Monday, June 14, 2010

Political Digest June 15, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Blog down
Took a few minutes from the visit of my Marine Buddy to post a few items, but must get back as he’s two beers and three lies ahead!

Saudis clear Israel to bomb Iran?
Riyadh opens air space for run on nuke facilities, paper says
Excerpt: Saudi Arabia will allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran's nuclear facilities, the London Times reported on Saturday. Quoting unnamed U.S. defense sources, the newspaper said Riyadh conducted tests to be sure its own jets would not be scrambled and missile defenses not be activated so Israeli bombers could pass by without problems. The path would shorten Israel's bomb run, The Times said. Once the Israelis go through, the kingdom’s air defenses would return to full alert, the newspaper said. "The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way," said a U.S. defense source in the Persian Gulf area told the Times. "They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department."

An American Mumbai
Only the long logistics trail has, IMHO, stopped them so far. I will hardly be surprised if this happens. And if 4-5 jihadists take over an elementary school and start executing the kids, as they did in Russia, there will instantly emerge a 90% American majority for safety and the harshest interrogation techniques over nuances of civil liberty. Excerpt: There have been indications that America’s enemies intend multiple terrorist attacks in this country, patterned after the 11/26-29/07 incident in Mumbai, India that left 168 civilians and authorities dead, and 308 wounded. It was perpetrated by ten members of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba group, armed with explosives and automatic rifles. Only one of the terrorists survived. Note that some of the responding police in India were unarmed, and some others were equipped with hastily-issued WWI technology Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles, and cartridges issued by the handful. They were poorly trained by American standards. By contrast, American police have gone heavily to coordinated “active shooter response” training since the Columbine tragedy more than a decade ago, and AR15-type patrol rifles are widely distributed. US law enforcement can be expected to respond much more swiftly and effectively to a Mumbai-style incident. In India, the citizens were effectively unarmed and helpless against the ten terrorists who slaughtered them at will. Armed Americans are likely to respond differently, particularly in the Southwest where there are indications that such potential terrorists have already crossed the border, and may “stage” near it. In Southern Arizona recently, it became apparent to me that more ranchers and even townsfolk are now storing rifles in their cars, and carrying handguns routinely. They can be expected to shoot back, an assessment that comes not from this writer’s guesswork, but from history. Northfield, MN September 1, 1876: The Jesse James/Cole Younger gang raids the community, and armed citizens use guns to drive off the most feared bandits of the time. It ends with two dead on each side. Coffeyville, KS October 5, 1892: The five-man Dalton Gang, armed with Winchester repeaters (the “assault rifles” of the day), attempts multiple bank robbery and is annihilated in minutes by the rifle fire of armed citizens, with only one wounded gang member surviving. Death toll is four on each side. Fast forward to August 1, 1966: the Texas Tower massacre perpetrated primarily with a long-range rifle by Charles Whitman. When his position in the 300+-foot tower proves impregnable to outgunned police with .38s and shotguns, rifle fire from armed citizens on the ground pins Whitman down and stops his death toll at 14 until citizen Allen Crum, armed with a .30 caliber rifle, leads police officers to the top of the tower, where they kill the sniper.

Roger Staubach, still Captain America
Great story, though haven’t verified. Surprised he be in coach in the first place, but actions would be consistent with his character. Excerpt: Recently, my brother was sitting in first class on a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Colorado Springs when a couple boarded and sat in front of him. He immediately recognized the man as Roger Staubach. They exchanged greetings, and Staubach said he was headed to Colorado Springs for the inaugural Warrior Games. After 60 or 70 percent of the plane was boarded, a female Army soldier who had lost her leg boarded. Staubach insisted she sit in his seat; she said, "no, thanks," but he insisted. He took her place in a middle seat way in the back. After a few minutes, the young girl got tears in her eyes and said she wanted to go to her seat and have Staubach return to his. The flight attendant overheard, and, as the female soldier headed to retrieve Staubach, the attendant said she had a no-show and both could sit in first class. The flight attendant returned with the female soldier, but Staubach sent a double amputee Army soldier to sit in his seat. Staubach remained in coach the entire flight and disembarked last. My brother waited and asked for an autograph for my birthday; Staubach said certainly. It's a great gift, but the greater gift is knowing Roger Staubach is still Captain America.

Shouldn't We All Be Israelis Now?
Excerpt: For the past three weeks, I've been on vacation, purposely avoiding news of any kind as I sought to refresh my soul. The very first thing I read upon resuming my vigil on the world's affairs was a report describing those despicable Israelis cold-bloodedly murdering a group of innocent peace activists bringing much-needed aid and comfort to the Israeli-victimized Gazans and a companion piece filled with the world's condemnation of Israel. Having followed Middle East events rather conscientiously for a number of years, I immediately suspected that there was a great deal more to this story. Having watched a Western press grow more and more willfully blind and downright anti-Semitic over three decades greatly increased my skepticism. Seeing my American president blink, blink, and blink again while blathering more inanity about irrelevancies, unable to discern right from wrong, brought me to the brink of gut-wrenching nausea. What has happened to us? The West, I mean, and more specifically, America? The Israeli Defense Forces are not stupid, for one thing. They had clear video of individual soldiers legally enforcing a two-nation naval blockade for purely defensive purposes. The boat boarded by the IDF had multiple warnings and were peacefully informed that the ship would need to be boarded and inspected for weapons before it could pass to deliver the aid purportedly on board. All perfectly in accordance with international law. Instead of "peace activists," the soldiers -- not drones or missiles or mechanized artillery, mind you, but real men, sons, brothers, husbands, fathers -- were met by an army of savages wielding steel pipes, who overwhelmed the soldiers and beat them without mercy. The savage gang was fired upon, and nine of them were killed. It was called an Israeli-perpetrated massacre.

Obama and the Media - Isn’t It Ironic?
NYT? Excerpt: It’s funny how things work out sometimes. The two men running the White House have very different relationships with the press; one is warm and one is frosty. One’s relationship is more JFK, and one’s has self-pitying echoes of Nixon. By all rights, you’d think it would be Joe Biden who would resent journalists for kicking him around for years. It was the press, me included, who reported on the problems that led him to drop out of the 1988 presidential race. It was the press that delighted in Biden’s foot-in-mouth syndrome in 2008 and played up the exacting Barack Obama’s occasional chagrin at the über-exuberant Joe as they began their odd-couple partnership. Yet the vice president is so lacking in any vengeful feelings for past reporting that left him for dead, I sometimes wonder if he’s really Irish.

Abbas to Obama: I'm against lifting the Gaza naval blockade
Excerpt: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is opposed to lifting the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip because this would bolster Hamas, according to what he told United States President Barack Obama during their meeting at the White House Wednesday. Egypt also supports this position. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once more put off announcing the creation of a committee of inquiry into the naval commando raid on the Gaza Strip flotilla, and the matter will not be brought before the cabinet for a vote this morning. Netanyahu and his advisers had hoped to announce the establishment of a committee of inquiry as early as yesterday evening for a vote in the cabinet today. Nonetheless, the Prime Minister's Bureau said yesterday evening that the conditions have not matured for such an announcement "due to political reasons." Talks have been held with the U.S. administration and several European countries to rally support for the mandate of the committee of inquiry and approval of its makeup. The Americans have rejected - a number of times - Israel's proposals and asked that a retired Supreme Court justice head the probe. The issue was resolved when Justice Yaakov Tirkel was proposed for the post.

Friends in High Places
Excerpt: Liberal civil rights lawyers argue that because “a history of official discrimination” can be one subsidiary factor in voting cases it “wipes out every other factor” and prohibits cases from being brought against blacks. And further, that since “socio-economic” factors can be considered in determining whether voting discrimination has occurred, these cases cannot be brought against black defendants until there is economic parity between blacks and whites. Such attorneys use phrases like “traditional civil rights cases” and “traditional civil rights victims” to signal that only minority victims and white perpetrators concern them. Justice sources tell me that career attorneys have been “assured” that cases against minority defendants won’t be brought. In testimony before the civil rights commission, Thomas Perez denied he was aware of any such conversations or sentiments.

Third Climategate report 'imminent' – expect a shortage of whitewash in stores this weekend
Excerpt: If you were planning to do a spot of DIY over the weekend you may encounter a problem – an acute shortage of whitewash in your local store, as it may have been appropriated for more urgent purposes. The estimable Bishop Hill is reporting he has heard on the grapevine that the publication of the review into the Climategate emails conducted by Sir Muir Russell is “imminent”. The prospect seems to have provoked an acute absence of hysterical excitement. This is the third investigation into Climategate and the universal expectation is that it will be as much a snow job as the previous two, though those precedents will be hard to beat: not since Tom Sawyer manipulated his friends into whitewashing his aunt’s fence has a team worked harder than the successive establishment figures who have exonerated the Decline Hiders from any culpability. The Russell review got off to a bad start. Within hours of its launch last February, Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature (the magazine referred to in “Mike’s Nature trick” which also published the Hockey Stick graph), had to resign from the inquiry because of remarks he had made in an interview on Chinese State Radio, in which he said: “The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the emails there is one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong. In fact the only problem there has been is on some official restrictions on their ability to disseminate data otherwise they have behaved as researchers should.”

Who Killed Scholarship?
Excerpt: I love a mystery, don't you? Doesn't everybody? Carolyn Greenberg, student of Latin and devotee of murder mysteries, certainly did. My late wife left shelves of detective stories, mainly English, on the downstairs bookshelves, lined up like Beefeaters at the Tower of London. Among her favorites were the quartet of donnish novels by the (alas) late Sarah Caudwell, the British barrister who was called to the chancery bar before going over to Lloyds Bank -- to do tax planning, naturally. For the rise of the Inland Revenue has mirrored the decline of no longer Great Britain. There's an inverse ratio between taxation and greatness; it's a pattern amply illustrated by the history of every empire at least since Rome's. Ms. Caudwell began the first of her Hilary Tamar quartet of detective novels, "Thus Was Adonis Murdered," with a few words about the fate of the scholar at the modern university. She knew something about the subject, having done her undergraduate work in classics at Aberdeen and read law at St. Anne's College at Oxford. The law, they say, narrows the mind by sharpening it. Counselor Caudwell seems to have been the exception to that rule, to judge by the opening lines of her book: "Scholarship asks, thank God, no recompense but Truth. It is not for the sake of material reward that she (Scholarship) pursues her (Truth) through the undergrowth of Ignorance, shining on Obscurity the bright torch of Reason and clearing aside the tangled thorns of Error with the keen secateurs of Intellect. Nor is it for the sake of public glory and the applause of the multitude: the scholar is indifferent to vulgar acclaim. Nor is it even in the hope that those few intimate friends who have observed at first hand the labor of the chase will mark with a word or two of discerning congratulation its eventual achievement. Which is very fortunate, because they don't." These days the scholar gets even shorter shrift at prestigious universities across the country -- as opposed to the academic climber who winds up either in administration or warming an endowed chair to no clear purpose.

Pakistani agents 'funding and training Afghan Taliban'
Excerpt: Pakistani intelligence gives funding, training and sanctuary to the Afghan Taliban on a scale much larger than previously thought, a report says. Taliban field commanders interviewed for the report suggested that ISI intelligence agents even attend Taliban supreme council meetings. Support for the Afghan Taliban was "official ISI policy", the London School of Economics (LSE) authors suggest.

Some Muslims in U.S. Quietly Engage in Polygamy
Who would’ve guessed? Excerpt: Although polygamy is illegal in the U.S. and most mosques try to discourage plural marriages, some Muslim men in America have quietly married multiple wives. No one knows how many Muslims in the U.S. live in polygamous families. But according to academics researching the issue, estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000 people. You can see some of the women involved in polygamous marriages in the lobby of Sanctuary for Families, a nonprofit women's center in New York City. It bursts with color as a dozen women in bright African dresses and head wraps gather for a weekly noon meeting for West African immigrants. The women come each week to this support group where they discuss hard issues, such as domestic abuse, medical problems, immigration hurdles and polygamy. Polygamy is freely practiced in parts of Africa, and almost every one of the women in the group has experienced polygamy firsthand – either as a wife in a plural marriage or having been raised in families with one father who has two or more wives.

Coast Guard Head Was Informed of Maine Oil Boom on 5/21. Yesterday, He Claimed He Didn’t Know
Excerpt: Auburn, Maine, company Packgen has miles of oil spill containment boom on hand and has the capacity to produce upwards of 100,000 additional feet of boom a day. That inventory and that capacity has been available to help the Gulf Coast states for nearly a month. The news of this company was reported here at PJM four days ago, on June 8. The curious case of the lack of interest in Packgen’s boom gets curiouser and curiouser. Yesterday, ABC News had an interview with Admiral Thad Allen, the national incident commander in charge of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. After a handful of questions about the flow of oil into the Gulf from the wellhead, the topic turned to mitigation of the spill.

Unions Shielded From New ObamaCare Coverage Requirements
Excerpt: Last Friday, I noted how new regulations stemming from the national health care law could force a majority of workers to change their health care plans -- breaking President Obama's pledge that he would allow Americans who liked their plans to keep them. But digging deeper into the regulations, David Hogberg and Sean Higgins of Investors Business Daily find that Obama's big labor allies were granted a special exemption that would sheild their plans from new requirements: Unions that had a health plan under a collective bargaining agreement by March 23, 2010, can switch insurers as long as the collective bargaining deal is in effect and not forfeit the grandfathered exemptions from many ObamaCare provisions. But anyone else - large business, small business, individual - who switches carriers loses their grandfathered status.

Our 1979
Excerpt: Obama started out in similar fashion with his first Al Arabiya interview. Then followed the apology tour, the bowing, the Cairo myth-making speech, the reach out to Ahmadinejad, Assad, Castro, Chavez, and Putin, the estrangement with Israel, the neglect of the brave Iranian dissidents, the phony deadlines over Iranian proliferation, the missile defense walk-back from the Poles and Czechs, the constant Bush-bashing reset-button diplomacy rhetoric, the serial humiliation of things British, the failed deal to appease Putin in hopes of Russian help in stopping Iran from going nuclear, the new loud commitment to the U.N., the promises to end all nuclear weapons, the nuke deal with Russia that saw us give up sophisticated weapons to match dismantling of poorer Russian models — all amid a backdrop of massive U.S. spending and the highest two budget deficits in American financial history. We have sowed and now we shall reap, and so soon we shall endure our first post-national, post-racial, Nobel Laureate president treated quite shabbily by those whom he was supposed to mesmerize. In places like Teheran or Damascus, Obama’s racial heritage, his Harvard Law Review billet, his membership in the Trinity Church, his brotherhood with Wright and Ayers, all that and more mean less than zero. To such thugs, Obama is the face of America, and he is to be tested rather than worshipped. Hugo Chavez is not a Harvard dean; Putin is not a senior Newsweek editor. Their legs do not tingle when they hear the president, except perhaps in giddy anticipation of what they might wrestle from him. They are not impressed with identity politics; they care little for degrees or titles; they have no elite white guilt. Again, Obama is just an American president who must be analyzed, tested, and if need be dared and humiliated.

Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC) Goes CRAZY and Assaults College Student on Washington Sidewalk
Doesn’t like questions.

Obama's Tough Talk Is a Real Kick
Excerpt: For instance, Obama recently told high school students in Kalamazoo, Mich., "Don't make excuses. Take responsibility not just for your successes; take responsibility where you fall short as well." As many immediately noted, this was odd advice from a man who would put the blame for the hitch in his golf swing on eight years of George W. Bush. In that same interview with Lauer, the president said he hadn't bothered talking to Tony Hayward, the CEO of BP, because he knew Hayward would "say all the right things to me. I'm not interested in words. I'm interested in actions." This from the man who swore that words were magical and thought it was worth sitting down to talk with the president of Iran?

Are unions Dock Blocking oil cleanup ships in the Gulf of Mexico?
Excerpt: President Obama is impeding clean-up efforts in the Gulf by kowtowing to unions and members of the American maritime industry, critics have charged in recent days. At issue is the president’s refusal to waive the Jones Act, a century-old law that effectively bars foreign-owned ships from moving between U.S. ports, a necessary component of participating in the cleanup effort. When asked why President Obama hasn’t waived the Jones Act — which President Bush put on hold to facilitate Katrina rescue efforts — White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said a suspension wasn’t necessary. But Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, and others say the act is keeping boats from getting on the water to lay boom and skim oil. In a letter to the Coast Guard’s Thad Allen, Nelson wrote: Admiral, I believe the orange mousse of oil that is now in Florida’s waters is more than enough evidence that we need to take advantage of every appropriate global resource. Please advise as to whether we are taking full advantage of the offers of assistance from other countries.

Liberal Financial Idiocy
This is a whole, new level of stupidity: Gov. David A. Paterson and legislative leaders have tentatively agreed to allow the state and municipalities to borrow nearly $6 billion to help them make their required annual payments to the state pension fund. And, in classic budgetary sleight-of-hand, they will borrow the money to make the payments to the pension fund — from the same pension fund…

A Roadmap for Americas Future
By Rep. Paul Ryan, one of the bright GOP stars.

In "Talibanized" Pakistan Christians are victims of yet more attacks
Excerpt: In Punjab a group of Muslims attack a Protestant pastor and his pregnant wife, injuring her in the stomach. In the province 250 Christian families have fled their homes, because they reported sexual abuse against women. Christian couple accused of blasphemy in Karachi.

Two brothers charged with premeditated murder of their sister
Didn’t get the Memo. Excerpt: Two brothers were charged on Saturday charged with the premeditated murder of their married sister in the latest so-called honour murder to occur this year, official sources said. The 19-year-old victim, who was not identified by officials, was reportedly shot in the head by her 20-year-old brother in a bus on the way back to Amman from her husband’s house in Irbid, one official source said.

Units make history with Air Force's first homeland defense ORI
Preparing for action in the US…against whom? Excerpt: Three units representing each component of the Air Force made history here May 16 through 23 when they successfully completed the first homeland defense operational readiness inspection. The ORI, held at the Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center here, was administered by the Air Mobility Command Inspector General on a trial basis, but it may help pave the way for future inspections, officials said. "For the very first time, the U.S. Air Force has validated a unit's wartime capability to defend the homeland by fighting an enemy right here on U.S. soil," said Col. Greg Nelson, the commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Airlift Wing, which served as the lead organization for the ORI.

The first rule of strategy
Excerpt: Israel's leaders get bogged down in details while Iran plays distraction game. The first rule of strategy is to keep your opponent busy attending to your agenda so he has no time to advance his own. Unfortunately, Israel's leaders seem unaware of this rule, while Iran's rulers triumph in its application. Over the past few weeks, Israel has devoted itself entirely to the consideration of questions that are, at best, secondary. Questions like how much additional assistance Israel should provide Hamas-controlled Gaza, and how best to fend off or surrender to the international diplomatic lynch mob have dominated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's and his senior ministers' agendas. Our political leaders - as well as our military commanders and intelligence agencies - have been so busy thinking about these issues that they have effectively forgotten the one issue that they should have been considering. Israel's greatest strategic challenge - preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons - has fallen by the wayside.

On The Table
Excerpt: Some grim humor could be found earlier this week, in the spectacle of the President’s “deficit reduction commission” going over budget and running out of money. The entire premise of the commission is absurd. The deficit is not the problem. It’s a symptom. The disease is government spending. No administration or Congress dominated by Democrats has any chance of diagnosing this disease, let alone treating it effectively. There is some chance the Republicans will do better, but only if we keep on top of them. Watching this Presidential commission discuss strategies for deficit reduction is like watching a pack of gluttons talk about getting in shape while they prowl up and down a buffet table. They linger over the deep-fried mortgage interest deduction caps, dip their spoons into the rich chocolate of the VAT tax, and lick their lips as they wait for the expired Bush tax cuts to pop out of the oven. They end up perched on the edge of creaking chairs, tittering at the wonderfully naughty idea of devouring everyone’s 401k plans for dessert. It’s a nauseating spectacle that will only end when they’re escorted from the restaurant by angry voters. The President made some headlines when he reversed his campaign promises, and spoke of broad tax increases being “on the table.” This is an outrage, in light of the vast, corrupt, and wasteful government Obama presides over. It’s also dangerously foolish. The American economy has no more pounds of flesh to feed the government leviathan. From here on in, everything cut from us will be muscle and bone. Higher taxes will consume the wealth needed for investment and job creation, reducing the value of the economy… leading to calls for even higher tax rates, to maintain the government’s revenue stream.

Rancher Catches Illegals on Video
After the ad. Interesting video from hidden camera.

Obama Moves to Silence Gun Groups
Excerpt: Fresh from his efforts to seize government control of the health services sector (ObamaCare) and the financial markets (”finance reform”), Barack Obama has a new priority: silence his political opposition. As satisfying as it was for Obama to seize control of one-sixth of the economy, he has had to suffer protest from the “little people” (like us). So he is pushing the Orwellian “DISCLOSE” bill (HR 5175) to make sure gun groups and other pro-freedom forces cannot mobilize their members in the upcoming elections.

Obama: GOP to blame for spill, because if I had tried to prevent it, which I didn't, they would have stopped me.
Excerpt: In an interview with Politico's Roger Simon, President Obama says Republicans share blame for the Gulf oil spill because they would have objected if, months ago, before the spill, Obama had tried to take steps to prevent such a disaster. Of course, Obama did not attempt to take those steps, but the president says he would have been stopped from doing so if he had. Therefore, the GOP is to blame.

Report from Cochise County, Arizona
Excerpt: Being an avid AT reader, and living on the Arizona border in Cochise County, I thought I would provide those who wish to be informed some insight into the truth about the state of the U.S.-Mexican border -- at least in this part of the state. I moved to Cochise County after retiring from the Army in 2008 to take a position working at Fort Huachuca (pronounced "wa-choo-ka," an Apache word meaning "place of thunder" and referring to the time after the summer monsoon season). Having lived here in 1991 for eight months while attending an Army school, I soon realized that the place had changed considerably in the eighteen years of my absence. The first thing I noticed was how many border patrol vehicles were on the roads in the city of Sierra Vista. The Border Patrol has a large station near here in the city of Naco. There are far more Border Patrol vehicles in the area than SV police cars. They come in many forms -- trucks for off-road work, trailers carrying all-terrain vehicles, pickups with capacity for carrying large numbers of people once apprehended, and even a staff car for the area chaplain. The Border Patrol presence has grown substantially, so one would think the border area was nice and safe. Not so. Within a short time after arriving in southern Arizona while on my way to work, I noticed eight illegal immigrants on the side of the road. Fortunately, they were in the custody of capable and attentive Border Patrol agents. Unfortunately, they were less than a hundred feet from my daughter's bus stop. She gets personal service to school now, as the school district refuses to enter the gated community in which we live. There is a nice wash, a valley into which the rainwater drains during the monsoons, which provides a nice route for the illegals to follow into the city, and therefore into their locations for pickup by the vehicles that will get them farther north. Later, after I attended a movie on a Friday night, a car passed by me in the next lane going nearly a hundred miles an hour. It took a few seconds before I saw the police behind -- way behind -- with lights and sirens, trying to catch up. Surprise, surprise -- the next morning's paper discussed a Mexican drug runner being caught by County Sheriff's Deputies. On several occasions, the Border Patrol's helicopter has flown low and slow over the neighborhood, rattling windows and shining its spotlight in our backyard. When this happens, I strap on my pistol, grab a flashlight, and look and listen. Fortunately, I haven't found anybody within a hundred yards of the house -- yet.

The price of accommodating Mexico
Excerpt: The Mexican government continues to oppose enhanced U.S. border security while Mexican cartels smuggle thousands of criminals and terrorists into the United States. The Obama administration continues to tolerate this national-security nightmare out of fear of offending the Mexican government and its allies in the National Council of La Raza. Millions of Americans are asking, what's wrong with this picture? Why is Janet Napolitano more worried about border security for Saudi Arabia than for the citizens of Arizona? It is important to understand the economic reasons behind Mexico's hostility to border security. Mexico's opposition to border security is rooted in the flow of money back to Mexico from the 20 to 30 million Mexican citizens working in the United States. Mexico wants that flow of dollars to continue and to increase. Mexico's addiction to those American dollars – over $25 billion in 2007 – has led the Mexican governmentinto an unholy partnership with the drug cartels. Both the Mexican government and the cartels want open borders, and they both paint the American concern for border security as racist and "anti-Mexican."

Iran's Revolution Has Only Just Begun
Excerpt: Today is the first anniversary of the fraudulent election that kept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power, igniting huge demonstrations all over Iran. At the time, very few outside observers believed that most Iranians hated the regime of "Supreme Leader" Ali Khamenei and Mr. Ahmadinejad and were willing to risk their lives to bring it down. Having failed to recognize the intensity and dimensions of the opposition, many Iran observers performed a neat about-face, concluding that the regime was doomed and would be brought down in the near future. Yet while there have been many demonstrations this past year, the regime has brutally fought back, killing or arresting hundreds if not thousands of real or suspected critics. Although not a day goes by without protests (typically at universities), large, organized demonstrations are too risky. So is the new Iranian revolution fizzling? Has the regime taken firm control? The reality is that the regime's leaders are frightened, and everyone from the Ayatollah Khamenei down the dark labyrinths of this remarkably cheerless state knows that the only hope for the regime's survival is to intimidate the opposition.

Syrian Rep Promotes Blood Libel at UN Human Rights Council And the U.S. stays silent.
Excerpt: Meeting today in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council heard the following statement from the Syrian representative, First Secretary Rania Al Rifaiy: “Israel…is a state that is built on hatred…Let me quote a song that a group of children on a school bus in Israel sing merrily as they go to school and I quote 'With my teeth I will rip your flesh. With my mouth I will suck your blood.'" The Obama administration chose to join this Council, the UN’s lead human rights body, and its representative was present. But they said nothing after hearing this blood libel.

Shelter tries to help abused child brides
Excerpt: In disturbing video images, a 14-year-old girl is purportedly being flogged. She is alleged to have run away from a forced marriage in a remote village. Just as disturbing to Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission? "The other sad part I have to say was the reaction of the people," she says. "The lack of sensitivity of the people." The video was given to Samar's Human Rights Commission. She says police promised her they'd prosecute the man, but so far nothing despite the country's laws that ban not just forced marriages but matrimony for girls under 16.

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