Thursday, June 26, 2008
Polar scientists reveal dramatic new evidence of climate change (BULLSHIT)
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Friday, 27 June 2008
It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year. (First of all that is not what the evidence shows, and secondly there are navigational maps in Chinese Museums that plot courses across what is now called the "permanent Ice Pack")
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer. (yet if you look at their graphs the melt is equivalent to last year, and there was ice there then.)
"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado. (gee did Mark scold mother nature for Not doing what he demands? Even though this event has yet to happen)
If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above. (but my god that's planet rape! for OIL)
Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally ice free North Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by huge swathes of thinner ice formed over a single year. (Blown Away? by what? They also ignore the fact that over the past two years the North Pole has shifted 2 degrees. I work in the Aviation field and the had to update all the navigational maps. The last time the pole shifted the area known as the Sahara Desert was formed)
This one-year ice is highly vulnerable to melting during the summer months and satellite data coming in over recent weeks shows that the rate of melting is faster than last year, when there was an all-time record loss of summer sea ice at the Arctic. (that's not what the graph they include in this article shows)
"The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the North Pole is covered with extensive first-year ice – ice that formed last autumn and winter. I'd say it's even-odds whether the North Pole melts out," said Dr Serreze. (Dr Serreze needs to study History better. What has occurred in his lifetime is minuscule in the grand scale of even human history, let alone Global History)
Each summer the sea ice melts before reforming again during the long Arctic winter but the loss of sea ice last year was so extensive that much of the Arctic Ocean became open water, with the water-ice boundary coming just 700 miles away from the North Pole. (and yet not a single coastal city was flooded. Amazing!)
This meant that about 70 per cent of the sea ice present this spring was single-year ice formed over last winter. Scientists predict that at least 70 per cent of this single-year ice – and perhaps all of it – will melt completely this summer, Dr Serreze said.
"Indeed, for the Arctic as a whole, the melt season started with even more thin ice than in 2007, hence concerns that we may even beat last year's sea-ice minimum. We'll see what happens, a great deal depends on the weather patterns in July and August," he said. (Gee no kidding)
Ron Lindsay, a polar scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, agreed that much now depends on what happens to the Arctic weather in terms of wind patterns and hours of sunshine. "There's a good chance that it will all melt away at the North Pole, it's certainly feasible, but it's not guaranteed," Dr Lindsay said. (in other words they have NO CLUE)
The polar regions are experiencing the most dramatic increase in average temperatures due to global warming and scientists fear that as more sea ice is lost, the darker, open ocean will absorb more heat and raise local temperatures even further. Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, who was one of the first civilian scientists to sail underneath the Arctic sea ice in a Royal Navy submarine, said that the conditions are ripe for an unprecedented melting of the ice at the North Pole. (They should have left him under the ice.)
"Last year we saw huge areas of the ocean open up, which has never been experienced before. (BULLSHIT) People are expecting this to continue this year and it is likely to extend over the North Pole. It is quite likely that the North Pole will be exposed this summer – it's not happened before," Professor Wadhams said. (NOT TRUE ACCORDING TO HISTORIC RECORD)
There are other indications that the Arctic sea ice is showing signs of breaking up. Scientists at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Centre said that the North Water 'polynya' – an expanse of open water surrounded on all sides by ice – that normally forms near Alaska and Banks Island off the Canadian coast, is much larger than normal. Polynyas absorb heat from the sun and eat away at the edge of the sea ice.
Inuit natives living near Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland are also reporting that the sea ice there is starting to break up much earlier than normal and that they have seen wide cracks appearing in the ice where it normally remains stable. Satellite measurements collected over nearly 30 years show a significant decline in the extent of the Arctic sea ice, which has become more rapid in recent years. (ooowww lets all panic)
This "News" article is nothing but innuendo and scare tactics trying to reinforce a fairy tale called Man Made Global Warming.
Opinion of the Court
In sum, we hold that the Districts ban on Handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the house.* * *
We are aware of the problems of handgun violence, and we take seriously the concerns of many amici that believe that the prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra at 54-55. and n. 26. But the enshrinement of the constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our Army is the pride of our Nation, where well trained Police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.
We affirm the Judgement of the Court of Appeals.
The opinion can be downloaded here.
Quotes from the opinion:
“Logic demands that there be a link between the stated purpose and the command.”
“We start therefore with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.”
“the most natural reading of ‘keep Arms’ in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.”
“The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity.”
“Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”
“Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose.”
“The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting.”
“It was plainly the understanding in the post-Civil War Congress that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to use arms for self-defense.”
“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”
“Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
“We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those ‘in common use at the time.’ 307 U. S., at 179.”
“Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.”
“In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.”
On the question of the Second Amendment’s application to the States: “23 With respect to Cruikshank’s continuing validity on incorporation, a question not presented by this case, we note that Cruikshank also said that the First Amendment did not apply against the States and did not engage in the sort of Fourteenth Amendment inquiry required by our later cases. Our later decisions in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 265 (1886) and Miller v. Texas, 153 U. S. 535, 538 (1894), reaffirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to the Federal Government.”
The suspects may have been hired by drug cartels to perform home invasions and assassinations in the U.S.
View Police Documents:
Police reports show that three men arrested in a Phoenix home invasion and homicide Monday may have been active members of the Mexican Army.
While on the J.D. Hayworth show, Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Mark Spencer said that the men involved were hired by drug cartels to perform home invasions and assassinations.
The Monday morning incident at 8329 W. Cypress St. resulted in the death of the homeowner. Between 50 and 100 rounds were fired at the house.
Spencer said a police officer told him that one of the men captured said they were completely prepared to ambush Phoenix police, but ran out of ammunition.
He added that all were all dressed in military tactical gear and were armed with AR-15 assault rifles. Three other men involved in the invasion escaped.
Click Here to listen to Mark Spencer's entire interview on the J.D. Hayworth show.
However, Phoenix Police have not confirmed the men were Mexican Army members.
Sgt. Joel Tranter said one suspect revealed that he had "prior military training," but "no credible evidence" that any of them were active in the military.
Click Here for more from Sgt. Tranter with KFYI reporter Bob Bennett.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This has caused over the past couple of decades a malaise to descend over those of us that do participate in the system. The few, the crazed, those of us that view politics as the only true sport. We work the polls we knock on doors we may even hold minor office in local government. We are the grunts.
Then there are the party Elites, the insiders that actually run for High office. Those inbred few that seem to be shoved down our throats as "THE Choice". Once in office they usually have to die to get them out, and this has even gone awry these days. If someone dies in office their wife or husband now slips in perpetuating this inbred line of miscreants that have no clue how to actually accomplish anything other than keep the money flowing to promote their own re-election. Only Those shepherded to this group are allowed to participate, and that is also guaranteed by the even smaller turnouts at off year elections.
Add to that the politicalization of the school system over the last 40yrs so that history is never taught, and if it is they look at the American past as a cesspool of slaveholders demanding their freedom. Not an accurate look at what this nation has accomplished, who accomplished it, and the ideals that drove them.
That is why we have as our choice, a lunatic who has been on a 20 year vendetta of attacking the constitutions first amendment representing one side, and an out and out Marxist running on the other. Now as far as I am concerned neither of these men are of a caliber to hold office as a dog catcher yet this is what the disgrace of the inbred two party system has lead us to as our choices. Do we elect the loon or the commie? That is this years election question.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Urgent: House Democrats call for nationalization of refineries
Per Pergram-Capitol Hill
House Democrats responded to President's Bush's call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. This was at an on-camera press conference fed back live.
Among other things, the Democrats called for the government to own refineries so it could better control the flow of the oil supply.
They also reasserted that the reason the Appropriations Committee markup (where the vote on the amendment to lift the ban) was cancelled so they could focus on preparing the supplemental Iraq spending bill for tomorrow.
At an off-camera briefing, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said the same. And a senior Republican House Appropriations Committee
Friday, June 13, 2008
Justice Scalia, writing in dissent, was blunt:
America is at war with radical Islamists. The enemy began by killing Americans and American allies abroad: 241 at the Marine barracks in Lebanon, 19 at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, 224 at our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and 17 on the USS Cole in Yemen. See National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 60–61, 70, 190 (2004). On September 11, 2001, the enemy brought the battle to American soil, killing 2,749 at the Twin Towers in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon in Washington, D. C., and 40 in Pennsylvania. See id., at 552, n. 9. It has threatened further attacks against our homeland; one need only walk about buttressed and barricaded Washington, or board a plane anywhere in the country, to know that the threat is a serious one. Our Armed Forces are now in the field against the enemy, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Last week, 13 of our countrymen in arms were killed.
The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.
He also noted: Justice Scalia notes in his dissent that the Court's decision is difficult to reconcile with American history as well as its own precedent:: "The category of prisoner comparable to these detainees are not the Eisentrager criminal defendants, but the more than 400,000 prisoners of war detained in the United States alone during World War II. Not a single one was accorded the right to have his detention validated by a habeas corpus action in federal court—and that despite the fact that they were present on U. S. soil."
Another Example that I am not alone in my opinion is here.
By Richard Samp
Throughout our nation's history, the courts have usually deferred to our elected branches of government — Congress and the president — on foreign affairs and national security issues. And with good reason. The courts simply lack the expertise and resources to justify second-guessing military experts on such issues.
In Thursday's sharply divided 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court decided to abandon that long history of deference. It decreed that henceforth, it will be the job of federal courts to decide on their own whether aliens captured on foreign battlefields are really "enemy combatants."
The court said the doctrine that it was upholding is enshrined in the Constitution, even though it candidly acknowledged that it could not cite a single prior case in which an American or English court had exercised such power in a case involving aliens held overseas.
There are a ton of examples of people that agree with my point of view.
In setting up the detention facility at Guantanamo, the Bush administration reasonably relied on the Court's decision in Johnson v. Eisentrager. In Eisentrager the Court held that nonresident enemy aliens have no right to seek relief in the federal courts in wartime. The Court does not expressly overrule Eisentrager in Boumediene, but Boumediene cannot fairly be reconciled with Eisentrager. The distinctions drawn by the majority between Eisentrager and Boumediene in part IV of Justice Kennedy's opinion are remarkably unpersuasive. The unpersuasiveness of this crucial part of the opinion shows the Court, rather than the Bush administration, to be acting arbitrarily.
Justice Kennedy concedes: "It is true that before today the Court has never held that noncitizens detained by our Government in territory over which another country maintains de jure sovereignty have any rights under our Constitution. But the case before us lacks any hisotorical parallel."
Boumediene works a vast expansion of the wartime power of the federal courts and, ultimately, of five members of the Supreme Court. By the same token, it contracts the power of the elected branches of government to provide for the common defense. With respect to the executive in particular, Hamilton's comments in Federalist 69 are suggestive in this context: "Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand. The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength; and the power of directing and employing the common strength, forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority." We will have occasion to regret the Court's handiwork in Boumediene for years to come.
June 13, 2008; Page A14
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy isn't known for his judicial modesty. But for sheer willfulness, yesterday's 5-4 majority opinion in Boumediene v. Bush may earn him a historic place among the likes of Harry Blackmun. In a stroke, he and four other unelected Justices have declared their war-making supremacy over both Congress and the White House.
Boumediene concerns habeas corpus – the right of Americans to challenge detention by the government. Justice Kennedy has now extended that right to non-American enemy combatants captured abroad trying to kill Americans in the war on terror. We can say with confident horror that more Americans are likely to die as a result.
An Algerian native, Lakhdar Boumediene was detained by U.S. troops in Bosnia in January 2002 and is currently held at Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. military heard the case for Boumediene's detention in 2004, and in the years since he has never appealed the finding that he is an enemy combatant, although he could under federal law. Instead, his lawyers asserted his "right" – as an alien held outside the United States – to a habeas hearing before a U.S. federal judge.
Justice Kennedy's opinion is remarkable in its sweeping disregard for the decisions of both political branches. In a pair of 2006 laws – the Detainee Treatment Act and the Military Commissions Act – Congress and the President had worked out painstaking and good-faith rules for handling enemy combatants during wartime. These rules came in response to previous Supreme Court decisions demanding such procedural care, and they are the most extensive ever granted to prisoners of war.
Yet as Justice Antonin Scalia notes in dissent, "Turns out" the same Justices "were just kidding." Mr. Kennedy now deems those efforts inadequate, based on only the most cursory analysis. As Chief Justice John Roberts makes clear in his dissent, the majority seems to dislike these procedures merely because a judge did not sanctify them. In their place, Justice Kennedy decrees that district court judges should derive their own ad hoc standards for judging habeas petitions. Make it up as you go!
Justice Kennedy declines even to consider what those standards should be, or how they would protect national security over classified information or the sources and methods that led to the detentions. Eventually, as the lower courts work their will amid endless litigation, perhaps President Kennedy will vouchsafe more details in some future case. In the meantime, the likelihood grows that our soldiers will prematurely release combatants who will kill more Americans.
To reach yesterday's decision, Justice Kennedy also had to dissemble about Justice Robert Jackson's famous 1950 decision in Johnson v. Eisentrager. In that case, German nationals had been tried and convicted by military commissions for providing aid to the Japanese after Germany's surrender in World War II. Justice Jackson ruled that non-Americans held in a prison in the American occupation zone in Germany did not warrant habeas corpus. But rather than overrule Eisentrager, Mr. Kennedy misinterprets it to pretend that it was based on mere "procedural" concerns. This is plainly dishonest.
By the logic of Boumediene, members of al Qaeda will now be able to challenge their status in court in a way that uniformed military officers of a legitimate army cannot. And Justice Scalia points out that this was not a right afforded even to the 400,000 prisoners of war detained on American soil during World War II. It is difficult to understand why any terrorist held anywhere in the world – whether at Camp Cropper in Iraq or Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan – won't now have the same right to have their appeals heard in an American court.
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution contains the so-called Suspension Clause, which says: "The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." Justice Kennedy makes much of the fact that we are not currently under "invasion or rebellion." But he ignores that these exceptions don't include war abroad because the Framers never contemplated that a non-citizen, captured overseas and held outside the U.S., could claim the same right.
Justice Kennedy's opinion is full of self-applause about his defense of the "great Writ," and no doubt it will be widely praised as a triumph for civil liberties. But we hope it is not a tragedy for civil liberties in the long run. If there is another attack on U.S. soil – perhaps one enabled by a terrorist released under the Kennedy rules – the public demand for security will trample the Constitutional delicacies of Boumediene. Just last month, a former Gitmo detainee killed a group of Iraqi soldiers when he blew himself up in Mosul. And he was someone the military thought it was safe to release.
Justice Jackson once famously observed that the Constitution is "not a suicide pact." About Anthony Kennedy's Constitution, we're not so sure.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
By Fred Hiatt
Monday, June 9, 2008; Page A17
Search the Internet for "Bush Lied" products, and you will find sites that offer more than a thousand designs. The basic "Bush Lied, People Died" bumper sticker is only the beginning.
Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, set out to provide the official foundation for what has become not only a thriving business but, more important, an article of faith among millions of Americans. And in releasing a committee report Thursday, he claimed to have accomplished his mission, though he did not use the L-word.
"In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent," he said.
There's no question that the administration, and particularly Vice President Cheney, spoke with too much certainty at times and failed to anticipate or prepare the American people for the enormous undertaking in Iraq.
But dive into Rockefeller's report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.
On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."
On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."
On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."
On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."
As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you've mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorism.
But statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.
In the report's final section, the committee takes issue with Bush's statements about Saddam Hussein's intentions and what the future might have held. But was that really a question of misrepresenting intelligence, or was it a question of judgment that politicians are expected to make?
After all, it was not Bush, but Rockefeller, who said in October 2002: "There has been some debate over how 'imminent' a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can."
Rockefeller was reminded of that statement by the committee's vice chairman, Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.), who with three other Republican senators filed a minority dissent that includes many other such statements from Democratic senators who had access to the intelligence reports that Bush read. The dissenters assert that they were cut out of the report's preparation, allowing for a great deal of skewing and partisanship, but that even so, "the reports essentially validate what we have been saying all along: that policymakers' statements were substantiated by the intelligence."
Why does it matter, at this late date? The Rockefeller report will not cause a spike in "Bush Lied" mug sales, and the Bond dissent will not lead anyone to scrape the "Bush Lied" bumper sticker off his or her car.
But the phony "Bush lied" story line distracts from the biggest prewar failure: the fact that so much of the intelligence upon which Bush and Rockefeller and everyone else relied turned out to be tragically, catastrophically wrong.
And it trivializes a double dilemma that President Bill Clinton faced before Bush and that President Obama or McCain may well face after: when to act on a threat in the inevitable absence of perfect intelligence and how to mobilize popular support for such action, if deemed essential for national security, in a democracy that will always, and rightly, be reluctant.
For the next president, it may be Iran's nuclear program, or al-Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan, or, more likely, some potential horror that today no one even imagines. When that time comes, there will be plenty of warnings to heed from the Iraq experience, without the need to fictionalize more.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Tom Brokaw one of the better opinion givers that has inhabited our TV screens over the years shows that what made him one of the better ones is that he has at least a piece of a conscience.
He actually recognized that his fellow "Journalists" ignored issues. Oh my god hold my breath, you mean the "news" should be about issues? Well that's just revolutionary.
If you ask a student why they are attending journalism school you almost universally get the same response with slight variations. "I want to make a difference" or "I want to change the world". That's all well and good except for the fact that it's NOT THEIR JOB.
A "Reporters" job is to report facts about a topic or event PERIOD. It is not what passes for News Reporting in today's world. In the book Bias by Bernard Goldberg he explains in great detail how the press distorts, leaves out facts, and shapes a story.
The press are an elitist pack of scum that believe they know better than everyone else, and shape their stories to present their point of view as the gospel according to "The Evening News".
The truth however is they are on par with addicts, philanderers and lawyers. If Read the following story I hope you enjoy it as I did. You will note though that the only reason they have even caught a glimpse of their reality is because they had turned skills of treachery against one that some of them adore.
Here are some excepts from the article:
Jun 8, 3:56 PM EDT
Clinton's exit a preoccupation for reporters
By DAVID BAUDER
AP Television Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Now that Hillary Clinton has ended her bid for the presidency, political journalists are suddenly deprived of one of their favorite stories: When is she going to drop out?
More time was spent talking about when Clinton might call it quits than about how the candidates might deal with the war in Iraq, the high price of gasoline, home foreclosures or the sputtering economy. Or about anything that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain said or did during April and May, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's analysis of political coverage in newspapers, on Internet sites and on television news.
"It was inappropriate, for journalists especially, to try to cut the process short," NBC News' anchor emeritus, Tom Brokaw, told The Associated Press. "It was an appropriate issue for people to report on, in context, but there was an awful lot of commentary disguised as reporting that gave the impression that people were trying to shove her out of the race."
Brokaw's old-school attitude often put him at odds with Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann when he joined them for primary night coverage on MSNBC this year. One example was last Tuesday. Brokaw was talking about the contrasts between McCain and Obama when Olbermann interjected about "a third one trying to shoehorn her way" into the coverage.
"Well, I think that's unfair, Keith," Brokaw replied. "I don't think she shoehorned her way in. When you look at the states that she won and the popular vote that she piled up, and the number of delegates that she has on her side, she's got real bargaining power in all of this."
Brokaw called all the discussion about Clinton's exit a product of "too much time and too little imagination."
"I've always felt that it was not the job of reporters to be like `The Gong Show' and hoot candidates off the stage," said John Harris, editor in chief of the Politico Web site.
"You can't count people out before they're out," she said. "Let the process play out. There was an awful lot of not letting the process play out on its own merits but trying in some respects to influence the process."
It's a variation of a criticism faced by political journalists for a half-century now: too much emphasis on the horse race and not enough on issues. Coverage was issue-oriented at the start of this campaign, but degenerated into a lot of stories about process, said Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News' "Face the Nation."
The 103 stories on whether or not Clinton should get out were nearly matched by the 100 stories on Obama's remarks about bitter people turning to guns and religion, according to the PEJ's index. There were 243 stories about Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
By MICHAEL LEDEEN
June 7, 2008; Page A11
Ever since World War II, we have been driven by a passionate desire to understand how mass genocide, terror states and global war came about – and how we can prevent them in the future.
Above all, we have sought answers to several basic questions: Why did the West fail to see the coming of the catastrophe? Why were there so few efforts to thwart the fascist tide, and why did virtually all Western leaders, and so many Western intellectuals, treat the fascists as if they were normal political leaders, instead of the virulent revolutionaries they really were? Why did the main designated victims – the Jews – similarly fail to recognize the magnitude of their impending doom? Why was resistance so rare?
Most eventually accepted a twofold "explanation": the uniqueness of the evil, and the lack of historical precedent for it. Italy and Germany were two of the most civilized and cultured nations in the world. It was difficult to appreciate that a great evil had become paramount in the countries that had produced Kant, Beethoven, Dante and Rossini.
How could Western leaders, let alone the victims, be blamed for failing to see something that was almost totally new – systematic mass murder on a vast scale, and a threat to civilization itself? Never before had there been such an organized campaign to destroy an entire "race," and it was therefore almost impossible to see it coming, or even to recognize it as it got under way.
The failure to understand what was happening took a well-known form: a systematic refusal to view our enemies plain. Hitler's rants, whether in "Mein Kampf" or at Nazi Party rallies, were often downplayed as "politics," a way of maintaining popular support. They were rarely taken seriously as solemn promises he fully intended to fulfill. Mussolini's call for the creation of a new Italian Empire, and his later alliance with Hitler, were often downplayed as mere bluster, or even excused on the grounds that, since other European countries had overseas territories, why not Italy?
Some scholars broadened the analysis to include other evil regimes, such as Stalin's Russia, which also systematically murdered millions of people and whose ambitions similarly threatened the West. Just as with fascism, most contemporaries found it nearly impossible to believe that the Gulag Archipelago was what it was. And just as with fascism, we studied it so that the next time we would see evil early enough to prevent it from threatening us again.
By now, there is very little we do not know about such regimes, and such movements. Some of our greatest scholars have described them, analyzed the reasons for their success, and chronicled the wars we fought to defeat them. Our understanding is considerable, as is the honesty and intensity of our desire that such things must be prevented.
Yet they are with us again, and we are acting as we did in the last century. The world is simmering in the familiar rhetoric and actions of movements and regimes – from Hezbollah and al Qaeda to the Iranian Khomeinists and the Saudi Wahhabis – who swear to destroy us and others like us. Like their 20th-century predecessors, they openly proclaim their intentions, and carry them out whenever and wherever they can. Like our own 20th-century predecessors, we rarely take them seriously or act accordingly. More often than not, we downplay the consequences of their words, as if they were some Islamic or Arab version of "politics," intended for internal consumption, and designed to accomplish domestic objectives.
Clearly, the explanations we gave for our failure to act in the last century were wrong. The rise of messianic mass movements is not new, and there is very little we do not know about them. Nor is there any excuse for us to be surprised at the success of evil leaders, even in countries with long histories and great cultural and political accomplishments. We know all about that. So we need to ask the old questions again. Why are we failing to see the mounting power of evil enemies? Why do we treat them as if they were normal political phenomena, as Western leaders do when they embrace negotiations as the best course of action?
No doubt there are many reasons. One is the deep-seated belief that all people are basically the same, and all are basically good. Most human history, above all the history of the last century, points in the opposite direction. But it is unpleasant to accept the fact that many people are evil, and entire cultures, even the finest, can fall prey to evil leaders and march in lockstep to their commands. Much of contemporary Western culture is deeply committed to a belief in the goodness of all mankind; we are reluctant to abandon that reassuring article of faith. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we prefer to pursue the path of reasonableness, even with enemies whose thoroughly unreasonable fanaticism is manifest.
This is not merely a philosophical issue, for to accept the threat to us means – short of a policy of national suicide – acting against it. As it did in the 20th century, it means war. It means that, temporarily at least, we have to make sacrifices on many fronts: in the comforts of our lives, indeed in lives lost, in the domestic focus of our passions – careers derailed and personal freedoms subjected to unpleasant and even dangerous restrictions – and the diversion of wealth from self-satisfaction to the instruments of power. All of this is painful; even the contemplation of it hurts.
Then there is anti-Semitism. Old Jew-hating texts like "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," now in Farsi and Arabic, are proliferating throughout the Middle East. Calls for the destruction of the Jews appear regularly on Iranian, Egyptian, Saudi and Syrian television and are heard in European and American mosques. There is little if any condemnation from the West, and virtually no action against it, suggesting, at a minimum, a familiar Western indifference to the fate of the Jews.
Finally, there is the nature of our political system. None of the democracies adequately prepared for war before it was unleashed on them in the 1940s. None was prepared for the terror assault of the 21st century. The nature of Western politics makes it very difficult for national leaders – even those rare men and women who see what is happening and want to act – to take timely, prudent measures before war is upon them. Leaders like Winston Churchill are relegated to the opposition until the battle is unavoidable. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to fight desperately to win Congressional approval for a national military draft a few months before Pearl Harbor.
Then, as now, the initiative lies with the enemies of the West. Even today, when we are engaged on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, there is little apparent recognition that we are under attack by a familiar sort of enemy, and great reluctance to act accordingly. This time, ignorance cannot be claimed as an excuse. If we are defeated, it will be because of failure of will, not lack of understanding. As, indeed, was almost the case with our near-defeat in the 1940s.
Mr. Ledeen, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author, most recently, of "The Iranian Time Bomb" (St. Martin's Press, 2007).
Presumptive Republican White House nominee John McCain said Thursday he would like to see a manned mission to Mars as part of a "better set of priorities" for NASA that would better engage the public. (he should start by forbidding NASA personnel from leading Global Warming Propaganda campaigns, and concentrating on the space program. Mr Hansen)
At a townhall event in Florida, the Arizona senator was asked about funding for the US space agency's shuttle program, which is due to end in 2010.
He said he "would be willing to spend more taxpayers' dollars" to continue the program but argued that NASA must do a better job of inspiring the American public, as when it sent a man to the moon in 1969. (NASA has been the only dept of the Govt. that has produced any benefits for the American people. If McCain would really add his support and voice to it instead of trying to destroy the American Economy with Cap & Trade, or attacking the Constitution in the name of Campaign Finance Reform. It might get the funding it needs to continue advancing science and medicine to all of our benefits)
McCain said one of his favorite books as a child had been Ray Bradbury's 1950 novel "The Martian Chronicles," about humans colonizing the Red Planet.
"I am intrigued by a man on Mars and I think that it would excite the imagination of the American people if we can say, 'Hey, here's what it looks like," he said.
(the benefits we would gain from such a mission would create a boost in more areas of our lives than most people can ever understand)
"We know that now, and here's what may be there and let's all join in that project. I think Americans would be very willing to do that." (Then Back it, don't just pay lip service to it.)
The Benefits of the Space Program effect every aspect of our lives here is A PARTIAL LIST of some of the Space program benefits. If you have an hour or two read through it. If you have about 5 mins just scroll through this small sample of the inovations and benefits this program has brought us. As you do remember this is only a PARTIAL list.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Israel will attack Iran if it doesn't abandon its nuclear program, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz was quoted Friday as saying.
Mofaz also said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "will disappear before Israel does," Yediot Ahronot reported. Ahmadinejad has called repeatedly for Israel's destruction.
Mofaz's spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the remarks, which were much more explicit than anything Olmert himself has said. Olmert has gone no further than hinting that Israel was prepared to use force against Iranian nuclear facilities, saying only Tuesday that "the Iranian threat must be stopped by all means. "
According to the report, Mofaz - a former chief of staff and defense minister - has concluded that international sanctions haven't curbed Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
"If Iran continues its nuclear arms program - we will attack it," Mofaz was quoted as saying. "The sanctions aren't effective. There will be no choice but to attack Iran to halt the Iranian nuclear program."
An Israeli military strike against Iran would have US backing, Mofaz said.
Mofaz's bellicose comments on Iran coincide with the launching of his campaign to replace Olmert as head of Kadima Party if a corruption probe pushes Olmert out of office. Mofaz is carving out a hawkish position, and earlier this week, spoke out against returning the Golan Heights, captured in the 1967 Mideast war, to Syria.
A recent poll of Kadima members showed Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni easily besting Mofaz in a party leadership race.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
May 31 11:58 PM US/Eastern
By TOM RAUM
Associated Press Writer
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Barack Obama said Saturday he has resigned his 20-year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago "with some sadness" in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and more recent fiery remarks at the church by a visiting priest.
"This is not a decision I come to lightly ... and it is one I make with some sadness," Obama said at a news conference after campaign officials released a letter of resignation he sent to the church on Friday.
"I'm not denouncing the church and I'm not interested in people who want me to denounce the church," he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and "the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them."
In other words he can't stand the heat so he's getting out of the kitchen. But he still likes the kitchens food!
It's clear that now that I'm a candidate for president, every time something is said in the church by anyone associated with Trinity, including guest pastors, the remarks will imputed to me even if they totally conflict with my long-held views, statements and principles," he said.
Yeah guest pastors that as a State Gongressman you directed over $200,000 in earmarks to. I guess when it comes down to it you'll throw anyoner under the bus just like you did your Grand Mother