Sunday, December 31, 2006

Free kibbles

Map of countries that employ the death penalty.

Christopher Hitchens on Saddam's execution.

Mark Steyn on new years resolution in the war on terror.

New laws for the new year.

Police abuse at DWI checkpoint. Constitutional issues.

George Will points out an appeals court case protecting freedom of speech from McCain/Feingold. Let's see what the Supreme Court does with it.

Russia and Belarus reach oil agreement.

Man sues sex partner because she blogged their sex life.

Billary polling badly in December.

Darwin award winner uses sledge hammer to disassemble an RPG with predictable results.

OUCH! Woman charged with malicious castration at Christmas party.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Free kibbles

Bipartisan group drawing up new bill providing easier amnesty for illegal immigrants. It's not just a path to citizenship, it's a path to making the U.S. a third world country. Say hello to 100 million of their illegal friends. What poor, Hispanic would stay south of the border instead of coming to the U.S. knowing we grant amnesty every 20 years? This is devastating to Latin American countries as well as the U.S.

Iraqi appeals court upholds Saddam's death sentence. His execution could happen in 30 days.

British and Iraqi troops rescue prisoners and destroy police station controlled by Iraqi militias in Basra. This is great news. The coalition is finally targeting militia elements where they've infiltrated the government. Funny I had to go to China to get the whole story. Here's another version.

Ethiopian troops attack Somalia.

Pakistani troops to build fence along Afghan border. I doubt this fence will be effective in stopping the Taliban from moving back and forth between the countries.

Tony Blair's view of the War on Terror.

Speakers are the logical next step for security cameras. Wait until they get microphones.

Hillary 4rth in Iowa poll.

Thomas Sowell discusses the witchhunt in the name of income disparity and wealth.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Holocaust and Intellectual Freedom

by Mark Luedtke

A funny thing happened on the way to the Iranian holocaust conference – the world finally noticed that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a dangerous antisemite in charge of a regime developing nuclear weapons. Previously, the world had looked the other way each of the hundred or so times Ahmadinejad had announced his desire to wipe Israel off the map, and while Iran developed nuclear weapons to carry out his threat.

But when Ahmadinejad hosted a conference questioning the holocaust and wrapped it up in the trappings of scholarship, the world was outraged despite knowing full well the conference was an attention grabbing farce, even featuring former KKK leader David Duke. Ahmadinejad had threatened to reenact the holocaust by nuking Israel off the face of the earth, and the world yawned, but the world won't stand for him questioning the holocaust. Both responses to Ahmadinejad are dangerously out of proportion.

The holocaust holds a special horror for the west, to the point where skepticism is virtually not allowed. The number of people murdered by Mao and Stalin dwarf the number of people killed in the holocaust. Pol Pot killed a higher percentage of his own people than both. Japan's rape of Nanking has been all but expunged from history. But all those horrors happened “over there.” "They" are not like us.

But our enlightened west produced Hitler and the holocaust. Westerners elected Hitler. Jews were nearly exterminated in Poland and elsewhere. The victims of the holocaust were family, friends and neighbors of people we know. Neighbors looked the other way as the holocaust occurred around them. Hitler mechanized mass murder in a way that must never be forgotten. There's always the possibility that it could happen to the west again, and it's personal. The holocaust reminds us that we, the west, and democracies are capable of genocide.

Another reason the holocaust has been uniquely over-protected in western history is how Stalin and his liberal sympathizers reacted. Stalin used the holocaust to his advantage when he discovered the camps during the Russian march on Germany. Stalin didn't broadcast that Germans were killing Jews, Gypsies, gays and others in an act of racial cleansing, he said Germany was executing Russians. Stalin didn't care about who the victims were, he just used the situation to his advantage.

Stalin was more of a holocaust down-player than denier. Paranoid that he was, Stalin wouldn't give the Jews any power by denying the holocaust. Most of the extermination camps ended up behind the Iron Curtain, in Stalin's iron grasp. He quashed information on the victims of those camps, so in that sense, Stalin carried out a holocaust denial campaign that effected half the modern world.

Stalin's position also affected the west. Western liberals loved Stalin because they disdained capitalism, they thought Stalin was building a utopia, so they apologized for him while he murdered 10s of millions. Sympathizers throughout the free world followed their Uncle Joe's lead and ignored the holocaust. Not only did Stalin turn the holocaust into a non-event behind the Iron Curtain, but thanks to self-censorship by Stalin's "useful idiots", many in the mainstream press like New York Times Moscow correspondent William Duranty before them, the holocaust didn't make it into the mainstream here either.

The world largely ignored Stalin's concurrent purge of Jews in the Soviet Union. After Israel was created, ambassador Golda Meir energized Russian Jews, and they turned out in an overwhelming show of support. Stalin was so threatened by this display, he went after those Jewish “cosmopolitans." Stalin's apologists looked the other way, and the holocaust was a secondary issue as Jews were again exterminated in Russia and fought to survive in newly formed Israel.

After Stalin died and the civil rights movement took off in the U.S., Jews and their holocaust cause made it into mainstream American culture. Since then, any serious attempt to deny the holocaust, now just a cover for antisemitism, triggers not only the natural Jewish and human response, but the liberal guilt response as well. The liberal dominated mainstream media and historians overreact and attempt to silence any skepticism regarding the holocaust.

Ironically, it's this attack on intellectual freedom that most endangers the history of the holocaust and society. Once we declare any one subject off limits for skepticism, we open the door to shutting down dissent on any subject. One of the prices of our free society is holocaust denial, but that freedom guarantees the holocaust can never be denied.

But intellectual freedom is under attack in the name of the holocaust. For example, U.S. Senators wrote Exxonmobile and warned against funding research refuting the "accepted fact" of global warming. It seems bizarre to link the holocaust and global warming, but David Roberts, a global warming supporter, suggests “Nuremberg” style trials for global warming skeptics. Zealots are likening global warming skeptics to holocaust deniers.

There's nothing enlightened about quashing skepticism or research. This is just one example of why we must stand up for intellectual freedom, even regarding holocaust denial.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Free kibbles

Polish Parliament votes to make Jesus honorary King of Poland.

Reason Magazine asks if America is on the decline. That decision belongs to us. If we keep electing the two parties, we will most assuredly decline, and rapidly. If we vote for real government reform, cutting government in half, and freeing the people to make America great again, like we were free of government for 150 years, America will have a tremendous resurgence. Free the people to buy their own health care. Free the people to get good education. The FairTax is the first domino of reform.

Right now we're in a Jimmy Carter-like malaise. We need a Ronald Reagan to pull us out.

Exploding the anti-American myth that illegal immigrants take jobs Americans won't do, long line of applicants shows up for jobs vacated by crackdown on illegal immigrants at Swift meatpacking. Illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Americans and legal immigrants, and we have to put an end to it. Is it any wonder we're on the decline?

Illegal immigrants are good for the rich. Is it any wonder we're on the decline?

Sandy Berger's pleads guilty to destroying documents from the National Archives. This is the result of our elected officials. Is it any wonder we're on the decline?

Joe Wilson fights subpoena to testify in Libby case. That piece of crap lied for years in an attack on the Bush administration, but now he wants to hide from the light of a trial. Wilson and his wife should be on trial, not Libby. Is it any wonder we're on the decline?

Republican congressman writes letter using Islamic fear-mongering. Is it any wonder we're on the decline?

Regulation of bloggers begins. This is a bad sign of things to come. Is it any wonder we're on the decline?

5 year old charged with sexual harassment. Either that's one warped kid, or playing doctor is now a crime. I bet the latter. Is it any wonder we're on the decline?

Somalia and Ethiopia are at war.

Corrupt and now escaped Iraqi minister was a Bush campaign donor. I think the real news here is that Iraqi are arresting their corrupt ministers. How come the press hadn't reported that until they found out he had donated to Bush, which is a non issue?

Mohammed is the most popular baby name in Great Britain.

Airport debuts iris scanner in sign of security changes to come.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Free kibbles

My essay on the holocaust and intellectual freedom.

Supreme Court ready to move to the right. I have no interest in a conservative court any more than a liberal court, but liberals purposely confuse strict interpretationist judges with conservatives. I'm hoping for the former.

Gaza cease-fire holds despite flair-ups of violence.

Bush wants to increase the size of the army.

Pat Buchanan brutally exposes America's military folly. With all the money we spend on the military, how in the world can it be broken by Iraq and Afghanistan? George Bush thinks we have an unlimited bank account and unlimited military. The U.S. and the world is going to pay a disastrous price.

Ahmadenijad loves the nuclear glow, says Britain, Israel, and the U.S. will vanish.

Much of tsunami relief money not spent.

Imagine the FBI spying on John Lennon.

Article says robots will have rights. Let's free the people first.

School tells kids Santa doesn't exist. The youngest kid was 9. While I don't like schools taking over parents' business, what 9 year old thinks Santa exists anyway? This seems like phony outrage to me.

Christmas and Hanukkah in Sea-Tac airport.

Instead of unbanning drugs, John Stossel asks what we'll ban next.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Free kibbles

Inflation makes a major comeback.

Bush undermines U.S. - India nuclear treaty with signing statements. Bush's use of signing statements is unprecedented.

Marijuana is America's biggest cash crop. At best the war on drugs has no effect on drug use, but more likely it promotes drug use. It also costs untold billions of dollars in expenses and more in opportunity cost. The war on drugs finances the Taliban, drug cartels including the Mexican cartels that control our southern border and promote illegal immigration, and American drug gangs. The war on drugs gets Americans killed and imprisoned, and it's corruption has spread throughout the U.S. and world. If we legalize drugs, we can more than pay for rehab for drug abusers, make money instead of lose it, disarm our enemies, save lives, and lower crime. How hard is it?

Attacks in Iraq at record levels. That's because coalition troops are prevented from going after the militias. Sending more troops without changing that policy will just get more Americans killed.

Looks like it's civil war in Gaza after all.

Here's hoping Europe provides some help in the world. Imagine what good could have been done if Europe had helped in Iraq. And Democrats. Instead, both undermined us at every turn.

Another take on the charity gap between conservatives and liberals. The part about vested interests in seeing private charity work versus seeing government charity work is pap - liberals don't give extra to the government for charity.

This year to be warmest on record in Spain.

Illegal immigrants detained in Maine. This is a nationwide problem.

More Kofi Annan personal corruption.

Pat Buchanan says Ahmadenijad should have been man of the year.

Zucker compares Baker to Chamberlain.

Do genetically modified mosquitoes scare anybody else? Talk about opening a can of unintended consequences.

Jerusalem woman beaten for not moving to the back of the bus.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Free kibbles

British Lord demands Sens. Rockefeller and Snowe resign for threatening free speech. Funny that no Americans are as outraged.

Military recruiters corrupted by war on drugs. The cost of the war on drugs in both blood and treasure dwarfs the cost of legalizing drugs.

Crime is on the rise. I bet this is related to the war on drugs and illegal immigration. It will be interesting to see what causes are reported.

Interview with ex-Republican congressman Bob Barr, recently turned Libertarian.

Americans renouncing citizenship because of taxes. Support the FairTax.

White house blocks publication of op-ed.

Blair expresses support for Abbas and new elections in Gaza.

Iranian protesters fear for their lives. We should all fear if Iran develops the bomb in 4 years.

Powell says more troops in Iraq is not the answer.

North Korea demands lifting of sanctions at 6 party talks.

Romania releases report claiming communists killed 2 million Romanians behind the Iron Curtain.

U.K. to build the world's largest wind-farm. Too bad politicians keep blocking wind-farms for the U.S.

NBA hands out punishment for brawl.

Google and NASA create partnership.

How and why Congress limits judicial jurisdiction.

China's white fin dolphin considered extinct.

Children think being a celebrity is the best thing in the world. I wonder who taught them that.

There isn't a decent voice recognition program on the market, but lie detectors are free. The consequences of false positives and negatives will far outweigh any benefits from this software.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Free kibbles

China embittered by North Korea nuclear test. After doing everything in their power to enable North Korea to build a bomb, they're bitter it built a bomb? Maybe the Chinese leadership is as bad as ours after all. At least they're making changes to regain their initiative, unlike Bush.

In a new height of hypocrisy, after years of attacking Bush for holding detainees in Gitmo, the press is now attacking Bush for transferring some to their own countries - where they were set free. This is a new game of "gotcha."

Hamas is trying to kill Abbas in a coup attempt in response to Abbas is calling for early elections to legally oust the Hamas government. Looks like we'll see civil war in Gaza. Update: Hamas and Fatah, Abass' supporters, reach a deal.

Charles Krauthammer says we have a new opportunity for success in Iraq.

Moderates make headway in local Iranian elections.

Carter goes after his greatest ally - the liberal media. Maybe we'll finally see the end of this clown.

Nuggets and Knicks brawl in New York.

Can Hillary overcome Billary? I doubt it. On the campaign trail, Hillary will have to answer for all of Billery's crimes. She'll have to answer for her own actions in Whitewater, the travel agency firings, and the Vince Foster cover-up. She'll have to answer for Bill's providing technology to China in return for campaign contributions. She'll have to answer for Bill's pardons including Frank Rich. As much as the press love her, they love themselves more. I don't think she'll get a pass.

Article claims collapse of dollar is imminent. We've already seen the start of this.

Russian murderers learned from Stalin.

Gary Kasparov, former chess champion, opposes Putin.

NSA access built into Windows.

Pat Buchanan points out how illegal immigration creates corruption. He fails to mention how the war on drugs empowers the Mexican drug cartels and coyotes to corrupt and control our border - feeding the illegal immigration problem.

Bionanotechnology is coming. Creating the first aliens.

Study shows vegetarians are more intelligent. It makes no attempt to explain causality.

Don't eat the cafeteria salad! Student reported to have injected semen into the dressing.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Open letter to Newt Gingrich

Mr. Gingrich,

Like all new candidates, Barack Obama is popular because he hasn't expressed his big-government, anti-American policies yet. They all lose their support, both parties, because they propose government solutions for problems - always code for bigger government. They would get increased support if they supported government reform that freed Americans from government.

The American people aren't stupid. Most Americans don't vote because all candidates support more government, not less. As you uniquely know, Americans don't want Washington to solve our problems. We want government off our backs so we can solve our own problems. Voter turnout shows that the great libertarian mainstream of American is unrepresented. Support us please.

Hold spending flat. Get the federal government out of health care and education - it's destroying both. Adopt the FairTax. Remove the burdens that keep American businesses and workers from competing on a level playing field. Control our borders. Win our wars. Pay the price to fix the entitlements foisted on us by our self-serving political ancestors and be done with them.

Leading America isn't rocket science. Just remember you work for the people. Freedom is always the right answer. Everything else follows naturally. Support free speech.

Free kibbles

Russia quashes anti-Putin rally before it starts. Poisoned ex-spy had dirt on high ranking Moscow official. Russia and China are the kind of "allies" our government courts now. Our government is closer to theirs than we think.

I hope the D.A.'s abuse of the system in the Duke rape case causes America to look at prosecutorial abuse all around the country. Prosecutors have no interest in guilt or innocence, just winning, and they should be held accountable for convicting innocents because of their failure to investigate crimes.

Iraqi prime minister Maliki calls for Saddam's army officers to rejoin the army. This is an excellent development, obviously foisted on the embattled Prime Minister. If only Bremer had been so wise.

Gingrich says support for Obama signifies America wants change. He's right, but for the wrong reasons. Obama has no anti-American record. Candidates with no big-government record always start out high. As soon as they start presenting their anti-American, big-government positions, their support wanes. The same will happen with Obama.

Ex-GOP congressman bolts to Libertarian party. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come.

Blair under fire from new revelations he misrepresented the threat from Saddam Hussein.

Member of bi-partisan Iraq Study Group gives Democrats' radio response to President Bush. That doesn't sound very bi-partisan to me.

Iran volunteers to share nuclear technology with it's neighbors.

Bacteria outbreak in L.A. hospital.

Fort Collins, CO. refuses to add menorah to Christmas display, but there is no reference to Jesus in the display either, just Christmas trees, nutcrackers and elves. That's more of a winter solstice display. If the pagans get a display...

I don't think China is feeling any heat at all. This article pretends China tried to stop North Korea from developing the bomb, when in fact they enabled it at every step.

How can Moscow have a record high winter temperature before winter even starts? The climate is changing, but the bigger danger is the hysterical press driving an hysterical response. Prince Charles climbs on the bandwagon with all his climate science expertise.

Thought experiment on global warming solutions.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Free kibbles

Article claims the U.S. government is running a $3.5 trillion deficit, and we are effectively bankrupt.

Israel closes Gaza/Egypt border to stop Hamas from bringing in money.

Democratic Senator gets brain surgery, in critical condition.

Senator Leahy to subpoena memo detailing interrogation techniques to bring up the torture issue again.

David Weigel reports that the GOP's focus on "values voters" alienated libertarians and cost Republicans the election. Damn right we did! Libertarians are the great unrepresented mainstream of America, and when Republicans align with libertarians, they win. When they turn into big-government authoritarians, they lose. Shrink the size and scope of government, reform government, and you will win elections.

1282 illegal immigrants nabbed in largest ever raid. One illegal claimed they needed help because they didn't know what would happen to their children. He should have thought about that before he broke into our country. The employer said the raid would adversely affect his business. He should have thought about that before he hired a bunch of illegal aliens. The word "deport" does not appear in the article.

Government officials make ad for Christian organization. This pushes the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Elections in Iran may be referendum on Ahmadinejad.

Welcome Ban Ki-moon as U.N. Secretary General. This has to be an improvement over Kofi Annan.

U.K. considers ban on computer generated child porn.

U.S. makes melting down coins illegal. Wasn't that already illegal under the defacing money law?

Thousands of ducks dying in Idaho.

Britain's warmest year ever. Warmth affects seals' breeding habits.

Solar storm to hit today
. Astronauts seek protection in space station after having trouble with solar wing.

Russia prepares to cut off natural gas supply to Georgia and Belarus.

Circumcision cuts HIV risk in half. Using condoms reduces it to practically zero.

Employee sues IBM over internet addiction. Personal responsibility is officially dead.

The government expands it's all-seeing eye. This isn't science-fiction anymore.

Diana's death determined an accident - again.

Miss U.S.A. may be dethroned for bad behavior. At least it's not Miss America.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Free kibbles

Is a new Ripper stalking England?

Man in pain is another victim of the war on drugs.

Cocaine washes up on Florida shore in another example of how counter-productive the war on drugs is for America. It doesn't stop drugs from coming here. It doesn't stop drug use. All it does is put Americans in jail, get Americans killed, and finance and arm America's enemies like domestic drug gangs, Mexican drug cartels, and the Taliban.

Raid cracks down on illegal immigrant identity theft ring. But I thought illegal immigrants were all law-abiding lovers of the American dream. If true, they wouldn't break into our country despite President Bush's irresponsible invitation to make them all citizens. Boortz shows how lame this really is.

Saudis may back insurgents if U.S. pulls out of Iraq.

Afghan President Karzai says "Pakistan out to enslave Afghans."

Boortz points out that thanks to Iran's phony Holocaust conference, the world finally realizes Iran is a threat
. As if Ahmadinejad's desire to see the Jews destroyed needed this new platform before the world would notice. Hypocrites. I guess it's better late than never.

Online news venture draws print journalists.

Weak dollar leads to sharp decline in U.S. trade deficit
. This isn't the way to reduce the trade deficit. Adopting the FairTax so American goods can compete on an even playing field in the world market is the way to fix the trade deficit. Even against China.

The climate change hysterics are having an effect. Nothing good can come of this hysteria.

Nobody should be surprised that Democrats shopped Foley emails to newspapers trying to instigate a scandal.

Using the space race as a model for energy independence. I agree with this, and my implementation would be to task DARPA with the goal of making the Army independent of oil in 10 years with no higher costs or loss of performance. The civilian world would follow.

Richard Brookhiser compares the ISG plan to a better plan for Iraq - kill all the bad guys.

Now that Putin's authoritarian plans are obvious to everybody but President Bush, we can ask did the Soviet breakup hurt the chances for a democratic Russia?

Robert Samuelson writes about the decline of American influence, but other than entitlement spending, he misses the main reasons. Trade used to be our greatest foreign policy lever. Everybody wanted to be America's friend, because it meant better trade deals. Now that we trade freely with enemies as well as friends, we have very little influence over anybody. Further, Bush keeps outsourcing our power. Bush has to ask the U.N. before we can sneeze. Bush doesn't exert American power in Iraq, he defers to Maliki. Bush doesn't hold China and Russia accountable for the Cold War of Terror they're waging against us - he dresses in funny costumes instead.

We need to return to the policy of using trade as a strategic lever for foreign policy, keep control of American power and use the U.N. to our advantage, not vice-versa, and exert American power against those who work against us.

John Stossel compares philanthropy to investment.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Libertarians, the GOP, Iraq, and more

Bruce Bartlett discusses how libertarians have moved from supporting Democrats to Republicans, and how that's now in doubt. I can't imagine libertarians ever supporting Democrats. At least since FDR, Democrats have been socialists, and that's completely at odds with libertarian beliefs. Democrats do not support legalizing drugs - they controlled congress for nearly a century, and we didn't get drug legalization. That's like saying Republicans support smaller government. The historical facts belie lip-service of both parties.

As for the war in Iraq, we had to go to Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein. He was weeks away from exporting biological and chemical weapons in aerosol form. He was within a year of developing a nuclear weapon. All the documentation we've discovered showed how important and timely our toppling of Saddam was, but once this information was discovered, people started running from their support of the war. Bush badly mishandled the reconstruction of Iraq, which I discuss here every day, but we could never allow Saddam Hussein to possess the weapons he was developing.

From the NYT:
Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.

Not only do we know Saddam's development of WMD was imminent, we know the Russians and the French were supporting him. The evidence that Saddam was on the verge of developing and being able to deliver WMD to the United States is overwhelming. There is also a tremendous amount of documentation showing not only links between Saddam and al Qaeda, but a direct link to 9/11 planning.

If all this evidence was presented to the American people, libertarians as well as conservatives and many liberals would agree that removing Saddam Hussein from power was a good idea. I think most libertarians already know we had to remove Saddam, because libertarians are forced to work hard to be informed. We don't have a libertarian media like the liberal mainstream media and the conservative talk radio. Libertarians have to search for honest news, and in that search, Saddam's capabilities would be found.

I don't think libertarians are abandoning anything. Republicans have abandoned libertarians as well as conservatives. Republicans have exposed their own Big Lie of supporting smaller government. Republicans have exposed their own Big Lie of supporting government reform. Republicans are not Democrats yet, but they are what Democrats were a decade ago.

Like Democrats, Republicans support titanic government and restricting freedom. They think government is the answer instead of the problem. They refuse to defend our borders. They have to ask permission of the U.N. before we sneeze. They hamper our troops so we can't win the wars we fight.

Republicans fund our enemies China, Russia, and through them North Korea, Iran, Venesuela and Cuba in the name of "free trade." There's nothing free about empowering our enemies to kill Americans. They fund our enemies the Taliban, Mexican drug cartels, American drug gangs like MS13 all the while getting Americans murdered and imprisoned in the name of the puritanical war on drugs.

I also disagree that libertarians are about 10% of voters. Americans who support smaller government, government reform like the FairTax, defending our borders, and a muscular foreign policy that means never empowering our enemies and unfettering our troops to win any wars we fight are libertarians, and these libertarians outnumber Democrats and Republicans combined.

If either party taps into this vast, unrepresented mainstream of America by adopting the positions I've described, America will once again become the shining city on the hill we all love so much.

Free kibbles

Murdered ex-spy worked for UK security firm.

Putin's Russia seizes $20billion Shell Oil investment. Russia is nationalizing all it's oil facilities to use energy as a political weapon. Putin and Russia are enemies of freedom. Bush responds by joining Putin in wizard's costume.

Grounded imams want settlement from US Airways. At best, their actions were intended for this shakedown. At worst, they were intended to reduce the effectiveness of airport security. I hope the airline stands firm.

Chilling description of Pakistani/UK terror network.

Afghan President Karzai says Pakistan is the boss of the Taliban.

Despite being wrong about nearly everything, Lou Dobbs is right in one aspect - free trade isn't really free. American workers are burdened by the 22% inclusive income tax penalty on American made goods, while every major trading partner we have uses a business and worker friendly VAT tax so they pay no tax penalty. American workers are further burdened by nearly a century of big-government controls on business. Lou Dobbs Democrats' "solution" is more government interference. This is dead wrong. Adopt the FairTax, reduce the size and oppressiveness of government, and American workers will out-compete all competitors.

Christmas trees to return to Sea-Tac airport.

Annan's final speech attacks U.S. Good riddance.

60 killed in twin bombings in Baghdad.

Michigan's civil rights victory.

Olmert's slip about nuclear Israel lands him in more hot water.

U.S. will not confirm tapping Princess Diana's phone.

Leaders slam Iran over phony Holocaust conference.

Thomas Sowell thinks the Supreme Court is ridiculous for entertaining using race as a qualification for attendance in schools

Airport security won't allow Heisman trophy in carry-on. I bet that stopped some terrorists.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Visa Waiver Is Not the Security Risk
by Mark Luedtke

Two weeks ago critics attacked George Bush because America was voted the most unfriendly country to visit. They said American security policies are too painful for international travelers to the U.S. Today critics are attacking George Bush because he wants to make it easier for citizens of our new European allies to visit the United States. He can't win. President Bush has provided plenty of reasons for us to criticize him, but this is ridiculous.

The 20 year old visa-waiver program was created to improve U.S. security by freeing consulate resources to focus on real security threats instead of laboriously providing visas for every foreign traveler to the country. Visitors from our European allies and a handful of other allies need only their valid passports to come to the U.S. Upon arrival they are documented, fingerprinted, and photographed for security purposes.

We reward our allies with the visa-waiver benefit, and they reciprocate, strengthening both countries. It's a valuable foreign policy tool, and 15 million visitors per year already come to the U.S. on visa-waiver, generating over 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 billion in revenue. The new European Union countries want closer ties to the U.S., they want rewarded for their support in the War on Terror, and the visa-waiver program is a great reward for them and a strategic boon for us.

Russian President Putin's authoritarian regime is rolling back democracy in Russia, and he constantly threatens these fledgling democracies on his border in Eastern Europe. The U.S. refuses to confront Putin despite his actions, and therefore we provide precious little support for these countries against Russia's strong-arm tactics. The visa-waiver program is a non-confrontational way to provide support and generate closer ties to these allies that desperately need our support, as much as we need them as checks on Putin's totalitarian designs.

There are still some security flaws in the visa-waiver program, and it was exploited by the 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui. Security has been improved since then by requiring biometric information on participants and the infamous intrusive security at U.S. ports of entry, but it can never be perfect. Homeland Security does not have enough staff to insure the compliance of all the member countries, but these allies in the War on Terror have their own security checks.

Critics of the security aspects of the visa-waiver program should focus their efforts on the far more dangerous security problems posed by Canada and Mexico. In 2005, the U.S. State Department reported, “Terrorists have capitalized on liberal Canadian immigration and asylum policies to enjoy safe haven, raise funds, arrange logistical support, and plan terrorist attacks.”

Nearly 15 million visitors to the U.S. come from Canada each year, and while the U.S. now requires a passport for entry, the security procedures at the Canadian border are more lax than those at points of entry for visa-waiver participants. Many checkpoints are unequipped with biometric checks, and border agents are few even compared to our Mexican border.

The thousands of miles long Canadian border is often called the world's longest undefended border. Hiking and biking trails cross the border, as do lakes and waterways. Members of terrorist groups including Hezbollah and Hamas have received sanctuary in Canada. Terrorists have a long history of launching plots from Canada, including the millennium terror plot.

A similar situation exists on the Mexican border, crossed by nearly 13 million visitors per year. Many crossing points are not equipped with biometrics, and border security is further compromised by the corruption from Mexican drug cartels, funded by our war on drugs. Hezbollah and al Qaeda agents have been captured at the Mexican border, so we know more have crossed it.

But all these security risks pale in comparison to the undocumented illegal aliens coming across our Mexican border. President Bush has allowed a million illegal immigrants to enter the country every year since 9/11. Bush has encouraged more illegal immigrants to come to the U.S. by proposing we reward those already here with citizenship. Every time Bush mentions granting citizenship to illegals aliens, he encourages a million more Hispanics to pack their bags and move north, hoping for the same. No passport required.

Unfortunately, it's not just Hispanics. Arab terrorists hide perfectly in that human flood. Hugo Chavez is reportedly providing terrorists with papers and instructions on how to exploit our southern border. Our war on drugs has made the Mexican drug cartels so rich they control our border, not the U.S. Those cartels and coyotes, human smugglers, have no qualms about smuggling terrorists and their equipment into America.

A cottage industry has grown up based on criticizing President Bush that distracts from the real policy debates we should have in this country. In the post 9/11 world, real security should be a priority, but we won't find security by harassing good citizens of our allies who want to visit our country. Those visitors provide American jobs, create goodwill, and strengthen strategic alliances. The greater security problems are our borders with our neighbors, and the undocumented invaders of our country.

Free kibbles

Organizations face fines for political speech. Thank McCain/Feingold, congress, President Bush, and the Supreme Court for dismantling the First Amendment.

Kofi Annan to deliver blistering criticism of Bush in farewell address. I wonder if Annan has his job from Iran in his hand already. Or France.

Story of Secret Service bugging of Princess Diana grows. This is going to be big.

Border webcams overwhelming success. Anybody who is surprised is seriously out of touch with mainstream America, like our so-called representatives in Washington.

OPEC and Russia shun dollars. We have to switch to the FairTax, produce our own oil in the short term, and switch to alternative fuels in the slightly longer term.

Iran opens travesty of a conference on the Holocaust. Tehran is hiding behind free speech platitudes to attack Jews.

Barack-O-mania is heating up.

Hillary reiterates her socialist position that it "It takes a village." This is code for "taking away parents' freedom to raise their children as they see fit."

Four Germans exposed to polonium-210.

China's war on dogs. As bad as China is, and despite being over three times our population, the U.S. imprisons 4.67 times as many people as communist China. Thanks to the war on drugs.

The overwhelming evidence that the war on drugs is devastating America much worse than drugs themselves continues to increase. Trust Milton Friedman.

While the war on drugs is devastating America and the world, the U.S. has decided to also declare war on cigarettes and fat too. In 20 years we'll be railing against the millions of people in jail for smoking cigarettes and eating Twinkies, and prohibitionists will be pushing their agenda on those few people not imprisoned. What part of "land of the free" don't people get?

Why has it taken so long for France to deploy UAVs over Lebanon?

Cows hurt environment more than cars. How long until we hear the calls for bans on beef?

David Warren asks what comes after retreat
. The answer is defeat. He points out that to the American people's credit, they are not buying into the retreat and defeat strategy despite being subjected to the mainstream media's 24/7 promotion of it. Best yet, this essay comes from Canada.

Lisa Beyer exposes the Big Lie of the Middle East.

Paul Greenberg says if we abandon Iraq, we will show the world "it may be dangerous to be America's enemy, but it is fatal to be her friend." This is definitely the lesson the world would take away, but it's too simplistic because it assumes the current Iraqi government is our friend. Prime Minister Maliki is supported by Muqtada al Sadr and his Mahdi army, which is the dominant force in the sectarian violence in Baghdad. The heads of competing militias are ministers in the government. None of these people are our friends, and because of them, neither is the Iraqi government. This is not Vietnam.

Iraq spends less than 20% of it's budget. They won't spend the money to rebuild their own country.

Neille Ilel illustrates how grass roots volunteer charities significantly outperform government and even large institutionalized charity in response to hurricane Katrina. This is libertarianism in action and shows what can be accomplished when government is not in way. “The FEMA people said, ‘You can’t do this—it’s not in the manual,’ but we got away with it.”

Boortz highlights that the people of New Orleans reelected congressman William Jefferson despite the $90,000 bribe discovered in his freezer.

An entertaining and ironic year in review from George Will.