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[RRND] 11/01 -- Gamblers bet on Dems to take House; VA: Desperate Republicans turn viol

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  • Terry L Parker
    ************************************************** * RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST * * Volume IV, Issue #1,016 * Wednesday, November 1st, 2006 * Email
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2006
      * Volume IV, Issue #1,016
      * Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
      * Email Circulation 2,057
      * Published every non-holiday weekday
      * by the staff of Rational Review
      * On the Web: http://www.rationalreview.com/news
      * In cooperation with ISIL: htp://www.isil.org

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      In The News:

      0) Symposium: Handicapping the elections
      1) Gamblers bet on Dems to take House
      2) VA: Desperate Republicans turn violent
      3) Iraq: Month opens with new killings, abductions
      4) Afghan explosion kills two occupation troops
      5) Border thugs get six years for bribes
      6) TX: Mayor backs reducing land theft
      7) Indictment: Conspiracy to import utility infielders
      8) US Justice Department probing Sony unit
      9) White House, Kerry exchange accusations
      10) Bush cautious as North Korea agrees to resume nuclear talks
      11) Rumsfeld OKs increase in Iraqi forces
      12) PM orders lifting of joint US-Iraqi checkpoints
      13) PA: Judge blocks town's Know-Nothing law
      14) AWOL soldier surrenders at Fort Knox
      15) UK: Call for boycott of medical database
      16) Google defends China operations
      17) "Hell House" in NYC
      18) IN: Woman scares off burglar
      19) TX: Homeowner shoots intruder
      20) CA: Tenants want landlord to try their life
      21) Rangel: Cheney an "SOB"
      22) Money well spent? The city can't tell
      23) AZ: Renzi-Simon race a challenge for voters
      24) SCOTUS case: Are jury awards too high?
      25) Audit faults US training of Iraqis

      Everybody Has An Opinion:

      26) Dread
      27) Legislatosaurus Rex?
      28) Time for more democracy
      29) Fight the illusion -- don't vote!
      30) Polls that encourage and polls that terrify
      31) The permanent war on payola
      32) The mother of all lies
      33) Snake oil and the midterm elections
      34) Baghdad is under siege
      35) Bush losing support of military
      36) If you're against the Iraq war, take this quiz
      37) Blood in the gutters
      38) Dem pol's wife asks Sheehan not to protest
      39) Hell is rising in Oaxaca
      40) Slaves, serfs and taxpayers
      41) Fear & voting in the USA
      42) Raising the dead voter hoax
      43) Soul man
      44) Trying to take the "Goldwater" out of the Republicans
      45) Government, business, beer and pot
      46) Modesty for women comes with many definitions
      47) Straying from a failed course
      48) Number of federal subsidy programs is soaring
      49) Ain't no lesser of two evils
      50) Shortages, bloody shortages
      51) Amnesty National
      52) How W lost the right by waging the wrong war
      53) Voting isn't enough
      54) Where we went wrong
      55) Halloween: The night kids discover economics
      56) Butch Otter rides again
      57) In for a scare
      58) The thirteenth tipping point
      59) What's the doughboy afraid of?
      60) Even saviors aren't perfect

      See No Evil, Hear No Evil:

      61) Freedom Rings, 11/06/06
      62) Freedomain Radio #483
      63) FMNN eRadio: Walking dead currency
      64) Free Talk Live, 10/31/06
      65) Reforming the European Common Agricultural Policy

      What's Up In The Freedom Movement:

      66) Today's events


      67) Hot night on Enewetok

      * In The News

      0) Symposium: Handicapping the elections

      As you'll see in today's news section, professional gamblers are
      betting on the Democrats. In commentary, much of the attitude is "who
      cares" or even "don't vote." What do YOU think? Don't hold back!



      1) Gamblers bet on Dems to take House

      "Gamblers are increasing their bets that Democrats will be
      redecorating the leadership offices in the U.S. House of
      Representatives next year. President George W. Bush tells Republican
      audiences to ignore polls that indicate Democrats may gain the 15 or
      more seats they need to take control of the House in the Nov. 7
      elections. Some Democrats, he says, are 'already measuring the drapes
      for their new offices' and will be proven wrong. Gamblers are voting
      with their money. Recent betting on political future contracts at
      TradeSports.com, an online unit of the Dublin-based Trade Exchange
      Network Co., gives Democrats a 69 percent chance of winning the House.
      Democrats have a 29 percent chance of capturing the Senate and a 24
      percent chance of gaining majorities in both chambers, based on
      wagers." (11/01/06)



      2) VA: Desperate Republicans turn violent

      "A campaign appearance by Sen. George Allen turned physical when a
      liberal blogger was wrestled to the ground after heckling the senator
      about his divorce and court records. ... Stark's comments Tuesday and
      the confrontation that followed were captured by WVIR-TV in
      Charlottesville. Three men, all wearing blue Allen lapel stickers,
      grabbed Stark, put him in a chokehold, dragged him backward and pushed
      him to the floor at one point outside a meeting room." (11/01/06)



      3) Iraq: Month opens with new killings, abductions
      Frankfort Times

      "More than 40 Shiites were abducted along a notoriously dangerous
      highway just north of Baghdad, police said Wednesday, and the death
      toll from a suicide bombing at a wedding party rose to 23, including
      nine children. At least eight other people were either found dead or
      slain in new attacks Wednesday, including one person killed in a car
      bomb attack in Baghdad's central market, which wounded five others,
      police Lt. Ali Hassan said. The death toll in the market attack was
      likely to rise, he said." (11/01/06)



      4) Afghan explosion kills two occupation troops

      "A roadside bomb killed two NATO soldiers and wounded two others on
      patrol in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the alliance said. The
      roadside bomb struck the soldiers' vehicle in the province of
      Nuristan, NATO said. The two wounded soldiers were taken to a U.S.
      military facility in Asadabad in neighboring Kunar province. NATO did
      not release the nationalities of the soldiers, but U.S. troops are the
      primary NATO component in eastern Afghanistan." (10/31/06)



      5) Border thugs get six years for bribes
      Enid News & Eagle

      "Two former Border Patrol agents were sentenced Tuesday to more than
      six years each in prison for taking nearly $180,000 in bribes in
      exchange for releasing immigrant smugglers and illegal immigrants from
      federal custody. Mario Alvarez and Samuel McClaren released smugglers
      and their customers from jail while working on a prisoner transfer
      program with the Mexican government. They once released a prisoner in
      a Wal-Mart parking lot for a fee of $6,000, according to court
      documents." (10/31/06)



      6) TX: Mayor backs reducing land theft
      El Paso Times

      "The El Paso City Council voted to go forward with a controversial
      Downtown development plan Tuesday by the same 5-3 margin that has
      typified most of council's major decisions for the past year. ... In
      the next decade or so, the Downtown redevelopment calls for a
      combination of private and public [sic] investment [sic] that will
      bring in major retail stores, a Mexican-style mercado, an arena and
      new homes and apartments for thousands of new and relocated residents.
      More than 200 people packed the council chambers, as roughly equal
      numbers of supporters and opponents of the Downtown plan attended.
      Mayor John Cook, noting the sharp divisions on the council and in the
      city over the potential use of eminent domain to [steal] property for
      private development, said he would like to resolve that issue in the
      next stage of the redevelopment plan. 'I do believe we can have
      unanimity by removing eminent domain,' he said, explaining that he has
      asked the city attorney's office to draft an ordinance that would
      restrict the use of eminent domain to situations involving public
      improvements and 'truly blighted property.'" (11/01/06)



      7) Indictment: Conspiracy to import utility infielders
      USA Today

      "A baseball agent who has represented Cuban defectors was indicted by
      a Miami grand jury on Tuesday for allegedly smuggling ballplayers and
      other Cuban nationals into the USA. Gustavo 'Gus' Dominguez, vice
      president of Total Sports International in Encino, Calif., is charged
      as part of a 53-count indictment related to two operations in 2004.
      Geoffrey Rodrigues, Robert Yosvany Hernandez, Ramon Batista and
      Guillermo Valdez, allegedly hired by Dominguez to transport the Cubans
      by speedboat to the USA, also were indicted. Dominguez has represented
      several Cuban defectors, including Andy Morales, who was signed by the
      New York Yankees and later the Boston Red Sox." (11/01/06)



      8) US Justice Department probing Sony unit
      USA Today

      "Sony said Tuesday the U.S. Department of Justice is probing its
      electronics unit as part of an industrywide investigation into sales
      of a particular type of memory chip. The news could spell more trouble
      for a company already stung by sinking profits, a global battery
      recall and product delays. The Japanese company received a subpoena
      from the Justice Department's antitrust division seeking information
      about Sony's static random access memory, or SRAM, business, company
      spokesman Atsuo Omagari said." (10/31/06)



      9) White House, Kerry exchange accusations
      Monroe News Star

      "The White House and Sen. John Kerry traded their harshest accusations
      since the 2004 presidential race on Tuesday, with President Bush
      accusing the Democrat of troop-bashing and Kerry calling the
      president's men hacks who are 'willing to lie.' The war of words,
      tough even for this hard-fought campaign season, came after Kerry told
      a group of California students on Monday that those unable to navigate
      the country's education system 'get stuck in Iraq.'" (10/31/06)



      10) Bush cautious as North Korea agrees to resume nuclear talks
      Topeka Capital-Journal

      "In a surprise turnabout, North Korea agreed Tuesday to return to
      six-nation disarmament talks just three weeks after rattling the world
      by conducting an atomic bomb test. The breakthrough came after
      pressure from China and a U.S. offer to discuss financial penalties
      already in place. President Bush cautiously welcomed the deal and
      thanked the Chinese for brokering it. But he said the agreement
      wouldn't sidetrack U.S. efforts to enforce sanctions adopted by the
      U.N. Security Council to punish Pyongyang for its Oct. 9 nuclear
      test." (10/31/06)



      11) Rumsfeld OKs increase in Iraqi forces
      Providence Journal

      "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday endorsed a proposal
      to spend at least $1 billion to expand the size and accelerate the
      training and equipping of Iraqi security forces. While the plan still
      must get final approval from the White House and the money would have
      to be approved by Congress, Rumsfeld's support underscores the Bush
      administration's effort to shift more of the burden of Iraq's security
      to that country's forces." (10/31/06)



      12) PM orders lifting of joint US-Iraqi checkpoints
      Independence Examiner

      "Exploiting GOP vulnerability in the Nov. 7 elections, Prime Minister
      Nouri al-Maliki flexed his political muscle Tuesday and won U.S.
      agreement to lift military blockades on Sadr City and another Shiite
      enclave where an American soldier was abducted. U.S. forces, who had
      set up the checkpoints in Baghdad last week as part of an unsuccessful
      search for the soldier, drove away in Humvees and armored personnel
      carriers at the 5 p.m. deadline set by al-Maliki. Iraqi troops, who
      had manned the checkpoints with the Americans, loaded coils of razor
      wire and red traffic cones onto pickup trucks." (10/31/06)



      13) PA: Judge blocks town's Know-Nothing law

      "A federal judge Tuesday temporarily barred Hazleton, Pennsylvania,
      from implementing a law designed to prevent illegal immigrants from
      living in the town. Judge James Munley of the U.S. District Court for
      the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a temporary restraining
      order against Hazleton City Council, preventing it from enforcing its
      Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance. The measure has become a
      model for other U.S. towns that blame illegal immigrants for a range
      of social problems." (10/31/06)



      14) AWOL soldier surrenders at Fort Knox
      Lebanon Reporter

      "A soldier who fled to Canada rather than accept a second tour in Iraq
      turned himself over to military authorities at Fort Knox on Tuesday,
      his attorney said. Kyle Snyder, a former combat engineer, left the
      U.S. in April 2005 while on leave. He said he worked as a welder and
      at a children's health clinic in Canada." (10/31/06)



      15) UK: Call for boycott of medical database
      Guardian [UK]

      "Millions of personal medical records are to be uploaded regardless of
      patients' wishes to a central national database from where information
      can be made available to police and security services, the Guardian
      has learned. Details of mental illnesses, abortions, pregnancy, HIV
      status, drug-taking, or alcoholism may also be included, and there are
      no laws to prevent DNA profiles being added. The uploading is planned
      under Whitehall's bedevilled £12bn scheme to computerise the health
      service. After two years of confusion and delays, the system will
      start coming into effect in stages early next year. Though the
      government says the database will revolutionise management of the NHS,
      civil liberties critics are calling it 'data rape' and are urging
      Britons to boycott it." (11/01/06)



      16) Google defends China operations
      Yahoo! News

      "Internet search leader Google and other major U.S. technology
      companies insisted Tuesday that their products benefit Chinese
      citizens despite government restrictions and warnings that online
      censorship is spreading. Providing some information is better than
      giving none at all, the companies said, but human rights groups warned
      that heavy filtering of Web content is increasing in developing
      countries -- with some using China as a model. China denied it
      censored Internet sites at all, saying criminal investigations are
      unrelated to freedom of expression." (10/31/06)



      17) "Hell House" in NYC

      "Worlds collided last month in Brooklyn. In a dark neighborhood of
      warehouses called DUMBO, in a theater usually reserved for edgy bands
      and performance artists, real actors performed, straight up and
      without irony, 'Hell House,' an evangelical Christian version of a
      haunted house. With a demon as their guide, visitors walked through a
      series of live tableaux, each one depicting a different way to stray
      from God. In one, a young woman commits suicide after being raped. In
      another, a gay man gets AIDS. At the end, audience members stand
      before Satan, who is horned and jubilant ('You think sin has no
      consequence!' he exults) -- and finally before Jesus Christ himself,
      who calls on them to repent and be saved. On a recent night, audience
      members looked stricken as they listened to this appeal. When invited
      to join the Lord in prayer, all remained silent." (for publication



      18) IN: Woman scares off burglar
      Muncie Star Press

      "A 41-year-old Muncie woman fired a gun at a man who had tried to
      break into her house, she told police. The thwarted burglary comes
      less than a week after another Muncie woman beat a suspected burglar
      with a cooking pot. The woman was asleep early Saturday morning in her
      home in the 1300 block of East Fifth Street when she heard noises and
      saw a figure outside her bedroom window, she told police. She went to
      her front door with her .38-caliber revolver and fired a shot in the
      direction of the burglar as he ran eastward from her home." (10/31/06)



      19) TX: Homeowner shoots intruder
      WOAJ News

      "Investigators want to know why a man who was shot and killed was in a
      family's home. It's the first deadly shooting in Gillespie county in
      ten years. Deputies say it appears 30-year-old Dan Speight broke into
      the homeowners garage. That homeowner woke up, walked up to Speight
      and asked what he was doing. The homeowner told deputies Speight
      didn't answer, but ran towards him. Investigators say the homeowner
      shot Speight twice." (10/31/06)



      20) CA: Tenants want landlord to try their life
      Los Angeles Times

      "First, the landlord yanked the pipes out of their sinks. The Jimenez
      sisters put buckets underneath to catch the water before it streamed
      onto the floor. Next, he stripped the facade from the outside of the
      building, exposing rotting boards and some gaping holes. He removed
      some windows, allowing cold air and sometimes pigeons into their
      rooms. Their phone lines were cut, and gas and water service sputtered
      off and on. But even as rats and cockroaches ran wild in the walls
      around them, the three sisters, who, with their families, have each
      have rented rooms in the building for two decades, decided to stay and
      fight for their homes. Last week, they joined other tenants in suing
      landlord Joon Lee, alleging that he is on an illegal campaign to
      replace them with tenants who will pay higher rents in the graceful
      but dilapidated old building near USC." (10/31/06)



      21) Rangel: Cheney an "SOB"
      New York Post

      "Charles Rangel yesterday blasted Dick Cheney as a 'son of a bitch'
      after the vice president said the Harlem lawmaker would raise taxes
      and destroy the economy if Democrats take control of the House. The
      bitter war of words escalated to the point where the bombastic Rangel
      even questioned whether the tightly wound Cheney needed professional
      treatment -- and mocked him for accidentally shooting his hunting
      buddy ealier this year. Cheney fired the first shot when he predicted
      that Rangel -- who is poised to chair the powerful House Ways and
      Means Committee if the Democrats seize the House next week -- wouldn't
      continue 'a single one' of President Bush's tax cuts." (10/31/06)



      22) Money well spent? The city can't tell
      San Francisco Chronicle

      "Nearly three years after the election of a mayor who promised to
      change how San Francisco deals with homelessness, the number of people
      living on the street is down but the city is still unable to track in
      a meaningful way the performance of nonprofit groups it pays tens of
      millions of dollars a year to provide services. Since taking office in
      January 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom has put an end to welfare practices
      widely viewed as enabling chronic homelessness. He also started
      initiatives to reach out to and provide a way off the street for
      hundreds of homeless people." (10/31/06)



      23) AZ: Renzi-Simon race a challenge for voters
      Arizona Republic

      "A week before they choose who will represent them in Congress, voters
      across rural Arizona face a challenge: sorting out ethical issues
      surrounding the two main candidates. On the Republican side, two-term
      incumbent Rep. Rick Renzi is the subject of an inquiry about conflict
      of interest. On the Democratic side, challenger Ellen Simon won't say
      why she routed a home sale through her husband, a move experts say
      likely was an impermissible effort to cut her income-tax obligations.
      The two are vying for the 1st Congressional District seat representing
      a territory that runs from north of the Grand Canyon to Casa Grande.
      Libertarian David Schlosser, the third candidate, is campaigning as an
      alternative for 'voters disgusted by the corrupting influence of
      money, politics and special interests.'" (10/31/06)



      24) SCOTUS case: Are jury awards too high?
      Christian Science Monitor

      "Jesse Williams smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for 45 years.
      Following his death in 1997 after being diagnosed with lung cancer,
      his wife, Mayola, sued the Philip Morris tobacco company seeking $100
      million in punitive damages. The Oregon jury that heard her case
      rejected the $100 million request. Instead, it awarded her $79.5
      million. Tuesday, the case arrives at the US Supreme Court where
      lawyers for Philip Morris are asking the justices to strike down the
      punitive damage award as constitutionally excessive and fundamentally
      unfair. The case, Philip Morris v. Mayola Williams, is being closely
      watched to see whether a majority of justices are willing to issue
      strict guidelines to identify when a punitive damage award is
      unconstitutionally excessive." (10/31/06)



      25) Audit faults US training of Iraqis
      Boston Globe

      "Deteriorating security in Iraq and bureaucratic wrangling between the
      State Department and the Pentagon have undermined the US government's
      effort to train provincial governments, according to a report to
      Congress released yesterday by the special inspector general for Iraq
      reconstruction. The training, done by 'provincial reconstruction
      teams' of soldiers, aid workers, and diplomats, is meant to coach
      local authorities in Iraq on how to deliver basic services to their
      municipalities, and to take over duties from the US-led coalition,
      such as running elections and making decisions over local budgets. The
      teams were considered such a critical part of the Bush
      administration's strategy to build up the new Iraqi government that
      Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presided over the inauguration of
      the first team in Mosul last November." (10/31/06)


      * HEALTH-OF-THE-STATE-O-METER, 11/01/06
      * Reported Civilian Deaths in Iraq: Min - 44,978 ... Max - 49,938
      * (source: www.iraqbodycount.org)
      * American Military Deaths in Iraq: 2,816
      * (source: www.antiwar.com/casualties/)

      * Everybody Has An Opinion

      26) Dread
      by Claire Wolfe

      "Numb. That's all I feel, writing this. Just plain numb. The bad news
      has come so steadily for the last decades and so fast and hard for the
      last five years that even an acute awareness eventually shuts down.
      How much bad news can you take before you just can't take it any more?
      Numb to the news -- which is uniformly not just bad but horrible. But
      under the surface numbness lies the dread. We tell ourselves that
      we're still okay. That, despite Bush's modern American Enabling Acts,
      well ... it's much better here than in Nazi Germany or the Soviet
      Union. Because after all, no American president has decreed mass
      roundups of (white) Americans -- yet. No American president has
      conducted mass slaughter of (white) Americans -- yet. No American
      president has sent (non drug-using) millions to gulags -- yet. Yet,
      yet, yet. But what are we waiting for?" (10/31/06)



      27) Legislatosaurus Rex?
      by Thomas L. Knapp

      "The latest polls I've seen show [Michael Badnarik and Bob Smither] in
      single digits (granted, the last Badnarik poll was awhile back). I
      think they'll do better than their polling numbers would predict, but
      I'm not convinced that a victory is in the offing. I hope they both
      prove me wrong. Either way, I believe we'll see a number of 'balance
      of power' showings in which the LP's candidate has a significant
      impact on outcome. Those may include US Senate candidates Frank
      Gilmour in Missouri and Bruce Guthrie in Washington. The more likely
      prospect for outright victory is that Libertarians will be elected to
      state legislatures in two or three states: New Hampshire, Vermont and,
      just possibly, Indiana." (10/31/06)



      28) Time for more democracy
      The Free Liberal
      by Carl S. Milsted, Jr.

      "Democracy does not scale up. A better solution is to scale government
      down. If we are to have true democracy, then the term 'local
      government' should be at a level much smaller than a city. For
      example, instead of having citywide zoning, each neighborhood could
      have its own zoning meetings. Let those who pay the price of having a
      busy store next door decide the zoning." (11/01/06)



      29) Fight the illusion -- don't vote!
      Strike the Root
      by Robert L. Johnson

      "The criminals that take up space in Congress and the White House need
      people to vote. They need to keep the lie alive! Even though there is
      no room for real debate and free exchange of ideas in this country,
      they desperately need to keep the illusion going that they are the
      representatives of 'the people,' that they are doing 'the people's
      work.' Of course, in reality they're doing nothing more than promoting
      their own political careers, which requires they serve powerful
      special interest groups like the American Israel Public Affairs
      Committee and giant corporations. This is why approximately 650,000
      Iraqi civilians and almost 3,000 US troops have died in Iraq and why
      even though productivity, executive pay and corporate profits have
      climbed, real wages for working people have remained flat at best."



      30) Polls that encourage and polls that terrify
      Classically Liberal
      by "CLS"

      "The most recent polls in Virginia are good news unless you are a big
      government Republican. With one week before the election the race
      between former Reagan official Jim Webb, the Democrat, and George
      Allen, a big government Republican enamoured with George Bush has not
      just narrowed. It's been doing that for months. But the last poll says
      Webb now has a slight lead. ... Another poll, however, indicates some
      real dangers to civil liberties from Republicans. Zogby International
      asked Republicans, Democrats and independents whether they would
      support various measures in the 'war on terror.' Republicans were hard
      pressed to find anything they would not allow the government to do."



      31) The permanent war on payola
      TCS Daily
      by Martin Fridson

      "It lies within the government's power to outlaw a market, but not
      ordinarily to abolish it. At most, the authorities can drive the nexus
      underground. The resource-allocation need that gave rise to the market
      will survive. Associated transactions will assume a form that
      disguises, but does not alter, their substance. In light of this
      foreseeable response, a recent New York Times report on circumvention
      of rules against payola -- record companies' purchase of radio airtime
      -- can hardly be called news." (11/01/06)



      32) The mother of all lies
      by Michael Gaddy

      "Of all the lies that have been told by George W. Bush, including the
      multitude of lies that led to the aggressive invasion of Iraq that has
      become a full blown, out of control, civil war; nothing can compare
      with the one he told when he said recently, 'We are winning the war in
      Iraq.' To say this in the face of the huge number of casualties
      suffered by the US Military this month is beyond incredible. My
      sources tell me the only soil we control in Iraq is that on which our
      Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) set. The Insurgency forces control the
      towns and the countryside and are making life miserable even for those
      inside the Green Zone. The Sadr Brigade alone is now estimated to
      number over 100,000 and they are just one of the many militant forces
      active in Iraq. How long ago was it now that we were told the
      Insurgency was only a few diehards numbering less than 12,000?" (11/01/06)



      33) Snake oil and the midterm elections
      by Joshua Frank

      "So we are in the trenches of another election season, and if you peer
      closely you can see the explosions on the horizon. I've yet to be
      convinced the Democrats have the capacity to take back Congress, and
      to tell you the truth I don't really care if they do. Not only do they
      not have the ability to lead, they also do not possess the moral
      impetus to change the direction of this war if they are lucky enough
      to regain control. Indeed, they are just as responsible for the ruin
      in Iraq and back home as the Bushites." (11/01/06)



      34) Baghdad is under siege
      Independent [UK]
      by Patrick Cockburn

      "Sunni insurgents have cut the roads linking the city to the rest of
      Iraq. The country is being partitioned as militiamen fight bloody
      battles for control of towns and villages north and south of the
      capital. As American and British political leaders argue over
      responsibility for the crisis in Iraq, the country has taken another
      lurch towards disintegration. Well-armed Sunni tribes now largely
      surround Baghdad and are fighting Shia militias to complete the
      encirclement." (11/01/06)



      35) Bush losing support of military
      Common Dreams
      by Bob Burnett

      "One of the most memorable Iraq war images was President Bush's May 1,
      2003, speech from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham
      Lincoln. As Bush announced, 'Major combat operations in Iraq have
      ended,' framed by the banner, 'Mission Accomplished,' he was
      surrounded by hundreds of cheering troops. At the time, it would have
      been hard to predict that three years later major combat operations
      would not have ended, the mission would not be accomplished, and Bush
      would be losing the support of the military. How did George Bush
      manage to lose the backing of our armed forces, which at one time was
      highly supportive of his Administration?" (10/31/06)



      36) If you're against the Iraq war, take this quiz
      Common Dreams
      by Danny Schechter

      "Ok, class. No talking. Pencils up. All eyes on the exam. Here's the
      first multiple-choice question: The Iraq War is Bad Because: a. It is
      illegal, immoral, and criminal b. It has ended up killing and maiming
      millions of Iraqis we promised to free c. It has devastated a country
      and ignited world opinion against the United States and caused
      thousands of US casualties d. It has debased our media and turned much
      of it into a propaganda organ e. It was badly managed and poorly
      executed. If you survey world opinion, there would be a consensus on
      selecting A-D as a response. If you polled most Democratic politicians
      and mainstream journalists, you would find overwhelming support only
      for E -- 'the we screwed it up' thesis as the correct answer. " (10/31/06)



      37) Blood in the gutters
      by William Rivers Pitt

      "It is going to be an ugly week in American politics, to be sure. The
      scum will rise and the stink will flood the airwaves, and pundits will
      shake their heads in mock dismay even as they revel in the chance to
      report on noise instead of news. It will be bad, but it could be
      worse. We could be in Baghdad, where dirty campaigns tend to involve
      bombs filled with nails and metal fragments, where torture and
      mutilation are the surest form of persuasion, where democracy means
      voting to stay inside so as to avoid being shot or abducted, where the
      failures of this administration and its rubber-stamp Congress are
      written in the blood flowing down the gutters." (10/31/06)



      38) Dem pol's wife asks Sheehan not to protest
      by Stephen Pearcy

      "When America's leading anti-war activist, Cindy Sheehan, got a phone
      call last week from Jan Brown, wife of Democratic Congressional
      candidate, Charles D. ('Charlie') Brown, the last thing in the world
      Cindy expected was a plea from Ms. Brown, 'mother-to-mother,' that
      Cindy stay away from a Sacramento anti-war protest. But that's exactly
      what she got. Fortunately for the hundreds of peace activists who
      showed up at the protest at 16th & Broadway in Sacramento to meet with
      Cindy, she rejected Ms. Brown's request, and the event went
      wonderfully." (10/31/06)



      39) Hell is rising in Oaxaca
      by Ron Jacobs

      "When I lived in Washington state, some of my closest friends were
      from the Mexican state of Oaxaca. I have kept in touch with a few of
      them and they have kept me in touch with the rebellion unfolding in
      the streets of Oaxaca the past few months. After the escalation of the
      situation there on October 27, 2006, when paramilitary forces shot and
      killed four people (including Indymedia journalist Brad Will), I spoke
      with my friends David Abeles and Hilaria Cruz who helped me contact
      some of their people in Oaxaca city. Given the circumstances currently
      existing in the area and the uncertainty of the immediate future
      because of the military and police presence there, I felt that the
      best way to get firsthand information out to the wider world would be
      to conduct an email interview. The first interview is below. I hope to
      have another one ready in the next couple days." (11/01/06)



      40) Slaves, serfs and taxpayers
      Strike the Root
      by Mark Davis

      "If you were a slave on a Roman estate or an Old South plantation and
      you got to choose who was given the power to control the fruits of
      your labor and tell you what to do and what not to do, would you be
      any less a slave? What if you were a serf on a French or German lord's
      manor and you got to choose who was given the power to control the
      fruits of your labor and tell you what to do and what not to do, would
      you be any less a serf? Is being a taxpayer really that much better of
      a deal?" (10/31/06)



      41) Fear & voting in the USA
      In These Times
      by Susan J. Douglas

      "Driving through Oakland, Calif., I saw a movie marquee urging people
      to demand paper ballots from electronic voting machines so there's a
      record of their votes. In my classes I have been asking my students
      why they don't follow the news, and they say, 'Why bother -- it's all
      spin and you can't believe it.' As the news media finally begins to
      turn its attention to the congressional elections, we are getting a
      focus on the trees, but not the forest. ... But when you talk to a
      range of everyday people, it's the forest they're concerned about:
      Will our system of constitutional democracy survive?" [editor's note:
      Setting aside the common misnomer about "constitutional democracy"
      (once more, folks: it's supposed to be a "republic!"), Ms. Douglas is
      at least correct about the "forest" aspect - SAT] (10/31/06)



      42) Raising the dead voter hoax
      Tom Paine
      by Justin Levitt

      "Once again, it's late October, the time of year when wholesome
      communities across America enjoy some good-natured fictional
      fearmongering. Ghostly apparitions are everywhere, and everyone's
      chuckling. Of course, this is also election season -- and for the
      press, the connection is often irresistible. The dearly departed … are
      alive and voting. Boo! ... A list of ostensible voters and a list of
      ostensible corpses are run through a computer program that spits out
      potential matches. Many thousands of entries are flagged. And voila:
      The horde of allegedly undead voters makes the front page. These
      undead voters, however, don't do well in daylight. Problems with
      matching from list to list often account for much of the alleged
      fraud. For example, statistics tell us that two individuals share the
      same name, even the same birthdate, with surprising frequency, so that
      two people -- one dead, one very much alive -- may be confused for
      each other." (10/31/06)



      43) Soul man
      The American Prospect
      by Matthew Yglesias

      "Whatever our disagreements, I've always liked Andrew Sullivan as a
      writer, and have looked on his blog -- with its seamless blend of
      apparently random subject matter offered up as political commentary --
      as an inspiration and a model for my own. (And, yes, he named one of
      his awards after me, so I'm biased.) What he offers, beyond the flair
      for good prose that keeps British pundits in high demand here in the
      colonies, is fundamentally a sensibility -- passionate but not
      dogmatic, always engaged yet open-minded. It's the rare sort of writer
      who'll do what Sullivan does at one point in his brand new tome, The
      Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get it Back: name-check a
      book, and then cheerfully admit that 'it runs to 8,000 pages and I
      cannot claim to have made it through them.'" (10/31/06)



      44) Trying to take the "Goldwater" out of the Republicans
      Arizona Republic
      by E. J. Montini

      "It was deja Barry all over again. Last week, a few angry members of
      the Republican Party asked three West Valley mayors to resign from the
      GOP for having the gall to endorse Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano in
      next week's election. One irritated party official was quoted as
      saying, 'We're letting the public know that if you are a Republican,
      you should stand by your party or remain silent.' The problem with
      that philosophy is that it's tough to create leaders from a group of
      followers. Which is maybe why the most famous Republican from Arizona,
      Barry Goldwater, wasn't the quiet type. ... Back in 1992 ... the
      conservative icon endorsed Democrat Karan English over Republican Doug
      Wead for a congressional seat. ... Goldwater explained his endorsement
      this way: 'I'll always support the best man or the best woman. I want
      what's best for Arizona.' Imagine that." (10/31/06)



      45) Government, business, beer and pot
      Liberty For All
      by Donna Mancini

      "I am for lowering taxes for everyone on everything, and that includes
      the estate tax, which is double taxation. Taxes take money from the
      productive or private sector and transfer it to the government, which
      produces nothing and is thus a parasite. I am for de-regulating
      industry, and reducing the number of laws in this country,
      particularly 'victim-less crimes' and keeping the federal government
      out of anything that states or local governments can handle, and I am
      sure that we don't need the Pentagon to mess with our beer or liquor!"



      46) Modesty for women comes with many definitions
      by Saritha Prabhu

      "It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around. In some
      parts of the world, women made minor news recently for wanting to show
      skin; in others, they made news for wanting to cover up. Over in the
      U.K., Jack Straw, a top British official, found himself in a bit of
      controversy when he asked Muslim women in Britain to remove their
      veils. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., The New York Times reported that
      Halloween, in recent years, has gotten risque. Apparently, thousands
      of women -- and teenage girls -- have been buying ultra-sexy Halloween
      outfits, a trend that is deemed 'more strip club than storybook.'
      Predictably, when something could be seen as objectionable, it is
      often dressed up in feel-good semantics -- many of the women think
      that showing off their bodies is a mark of 'independence and security
      and confidence.' How much skin to show, how much to cover up, and
      related issues like female modesty and sexual purity are, of course,
      very relative, and mean different things to different groups of
      people." (10/31/06)



      47) Straying from a failed course
      Boston Globe
      by H.D.S. Greenway

      "Last week, President Bush decided to cut and run from staying the
      course. The Iraq message has shifted, even if little else has, and one
      felt a little sorry for Republican candidates who had been parroting
      'stay the course' throughout the election campaign only to find that
      the party line has suddenly changed. Others, who have been trying to
      distance themselves from those toxic coattails, might find some solace
      in the president's last-minute, and somewhat desperate, attempt to
      defuse the Iraq issue in time for Nov. 7. To admit that the war is
      going badly, even to admit to a couple of mistakes, cannot have been
      easy for such an inflexible individual as Bush, who is unreceptive to
      what some in his administration sometimes derisively call reality."



      48) Number of federal subsidy programs is soaring
      National Center for Policy Analysis
      by staff

      "The proliferation of special interest spending in the federal budget
      in recent years has created much waste and corruption. Politicians
      have helped special interests while helping themselves. But the main
      problem has not been that politicians have their hands in the cookie
      jar; it is that the cookie jar has grown so large, says Chris Edwards,
      director of Tax Policy Studies, Cato Institute." (10/31/06)



      49) Ain't no lesser of two evils
      Free Market News Network
      by Garry Reed

      "With elections upcoming (there are always elections upcoming) our
      inboxes ingest more fear-inflaming folderol like: How important are
      the upcoming elections? Extremely important! Below is a list of what
      we can expect if the liberals win.' 'THESE ELECTIONS ARE CRUCIAL!!!!'
      'The strategy of the liberals is to get Values Voters so disgusted and
      discouraged that they will not vote.' Libertarians, especially the
      anarcho variety, wonder why anyone who truly has values would bother
      to vote at all. Between the Donkeycrats and the Grand Old Partyarchs
      there ain't no lesser of two evils." (10/31/06)



      50) Shortages, bloody shortages
      Ludwig von Mises Institute
      by Mihai Sarbu

      "It seems that here in Romania -- the home of Vlad Dracula -- our
      hospitals are running out of blood. The number of people volunteering
      to donate blood has declined steadily in recent years. Health-care
      professionals fear that joining the European Union will bring
      crisis-level blood shortages. Why? European regulations forbid any
      kind of remuneration for this service." (10/31/06)



      51) Amnesty National
      National Review

      "President Bush can lambaste the Democrats all he likes, but on the
      biggest issue where there is likely to be legislative action from a
      new Democratic Congress, Bush agrees with Nancy Pelosi and the liberal
      wing of the Democratic party. They all support 'cutting-and-running'
      from serious immigration enforcement. On immigration, it was only the
      House Republicans who stood athwart the Senate and a Bush-Democratic
      accord on what is effectively amnesty for illegal immigrants and
      insisted instead on tougher border enforcement. And there might be
      substantially fewer of these Republicans after Nov. 7." [editor's
      note: Lowry writes about this like it's a bad thing. The one good idea
      Bush has had, and the GOP is trying to use it against ... the
      Democrats! - TLK] (10/31/06)



      52) How W lost the right by waging the wrong war
      Frontiers of Freedom
      by Chuck Muth

      "It's a given that Republicans have lost the confidence of
      conservatives over issue after issue; unfulfilled promise after
      unfulfilled promise. From spending to immigration; from expanding
      rather than eliminating the Department of (Mis)Education to the
      creation of the new prescription drug entitlement. But when you hear
      that conservative support for the war in Iraq is a major reason the
      GOP may lose control on Congress next week, you have to wonder if
      that's true or just left-wing media spin. Sadly, it's true." [editor's
      note: The "we lost the war because we weren't willing to be murderous
      enough" card is getting more and more play. It's not a winning card,
      but it's one that bitter-enders can hold on to so that they don't have
      to admit they were wrong from the beginning - TLK] (10/31/06)



      53) Voting isn't enough
      by Sean Gonsalves

      "It's fitting we turned the clocks back over the weekend, just days
      before Halloween, both of which point to the phrase for this week:
      poll tax. Turn back the clock to 1966. U.S. Supreme Court case Harper
      v. Virginia Board of Elections. Virginia resident Annie Harper filed
      suit, arguing it was unconstitutional under the equal protection
      clause of the 14th amendment for Virginia to require that voters pay a
      tax to cast a ballot -- poll taxes being one of several ways
      segregationists used to disenfranchise blacks in those days. The 6-3
      majority opinion noted: 'a state violates the Equal Protection Clause
      of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution whenever it makes
      the affluence of the voter or payment of any fee an electoral
      standard. Voter qualifications have no relation to wealth.' Last week,
      the new Supremes ruled that Arizona's new voter ID laws -- requiring
      photo Ids and proof of citizenship -- will stay in place for the
      November 7 elections." (10/31/06)



      54) Where we went wrong
      by Dick Armey

      "Somewhere along the road to a 'permanent majority,' the Republican
      Revolution of 1994 went off track. For several years, we had
      confidence in our convictions and trusted that the American people
      would reward our efforts. And they did. But today, my Republican
      friends in Congress stand on the precipice of an electoral rout. Even
      the best-case scenarios suggest wafer-thin majorities and a
      legislative agenda in disarray. With eight days before the election,
      House speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi has already begun her transition
      planning." (10/30/06)



      55) Halloween: The night kids discover economics
      Foundation for Economic Education
      by Jim Peron

      "Tonight American kids will observe a tradition not widely celebrated
      in the rest of the world: Halloween. They will dress up as ghosts,
      witches, goblins, politicians, and other scary things, then go door to
      door greeting neighbors with 'Trick or treat!' Residents will drop
      candy in the bags the children are carrying. Regardless of anyone's
      intention, the tradition nicely demonstrates the creativity of free
      exchange." (10/31/06)



      56) Butch Otter rides again
      by David Weigel

      "Butch Otter is a study in contradictions. After Ron Paul of Texas,
      he's the most libertarian Republican in the entire caucus. Unlike
      Paul, he has libertarian victories on his legislative scorecard. In
      June 2003 he shocked the Bush administration by sponsoring an
      amendment to a funding bill that stripped out the money the FBI needed
      to conduct sneak-and-peek searches -- that is, raiding a target's home
      without issuing a notice to the target. It passed with 309 votes. In
      2004 he fought hard to amend the PATRIOT Act to bar the government
      from searching bookstore and library records. The amendment almost
      passed, until Otter's own party leadership held the vote open for an
      extra 23 minutes to twist arms and get Republicans to vote against it.
      He was bitter about that vote. 'You win some, and some get stolen,' he
      told reporters. During three and a half decades in politics, Otter has
      had his decisions overruled by everyone from Idaho legislators (on
      obscenity laws they wanted to pass) to his fellow House Republicans
      (on medical marijuana they wanted to ban) to President Ronald Reagan
      (on the drinking age his administration wanted to raise). Now Otter is
      running for governor of Idaho." (11/06)



      57) In for a scare
      The Weekly Standard
      by Irwin M. Stelzer

      "Next week at this time voters will troop to the polls to elect all
      435 members of the House of Representatives, 33 of the 100 senators,
      36 of the 50 state governors, and hundreds of state, city, and local
      officials. Opinion polls suggest that the Republicans are in for a
      drubbing, due to a combination of unhappiness with the Bush team's
      conduct of the war in Iraq, its perceived incompetence in responding
      to hurricane Katrina, and a variety of scandals, sexual and financial.
      The administration quite naturally wants to change voters' focus to
      other matters, and has dusted off the old Clinton slogan, 'It's the
      economy, stupid.' ... The administration's problem remains: almost
      nothing it can say about the economy can distract voters from Iraq,
      which they seem to see as an unwinnable war being fought because
      squabbling Iraqis and their leaders just can't get a grip on the
      security problem." (10/31/06)



      58) The thirteenth tipping point
      Mother Jones
      by Julia Whitty

      "In 2004, John Schellnhuber, distinguished science adviser at the
      Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the United Kingdom,
      identified 12 global-warming tipping points, any one of which, if
      triggered, will likely initiate sudden, catastrophic changes across
      the planet. Odds are you've never heard of most of these tipping
      points, even though your entire genetic legacy -- your children, your
      grandchildren, and beyond -- may survive or not depending on their
      status. ... what will it take to trigger what we might call the 13th
      tipping point: the shift in human perception from personal denial to
      personal responsibility? Without a 13th tipping point, we can't hope
      to avoid global mayhem. With it, we can attempt to put into action
      what we profess: that we actually care about our children's and
      grandchildren's futures." (11/06)



      59) What's the doughboy afraid of?
      Competitive Enterprise Institute
      by Jeremy Lott

      "The success of Ben & Jerry's was in the fact that a couple of hippies
      decided to try their hands at brass knuckled capitalism and somehow
      managed to get in the best licks. When they didn't have enough for
      30-second spots on late night television, they decided to buy up all
      the 10-second slots. And when Pillsbury strong armed a Ben & Jerry's
      distributor with an ultimatum -- they could sell Haagen-Dazs or Ben &
      Jerry's, but not both -- the young upstarts refused to let that be the
      end of it." (10/27/06)



      60) Even saviors aren't perfect
      Liberty For All
      by Sean Haugh

      "In my last column, I wrote about the need to recognize that people
      are not perfect -- not perfectly good, nor perfectly bad -- in order
      to have a chance of understanding them. Just as we need to apply this
      principle to others, we also need to apply it to ourselves. Otherwise
      we run the risk of undermining our own good efforts, of becoming the
      problem even as we play a big role in the solution. Of course, very
      few people see themselves as perfectly bad, and those that do
      generally don't get out of the house, much less become active in
      politics." (written 04/07/02; posted 10/31/06)


      * RRND MEDIA SHELF -- Tchotchkes from today's edition
      * The Conservative Soul, by Andrew Sullivan
      * http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060188774/rationalrev08-20
      * Note: Affiliate links generate commissions for RRND's editors.

      * See No Evil, Hear No Evil

      61) Freedom Rings, 11/06/06
      Freedom Rings

      Open line Monday -- the day before the election -- on Freedom Rings
      Radio with Kenneth John. 9-10 am Central on WRMN 1410 AM, Elgin,
      Illinois. Webcast available. [Live radio or stream]



      62) Freedomain Radio #483
      Freedomain Radio

      "Saving Souls from Bears: It's my callin' to stop the maulin' ;)" With
      host Stefan Molyneux. [MP3] (10/31/06)



      63) FMNN eRadio: Walking dead currency
      Free Market News Network

      "Euro Pacific Capital President Mr. Peter Schiff gives a Halloween
      analysis of the latest GDP numbers." [MP3 or stream] (10/31/06)



      64) Free Talk Live, 10/31/06
      Free Talk Live

      "'Halloween Alternatives' / Evangelical 'Hell House' / Christians
      stealing holidays from Pagans / What are Pagans? / Top 20 Kid Costumes
      / Halloween dies in France / Sex offenders ordered to turn off their
      lights on Halloween / Top 20 Adult Costumes / Govt expanding
      abstinence program to twentysomethings! / Parents talking about sex
      with kids / Ghost Hunting Kooks / Caller who hangs out in graveyards
      recording stuff claims it's 'science!' / Randi Challenge / Black Cat
      Adoption Ban." [MP3] (10/31/06)



      65) Reforming the European Common Agricultural Policy
      Cato Institute

      Cato daily podcast, featuring Patrick Messerlin. [MP3] (10/31/06)


      * What's Up In The Freedom Movement

      66) Today's events
      Freedom Movement Events

      Don't miss this week's secession conference in Vermont -- and
      essayists, remember that tomorrow is the deadline in the Mont Pelerin
      Society's competition. Check out our sidebar calendar for all your
      freedom movement events. Don't see YOUR event listed? Drop us a line
      at info at rationalreview.com.


      * WaYbAcK

      67) Hot night on Enewetok

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


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