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[RRND] 03/01 -- Iraq: 30 killed as "sectarian" attacks continue; Poll: Iraq troops supp

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  • Terry L Parker
    Rational Review News Digest ... Published Monday-Friday, except for holidays Made possible by the generous support of our readers
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2006
      Rational Review News Digest
      Published Monday-Friday, except for holidays
      Made possible by the generous support of our readers

      Produced in cooperation with
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      Volume IV, Issue #845
      Wednesday, March 1st, 2006
      Email Circulation 2,079

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      Today's News:

      1) Iraq: 30 killed as "sectarian" attacks continue
      2) Poll: Iraq troops support US withdrawal
      3) Israel: Terror leader said killed in Gaza attack
      4) Afghanistan: Prisoner says armed inmates roaming free
      5) Supreme Court backs abortion protestors
      6) IN: Senate passes rule limiting property grabs
      7) Negroponte: Iraq may spark regional battle
      8) US, India discuss nuclear deal before Bush visit
      9) CBS sues Stern; retort: "Bullying"
      10) NASA hopes for three shuttle flights in '06
      11) GOP unease spreads to security issues
      12) Lawmakers vow not to force quick port vote
      13) Pakistanis hit militants on Afghan border
      14) AZ: English-only immersion debated for schools
      15) Alumni vow Dillard will survive Katrina
      16) TN: Minimum wage hike debate hits state
      17) US pays MIT to plumb chemistry of Iraq IEDs
      18) Mexico City: Officials try to close hotel
      19) CA: Homeowner shoots "ninja" attacker
      20) IN: Homeowner shoots at, captures burglary suspect
      21) PA: No charges in fatal tavern shooting
      22) FL: Man shoots, kills robber
      23) Iraq: Indigenous troops can't fight independently
      24) Byrd regrets voting for Patriot Act
      25) Seven arrested in anti-war protest

      Today's Commentary:

      26) On being anti-state, anti-war and anti-Bush
      27) Support the troops. Really.
      28) Illegal surveillance: A real security threat
      29) Everybody's for free trade til something like this happens
      30) War of the worlds
      31) On the road to empire
      32) Untwist the chain of command
      33) God's demagogue
      34) Flying is dying
      35) Iraq: Preparing for the worst
      36) Free trade planet
      37) Governors crossing border between sense & nonsense
      38) President makes poor partner with Congress
      39) Following spirit of the law isn't enough
      40) Lining the pockets of big business
      41) What money is not
      42) The sociology of taxation
      43) The intersection of war and business
      44) Iraq as anarchic black hole?
      45) Civil disobedience a just, responsible approach
      46) Harboring prejudice and politics: The "Dubai Ports" debate
      47) Celebrity castigations: Microcosm of broader attack on freedom
      48) Free speech quagmire
      49) The devil comes back from Georgia
      50) The Moses complex
      51) South Dakota's fetal position
      52) Next step
      53) In defense of "Impostor"
      54) Sinking fast
      55) Civil war or holy war?

      Today's Movement News & Events:

      56) ISIL's 25th World Freedom Summit
      57) Petition: Free Cory Maye
      58) The Million Moon March
      59) Austrian Scholars Conference 2006

      Today in Politcal History:

      60) A Bravo for Bikini


      1) Iraq: 30 killed as "sectarian" attacks continue
      Houston Chronicle

      "Violence raged unabated in Iraq on Wednesday as bomb attacks killed
      at least 26 people in Baghdad and mortar rounds fell on homes in a
      nearby town. ... Wednesday's most dramatic attack -- a car bomb near a
      traffic police office in a primarily Shiite neighborhood in southeast
      Baghdad -- killed at least 23 people and wounded 58, according to
      police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud. About an hour earlier, a bomb hidden under a
      car detonated as a police patrol was passing near downtown Tahrir
      Square, said Interior Ministry Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi. Police were
      unharmed but three civilians died and 15 were injured. Also Wednesday,
      mortar shells fell on three houses in the mixed Sunni-Shiite town of
      Mahmoudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad, killing three civilians, said
      police Capt. Rashid al-Samaraie. Another house was hit in Qadisiyah,
      another religiously mixed neighborhood in western Baghdad, killing a
      woman, police said." (03/01/06)



      2) Poll: Iraq troops support US withdrawal
      Zogby International

      "An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq
      think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and
      nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le
      Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows. The poll, conducted in
      conjunction with Le Moyne College's Center for Peace and Global
      Studies, showed that 29% of the respondents, serving in various
      branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq
      'immediately,' while another 22% said they should leave in the next
      six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12
      months, while 23% said they should stay 'as long as they are needed.'"
      [editor's note: 29% is not "nearly one in four" -- it's "nearly one in
      three" - TLK] (02/28/06)



      3) Israel: Terror leader said killed in Gaza attack
      Houston Chronicle

      "Israel launched an airstrike on a car in Gaza City on Wednesday,
      killing the top commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group,
      Palestinian police said. Khaled Dahdouh, 39, was targeted in the
      attack, police said. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
      Abu Dajana, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad's military wing, vowed
      revenge." (03/01/06)



      4) Afghanistan: Prisoner says armed inmates roaming free

      "Prisoners armed with chains and knives are roaming Afghanistan's
      highest-security prison after negotiations to quell the uprising broke
      down Tuesday, said an American prisoner taken hostage by his fellow
      inmates. 'They're afraid that the police are going to storm in and
      kill more people,' said Edward Caraballo, speaking on a cell phone
      from inside the prison. It was not clear how Caraballo obtained the
      phone. He is one of three Americans being held at Policharki Prison
      and has been there since he was convicted two years ago of torturing
      Afghans in a private jail." (02/28/06)



      5) Supreme Court backs abortion protestors
      Yahoo! News

      "The Supreme Court dealt a setback Tuesday to abortion clinics in a
      two-decade-old legal fight over anti-abortion protests, ruling that
      federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to ban
      demonstrations. The 8-0 decision ends a case that the 7th U.S. Circuit
      Court of Appeals had kept alive despite a 2003 ruling by the high
      court that lifted a nationwide injunction on anti-abortion groups led
      by Joseph Scheidler and others. ... In Tuesday's ruling, Justice
      Stephen Breyer said Congress did not intend to create 'a freestanding
      physical violence offense' in the federal extortion law known as the
      Hobbs Act. Instead, Breyer wrote, Congress chose to address violence
      outside abortion clinics in 1994 by passing the Freedom of Access to
      Clinic Entrances Act, which set parameters for such protests." (02/28/06)



      6) IN: Senate passes rule limiting property grabs
      Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

      "Legislation significantly limiting the ability of government to take
      land through eminent domain passed the Indiana Senate unanimously
      Tuesday and could be on the way to Gov. Mitch Daniels for his
      signature. ... The bill has several major provisions, such as
      requiring land that is to be condemned and transferred to a private
      entity to be first proven to be blighted. Some examples of that would
      be if the land contains a structure that is unfit for habitation, a
      fire hazard, a public nuisance or has become infested with trash and
      vermin because of a lack of maintenance. The city or town would also
      have to pay premium prices for the land -- 125 percent of fair market
      value for farmland and 150 percent of fair market value for
      residential property. Owners also could seek and win significant
      damages and attorneys' fees. The legislation would prohibit
      private-to-private eminent domain solely for the purpose of increasing
      tax base through economic development." (03/01/06)



      7) Negroponte: Iraq may spark regional battle
      Tampa Tribune

      "A civil war in Iraq could lead to a broader conflict in the Middle
      East, pitting the region's rival Islamic sects against each other,
      National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said in an unusually
      frank assessment Tuesday. 'If chaos were to descend upon Iraq or the
      forces of democracy were to be defeated in that country ... this would
      have implications for the rest of the Middle East region and, indeed,
      the world,' Negroponte said at a Senate Armed Services Committee
      hearing on global threats." (02/28/06)



      8) US, India discuss nuclear deal before Bush visit
      USA Today

      "The United States and India were bargaining over the terms of a
      landmark nuclear agreement Tuesday even as President Bush flew to New
      Delhi for the first visit there of his presidency. Secretary of State
      Condoleezza Rice said sticking points remained in the way of an
      agreement and singled out one particularly contentious subject. 'The
      one thing that is absolutely necessary is that any agreement would
      assure that once India has decided to put a reactor under safeguard
      that it remain permanently under safeguard,' she said." (02/28/06)



      9) CBS sues Stern; retort: "Bullying"
      USA Today

      "CBS' radio division sued Howard Stern Tuesday, saying its former star
      shock jock breached his contract with them when he moved to Sirius
      Satellite Radio. The lawsuit, which also names Sirius and Stern's
      agent as defendants, says Stern improperly used CBS radio's air time
      to promote his new show with Sirius, which began last month. CBS also
      says Stern discussed his plans with Sirius without disclosing them to
      CBS as required under his contract. Even before the lawsuit was filed
      in New York State Supreme Court, Stern tried to upstage the action
      with a hastily arranged news conference in Manhattan Tuesday to strike
      first at his former employer. Stern said the lawsuit was meritless,
      and said CBS was trying to 'bully' him. ... Stern said CBS officials
      knew of his plans to leave for Sirius and also condoned his references
      to satellite radio on the air and did nothing to stop him when he
      spoke about it on his show." (02/28/06)



      10) NASA hopes for three shuttle flights in '06
      Houston Chronicle

      "NASA will try for three shuttle flights this year if the space agency
      is able to launch Discovery in May or July, a top NASA official said
      today. But that's a big 'if,' said space shuttle program manager Wayne
      Hale. Engineers are still are working out problems with the external
      fuel tank and other details." (02/28/06)



      11) GOP unease spreads to security issues

      "The first heading on the issues page of Rep. Mark Foley's Web site
      brags that he is 'one of President Bush's strongest supporters in
      Congress.' The Florida Republican voted for the president's
      legislation 90 percent of the time, according to the Web site, 'the
      3rd highest ranking among the Florida delegation.' Now the Florida
      delegation's third-strongest Bush supporter is on the front lines of
      the Republican revolt against the president on the deal to turn over
      key operations at six U.S. ports to a United Arab Emirates company.
      Republicans who once marched in lock step behind their president on
      national security are increasingly willing to challenge him in an area
      considered his political strength." (02/28/06)



      12) Lawmakers vow not to force quick port vote
      Detroit Free Press

      "Congressional Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday tempered calls for
      an immediate vote to block a Dubai-based company's takeover of some
      U.S. port operations as President Bush prodded them to avoid a
      confrontation. Returning to the Capitol in force for the first time
      since news of DP World's takeover broke, lawmakers from both parties
      criticized the White House for failing to let them know about the deal
      before it became public." (02/28/06)



      13) Pakistanis hit militants on Afghan border
      Cincinnati Enquirer

      "Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships struck a
      militant hideout Wednesday in a tribal region near the Afghan border,
      killing or wounding at least 25 militants, an official said. The
      militants had entered Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region after
      a raid inside Afghanistan. Army troops and three helicopter gunships
      attacked them, said Syed Zaheerul Islam, the top government
      administrator of the region. He said between 25 and 30 militants were
      killed or wounded in the raid. He said militants were running a
      training camp and that the strike triggered explosions in an arms dump
      at the site." (02/28/06)



      14) AZ: English-only immersion debated for schools
      Arizona Republic

      "In November 2000, Arizona voters approved the most restrictive
      English-only education law in the country and prohibited textbooks,
      materials, bulletin boards, or teaching in any language but English.
      Two years later, voters reinforced their message by electing a state
      schools chief who promised tougher enforcement of the new law. The law
      nearly eliminated bilingual education programs that had been widely
      used in Arizona schools, classes with specially trained teachers that
      combined instruction in Spanish and English. To help schools comply
      with the new law, the state developed a model English-only immersion
      program. Under the model, English-learners would be placed in English
      immersion classes of five to 15 students with a specially trained
      teacher and a teaching assistant. State planners said most students
      would learn enough English in one year to keep up with their peers in
      regular classes by their second year." (02/28/06)



      15) Alumni vow Dillard will survive Katrina
      Washington Times

      "There were no VIPS, no velvet rope and no valet parking. The
      nonpolitical fundraiser had a simple purpose that is rare in
      Washington: to raise money rather than to elevate the egos of the
      party givers. Michael D. Jones and his wife, Shaun, hosted a Mardi
      Gras party to benefit his hurricane-ravaged alma mater in New Orleans,
      Dillard University, founded in 1869 to educate former slaves. Ranked
      by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best liberal arts
      universities in the South, Dillard is a jewel among historically black
      colleges. After Hurricane Katrina hit, the oak-shaded campus lost
      three dormitories, sustained $340 million in damages and was left in
      more than 10 feet of water." (02/28/06)



      16) TN: Minimum wage hike debate hits state
      Nashville City Paper

      "Tennessee is one of only six states without a minimum wage law, a
      fact that state legislators are now addressing. The minimum wage in
      the state currently follows the national figure of $5.15 per hour.
      That total was last raised in 1997. State lawmakers are looking at
      several bills scheduled for today's Senate Commerce Committee that
      would raise the minimum wage requirement from $5.15 to $6.15 or even
      $7.15 an hour. Minimum wage is not the same as a living wage,
      according to advocates such as the Rev. Bill Barnes, retired pastor of
      the Edgehill United Methodist Church. 'Minimum wage, of course, is at
      present a national figure set by Congress at $5.15 an hour,' Barnes
      said. 'For a family of four, that's between 55 and 60 percent of a
      living wage.'" [editor's note: And as always, nobody is addressing the
      FICA-plus-withholding theft, that turns $5.15 into about $4, before
      anyone sees a dime! - SAT] (02/28/06)



      17) US pays MIT to plumb chemistry of Iraq IEDs
      Boston Globe

      "The Pentagon is staking $3 million on a small team of students at the
      Massachusetts Institute of Technology to help the military identify
      new ways of disarming the kind of homemade bombs that insurgents are
      using to kill and maim US troops in Iraq, according to Defense
      Department documents and researchers. Under the auspices of the Office
      of Naval Research, the Pentagon will fund a research project led by
      MIT chemistry professor Keith A. Nelson that is analyzing the
      molecular interaction of explosive materials. The goal of the
      three-year program, Nelson said, is to study the physics and chemistry
      of improvised explosive devices -- known as IEDs -- and find
      techniques to detonate or short-circuit them before they cause harm.
      'We are studying the microscopic mechanisms that are characteristic of
      the core materials that bad guys use in IEDS,' Nelson said in an
      interview yesterday. 'There is a whole set of things that have to
      happen to get [a detonation] and we are studying the chemistry in
      small amounts of energetic materials.'" (02/28/06)



      18) Mexico City: Officials try to close hotel
      ABC News

      "City officials moved Tuesday to shut down a U.S.-owned hotel that
      angered many Mexicans when it kicked out a Cuban delegation under
      pressure from Washington. Virginia Jaramillo Flores, head of the city
      borough where the upscale Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel is located, said
      authorities notified the hotel staff that it would be closed because
      it is in violation of building codes. ... It was not immediately clear
      if guests or employees would have to leave or if the hotel would be
      able to legally block the closure. ... The expulsion of 16 Cuban oil
      industry officials on Feb. 2 prompted local officials to launch an
      intensive investigation of the hotel, located alongside the U.S.
      Embassy, seeking violations of local ordinances. They accused it of
      several minor violations and of having built part of the structure
      without a building license. Federal officials, meanwhile, filed a
      complaint seeking to fine the hotel for allegedly violating Mexican
      investment and trade laws that are aimed at blocking application of
      U.S. laws inside Mexico." (02/28/06)



      19) CA: Homeowner shoots "ninja" attacker
      San Francisco Chronicle

      "An armed man wearing a black, ninja-style mask was shot to death by a
      Healdsburg man this morning after he attacked the man's wife outside
      their home and chased her inside, police said. ... The woman was about
      to take the couple's two Wheaton terrier dogs for a walk when the
      masked man jumped her outside her garage, police said. The woman
      struggled, broke away and ran screaming into the house, with the
      attacker in pursuit. Her screams awoke her husband. The man, whom
      police identified only as a man in his 60s, 'grabbed their handgun,
      probably a .357 ... and fired more than one shot,' Police Chief Susan
      Jones said. The intruder 'had what looked like a firearm in his hand,'
      Jones said. He died at the scene." (02/27/06)



      20) IN: Homeowner shoots at, captures burglary suspect
      Muncie Star Press

      "Brian Stevenson is not Doc Holiday, but the gun owner's quick draw
      stopped a man who invaded his home Saturday night. 'I could shoot a
      fly across the room like it ain't nothing,' said Stevenson, an avid
      marksman. 'I don't know how I missed the guy. It never really crossed
      my mind that I would actually shoot toward a human being.' Stevenson
      fired one shot from his 9mm handgun at William Tyrone Griffin Jr., 40,
      302 N. Hackley St., after the twice-convicted burglar climbed through
      an unlocked window at Stevenson's home at Shipley Avenue and Eighth
      Street, according to court documents. The shot sailed high into an
      exposed board in a storage room, but gave Stevenson enough authority
      to order Griffin to the ground until police arrived five minutes
      later, he said." (02/27/06)



      21) PA: No charges in fatal tavern shooting
      Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

      "A security guard who fatally shot two people while being attacked by
      a mob inside a Lawrenceville tavern last year cannot be charged with
      the deaths, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.
      said today. The guard, identified Tuesday as Gregory Stewart, 30,
      opened fire in self-defense early May 7 inside J&K's Place after being
      assaulted with objects thrown by an unruly crowd, including a bottle
      thrown by Aaron Alston, 23 of Garfield, Zappala said during a news
      conference announcing his decision. The first bullet struck and killed
      Alston. A second bullet hit bartender Janice Kemp, 63, who ran the
      bar. Although Kemp, who died several days later, was an innocent
      bystander, Stewart cannot be charged with her death due to a 1998
      state Supreme Court ruling in a similar case in Easton, Zappala said.
      Once someone begins shooting in self-defense, the court ruled, the
      shooter is not criminally liable for injuries to others nearby."



      22) FL: Man shoots, kills robber
      NBC 6 News

      "A man shot and killed another man trying to rob him at a gas station
      early Tuesday morning, according to Miami-Dade County police. Police
      said the victim was approached by an armed man at a BP gas station on
      West Dixie Highway at about 4 a.m. Gas station employees said the
      robber was a 22-year-old man who went by the street name 'S.P.' A
      witness said S.P. came into the parking lot, saw the victim wearing a
      gold chain, pulled a gun and demanded that he hand over the chain, NBC
      6's Jeff Burnside reported. The victim was also carrying a gun. Police
      said he shot and killed the robber during a confrontation. ... The
      victim was taken to Miami-Dade Police Department for questioning.
      Detectives believe the robbery attempt was random and the shooting was
      apparently in self-defense. An investigation continues." (02/28/06)



      23) Iraq: Indigenous troops can't fight independently

      "The only Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has
      been downgraded to a level requiring them to fight with American
      troops backing them up, the Pentagon said Friday. The battalion, made
      up of 700 to 800 Iraqi Army soldiers, has repeatedly been offered by
      the U.S. as an example of the growing independence of the Iraqi
      military. The competence of the Iraqi military has been cited as a key
      factor in when U.S. troops will be able to return home." (02/25/06)



      24) Byrd regrets voting for Patriot Act
      ABC News

      "Sen. Robert Byrd, the dean of the Senate and its resident
      constitutional expert, counts only a few regrets in his 48-year Senate
      career: filibustering the 1964 Civil Rights Act, voting to expand the
      Vietnam War, deregulating airlines. Add to the list a new one from
      this century: supporting the anti-terror USA Patriot Act after the
      Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. ... This week as he embarks on a re-election
      campaign for a record ninth term, Byrd, 88, will vote 'no' on renewing
      16 major provisions of the act due to expire March 10. ... On a 96-3
      test vote earlier this month, Byrd, Feingold and Sen. Jim Jeffords,
      I-Vt., were the only dissenters. " [editor's note: Then, dammit, they
      should have filibustered with Feingold - MLS] (02/28/06)



      25) Seven arrested in anti-war protest

      "Holding a banner that read 'GOD FORGIVE AMERICA,' seven peace
      activists were arrested yesterday in front of the White House, in a
      civil disobedience protest against the war in Iraq. Arrested by US
      Park Police were Brian Terrell, Ed Bloomer, and Elton Davis, all from
      Catholic Worker communities in the Des Moines, Iowa, area; David
      Goodner, a University of Iowa student; Eileen Hansen, a Catholic
      Worker from the Winona, Minnesota; Jeff Leys, co-coordinator of Voices
      for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV); and Bernie Meyer, a retired social
      services worker from Olympia, Washington. The seven were charged with
      the federal misdemeanor of demonstrating without a permit, fined
      seventy-five dollars, and released yesterday evening. The action was
      part of VCNV's 'Winter of Our Discontent' demonstrations in the month
      leading up to the third anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq on
      March 20." [editor's note: Oh, the horror -- demonstrating without a
      permit - MLS] (02/28/06)


      ----- RRND MEDIASHELF --------------------------------------------

      Books, CDs and other tchotchkes from today's edition:

      A Godly Hero, by Michael Kazin

      Impostor, by Bruce Bartlett

      Note: Affiliate links generate commissions for RRND's editors.

      -------------------------------------------- RRND MEDIASHELF -----


      26) On being anti-state, anti-war and anti-Bush
      by Anthony Gregory

      "For those who love liberty, it is crucial to be anti-Bush. He is,
      after all, the head of the state, the parasite on our production, the
      enemy of our freedom. Even if he were a relatively benign ruler who
      had scaled back government in comparison to his predecessor, he would
      still deserve our mistrust and contempt so long as he continued to
      loot us and threaten our rights. We should reserve any praise of a man
      with such power, and never cease in demanding that our full freedom be
      released from his grasp. The great libertarian journalist H.L. Mencken
      did not waver in his mocking criticisms of Warren G. Harding and
      Calvin Coolidge, although the burden of living under their rule must
      have felt like a trifle after enduring Woodrow Wilson's wartime
      totalitarianism. But George W. Bush is no Warren G. Harding. On the
      contrary, he has far surpassed Clintonian governance in devastation
      and abusiveness." (03/01/06)



      27) Support the troops. Really.
      by Thomas L. Knapp

      "The hits just keep on coming for the War Party. Fukuyama's flown.
      Buckley's bailed. Babbin blames Bush. All the fattest rats are
      backstroking like hell away from their obviously sinking ship -- and
      now, even the Yellow Ribbon Caucus looks set to go wobbly on Bush's
      foreign policy project ..." (02/28/06)



      28) Illegal surveillance: A real security threat
      Future of Freedom Foundation
      by James Bovard

      "Americans seem to have forgotten why the Founding Fathers prohibited
      government from spying on them. Public opinion polls show that a
      rising percentage of Americans approve of the warrantless National
      Security Agency wiretaps of Americans that Bush ordered. But such
      blind faith in government simply ignores the lessons of U.S. history.
      When the feds have unleashed themselves in the past, many innocent
      Americans' lives were devastated." (02/27/06)



      29) Everybody's for free trade til something like this happens
      Strike the Root
      by Ali Hassan Massoud

      "It is amazing to watch the cognitive dissonance, (or political
      opportunism, xenophobic hysteria, racist jingoism, or hypocrisy
      depending on your view), in opinions about a simple business deal. ...
      The people who say they believe in free trade and the people who say
      that they accept the Arab and Muslim peoples as equal partners in
      world affairs should stand up now to the racist xenophobes and
      political opportunists. Those who are always preaching to the world
      about the wonders of liberal democracy and free trade should
      demonstrate that they really believe in them. Not that they only
      believe in open societies, liberal democracy and free trade until
      their ox is gored." (02/28/06)



      30) War of the worlds
      The American Conservative
      by William S. Lind

      "Conservatives in particular now find ourselves confronting vast
      changes in the grand strategic context, changes many find emotionally
      difficult as well as intellectually challenging. We were brought up in
      a world where the grand strategic context was easy to grasp: our
      country, the United States of America, represented what was good, and
      our country's principal opponent, the Soviet Union, represented evil.
      'Us versus them' was a realistic and useful framework. The new grand
      strategic context is much more complex, from a moral as well as a
      political perspective. And -- here is where many conservatives choke
      -- the United States, or at least its policy-making elites, no longer
      wear the white hats. Conservatives, especially cultural conservatives,
      face a 21st century where the landscape is dominated by two vast evil
      forces in collision. Sadly, one of those forces is largely defined and
      led by the United States." (02/27/06)



      31) On the road to empire
      by Justin Raimondo

      "Whether or not they want it, the American people are possessed of an
      empire. They are faced with a choice: to rid themselves of it, or to
      become possessed -- and ultimately destroyed -- by it. It will, in all
      probability, be one of the most short-lived empires in world history,
      one that will be brought down almost immediately by the domestic
      economic consequences of acquiring it. A region-wide Middle East war
      would send the price of oil skyrocketing -- and bring the economies of
      America and much of Europe to a grinding halt. Caught in the vise of a
      worldwide depression and growing political turmoil, the last remnants
      of America's constitutional order would begin to come apart at the
      seams, ushering in an era of repression at home and constant wars
      abroad. There is just one way to prevent this: Americans must reject
      the temptations of empire." (03/01/06)



      32) Untwist the chain of command
      Cato Institute
      by Mark Moller

      "Arguably, by placing the broad power of executive oversight in the
      president alone, the Constitution envisions that one publicly
      accountable officer will manage the chain of command and set levels of
      internal oversight within the executive branch. That may mean the
      president can deflect court interference with efforts to streamline
      the foreign affairs bureaucracy. It may also mean the president can
      ignore specific directions from Congress about who should report to
      whom -- such as FISA's requirement that a Senate-approved foreign
      affairs adviser, as opposed to an NSA case officer, certify foreign
      intelligence value. And if that's true, then when the president finds
      his own rules for vetting emergency surveillance applications to be
      'cumbersome and burdensome,' he can simply cut the red tape. So why
      hasn't he?" (03/01/06)



      33) God's demagogue
      by Andrew O'Hehir

      "[William Jennings] Bryan was the most famous American orator at the
      turn of the last century, simultaneously the nation's leading populist
      politician and its leading evangelist. In his own time, he was very
      much identified as a man of the left, even a radical. Historian
      Michael Kazin, in his new Bryan biography 'A Godly Hero,' calls him a
      'Christian liberal,' and that label will do as well as any. But the
      problem with Bryan is that his politics don't make much sense in 21st
      century terms, and that the 'prairie populism' he personified is now
      identified so strongly with the right. It doesn't help that Bryan is
      mainly known today for a sideshow act performed at the very end of his
      life, when he helped prosecute a Tennessee schoolteacher for
      half-heartedly leading a lesson about evolution." [subscription or ad
      view required] (03/01/06)



      34) Flying is dying
      by George Monbiot

      "At last the battlelines have been drawn, and the first major fight
      over climate change is about to begin. All over Britain, a coalition
      of homeowners and anarchists, NIMBYs and internationalists is
      mustering to fight the greatest future cause of global warming: the
      growth of aviation." [editor's note: I really have to wonder if this
      isn't all some kind of very Freudian reaction to the right's playing
      with Monbiot's name ... - TLK] (03/01/06)



      35) Iraq: Preparing for the worst
      Tom Paine
      by Robert Dreyfuss

      "With 1,300 dead Iraqis -- and counting -- since the bombing of the
      Golden Dome last week, Iraq remains poised at the precipice of
      destruction. It's anyone's guess as to whether the crisis will revert
      to its previous state of mere insurgency and grinding daily violence,
      or plunge into a multi-sided religious civil war. ... Either way,
      however, one thing is clear. Already dead is the Bush administration's
      hope for a neat drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq as Election 2006
      approaches. ... Bush and Cheney had hoped to rescue their failure in
      Iraq by four interlocking measures: first, the creation of an
      independent Iraqi military and police force that could take on the
      insurgents; second, a gradual drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq to
      placate U.S. domestic opposition to the war; third, the establishment
      of a modicum of security in Iraq, enough to allow economic
      reconstruction to proceed; and finally, the cobbling together of some
      sort of credible Iraqi government. Let's take those four, one by one."



      36) Free trade planet
      The Nation
      by Nicholas von Hoffman

      "From the Hollywood left to the neanderthal right, the news that Dubai
      Ports World had bought Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation
      Company of Great Britain was greeted as an Arabian nightmare.
      Goopy-dupes of every political persuasion joined in a unified
      condemnation of the $6.8 billion sale, which transferred the
      management of freight facilities in six major American ports to a
      company owned by United Arab Emirates. The emphasis goes on the middle
      word of the nation's name. After years of getting the stuffing beaten
      out of them for being namby-pambies on national security, Democratic
      politicians and their apologists could not forego the chance to give
      George W. Bush a dose of what he had been giving them for years."



      37) Governors crossing border between sense & nonsense
      Arizona Republic
      by E. J. Montini

      "Governors from throughout the nation, including our own, are in
      Washington, D.C., this week where their top priority, according to the
      newspaper headlines, is 'border security.' Wrong. The top priority for
      governors throughout the nation, including Arizona, is 'job security.'
      As in their own. The most important thing to a governor, like any
      other politician, is getting re-elected. And the best way to stay in
      office these days is to talk tough about border security, particularly
      as it pertains to illegal immigration. So that's what they're doing.
      'This is a national issue,' said Gov. Janet Napolitano, who has asked
      the federal government for funds to post Arizona's National Guard on
      the border. Not long ago, Napolitano criticized such a proposal,
      saying it was the federal government's job and that it would put too
      much strain on the Guard. But that was before polls showed that 65
      percent of the state's voters really liked the idea." (02/28/06)



      38) President makes poor partner with Congress
      Fox News
      by Martin Frost

      "All right class, welcome back to Congress 101. I hope you enjoyed
      your President's Day break -- I know the Congress enjoyed theirs.
      Today's lecture will cover relationships between the executive and
      legislative branches of the federal government. Your professor served
      with five different presidents during his 26 years in Congress. Some
      of those presidents got along well with Congress and others did not.
      And this had little to do with party affiliation. Let's take a look at
      those five presidents in chronological order." (02/28/06)



      39) Following spirit of the law isn't enough
      Christian Science Monitor
      by Dante Chinni

      "Laws matter -- at least that's what we're told in this town, which
      isn't surprising since so many are made here. Laws are the rules by
      which we all have to play. And legislation makes its way through the
      system so that the rules can be debated and discussed. That's why the
      debate here has seemed so odd the past few months. This administration
      has made mistakes. That's to be expected; they all do. But
      increasingly when something goes wrong, this administration is arguing
      that whatever might have happened, regarding rules or laws, it's time
      to move on. In every case, when someone comes forward to challenge an
      action, the response is the same: We're past that now and if you want
      to ask questions you're simply playing the blame game." (02/28/06)



      40) Lining the pockets of big business
      Boston Globe
      by Peter D. Enrich

      "In recent years, states have found themselves caught in an
      accelerating competition to offer ever-larger tax breaks to big
      businesses. The rationale, aggressively marketed by corporate
      lobbyists, is that giveaways are necessary to attract business
      investment and jobs to a state, and that the resulting expanded
      business activity will more than pay for the lost revenues from the
      tax cuts. Reality, however, contradicts these claims. ... State taxes
      are simply too small a fraction of business costs (typically 1 to 2
      percent) to be a major factor in siting decisions. Moreover, since all
      states are offering competing incentives, the differences are usually
      very small. When asked about the efficacy of business tax incentives
      during his confirmation hearings in 2001 to be US treasury secretary,
      Paul O'Neill, former chief executive officer of ALCOA, said: 'As a
      businessman I never made an investment decision based on the tax code.
      If you give money away I will take it, but good business people don't
      do things because of inducements.'" (02/28/06)



      41) What money is not
      Ludwig von Mises Institute
      by Robert Murphy

      "With the possible exception of international trade, no topic in
      economics contains more myths than monetary theory. In the present
      article I address four popular opinions concerning money that suffer
      from either ambiguity or outright falsehood. 'Money represents a claim
      on goods and services.' Although there is a grain of truth in this
      view, it is quite simplistic and misconceives what money really is."



      42) The sociology of taxation
      Ludwig von Mises Institute
      by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

      "There can be no doubt, then, that taxes invariably reduce production
      and with this the consumer's standard of living. Whichever way things
      are put, there is no escaping the conclusion that taxation is a means
      of obstructing the formation of wealth and thereby creating relative
      impoverishment. This brings me to my second subject: the sociology of
      taxation. If taxation is an instrument for the destruction of
      wealth-formation, then the question immediately becomes pressing of
      how it can be explained that there is taxation; that there is ever
      more of it; that we have experienced, in particular during the last
      hundred years, a steady increase not just in the absolute but also in
      the relative level of taxation; and that the institutions which lead
      the way in this process, the tax-states of the Western World, have
      simultaneously assumed ever more powerful positions in the arena of
      international politics and increasingly dominate the rest of the
      world." (02/25/06)



      43) The intersection of war and business
      Center For Individual Freedom
      by staff

      "America's armed forces are always looking for creative ways to
      recruit and retain troops. It is reported that over the last several
      months the Army has eased enlistment restrictions in an effort to meet
      its recruiting goals. The changes have included increasing the
      enlistment age for active-duty Army recruits from 35 to 40, softening
      a key drug test for recent use of marijuana, putting in place a high
      school equivalency program for dropouts, removing the ban on childhood
      asthmatics and, most recently, allowing recruits who are too heavy to
      meet weight or body fat limits to take a fitness test." (02/23/06)



      44) Iraq as anarchic black hole?
      by Jeremy Sapienza

      "It is perfectly clear that no bunch of former exiles posing as a
      state is going to rein in the violence that besieges Iraqis daily.
      Iraqis will have to realize this and finally begin to do something
      more about it than merely carrying a weapon. Lone guns can't hold back
      an army of fanatics who are trying to ignite a civil war. Iraqis are
      going to have to create their own associations and organizations to
      provide security and services and banish the warlords and militants.
      They will have to create anarchy to banish the chaos. We'll see if the
      market will push them along the way." (02/28/06)



      45) Civil disobedience a just, responsible approach
      The Coloradoan
      by Joe Kissell

      "If there is an unjust, immoral or illegal situation, particularly if
      that situation has been brought about by people chosen to make and
      uphold law, then is it not only the right but the moral responsibility
      of even but one citizen to speak out? In a free society, part of that
      vocalization must always include the option of action in the form of
      peaceful civil disobedience. Peaceful civil disobedience does not
      threaten the safety of anyone. Pounding on a 12-ton, concrete cover of
      a missile silo with a hammer as three Roman Catholic nuns did in 2002,
      couldn't possibly have the slightest chance of disaster or, for that
      matter, even an acutely minor detrimental effect. It is a statement,
      pure and simple. And, should people in a free society feel the
      necessity to make such a statement, it is one that needs attention
      paid to it. If ordinary citizens take such actions, something may
      indeed be seriously wrong." (02/28/06)



      46) Harboring prejudice and politics: The "Dubai Ports" debate
      by James Zogby

      "During the past week we witnessed a virtual frenzy with senators,
      congressmen, and then governors jumping over each other to take the
      lead in bashing the 'Dubai port deal,' the United Arab Emirates, or
      the Bush administration. It's all being done, critics say, in the name
      of national security. In reality, what is taking place here is nothing
      more than crass political posturing and an irresponsible and
      ill-informed attack on an Arab country that has been a strong ally of
      the United States .... In the Middle East, people are scratching their
      heads. If the UAE, which has stuck its neck out to support the US, can
      be treated with such scorn, then, some ask, 'what's the point of being
      a friend of America?'" (02/28/06)



      47) Celebrity castigations: Microcosm of broader attack on freedom
      by Steve Watson

      "There has recently been a spate of reports concerning the castigation
      and investigation of various celebrities who have voiced a political
      opinion that is critical of the government, the 'war on terror' or the
      war in Iraq. This is a dangerous indication that our society as whole
      is systematically being deprived of freedom of speech and being
      coerced into a mindset that says those who question their government
      are traitors. We undoubtedly live in a celebrity obsessed society and
      the media drives this forward to its full advantage. The way the
      political opinions of those in the limelight are portrayed in the
      mainstream media is communicated to a mass audience and becomes a
      microcosm for political opinion in general. The attempt at utter
      destruction of the reputation of George Clooney in the press recently
      reveals this very premise. ... While movies like Clooney's or songs
      like Morrissey's are portrayed by the media as unpatriotic and
      unrepresentative of our societies, those that tow the government line
      are lauded and praised to the hilt. Several new movies and TV
      productions have and will continue to uniformly reinforce the official
      line on the events of 9/11, an line that over half of New Yorkers
      believe to be lies. Whilst actors like Clooney are castigated, others
      such as arch Neo-Con Bruce Willis will be given glowing praise as he
      produces his pro-war Iraq film that relates 'the success' of
      liberating the Iraqi people." (02/28/06)



      48) Free speech quagmire
      Strike the Root
      by David MacGregor

      "The 'currency' of free speech has also been devalued over recent
      years, with the gradual erosion of rights in this regard. Now we find
      that free speech is fine -- as long as you don't use it to offend
      anyone, like uttering stereotypical opinions about gays, lesbians,
      Hispanics, feminists, right or left-wingers, the unemployed, solo
      mothers, fat people, macho males, Asians, and other assorted targets.
      Then, of course, there's the Orwellian-sounding war on 'hate speech'
      -- whatever that is. So we're left with a sort of emasculated free
      speech -- free speech in name only. Free speech for wimps. Which
      brings me to the point of this essay: Do you have the right to utter,
      draw, write, record or otherwise make public your own personal
      opinions? And do you have the right to have access to such opinions of
      others? And my answer is yes. For if this right is curtailed, then it
      is just the beginning of a slippery slope to full censorship. Once you
      accept the principle of 'limited' free speech, then it's only a matter
      of time before the limits become more and more onerous, until one day
      you wake up and the limits are total." (02/28/06)



      49) The devil comes back from Georgia
      by Cathy Young

      "Two events last week starkly illustrate the dilemmas of countries
      grappling with a terrible past. In Austria, Holocaust denier David
      Irving received a three-year jail sentence for his public assertions
      that the Nazis did not carry out a systematic extermination of the
      Jews during World War II. Meanwhile, in Russia, as the country marked
      the 50th anniversary of its official turn away from Stalinism under
      Nikita Khrushchev, many people regard the late dictator's legacy as
      mostly positive -- and a new museum celebrating that legacy is about
      to open." (02/28/06)



      50) The Moses complex
      by Arnold Kling

      "Putting too many people in the roles of oppressors and oppressed is
      one problem with the folk version of Exodus. Even more troubling is
      the way that Jews have re-cast the role of the Savior with the 'mighty
      hand and outstretched arm.' We have replaced the concept of an
      all-knowing, merciful God with a belief in an all-knowing, merciful
      government. This attribution of God-like qualities to government has
      little religious or intellectual justification. Jews are aware that
      government is not perfect. However, we ascribe bad government to the
      accidental result of having the wrong leaders." (02/28/06)



      51) South Dakota's fetal position
      by Ronald Bailey

      "Last week, the South Dakota legislature overwhelmingly enacted a
      statute that would ban all abortions in the Coyote State except those
      done to save the life of a mother. The bill requires only the
      signature of pro-life Gov. Mike Rounds to become law. The legislation
      is designed to take direct aim at the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973
      decision Roe v. Wade, in which the court found that the
      constitutionally protected right to privacy applied to women's
      reproductive decisions including allowing them access to abortions.
      ... The South Dakota anti-abortion statute could have far-reaching
      effects not only on women's reproductive choices, but also on the
      future of much biomedical research nationwide." (02/28/06)



      52) Next step
      National Review
      by William F. Buckley, Jr.

      "If Hitler had known in June, 1941, what would befall the German army
      -- and him -- in four years, he would not have invaded Russia. Four
      years! In four years we marched from Pearl Harbor to the heart of what
      was left of Tokyo and Berlin. In three years we can't yet take a cab
      from Baghdad to its airport without an armed guard. Princes and
      generals do not communicate to the troops what are the high command's
      private reckonings. The matter of morale is with us in victory, and
      sometimes even begets victory. It also sanctifies defeat. To have died
      on behalf of your cause makes possible the mystic conviction that your
      sacrifice was the marginal contribution. To be dead at defeat permits
      mourning for gallantry and for faith -- My country, do or die.
      President Bush will be seen commanding his troops to march on. He will
      speak of victory. One's guess is that there will be attenuation in the
      definition of victory." (02/28/06)



      53) In defense of "Impostor"
      Human Events
      by Bruce Bartlett

      "Last week, I published a new book, 'Impostor: How George W. Bush
      Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.' A lot of my
      friends are not happy with me for writing it, and I have been embraced
      by a number of people on the left whom I would ordinarily consider my
      political enemies. Both are mistaken about why I wrote the book and
      what I hope to accomplish with it. Some of my former friends on the
      right have attacked me as an opportunist who sold out his party and
      his president to get a best-seller. They would not think so if they
      knew that I started this project knowing that I would probably lose my
      job with a think tank closely allied with the White House, which I
      did. My advance on the book was less than the salary I was making, so
      if I am an opportunist, I'm a pretty poor one." (02/28/06)



      54) Sinking fast
      by Bruce Reed

      "A Scottish newspaper may have uncovered Dubai's true motive in
      infiltrating America's ports. Scotland on Sunday reports that later
      this year, Dubai plans to start building the world's first underwater
      hotel. The country will spend more than $500 million to build a luxury
      hotel with 500 'watertight rooms' 10 meters below the surface of the
      Persian Gulf. ... 'With safety a major consideration,' says the
      newspaper, 'everything from the kitchens, to fire extinguishers, to
      the oxygen system will be state of the art. The security system will
      also be a world leader, with project heads stressing it will be good
      enough to protect heads of state.' ... No wonder the Bush
      administration swept aside Coast Guard warnings about the ports deal.
      With Dubai's help, the Secret Service could stop hauling Vice
      President Cheney out to a secure bunker in Wyoming and store him in a
      Baltimore aquarium instead." (02/28/06)



      55) Civil war or holy war?
      Mother Jones
      by James Carroll

      "The now familiar scenes of enraged protesters waving fists at
      cameras, en route to acts of sacred vengeance, cannot be understood
      apart from the theology that undergirds such passion. 'God is great!'
      the Koran says, and Muslims in the streets seem to take that to mean
      that the deity is a being of such infinite supremacy that any offense
      against it must itself be experienced as infinite, requiring an
      infinite rage in God's behalf. God, it seems, is understood to be a
      feudal potentate whose honor, once slighted by nefarious human
      actions, can only be restored by counterbalancing nefarious reactions.
      This theology, not particular to Islam, is rooted in the various
      mythologies of monotheism, some of which tend to portray the deity
      itself as jealous of its glory, ready to take offense." (02/28/06)


      Movement News & Events

      56) ISIL's 25th World Freedom Summit
      International Society for Individual Liberty

      "ISIL's international conference for 2006 is being held in the
      stunningly beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic." Scholarships for
      students/young activists available. Watch this space for details To Be



      57) Petition: Free Cory Maye
      What is Liberalism?

      "The law has been misapplied to Cory Maye. If an unidentified intruder
      were to burst into our home in the middle of the night, we would be
      within our rights to defend ourselves and our children. Given the law
      of Mississippi, Cory Maye acted within his right on the night of
      December 26th, 2001. It is a great tragedy that a police officer lost
      his life in this encounter. The execution of Cory Maye would magnify
      the tragedy, killing an innocent citizen because of the death of an
      officer. Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, should grant an
      unconditional pardon to Cory Maye."



      58) The Million Moon March
      War on Guns Blog
      thru 06/06

      "An international citizen disarmament coalition, Control Arms, is
      sponsoring a 'Million Faces petition' and 'is collecting photos and
      self portraits from around the world to reach [their] goal of one
      million faces by June 2006. [They] will use these faces to send a
      powerful, global message of support to the world's governments for an
      International Arms Trade Treaty.' The idea of The Million Moon March
      (as in 'mooning') is to send them photos from the side that believes
      in the right of the people to keep and bear arms -- to let the rights
      grabbers know there are untold numbers of people who refuse to be
      disarmed, and quite candidly, to taunt and hopefully enrage them."
      [Editor's note: Thanks to the inimitable David Codrea for this action
      ... be sure to check his blog for the latest pictures and join in the
      fun by submitting your own - MLS] (02/06/06)



      59) Austrian Scholars Conference 2006
      Ludwig von Mises Institute

      "The Austrian Scholars Conference is the international,
      interdisciplinary meeting of the Austrian School, and for scholars
      interested or working in this intellectual tradition, it is the event
      of the year. Over the course of three full days, the Austrian Scholars
      Conference offers eighty plus presentations on economics, history,
      philosophy, and the humanities, in addition to named lectures by the
      leaders in the field." Mises Institute campus, Auburn, AL. Free for
      students (application required), $200 for others. Online registration
      available. Group rate available at local hotel.


      Today in Political History

      60) A Bravo for Bikini

      Details, and the "quote of the day," from Leon's Political Almanac at:


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