Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

As reported here, Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) has resigned from Congress due to sexually explicit e-mails sent to former and current pages - all male. Foley, as chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, had introduced legislation in July to protect children from exploitation by adults over the Internet. He also sponsored other legislation designed to protect minors from abuse and neglect. The fact that Foley is a Republican matters not one whit to me. The fact is that if these allegations are true, which appears likely, Foley is a predator, a wolf in sheep's clothing, who after sponsoring legislation to protect minors from sexual predators, then went after current and former pages to satisfy his own twisted desires, which is reprehensible.

This is one time I am in agreement with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who proposed to the House that its ethics committee investigate and make a preliminary report in 10 days. She demanded to know who knew of the messages, whether Foley had other contacts with pages and when the Republican leadership was notified of Foley's conduct.

Instead, majority Republicans engineered a vote to allow the ethics panel to decide whether there should even be an investigation.

That's wrong! This incident needs to be investigated not only by the House Ethics Committee, but by the FBI, not swept under the rug. I call on the Republican House Leadership (if you can call it that) to let the House Ethics Committee conduct an investigation, do it quickly and thoroughly, and then release it's findings to the public.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Droning toward sensitivity

Mark Steyn, in his latest commentary, castigates those who would couch events, such as 9/11, in soft and fuzzy terms.

I agree. We need to call things as they are, not kowtow to "sensitivities".

'We don't need bomb,' Iran's leader says

As reported here, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted Thursday that Tehran doesn't need atomic weapons, and he is "at a loss" about what more he can do to prove that. Well, here's at least one thing I agree on with the lunatic running the Iranian asylum, and that is that Iran does not need nuclear weapons, even though they want to have nuclear weapons. as for being at a loss as to "what more he can to do to prove that" they are not seeking nuclear weapons capability, how about complying with ALL of the UN Resolutions regarding your nuclear activities, to begin with, and allow IAEA inspectors complete and unfettered access to ALL of your facilities engaged in nuclear research. That might help, don't you think?

Ahmadinejad said his country has not hidden anything and was working within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Not according to not only the UN and IAEA, but some of your own people have publicly stated that Iran has been doing work in secret for decades! That kind of belies your statement, don't you think?

The facts are plain. Iran doesn't need nuclear weapons, but wants them. Iran secretly worked on developing nuclear technology for decades, keeping the IAEA in the dark about their activities, and recently boasted about this. Iranian officials continue to say one thing to the Western powers and the UN relying on the UN to take them at their word and the Western powers to be spineless (a strategy that has proven so far to be effective, I might add), then - sometimes on the very same day, no less - say something completely opposite to their own people to stir up Iranian nationalistic fervor.

Two things need to happen, and I don't hold out much hope for either. The UN and the Western powers need to get tough with Iran, give them specific instructions on what to do with a list of consequences if Iran doesn't comply and mean it, and Iran has to be completely open and honest about their nuclear ambitions.

Unfortunately, neither is likely to happen in the near future.

House passes 'citizen' voter ID measure

As reported here, [t]he House voted Wednesday to require Americans to show proof of citizenship in order to vote, and the Senate moved to build a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border as Republicans sharpened attacks on illegal immigration before the midterm elections.

The 228-196 House vote on a new photo ID plan and the Senate's consideration of the fence were both part of a get-tough policy on illegal immigrants that Republicans have embraced after Congress' failure to agree on broader legislation that would set a path for undocumented workers to attain citizenship.
(aka amnesty for the approximately 12 million illegals here in the US)

House GOP leaders have insisted that tighter borders and tougher laws must precede more comprehensive immigration changes.

Republican sponsors of the voter identification bill said it was a common-sense way to stop fraud at the polls.

But Democrats assailed the legislation, saying it could hurt minorities, the poor and the elderly -- groups that tend to vote Democratic -- who might have trouble producing a photo identification.

Excuse me, but what exactly is so hard about getting proper photo ID? The elderly have had photo ID for decades; it's the right thing to do, and they do it! The poor? It costs a whopping $7.00 to get a state ID card here in Washington State, which shouldn't be all that difficult to come up with, especially if having proper ID is made a requirement. Do that, and the poor will figure out a way to scrape together seven bucks. Trust me on that - I have personal experience in that regard.

As for minorities having problems obtaining proper photo ID goes, it seems to me that if they can't prove who they are, then they shouldn't be allowed to vote. Not being allowed to vote improperly is the point of this bill, Democrat concerns that a large portion of their constituency might not be able to vote notwithstanding.

If this bill does become law, and people are required to show proof of identity before they can vote, for those who really want to vote, they will find a way to get the required photo ID.

So, Dems let's be honest here. What's the real problem with this bill? Afraid you're going to lose even more elections, if you can't rely on voter fraud? If you had some real, viable plans and solutions to problems that were acceptable to the legitimate voters of this country, and some backbone, you wouldn't have to rely on voter fraud to get elected.

Voter fraud eats away at the heart of this country, and it affects everyone - including you clueless Democrats! - and it needs to be stopped. Now.

Democrats' edge erased in new poll

As reported here, [t]he Democrats' yearlong lead among likely voters has evaporated, strengthening Republican chances of holding majority control in the House, according to the Gallup Poll.

Gallup's latest survey of voters who say they will go to the polls Nov. 7 showed the contest is a "dead heat" between those who say they will vote Republican (48 percent) and those who say they intend to support Democrats (48 percent). The poll of 1,003 adults was conducted Sept. 15-17.

But, Democratic strategists dismiss Gallup's survey and other polls showing a similar tightening of the election, but some acknowledge that Republicans' numbers were helped by President Bush's higher job-approval scores -- now at 44 percent -- and his recent speeches highlighting the war on terrorism and its connection to the ongoing conflict in Iraq.

"Nobody believes those numbers. I don't think anybody in the country believes the generic party preference is even right now," said Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network.
Oh, really?

Still, Mr. Rosenberg said, Mr. Bush's efforts to elevate the terrorism issue in the campaign "has been marginally effective." Seems like it was very effective, Mr. Rosenberg, since the margin has been cut to, what, zero?

The biggest reason, based on results from Gallup, for these poll numbers (which "nobody believes") is that people trust Republicans to keep them safer from terrorists than the Democrats. Shoot, even registered Democrat voters think that!

Gallup's findings on these and related issues mirror those from several other polls that show a similar movement in the Republican Party's favor. One poll conducted last week for the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg found "the GOP may be gaining momentum before November's battle for control of Congress."

But, "nobody believes" those polls. Yeah. Right.

Democrats waste no time smacking Mike McGavick

As reported here, the fear mongering through the use of lies has started, only one day after the State primary election. This is no surprise, really, in that, since the Dems have no real message, they want to confuse and scare people by making unfounded attacks on their opponents. How typical.

U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick publicly lamented on election night Tuesday that the Democrats were trying to demonize his call for Social Security reform -- which, sure enough, was the first broadside out of the enemy camp just 12 hours later.

State Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz, standing with Gov. Chris Gregoire at a post-primary news conference Wednesday, lobbed one of his party's favorite accusations at Sen. Maria Cantwell's Republican challenger: privatization.

Mike's stated position on Social Security reform: It’s time that we move Social Security reform—so long bogged down in political gamesmanship—to a more thoughtful and productive place. I propose the creation of a commission, like the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which makes decisions about the closure of military facilities, be enacted for Social Security reform to remove the partisanship and create results on this crucial issue.

I don't see the word, "privatize" anywhere in that statement, yet the state Dems are screaming it from the rooftops in an attempt to scare voters. Social Security needs to be reformed - NOW - and removed from being what it essentially is, which is a
ponzi scheme.

McGavick told supporters at his election-night celebration that whenever he talks about the need to revamp the Social Security system, it "gets derided as privatization, which I happen to be against." A spokesman said Wednesday that a Cantwell-sponsored Social Security bill would accelerate the program's cost growth and insolvency risk. [emphasis mine]

Now, let me see ... what was it I was saying about the Dems during the previous election? Oh, yes, I remember now. They had a motto, which it appears they still believe in - Lie, Cheat, and Steal. Lie to the voters about what Republicans are saying and doing; cheat voters however they can; and try to steal elections by telling lies and cheating.

Instead of wasting time and energy telling us lies about how "evil" Republicans are, why don't you Dems spend your time and energy telling us - and truthfully, now - what good you are willing to do, not for yourselves, but for the people.

I, for one, am tired of hearing the lies, and your do nothing "plans". I think a lot of us are tired of it, so get a clue, ok?

Council votes for tunnel; now it's up to governor

As reported here, the Seattle City Council voted to go for the tunnel option as the way to replace the SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct, and they also voted to not go for an advisory vote (which would be non-binding in any case) this November.

The decision as to whether the plans for building the tunnel, as well as a replacement for the aging SR-520 Evergreen Point floating bridge, and the funds required for both projects are feasible, now go to the governor. Her spokesperson Kristin Jacobsen stated that a decision will be made by the end of the year, but that there is no date set yet as to when that date will be.

After dithering over what to do, and how to fund these projects, for far too long, at least now there has been some movement in the process, albeit small. Now the governor needs to get off the dime, figure out whether these two projects and the required funding are feasible, and get this to the state legislature as soon as possible.

Both structures were damaged in the Nisqually earthquake in 2001, and it is now late 2006, and both structures are potential disasters in the making if something isn't done before the next earthquake strikes the region - and this isn't a case of IF another earthquake happens, but WHEN.

The ball is now in your court, Chris. Make the right decision, and soon! (Oh, and you may want to make a call to Port of Seattle Commissioner Hara, too, and tell him to get off the dime.)

City urged to get going on transportation plans

As reported here, Seattle's business leaders turned up the heat on politicians Thursday to stop talking and get moving on the region's pressing transportation projects, including the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the Evergreen Point Bridge.

While the City Council jostles over how to replace the vital viaduct artery, and with new cost estimates topping $3 billion, business leaders attending the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting said they want tough decisions made. Now.

"The only way you can get the real numbers is to design the project," said Judy Runstad, co-chairwoman of the Governor's Global Competitiveness Council. "So how about stop talking about it, pick an alternative and design it. And then we'll know whether or not we can do this project."

The audience of more than 1,100 applauded.
If I had been there, I would have applauded too.

Hopefully, Mrs. Runstad's words will carry some weight with the politicians, seeing as how she and her husband are part of one of the largest construction and development firms on the west coast (which just happens to do most of their business in King County, bringing in millions of dollar of revenue to the area through jobs and taxes), not to mention her co-chairmanship of one of the governor's councils, meaning that she more than likely is on a first name basis with the governor.

Thank you for speaking up, Mrs. Runstad. It's about time someone did!

Port official says any tunnel funds must wait

As briefly reported here, Lloyd Hara, Seattle port commission co-chairman, said Monday that the commission has not yet committed money toward construction of a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and won't until after next year's budget review, which begins next month.

I think that's kind of silly on their part to wait, for two reasons. One is that, from this years budget, they should have a pretty good idea of what the upcoming budget is going to look like, which should enable them to get some "ballpark" figures for the accountants to at least begin preliminary work on.

But the main reason that I think this is silly is that the main source of revenue for the Port of Seattle is containerized shipping, and the vast majority of the containers that move to and from the port facilities is done by trucks. Trucks that primarily use the Alaskan Way Viaduct, making that a vital route for the businesses that ship things to and from Seattle.

Although October is right around the corner, you would think that the Port of Seattle, which would seem to have a vested interest in whatever happens to the Alaskan Way Viaduct, would be chomping at the bit - NOW - to get this process moving. But, instead, they are going to wait.

How their delay will impact the overall project remains to be seen, but as the Port of Seattle is a government entity, the delay won't be short, so it is quite possible that there could be a significant impact, which won't be good.

Commissioner Hara needs to rethink his position, and get the accountants geared up sooner, rather than later.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

New study advocates not replacing viaduct

As reported here, a Vermont based group, Smart Mobility, has issued their own study regarding the SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct, saying that the state overstated "the amount of traffic downtown during the next 25 years and downplayed the role public transportation could play. It also says most viaduct traffic could be served better by local streets."

Well, isn't that nice. An out of state group, from Vermont no less, says that surface streets through downtown Seattle, and transit are more than capable of handling traffic flow if the Viaduct is not replaced. The last time I checked, Vermont is on the East Coast, nowhere near Seattle, so how would they know how well the already congested surface streets of downtown Seattle would be able to handle the up to 110,000 vehicles per day traffic load that currently uses the Viaduct? Obviously, these people live in rural areas of Vermont, and have absolutely NO CLUE what the traffic conditions currently are in Seattle, let alone what they would be if the Viaduct is not replaced!

Traffic conditions through downtown Seattle on surface streets during both the morning and evening commutes is currently very bad, and it will only get worse during the demolition and construction phase - IF they ever get around to actually starting the project! - which has been estimated to take between eight and ten years. Throw in a Mariners or Seahawks game, and you have gridlock that lasts for hours, even with Seattle Police directing traffic, as those of us who actually live here, and drive through Seattle well know.

To give you a little perspective on what it might be like to funnel the approximately 110,000 vehicles per day onto the surface streets through downtown Seattle, try imagining this. Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, and Qwest Field, Home of the Seattle Seahawks, both hold approximately the same number of people, and when added together, the numbers approximate the number of vehicles that use the Viaduct every day. Say both teams had games starting and ending at the same time every day, and everyone who attended the games used the streets through downtown Seattle to get to and from the games. Instant immobility would result, and people want the approximately 110,000 vehicles that currently use the Viaduct to instead use surface streets? That's insane!

Granted, not everyone who attends either game would be driving their own car, and neither team has games scheduled for the same day, nor plays all of their games at home (and the Seahawks only play once a week). But, I wanted to give those of you who have driven through Seattle an idea of what the traffic would be like if the Viaduct is not replaced, to give some perspective here.

Those people who advocate for not replacing the Viaduct - especially those people who don't even live here! - need to do a reality, and sanity, check.

Final shooting victim out of the hospital

As reported here, the last of the surviving Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle shooting victims, Layla Bush, was released from Harborview Medical Center this past Wednesday. She still has a bullet lodged in her spine, which the doctors say is safer to leave than remove, and faces about nine months of therapy to once again be able to walk on her own.

Get well soon, Layla.

City forced to cut tax plan

As reported here, the never ending property tax proposal put out by Mayor Greg Nichols has had to be changed, due to the outcry against it by property owners. "Faced with growing opposition, Seattle officials said Tuesday that they're scaling back a transportation property tax proposal to raise just over a third the amount initially proposed -- and to specify a time limit.

"City property owners still will be asked to pay an additional 38 cents per $1,000 of valuation, about $155 for the first year of the tax on a $400,000 home. But the tax will be imposed for just nine years instead of 20 as initially planned. In the ninth year, taxpayers will be asked to vote on extending time limit."

Well, that's only if this passes, which the politicians looking through their fashionable rose colored glasses are optimistic that it will.

"The "Never-ending tax?" story headline "kicked it off," Councilwoman Jan Drago said of the flood of complaints.

""We could not fight a sound bite," Licata said.

"The original plan "was headed for a failed vote," Councilman Peter Steinbrueck said.

"The plan relied on a relatively new state law allowing certain taxes to grow at adjustable rates of inflation, rather than specific dollar amounts. Over five years, the property tax levies could have risen 30 percent under that provision.

"With the proposed change, "we listened to the citizens," Drago said."

As tax activist Tim Eyman stated, ""The never-ending tax is imploding, and now they're scrambling to try to salvage it," said anti-tax activist Tim Eyman, who had vowed to fight the proposal. "But the fundamental problem remains: They're asking the voters to pay twice for an essential, basic service -- road maintenance.""

I have one question for Jan Drago. If the property tax portion of this proposal goes down to defeat come November, will you still listen to the citizens, or will you and the Mayor try to figure out an end run around us to still generate the "lost" revenue?

I think I already know the answer to that. We'll see what happens in November.

War protester's speech brings charge

As briefly reported here, "Army prosecutors have added a fourth charge of conduct unbecoming an officer against 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a Fort Lewis officer who refused deployment to Iraq because he considers the war to be illegal. The additional charge raises the potential prison sentence from seven to eight years, a Fort Lewis spokesman said. Watada now faces seven charges. The latest resulted from a speech he made Aug. 12 to Veterans for Peace at the University of Washington. Watada said that "to stop an illegal and unjust war, soldiers can choose to stop fighting it." Fort Lewis spokesman Joe Piek said that the video recording of Watada's speech was introduced at his Article 32 hearing at Fort Lewis last month -- the equivalent of a civilian grand jury hearing. Watada's supporters criticized the charge as gratuitous and said it raises free-speech issues."

Watada just keeps getting himself in deeper and deeper, it seems. You would think that his lawyers would put a gag on him, as well as a short leash, to keep him from bringing even more grief to himself, but apparently his lawyers aren't very aware, when it comes to understanding military law. To protect against sedition, mutiny, and outright treason, military officers are restricted from making any kind of politically motivated speech, and Watada's lawyers just don't seem to grasp that concept, and apparently neither does Watada.

Is the military "making an example" out of Watada? Possibly. If so, they couldn't have picked a better example to hold up to the rest of the officer corps as to what not to do.

Watada's actions and statements are leading him down the wrong path, and the end of his journey will not be pleasant for him, which in this writers opinion will be a good thing. We are at war, and we do not need people like Watada populating our officer corps, potentially corrupting it.

President's 9/11 speech ignites political firestorm

As reported here, "Republicans and Democrats tore into each other over war policy Tuesday, set off by a presidential speech the White House insisted was non-political. A GOP leader said Democrats seemed "more interested in protecting the terrorists" than shielding fellow Americans.

"The Democrats contended the president had used a prime-time address commemorating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to make partisan arguments bolstering support for the Iraq war."

Whatever "political firestorm" was created, was created by the fundamental misunderstanding on the part of the Democrats regarding what the war on terror is, and that a very large part of it is being fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

""I wonder if they are more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people," said House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "They certainly do not want to take the terrorists on and defeat them."

"Trading barbs, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who had criticized the president's speech as inappropriately political, called Boehner's criticism "cynical tactics."

""Rather than try to defend their own failed record, Republicans have resorted to the desperation politics of fear," said Pelosi, D-Calif. "It is long past time for Republicans to be honest with American people and stop questioning the patriotism of those who recognize that the president's Iraq policy has not worked, is making us less safe and must be changed.""

To Rep. Pelosi, I say - describe to me what part of this Administrations record has failed. Describe to me what part of the President's Iraq policy, in general, hasn't worked. Describe to me how we are less safe. Describe to me what needs to be changed. Describe to me what specifically your party would do different to make things "better", and don't tell me that you would withdraw our troops from Iraq, either, as that would only embolden the terrorists to try to set up shop there (in a bigger way than they already have), giving them a base to work from, and a sanctuary to hide in.

As for being honest, you know full well Nancy that you, and your party, have been regurgitating the "Big Lie" over and over and over again (following the precept of Lenin, who said if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes "truth"), saying that all of this "mess" (the attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) is the fault of President Bush, when in actual fact, it was the failed "do nothing" policies of Clinton which precipitated these attacks, as Al Qaida saw the US as being weak and ineffectual. So, don't talk to me about policies not working, Nancy.

As for questioning the patriotism of those - like you - who are against the President's policies, describe to me how someone is patriotic when they fight tooth and nail to prevent the Patriot Act from being extended, which has enabled us to keep going after the terrorists in their countries instead of our country. Describe to me how someone is patriotic when they fight tooth and nail to prevent the NSA from monitoring international calls from known terrorists to potential terrorists in this country, declaring it a "domestic spying program" which you know full well it is not. Describe to me how someone is patriotic when they fight tooth and nail to prevent the tracking of the movement of money that funds terrorism. Describe to me how someone is patriotic when they support such groups as "CodePink" that routinely call for our troops to murder their officers, and do other heinous things.

I question not only the patriotism of people like that - like you! - but also their sanity.

Pope's 'brusque' words on Islam anger Muslims

As reported here, "As Pope Benedict XVI arrived back home from Germany, Muslim leaders strongly criticized a speech he gave on his trip that used unflattering language about Islam and violence.", and what happens? Muslims resort to violence to protest something the Pope said, that they totally misunderstood!

Good grief! Get a grip, people! Jews are criticized, almost on a daily basis (and mainly by whom? Muslims), and you don't see them rioting, or strapping a bomb to themselves and blowing up busloads of innocent civilians, do you? Christians are criticized, as well, but you don't see them taking to the streets, throwing rocks, burning businesses, or blowing people up, do you?

""The pope's statement is highly irresponsible," said Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, an Islamic scholar. "The concept of jihad is not to spread Islam with sword."" That's not accurate. There are many meanings for the word 'jihad', one of which is to convert non-Muslims to Islam by any means necessary, including using weapons. Swords may not be the weapon of choice now, having been replaced with bombs and bullets.

My question to Mr. Ghamidi is this. If 'jihad' does not mean spreading Islam by sword, then why do so many of your adherents insist on using weapons to try to spread Islam, declaring 'jihad against the infidels'?

Al-Qaida picks new targets

As reported here, this past Monday, Al Qaida released three new videos saying that they are picking new targets to hit, now including Israel, and condemning the UN peacekeepers in Lebanon as "enemies of Islam". Two thoughts come immediately to mind, one of which is that Hezbollah bit off more than they realized when they started their little "adventure" in Lebanon against Israel, and so now Al Qaida thinks they can do better? Take your best shot - Israel will eat your lunch; the other is that, how are the UN peacekeepers the "enemy of Islam"? Oh, right. They are there to prevent Hezbollah from targeting innocent Israeli citizens, which is anathema to Al Qaida, whose main intent is to kill as many innocent civilians as possible, especially if they're Israeli citizens.

But wait - there's more!

"Al-Zawahri spoke in the third and longest video, warning Americans of more attacks to come.

""We have repeatedly warned you and offered a truce with you. Now we have all the legal and rational justification to continue to fight you until your power is destroyed or you give in and surrender. The days are pregnant and giving birth to new events.""

Legal and rational justification to continue to fight us? Legal according to what, exactly? Oh, I forget. You live by Sharia law. I have a newsflash for you - we don't. There are no laws, either domestic or international which justifies your desire and intent to subjugate the entire world to your irrational, twisted view, so ... like I said above, take your best shot. We'll continue to eat your lunch.

Hamas signals shift away from isolationist stance

As reported here, "Hamas officials gave Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the go-ahead Tuesday for negotiations with Israel, a major shift in the militant Islamic group's position as it works to end its international isolation.

"Hamas, whose ideology calls for Israel's destruction, reached agreement Monday with Abbas' Fatah Party to form a unity government in an effort to end the financial crisis crippling the Palestinian economy. International donors cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority when Hamas formed its Cabinet six months ago. Hamas is listed as a terrorist group by Israel and the West.

"Abbas has long pushed for a resumption of peace talks with Israel, and Hamas said Tuesday he would have full authority to hold those negotiations.

"Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, said the government itself would not be involved in the talks because negotiations are supposed to be handled by the PLO, headed by Abbas. The distinction could allow Hamas to retain its hard-line credentials with the Palestinian street, while the government gains international acceptance."

Hamas is getting desperate as their coffers run dry, so now they are going to try to do two things - reach out to Israel, while at the same time telling the people that Israel is the enemy and doesn't have the right to exist. That takes a lot of chutzpah on their part, but I don't think it will work. They are relying on Israel to be naïve and accept them at face value, while at the same time they are relying on the ignorance and blind faith in Hamas on the part of the people, to see through their gambit.

Hamas is walking a very slippery steep slope here, and for what? Money to continue funding terrorism against Israel. Hopefully, the international community, Israel, and the people most affected will see through this latest maneuver by Hamas, and do what it takes to make this fail, unless Hamas recognizes Israel's right to exist, and renounces terrorism as a method to achieve political goals.

We're operating on hope in Iran

Julia Youngs, in this opinion piece says that the international community, including the US, is operating on hope in regards to Iran's desires to obtain nuclear technology, and ultimately nuclear weapons.

She's right.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nathaniel Lawson, 9/11 victim

President Bush, on Sept. 11th, 2003 stated ""Two years ago, more than 3,000 innocent people lost their lives when a calm September morning was shattered by terrorists driven by hatred and destruction.

On that day, and in its aftermath, we saw the greatness of America in the bravery of victims; in the heroism of first responders who laid down their lives to save others; in the compassion of people who stepped forward to help those they had never met; and in the generosity of millions of Americans who enriched our country with acts of service and kindness. Since that day, we have seen the greatness of America further demonstrated in the courage of our brave men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and around the world to advance freedom and prevent terrorist attacks on America.

As we remember September 11, 2001, we reaffirm the vows made in the earliest hours of our grief and anger. As liberty's home and defender, America will not tire, will not falter, and will not fail in fighting for the safety and security of the American people and a world free from terrorism. We will continue to bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to them. This Patriot Day, we hold steady to this task.

By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as 'Patriot Day.'""

On this Patriots Day, the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, as we take time to remember the victims, I want to bring to your attention one specific victim, as part of the
2996 Tribute Project.

His name was Nathaniel Lawson. He was 61 years old, and was a food service handler for Forte Food Service, who had just recently been transferred to the World Trade Center. Not bad for someone from a little town in Georgia, who had 18 siblings. His niece,
Brenda Weaver, in a touching vignette describes how excited her uncle was that his cable had finally just been installed, which would allow him to watch the Knicks play basketball. Sadly, that was not to be.

I never had the chance to meet Mr. Lawson, but from the kind words of remembrance of his relatives, he would have been a man I would have been proud to call my friend. Mr. Lawson, a man of God, is with God.

obituary for Nathaniel Lawson reads, "Nathaniel Lawson, 61, of New York, NY, food service handler with Forte Food Service, died Sept. 11, 2001, a victim of the coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States in New York, Washington DC, and elsewhere."

Rest in Peace, Nathaniel. We will never forget you.

To read other tributes to other victims, be sure to check out
this page.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A new link

I'm happy to announce that I have (finally) added a new link - Another Voice. They've been linked to us for a while now, and due to a lot of things happening in real life, I just hadn't been able to get around to linking back, for which I apologize (and yeah, Zero I can hear you now - "Well, it's about time!" - and you're right!).

For some of you, there are some familiar faces over there putting up some good stuff, and for the rest of you, why don't you check out Another Voice (and tell 'em I sent ya). You'll be glad you did.

McGavick gets the drop on Democrats' 'stunt'

This kind of ties in with my previous post.

As reported here, "Washington state Democrats thought they could yell "Gotcha!" at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick over some of his scandal-clouded campaign contributors, but McGavick stayed a step ahead of them.

"An FBI investigation in Alaska had the potential to embarrass the candidate because of money he received from officers of Veco, a giant Alaska oil services company. In April, Veco executives and other Arctic oil-drilling interests turned out for an Anchorage fundraising reception for the Republican's race against Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

"FBI agents raided the offices of several Alaska state legislators last week in an investigation seemingly targeting the lawmakers' relationship with Veco.

"So on Tuesday, the day after the Labor Day weekend when Washington voters start to awaken to the fact that a primary election is two weeks away, the Washington State Democratic Party called on McGavick to return at least $12,000 in Veco contributions.

""Democrats to McGavick: Dump Dirty Money From Alaskan Oil Cronies," blared the headline on a Democratic Party news release.

"McGavick, however, had already done so, four days before the Democrats got around to criticizing him. In fact, he gave back $2,000 more in Veco money than the $12,000 the Democrats knew about.

""As soon as it became apparent that Veco was ... at least the subject of the FBI investigation, the campaign returned the contributions from all of its employees," McGavick campaign spokesman Elliott Bundy said.

"He said McGavick hadn't gone public about it because "a criminal investigation is not the subject of a political gain. A press release announcing that we were returning the money would have belittled the seriousness of the matter.

""The lack of originality on the part of the Democrats is astounding," Bundy added."

From filing a complaint with the FEC over money that McGavik legally gave to his own campaign, to running misleading ads that try to paint Cantwell as someone who supports tax cuts (which she doesn't) and that also attack President Bush's policies (Newsflash for Maria - you aren't running against Bush, remember?), to being four days late and $2,000.00 short, the state Dems and Cantwell's campaign "strategists" are clearly showing that they are woefully inept and unoriginal, while McGavik's team is showing an adroitness that hasn't been seen around here in some time.

This ability to stay several steps ahead of his opposition should be reflected in the polls come November, with McGavik being the winner, and Cantwell once again being a one-term flash in the pan.

Mystery Surrounds Cantwell Loan

As reported here, "A soon-to-be U.S. senator lends money to a lobbyist. The lobbyist never pays it back. The lawmaker then uses her Senate position to help direct more than $11 million in government money to projects benefiting the lobbyist's clients.

"It's the story of Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a former technology executive, and her former campaign manager Ron Dotzauer, who founded a lobbying firm and still owes the senator an unpaid personal loan from 2000.

"Cantwell's spokesman says she sees nothing wrong with the relationship. Ethics experts have a different take.

"Senate ethics rules require lawmakers to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest when making official acts that benefit people in whom they have a personal financial relationship. [Emphasis mine]

""It is clear that this financial relationship web between the senator and the lobbyist creates a huge conflict of interest," said Ellen Miller, head of the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which is working to highlight how lawmakers use legislative earmarks to reward special interests."

Remind me again. What was it the Dems said about ethics, and "a culture of corruption"?

Fellow blogger
Reality Hammer has his say on this here.

Calderon declared winner, but political crisis looms

As reported here, as expected, "Felipe Calderon was declared president-elect Tuesday after two months of uncertainty, but his ability to rule effectively remained in doubt with rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador vowing to lead a parallel leftist government from the streets.

"The unanimous decision by the Federal Electoral Tribunal rejected allegations of systematic fraud and awarded Calderon the presidency by 233,831 votes out of 41.6 million cast in the July 2 elections -- a margin of 0.56 percent. The ruling cannot be appealed.

"Calderon now must win over millions of Mexicans angry that President Vicente Fox, who is from Calderon's party, didn't make good on promises of sweeping change -- and fend off thousands of radicalized leftists who say they will stop at nothing to undermine his presidency.

"Lopez Obrador, whose support is dwindling but becoming more radical, has said he won't recognize the new government and vows to block Calderon from taking power Dec. 1. Protesters outside the tribunal wept as the decision was announced and set off firecrackers that shook the building.

""We aren't going to let him govern!" Thomas Jimenez, a 30-year-old law student, screamed as hundreds of protesters threw eggs and trash at the courthouse."

Current Mexican President has said that he will stop Obrador from preventing Calderon taking office, and Fox needs to keep his word on that, so that a peaceful progression can take place. Then, once Calderon is in office, he has to enforce the law, and put Obrador and his followers in jail if they try to set up an "alternate government".

Sedition is sedition, no matter what country it takes place in, and there is no place in this world for sedition against a duly elected representative government.

Iran furthers crackdown on social, political freedoms

As reported here, the nut job running Iran "called on Tuesday for a purge of liberal and secular professors from Iranian universities, the IRNA news agency reported.

""Today, students have the right to strongly criticize their president for the continued presence of liberal and secular professors in the country's universities," he told a group of young conservatives on National Youth Day, according to the news agency."

Actually, what the students really did was to strongly criticize the forced retirement of the heads of universities and professor's. This does not sit well with a large portion of Iran's young population; only with the hard-liner's who are trying to remold Iran into what Afghanistan was before we took out the Taliban.

With the other stuff that this nut job is doing coupled with this new edict, I predict a severe backlash from the Iranian people, especially if the UNSC ever gets around to imposing sanctions against Iran, which if enforced, will cripple their already fragile economy. (I know, I know - two big "if's", but it could happen!)

Vote on elections chief delayed till '09

As reported here, "Voters in King County will get to decide whether to elect the official who runs the county elections department, the County Council said Tuesday.

"But they won't make the decision until 2009, when the proposal will go on the November ballot as an amendment to the county charter, the council decided. If voters approve the idea, which would bring King County in line with every other county in the state, the first election to fill the job would take place in 2010.

"The delay was requested by County Executive Ron Sims, who now appoints the elections director, subject to council confirmation."

What this means is, Ron Sims will once again be able to appoint one of his cronies, or someone he feels "comfortable" with, due to his or her political leanings, to oversee the county Elections Department for the next three and half to four years, and that means that the state Dems will still have an unfair advantage during election time - for the next three election cycles.

Got to hand it to you, Ron. You are a master at political manipulation for political gain, the voters wishes notwithstanding. Even after the last several years of fiasco's and outright fraud, you've managed to get your wishes by manipulating the council to delay something that the voters want to happen now.

All I can say to that Ron, is that our day is coming, whether you like it or not.

Immigrant-rights rallies produce no voter surge

As reported here, the anticipated surge in new voter registrations among illegal immigrants hasn't happened.

"Immigration-rights protests that drew hundreds of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators to the nation's streets last spring promised a potent political legacy -- a surge of new Hispanic voters.

""Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote," they proclaimed.

"But an Associated Press review of voter-registration figures from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Atlanta and other major urban areas that had large rallies found no sign of a new voter boom that could sway elections. There was a rise in Los Angeles, where 500,000 protested in March, but it was more of a trickle than a torrent.

"New registrations were up this year compared with last year, but they were well below the numbers in 2004, and the increase is not a surprise at a time Democrats and Republicans are struggling for control of Congress. Even without that factor, the numbers don't indicate the watershed awakening advocates had envisioned."

Could it be because the illegals don't want the authorities to know who and where they are, by any chance? Hmmm, let's see ... (illegally) register to vote (illegally), and maybe get picked up by ICE, or, don't register and stay out of jail. Hmmmm!

Decisions, decisions!

Felon Turns To Web To Brag After Release From Jail

As reported here, "A convicted felon - out of jail just one day - is already bragging on a public web space about how "he won."

"Rayburn Lee spent six months in jail for pistol-whipping a Federal Way man after a car crash. The case is over. But juror guilt over the verdict and these new web postings keep the hurt alive."

Rayburn was convicted of second degree assault after pistol whipping Sean Kiteley last February, while his brother, Zachary, stabbed Kiteley several times, and as soon as he was released, he went to his web site and bragged about how he had "won". The judge's hands were tied by sentencing laws, and so he could only give this scumbag the sentence of time served.

"A day after his release, Lee was boasting on his page: "HA....f**k you, I win," his posting said."

That's bad enough in itself, but this is even worse. "KOMO 4 News showed his father the web pages, but he didn't see anything wrong with the post, and believes the verdict was fair. "My opinion," says Daniel Lee, "I think the judge and prosecutor (were) not respect(ing) the jurors.""

Daniel Lee, the father of these two scumbags not only thought the verdict was fair, but he doesn't see anything wrong with the post made by his son, showing he has little respect for the victim of the assault perpetrated by his spawn.

People like this are simply revolting.

Bolten slams Reid

From the Drudge Report, we get a copy of the letter White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten sent to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, responding for President Bush to the letter Reid (and others) sent.

Interesting read, as Bolten slams Reid for being so out of touch.

Hat tip:

Gregoire Wants Speedy Decisions On Viaduct, 520 Bridge

As reported here, Washington's governor is prodding the transportation powers-that-be to get a move on as far as the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and SR-520 floating bridge, replacements are concerned. She wants to see reports on environmental impacts and state DOT finance numbers, before commenting further on these two issues.

" But she made it clear that she won't abide more years of indecision and what she called "grumbling" by the key players.

""Time is not on our side," she told a news conference before leaving for a transportation huddle in Seattle with Nickels, Chopp and other sparring partners. It was her fourth meeting on the projects.

"In a letter to Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald ordering the new hurry-up financial study, Gregoire said: "Public safety, congestion and taxpayers' valuable dollars call for action. Delay is not an option.""

I've been saying the same thing for some time now, and now that the governor has said it, maybe something will actually get done.

We still have to wait until November, though, to see which way the voters want to go. Hopefully, we'll make the right choice, and the politicians will finally get off the dime.

I won't be holding my breath, but we'll see.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Iran Hails Annan's Visit as Positive

As reported here, Iranian government spokesman Gholan Hossein Elham said that, ""Our evaluation is that it was good, suitable and positive. In the nuclear field, the discussions were fair. Both sides supported negotiations for achieving a solution."", while at the same time, the nut job running Iran told Annan that they would not stop their enrichment program before any talks began. This way, they can continue to develop nuclear weapons technology unabated, of course.

And why is there an "impasse"? It's, of course, because "... a hardline U.S. stance was to blame for the impasse. "There is a good trend over the nuclear issue and some countries and powers like the U.S. want to turn the logical trend into illogical one," Elham said."

Sure. Blame it on the West, and more specifically the US, despite the fact that you have admitted that you have done whatever it took to deceive the rest of the world about your nuclear program; despite the fact that you kicked out the IAEA inspectors, probably due to the fact that they were getting close to 'connecting the dots' about your intentions, obtuse as they are; and despite the fact that you are currently in violation of another UNSC resolution, this one demanding that you halt your enrichment program.

Yes, the impasse is "all our fault", and you say our stance is illogical?

Mexican Electoral Court to Make Presidential Election Decision

As reported here, the Mexican Federal Electoral Tribunal issued a statement today saying that they will announce their findings tomorrow regarding the presidential election results. They could annul the results, forcing a re-vote, or they could declare a president-elect.

Of course, the leftist candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador immediately issued threats of 'action' if he doesn't get his way by being elected president, saying that he and his followers will hold a convention to come up with a new constitution, and set up a parallel government, with him as Mexico's dictator president.

This is in spite of the fact that he lost the election by roughly 244,000 votes, an admittedly slim margin which was only slightly reduced by 4,000 votes in the partial recount.

By declaring his intentions of establishing a parallel government, what he is saying in effect to those who didn't vote for him is that they don't count in his world! Only his supporters count.

Sounds rather dictatorial to me.

'Martyrdom' video set off terrorism raids

As reported here, " On Aug. 9, in a small second-floor apartment in east London, two young Muslim men recorded a video justifying what the police say was their suicide plot to blow up trans-Atlantic planes: revenge against the United States and their "accomplices," Britain and the Jews.", prompting law enforcement and anti-terrorism officials to act, before those arrested in the plot could act out their desires for 'martyrdom'.

"Despite the charges, officials said they were still unsure of one critical question: whether any of the suspects was technically capable of assembling and detonating liquid explosives while airborne.

""In retrospect," said Michael Sheehan, the former deputy commissioner of counterterrorism in the New York Police Department, "there may have been too much hyperventilating going on.""

Well, Mr. Sheehan, "hyperventilating" aside, I'd much rather someone be prevented from trying to blow up an airplane, rather than finding out that they were actually capable of doing it by watching airplane parts falling from the sky. Wouldn't you?

Clinton Says She Hopes Nation Is Ready for a Female President

As reported here, "Senator Clinton, standing outside an abandoned knitting mill that will become the new home of the National Women's Hall of Fame, said yesterday that she hopes America is ready for its first woman president.

""It just depends on when and if that happens," Mrs. Clinton told ABC TV's Nightline. "Stay tuned."

"Mrs. Clinton continued to duck questions about whether she will run in 2008, saying yet again that she is completely focused on her reelection this year.

"But Mrs. Clinton said that, when it comes to a woman holding what she called "the toughest job in the world, some day it will happen.""

As 2008 draws closer, more and more hints about Hillary's true intentions are coming out, sometimes even from the horse's mouth. Still think she doesn't plan to run for her party's nomination? Think again.

Personally, I really don't have a problem with having a woman become President of the United States. Women have been proving themselves more than capable of being in positions of leadership for decades now, so I don't think it's much of a stretch to see a woman in the Oval Office.

What I do have a problem with, however, is seeing Hillary there, as that would be an unmitigated disaster for our nation. Just consider the eight years of corruption and scandal that plagued her husbands administration. Do we really want to go through that again? I think not!

As for a woman who I think would possibly be up to the challenge of being President, I think Condi Rice is far and away more qualified, even though she says she has no aspirations toward that office. But that could change, as you should never say never.

No. 2 Al Qaeda Leader in Iraq Arrested

As reported here, "Iraqi and coalition forces have arrested the second most senior figure in al-Qaida in Iraq, Iraq's national security adviser announced on Sunday, saying the group now suffered from a "serious leadership crisis."

"Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, was captured north of Baghdad a few days ago "along with another group of his aides and followers," Mouwafak al-Rubaie said."

This can not be good news for the Islamofascists in Iraq, but it is certainly good news for the US led Coalition Forces, and the Iraqi people.

"Al-Saeedi was "directly responsible" for Haitham Sabah Shaker Mohammed al-Badri, the alleged mastermind of the February bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad.", an act which has inflamed tensions between the Sunni's and the Shiite's, which has led to much bloodshed. Hopefully, his capture will at least mitigate that.

Score another big one for the good guys!

When resolve wanes

Linda Chavez writes, "We are just [one week] away from the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Yet we have quickly forgotten the lessons of that terrible day. We understood then that a group of Islamic fanatics had declared war on the United States and that our only option was to defeat them.

"Barely five years later, we seem to have lost our resolve. But our enemies haven't lost theirs, as the interrupted plot to blow up U.S.-bound airplanes in Great Britain shows all too well. So what are the chances we will ultimately prevail?

"First, it's important we understand who the enemy is and why he has targeted us. We are not fighting a war on terror, despite the nearly universal shorthand most of us have adopted. The terrorists who flew airplanes into American buildings, blew up hotels and nightclubs killing Western tourists in Bali and Kenya, bombed trains in Spain and England, and sent missiles and suicide bombers into Israel are fighting a religious war.

"In their view, we are infidels who must be converted or killed. There is no room in their ideology for peaceful co-existence or detente. They are willing to sacrifice their lives -- and, most importantly, their children's lives -- to kill as many of us as possible."

Ms. Chavez is correct when she states that we seem to have lost our resolve, while our enemy have not lost theirs (a side note, here - while she uses the plural, I am using the singular because it doesn't matter what country, or which group, an Islamofascist 'belongs' to - they are an Islamofascist, period - hence the use of the singular). She is also correct in stating that they consider us to be infidels, who must be converted to Islam, or be killed (another side note, here - why do they use a Latin word to describe people who do not follow the tenets of Islam?), and that there is no room in their perverted world view for détente or accommodation.

Ms. Chavez continues, "We have never faced an enemy like this before. Even the Soviet Union at its most ruthless was not as pernicious a threat. The Soviets wanted territory and power, but they always acted rationally. Mutual Assured Destruction worked as an effective nuclear deterrent because the Soviets would never have sacrificed their own lives just to kill us. Imagine how differently the Cold War would have turned out if the Soviets were willing to sacrifice Moscow in order to obliterate New York.

"But we know the Islamists are perfectly willing to pile up body after body of fellow Muslims so long as they can maximize the deaths of Christians and Jews. The difference is the Soviets wanted their reward here on Earth, while Islamic extremists don't expect theirs until they die."

We have to know our enemy. The main difference between the old Soviet Union, and the Islamofascists, is that the people of the Soviet Union placed a certain value on life, even if it was ostensibly only on theirs, while the Islamofascists only place value on death, and to them, it doesn't matter who dies, as long as they take as many of us out as they can.

As the anniversary of 9/11 draws ever nearer, and as we remember what was done, and those who were killed, we must resolve to be resolved to see this thing through to the bitter end. This war against Islamofascism must be won at all costs, for if we lose this war, we will have lost everything!

I, for one, am resolved to do my part however small it may be, to see this through.

Are you?

Annan: Iran wants talks on nuke program

As reported here, Kofi Annan believes the nut case running Iran, that the Iranians really do want to negotiate with the West about their nuclear activities, but that they won't stop their enrichment program.

And why not? All of the previous "talks" held to date, plus these new talks will accomplish the exact thing that Iran wants, and that is to buy time for them to further develop technology to enable them to produce nuclear weapons, with the probable bonus of getting free stuff from the West.

Annan, along with many others in the West, is totally clueless when it comes to understanding that Iran wants nuclear weapons, and will do anything, including lying to his face, to advance their efforts to achieve that goal.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

American appears in new al-Qaida tape

As reported here, an American traitor working for, or with, al-Qaida has released a video (with a brief introduction by Ayman al-Zawahri) calling on all Americans to convert to Islam, and for American troops currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq to switch sides, because of course, America is "losing the war".

Yeah, right. I don't think so, you moron.

First of all, the main reason we won't convert to your death cult is that, well, it's a death cult. Another reason is that it is intrinsically, and diametrically opposed to the beliefs that we hold, in that it is a cult that fosters subjugation, encourages enslavement and rape of women, and death to those who do not follow its' so-called teachings, as opposed to the freedoms of religion and speech, the rule of just laws granting protections to the weak, and liberty to pursue life, love, and happiness.

Secondly, if we're "losing the war", why did you make that video in a secret location? Why didn't you set up a table in the middle of downtown Baghdad, and shoot it there? Could it be that you're a coward, knowing full well that if you did set up in downtown Baghdad, that you'd either be arrested or killed by forces of the "losing" side? If we're "losing", be a man! Stand out in the open, and show us that we're losing!

But you won't do that, will you?

Cowardly traitor.

The problem with Iran

As those of you who have been reading my blog lately, you know that I have grave concerns (to use "diplo-speak") about Iran, and their intentions to obtain nuclear weapons, and the lack of an intelligent, cohesive, strategy from the other nations of the world.

Well, one of my favorite bloggers,
Reality Hammer, has done a really fine analysis entitled "The problem with Iran", that is well worth the read.

"The longer we wait to move against a fascist Iran the higher the price we will pay to defeat them. If we wait until they obtain nuclear weapons the price we pay may just be the annihilation of Israel and the deaths of tens of thousands of American troops due to Iranian nuclear weapons. What price are you willing to pay for peace? Do you prefer peace at any price or peace at the lowest possible price? For those of you who have been hiding your head in the sand I have news for you: Iran is about to dramatically increase the price for peace. "

I agree.

Mexican candidate plans a parallel, leftist government

As reported here, the apparent loser in Mexico's recent presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is planning on setting up his own parallel, leftist government, and is urging his followers to not to recognize the apparent victory of the ruling party's Felipe Calderon.

This is incredible. Instead of accepting the outcome of a legitimate vote, and heeding the will of the majority of the Mexican people, Obrador, like a spoiled child who is miffed that he isn't getting his way, is now advocating for people to not only not recognize the legitimate president-elect and his government, but is actively agitating for them to instead set up their own "underground" government.

I don't know what the laws of Mexico have to say about that, but if someone tried to do that in the US, they would be arrested and charged with sedition at least, and possibly even treason.

Could Mexico be headed for a civil war? It seems to be a real possibility. Current Mexican President Vincente Fox needs to step up, and within whatever laws govern this type of situation, deal with this before things get totally out of hand.