UNLOCK YOUR HIP FLEXORS

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Franken Cents

Comedian-turned-candidate Franken to pay $70K in back taxes

Tuesday April 29, 5:53 pm ET
By Patrick Condon, Associated Press Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Senate candidate Al Franken says he will pay about $70,000 in back income taxes in 17 states going back to 2003.

The Minnesota Democrat has been under attack by Republicans for failing to file tax returns in California for several years when the comedian-turned-candidate earned money there.

Read the whole thing!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Great Satanic Barbie Doll

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A top Iranian judiciary official warned Monday against the "destructive" cultural and social consequences of importing Barbie dolls and other Western toys.

Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi said in an official letter to Vice President Parviz Davoudi that the Western toys was a "danger" that needed to be stopped.

"The irregular importation of such toys, which unfortunately arrive through unofficial sources and smuggling, is destructive culturally and a social danger," Najafabadi said in his letter, a copy of which was made available to The Associated Press.

Iranian markets have been inundated with smuggled Western toys in recent years partly due to a dramatic rise in purchasing power as a result of increased oil revenues.

Read the whole thing!

Jeremiah Wright's sermons may signal the end of the Obama campaign, and they may mean the breakup of the Democratic Party as we know it.

We have been nursing a viper in our national bosom. Seven years after September 11, 2001, this is the moment of truth, when the Left must finally decide what side it's on. Wright's sermons may signal the end of the Obama campaign, and they may mean the breakup of the Democratic Party as we know it. I don't see how any centrist Democrat can still belong to this partyif Obama is its nominee. Jeremiah Wright may mean the historical end of the Civil Rights Era, because fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Left's presumption of victimhood and innocence is now gone.

Read the whole thing

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Muslims WILL take everything over and here's proof

Muslim scientists and clerics
have called for the adoption
of Mecca time to replace GMT,
arguing that the Saudi city is
the true centre of the Earth.


Read the whole thing!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave

by Heather Mac Donald

Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.

The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These “sanctuary policies” generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.

Such laws testify to the sheer political power of immigrant lobbies, a power so irresistible that police officials shrink from even mentioning the illegal-alien crime wave. “We can’t even talk about it,” says a frustrated LAPD captain. “People are afraid of a backlash from Hispanics.” Another LAPD commander in a predominantly Hispanic, gang-infested district sighs: “I would get a firestorm of criticism if I talked about [enforcing the immigration law against illegals].” Neither captain would speak for attribution.

But however pernicious in themselves, sanctuary rules are a symptom of a much broader disease: the nation’s near-total loss of control over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy might have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy. The nonstop increase of immigration is reshaping the language and the law to dissolve any distinction between legal and illegal aliens and, ultimately, the very idea of national borders.

It is a measure of how topsy-turvy the immigration environment has become that to ask police officials about the illegal-alien crime problem feels like a gross faux pas, not done in polite company. And a police official asked to violate this powerful taboo will give a strangled response—or, as in the case of a New York deputy commissioner, break off communication altogether. Meanwhile, millions of illegal aliens work, shop, travel, and commit crimes in plain view, utterly secure in their de facto immunity from the immigration law.

I asked the Miami Police Department’s spokesman, Detective Delrish Moss, about his employer’s policy on lawbreaking illegals. In September, the force arrested a Honduran visa violator for seven vicious rapes. The previous year, Miami cops had had the suspect in custody for lewd and lascivious molestation, without checking his immigration status. Had they done so, they would have discovered his visa overstay, a deportable offense, and so could have forestalled the rapes. “We have shied away from unnecessary involvement dealing with immigration issues,” explains Moss, choosing his words carefully, “because of our large immigrant population.”

Police commanders may not want to discuss, much less respond to, the illegal-alien crisis, but its magnitude for law enforcement is startling. Some examples:

• In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.

• A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60 percent of the 20,000-strong 18th Street Gang in southern California is illegal; police officers say the proportion is actually much greater. The bloody gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complex drug-distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and commits an assault or robbery every day in L.A. County. The gang has grown dramatically over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived youngsters, most of them illegal, from Central America and Mexico.

• The leadership of the Columbia Lil’ Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former assistant U.S. attorney Luis Li. Francisco Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and an illegal alien, controlled the gang from prison, while serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.

Good luck finding any reference to such facts in official crime analysis. The LAPD and the L.A. city attorney recently requested an injunction against drug trafficking in Hollywood, targeting the 18th Street Gang and the “non–gang members” who sell drugs in Hollywood for the gang. Those non–gang members are virtually all illegal Mexicans, smuggled into the country by a ring organized by 18th Street bigs. The Mexicans pay off their transportation debts to the gang by selling drugs; many soon realize how lucrative that line of work is and stay in the business.

Cops and prosecutors universally know the immigration status of these non-gang “Hollywood dealers,” as the city attorney calls them, but the gang injunction is assiduously silent on the matter. And if a Hollywood officer were to arrest an illegal dealer (known on the street as a “border brother”) for his immigration status, or even notify the Immigration and Naturalization Service (since early 2003, absorbed into the new Department of Homeland Security), he would face severe discipline for violating Special Order 40, the city’s sanctuary policy.

The ordinarily tough-as-nails former LAPD chief Daryl Gates enacted Special Order 40 in 1979—showing that even the most unapologetic law-and-order cop is no match for immigration advocates. The order prohibits officers from “initiating police action where the objective is to discover the alien status of a person”—in other words, the police may not even ask someone they have arrested about his immigration status until after they have filed criminal charges, nor may they arrest someone for immigration violations. They may not notify immigration authorities about an illegal alien picked up for minor violations. Only if they have already booked an illegal alien for a felony or for multiple misdemeanors may they inquire into his status or report him. The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.

L.A.’s sanctuary law and all others like it contradict a key 1990s policing discovery: the Great Chain of Being in criminal behavior. Pick up a law-violator for a “minor” crime, and you might well prevent a major crime: enforcing graffiti and turnstile-jumping laws nabs you murderers and robbers. Enforcing known immigration violations, such as reentry following deportation, against known felons, would be even more productive. LAPD officers recognize illegal deported gang members all the time—flashing gang signs at court hearings for rival gangbangers, hanging out on the corner, or casing a target. These illegal returnees are, simply by being in the country after deportation, committing a felony (in contrast to garden-variety illegals on their first trip to the U.S., say, who are only committing a misdemeanor). “But if I see a deportee from the Mara Salvatrucha [Salvadoran prison] gang crossing the street, I know I can’t touch him,” laments a Los Angeles gang officer. Only if the deported felon has given the officer some other reason to stop him, such as an observed narcotics sale, can the cop accost him—but not for the immigration felony.

Though such a policy puts the community at risk, the department’s top brass brush off such concerns. No big deal if you see deported gangbangers back on the streets, they say. Just put them under surveillance for “real” crimes and arrest them for those. But surveillance is very manpower-intensive. Where there is an immediate ground for getting a violent felon off the street and for questioning him further, it is absurd to demand that the woefully understaffed LAPD ignore it.

The stated reasons for sanctuary policies are that they encourage illegal-alien crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with cops without fear of deportation, and that they encourage illegals to take advantage of city services like health care and education (to whose maintenance few illegals have contributed a single tax dollar, of course). There has never been any empirical verification that sanctuary laws actually accomplish these goals—and no one has ever suggested not enforcing drug laws, say, for fear of intimidating drug-using crime victims. But in any case, this official rationale could be honored by limiting police use of immigration laws to some subset of immigration violators: deported felons, say, or repeat criminal offenders whose immigration status police already know.

The real reason cities prohibit their cops and other employees from immigration reporting and enforcement is, like nearly everything else in immigration policy, the numbers. The immigrant population has grown so large that public officials are terrified of alienating it, even at the expense of ignoring the law and tolerating violence. In 1996, a breathtaking Los Angeles Times exposé on the 18th Street Gang, which included descriptions of innocent bystanders being murdered by laughing cholos (gang members), revealed the rate of illegal-alien membership in the gang. In response to the public outcry, the Los Angeles City Council ordered the police to reexamine Special Order 40. You would have thought it had suggested reconsidering Roe v. Wade. A police commander warned the council: “This is going to open a significant, heated debate.” City Councilwoman Laura Chick put on a brave front: “We mustn’t be afraid,” she declared firmly.

But of course immigrant pandering trumped public safety. Law-abiding residents of gang-infested neighborhoods may live in terror of the tattooed gangbangers dealing drugs, spraying graffiti, and shooting up rivals outside their homes, but such anxiety can never equal a politician’s fear of offending Hispanics. At the start of the reexamination process, LAPD deputy chief John White had argued that allowing the department to work closely with the INS would give cops another tool for getting gang members off the streets. Trying to build a homicide case, say, against an illegal gang member is often futile, he explained, since witnesses fear deadly retaliation if they cooperate with the police. Enforcing an immigration violation would allow the cops to lock up the murderer right now, without putting a witness’s life at risk.

But six months later, Deputy Chief White had changed his tune: “Any broadening of the policy gets us into the immigration business,” he asserted. “It’s a federal law-enforcement issue, not a local law-enforcement issue.” Interim police chief Bayan Lewis told the L.A. Police Commission: “It is not the time. It is not the day to look at Special Order 40.”

Nor will it ever be, as long as immigration numbers continue to grow. After their brief moment of truth in 1996, Los Angeles politicians have only grown more adamant in defense of Special Order 40. After learning that cops in the scandal-plagued Rampart Division had cooperated with the INS to try to uproot murderous gang members from the community, local politicians threw a fit, criticizing district commanders for even allowing INS agents into their station houses. In turn, the LAPD strictly disciplined the offending officers. By now, big-city police chiefs are unfortunately just as determined to defend sanctuary policies as the politicians who appoint them; not so the rank and file, however, who see daily the benefit that an immigration tool would bring.

Immigration politics have similarly harmed New York. Former mayor Rudolph Giuliani sued all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend the city’s sanctuary policy against a 1996 federal law decreeing that cities could not prohibit their employees from cooperating with the INS. Oh yeah? said Giuliani; just watch me. The INS, he claimed, with what turned out to be grotesque irony, only aims to “terrorize people.” Though he lost in court, he remained defiant to the end. On September 5, 2001, his handpicked charter-revision committee ruled that New York could still require that its employees keep immigration information confidential to preserve trust between immigrants and government. Six days later, several visa-overstayers participated in the most devastating attack on the city and the country in history.

New York conveniently forgot the 1996 federal ban on sanctuary laws until a gang of five Mexicans—four of them illegal—abducted and brutally raped a 42-year-old mother of two near some railroad tracks in Queens. The NYPD had already arrested three of the illegal aliens numerous times for such crimes as assault, attempted robbery, criminal trespass, illegal gun possession, and drug offenses. The department had never notified the INS.

Citizen outrage forced Mayor Michael Bloomberg to revisit the city’s sanctuary decree yet again. In May 2003, Bloomberg tweaked the policy minimally to allow city staffers to inquire into immigration status only if it is relevant to the awarding of a government benefit. Though Bloomberg’s new rule said nothing about reporting immigration violations to federal officials, advocates immediately claimed that it did allow such reporting, and the ethnic lobbies went ballistic. “What we’re seeing is the erosion of people’s rights,” thundered Angelo Falcon of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. After three months of intense agitation by immigrant groups, Bloomberg replaced this innocuous “don’t ask” policy with a “don’t tell” rule even broader than Gotham’s original sanctuary policy. The new rule prohibits city employees from giving other government officials information not just about immigration status but about tax payments, sexual orientation, welfare status, and other matters.

But even were immigrant-saturated cities to discard their sanctuary policies and start enforcing immigration violations where public safety demands it, the resource-starved immigration authorities couldn’t handle the overwhelming additional workload.

The chronic shortage of manpower to oversee, and detention space to house, aliens as they await their deportation hearings (or, following an order of removal from a federal judge, their actual deportation) has forced immigration officials to practice a constant triage. Long ago, the feds stopped trying to find and deport aliens who had “merely” entered the country illegally through stealth or fraudulent documents. Currently, the only types of illegal aliens who run any risk of catching federal attention are those who have been convicted of an “aggravated felony” (a particularly egregious crime) or who have been deported following conviction for an aggravated felony and who have reentered (an offense punishable with 20 years in jail).

That triage has been going on for a long time, as former INS investigator Mike Cutler, who worked with the NYPD catching Brooklyn drug dealers in the 1970s, explains. “If you arrested someone you wanted to detain, you’d go to your boss and start a bidding war,” Cutler recalls. “You’d say: 'My guy ran three blocks, threw a couple of punches, and had six pieces of ID.' The boss would turn to another agent: 'Next! Whaddid your guy do?' 'He ran 18 blocks, pushed over an old lady, and had a gun.' ” But such one-upmanship was usually fruitless. “Without the jail space,” explains Cutler, “it was like the Fish and Wildlife Service; you’d tag their ear and let them go.”

But even when immigration officials actually arrest someone, and even if a judge issues a final deportation order (usually after years of litigation and appeals), they rarely have the manpower to put the alien on a bus or plane and take him across the border. Second alternative: detain him pending removal. Again, inadequate space and staff. In the early 1990s, for example, 15 INS officers were in charge of the deportation of approximately 85,000 aliens (not all of them criminals) in New York City. The agency’s actual response to final orders of removal was what is known as a “run letter”—a notice asking the deportable alien kindly to show up in a month or two to be deported, when the agency might be able to process him. Results: in 2001, 87 percent of deportable aliens who received run letters disappeared, a number that was even higher—94 percent—if they were from terror-sponsoring countries.

To other law-enforcement agencies, the feds’ triage often looks like complete indifference to immigration violations. Testifying to Congress about the Queens rape by illegal Mexicans, New York’s criminal justice coordinator defended the city’s failure to notify the INS after the rapists’ previous arrests on the ground that the agency wouldn’t have responded anyway. “We have time and time again been unable to reach INS on the phone,” John Feinblatt said last February. “When we reach them on the phone, they require that we write a letter. When we write a letter, they require that it be by a superior.”

Criminal aliens also interpret the triage as indifference. John Mullaly a former NYPD homicide detective, estimates that 70 percent of the drug dealers and other criminals in Manhattan’s Washington Heights were illegal. Were Mullaly to threaten an illegal-alien thug in custody that his next stop would be El Salvador unless he cooperated, the criminal would just laugh, knowing that the INS would never show up. The message could not be clearer: this is a culture that can’t enforce its most basic law of entry. If policing’s broken-windows theory is correct, the failure to enforce one set of rules breeds overall contempt for the law.

The sheer number of criminal aliens overwhelmed an innovative program that would allow immigration officials to complete deportation hearings while a criminal was still in state or federal prison, so that upon his release he could be immediately ejected without taking up precious INS detention space. But the process, begun in 1988, immediately bogged down due to the numbers—in 2000, for example, nearly 30 percent of federal prisoners were foreign-born. The agency couldn’t find enough pro bono attorneys to represent such an army of criminal aliens (who have extensive due-process rights in contesting deportation) and so would have to request delay after delay. Or enough immigration judges would not be available. In 1997, the INS simply had no record of a whopping 36 percent of foreign-born inmates who had been released from federal and four state prisons without any review of their deportability. They included 1,198 aggravated felons, 80 of whom were soon re-arrested for new crimes.

Resource starvation is not the only reason for federal inaction. The INS was a creature of immigration politics, and INS district directors came under great pressure from local politicians to divert scarce resources into distribution of such “benefits” as permanent residency, citizenship, and work permits, and away from criminal or other investigations. In the late 1980s, for example, the INS refused to join an FBI task force against Haitian drug trafficking in Miami, fearing criticism for “Haitian-bashing.” In 1997, after Hispanic activists protested a much-publicized raid that netted nearly two dozen illegals, the Border Patrol said that it would no longer join Simi Valley, California, probation officers on home searches of illegal-alien-dominated gangs.

The disastrous Citizenship USA project of 1996 was a luminous case of politics driving the INS to sacrifice enforcement to “benefits.” When, in the early 1990s, the prospect of welfare reform drove immigrants to apply for citizenship in record numbers to preserve their welfare eligibility, the Clinton administration, seeing a political bonanza in hundreds of thousands of new welfare-dependent citizens, ordered the naturalization process radically expedited. Thanks to relentless administration pressure, processing errors in 1996 were 99 percent in New York and 90 percent in Los Angeles, and tens of thousands of aliens with criminal records, including for murder and armed robbery, were naturalized.

Another powerful political force, the immigration bar association, has won from Congress an elaborate set of due-process rights for criminal aliens that can keep them in the country indefinitely. Federal probation officers in Brooklyn are supervising two illegals—a Jordanian and an Egyptian with Saudi citizenship—who look “ready to blow up the Statue of Liberty,” according to a probation official, but the officers can’t get rid of them. The Jordanian had been caught fencing stolen Social Security and tax-refund checks; now he sells phone cards, which he uses himself to make untraceable calls. The Saudi’s offense: using a fraudulent Social Security number to get employment—a puzzlingly unnecessary scam, since he receives large sums from the Middle East, including from millionaire relatives. But intelligence links him to terrorism, so presumably he worked in order not to draw attention to himself. Currently, he changes his cell phone every month. Ordinarily such a minor offense would not be prosecuted, but the government, fearing that he had terrorist intentions, used whatever it had to put him in prison.

Now, probation officers desperately want to see the duo out of the country, but the two ex-cons have hired lawyers, who are relentlessly fighting their deportation. “Due process allows you to stay for years without an adjudication,” says a probation officer in frustration. “A regular immigration attorney can keep you in the country for three years, a high-priced one for ten.” In the meantime, Brooklyn probation officials are watching the bridges.

Even where immigration officials successfully nab and deport criminal aliens, the reality, says a former federal gang prosecutor, is that “they all come back. They can’t make it in Mexico.” The tens of thousands of illegal farmworkers and dishwashers who overpower U.S. border controls every year carry in their wake thousands of brutal assailants and terrorists who use the same smuggling industry and who benefit from the same irresistible odds: there are so many more of them than the Border Patrol.

For, of course, the government’s inability to keep out criminal aliens is part and parcel of its inability to patrol the border, period. For decades, the INS had as much effect on the migration of millions of illegals as a can tied to the tail of a tiger. And the immigrants themselves, despite the press cliché of hapless aliens living fearfully in the shadows, seemed to regard immigration authorities with all the concern of an elephant for a flea.

Certainly fear of immigration officers is not in evidence among the hundreds of illegal day laborers who hang out on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, New York, in front of money wire services, travel agencies, immigration-attorney offices, and phone arcades, all catering to the local Hispanic population (as well as to drug dealers and terrorists). “There is no chance of getting caught,” cheerfully explains Rafael, an Ecuadoran. Like the dozen Ecuadorans and Mexicans on his particular corner, Rafael is hoping that an SUV seeking carpenters for $100 a day will show up soon. “We don’t worry, because we’re not doing anything wrong. I know it’s illegal; I need the papers, but here, nobody asks you for papers.”

Even the newly fortified Mexican border, the one spot where the government really tries to prevent illegal immigration, looms as only a minor inconvenience to the day laborers. The odds, they realize, are overwhelmingly in their favor. Miguel, a reserved young carpenter, crossed the border at Tijuana three years ago with 15 others. Border Patrol spotted them, but with six officers to 16 illegals, only five got caught. In illegal border crossings, you get what you pay for, Miguel says. If you try to shave on the fee, the coyotes will abandon you at the first problem. Miguel’s wife was flying into New York from Los Angeles that very day; it had cost him $2,200 to get her across the border. “Because I pay, I don’t worry,” he says complacently.

The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of criminals and terrorists—short of an economic revolution in the sending countries or an impregnably militarized border—is to remove the jobs magnet. As long as migrants know they can easily get work, they will find ways to evade border controls. But enforcing laws against illegal labor is among government’s lowest priorities. In 2001, only 124 agents nationwide were trying to find and prosecute the hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of illegal aliens who violate the employment laws, the Associated Press reports.

Even were immigration officials to devote adequate resources to worksite investigations, not much would change, because their legal weapons are so weak. That’s no accident: though it is a crime to hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies, and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the fraud-proof form of work authorization necessary to enforce that ban. Libertarians have erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number to the Social Security Administration for employers to confirm Social Security numbers. Hispanics warn just as stridently that helping employers verify work eligibility would result in discrimination against Hispanics—implicitly conceding that vast numbers of Hispanics work illegally.

The result: hiring practices in illegal-immigrant-saturated industries are a charade. Millions of illegal workers pretend to present valid documents, and thousands of employers pretend to believe them. The law doesn’t require the employer to verify that a worker is actually qualified to work, and as long as the proffered documents are not patently phony—scrawled with red crayon on a matchbook, say—the employer will nearly always be exempt from liability merely by having eyeballed them. To find an employer guilty of violating the ban on hiring illegal aliens, immigration authorities must prove that he knew he was getting fake papers—an almost insurmountable burden. Meanwhile, the market for counterfeit documents has exploded: in one month alone in 1998, immigration authorities seized nearly 2 million of them in Los Angeles, destined for immigrant workers, welfare seekers, criminals, and terrorists.

For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration officials ever do try to conduct an industry-wide investigation—which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers—local congressmen will almost certainly head it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia-onion industry in Georgia was not only aborted by Georgia’s congressional delegation; it actually resulted in a local amnesty for the growers’ illegal workforce. The downside to complying with the spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable. Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by less scrupulous competitors.

Of the incalculable changes in American politics, demographics, and culture that the continuing surge of migrants is causing, one of the most profound is the breakdown of the distinction between legal and illegal entry. Everywhere, illegal aliens receive free public education and free medical care at taxpayer expense; 13 states offer them driver’s licenses. States everywhere have been pushed to grant illegal aliens college scholarships and reduced in-state tuition. One hundred banks, over 800 law-enforcement agencies, and dozens of cities accept an identification card created by Mexico to credentialize illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. The Bush administration has given its blessing to this matricula consular card, over the strong protest of the FBI, which warns that the gaping security loopholes that the card creates make it a boon to money launderers, immigrant smugglers, and terrorists. Border authorities have already caught an Iranian man sneaking across the border this year, Mexican matricula card in hand.

Hispanic advocates have helped blur the distinction between a legal and an illegal resident by asserting that differentiating the two is an act of irrational bigotry. Arrests of illegal aliens inside the border now inevitably spark protests, often led by the Mexican government, that feature signs calling for “no más racismo.” Immigrant advocates use the language of “human rights” to appeal to an authority higher than such trivia as citizenship laws. They attack the term “amnesty” for implicitly acknowledging the validity of borders. Indeed, grouses Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez, “There’s an implication that somehow you did something wrong and you need to be forgiven.”

Illegal aliens and their advocates speak loudly about what they think the U.S. owes them, not vice versa. “I believe they have a right . . . to work, to drive their kids to school,” said California assemblywoman Sarah Reyes. An immigration agent says that people he stops “get in your face about their rights, because our failure to enforce the law emboldens them.” Taking this idea to its extreme, Joaquín Avila, a UCLA Chicano studies professor and law lecturer, argues that to deny non-citizens the vote, especially in the many California cities where they constitute the majority, is a form of apartheid.

Yet no poll has ever shown that Americans want more open borders. Quite the reverse. By a huge majority—at least 60 percent—they want to rein in immigration, and they endorse an observation that Senator Alan Simpson made 20 years ago: Americans “are fed up with efforts to make them feel that [they] do not have that fundamental right of any people—to decide who will join them and help form the future country in which they and their posterity will live.” But if the elites’ and the advocates’ idea of giving voting rights to non-citizen majorities catches on—and don’t be surprised if it does—Americans could be faced with the ultimate absurdity of people outside the social compact making rules for those inside it.

However the nation ultimately decides to rationalize its chaotic and incoherent immigration system, surely all can agree that, at a minimum, authorities should expel illegal-alien criminals swiftly. Even on the grounds of protecting non-criminal illegal immigrants, we should start by junking sanctuary policies. By stripping cops of what may be their only immediate tool to remove felons from the community, these policies leave law-abiding immigrants prey to crime.

But the non-enforcement of immigration laws in general has an even more destructive effect. In many immigrant communities, assimilation into gangs seems to be outstripping assimilation into civic culture. Toddlers are learning to flash gang signals and hate the police, reports the Los Angeles Times. In New York City, “every high school has its Mexican gang,” and most 12- to 14-year-olds have already joined, claims Ernesto Vega, an illegal 18-year-old Mexican. Such pathologies only worsen when the first lesson that immigrants learn about U.S. law is that Americans don’t bother to enforce it. “Institutionalizing illegal immigration creates a mindset in people that anything goes in the U.S.,” observes Patrick Ortega, the news and public-affairs director of Radio Nueva Vida in southern California. “It creates a new subculture, with a sequela of social ills.” It is broken windows writ large.

For the sake of immigrants and native-born Americans alike, it’s time to decide what our immigration policy is—and enforce it.

http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_1_the_illegal_alien.html

What liberals will do if you allow them

“The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. But how is... legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay... If such a law is not abolished immediately it will spread, multiply and develop into a system.” —Frederic Bastiat

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Time Magazine Massacres the Truth

The Haditha massacre story could turn out to be as phony as the Bush National Guard documents that scandalized CBS News.

Read the whole thing!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Liberals Are Unhappy

Friday, April 18, 2008

Time to get scared

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, April 18, 2008; Page A27
The era of nonproliferation is over. During the first half-century of the nuclear age, safety lay in restricting the weaponry to major powers and keeping it out of the hands of rogue states. This strategy was inevitably going to break down. The inevitable has arrived.
Read the whole thing here!

American Salvation

by Dick McDonald

www.riseupamerica.us

The American salvation I speak of is not economic or social as America has no economic peer on the planet nor societal structure that delivers greater freedom to the individual. No America is doing fine irrespective of its nay Sayers and internal enemies. What I speak of is the fact that social and economic policies exist in the way we run the country that must be changed to elevate the status of individuals over that of the state. For too long policies rooted in socialist dogma have dominated the operation of our government and in turn created a bureaucracy that has sapped self-reliance from many of its citizen and made too many dependent on the state for their very existence.

We at the Ownership Society Institute have developed the Rise Up America plan to rectify those problems. The main goals of the plan are to make America and its citizens more productive and wealthy to the point every citizen can achieve the American Dream of financial independence even though they don't have a high level of education. It only requires that a citizen lead a stable and industrious life to achieve that dream. The plan also enables the economy to tap into the largest cache of new investment capital on the planet thereby funding the creation of more businesses and job opportunities for its citizens thereby accelerating its growth.

The key to making Rise Up America work is to change the fundamental method used to fund social programs like Social Security, Disability and Medicare. To improve the benefits paid under those social philosophies will require a change from the pay-as-you-go method of funding them to an investment and savings method wherein the forces of capitalism can be used to grow the personal savings investment for every American to enable him or her to retire affluently and pass on to their heirs a sizable estate.

To date the American public has been satisfied getting the small benefits presently paid under those programs and has been fearful of tampering with them in case those meager benefits are reduced further. The public also knows those programs are in financial jeopardy and have incurred enormous unfunded liabilities. Almost all young people question whether those programs will be available to them when they retire.

As the fear of losing the benefits of those programs is so acute in the minds of ordinary Americans, the Rise Up America plan has as its basic principle the continued payment of all of the benefits presently being paid under those programs for all years in the future to every American. In other words the benefits paid under Rise Up will never fall below those that are presently being paid. As most are aware the present plans to fix the insolvency of those programs is to raise taxes or cut benefits. The adoption of the Rise Up America plan will make such punitive actions unnecessary.

Forces alien to the improvement in the benefits paid by those programs have been successful in defeating any change by giving the word "privatization" a negative connotation in the minds of ordinary Americans. Those forces have tied the word "privatization" to the concept that these programs will be "destroyed" by privatization. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Under present Social Security law there is no investment, no nest egg at retirement after contributing 15.3% of the American worker's lifetime income into these programs. By privatizing the plan under Rise Up's plan the ordinary household in America would have accumulated a $3.2 million nest egg at retirement. Just the income off that nest egg would entitle the retiree to a $27,000 a-month retirement check which when compared to the $1,122 presently being paid only goes to illustrate the pathetic condition of the manner in which politicians have failed Americans in the past in funding these programs.

The Rise Up America plan does not use the word "privatization" to denote what that program is all about - it uses the word "personal account". The word "privatization" generally means taking a government function, transferring it to the private sector and letting the private sector make a profit on the activity. The Rise Up plan has no element of profit or the turning over of funds to any public or private agency. The amounts heretofore collected as payroll taxes are placed into the individuals own personal investment account and invested at their direction in large indexed stock funds which for the last 30 years have been growing at an annual rate of over 10%.

Opponents to any plan like Rise Up where individual Americans acquire wealth in sufficient amount to afford an affluent retirement and the best medical care on the planet out of their own funds make the deathbed claim that America can't afford to pay benefits under the old plan and direct all payroll taxes into personal accounts as well. Linear analysis would seem to give their objection some credence but the Rise Up America plan has as its transitional philosophy not only to pay benefits under the old plan while simultaneously directing all payroll taxes into personal accounts but by the method we suggest to affect this transition will also increase the international trading value of the U.S. dollar thereby helping Americans cure the most insidious tax of all - inflation. See the article "The Magic Transition" for a complete analysis of how that works.

It is not surprising that the opponents to a Rise Up plan are the very people in our society that claim to be the champions of the poor and underprivileged. They see continued poverty as their guarantee of continued political power. These people oversee the "entitlement industry" and dole out benefits in exchange for votes from the very people they are enslaving with their socialist policies. Rise Up is a capitalist's solution to poverty in our time - and that time is now.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stuttering Democrats

By Philip Klein
Published 4/17/2008 1:29:38 AM

PHILADELPHIA -- Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton squared off last night in a debate to help Democrats choose their party's nominee, but the big winner wasn't either Democrat. It was Republican John McCain.

Both Clinton and Obama were rattled as ABC moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos grilled them on a number of issues that have not been brought into focus before.
Read the whole thing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The audacity of liberals

Al Gore causes mass starvation

Thanks a lot, Al. (But you won't see him starving anytime soon.)

Global warming rage lets global hunger grow

Monday, April 14, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

War?

Tensions in the Middle East are moving well beyond the normal point, and given everything that is happening, events are moving to a point where someone is likely to take military action.
A Mystery in the Middle East

George Friedman, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in security and intelligence issues relating to national security, information warfare and computer security. He is founder, chairman and Chief Intelligence Officer of STRATFOR, (Strategic Forecasting Inc.) a private intelligence company that provides customized intelligence services for its clients and provides an internationally acclaimed Web site, www.stratfor.com, that analyzes and forecasts trends in world affairs. Friedman’s column, Intelligence Brief, is syndicated by Tribune Media Services.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Do the math...we're all screwed!


As the presidential campaign enters its final stages, there will be increased debate over budget priorities and how they will be paid for. Many commentators and political leaders, including Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, believe that tax increases are needed to restore near-term budget balance and finance longer-term entitlement growth.

These claims fail budget arithmetic and economics. Worse, they raise serious questions about the nation's broad fiscal policies and its commitment to economic growth.

Read the whole thing!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Is there really any question about whether or not al-Qaeda in Iraq is part of the global al-Qaeda movement?

April 07, 2008, 0:30 a.m.

Why Iraq Matters
Talking back to antiwar-party talking points.

By Frederick W. Kagan

Losing wars is always bad. One of the major reasons for America’s current global predominance economically and politically is that America doesn’t lose wars very often. It seems likely, however, that the American people are about to be told that they have to decide to lose the Iraq war, that accepting defeat is better than trying to win, and that the consequences of defeat will be less than the costs of continuing to fight. For some, the demand to “end this war” is a reprise of the great triumph of their generation: forcing the U.S. to lose the Vietnam War and feel good about it. But even some supporters are being seduced by their own weariness of the struggle, and are being tempted to believe the unfounded defeatism — combined with the unfounded optimism about the consequences of defeat — that hyper-sophisticates have offered during every major conflict. Americans have a right to be weary of this conflict and to desire to bring it to an end. But before we choose the easier and more comfortable wrong over the harder and more distasteful right, we should examine more closely the two core assumptions that underlie the current antiwar arguments: that we must lose this war because we cannot win it at any acceptable cost, and that it will be better to lose than to continue trying to win.

The hyper-sophisticates of the American foreign-policy and intellectual establishment direct their invective at the whole notion of winning or losing. What’s the definition of winning? If we choose to withdraw from an ill-conceived and badly executed war, that’s not really losing, is it? We can and should find ways to use diplomacy rather than military power to handle the consequences of any so-called defeat. Less-sophisticated antiwar leaders on both sides will ask simply why the U.S. should continue to spend its blood and treasure to fight in “a far-off land of which we know little,” as Neville Chamberlain famously said in defense of his abandonment of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis. We have, after all, more pressing problems at home to which the Iraq war is only contributing. As is often the case, there is a level between over-thinking and under-thinking a problem that is actually thinking. Yes, in the world as it is, whatever line we sell ourselves, there really is victory and there really is defeat, the two are different, and their effects on the future diverge profoundly. And yes, the reason we must continue to spend money and the lives of the very best Americans in that far-off land is that the interests of every American are actually at stake.

We will consider below just how much of a diversion of resources away from more desirable domestic priorities the Iraq war actually is, but the more important point is simply this: Unless the advocates of defeat can show, as they have not yet done, that the consequences of losing are very likely to be small not simply the day after the last American leaves Iraq, but over the next five, ten, and 50 years, then what they are really selling is short-term relief in exchange for long-term pain. As drug addicts can attest, this kind of instant-gratification temptation is very seductive — it’s what keeps drug dealers in business despite the terrible damage their products do to their customers. “Just end the pain now and deal with the future when it gets here” is as bad a strategy for a great nation as it is for a teenager.

The antiwar party has continually adapted its arguments, but not its conclusions, to the changing circumstances on the ground. At the end of 2006, the argument was that Iraq was in full-scale sectarian civil war, that no conceivable additional American forces could reduce the violence, that the whole notion of having American troops try to do so was foolish, and that we should instead slash our forces dramatically and turn to diplomacy with Iraq’s neighbors. When the surge began, the antiwar party crowed loud and long that success was impossible, rising violence inevitable, and the whole business doomed to failure. When Coalition operations brought the violence under control, the antiwar party admitted that security had improved but insisted that the political progress the surge was supposed to enable had not occurred and would not occur. Additional arguments popped up to explain that the fall in violence had nothing to do with the surge anyway — it resulted from the Anbar Awakening, which had preceded the surge; or, alternatively, from the fact that American troops were simply buying and arming former Sunni insurgents; and from Moqtada al Sadr’s ceasefire that he could lift at any moment, plunging Iraq right back into complete chaos. The antiwar party rather gleefully seized upon recent Iraqi Security Forces operations against Sadr’s militia and other illegal gangs as proof of this — the general glee with which the antiwar party has greeted any setback in Iraq is extremely distasteful and unseemly, whatever domestic political benefits they believe they will receive from those setbacks. Even if one believes that defeat is inevitable and withdrawal necessary, no American should take pleasure in the prospect of that defeat. But the key talking points now seem to be two: that the war costs too much, and that it is already inevitably lost whatever temporary progress the surge may have achieved. What follows is an exploration of these and a few other key antiwar talking points.

THE WAR COSTS TOO MUCH

An increasingly popular talking point of the antiwar party is that the war simply costs too much and that we must end it and refocus on domestic priorities. This talking point has a number of variants:

The “$3 trillion war.” Simplistic economic analysis declares that the war has cost the taxpayers $3 trillion since its inception, implying that this is a $3 trillion dead loss to the economy — a price too high to pay.

Modern economics has long understood that the notion of a one-for-one guns-versus-butter trade-off is simply wrong. A high proportion of money spent on defense goes back into the U.S. economy in the form of salaries paid to the more than 5 million Americans employed directly or indirectly by the Defense Department, and payments to the defense industry and the long and complex supply chains from which they draw their raw materials. Military spending has traditionally been a form of economic stimulus, and wars more commonly end recessions or depressions than start them. That’s not a good reason to start a war, but neither is it a good reason to lose one. The impact of the current war on the U.S. economy, finally, is far smaller than the impact of previous major conflicts. Military spending in World War II ranged from 17.8 percent of GDP to 37.5 percent; in Korea from 5.0 percent (in 1950 — 7.4 percent in 1951) to 14.2 percent; in Vietnam from 7.4 percent to 9.4 percent. Current expenditures on the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars bring total defense expenditures to something well below 5 percent of GDP. Even granting the simplistic and misleading $3 trillion figure, $3 trillion is about 5 percent of the nearly $60 trillion American GDP over the five years of the war.

The war has caused the upcoming recession. Using mercantilist arguments common in the 18th century but subsequently shown to be wrong, war opponents have successfully spread the notion that military spending is causing the economy to slow and contract — they have been successful enough that a large majority of Americans believe this falsehood to be true.

In line with the points made above, the burden of the war on the American economy has simply not been heavy enough to have caused a recession on its own. The collapse of the housing bubble, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, rising oil prices (which losing the war will not lower), and a variety of other factors have been far more important in slowing the economy than any brake the war might have put on it. Defense spending as a percentage of total federal spending is now around 20 percent. In World War II, it ranged from 73 percent to 89.5 percent; in Korea it ranged from 32.2 percent (1950 — 51.8 percent in 1951) to 69.5 percent; and in Vietnam from 42.8 percent to 46 percent. In more context: at the height of spending on this war, defense spending was only 12.3 percent of all public spending (including federal, state, and local expenditures); in World War II the high was 82.1 percent; in Korea, 52.5 percent; and in Vietnam 31.3 percent.

While it is true that security spending (including Homeland Security and many costs not related to the Iraq war) is the largest single line-item in the 2008 Federal budget at $656 billion, mandatory programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and S-CHIP, and other non-security discretionary programs received $610 billion, $391 billion, $211 billion, and $481 billion respectively. The $100 billion or so of direct war costs that could theoretically be recouped by withdrawing all of our forces from Iraq and Afghanistan is less than 6 percent of the $1.7 trillion spent on mandatory and discretionary domestic programs. The financial cost of the war, high though it is, is simply not a large enough part of the federal budget, to say nothing of the GDP, to have played a significant part in the American economy, particularly considering the fact that a high percentage of defense dollars go back into that economy. The argument that the Iraq war has caused the recession is just wrong.

High gas prices are the result of the war — and ending the war would lower gas prices.

There is a huge failure of logic here. Oil prices do not rise because American forces are in the Middle East — they rise because of instability and fighting in the Middle East. One of the most dramatic increases in oil prices in history occurred during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, when no American forces were present. The antiwar party argues that American failure in Iraq is inevitable and the violence will inevitably increase whatever we do. That is not true, but if it were, then it makes this talking point silly. If violence in Iraq is destined to increase, then the oil premium is destined to remain at least this high if not higher. In the real world, American forces are playing a key role in keeping the violence in Iraq down and preventing it from engulfing the region — if they are withdrawn prematurely, violence will spike and so will the price of oil.

The war is consuming money that would otherwise be spent on more important domestic programs.

If only our schools were fully funded and the Air Force had to have bake-sales to buy bombers.... Well, the Air Force is just about at the bake-sale level thanks to consistent under-spending on defense since 1991. But if we stopped the war tomorrow, would our schools get all the money those who make this argument think they need? Of course not. The war is being funded on an emergency basis (for good or ill) and its cost has not been offset by tax increases (as the antiwar party periodically points out). In the real world, there is no way that even a Democratic Congress would spend $100 billion a year in non-offset emergency authorizations for education or health care, even if some war critics think that they would like it to do so. As for increasing domestic spending, those who believe that we should raise taxes and spend more money on domestic programs can still advocate that policy, whatever its wisdom. This isn’t an argument about the cost of the war — it’s an argument about whether we want to have higher taxes to pay for increased domestic spending. Alternatively, it can be an argument about the cost-benefit of government borrowing versus tax increases, or of government borrowing versus economic stimulus in the form of government spending. It is not about the one-for-one tradeoff of dollars spent on the war versus dollars spent on schools and health care.

America just can’t afford this war any more, whatever the outcome.

This talking point is nothing more than a disingenuous attempt to make recent successes and the probability of future successes irrelevant. If the U.S. and its Iraqi allies can build on recent progress and move toward a situation in which Iraqi is stable, peaceful, and a U.S. ally — thereby avoiding the collapse of Iraq, the explosion of violence, and the likely increased intervention of Iraq’s neighbors that serious historical studies as well as facts on the ground show are very likely — then the U.S. can afford the price as put in its proper context above. If success is not possible, then we must discuss the best course of action to extricate ourselves. In no circumstance is it appropriate to argue that the probability of success or failure in Iraq has become irrelevant. This is not an argument over how best to secure America’s interests — it is an argument that ends discussion by appealing to emotion and short-term thinking. Can America afford the consequences of an immediate withdrawal? What would they be? What would they cost? If those costs include the possibility of re-engaging against al-Qaeda or regional instability in the future — as Sen. Obama has bizarrely hinted — what will that undertaking cost? The antiwar party has the obligation to explain to the American people the probable and possible costs of its own proposals, something it has so far utterly failed to do.

THE WAR IS INEVITABLY LOST, RECENT PROGRESS NOTWITHSTANDING

This argument, one of the most common among the antiwar party, recognizes that the situation in Iraq has improved significantly over the past 15 months, but asserts that further efforts in Iraq will lead only to inevitable failure. The credibility of many making this argument suffers from the conviction with which they declared early (and, in some cases, even late) in 2007 that no progress of any kind was possible. And arguments from historical inevitability are problematic either to prove or to disprove (except for Marxists and other historical determinists). To the extent that this argument is anything other than an assertion of superior abilities to predict the future, it generally rests on one of a handful of bases:

Iraq is a made-up state: Iraqis hate each other, and only armed might can keep the peace.

The high degree of Sunni-Shi’a intermarriage in the mixed areas of Iraq, the large numbers of such mixed areas, and the increasing anger with which many Iraqis in those areas now denounce the idea of sectarian conflict all run against this argument. Those who closely followed the evolution of the sectarian civil war in 2006 noticed the surprise and resentment with which many Baghdadis greeted the idea that they had to interact with one another on the basis of sect. The fact that many reacted by acquiring dual identity cards — one with a Sunni name and one with a Shi’a name — suggests that they did not see sect as a core identity that must be defended at all costs. The alacrity with which Iraq’s Shi’a shifted their condemnation from the “Sunni” to “al-Qaeda” in 2007 as the Sunni Awakening marked the Sunnis' revolt against the terrorists is another indicator. In truth, it appears now that most Shi’a who do not live in the vicinity of Sunnis really don’t care very much about them. And many Sunni, even those who still call the Maliki government “Persians,” are increasingly more concerned about local political developments and what they can get out of that government than about the sectarian split. The Sunni-Shia fault-line is important and likely will be for a long time. In particular, it will continue to provide the potential to rally the Iraqi masses in internal strife that suits external actors. But its existence in Iraq does not condemn Iraq to endless sectarian violence any more than the once-volatile Protestant-Catholic divide in Germany continues to generate violence today.

Iraqis are not ready for democracy; it was an error for Bush ever to imagine that the U.S. could impose Western values on an Arab (or Muslim) state.

As for the notion that democracy is incompatible with Islam, tell it to the hundreds of millions of Muslims in Turkey, India, Indonesia, and Europe who have embraced it. As for the notion that democracy is inappropriate for Arabs, the enthusiasm with which the liberal elite that insists on the universality of its own moral relativism engages in such overtly racist argumentation is astounding. More concretely, the millions of Iraqis who risked their lives to vote in previous elections and the polls showing that upwards of 90 percent of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs intend to vote in upcoming provincial elections suggest that Iraqis don’t agree. Many of the other counts of the inevitability argument spring from some version of this hyper-sophisticated racist viewpoint — Iraqis are too corrupt for legitimate government; they won’t fight because they’re weak, lazy, or just would rather have us do it; they won’t take responsibility for their state or security; and so on. To each argument there is an on-the-ground rebuttal (like the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have died fighting al-Qaeda and Iranian-backed militias, for instance), but this talking point isn’t really about on-the-ground realities; it’s about preconceptions that can be very hard to sway.

RECENT PROGRESS REALLY HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THE SURGE ANYWAY

This has become one of the favorite talking points of the antiwar party, and it has three major components:

The Anbar Awakening began before the surge, had nothing to do with the surge, and will continue (or not) with or without U.S. forces present.

This argument is a bit like saying that the French people, finally tiring of the Nazis’ occupation, rose up of their own accord in 1944, engaging in increasing partisan and insurgent activities culminating with the re-appearance of the Free French military units that liberated Paris — and that none of this had anything to do with the Normandy invasion, since the Free French movement and partisan activity within France predated that invasion. One interesting thing about this argument is that it requires a real detachment from the scene to believe in — Anbaris don’t say this, American troops and leaders who were in Anbar in 2006 don’t say it, Americans who oversaw the full blossoming of the Awakening in 2007 don’t say it. It’s a good argument to make from 6,000 miles away, but it isn’t true. Resistance to al-Qaeda in Iraq’s presence had been growing steadily throughout 2005 and 2006, and local leaders had begun both developing resistance movements and reaching out to Coalition forces for help before the surge. But al-Qaeda in Iraq had responded with fearsome brutality that greatly slowed and restricted the speed and scope of the movement. American forces in Ramadi in 2006 fought hard to establish the preconditions in the city for a clearing operation that would make possible the dramatic turn of the tribes in 2007, but they were not able to conduct that operation until reinforcements arrived with the surge. The exponential expansion of the Awakening movement — and particularly its spread to areas outside of Anbar that had shown no inclination to resist al-Qaeda before the surge — is testimony to the synergy between these two phenomena.

The violence in Iraq has fallen not because of the surge’s success, but because of its failure: sectarian violence is down only because the sectarian cleansing has largely been completed.

This argument doesn’t even work from 6,000 miles away. There has been sectarian cleansing in and around Baghdad, but it has not resulted in homogeneous cities, let alone provinces, and it has not generated stable dividing lines between communities. Traditionally, Shia have dominated Sadr City, of course, as well as its various neighboring areas of Shaab, Ur, and much of 9 Nissan. Shia have also predominate in Khadimiya, west of the Tigris River, around an important Shia shrine there. Sunni have historically been the majority in the Mansour and Rashid Districts west of the river and in parts of Adhamiya to the east. The central areas of Karkh, Rusafa, and Karada have generally been mixed. This sectarian division of the city remains stable today — the Sunni are still in Adhamiya; Shia still in Khadimiya; the center of the city is still mixed; and there remain Shi’a enclaves in Rashid and Sunni enclaves in 9 Nissan. In other words, the river does not form a sectarian boundary, individual districts remain mixed, and there are plenty of sectarian edges to create the basis for sectarian fighting if anyone wanted to engage in it. The same is true in areas south and northeast of Baghdad, such as the former “triangle of death” (that is now a triangle of relative peace where Sunni and Shia both live) and up the Diyala River into Baquba, still a mixed city despite ferocious fighting in 2007. The completion of sectarian cleansing did not occur.

Violence fell only because Moqtada al Sadr ordered a unilateral cease-fire. But he’s as strong as ever and can and will end the relative calm at any moment that suits him.

Sadr’s cease-fire has always been less of a free choice than many imagine. When the surge began, the Sadrist movement had seats in the Council of Representatives and a number of key ministries in the government. The government, despite his objections, developed the Baghdad Security Plan in conjunction with the U.S. forces stationed there. From that point on, Sadr faced a dilemma — if he called on his people to fight the U.S. and Iraqi forces executing the government’s plan, he was casting himself explicitly outside the Iraqi political system and relying on his military abilities to prevail. Since his last effort to rely on force (the uprising of 2004) had been a disaster for him and his fighters, Sadr was not attracted to this option. But the alternative of continuing to play a role in Iraqi politics required that he at least nominally accept the government’s decision and at least nominally order his followers to comply. Since the Maliki government has held firm to its original intent and decision, Sadr has never been able to escape from this dilemma. But his reaction in January 2007 created yet another dilemma for him. Coalition and Iraqi forces began to attack elements of the Jaysh al Mahdi and affiliated Special Groups that were continuing to fight — Sadr declared that any such JAM groups were “rogue elements” violating his orders. As U.S. forces moved into Baghdad’s neighborhoods, they gained visibility not only on these “rogue JAM” members, but also on the “regular JAM” leaders who were adhering to Sadr’s order. In addition to having to abandon any pretext of participating in Iraqi politics if he ended the ceasefire, therefore, Sadr also had to face the likelihood that well-informed U.S. and ISF troops would take out his key leadership cadres the moment he ordered them to fight. And that is what happened when Maliki launched his offensive in Basra and JAM and Special Groups began to fight in Baghdad — which is one of the main reasons Sadr ordered his people again to stand down.

The degree of Sadr’s influence and power — even of his control over his own movement — is increasingly open to question, but his ability to make Shi’a Iraq explode at will appears to be substantially diminished. One need only think back to the bad days of 2004, when U.S. forces had to clear Sadrist fighters methodically from around the Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf and it took an entire American Cavalry Division to subdue Sadr City with great loss to see that the most recent combat was not even a pale echo of that cataclysm.

NOW THAT THE SURGE IS ENDING, WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED

For those who believe the myths that the violence has dropped only because Sadr ordered a cease-fire and because the Americans have been “buying” the Sunni insurgents with arms and money, this talking point makes sense. The repeated assertion that American troops are “arming” Sunni militias is flatly untrue, as the military command and independent observers have stated repeatedly. One of the defining characteristics of an insurgent is that he is armed — at all events, one usually doesn’t have to worry too much about unarmed insurgents. To the extent that U.S. forces are bringing former insurgents into the “Sons of Iraq” movement, the one thing we don’t need to do is arm them — and we don’t. As for paying them, we do, and we should continue to do so. But the tribes in Anbar and elsewhere did not turn to us because we offered them money. They turned to us because they knew that if they continued to fight us we’d kill them. We started to pay them only after they turned, and this continues to be the sequence of events as the movement spreads — first they abandon the insurgency, then they are vetted and some are paid, but none are armed.

The worst flaw in this argument, however, is that it naively assumes that the situation in Iraq today is the same as it was in January 2007 apart from the temporary increase in U.S. forces and the (supposedly) temporary drop in violence. In fact, the situation has changed profoundly both in the provinces and in Baghdad itself, where the central government has made remarkable progress even on the “benchmarks” that Congress set for it last year. It is conceivable that the Sunni Arab community could again become so disenchanted with or frightened of the Shia-dominated government that it took up arms against it (although it is much harder to see how or why that community would start to attack Americans again, unless we do something egregiously stupid), but the resulting insurgency will not be the same one that we have already defeated. New power blocs, new political organizations, new social movements have changed the dynamic within the Sunni community, and a similar phenomenon is also occurring in the Shia community. We can’t say with certainty that current positive trendlines will hold, but we can say with a lot of confidence that, if they don’t, we’ll see something new and not just a return to the problems we had before the surge. In other words, we have defeated the Sunni Arab insurgency we faced, and we are on the road to defeating al-Qaeda, which suggests that broader success is possible with those foes out of the way.

WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE FOUGHT THIS WAR IN THE FIRST PLACE

There are no do-overs in the real world. Deciding that we made a mistake in 2003 or that we don’t like what has happened in the intervening five years does not make it possible to hit some global rewind button and start again from scratch. Historians and partisans will debate the merits of the decision to invade, the nature of the invasion, post-war planning, weapons of mass destruction, the legality of the operation, and many other things for decades. But George W. Bush is not running for president in 2008, nor is Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld. Senators McCain and Clinton both voted to authorize the use of force in 2003; Senator Obama had an opinion then but not a vote. Today it just simply doesn’t matter who was right. What matters is what we should do now, in the current situation, to advance our interests and ensure our security. The American people will make the 2008 election another referendum on George Bush’s 2003 decision-making at their great peril. For those who want to judge the candidates’ judgment, their predictions about the likely results of the surge — when all three candidates had the same information available and the same rights to speak and vote — are more informative than their attitudes toward the invasion. And for those who want to apply a “commander-in-chief test,” the coming days will see all three presidential candidates take a report in their official senatorial capacities from the overall commander of the war and the ambassador. Let’s see who’s willing to listen to and accept reporting and recommendations from a military commander that conflicts with their own positions and who isn’t.

IRAQ IS A DISTRACTION FROM THE REAL WAR ON TERROR

Is it? Let’s see what al-Qaeda leaders have had to say. (For more detail, see “Iraq: The Way Ahead,” Phase IV Report of the Iraq Planning Group at AEI).


At the end of March 2007, al-Qaeda senior leader Abu Yahya al Libi declared:

My brothers, the jihad fighters in Iraq, today you are the avant-garde, the vanguard of the caravan; you are on the front-lines, and there will be implications to your victory. Therefore, strengthen the attack and fortify your determination. . . . and know that your [Islamic] nation in its entirety stands behind you. . . . Do not let it down. Your glorious war is not the jihad of the Iraqi people alone, nor of one group or sect. It is the jihad of all the Islamic nation. . . . Oh jihad-fighting brothers, today you are at the crossroads, since your occupying enemy is showing signs of breakdown and defeat in the military arena. . . . [and the enemy] knows well that it has lost the battle.


By the end of last year, al-Qaeda’s tone was not remotely as optimistic. In a December 2007 address, Osama bin Laden declared that

when America was stopped by its army’s inability, it increased its political and media activity to trick the Muslims. It sought to seduce the tribes by buying their favors by creating damaging councils under the name of the ‘Awakenings,’ as they claimed them to be. . . . What is unfortunate is that groups and tribes that belong to people of knowledge and the call and Jihad are participating in this great betrayal, and have confused right with wrong, and people have seen these groups cooperate directly with the Americans, like the leader of the so-called ‘Islamic Party,’ as he publicly called for longterm security agreements with America.”


Bin Laden added that Zarqawi

and his brothers have already helped to thwart these people and stop their advance and expose them. But instead of supporting them, you [the Sunni insurgents who joined Awakenings] turned against them and stopped the Mujahideen from attacking these people, dividing the fighting into two parts. Fighting against the Americans alone is honorable resistance, but fighting these apostate groups and the members of the [Iraqi] police and army, who are the supporters of America and the tools of its occupation of Iraq and the killing of its free people, has become for you a dishonorable resistance of which you wash your hands. These divisions were not laid down by Allah, and the Prophet . . . used to fight his own tribesmen who were from Quraish, for religion trumps blood, and not race nor nation. . . . I remind my precious Muslim Ummah that there are many lessons in what has pas[sed], so stop playing around and become alert for the matter is dangerous. Where are you heading?! What are you waiting for?!” (Translation from the SITE Intel Group).


A posting on an al-Qaeda forum in February 2008 presented a similar message even more strongly:

Brothers, the truth is that I admire the intelligence of the present Crusader, General Petraeus, for through his intelligence and cleverness he was able to achieve in one month what his colleagues couldn’t achieve in five years. . . . After the sly Petraeus became in charge, he started to play his game with us unfairly. We established the Islamic State of Iraq, so he established the Awakening Council to fight it by the method of guerilla warfare, and they started setting up booby traps for the Mujahideen and detonated the explosive packages on them. Al-Furqan Media Foundation was formed, so he established a media council to defame the S[t]ate and to erase it media productions.”


This posting went on to address proper al-Qaeda responses to the new American tactics and strategy, beginning with “Possess weapons of mass destruction as a mean[s] to the balance of terrorizing” and “Carry out a counter attack in the depth of the enemy’s land with great accuracy” as well as “build strong and very modern trenches.” (Translation from the SITE Intel Group).

Is there really any question about whether or not al-Qaeda in Iraq is part of the global al-Qaeda movement? Considering, then, that there are very few and very small al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, that al-Qaeda in South Asia is mostly in Pakistan, and that none of those insisting that the U.S. abandon Iraq to fight the “real” enemy in Afghanistan have proposed any meaningful plans for dealing with Chitral and Waziristan where that “real” enemy actually is — considering, finally, that the one place American soldiers are actually fighting al-Qaeda every day and decisively winning is Iraq, how, exactly, is Iraq a distraction from the war on terror? This is the war, and we’re winning it. Let’s not decide that we’d rather lose.

— Frederick W. Kagan is a military historian and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

"Americans know something without a name is undermining the nation..."

Heston on Winning the Culture War
Newsmax.com
Sunday, April 6, 2008 3:39 PM

By: Charlton Heston


The following is a speech NRA President Charlton Heston gave to the Harvard Law School Forum on February 16, 1999.


I remember my son when he was five, explaining to his kindergarten class what his father did for a living. "My Daddy," he said, "pretends to be people."


There have been quite a few of them. Prophets from the Old and New Testaments, a couple of Christian saints, generals of various nationalities and different centuries, several kings, three American presidents, a French cardinal and two geniuses, including Michelangelo. If you want the ceiling repainted I'll do my best. There always seems to be a lot of different fellows up here. I'm never sure which one of them gets to talk. Right now, I guess I'm the guy.


As I pondered our visit tonight, it struck me: If my Creator gave me the gift to connect you with the hearts and minds of those great men, then I want to use that same gift now to re-connect you with your own sense of liberty...your own freedom of thought...your own compass for what is right.


Dedicating the memorial at a Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln said of America, "We are now engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."


Those words are true again. I believe that we are again engaged in a great civil war, a cultural war that's about to hijack your birthright to think and say what resides in your heart. I fear you no longer trust the pulsing lifeblood of liberty inside you...the stuff that made this country rise from wilderness into the miracle that it is.



Let me back up. About a year ago I became president of the National Rifle Association, which protects the right to keep and bear arms. I ran for office, I was elected, and now I serve...I serve as a moving target for the media who've called me everything from "ridiculous" and "duped" to a "brain-injured senile, crazy old man." I know...I'm pretty old...but I sure Lord ain't senile.


As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that.


I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated.


For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 - long before Hollywood found it fashionable. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me a racist.


I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe.


I served in World War II against the Axis powers. But during a speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out innocent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite.


Everyone I know knows I would never raise a closed fist against my country. But when I asked an audience to oppose this cultural persecution, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh.


From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essentially saying, "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind. You are using language not authorized for public consumption!"


But I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys - subjects bound to the British crown.


In his book, "The End of Sanity," Martin Gross writes that "blatantly irrational behavior is rapidly being established as the norm in almost every area of human endeavor. There seem to be new customs, new rules, new anti-intellectual theories regularly foisted on us from every direction.


Underneath, the nation is roiling. Americans know something without a name is undermining the nation, turning the mind mushy when it comes to separating truth from falsehood and right from wrong. And they don't like it."


Let me read a few examples.


• At Antioch College in Ohio, young men seeking intimacy with a coed must get verbal permission at each step of the process from kissing to petting to final copulation...all clearly spelled out in a printed college directive.


• In New Jersey, despite the death of several patients nationwide who had been infected by dentists who had concealed their AIDS, the state commissioner announced that health providers who are HIV-positive need not...need not...tell their patients that they are infected.


• At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of the school team "The Tribe" because it was supposedly insulting to local Indians, only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs truly like the name.


• In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance protecting the rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job, and for transsexuals to have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery.


• In New York City, kids who don't speak a word of Spanish have been placed in bilingual classes to learn their three R's in Spanish solely because their last names sound Hispanic.


• At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where thousands died at Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college officially set up segregated dormitory space for black students.


Yeah, I know...that's out of bounds now. Dr. King said "Negroes." Jimmy Baldwin and most of us on the March said "black." But it's a no-no now.


For me, hyphenated identities are awkward...particularly "Native-American." I'm a Native American, for God's sake. I also happen to be a blood-initiated brother of the Miniconjou Sioux. On my wife's side, my grandson is a thirteenth generation native American...with a capital letter on "American."


Finally, just last month...David Howard, head of the Washington, D.C. Office of Public Advocate, used the word "niggardly" while talking to colleagues about budgetary matters. Of course, "niggardly" means stingy or scanty. But within days Howard was forced to publicly apologize and resign.


As columnist Tony Snow wrote: "David Howard got fired because some people in public employ were morons who (a) didn't know the meaning of niggardly, (b) didn't know how to use a dictionary to discover the meaning, and (c) actually demanded that he apologize for their ignorance."


What does all of this mean? It means that telling us what to think has evolved into telling us what to say, so telling us what to do can't be far behind.


Before you claim to be a champion of free thought, tell me: Why did political correctness originate on America's campuses? And why do you continue to tolerate it? Why do you, who're supposed to debate ideas, surrender to their suppression?


Let's be honest. Who here thinks your professors can say what they really believe?


It scares me to death and should scare you too, that the superstition of political correctness rules the halls of reason.


You are the best and the brightest. You, here in the fertile cradle of American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles River, you are the cream. But I submit that you, and your counterparts across the land, are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation since Concord Bridge. And as long as you validate that...and abide it...you are - by your grandfathers' standards - cowards.


Here's another example. Right now at more than one major university, Second Amendment scholars and researchers are being told to shut up about their findings or they'll lose their jobs. Why? Because their research findings would undermine big-city mayors...pending lawsuits that seek to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from firearm manufacturers.


I don't care what you think about guns. But if you are not shocked at that, I am shocked at you. Who will guard the raw material of unfettered ideas, if not you? Who will defend the core value of academia, if you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay down your arms and plead, "Don't shoot me."


If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist. If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist. If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion. If you accept but don't celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.


Don't let America's universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.


But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation?


The answer's been here all along.


I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.


You simply...disobey.


Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely.


But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't. We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.


I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King...who learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in the right against those with the might.


Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that disobedient spirit that tossed tea in to Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war in Viet Nam.


In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and onerous law that weaken personal freedom.


But be careful...it hurts.


Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies.


You must be willing to be humiliated...to endure the modern-day equivalent of the police dogs at Montgomery and the water cannons at Selma.


You must be willing to experience discomfort. I'm not complaining, but my own decades of social activism have taken their toll on me. Let me tell you a story.


A few years back I heard about a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a CD called "Cop Killer" celebrating ambushing and murdering police officers. It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the biggest entertainment conglomerate in the world.


Police across the country were outraged. Rightfully so - at least one had been murdered. But Time/warner was stonewalling because the CD was a cash cow for them, and the media were tiptoeing around it because the rapper was black.


I heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills. I owned some shares at the time and decided to attend.


What I did there was against the advice of my family and colleagues. I asked for the floor. To a hushed room of a thousand average American stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of "Cop Killer" - every vicious, vulgar, instructional word.


"I GOT MY 12 GAUGE SAWED OFF

I GOT MY HEADLIGHTS TURNED OFF

I'M ABOUT TO BUST SOME SHOTS OFF

I'M ABOUT TO DUST SOME COPS OFF..."


It got worse, a lot worse. I won't read the rest of it to you. But trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces. The Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their shoes. They hated me for that.


Then I delivered another volley of sick lyric brimming with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing two 12-year old nieces of Al and Tipper Gore.


"SHE PUSHED HER BUTT AGAINST MY..."


Well, I won't do to you here what I did to them. Let's just say I left the room in echoing silence. When I read the lyrics to the waiting press corps, one of them said "We can't print that." "I know," I replied, "but Time/Warner's selling it."


Two months later, Time/Warner terminated Ice-T's contract. I'll never be offered another film by Warner, or get a good review from Time magazine. But disobedience means you must be willing to act, not just talk.


When a mugger sues his elderly victim for defending herself...jam the switchboard of the district attorney's office.


When your university is pressured to lower standards until 80% of the students graduate with honors...choke the halls of the board of regents.


When an 8-year-old boy pecks a girl's cheek on the playground and gets hauled into court for sexual harassment...march on that school and block its doorways.


When someone you elected is seduced by political power and betrays you...petition them, oust them, banish them.


When Time magazine's cover portrays millennium nuts as deranged, crazy Christians holding a cross as it did last month...boycott their magazine and the products it advertises.


So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the great disobediences of history that freed exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God's grace, built this country.


If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree.


Thank you.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

An Open Letter to the Democratic Party


Frances Rice, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.), has published a demand for an apology from the Democratic Party at the Lincoln Heritage Institute website where she is a contributor. There is nothing more for me to add so I offer the full text for your enjoyment:


By Lt. Colonel Frances Rice,U.S. Army Retired: Contributor to the LHI

"We, African American citizens of the United States, declare and assert:

Whereas in the early 1600's 20 African men and women were landed in Virginia from a Dutch ship as slaves and from that tiny seed grew the poisoned fruit of plantation slavery which shaped the course of American development,

Whereas reconciliation and healing always begin with an apology and an effort to repay those who have been wronged,

Whereas the Democratic Party has never apologized for their horrific atrocities and racist practices committed against African Americans during the past two hundred years, nor for the residual impact that those atrocities and practices and current soft bigotry of low expectations are having on us today,

Whereas the Democratic Party fought to expand slavery and, after the Civil War, established Jim Crow Laws, Black Codes and other repressive legislation that were designed to disenfranchise African Americans,

Whereas the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party, and their primary goal was to intimidate and terrorize African American voters, Republicans who moved South to protect African Americans and any other whites who supported them,

Whereas, according to leading historians (both black and white), the horrific atrocities committed against African Americans during slavery and Reconstruction were financed, sponsored, and promoted by the Democratic Party and their Ku Klux Klan supporters,

Whereas from 1870 to 1930, in an effort to deny African Americans their civil rights and to keep African Americans from voting Republican, thousands of African Americans were shot, beaten, lynched, mutilated, and burned to death by Ku Klux Klan terrorists from the Democratic Party,

Whereas Democratic Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman rejected anti-lynching laws and efforts to establish a permanent Civil Rights Commission,

Whereas the Democratic party has used racist demagoguery to deceive African Americans about the history of the Republican Party that: (a) started as the anti-slavery party in 1854, (b) fought to free African Americans from slavery, (c) designed Reconstruction, a ten-year period of unprecedented political power for African Americans, (d) passed the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution granting African Americans freedom, citizenship, and the right to vote, (e) passed the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 granting African Americans protection from the Black Codes and prohibiting racial discrimination in public accommodations, (f) passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 granting African Americans protection from the Jim Crow laws, (g) established Affirmative Action programs to help African Americans proper with Republican President Richard Nixon's 1969 Philadelphia Plan that set the first goals and timetables and his 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act that made Affirmative Action Programs the law of our nation, and (h) never sponsored or launched a program, passed laws, or engaged in practices that resulted in the death of millions of African Americans,

Whereas Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka (a 1954 decision by Chief Justice Earl Warren who was appointed by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower) was a landmark civil rights case that was designed to overturn the racist practices that were established by the Democratic Party,

Whereas after Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt received the vote of African Americans, he banned African American newspapers from the military shortly after taking office because he was convinced the newspapers were communists,

Whereas Democratic President John F. Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil Rights Law, opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and was later criticized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for ignoring civil rights issues.

Whereas Democratic President John F. Kennedy authorized the FBI (supervised by his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy) to investigate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on suspicion of being a communist,

Whereas Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, made a 14-hour filibuster speech in the Senate in June 1964 in an unsuccessful effort to block passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and was heralded in April 2004 by Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd as a senator who would have been a great leader during the Civil War,

Whereas when the 1964 Civil Rights Act came up for vote, Senator Al Gore, Sr. and the rest of the Southern Democrats voted against the bill,

Whereas in the House of Representatives only 61 percent of the Democrats voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act as compared to 80 percent of Republicans, and in the Senate only 69 percent of the Democrats voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, compared to 82 percent of the Republicans,

Whereas Democratic President Bill Clinton sent troops to Europe to protect the citizens of Bosnia and Kosovo while allowing an estimated 800,000 black Rwandans to be massacred in Africa, vetoed the welfare reform law twice before signing it, and refused to comply with a court order to have shipping companies develop an Affirmative Action Plan,

Whereas Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore created harmful racial division when he falsely claimed that the 2000 presidential election was "stolen" from him and that African Americans in Florida were disenfranchised, even though a second recount of Florida votes by the "Miami Herald" and a consortium of major news organizations confirmed that he lost the election, and a ruling by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission declared that African Americans were not denied the right to vote,

Whereas the Democratic Party's soft bigotry of low expectations and social promotions have consigned African Americans to economic bondage and created a culture of dependency on government social programs,

Whereas the Democratic Party's use of deception and fear to block welfare reform, the faith-based initiative and school choice that would help African Americans prosper is consistent with the Democratic Party's heritage of racism that included sanctioning of slavery and kukluxery, a perversion of moral sentiment among leaders of the Democratic Party whose racist legacy bode ill until this generation of African Americans,

Now, therefore, for the above and other documented atrocities and accumulated wrongs inflicted upon African Americans, we demand a formal written apology and other appropriate remuneration from the leadership of the Democratic party.



Lincoln Heritage Institute lhi@wmis.net
620 Hall Street, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827
In Pennsylvania, 603 N. 3rd. St., Harrisburg, Pa.
Box 656 Main St., Pleasant Valley, NY, 12569 Fax (517) 663-5245