning Point" how his 1962 race for Georgia State Senate involved a local sheriff who had cast votes for the dead. It took a recount and court challenge before Mr. Carter was declared the winner.

Measures that curb voter fraud on the one hand and encourage it on the other will be central to the 2008 election. The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Indiana's photo ID law next spring, while lawsuits challenging Gov. Spitzer's moves will be in New York state courts.
Despite her muddled comments this week, there's no doubt where Mrs. Clinton stands on ballot integrity. She opposes photo ID laws, even though they enjoy over 80% support in the polls. She has also introduced a bill to force every state to offer no-excuse absentee voting as well as Election Day registration--easy avenues for election chicanery. The bill requires that every state restore voting rights to all criminals who have completed their prison terms, parole or probation.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that Mrs. Clinton is such a polarizing figure that she attracts between 46% and 49% support no matter which Republican candidate she's pitted against--even libertarian Ron Paul. She knows she may have trouble winning next year. Maybe that's why she's thrown herself in with those who will look the other way as a new electoral majority is formed--even if that includes non-citizens, felons and those who suddenly cross a state line on Election Day and decide they want to vote someplace new.

Mr. Fund, a columnist for OpinionJournal.com, is author of a forthcoming revised edition of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy." (Encounter).


JOHN FUND ON THE TRAIL
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