Sunday, August 27, 2006

Attention fellow bloggers!

9/11 Victims Honor Site is up and running, and is looking for you to participate.

On Monday, September 11th, 2006, the five year anniversary of the terrorist attack on America, I will be participating in giving honor to a specific victim of the tragedy of 9/11, Nathaniel Lawson, who was 61 at the time of his death at the WTC.
This site was set up to bring together 2996 bloggers to each write a tribute to one of the victims of 9/11, with each blogger being assigned a different victim, so that all who died in this terrible tragedy would be honored.

I encourage those of you who write a blog to go to the site, sign up, and write a tribute to honor the memory of one of the victims. Let's make this a 100% participation event, folks.

Iran ready to negotiate incentives deal

As reported here, "Iran said Tuesday that it was ready for "serious negotiations" on its nuclear program, offering a new formula to resolve a crisis with the West. A semiofficial news agency said the government was unwilling to abandon uranium enrichment -- the key U.S. demand.", except, of course, shutting down their enrichment program.

"Iran delivered its written response to a package of incentives offered by the United States and five other world powers to persuade Iran to roll back on its nuclear program -- and punishments if it does not. The world powers, the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany, have given Iran until Aug. 31 to accept the package." Another delay for Iran to bend to the will of the vast majority of the world's nations plays into the hands of the Iranian government, as it allows them to continue to develop their enrichment program, bringing them ever closer to their goal of having nuclear weapons.

"U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Washington will "study the Iranian response carefully" but was prepared to move forward with sanctions against Tehran if it was not positive. The White House held off commenting until it had studied the text. The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said the document was "extensive" and required "a detailed and careful analysis."

"Iranian officials offered no details of the response, but it appeared geared at enticing those countries into further negotiations by offering a broad set of proposals vague enough to hold out hope of progress in resolving the standoff." Like I stated above, the Iranian response is geared at enticing those countries into further negotiations, more delays, more maneuvering, all so they can continue what they know the rest of the world does not want them to do.

"Tuesday's announcement was the latest development in the yearlong standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. Iran says it wants to master the technology to generate nuclear power. But critics say Iran is interested in uranium enrichment because it can also be used to make nuclear weapons." The stubbornness of the Iranian government has dragged this out for over a year now, with no resolution in sight - at least through the UN. The way to end this "standoff" is for the Iranians to comply with the UN resolution requiring them to halt enrichment. Period.

But, sadly, that isn't going to happen any time soon. When will the head-in-the-sand types at the UN wake up, and realize that the Iranian government is playing them for fools? Apparently, not any time soon.

Kurdish witnesses recall bombs of poison smoke

As reported here, Saddam and six others have gone on trial for the Anfal Operation, in which poison gas was used by Iraqi forces, which wiped out several Kurdish villages, during the Iraq - Iran War of the late 1980's.

After tearful testimony by two survivors, "Saddam and his lawyers repeatedly accused the survivors of being coached in their testimony. At the same time, two of his six co-defendants insisted that Anfal did not target civilians but aimed only to wipe out Kurdish guerrillas they said were helping Iran as the two countries waged war in the 1980s."

How can they say with a straight face, that they were "only" targeting guerrillas and not civilians, by using chemical weapons? Chemical weapons are area weapons, meant to kill or disable everything in a given area. You cannot differentiate between civilians and combatants using chemical weapons! And just to make sure that enough people were killed, Saddam's forces later went in on the ground, killing more civilians, or "disappearing" them, burying them in mass graves to cover up their crimes.

"The 1987-88 military offensive was so notorious among the Kurds that it entered their vocabulary. Ahmed and Hama often described relatives as having been "anfalized" -- referring to those who disappeared only to be found later, if at all, in mass graves.

"Saddam and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, a Baath Party leader who allegedly organized Anfal, are charged with genocide -- which can be tough to prove since its requires showing their intention was to exterminate part of an ethnic group.

"Saddam and al-Majid also face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, as do their co-defendants, most of whom are former military figures."

It is well documented that Saddam wanted to eradicate the Kurds who were a constant source of "irritation" to him and his regime, as the Kurds constantly put up fierce resistance to the regime, so proving genocide against Saddam and his co-defendants may not be as difficult as the author of this article may want you to believe. In any case, the crimes against humanity and other war crimes, will be rather easy to prove, so the prosecutors may not even need to try to prove genocide.

"The Anfal trial is likely to take months as well. The campaign was on a far greater scale than the Dujail crackdown, with death toll estimates ranging from 50,000 to 180,000. Prosecutors plan to call up to 75 witnesses and to present extensive documents from the former regime, as well as evidence from mass graves." Since Saddam is also on trial for the Dujail incident, and very likely will be found guilty, the sentence for which is death by hanging, Saddam may very well not live to see the end of the Anfal trial.

However, his co-defendants should.

Japanese Americans criticize Watada

As reported here, "Nine Japanese American veterans groups have publicly criticized Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada for his decision to disobey deployment orders to serve in Iraq.

"Watada, an officer based at Fort Lewis, is trying to "make himself a martyr and a hero," said Robert Wada, a charter president of the Japanese American Korean War Veterans. He said Watada's actions disrespect a legacy of military service by Japanese American soldiers dating back to World War II.

""No Japanese Americans did anything like that, and that is why Japanese Americans are so upset," Wada said. "He is doing something that has never been done by Japanese Americans."

"The groups expressed their outrage at Watada this week in a public statement.

"The groups opposing Watada include the Japanese American Korean War Veterans, Americans of Japanese Ancestry WWII Memorial Alliance, five Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and American Legion post and the Nisei Veterans Coordinating Council of Southern California."

The nisei (Japanese Americans), once allowed to serve in the armed forces, served with distinction during WWII, suffering horrendous casualties, but making significant contributions to the outcome of that war. Although Seattle resident, Frank Abe, produced a documentary, "Conscience and the Constitution", showing that 315 nisei resisted serving until their families, who were in relocation camps, were released to go home, that is a mere pittance of the vast number of nisei who served honorably, willingly, and in many cases, with great distinction in the European Theater of Operations, and later, in Korea.

What Watada is attempting to do is both shameful, and without merit, and I applaud these veterans groups for their stand against what he is trying to do.

UPDATE: Army officer recommending trial for Watada

As reported
here, "A report by the investigating officer, Lt. Col. Mark Keith, "does recommend that the case be tried by general court-martial," said J.C. Mathews, a civilian spokesman at the base.

"Watada has been charged with missing troop movement, conduct unbecoming an officer and contempt toward officials.

"The Army laid out its case against him at a hearing last week, showing video footage of the officer calling the Iraq war illegal.

"Keith could have recommended anything from dismissal of the charges to a general court-martial."

So, what happens now? "Keith's recommendation goes to Watada's brigade commander, Col. Cynthia Murphy, and finally to Lt. Gen. James Dubik, Fort Lewis commander, who has the final say on whether Watada should stand trial."

Ruling may favor McGavick

As reported here, "A proposed Federal Election Commission ruling says Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick can contribute $2 million to his own cash-strapped campaign without giving Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell a commensurate fundraising boost.

"If the commission adopts the proposed opinion issued by its staff this week, McGavick's hefty self-contribution, an Aug. 11 loan, wouldn't trigger the "Millionaire's Amendment" in the federal Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002. The commission will act on the recommendation Tuesday.

"The Cantwell 2006 campaign asked for the FEC opinion for fear that McGavick, the multimillionaire former chief executive of Seattle-based Safeco Corp., would pour his own money into his campaign, which lags well behind Cantwell's in fundraising."

How ironic. When Cantwell ran against then Senator Slade Gorton, she came out and said that she would not accept any PAC money, thereby putting her on the "moral high ground" for not being beholden to "special interests", and instead would use her own money (she is a former executive with RealNetworks, and earned a tidy pile of cash from them), but now that the shoe is on the other foot, they're afraid that McGavik will use his own money to finance his campaign.

What does that say about Cantwell, and her campaign? To me, it says that she is not confident that she will retain her Senate seat, and that her campaign strategists view McGavik as a credible threat.

Is the Bush Doctrine Dead?

Several people would have you think that it is, but Dogmaticus points to this excellent analysis of the Bush Doctrine by Norman Podhoretz in the OpinionJournal, who states that not only is it not dead, but it's still alive and kicking, as millions of free Afghani's and Iraqi's would be only too happy to tell you.

It's long, but well worth the time to read it (free subscription required).

Jihadists glorify killing carried out in name of Islam

As reported here, there are still Islamofascists operating with seeming impunity in the UK, although the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, which makes it a crime to glorify or encourage political violence, has curtailed some of the most obvious inflammatory remarks. But certainly not all.

"From his home on the northwest edge of this city, Muhamad al-Massari runs a Web site that celebrates the violent death of British and U.S. soldiers. It is visited by tens of thousands of people every day, he said. Al-Massari keeps up his Arabic-language Web site, called, in the face of a strict new law aimed at curtailing violent speech and publishing. Just last week, the Council of Holy Warriors, an al-Qaida-affiliated group, posted a declaration on the Web site praising a suicide bombing in Iraq that killed or wounded 55 people. "If you kill our civilians, we kill your civilians," he said." The authorities in the UK need to shut this guy down.

But wait - there's more.

"Yet despite the anti-glorification law and other measures, Islamist leaders persist, some declaring it the duty of British Muslims to kill in the name of Islam.

"Yet for all the government actions, the new measures do not appear to have silenced those either praising Islam or calling for violence in its name. Some Islamist preachers have carefully scaled back their language, even if, in the proper context, the meaning seems clear.

"On Sunday, speaking before 8,000 followers in Manchester, Azam Tamimi extolled the glories of suffering for the faith.

""The greatest act of martyrdom is standing up for what is true and just," Tamimi told the crowd. "Martyrs are those who stand up in defiance of George Bush and Tony Blair."

"Atilla Ahmet, a leader of the Islamist group Supporters of Sharia, speaks freely about what he considers the necessity for violent action to avenge what he considers unjustified attacks on Muslims abroad.

""If you are going to kill a Muslim," he said, "then I will do everything in my power to kill you.""

Still think that Islam is the "religion of peace"? Think again.

Appeasement of these kinds of people is high on the agenda of some, but as you can plainly see from the remarks they make, that this will never work. Why?

Because they want to kill you, that's why!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Controversial Muslim group gets VIP airport security tour

As reported here, "The Department of Homeland Security took a Muslim group with known past ties to terror organizations on a VIP tour of security operations at the nation's busiest airport at the same time British authorities were working to break up a plot to blow up U.S. airlines.

"On June 21, a senior DHS official from Washington personally guided Muslim officials from the
Council on American-Islamic Relations on a behind-the-scenes tour of Customs screening operations at O'Hare International Airport in response to CAIR complaints that Muslim travelers were being unfairly delayed as they entered the U.S. from abroad.

"CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine, identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a "front group" for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Several CAIR leaders have been
convicted on terror-related charges.

"During the airport tour, CAIR was taken on a walk through the point-of-entry, Customs stations, secondary screening and interview rooms. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents were asked to describe for CAIR representatives various features of the high-risk passenger lookout system.

"In a meeting, Brian Humphrey, Customs and Border Patrol's executive director of field operations, assured CAIR officials that agents do not single out Muslim passengers for special screening and that they must undergo a mandatory course in Muslim sensitivity training. The course teaches agents that Muslims believe jihad is an "internal struggle against sin" and not holy warfare.

"Customs agents involved in the CAIR tour at O'Hare tell WorldNetDaily they were outraged that headquarters would reveal sensitive counterterrorism procedures to an organization that has seen several of its own officials convicted of terror-related charges since 9-11.

""Isn't that nice of CBP," one agent said, to provide a "group like CAIR with a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of our customs facilities, explaining how programs designed to catch Muslim terrorists work.""

Yes, how nice. Even better is the fact that CAIR is happier now, knowing how our policies and procedures for keeping Islamofascists from getting on an airplane and possibly using it as a guided missile work. They will be able to pass this information along to their buddies in the Mid-East, so they aren't traumatized when they come to the US to kill people.

Yes. How nice of our PC-infected idiots to do that. Islamofascist terrorists can now rest easy in the assurance that we will bend over backwards to make sure they aren't singled out, and possibly prevented from carrying out their terrorist acts.

Isn't that special?

Hat tip: hollie-is-right

Hezbollah offering aid to rebuild South Lebanon

As reported here, the terrorist organization Hezbollah has set up registration offices for Lebanese to get money to help with rent, and to rebuild their destroyed homes and businesses.

Pardon me for being cynical, but Hezbollah is not a "humanitarian organization" - they are terrorists - and this is just another part of their grand propaganda strategy to dupe unwitting people into believing that they are interested in their welfare.

If that really was the case, then why did they initiate hostilities against Israel, knowing full well that Israel would not sit idle, and meekly submit to the rocket attacks? If that was the case, why aren't they offering to pay for the rebuilding of Israeli homes and businesses that they destroyed?

"In Tyre, Hezbollah's commander in south Lebanon, Nabil Kaouk, said the group's goal is to "bring south Lebanon back to its real life and to rebuild it better than it was before the war."" To do that, Hezbollah needs to leave Lebanon, so the Lebanese don't have to fear retaliatory attacks from Israel after you decide to lob a bunch of missiles into Israel.

Fort Lewis panel to decide if Watada faces court-martial

As reported here, the Army is convening an Article 32 hearing regarding Lt. Watada, who refused to obey orders to deploy with his unit to Iraq. (An Article 32 hearing is similar to a preliminary, or grand jury, hearing and is used to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant proceeding further).

Of course, the ACLU has to get involved. "Meanwhile, in a friend-of-the-court brief, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington announced this week that it is backing Watada's free speech rights to express legal and moral objections to the war in Iraq. The ACLU declined, however, to take a position on his challenge to the lawfulness of orders to report for deployment to Iraq.

"Soldiers should not be court-martialed for explaining their views on important political issues when doing so does not adversely affect military functioning. Lt. Watada was exercising his free speech rights as a citizen in a democratic society," Kathleen Taylor, the ACLU of Washington executive director, said in a statement."

The issue here is not - I repeat not - Lt. Watada's free speech rights. The issue here is that Lt. Watada refused a lawful order to deploy with his unit to Iraq, and in the process of doing that, he spoke out at a press conference, disparaging the President, and the war in Iraq, which is something someone in the military cannot legally do. This has been accepted practice for military personnel for over 200 years.

"Watada is not a conscientious objector. Instead he believes the war in Iraq to be immoral and illegal under constitutional and international conventions. He has said he sees it as his duty as an officer to point out and refuse unlawful orders. He has said he would fight in Afghanistan.

"Watada's civilian lawyer, Eric Seitz of Hawaii, has said Watada's case raises key issues about the legality of the war in the face of international war conventions, and the scope of the president's constitutional authority. Seitz hopes to introduce evidence about that, and says he wants to call expert witnesses in international law, including a former United Nations undersecretary, Denis Halliday, to support Watada's contentions."

Pfft. The only "international law" that they could possibly be speaking about that could possibly have any remote relevance to this is the Geneva Conventions, which governs the conduct of war, and treatment of prisoners of war, not whether someone can call a press conference to say he doesn't want to go where he has been ordered to go.

this follow on article, which is misleadingly headlined ("Hearing for soldier who won't serve in Iraq puts war on trial" - sorry, no it doesn't), during the Article 32 hearing, three defense witnesses called the war illegal - which it isn't, as I (among many others) have explained before.

What they are trying to do is blow smoke up everyone's shorts, to distract from the very serious charges of Missing Movement and Conduct Unbecoming, among others, leveled against Lt. Watada. Trying to figure out if the war is "illegal" is not in the purview of the Article 32 court. Their job is to figure out if there is enough evidence to bring Lt. Watada before a Courts Martial on the offenses he is charged with.


If you want to debate the legality of the war in Iraq, call a press conference - in Baghdad!

Judge orders end to warrantless wiretapping

As reported here, Federal Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, a Carter administration appointee who sits on the U.S. District Court in Detroit has ruled that the Terrorists Surveillance Program run by the NSA at the direction of President Bush - you know, the program that monitors overseas communications from or to people with known links to terrorists, which likely played a role in the foiling of the multi-plane bomb plot in the UK - is unconstitutional. [Emphasis mine]

Ordinarily, I would chew this apart, and inject my own thoughts and comments, but this time, I'll let the editors and authors of a couple of other web sites do that for me, since I'm not a lawyer. Suffice it to say that, as a Carter appointee, do you suppose that she has an 'agenda' by any chance?

OpinionJournal Editors weigh in here (free subscription required).

National Review Online Editors weigh in here.

Andrew C. McCarthy, also of National Review Online weighs in

And Bryan Cunningham, also of National Review Online weighs in

Seattle Police Officer Killed By Speeding SUV

As reported here, this past Sunday morning, while on routine patrol, 26 year old rookie Seattle Police Officer Joselito Barber was struck by a speeding Yukon SUV that was traveling at up to 80 mph at the time of the crash. Officer Barber was killed instantly.

The driver of the Yukon was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol (maybe both), and
was no stranger to the criminal justice system. She was released from a minimum security facility just 11 days before the fatal accident, even though she had at least four outstanding misdemeanor warrants for her arrest, and she was driving on a suspended license.

Four outstanding warrants. Driving on a suspended license. Released 11 days prior to the incident from a minimum security facility for drug offenders.

Tell me again why drugs should be legalized, and their use condoned?

Update: $1 Million Bail For Woman Accused In Officer's Death

As reported
here, the woman involved in the fatal crash last Sunday morning, Mary Jane Rivas, 31 and a six-time felon, has had her bail set at $1 million, and is likely facing vehicular homicide charges this coming Monday.

King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng is said to be seeking the maximum sentence possible in this case, due to the extenuating circumstances. I hope he does.

Carter: Sympathy For The Devil

Apparently, the idiot peanut farmer has done it again - given an interview, this time to Germany's 'Der Speigel' - in which he denigrates America - again - and President Bush - again. David Limbaugh takes him to task in this piece, while in a piece entitled,
'Georgian Off His Mind: Jimmy Carter Strikes Again', Jay D. Homnick says, "There are so many sad things to write about today but we all need the cathartic diversion of a true laughingstock, so let us talk about Jimmy Carter. Carter, by all biological indications, is still alive, so we may speak of him ill. Very, very, incurably ill." adding, "This collection of boobs, kooks and crooks took us down a garden path that led into a swamp. The prime lending rate rose higher than 15%, making it virtually impossible to acquire a home. Unemployment hovered near ten percent, leaving one tenth of our citizens skulking in alleyways, looking either for trouble or despair. No solution was offered by the President and his resident geniuses beyond the recommendation to come to terms with America’s newly abbreviated capacities.

"The military capacity of this country shrank to a nullity. When sixty-six Americans were held hostage at our embassy in Teheran for 444 days by mobs affiliated with the Islamic revolt in Iran, we stood by helpless and humiliated. When a rescue was finally attempted by landing eight helicopters in a nearby desert, a few of the helicopters became incapacitated by the landing and the project was hastily aborted. All of this came after the Carter administration had essentially stood by while the Muslim rebels deposed the Shah, last in a 2,500-year line of Persian monarchs." (And look where that got us - a lunatic running the asylum called Iran, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, and is working on developing nuclear weapons technology, and provides material and monetary support to terrorists, such as Hezbollah among others. Good job, Jimmy! But I digress -there's more.)

"This is the Jimmy Carter who today writes books and gives interviews in derogation of the policies of President Bush in prosecuting the war against Islamic terror. His recent remarks to Der Spiegel do not reflect new trends in his thought; he told the American Prospect in the month after the March 2003 invasion of Iraq that it was done by Bush for his own aggrandizement."

I agree completely with Mr. Homnick when he says that, "The man is a fool at best and a menace at worst.", and I'll add that Carter is delusional, in that he still thinks he has political relevance - which he does not, and never had - and that he speaks for a majority of Democrats - which I hope he does not, as that would be truly scary in the extreme!

Democrats seek upper hand on national safety

As reported here, "Democrats say they are determined not to cede the issue this year and are working aggressively to cast President Bush as having diminished the nation's safety." To be able to do that - which you can't - you have to give concrete examples as to how President Bush has diminished the nation's safety - which you can't. Saying that Islamofascists would simply leave us alone if we changed our Mid-East policies, and sat down to talk to them, to listen to their grievances, is naïve at best; appeasement has never worked (see Chamberlain and Hitler, circa 1938), and never will. Making changes in Mid-East policies so as to not "offend" a group of people bent on our destruction is tantamount to succumbing to blackmail.

"Seeking to counter White House efforts to turn the alleged terrorist plot in Britain to Republican advantage, Democrats are using the arrests of the suspects to try to show Americans how the war in Iraq has fueled Islamic radicalism and distracted Bush and the Republican Congress from shoring up homeland security. They say they intend to drive that message home as the nation observes the coming anniversaries of Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11 attacks in the weeks before the November elections." I have a newsflash for you - Islamofascists were already radicalized before we went to Iraq in 2003, or have you (conveniently) forgotten the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983? Or, the truck bomb that was exploded in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in 1993? Speaking of the WTC, have you forgotten the two planes that were crashed into those two buildings, the one that was crashed into the Pentagon, and the one that crashed into that lonely field in Pennsylvania in 2001? Those, and other, events all took place before we went into Iraq, so how does the fact that we are in Iraq make Islamofascists any more radical than they already were? Explain that to me. Go on. I'm waiting ... I didn't think you could, because it's impossible.

"But they (the Democrats) are not waiting. A video Monday on the Web site of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee showed footage of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, referred to an increase in terrorist attacks, highlighted illegal immigration and pointed out the nuclear aspirations of Iran and North Korea.

""Feel safer?" it concludes. "Vote for change."" Yes, use the video that has Hispanics outraged that they are compared with al-Qaida and have demanded the video be removed, as one of your "We're not soft on National Defense" talking points. Yes, you are, and you're soft in the head, too, if you believe that the majority of the American electorate will buy into that fabrication.

"Republicans said they believe the Democratic efforts will fizzle, asserting that voters will ultimately choose to trust Republicans with the life-and-death issue of security.

"And Bush, in remarks Monday at the State Department, disputed the notion that his policies have contributed to a more dangerous world.

""Some say that America caused the current instability in the Middle East by pursuing a forward strategy of freedom, yet history shows otherwise," said Bush, ticking off terrorist attacks that occurred in the United States, Africa and elsewhere long before he took office."

He's right, and no amount of Democrat double-speak, or obfuscation of the truth, will change that. It's a fact - we are much safer with George W. Bush as President than we would be with any Democrat pretender.

Deal with it.

Haq 'thinks better' of guilty plea

As reported here, Naveed Haq, the gunman in the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle shooting, has decided to plead not guilty after thinking over his earlier attempt to plead guilty, which was not allowed by the judge in any event.

"Naveed Haq stood silently as his lawyer, C. Wesley Richards, entered the pleas in King County Superior Court.

"Richards told Judge Paris Kallas that after spending some time with Haq at the King County Jail, he is satisfied that the man is able to understand the charges and help him with the case -- meaning he appears to be mentally competent.

""He is making a rational decision to enter pleas of not guilty," Richards said.

"King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng now has 30 days to decide whether he will seek a death sentence if Haq is convicted of the most serious charge, aggravated murder."

Two conclusions here regarding this. One is that, in entering not guilty pleas to the charges he faces, Haq probably escapes being scrutinized for mental stability; being mentally ill is something shameful to Muslims, and those found to be mentally ill are ostracized by the family and community.

The other is that, with the guilty pleas as he originally entered, there is no possibility for Haq to receive the death sentence, should Prosecutor Maleng want to pursue that, and it would also mean that Haq would have no public forum to dispense his opinions. By entering not guilty pleas, Haq now has that public forum opportunity, as well as the possibility of facing the death penalty, which could possibly satisfy any urges he may have to become a 'martyr for Islam'.

Could city impose never-ending tax?

As reported here, "Seattle politicians can't show you a price tag for the massive transportation measure they're pitching on the fall ballot.

"But this much is clear: The unprecedented proposal could boost by as much as 34 percent how much the city collects from property owners -- nearly six times what current law allows.

"And it might be permanent -- a first in Seattle for this type of tax increase."

Usually, tax proposals here in Seattle for say, a special school levy for example, are limited in the time that the taxes are collected, generally 6 to 8 years. When the levy expires, after it has been examined, if it is deemed important enough to continue, it is placed before the voters again.

But not this proposal. No, Mayor Nichols wants to make these tax increases permanent, probably to help pay for
this ludicrous idea.

We'll see what the voters let you get away with in November, Mr. Mayor.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Islam's Useful Idiots

Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist, and he has written an excellent article on Islam's Useful Idiots.

Useful Idiots further the aims of people who are ruthless and deceitful in their approach to whatever they want to accomplish. Amil has defined them thusly:

"Useful Idiots are naïve, foolish, ignorant of facts, unrealistically idealistic, dreamers, willfully in denial or deceptive. They hail from the ranks of the chronically unhappy, the anarchists, the aspiring revolutionaries, the neurotics who are at war with life, the disaffected alienated from government, corporations, and just about any and all institutions of society. The Useful Idiot can be a billionaire, a movie star, an academe of renown, a politician, or from any other segment of the population."

Amil goes on to further argue what the most dangerous variant of the Useful Idiot is by stating, "Arguably, the most dangerous variant of the Useful Idiot is the “Politically Correct.” He is the master practitioner of euphemism, hedging, doubletalk, and outright deception."
(From my previous post, it is abundantly clear that Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News fits that, to a T!)

Amil goes on to point out the true characteristics of Useful Idiots, and why they are so dangerous to society. Read the entire article, and check out his
web site as well.

Hat tip:

Brian Williams of NBC News equates Special Forces and First Responders to Islamic terrorists

In a video segment on HotAir of a discussion on the recently foiled terrorist plot to blow up airplanes between Chris Matthews and Brian Williams, Mr. Williams equates the willingness of our Special Operations folks and First Responders to possibly give up their lives in order to save others, with the willingness of Islamofascist terrorists to give up their lives to kill others.

Unbelievable! This is on top of Mr. Williams calling the Founding Fathers of our nation "terrorists"
last year!

For those of you on dial up, here is the remark by Chris Matthews, and the response by Brian Williams:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: But, here we have maybe 24 people who have lived in London and England and the free world for all these years that become citizens, subjects of the Crown, and yet, after having gotten to know us, they want to kill themselves to hurt us. Isn’t that an even deeper conundrum here than the chemicals being used in these attacks.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: And that, Chris, that last aspect, the willingness to take one’s own life. I always tell people there are guys on our team like that, too. They’re called Army Rangers and Navy Seals and the Special Forces folks and the first responders on 9/11 who went into those buildings knowing, by the way, they weren’t going to come out. So we have players like that on our team.

For those of you who are as outraged as I am about these comments, and would like to express that outrage, the e-mail address to do so is:

Hat tip:

Depressing pattern

Victor Davis Hanson enumerates a depressing pattern in the reactions and media coverage of the war in Lebanon.

Clues from the past

As I have argued on more than one occasion, both here and in person, what some people refer to as the Global War on Terror is in actual fact, World War IV - WWI happened in the early 1900's, WWII followed shortly thereafter in the mid-1900's, and WWIII, commonly referred to as the Cold War began immediately after the end of WWII, and ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the turning away from Communism by all but a handful of nations.

Now, we are engaged in a fight for freedom against Islamic Imperialism which we must win at all costs, if we are to preserve our way of life for future generations to enjoy. I am heartened to know that I am not alone in recognizing that the fight against terrorism around the world - from New York City, Washington, DC and a lonely field in Pennsylvania, to Madrid, Bali, London, Japan, Sri Lanka, Russia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Israel, among other places - is truly the fourth world war, as
Congressman John Campbell (R-CA) writes, in this well thought out piece.

Rep. Campbell quotes President Ronald Reagan, who said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

It is absolutely imperative that we stand united and fight for freedom against the evil of terrorism, if we are to pass those freedoms on to the coming generations, for if we do not stand and fight, we will surely lose the freedoms we all enjoy, and for far too many of us, take for granted.

Hezbollah sets conditions for agreement

As reported here, "Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Saturday that the Islamic militant group will abide by a U.N. cease-fire resolution but will continue fighting as long as Israeli troops remained in south Lebanon.". Excuse me? You are going to abide by the UN cease fire resolution, but continue to fight until Israeli forces leave south Lebanon? Ah, yes, I see. That makes perfect non-sense. You cannot abide with a cease fire by continuing to fight, since a cease fire means you stop shooting!

But wait! It gets even better with this little nugget, as Nasrallah goes into a major pout with this. ""We will not be an obstacle to any (government) decision ... but our ministers will express reservations about articles that we consider unjust and unfair," he said." Those articles the Hezbollah ministers (they have two people on the Lebanese Cabinet, btw) presumably have "reservations" about are the articles calling for Hezbollah to be disarmed, which should have happened years ago. But, they want to continue to be a threat to the existence of Israel, and not having weapons to be able to do that must be what's "unjust and unfair", since Israel and Lebanon have a non-aggression pact in place, meaning that the official government of Lebanon won't work towards the destruction of Israel.

There's more. "The Shiite cleric said Hezbollah rocket strikes on northern Israel would end when Israel stopped airstrikes and other attacks on Lebanese civilians." Of course, he has this backwards, since Hezbollah has been targeting Israeli civilians (NO Israeli military facilities have so far been targeted by Hezbollah, with the only Israeli military casualties coming from direct fighting with Hezbollah, and not from rocket attacks), while Israel has been targeting members of Hezbollah who have been using Lebanese civilians as human shields.

And even more. "Nasrallah called continued resistance to the Israel offensive "our natural right" and predicted more hard fighting to come." After you precipitated this "adventure" with your cross border raid in which you killed eight Israeli's and captured two others, and fired off thousands of rockets, provoking Israel to attempt to recover their two soldiers and protect their national borders against your aggression, you say you have the "natural right" to "resist"? It is Israel that has the natural right to defend itself against you, and resist your aggression.

Last but not least, in this demented attempt to gain sympathy, is this. ""We must not make a mistake, not in the resistance, the government or the people, and believe that the war has ended. The war has not ended. There have been continued strikes and continued casualties," he said. "Today nothing has changed and it appears tomorrow nothing will change," he said." He's right in saying that the war hasn't ended, and that nothing has changed, since the cease fire resolution has not yet gone into effect, and that Hezbollah has not stopped firing rockets at Israeli civilians. As long as Hezbollah continues to fight, so will Israel. The mistake has already been made, however, in that Hezbollah brought all of this on their own heads by their own actions (at the likely instigation of Iran). The other mistake made was believing that the Lebanese government and the the people of Lebanon would support the aggression of Hezbollah, which has been abundantly clear from the beginning that the majority of neither have.

Iran Rewards Palestinian Arabs For Violence Against Israelis

As reported here, Israel security forces have discovered that Iran is making cash payments to terror cells for attacks against Israel.

"Israel's military intelligence is witnessing a strategic encirclement of the Jewish state by Iran, which is intent on fomenting a war of suicide bombings, kidnappings, and rocket attacks in the territory Israel has occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War.

"Iranian and Hezbollah paymasters have provided a financial bounty in the last year for acts of arbitrary violence committed by the diffuse Palestinian Arab terror cells in the land the Old Testament calls Judea and Samaria."

The objective, of course, is to "wipe Israel off the map" (as if maps of the world in Arab schools even show Israel, which they don't).

Tell me again why monitoring financial transactions is "wrong". Anybody?

Oregon sailor charged with spying

As reported here, "A sailor accused of taking a Navy laptop containing classified information and peddling its contents to foreign governments is being held for possible court-martial, the military said Wednesday.

"The Navy said that Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann gave the classified information, containing national defense data, to an undisclosed foreign government before he destroyed the computer.

"Weinmann, 21, of Salem, Ore., was confined at Norfolk Naval Air Station on six charges, the Navy said in a statement.

"The charges include three counts of espionage, including a suspected March 2005 visit to Bahrain, where Weinmann tried to pass along classified information to a foreign government, the Navy said.

"Months later, the Navy said, Weinmann deserted his submarine, the USS Albuquerque, for more than eight months and traveled to Austria and Mexico to "communicate, deliver or transmit" the information."

Weinmann was a fire control technician, which carries a rather high security clearance. For those of you that don't know what that means, he operated and maintained weapons systems. The USS Albuquerque, SSN 706, is a Los Angeles Class fast attack submarine. They hunt enemy missile subs, and also fire Tomahawk cruise missiles against both naval and land targets. Weinmann would have been involved in any attacks made by the Albuquerque.

Although it isn't known which foreign government he attempted to sell secrets to, nor what the secrets were, you can pretty much assume that he was trying to sell weapons technology information. The fact that he was in Bahrain suggests that he was possibly in contact with an Arab nation, although he also traveled to Austria and Mexico.

"Weinmann could face the death penalty if his fleet commander decides to press for a court-martial." What Weinmann did is treason, and he did it during a time of war, which is why the death penalty could be invoked.

I'm a veteran of the US Navy, and what he did disgusts me. For whatever selfish, or misguided "idealistic", reasons that he did this, he put lives at risk, and that is despicable. I hope that he does face a courts-martial and, if the facts warrant it, is found guilty. Whether he gets the death penalty, or spends the rest of his life behind bars at hard labor, is immaterial to me at this point. Either sentence would be acceptable to me.

Personal account of a day of terror

Dayna Klein, one of the six shooting victims at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, gives her personal account of what happened on that terrible day she was shot.

"Dayna Klein was in her Belltown office making her usual fundraising calls when she heard popping noises and screams, followed by the sound of people running.

"Moments later, she found herself face to face with a gunman bent on a bloody rampage. He had forced his way into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and, spouting epithets, began opening fire on Klein's co-workers.

""He drew his gun and pointed it at me," Klein, 37, recalled Tuesday in a telephone interview -- the first time she's spoken publicly about the July 28 shooting.

"As the shooter squeezed the trigger, the pregnant Seattle woman swung her left arm over her belly to instinctively protect her 17-week-old unborn baby.

""It was a split second that I was able to think. I don't know how, but I was," she said. "The only thing that occurred to me was, how I was going to save my baby? That was my one shot, my one chance of saving my baby."

"Even after taking the bullet, Klein managed to regain her composure and call 911 -- defying the gunman's orders. When he angrily pressed the semiautomatic handgun to her head, she persuaded him to talk to the police dispatcher."

The term 'hero' is often misused in describing various acts by various people, and even though Dayna doesn't consider herself to be a hero, what she did that day - calling 911 even after Haq told her not to, and then pressing his gun to her head while she was on the phone with the police dispatcher - sounds pretty heroic to me.

Dayna, what you did that terrible day, amid the terror and chaos that surrounded you, probably saved lives. That makes you a hero in my book!

Jewish Federation shooting suspect tries to plead guilty

As reported here, "Naveed Haq's sudden effort to plead guilty Thursday to shooting six people at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle surprised many, but legal experts doubt he'll be allowed to do so while questions about his mental state and the death penalty linger.

"A King County judge postponed Haq's arraignment until Tuesday so lawyers could sort out whether someone can legally plead guilty to a potential death penalty crime within days of being charged.

"Seattle defense attorney Tim Ford, who specializes in death penalty cases, said earlier court cases and state law don't make it clear whether a death sentence would stand if the person pleaded guilty before knowing whether he'd face one.

"Ford noted that if Haq pleads guilty and prosecutors don't seek his execution, the case will be over: Haq will go to prison for life, avoiding the expense and victims' anguish of a trial "and a lot of legal uncertainty, wrangling and time.""

It has been reported that Haq is bi-polar, so he will have to be evaluated to see if he is competent to stand trial. He is also a Muslim, and has probably heard that prosecutors might go for the death penalty (although no decision on that has been made yet), so by pleading guilty he probably thinks that if the death penalty is imposed, this will fulfill his 'martyrdom' wish so he can have those 72 virgins.

If I was King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, I would not invoke the death penalty (even though Haq is deserving of that), so as to stymie that particular desire of this pathetic member of the worlds largest death cult. I say, put him behind bars for life, without the possibility of parole, and let his fellow inmates "sort things out".

Unrepentant Neocon - Norman Podhoretz stands IV-square for the Bush doctrine

Joseph Rago, writing in OpinionJournal, brings us an insightful view of one of the leading lights of neo-conservatism, Norman Podhoretz, in this excellent piece.

Mr. Podhoretz has much to say that is relevant! Go read it (free subscription required)!

Hat tip:
specialrpt, posting in quicknews

Vets whose info was lost get identity theft protection

As reported here, "Millions of veterans and active-duty troops whose sensitive personal information was lost by the Veterans Affairs Department will receive some form of credit protection against identity theft, the government said Wednesday."

That's nice. What would be even better is if various other government agencies, and government contractors, would get their act together as far as protecting computer assets that have sensitive data on them. The Transportation Department, and Unisys also either "lost", or had stolen, computers with personal information on them; they too, are offering free credit monitoring to those vets who may be affected.

In this day and age, with ID theft rampant throughout the world, you would think that someone would have the smarts to look at current security policies and procedures, compare those to other agencies and businesses, and tighten things up where they are found to be lax.

Oh, wait - we're talking about the government (and government contractors) here, aren't we? Silly me.

Council OKs tax increases

As reported here, the Seattle City Council passed the Mayor's transportation tax package, after "trimming" it from a whopping $1.8 billion dollar levy to a "mere" $1.6 billion dollar levy. This means that the 10% tax on parking spaces and the $25.00 per-employee tax will go onto effect in July of 2007, while the property tax hike will go on the November ballot.

While this is extremely disappointing, it is not unexpected, since the Seattle City Council has a Democrat majority, and the Mayor of course is also a Democrat, and as I've said before, Democrats have yet to meet a tax they don't like.

Now, to put this in perspective. The Mayor has said that this tax package will pay for a $500 million dollar backlog in transportation infrastructure repairs and improvements, and I will grant that many of our streets and sidewalks here in Seattle do need work (as anyone who drives or walks through town will attest). But, how does a $500 million dollar backlog translate into a $1.8 billion dollar package, now "trimmed" to a "mere" $1.6 billion dollar package? And what has happened to the money that the Seattle Department of Transportation has already been getting?

As Council member Peter Steinbrueck said, ""It is a $500 million backlog -- not a $1.6 billion backlog. So who are we fooling here?""

Well, not me for one, and hopefully, come November, not the voters either.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Israel: Hezbollah rocket tally at 3,000

As reported here, Hezbollah has launched 3,000 rockets into Israel, killing 33 Israeli civilians.

Meanwhile, "
Mohammed Fneish, a Hezbollah member of the Lebanese Cabinet, said fighting would continue until Israeli troops withdraw. "Israel is the aggressor. When the Israeli aggression stops, Hezbollah simply will cease fire on the condition that no Israeli soldier remains inside Lebanese land," he said.", in response to the UN debate on a cease fire in Lebanon.

Let me get this straight. Hezbollah makes a totally unprovoked cross border raid in Israel, kills Israeli troops in a skirmish, captures two other Israeli soldiers, which causes Israel to launch military attacks against Hezbollah in Lebanon to try to get their soldiers back, and Hezbollah fires 3,000 rockets at Israel targeting only civilians, and Israel is the aggressor? What planet is this guy from to make such a bold-faced lie?

Israel is not the aggressor in this situation, as all reasoning people well know. It is Hezbollah who is the aggressor here, and Israel is well within their rights as a sovereign nation to do what they have to do to gain the return of their kidnapped soldiers and protect their national territory against the aggression of Hezbollah.

'Disproportionate' in What Moral Universe?

In the on-going war between the nation of Israel and the Hezbollah terrorists in south Lebanon, there have been the inevitable civilian casualties, for which Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has expressed regrets, and for which Israel has received almost universal condemnation, with many saying that Israel has used "disproportionate response" to the rocket attacks inflicted upon them by Hezbollah. Let's not forget that all of the rockets fired by Hezbollah so far have been aimed at civilian targets (not a single IDF military installation has had a single rocket fired against it), and that Hezbollah hides behind civilians, using them as human shields.

So are the actions taken by Israel to defend its' territory and civilian population by terrorists a "disproportionate response"? No, they are not, and Charles Krauthammer
explains why not, and why this way of thinking is from a totally different moral universe.

Security Council orders Iran to end enrichment

As reported here, in a 14 - 1 vote, the UN Security Council has approved a resolution demanding that Iran halt its' nuclear enrichment program by August 31st, or face possible sanctions. Of course, Iranian Ambassador Javad Zarif immediately rejected this step, saying that it was "illegal" and that it had "no international credibility".

""Iran's peaceful nuclear program poses no threat to international peace and security, and therefore dealing with this issue in the Security Council is unwarranted and void of any legal basis or practical utility," he said after the vote."

Iran's desires for nuclear technology are not for peaceful purposes, which the world is well aware of, since Iran has no need for nuclear power to generate electricity, (as I have pointed out numerous times) as Iran sits on top of the worlds largest known reserves of natural gas which can be used at little cost to them to generate electricity. Therefore, the vote by the Security Council is legal, and well within their scope of authority, and carries full international credibility.

Although I don't have much use for the UN in general, they still need to keep the pressure on Iran to comply with the resolution to cease the enrichment program, and not be distracted from this issue by Iran's proxy war in Lebanon.

Update: Iran plans to expand nuclear activities

As reported
here, not only is Iran not going to abide by the demands of the UN Security Council resolution calling for them to halt enrichment activities, but they are going to expand their enrichment activities.

This cannot be allowed to happen! President Bush needs to ask, "Where are the Navy carriers?".

Theme park calls off "Muslim Fun Day"

As reported here, Britain's largest theme amusement park, Alton Towers in central England, called off a planned "Muslim Fun Day" that was to be held on September 17th, which would have included with halal food, a strict dress code and prayer areas, while "[m]usic, gambling and alcohol were to be banned for the day and theme park rides such as "Ripsaw," "Corkscrew" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" all segregated by sex."

And just why do you suppose that this "Muslim Fun Day" event was called off? Was it because of fears of potential terrorism? Nope. Was it because people complained, saying it was discriminatory? Surely, you jest. No, it was called off for a lack of interest from the "Muslim Community". Not enough tickets had been sold by the group promoting this so-called "Muslim Fun Day" event. Apparently, everyone who did buy a ticket from Islamic Leisure were to be given a refund, but no one was answering the phone this past Wednesday.

I think the lack of interest was probably due to the fact that music, gambling, and alcohol were to be banned, and that the rides were going to be gender segregated. I mean, what fun is it to go to an amusement theme park if you can't hear music, drink a little booze, and flirt with the opposite sex, right?

All levity aside, it's a good thing this so-called "Muslim Fun Day" event was called off, in that, there is a wedding planned at the hotel at the amusement park. A Christian* wedding. If the "event" had not been called off, guess what the park officials have required the bride and bridesmaids, as well as all the other women in attendance, to do?

They would have had to obey a tenet of Muslim Sharia Law by covering up. Imagine that.

People who are not Muslims, in a country that supposedly does not give credence to Muslim Sharia Law, who are going to attend and participate in an event in a separate facility of the park, and were not going to attend the so-called "Muslim Fun Day" event, would have been forced to bow down to something that has absolutely no validity whatsoever, or relocate their event, so as to not "offend Muslim sensibilities".

This is a prime example of PC-ism run amok. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you? Imagine that!

*Note: The use of the term "Christian" is used here only to denote "non-Muslim". I have no idea as to whether or not the folks who are participating in, and attending, the wedding are in fact Christian believers, not is it particularly germane to the thoughts expressed.

Hat tip:

Democrats feuding over midterm tactics

As reported here, a major flap over how to increase Democrat voter turnout is developing between DNC Chairman Howard Dean and Illinois Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). While Dean has been spending money in all 50 states, Emmanuel has said that what Dean is doing is a waste of resources, and now neither one will talk to the other (which I find to be amusing).

Meanwhile, frustration is growing at the state level at the public bickering. ""The weakness of the Democrats is that we'll screw up a two-car funeral procession. We're not happy as Democrats unless we are wringing our hands and gnashing our teeth," said Chris Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman. " adding, " "We are in the best position a party has been in Ohio since 1989, but we've got our friends in Washington fighting among each other. They need to shut up and get to work," Mr. Redfern said."

The Democrats think they will be able to take as many as 15 seats in the House, and possibly 5 to 6 seats in the Senate, but not if they can't get there act together, which by the looks of things, isn't likely to happen any time soon.

For Republicans, it can't get much better than this!

Shooting victim's recovery called 'a miracle'

As reported here, Christina Rexroad, one of the six shooting victims at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has made an amazing recovery, which is being called a miracle. She was shot in the abdomen, and the bullet then tore through a major artery in her leg, causing massive loss of blood. Just as she was arriving at HarborView Medical Center, she went into cardiac arrest due to how much blood she had lost, and the able doctors and nurses there immediately began CPR before rushing her into surgery, saving her life.

Kudos to the fine caregivers at HarborView! Thank you for your hard work!

An update on the condition of the surviving shooting victims:

"The others who were shot and wounded included Layla Bush, shot in the abdomen; Dayna Klein, shot in the arm; Carol Goldman, shot in the knee; and Cheryl Stumbo, shot in the abdomen. Klein has been released from the hospital. Goldman and Stumbo are in satisfactory condition. Bush remains in serious condition in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit, still on a ventilator and unable to breathe on her own."

Murder charge in Jewish Federation shootings

As reported here, nine felony counts have been brought against the man who went on the shooting rampage a week ago Friday at the Jewish Federation, one of which is aggravated murder, meaning that prosecutors can go for the death penalty. The charges are: aggravated murder, five counts of attempted murder, kidnapping (for forcing his way in to the building using a 14 year old girl as a hostage), and malicious harassment, the state's law against hate crimes. The county prosecutor has 30 days from the day of arraignment (this coming Thursday) to decide if he will seek the death penalty.

"King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng ... said the downtown Seattle shooting, which left one woman dead and five wounded, was clearly a hate crime intended to "strike at members of the Jewish faith everywhere."

""In order to make his political statement, he left a wake of tears, serious wounds and death," Maleng said. "The attack on these women was an attack on the Jewish community, not only in Seattle, but throughout our nation and the world."

"Maleng was aware of claims that Haq suffers from bipolar disorder and said he would consider any related information, though he noted that many who suffer from mental illness "can fully be held accountable in the criminal justice system.""

Was this, in fact, a hate crime? Yes, in that Haq, a self-identified Muslim (who supposedly converted to Christianity), after doing a Google search for Jewish organizations in Seattle, picked the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle to make his "political statement" by shooting six innocent people, doubtlessly believing that they were all Jews. That, by anyone's definition, is a hate crime.

Should Maleng seek to impose the death penalty on Haq?

The answer to that is yes.

Voters to get say on road package

As reported here, the Seattle City Council has approved the Mayor's tax proposal "to fix the roads", trimming the original $1.8 billion dollar proposal to a mere $1.6 billion dollars.

The problem here is that the headline is misleading, in that, the only portion of the Mayor's proposal that the voters will have a say on is the property tax portion of it. The Council approved the parking space tax, and the per-employee tax portions of the proposal.

The other thing that gets me is this nugget -

"The parking and business taxes had been opposed by business interests, but those taxes would not be imposed until mid-2007 to allow the city and businesses to lobby the Legislature for more acceptable taxes."

So, the Mayor, with City Council approval, comes up with some new taxes on businesses (which, of course, will be passed on to consumers) which are frowned upon by business interests, so they can then lobby the State Legislature for "more acceptable" taxes? What kind of logic is that? And acceptable to whom, exactly? Business interests, or the people of Seattle?

More "acceptable" taxes are not what we need, Mr. Mayor. What we need is more efficient spending of the taxes that are already being collected. My hope is, that when November rolls around, and it's time for us to vote on the property tax increase, that the voters of Seattle will defeat this increase.

2 teens accused in theft of VA computer

As reported here, two 19 year old men have been arrested in connection to the case of the stolen VA laptop, while charges are pending against an unidentified juvenile. The laptop had been turned into the FBI earlier, after a $50,000.00 reward for it's return was announced.

This is good news, and I applaud the efforts by all law enforcement agencies involved.

Now, about those shoddy computer security measures - the VA had better get its' act together, so that something like this never happens again!