Archive for March, 2007

The Chicago Tribune Has an excellent editorial that is well worth the read… I have copied the entire article, and highlighted a few of the points that I found most significant.

Shortchanging soldiers

Last week, House Democrats made good on their anti-war pledge and narrowly passed a spending bill that set deadlines for the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq. On Thursday, the Senate, by a 51-47 vote, did the same, albeit with malleable deadlines. It is clear that a majority of lawmakers want U.S. troops brought home in 2008 if not sooner, no matter what.

The president vows to veto legislation that dictates any deadlines. And neither the House nor the Senate is likely to muster the votes for an override. That leaves what? A stalemate? A constitutional crisis? An opening for a compromise, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has suggested?

President Bush appears disinterested in compromise, arguing that “members of Congress need to stop making political statements,” and pass a war funding bill he can sign.

Congress has spoken. Setting troop deployment in Iraq, however, is not the lawmakers’ job. That job belongs to the commander in chief and the nation’s military leaders.

It would be wonderful if wars were won by setting deadlines. Just as it would be wonderful if the troop surge now under way accomplishes what the president has promised, thus swiftly ending U.S. involvement in this war.

But the enemy likely has other plans. And specific deadlines only straitjacket American commanders on the ground.

Lawmakers could have attempted to shut off funding for the war, but they didn’t. So now they have a duty, just as important, to the tens of thousands of soldiers who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan: Pass a spending bill the president will sign.

The legislation heading to the president has another problem: It is bloated with pork-barrel spending. That was a political strategy: Larding the bill with billions in parochial spending rendered it harder for members to oppose.

But U.S. forces on the ground now need around $100 billion to pursue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They don’t need $25 million for spinach growers, as the current House bill provides. They don’t need $74 million for peanut storage. They don’t need $283 million for dairy farmers. They don’t need $5 million to compensate shellfish producers.

A stalemate between the president and Congress on a war spending bill of this magnitude carries imminent dangers. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has warned that failure to pass a funding bill soon would force the Army to delay training of units and halt the repair of vital equipment. Bush has said that troops and their families will face “significant disruptions” if a bill isn’t signed into law by April 15.

Ultimately, lawmakers may decide to halt all spending on the war. These votes stand as a sharp warning to Bush that Congress has far less patience than he when it comes to Iraq’s leaders and the painfully slow pace of progress. For the moment, neither side appears ready to budge. Both are digging in for a huge political battle over the best way to pressure Iraqi leaders to make the tough moves imperative to secure their country. So be it.

Meanwhile, however, there’s a war on. Lawmakers need to strip out the political pork and drop the hard-and-fast deadlines to bring the troops home.American forces aren’t bargaining chips for politicians. And shortchanging soldiers and their families isn’t a strategy for ending the war. It’s intolerable.

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This could give Hillary fits…

First an upstart Senator with no Experience takes her Hollywood $$$ and now an honest to goodness Academy Award Winning charlatan  is being recruited as potential third Party candidate… By Ralph Nader no less…

Soap-Opera Politics at its best:

From Insight.com

al-gore2.jpgSen. Hillary Rodham Clinton faces a possible new threat to her presidential ambitions.

Former Vice President Al Gore has again been entertaining offers to run for president. Gore has been discussing a run for a third party nomination with family and close aides.

“Al Gore has been energized by the attention he’s been receiving as America’s leading ralph-nader.jpgenvironmentalist,” a political source close to Gore said. “He believes this might present an opportunity to become president or at least try again.”

Sources close to Gore said Ralph Nader has sought to recruit the former vice president to run as the candidate for the Green Party. They said Gore has not rejected the offer and was consulting with family and friends to determine the feasibility of such a candidacy.

The Mad Mullahas in Iran are still holding 15 British sailors hostage, in my opinion, to divert attention away from recent failures of the Iranian Government to prevent UN Sanctions over its Nuclear Weapons Programs (as useless as those sanctions are), and as a sort of tit for tat exchage for Iranians who have been captured inside Iraq.

It is also worth noting that Iranian President Mahmood Ahmagenocide and his followers didn’t do so well in thier most recent elections. Iran has created international incidents in the past to divert domestic and international attention away from its internal problems and the failure of its theocracy to address those problems.

Headlines in Iran and around the world are focused on squarely on the capture of the 15 British sailors, and not on the rampant unemployment in Iran, the Sanctions imposed by the UN, nor the increasingly blatant Iranian attempts to undermine Democracy and freedom in Iraq.    

The Times Online Provieds an interesting article which prvides a bit more insight into what really happened..

How Britons were conned by Iranian gunboat trick
The speed and cunning shown by the Revolutionary Guards suggests that their action was premeditated

Here is a closer look at the Strive Act of 2007

Some of the Better points of the proposed legislation:

Increased Border Enforcement Personnel:

Increase number of Border Agents by 2000 in in 2008 and 2400 each year through 2012, and assigning no less than 20% of the increase to the Northern Border. Other Agencies getting additional Personnel with this bill include Customs (200 Per Year) and Deputy US Marshals (50 Per Year).

Expanded Infrastructure:

Although the act mentions nothing specific about a wall or border fence it does provide for construction of new border entry points as well as repairs and improvements to existing entry points, and construction of additional vehicle barriers and border control facilities as deemed necessary to attain operational control of the international borders.  Also included is expanded and much needed communications improvements.

Improved Surveillance:

Provides for more access to DOD equipment such as UAV’s as well as provide for the acquisition of a DHS UAV fleet of its own as well as the operations and maintenance infrastructure that they require.  The proposed legislation also requires the DHS to develop a comprehensive plan for surveillance of the international land and maritime borders of the U.S.

As far as border security goes this bill is not bad at all. I don’t think anyone with any credibility could dispute the need for the measures included in this part of the bill. I will continue to hash my way through the proposed bill and look at some of the other aspects before I form my opinion it. From what I have read so far it is a good first step… I just hope that other parts of the bill are not two steps backwards.

Some other CAII Posts that are well worth the read:

From Right Truth: 600,000 Fugitives Missing & Families First on Immigration

stikNstein has Take Me out to the Ball Game…..Por Favor…Senor.

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email stiknstein-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate.

Update:  2 missing kids found in Denver

A five-day, five-state search ended successfully Thursday when two Walla Walla children taken by their father last weekend were found safe in Denver.

Lars and Remi Baugher, ages 2 and 4, were expected to be reunited with their mother late Thursday in Denver.

Authorities said the kids were in good physical condition and their father was arrested for custodial in-terference and a federal charge of in-terstate flight to avoid a prosecution.

Update:  Surveillance video shows missing WA kids playing in restaurant

Images of two young Washington state children who are the subjects of an Amber Alert were captured by surveillance cameras at a fast food restaurant here, FBI agents said.

The video showed Remi Baugher, 4, and Lars Baugher, 2, playing in an indoor jungle gym at a McDonald’s restaurant at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Missoula FBI Agents Ron Mossback and Monte Shaid said.

Also on Tuesday, the FBI told the Missoula County sheriff’s office that an ATM card belonging to the children’s father, John Baugher, was used at an ATM near the Missoula airport.

The footage showed the children with shorter hair than when they disappeared. The man with them had several days’ growth of beard.

Update: Missing Washington Siblings Spotted In Montana

Authorities in two states are on the lookout for Remi and Lars Baugher, two siblings who cops say were kidnapped by their father, John Baugher. Since the children went missing on March 24, 2007, cops have found the father’s vehicle and reports are coming in that the Baughers have been sighted at a McDonald’s in Missoula, Montana. Now, cops tell AMW that Lars, Remi, and John Baugher have all undergone physical transformations making the trio harder to spot

Update: The vehicle was located unoccupied in Stevens Washington, local officials are continuing to check the area for the victims and suspect.

Vehicle sought in Amber alert for two missing children located

amber-alert.jpgThe Washington State Police and the Walla Wala Police department issued the Amber Alert on Sunday evening for the two children. The children were last seen on Saturday afternoon at about 4 PM. Due to recent mental issues the children are believed to be in immediate danger.

[rockyou id=61592525&w=426&h=320]

Lars Baugher is described as being a 2 year old White male, Blonde hair, Green eyes, 2’7″. 29lbs Wearing: Brown or green jacket, blue jeans, black Converse shoes.

Remi Baugher is described as being a 4 year old white female, Blonde hair, Hazel eyes, 3’1″. 37lbs Wearing: Pink jacket w/heavier yellow jacket over the top, blue jeans, Strawberry Shortcake shoes.

The Suspect is John Baugher, described as being a 34 year old male, White with Brown hair, and Green eyes, Weighing (Aprox): 140lbs.

The suspect vehicle is a Two-Toned brown 1978 Volkswagon transporter Van with Washington license plate number 349NRK. Dent in right front fender and a dent left rear wheel well.

If you have any information on this incident, please call 911 or contact the Walla Walla police department at 509-527-1960. 

Websites and other blogs with information

Amber Alert from Code Amber 

Project Safe Kids

Scared Monkeys

Related News articles:

Wash. Amber Alert Issued For Two Missing Children

Amber alert issued for missing siblings

AMBER Alert Issued in Washington

I have been working on a new format for posts on missing persons and with the help of Rock You & WordPress I think I have found one that works..  Click on the child’s name to view the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Poster of the child which will provide more information of the circumstances as well as contact information.

Comments & suggestions about this format are welcome.

[rockyou id=61297633&w=324&h=243]

DANA SHERI GRAY

CHARLIE GREGORY

HEATHER HEMLER

DAYQUAN REELS

CHRISTOPHER ROSSER

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It looks as though congress will again attempt legislation on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, this time through the STRIVE Act of 2007. 

From the Washington Post 

A bipartisan proposal for comprehensive immigration reform that would allow millions of illegal immigrants to participate in a guest-worker program and possibly gain citizenship was introduced in the House yesterday, the first to be submitted since Democrats took control of Congress this year.

The Strive Act of 2007 is not yet available in the Library of Congress and the only information I could find on it were from the proponents of the bill.  Here is some of what they are saying;

From Representative Jeff Flake

The bill, the STRIVE Act of 2007 (Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy), would overhaul the current immigration system in a way that better protects and enforces our borders, respects the hard work and contributions of immigrants to our country and reflects the realities of our workforce and the needs of our communities.

If enacted, the Gutierrez-Flake bill would ensure that we have an immigration system in place that meets the security and economic needs of our nation by creating laws that are tough, enforceable and realistic. 

When the text of the bill is made available I will certainly take a more in depth look at it,  but since the phrase “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” has become synonymous with a shamnesty program my expectations are rather low.

check out Some related posts from others in the CAII on this:

Liberally Conservative with House Immigration Bill – Amnesty or Not? & McCain Reconsidering Immigration Views

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email stiknstein-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate.

Teen Found Cuffed to Tree

Updated:

Sex Offender Arrested in Handcuffed S.I. Boy Case 

Updated:

Police Investigating Case of S.I. Boy Handcuffed to Tree

Police said they’ve gotten different stories from the boy about what happened.

At one point he said he was abducted by a man with a knife while walking to the bus in the morning. Thursday morning police said the boy may have known his abductor from the Internet site MySpace.

Published reports Thursday said the teen had exchanged emails with his would-be attacker for several months, and that police were checking his home computer.

1010 WINS Audio report 

NEW YORK (1010 WINS — New York City police launched a manhunt for a suspect who allegedly handcuffed a 13-year-old boy to a tree on Staten Island. 

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported that ASPCA officer John Della Torre was driving on Hyland Boulevard when he was flagged down by a frantic pedestrian, who said he heard screaming and whimpering coming from inside Brady’s Pond Park around 9 a.m. The boy was found in the wooded area this morning near Brady’s Pond along Narrows Road South near Hyland Boulevard.

Della Torre said the boy wasn’t wearing a shirt and was shivering. “He was pretty calm but was visibly cold,” Della Torre said. “He seemed OK. I didn’t see any visible wounds or anything like that.”

Police said the boy initially told them he was abducted by a man with a knife while walking to a school bus after 7 a.m. He claimed the man forced him into the woods and assaulted him.

However, police said there have been inconsistencies with the boy’s story, Sandberg reported.

The boy was treated at University Hospital. Police are continuing to investigate throughout the area, going door to door, Sandberg said. Police are searching the area with police dogs.

Found this article at News Busters, & felt that it deserves the widest dissemination possible.

It has been argued for years that the media typically focus on images from Iraq and the war on terror which paint American and Israeli military in a bad light while always presenting the enemy as victims. the-new-hamas.jpg

In fact, this effort often includes the doctoring of photographs as well as the staging of events in front of rolling cameras which will be broadcast or published by an antiwar press without the slightest investigation into authenticity.

With that in mind, the picture at the right represents a rather startling image of terrorism that media would never dare share with the American people. As the MEMRI Blog shockingly reported (h/t Charles at LGF, emphasis added):

The Shabakat Falastin Lilhiwar online forum, which is associated with the Hamas website, has posted a photo of a little girl in a combat vest and an Al-Qassam Brigades headband, captioning it, “Have you seen the new child martyr who will soon shake Israel [to the core]?”

The message accompanying the photo states that the little girl “is part of the Muslim generation which will go down in history [as a generation]… that refused to [accept] humiliation and defeat.”

Think you’ll see this picture at the New York Times or on any of the evening news broadcasts any time soon?

I wouldn’t hold your breath.

  

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany and China urged rapid approval of a U.N. draft resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program after South Africa surprised major powers by proposing a softening of the document’s wording.

The proposed resolution, designed to pressure Iran to halt its uranium enrichment work, would put in place an embargo on Iranian arms exports and freeze financial assets abroad of 28 individuals, groups and companies.

It is a follow-up to a previous resolution adopted by the Security Council in December and was expected to be voted on this week after Germany and permanent council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States agreed on the text.

But South Africa, the current chair of the Security Council, has called for all key sanctions proposed by major powers, including an arms embargo and financial bans on an Iranian state bank and the Revolutionary Guard, to be dropped.

What was the deadline set by the UNSC to impose tough sanctions on Iran if they failed to halt Uranium enrichment?   September 2006….

This is exactly why the UN has no credability and why rogue nations like Iran continue to defy the International community in the development of nuclear weapons.