SLU Pundit

The weblog of Kevin Boyd, a student at Southeastern Louisiana University

Monday, July 26, 2004

Gay marrage comments

A few random things about gay marriage and the rights of gay couples.

Fact: Gay couples have in most places the same rights and benefits as straight couples without gay marriage.

Fact: Many companies offer benefits to gay partners without gay marriage.

Fact: Gay couples are free commit their entire lives to one another and sign documents and have "commitment ceremonies" as well.

Since it's 1:30 in the morning, I'll write more later. But the point is, gays are not after rights per se but are demanding the government destroy the definition of marriage which is one man and one woman.

Australia will ignore terror threat

Good news from the Aussies. An Al-Qaeda subsidary is threatening Australia with attacks if Australia does not withdraw her troops from Iraq immediately. Here's the response of Australian Prime Minister John Howard:

"We are still investigating the authenticity and relevance of that body, but we will not take any notice of threats of that kind," Prime Minister John Howard, a close ally of President Bush, told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

"We will not parlay and negotiate with terrorists and I believe the overwhelming majority of the Australian public will agree with us," said Howard, who sent 2,000 troops to the U.S.-led war on Iraq.


Furthermore, here is Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer pointing out how the cowardice of Spain and the Philippines has only enabled the terrorists:

"What they have done in these two cases is accede to the demands of the terrorists. And in those circumstances, if you accede to the demands of terrorists, all you do is embolden them to continue the strategy," he told Australian radio on Monday.


Good for Australia, especially since they've lost so many in the Bali bombings last year. History will judge Prime Minister Howard well for this stand.

US uses cash as a defensive weapons

This really should've been thought up a long time ago.

Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste, the division commander, said restive central Iraq is full of men who "are young, unemployed, without hope. We are trying to reach out to them. Whenever we get the money, we are trying to apply it to pull over as many of these men as we can to our side."


This is why Americans are dying in Iraq, not because the Iraqis are united to kill Americans and want Saddam back. The Iraqi people want a better future and better life than they have now. Right now, it pays to kill Americans.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Gays sue Ashcroft over gay marriage

It's finally happened. A lesbian couple in Florida is suing Attorney General John Ashcroft over the denial of their marriage license request in Florida, their homestate. The lesbians, Rev. Nancy Wilson and Paula Schoenwether, claim the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a violation of their equal protection rights as laid out in the Fourteenth Amendment.

A few questions about this case I'm interested in as the case unfolds over the coming days:

1) How long was this "couple" together before they got "married"?

2) If the purpose is to overturn DOMA, why are they not using their better arguement in the Full Faith and Credit clause as outlined in Article IV. Section 1? After since the "marriage" is legal in Massachusetts, it would have to be recongized in Florida because the process in Massachusetts is assumed to be legal and proper.

3) Who's paying for the plaintiffs' lawyers?

4) How is the right for gays to get married protected under the equal protection clause if polygamy is illegal, even though it was at the time a required Mormon ritual?

Of course, the easiest way to solve the whole gay marriage question is to get government out of the business of marriage. If pastors and priests do not want to marry homosexuals, they won't and shouldn't be forced to. Marriage to me is a union between a man and a woman, solemnized in the presence of God, for the purpose of building a family and raising children. Since as a Christian I believe homosexuality is a sin, homosexuals cannot marry. However, a substantial portion of Americans do not support this view.

I'll write more on this subject tomorrow when I have more time.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Palestinian Civil War?

Ha'aretz on the inept and corrupt Palestinian Authority. Good backgrounder.

The Scotsman rounds up the day's fighting.


Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Korei resigned amid kidnappings of foreigners and Palestinian security officials in Gaza.

This could be the beginning of the Palestinian Civil War between Hamas/Islamic Jihad and Arafat's Fatah movement. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Greedy North Carolina politicians want a tax increase

The Senate passed a tobacco buyout to prop up sales against lower cost tobacco from China. The bill was passed 78-15 and includes new powers to regulate tobacco by the FDA. The buyout is paid for with a user fee (ie. a new tax) imposed on tobacco companies which will passed on to smokers. However, there is a House version that will just syphon the money directly from the Federal budget. And I thought the GOP (which controls BOTH houses of Congress) stood for fiscal discipline and lower taxes.
 
This is also akin to bailing out candlemakers and stagecoach manufacturers in 1900.







Thursday, July 15, 2004

What the f**k???!!!!

This new insanity from the People's Republic of Illinois. People with the HIV virus can now donate organs.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

More of what's wrong with Louisiana

This article detailing the bills Governor Blanco have signed and vetoed gives some idea into what's wrong with Louisiana.

First up, the river pilot bill:

As expected, Blanco signed into law HB 1708 by Rep. Gil Pinac, D-Crowley, that creates a new structure for setting rates for river pilot services and provides oversight of some pilot functions.

Pinac's bill, which goes into effect Jan. 1, lets the four existing pilot groups continue to operate monopolies for their services on separate segments of the Mississippi and Calcasieu rivers but gives a new fee commission authority to re-evaluate the rates pilots charge, the number of pilots needed and pilot pay. Industry groups and pilots will have equal representation on the fee commission. The governor will have a major influence on the direction of the commission through the appointment of three independent members for the panel.


In other words, the river pilots can continue to screw Louisiana businesses at will. The socialistic premise of the river pilots program remains intact. Furthermore, this opens the doors to even more corruption and extortion type pay raise agreements. The most troubling part about this new commission is the new gubernatorial appointees. Again, leading on reform has not been a Blanco strong suit.

Meanwhile, the Louisiana state legislature found time to be mommy and daddy for Louisiana's parents:

Blanco also signed HB 1580 by Rep. Ernest Baylor, D-Shreveport, prohibiting street sports that block driveways, tie up traffic or create "a hazard to public safety." Baylor's bill, which goes into effect Aug. 15, allows games to be played in streets if a local government authorizes it, closes a street and issues a permit for the games.

The new law is experimental and goes off the books on July 1, 2005, unless extended by lawmakers.

Violators can be fined $25 and held responsible for court costs. If a minor is involved, a parent or guardian is held responsible.


Blanco also signed a bill whose premise is silly. It criminalizes a previously legal activity under state law, however Louisiana parishes and towns can make it legal if they want.

Blanco also signed into law, effective Aug. 15, HB 1260 by Rep. Donald Cazayoux, D-New Roads, giving parish or town councils the power to authorize riding mini-motor scooters on sidewalks during daylight hours at speeds up to 20 mph and by riders who are at least 8 years old.

Without council approval, the scooters are banned from sidewalks and streets. The bill also mandates businesses that rent or sell the scooters to post signs informing customers that state law requires operators up to age 18 to wear helmets.


How about saving the ink and paper and just letting the parish and town councils decide this issue entirely? But I forget, this is Louisiana.

Finally, in Louisiana, some of the best bills are vetoed. Here's an example:

-- HB 1605 By Rep. William Daniel IV, D-Baton Rouge, to let minor-party candidates be listed on the ballot with their party affiliation if the party has at least 1,000 registered voters in the state or their national candidate received at least 5 percent of the Louisiana vote in the previous presidential race.


Anything to save Louisiana's Third World election system, right Blanco?









Governor Blanco vetoes tax incentive

Governor Kathleen Blanco (D-Louisiana)vetoed a tax incentive plan yesterday.

Supporters of the bill included Republican pro-business lawmakers, members of the Black Caucus, the AFL-CIO, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, and the Louisiana Chemical Association. The bill gathered 128 co-sponsors out of the Legislature's 144 members.

"It's very seldom you can put together a coalition like that," said [Mack]White (R-Denham Springs), who had amended the bill repeatedly in an attempt to address Blanco's concerns. "There was a lot of time and effort put into this bill. I'm very disappointed."

White's bill would have expanded the state's Quality Jobs Program to include the hiring of new contract workers at manufacturing plants. Now, the program offers the incentive to a variety of companies if they hire new workers at certain salary levels and offer to pay at least 85 percent of each employee's health insurance. In return, the companies get a tax rebate from the state worth 5 percent or 6 percent of payroll for the new workers.

White's proposal would have given 80 percent of that rebate to manufacturers that provide jobs to new contract workers on a plant site, as long as they meet the program's pay and benefits standards. It would not include construction workers, and the bill contains safeguards to prevent companies from dismissing employees and then bringing them back on contract.


While this bill by Rep. White was well intentioned, it is a symptom of the underlying problem with Louisiana's tax code, it's too damn complicated. What the Legislature needs to do is focus on reducing the overall burden on business and everyday Louisianians at large and reducing the size of the Louisiana government. After all, business would have no need for these incentives if Louisiana had a tax structure that was competitve with the rest of the country.

Blanco Chief of Staff Andy Kopplin said the Quality Jobs Program is already an effective incentive for encouraging business expansion by new or existing companies in Louisiana. The administration was not convinced that the additional incentive under White's bill was needed to persuade manufacturers to expand.

"It's a very expensive program. We're very successful with it, but we don't need to spend more money to get the same outcome," Kopplin said.


In other words, this bill would put in danger Blanco's plans to continue expanding the size of the Louisiana state government. Besides, Louisiana governors since Huey Long have proven that the Louisiana state government know how to spend money better than all of us mullets. (sarcasm to the unwashed)

Greg Bowser, director of governmental affairs for the chemical association, said the bill creates an incentive, not a subsidy. Simply because a company's human resource policy calls for using contractors at the plant site instead of hiring them directly is no reason to deny the tax rebate.

"A job's a job. We either want to create jobs or we don't," Bowser said. "I don't think we've gotten to the point in Louisiana where we want to say we want to create this kind of job but not that kind of job."


Um Greg....this incentive does nothing but say we want to create this kind of job but not that kind of job.

Again, the Louisiana state government and "business lobbyists" miss the overall point which is there would be no need for these special incentives if Louisiana had a fair and competitive tax code. Governor Blanco ran on a platform on reform, unfortunately, she refuses to lead Louisiana in that direction.




Darfur Update

Media updates first, then blogs

The Scotsman is reporting that sanctions will be held off until next week.

The BBC reports that humanitarian convoys are being attacked by Arab militiamen.

Congress is set to declare Darfur a genocide zone in the next few days.

Peace talks to begin in Eitrea between the Sudanese government and rebel factions aimed at ending the fighting in Darfur.

Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was arrested in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

Now what the blogs are saying:

Passion of the Present wants every American to write their Congressmen and Senators to pass the genocide resolution. I will be writing my represenatives tomorrow, if not earlier.

Balloon-Juice has more on the Rangel arrest.

Slings and Arrows makes an excellent about Congressman Rangel's hypocritical stand on Sudan and Iraq. He supports preemption in Sudan, but rabidly opposed the Iraq war. In fact, he had a problem with the deaths of Saddam's two little bastards.

Something via E-mail

Something I just got via E-mail.

I would never mistreat one of my horses, one of my cows nor my dog or
cat,
much less mistreat another human being. Therefore I am just as shocked
and
outraged about the treatment of the prisoners in Iraq as anybody is.

I think, no I know, it's deplorable and the people responsible should
be
sought out and punished.

Now having said that let me say this.
This thing has been blown so far out of proportion it's a wonder it
doesn't
explode.

I was in Germany during the high point of the controversy and about the
only English speaking channels I could get were BBC and CNN. Well take
the
anti-American position of CNN America and multiply it by ten, and then
you've got CNN International.

If the BBC represented, which it doesn't, the opinions of the majority
of
the British people we would have to consider England an enemy.
It is so blatantly anti-American. They spent hours and hours on the
Iraqi
prisoner abuses. You would think that it was the only thing happening
in the
world.

I heard one woman anchor ask, "Will the Americans ever be able to take
the
moral high ground again?"

That's not only stupid, it's insulting and asinine. A handful of people
out
of a population of two hundred and sixty million plus go rogue and this
ignorant wench condemns the whole nation? Should we condemn the whole
of
the British Isles because of Kim Philby, the English traitor who helped
give Russia our nuclear secrets? I dare say his actions caused ten
million
times the pain and anguish than
those of a few outlaw American soldiers.

Where were you BBC and CNN when our American citizens were hung from a
bridge and set on fire in Iraq? Where were you when terrorists were
dragging our dead soldiers around the dusty streets of Somalia?
Did you devote hour after hour of coverage condemning the monsters? Did
you
continue to show the awful images almost non-stop and call in
puffed-up, so
called experts to tell us just how bad the events were.
Hell no you didn't.

And you Ted Kennedy, you superfilous old gas bag, how dare you compare
the
acts of a few soldiers to the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein.

Senator, in case you hadn't noticed no one died here...in fact your car
has
killed more people than these misguided soldiers did.

We have 130,000 military personnel in Iraq. How many were involved in
this
atrocity? 10? 20? 30? And yet to listen to Kennedy and his ilk, or the
major media you would think that they were all involved.

Let's look at this thing for what it is. An isolated incident which
does not
in any way, shape or form represent the character of the fine young men
and
women who serve in our Armed Forces. This is the third time Senator
Kennedy,
but I'll extend the invitation again.

How about you, me and a camera crew hopping on a plane and going over
to
Iraq and Afghanistan and talk to the men and women who are fighting the
war, so you can get a little attitude adjustment? Or had you rather
continue to be blinded to reality by your hatred of our Commander and
Chief?

Check your calander, we're trying to put a trip together for November.

Pray for our troops.

What do you think?

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Another anti-tax kook prepares to bite the dust

Out in California, a nationally known anti-tax kook has been charged with tax evasion. George Nesson owes the State of California over $650,000 in back taxes in penalties. His wife, Trina Thi Vu, has also been charged in the case.

Jesson, who is charged with six counts of felony income tax evasion, says the state cannot confiscate his personal wages.



"It was Nick's belief that the tax system as applied by the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board exceeded their legal authority and that they were perpetrating a fraud against the citizens of California," said his attorney, Robert Barnes. "They're prosecuting Nick because of his political beliefs."



Notice everytime one of these anti-tax kooks get busted, they start claiming they're political prisoners, just like the cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal in Pennsylvania. Yes the tax system does need to be reformed but Mr. Barnes, your client is a criminal plain and simple. Tax day is not the day to make a political statement. The place to change the law is in the ballot box. Until then, you must pay your taxes, they way the state says pay your taxes.

But Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. William Overtoom said Jesson is not above the law. "You have to make an accurate, complete and truthful tax statement," he said. "You can protest it, but that's different from making a false statement to the state of California."



Mr. Overtoom is correct. Make your political statements on election day.

In 2002, Jesson ran for governor as a Republican on an anti-income-tax platform. He received less than 1% of the vote in the primary.



I think Californians are not as nutty as everyone says they are.

Jesson has also been involved with We the People for Constitutional Education, a tax-protesting organization. The group bought a full-page advertisement in USA Today in March 2001, claiming that the government does not have the authority to collect taxes from employees' paychecks.



Then We the People should file a case, like the ACLU, through the Federal court system to have it overturned on Constitutional grounds. But then again, the tax protest movement is usually nothing more than a cabal of grifters trying to peddle their products and scams.

"Tax evasion is not a victimless crime; it hurts everyone in California," said Franchise Tax Board spokesman Barry Gilbert. "This is certainly a big case for us."



Couldn't have said it better.




Gay marrage amendment defeated in Senate

The United States Senate rejected the gay marriage ban amendment 48-50 on a procedural vote. The Democrats in the Senate decided to filibuster the proposed amendment and they succeeded in killing it. Three Democrats decided to kill the filibuster and six Republicans crossed party lines and joined with Democrats to maintain the filibuster.

Some comments from the article:

Polls show most Americans oppose same-sex marriage, but are split on whether a constitutional ban is needed. Surveys also find voters believe many other issues are more important.


Kerry and his vice presidential running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, oppose same-sex marriage, but argue amending the Constitution is not the answer. Like most Democratic lawmakers, they say states should have the power to define marriage.



I have to go with the majority of American voters on this. I particularly don't care if Adam and Steve next door decided to get married. In fact, I think the 50% divorce rate, unfair divorce settlements, the high adultery rate, and the overall cheapening of marriage by illegitimate births and quickie marriages in Vegas are more of threat to marriage than Adam and Steve.

Besides, as a States' rights supporter, I believe that the states are more than equipped enough to make these decisions based on the moral views and opinions of their citizens.

Now here's why the GOP engaged in this grandstanding today:

Even in defeat, Senate Republicans obtained at least two goals: They got a debate on the issue and put senators on the record.



And spent God knows how much taxpayer dollars for their little publicity stunt.



Moore lies....again

MTV.com has a story about how Michael Moore has spreading lies about Pete Townshend. Townshend, former guitarist of The Who, was approached by Michael Moore about using one of his songs, "Won't get fooled again" in Fahrenheit 9/11. According to MTV.com:

The rocker [Townshend] recently posted a letter on his Web site asserting that he is upset with Moore for making false claims about him. "He says — among other things — that I refused to allow him to use my song 'Won't Get Fooled Again' in ['Fahrenheit 9/11'] because I support the war, and that at the last minute I recanted but he turned me down," Townshend wrote



What were Moore's alleged false claims?

In the July/August issue of Film Comment, Michael Moore is quoted as saying that the moment following President Bush's final line in the film "demands that we hear [Who frontman] Roger Daltrey scream, 'Won't get fooled again!' " Moore goes on to say that Townshend blocked his use of the classic song because he is "not a fan of Michael Moore's and in fact supports the war and supports Tony Blair and doesn't want the song used in any way that would make Blair look bad."



Townshend responds:

The Who guitarist explained in his post that he was initially supportive of the war but is now "less sure we did the right thing."



Townshend wrote that when he was approached about lending his song to the film, he knew nothing of the content of "Fahrenheit 9/11," but that his publisher informed him that Moore had already been turned down because Miramax's offer was "well below what the song normally commands for use in a movie." Townshend said he did not ask for more money.



According to Townshend, Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein became personally involved in explaining the film's content to Townshend's manager, Bill Curbishley, and offered to raise his offer "substantially" for the song's use. Townshend told his manager that he had "not really been convinced" by Moore's last documentary, "Bowling for Columbine," and saw it as "a bullying film."



The musician said he felt "Won't Get Fooled Again," "not an unconditionally anti-war song," was not right for the film, and that he suggested to his publisher and manager that Moore approach Neil Young, whose catalog, he felt, included more appropriate tracks.



So Townshend thought Moore lied about Bowling for Columbine and Miramax was being cheap.

But Moore says Townshend changed his mind and started begging him to reconsider.

In fact, after Cannes, we got a call from their manager, who said they might be willing to reconsider. And I said, 'No, uh-uh. That's bad karma. This is Neil Young's moment.' "



And Moore says he's a victim of The Who because:

"Last year," he said in the statement, "the Who asked me to do a documentary on their career. I was sorry I had to tell them that due to my need to finish 'Fahrenheit 9/11' I would not be able to make their film for them. ... I am sorry I wasn't able to do the Who documentary like they wanted me to, but this is certainly no way for Pete to show his anger, and frankly it is very embarrassing for him to behave in this manner, as he is the greatest rock star who ever lived."



Who to believe, Townshend or Michael Moore


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Why the French Act Isn't Funny Anymore

Charles Krauthammer on French obstructionism at Istanbul

That obstructionism was on amazing display at the recent NATO summit in Istanbul. The supremely courageous President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, flies there to beg for our troops to protect his country in the run-up to September elections. Two female election workers had already been murdered and some 16 men had been shot to death by insurgents for registering to vote.



NATO responds with an offer of a small number of troops to be sent around September. Karzai pleads for a more immediate deployment. Britain and the U.S. request deployment of NATO's new rapid-reaction force created precisely for such contingencies. France's President Jacques Chirac vetoes it, saying the force should not be used "in any old way."



Any old way? As if the NATO troops were off to visit the Kabul Disneyland. Afghanistan is the good war, remember. The war of undeniable necessity. The war everyone supported. It is hard to imagine a more important mission for NATO, or for the civilized world for that matter, than assuring free elections in Afghanistan, crucible for the worst terrorist attack in history. Yet with a flick of a hand, Chirac dismisses Karzai — and, of course, the U.S.



So much for the French being our friends.

What did the French do about Iraq?

On Iraq, Chirac was similarly destructive of any realistic NATO help in democratic nation building. He spearheaded the vetoing of any NATO troops going to Iraq. The most that President Bush could get was an agreement to train Iraqi troops, but Chirac insisted the training be undertaken not by NATO as an organization (only by NATO countries individually) and not in Iraq itself. He suggested Rome. Nice for sightseeing, but hardly the most efficient and cost-effective way to train the Iraqi police and army.



Why are the French being such asses?

Chirac knows America's stake in both Afghanistan and Iraq. It is so great, and so obvious, that even in the midst of a bitterly fought election campaign, the opposition presidential candidate embraces the current Administration's objective of democratic reconstruction in both countries. Why then is Chirac making things as difficult as he can for the U.S.?



It is not just pique. It is not just antipathy to George Bush. And it is not just France's traditional and reflexive policy of trying to rein in, cut down and domesticate the world's greatest superpower so that ultimately secondary powers like France could emerge as leaders of a multipolar world.



There is something far deeper going on here. Beyond the anti-Americanism is an attempt to court the Muslim and Arab world. For its own safety and strategic gain, France is seeking a "third way" between America and its enemies. Chirac's ultimate vision is a France that is mediator and bridge between America and Islam. During the cold war, Charles de Gaulle invented this idea of a third force, withdrawing France from the NATO military structure and courting Moscow as a counterweight to Washington. Chirac, declaring in Istanbul that "we are not servants" of America, has transposed this Gaullist policy to the struggle with radical Islam.



Explosive population growth in the Arab world coupled with Europe's unprecedented baby bust presages a radical change in the balance of power in the Mediterranean world. Chirac perhaps sees a coming Muslim future or, at least, a coming Muslim resurgence. And he does not want to be on the wrong side of that history. The result is a classic policy of appeasement: stand up to the American presumption of dictating democratic futures to Afghanistan and Iraq; ingratiate yourself with the Arab world. Thus, for example, precisely at a time when the U.S. and many Western countries are shunning Yasser Arafat for supporting terrorism and obstructing peace, Chirac sends his Foreign Minister to the ruins of Arafat's compound to shake Arafat's hand for world cameras.



This is pure pandering but with an agenda. Chirac wants not only to make France the champion of the oppressed in general against the great American hegemon but also to make it in particular the champion of Arab aspirations against American imperialism. Even the left-leaning French newspaper Le Monde criticized Chirac for acting the "killjoy" in Istanbul. But Chirac's behavior was no mere outburst. It is a strategy for a French future. Chirac is charting a course — a collision course with America. Istanbul was just one accident scene. There are many more to come.







It's about time

The United States Senate is now considering a resolution to declare that Sudan is committing genocide in the Darfur region The resolution, co-sponsored by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and Senator Jon Corzine (D-New Jersey), hopes to spur the international community and the Bush administration to do more to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Mr. Brownback, who recently visited the region and saw burnt and pillaged villages and talked with victims, is concerned that what happened in Rwanda a decade ago, is being repeated in Sudan. He hopes his resolution will spur international action.



"Unlike Rwanda, where afterwards we pronounced genocide after 800,000 died, here is a chance for the international community to step in and stop the deaths," he said. "If we will act decisively and now, we can stop hundreds of thousands of people from dying. If we do not, they will die."



Senator Brownback says reports from the area indicate little has changed in the region in the two weeks since he returned from his trip, despite promises from Khartoum to reign in the militias known as the Janjaweed.



Senator Brownback warns of the moral consequences of nations who oppose action in Sudan to stop the genocide:

"What this resolution does is to add the political pressure on everyone. It requires the United Nations to take decisive and necessary action," Mr. Brownback. "Any country on the Security Council that opposes or thwarts actions that the U.N. might wish to take under chapter seven of its charter, will, in effect, have approved of the genocide occurring in Sudan, or worse yet, just not care.

"Those nations will be on notice. More importantly, Sudan itself will be on notice," he continued. "It will become a pariah among nations, and will carry the shame of doing nothing to prevent the wanton murder of its own people, even participating in it."



However, the US State Department, as diplomatic as ever, continues to play word games with the genocide:

But the U.S. State Department has stopped short of calling the situation in Darfur genocide, describing it as ethnic cleansing instead.



According to Prevent Genocide International, here is the official definition of genocide:


Article II: In the present
Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to
destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,
as such:



(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious
bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately
inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its
physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended
to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children
of the group to another group.



Let's first establish the identity of the victims. They are black Muslims who are being victimized by Arab Muslims who dominate the Sudanese national government. That establishes the attempt to destroy a unique racial group.

Now let's document the acts of the Sudanese government and their aligned militias:

Killing members of the group: So far, 10,000 civilians have been killed and an estimated 350,000 will be killed if the world doesn't act soon enough.

Causing serious bodily or mental harm: There have been reports of rapes and other forms of sexual violence committed by Sudanese forces.

Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group: Thousands have been displaced from their homes and their villages and crops have been destroyed by the Sudanese government and their allies.

Prevention of births: Standard Sudanese government procedure is kill all the men in a village during the attack. This reduces the long term birth rate among the Darfurians.

Forcible transfer of children: Though I have not read any reports of children being sold into slavery in Darfur, the Sudanese government and its allies are known to practice the slave trade in South Sudan, which involved mostly children.

Maybe the State Department should look again...







Monday, July 12, 2004

Fahrenheit sets British box office records

Fahrenheit 9/11 is big in Britain, according to the Independent

Darfur update

South Africa based News 24 is reporting that the UN will consider sanctions against Sudan this week. They also report that for the first time in a long time, the Americans and Europeans are on the same page on this issue.

EU Business reports that the European Union is considering sanctions as well against Sudan.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer "pressures" the Sudanese government to end the situation in Darfur. However, he says now is not the time for sanctions.

Finally, the Scotsman reports that the Darfur situation is leading to food and water shortages in Chad as well. The locals in Chad have taken the refugees from Darfur and as a result, the refugees have eaten up most of the food and exhausted most of the water supplies. Fights are now common at the few functioning wells that remain.

Julian Bond loses it

Julian Bond, a chief overseer of the NAACP, has accused the GOP being racist, opposing democracy, playing the race card (and this speech wasn't?), practicing racial division, etc. In short, the NAACP is going all out to defeat Bush this year.

In other news, the NAACP's main overseer Kweisi Mfume wants to go after those Uncle Toms who have escaped the liberal plantation.

The civil rights industry, who are merely higher ranking slaves on the liberal plantation, are just another group of leftists who support more government control over people's lives. They don't give a damn about the welfare of blacks in America.

Finally, a return to States' rights

The Bush administration is abandoning the Roadless area rule. Furthermore, it is going to allow governors to set their own policies on building roads in their states. Of course, the pro-big government and anti-industry "environmentalists" are having a fit over this:

"This (new proposal) could be potentially devastating for some of the last wild forests across the West," said Tiernan Sittenfeld, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.



"The Bush administration is now throwing the door wide open to unlimited exploitation of national forests in every state," Nancy Pelosi of California, the U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader.








New Fighting in Northern Ireland

Here's a result of appeasement of terrorists. As you may or may not know, the Good Friday accords were signed in 1998 which created a power-sharing government involving the terrorist Irish Republican Army. Since then, the IRA has refused to disarm as promised and the power-sharing government collapsed in 2002.

Philippines surrender

According to the New York Times, the Philippines is going withdraw its troops from Iraq and give in to the demands of hostage takers.

Deputy Foreign Secretary Rafael Seguis of the Philippines told the Arab television network Al Jazeera that his country would withdraw its troops "as soon as possible'' in response to the militants' demands, but he did not give a specific date for the pullout.



"I hope the statement that I read will touch the heart of this group," he said.



Awww...isn't that sweet. All this means is more terrorist attacks on foreign civilians and soldiers in Iraq and more terrorist attacks on the Philippines itself. The Philippines has shown it can be cowed by terror just like Spain.

UPDATE: Philippine markets down in trading as a result of fears of future terrorist attacks.

Another one-sided liberal attack film

USA Today is reporting that another liberal film is entering the debate. The film, produced by MoveOn.org, is titled Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. The film alleges that Fox News is slanted to the Republicans. As opposed to the rest of the fair and balanced media.

Fox News, which says it is the "fair and balanced" network, has long been accused by Democrats and liberals of having a conservative bias. Outfoxed adds to that debate through interviews with former Fox correspondents and producers, as well as memos written by Fox executives.



The memos, for example, portray Fox executives urging correspondents to remind viewers the United States "is in Iraq to help a country brutalized for 30 years protect the gains made by Operation Iraqi Freedom" — an argument for the war that is similar to the Bush administration's.



However, Outfoxed does not mention other memos its researchers obtained from Fox News staffers.



Those memos, shown to USA TODAY, remind correspondents to give equal emphasis to speeches by President Bush and his opponent, Sen. John Kerry.



Another memo says, "Let's not overdo the appearances by Kerry swift boat mate John O'Neill," a man who raised questions about the senator's wartime record. "He represents one side of the 30-year recollections of what Kerry did, or didn't do, in uniform. Other people have different recollections," the memo says.



All I've got to say to this is can Moveon.org prove that the Iraqi people were not brutalized for thirty years under Saddam?

A Fox News spokeswoman would not comment on the film on Sunday. Fox was not given a chance to respond in the film.



The film's producer and director, Robert Greenwald, says he intentionally did not seek Fox's side. "Fox News is on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Greenwald says. "My little film is hardly going to address that imbalance. This really is David vs. Goliath."



See the fate of your movie Mr. Greenwald. Just strip out the positive comments about Michael Moore because I doubt you have his talent.


Sunday, July 11, 2004

Kerry Spending more than Bush on ads

The poor Kerry campaign is outspending Bush on TV ads in key battleground states. Furthermore, liberal groups aligned with the Kerry campaign are also running purely attacks targeting Bush's policies on Iraq, the environment, and various other issues. From the USA Today article:

USA TODAY obtained data collected by TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ads. The data, covering 17 closely contested states from March 3 through June 26, show:



• The Kerry campaign's ads were shown 72,908 times, 3.1% more than the Bush-Cheney campaign's 70,688 showings.



• Political groups' ads were shown 56,627 times. All but 513 were ads by liberal, anti-Bush groups such as MoveOn PAC and The Media Fund. The others were by conservative groups.



Taken together, about 129,000 Kerry or anti-Bush ads were aired, 82% more than the Bush-Cheney total.



The 17 states used were Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.



Hmmm....weren't commercials for Fahrenheit 9/11 taken into account?

Bush campaign officials say the data do not trouble them. "The Bush-Cheney campaign has $64 million in cash on hand. The campaign is very comfortable that it has the resources to implement its strategy," says Bush-Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt. The Kerry campaign had about $30 million on hand at the end of June but was still raising money at a fast clip.



The Bush campaign should be comfortable. Kerry cannot use any money he has in the bank after his convention (which is a month before the Republican convention). In other words, Kerry must raise money all over again after the convention. Bush can just continue to hoard money and blast Kerry, basically unopposed, until the GOP convention in early September. Also, the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Laws kick in on July 31 which means the liberal groups cannot attack Bush by name.

Some political scientists say the numbers shouldn't concern the president. "The Bush campaign gets a lot of free media time, good and bad, because he's the president," says Jamie McKown, political communications professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.



The problem with this is Bush's PR team is so inept they turn even the best news into bad news. They have not done a good job publicizing our successes in Iraq. Bush has done a poor job explaining how well the economy is doing. Bush does a lousy job defending his policy proposals from immigration reform to the Patriot Act.

"It's still a long way to the election," says Karen Cartee, professor of advertising, public relations and communications at the University of Alabama. "And the people who haven't made up their minds aren't paying much attention yet."



Personally, I think everyone that's going to vote on November 2nd has already made up their minds with the exception of around 2-5% of voters. Both sides need to play to their base, which are actually surprisingly centrist in nature.




Updates...

I just got home from work and a party at work. The going away party for two co-workers was nothing to write about mostly. The only exception being that one of the co-workers going away has discovered she likes cigars.

Anyway, I've updated my sidebar and included the seal that certifies that this blog is a certified Louisiana product. I've also begun to add some links to national and international news sources. Over the next few days and weeks, I'll add some more links in all sections and create at least one more section of links.

The Real Che Guevara

The Real Che Guevara:

Che the Lionhearted's image is still ubiquitous on college campuses. But in the wrong places. He belongs in the marketing, PR, advertising and especially psychology departments. His lessons and history are fascinating and valuable, but only in light of Sigmund Freud or P.T. Barnum. One born every minute, Mr. Barnum? If only you'd lived to see the Che phenomenon. Actually, 10 are born every second.


Here's a 'guerrilla hero' who in real life never fought in a guerrilla war. When he finally brushed up against one, he was routed.


Here's a cold-blooded murderer who executed thousands without trial, who claimed that judicial evidence was an 'unnecessary bourgeois detail,' who stressed that 'revolutionaries must become cold-killing machines motivated by pure hate,' who stayed up till dawn for months at a time signing death warrants for innocent and honorable men, whose office in La Cabana had a window where he could watch the executions and today his T-shirts adorn people who oppose capital punishment!



Here's communist Cuba's first 'Minister of Industries,' whose main slogan in 1960 was 'Accelerated Industrialization!' Whose dream was converting Cuba (the hemisphere, actually) into a huge bureaucratic-industrial ant farm � and he's the poster boy for greens and anarchists who scream and rant against industrialization!


Here's a sniveling little suck-up, teacher's pet and momma's boy who was the constant pride of joy of his teacher (Alberto Bayo) and parents (the most obnoxious sort of Limousine Bolsheviks) and he's idolized by millionaire delinquents such as Rage Against the Machine!


Here's a humorless teetotaler, a plodding paper-pusher, a notorious killjoy and all-around fuddy-duddyand you see his T-shirt on MTV's Spring Break revelers!



Amazing how American young people, especially college students, can be so hypocritical and self-hating sometimes.

Celebrity political contributions

Celebrity political contribution records. You'll be surprised at who some of these people are supporting.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

California Marine killed in Iraq after losing 150 pounds to join

Heartbreaking story.

German Foreign Minister Demands Action on Darfur Genocide

The German Foreign Minister is on his way to Sudan to demand action on Darfur. Foreign Minister Josckha Fischer is going to make sure Sudan keeps its promises to disarm the Janjaweed militia and allow aid agencies better access to refugees. Fischer has already expressed support for sanctions against Sudan if it does not comply with the agreements.

Palis seek EU help with World Court

Palestinians look for EU support for World Court decision. There was also more violence in the territories.

In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, four Palestinians were killed and one wounded in what Palestinian officials claimed was an Israeli tank attack.



Helicopters and tanks were in the general area of the blast in al-Zahra, on the outskirts of Gaza City, but the army said they had not fired at any car and their soldiers were not in the immediate area of the explosion.



Something tells me that this was another Palestinian bomb factory that blew up killing the bombmakers.

Later, Palestinian medical sources said a medical worker was shot in the stomach and wounded.



Did the reporter seek confirmation of this? If not, they should've written they could not confirm this.

In its advisory ruling Friday, the UN's International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, declared the barrier illegal and said construction must stop. It urged the General Assembly and Security Council to consider "what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation."



Another error of omission by this writer. The writer should've stated why the World Court ruled as it did to allow the audience to decide whether or not the EU should assist the Palestinians in the UN.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in a speech congratulating graduates of a security training program, called Friday's decision by the International Court of Justice "a pronunciation from the world it is standing beside the Palestinian people against the apartheid wall."



Arafat has no room to talk about apartheid since his Palestinian state would not allow Jews to reside there.

Meanwhile, a teenage girl was killed Saturday in Gaza and, separately, three women were injured and pinned down under Israeli gunfire that kept residents from helping them, according to Palestinian residents and medical workers. They were hospitalized later, two with moderate injuries and one critically hurt, Palestinian doctors said.



Yet another error of omission. This leaves the perception that the Israelis were intentionally preventing aid to the Palestinian civilians. Were they being caught in the crossfire in a firefight between Palistinian gumnen and Israeli troops? Were they being used as human shields by Pali gunmen?

UPDATE: The four Palis that I said were killed in a bomb factory were actually killed in a car. I saw the video of the wrecked car on Fox News. Now I don't know how the car blew up or who blew up the car. Though the car looked like it was only in a head on collision, not hit by a tank round.








Systematic slaughter unfolds in Sudan

Heartbreaking stories about the genocide in Darfur and the Sudanese government's inaction.

Friday, July 09, 2004

France opposes UN Sudan sanctions

France has found yet another genocidal regime to support.

Here's a possible reason:

France led opposition to US moves at the UN over Iraq. As was the case in Iraq, France also has significant oil interests in Sudan.


According to the French foreign minister, this is no big deal. Just a jolly little civil war.

[French Foreign Minister] Muselier also dismissed claims of "ethnic cleansing" or genocide in Darfur.



"I firmly believe it is a civil war and as they are little villages of 30, 40, 50, there is nothing easier than for a few armed horsemen to burn things down, to kill the men and drive out the women," he said.



Maybe Foreign Minister Muselier would like to consider his position:

Human rights activists say the Janjaweed are conducting a genocide against Darfur's black African population.



Those who have fled their homes say the Janjaweed ride on horses and camels into villages which have just been bombed by government aircraft, killing the men and raping the women.



If this isn't ethnic cleansing or genocide, what is Minister Muselier? Oh I forgot, French business interests are at stake also. Can't a let a few blacks get in the way of oil profits, right Minister Muselier?

The French are truly the most dispicable government on the planet. They don't give a damn who dies for their oil and war profits.

Armed men attack UN workers in Darfur

VOANews.com is reporting armed men are attacking UN workers in Darfur. This comes despite Sudanese pledges to stop the violence in Darfur. In the same report, UN spokeswoman Marie Okabe claims fighting is continuing between Arab militiamen and two Sudanese rebel groups.

Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that Sudan's actions in Darfur are genocide. Maybe then, the world can begin to take serious action to do something that it has never done since genocide was first defined in 1948, stop one from occuring by using military intervention. The African Union is willing to do it. All they need is the support of the US and other nations in the UN through money and possibly logisitics.

3,000 La. soldiers get orders for Iraq

3,000 more Louisiana National Guardsmen called up to Iraq. These are troops from the 256th Infantry Brigade are from Abbeville, Alexandria, Breaux Bridge, Crowley, Fort Polk, Houma, Jonesboro, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Napoleonville, Natchitoches, New Orleans, New Roads, Opelousas, Plaquemine, Shreveport and Winnfield. These brave men and women should be in every Louisianian's prayers.

Bulgaria and the Philippines insist they won't back down to demands of hostage takers

Well, it seems like the Bulgarians and the Philippinos are immune to the Spanish flu.

US papers react to Enron charges

The BBC has a summary of several editorials about Ken Lay's arrest. In my opinion, this is the ultimate non-story. Most Americans couldn't tell you who Ken Lay was. In fact, Martha Stewart's arrest and conviction for insider trading was more effective in reassuring consumer confidence in corporate America because she was a high profile person who got caught and paid the price.

CNN.com - Report slams CIA for Iraq intelligence failures - Jul 9, 2004

Senate report slams Iraq intelligence. The Senate says that the CIA overstated the estimates of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and fail to support those estimates with intelligence. In short, the CIA did not use human intelligence capability to verify the weapons' existance and instead just quoted what the rest of the world's intel said.

I'll be sleeping safer tonight with the CIA looking out for threats.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

USATODAY.com - 'Fahrenheit' keeps momentum, and emotions, running hot

USATODAY.com - 'Fahrenheit' keeps momentum, and emotions, running hot

Fahrenheit 9/11 is probably the most overrated movie of the year. I had the opportunity to see this "documentary" Tuesday night in Baton Rouge. Suffice to say, this is not the silver bullet the anti-war movement and Hezbollah hoped it would be. However, there are some disturbing things about President Bush and the War on Terror that Moore showed.

What Moore did right:
This movie is very well made from a artistic standpoint. The 9/11 sequence is very tactfully done and respectful. I even found myself laughing at some of Michael Moore's paradies. Moore even did some good scenes displaying the inhumanity of war for example showing interviews with soldiers who seemed to take pleasure in killing.

What Moore did wrong:
Moore began distorting the facts and truth from the very beginning. Moore accused Bush of stealing the election in Florida without mentioning the fact that Democrats were attempting to throw out every military ballot that came in. Moore also neglected to mention that every media recount of the ballots showed that Bush would've won anyway without the Supreme Court's intervention. Moore also stated numerous statistics without providing a source for them. Moore took numerous sophomoric cheapshots against President Bush. In fact after seeing the numerous times Bush was compared to an idiot, I felt sorry for Bush.

There are many more things I can say about this movie and I've still got to research some more of Moore's claims so you'll have to wait for the first print edition of the Crossroads Register for the Fall semester on August 24 for the rest of the review, which will be part of a staff report.

His Patience Fading, Powell Is Demanding Sudan Improvements

The New York Times > Washington > His Patience Fading, Powell Is Demanding Sudan Improvements

Secretary of State Colin Powell is demanding that the Sudanese Muslim thug rulers stop their ethnic cleansing of African black Muslims from the Darfur region. So far, one million people have been driven from their homes and the death toll is expected to be around 300,000 by year's end. The Sudanese government has promised to disarmed the Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, and deploy their police to protect the displaced refugees. According to the BBC the African Union is preparing to send 300 peacekeepers to protect refugees and ceasefire observers. Finally, there is a US plan circulating in the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on the thugs who rule Sudan if they continue their ethnic cleansing against the black population.

This current Republican administration is taking the lead in focusing the world's attention on the problems of Africa and this is just another example. Compare that with the indifference of the "first black president" (Bill Clinton for the non political junkies) concerning Africa. Maybe it's time for blacks to take a second look at the GOP.

U.S. Appeals Court Sends Guantanamo Case to D.C.

U.S. Appeals Court Sends Guantanamo Case to D.C.

The first case from a detanee from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base has just been sent to the federal courts in Washington D.C. from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (of pledge case infamy) in California. The case, filed by Belaid Gherebi a Libyan on behalf of his brother Falen, sets the first procedures for appeals of the status of so-called enemy combantants. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has set up a three man tribunal to review the cases of all Gitmo detainees.

Testing...

Here it goes. Hopefully third time will be the charm.