Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Physicians Website Against Darwinism

Physicians Website Against Darwinism
(Cross-posted from

New Darwin Dissent List for the 60% of U.S. Doctors Skeptical of Darwinian Evolution: List Involves No Commitment to the Theory of Intelligent Design

If, as a poll conducted by HDI Research in conjunction with the Finkelstein Institute suggests, 60% of U.S. medical doctors are skeptical of the Darwinian account of human origins, then why not start a dissent list for physicians similar to our dissent list of Ph.D. scientists? Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity now has, and M.D.s can read about the dissent statement and join the list at

The purpose of the list is to undercut the Darwinist claim that there is no scientific controversy over Darwinism, and to provide support for embattled scientists in the academy skeptical of Darwinism. To promote the new list, link to it from your website and forward the URL to doctors you know, encouraging them to look at PSSI's website.

Many Darwinists will tell you that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of Darwinian evolution. Apparently, most U.S. medical doctors--with a far more intimate knowledge of human biology than is possessed by most academic biologists--didn't get the memo

Was the 60% majority a cabal of Christian fundamentalist hillbillies? The poll's demographic breakdown suggests otherwise. Go to the Finkelstein poll link and click on Q7 in the leftand margin: "What are your views on the origin and development of human beings?" Only the third answer represents the Darwinian view of undirected evolution by natural selection. (The third answer also covers the structuralist and self-organizational models of evolutionary development.) Here's what the demographic breakdown shows.

Jewish doctors: 32% reject Darwinism.
Protestant doctors (largest group of U.S. doctors): 81% reject Darwinism.
Catholic doctors: 78% reject Darwinism.
Orthodox Christian doctors: 72% reject Darwinism.
Hindu doctors: 54% reject Darwinism.
Buddhist doctors: 43% reject Darwinism (compared to 36% who accepted it)
Muslim doctors: 86% reject Darwinism.
Atheist doctors: 2% reject Darwinism
"Spiritual but no organized religion": 48% reject Darwinism.
"Other": 54% reject Darwinism

Although the margin of error is surely much higher for the small sampling of Hindus, Buddhists, Spiritual, and Other, the poll results for these groups should give the mainstream media pause. The skepticism toward undirected evolution is strikingly high even among these medical doctors.

Why are the percentages so much higher than in the academy? Medical doctors don't have to get tenure, for one.

By comparing the results of Q6 to Q7, it's clear that many doctors considered intelligently guided evolution to be in the "evolution" category rather than in the "intelligent design" category. Only with Q7, where unguided models of evolution (like Darwinism) are teased apart from intelligently guided evolution, does it become clear that a distinct majority of U.S. physicians doubt Darwinism.

If you are an M.D. skeptical of Darwinism, consider adding your name to the list immediately.


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Monday, July 30, 2007

Letters to the Journal on Iraq

As the news from Iraq improves so much that the NY Times and other liberal organizations have started publishing columns saying, ‘hey, maybe we can win this’, other Democrats, like Senator Feingold, continue their assault on the President. Presented below are two letters to the Providence Journal recently:

Letters to the Journal on Iraq

“This is a response to the guest column by Dick Polman entitled, “Democrats must go for gut against GOP”. I don’t know why certain Democrats are so determined not to “get it” regarding the Iraq War, which was entered into, not to avenge 9/11, but to prevent a much more horrendous future terrorist attack. Once it became clear that Islamists would have access to terrible weapons that could kill 100’s of thousands of people, and that they were focusing their sights on the American homeland, something had to be done to change the “culture of death” that has permeated the Muslim world for centuries and to change the perception that we wouldn’t fight.

Any American president, presented with this intelligence, would have had to change these dynamics by invading the heart of the region where terrorism, fanaticism, tyranny, ignorance and disregard for human life is endemic – with the hope of planting seeds of democracy. Trying to convince the American public that the Iraq War was an attempt by President Bush to establish some kind of dictatorship in this country is as laughable as are the “Truthers” who profess to believe that Bush or Cheney bombed the World Trade Center.

The proof of the pudding is that there have been no more such attacks even though every American certainly expected more – given the record of attacks over the last 20 years – and, even with the huge problems we face, the Iraq experiment may yet succeed. A recent letter writer pointed out that it took 100 years to unite this country. Let’s give Iraq 10 years at least.”

Russell E. Wilcox

Civil wars are part of liberation
Monday, July 30, 2007

“You often hear, especially from Democratic congressman, that the United States shouldn’t be involved in a sectarian and civil war in Iraq. They are simply ignorant about wars of liberation and U.S. history.

During the American Revolution, there was a very violent civil war occurring, especially in the South, between the rebels fighting for the revolution and the Tories who wanted to remain loyal to the British. These were very similar to the inhumane and violent clashes that we see in Iraq today between the Sunni and Shi’ites.

Had the French decided not to enter the war because of the civil war in the United States, then we would not have defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown. So fellow Americans, get with it and stop letting partisan politics rule this country. Do what we have to do to keep this country free from another 9/11 attack. Remember, we were not in Afghanistan or Iraq when that happened.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and a good portion of the Mideast were being overrun by these fanatic Muslims during this era. Much has been gained since then. Please don’t throw it all away because Bush won the election.

PS: It took America almost 100 years to become truly united. That didn’t happen until after the Civil War. During the War of 1812, New England was supplying the British Blockade and nearly seceded from the Union.”


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Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Soft Fuzzy Face That Hides Disaster

The main purpose of this weblog has always been to point out to America the dangers of multiculturalism, that soft-fuzzy face of policies that, carried to their logical conclusion, will destroy everything we have worked and sacrificed to achieve. Democracies like ours are full of well-intentioned people who want desperately to be “fair”, and in Great Britain and in the USA, the well-intentioned among us are unwitting allies of those who hate us and hate themselves.

The theoretical definition of multiculturalism is deceptively unthreatening: to treat all cultures as equals. Of course, this is absurd; a cannibal culture on a remote island consisting of people who sacrifice humans and only live into their forties is obviously an inferior culture, but this isn’t the worst of it. Multiculturalism, in practice, elevates the cultures of immigrants above our own unique American culture, even though it also makes no sense to celebrate the culture you risked everything to escape – and place it above the American culture to which you made your escape.

Nowhere is multiculturalism more dangerous than in its role in masking the dangers of Islamic fanaticism and even subverting attempts to defend ourselves from its extremes. The attempts of CAIR and other Muslim organizations in trying to punish people who report suspicious activities is a case in point, because these Muslim groups were supported by liberal Democrats for the reasons given above.

Great Britain has been even more dedicated to multiculturalism than has the left in America. According to the following article, though, the Brits are seeing the error of their ways:

Has Britain Had Enough?
By Hal G.P. Colebatch, The American Spectator
Published 7/27/2007 12:07:15 AM

I recently criticized the British government's award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie on the grounds that such an action recruited for Islamic extremism without hurting it.

However, it now looks as if, at long last, the British government is getting tough with deeds as well as gestures. Three Islamicists who led protests and demonstrations in the "Cartoon jihad" have received hefty six-year jail sentences from a British court for incitement to violence, while a group of failed suicide-bombers have drawn 40 years each -- and there has been no obvious protest about such a term being a "crushing sentence." The popular consensus seems to be that they should be crushed.

Islamicists may be about to find out, as others have before, that Britain, given sufficient provocation, is not as soft and decadent a society as it sometimes looks.

Although the Tories under David Cameron are still apparently paralyzed with fear over the possibility that they might be called nasty if they show any awareness of a clash of civilizations, it seems that the recent failed car-bomb attacks at London and Glasgow have marked a paradigm shift in British attitudes. Perhaps the fact that those involved were doctors and other professionals was the tipping-point, being taken by many as showing in unmistakable terms what the clash of civilizations is all about. As far as the Internet is any guide to popular opinion -- and it is -- the mood now is of that sort of rage that doesn't go away.

John Smeaton, the Glasgow airport baggage-handler who tackled the terrorists, and who when interviewed issued the memorable warning, "Coom ta Glasgie an' we'll set aboot ye!" is a popular hero throughout Britain, quite transcending the English-Scottish divide that has been coming to look menacing and ominous lately.

The endlessly promoted slogan of "celebrating diversity" (a few years ago the head one regional police force claimed the enforcement of this was part of police duties) is looking very sick. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George, Lord Carey, has recently publicly urged Prime Minister Gordon Brown to control immigration. Carey, who as Archbishop was notably gentle and conciliatory, said pretty forthrightly that he hoped the new Prime Minister "will not forget the importance of Christian identity at the heart of being a part of the United Kingdom." So it's not the influx of Catholic Polish workers that he is referring to. A few years ago, probably even a few months ago, any public figure, Archbishop or not, who made such a statement would have declared a pariah and hounded out of public life. Such was the fate of Enoch Powell once upon a time. Today the main criticism of Carey's statement is: "Why didn't he say it sooner?"

Opinions that would have been dismissed as off the planet a few years back are now mainstream. In the big-circulation middle-market Daily Mail, senior journalist Max Hastings said: "Lord Carey's remarks show that it is not extremist, or fascist, or even illiberal to demand vastly more stringent immigration controls. It is vital common sense." The whole concept of multiculturalism which has been official policy for decades (though it is hard to say who exactly started it and when) is under attack, not from the fringes but from the broad center. The Daily Express, the other major middle-market British paper, stated in a recent editorial, headed "We should abandon the failed policy of Multiculturalism," that, in response to the latest attempted terror outrages, the Government should certainly consider new powers for the police. But, more importantly, it should examine its own policies and abandon those which are making matters worse.

That may mean no state funding for Muslim faith schools and must mean an end to so-called "chain migration" under which young British Muslims are pressured into marrying foreigners to afford their extended families a route into the UK.

It is surely also time for the Government to consider a legal ban on the burkha in public places. This is a nation where law-abiding citizens are not ashamed to show their faces.

In the major London paper, the Evening Standard, David Sexton wrote: "All this veil wearing is plain offensive." He continued:

The Commission on Integration and Cohesion has issued some feeble recommendations urging local authorities and government departments not to pander so much to immigrant communities. All well and good, all long overdue....We've all been too deferential, for example, about the veil, the hijab, the niqab. I find such garb, in the context of a London street, first ridiculous and then directly offensive. It says that all men are such brutes that if exposed to any more normally clothed women, they cannot be trusted to behave -- and that all women who dress any more scantily than that are indecent. It's abusive, a walking rejection of all our freedoms.

More than 200,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Prime Minister to prevent a gigantic new mosque, funded by the fundamentalist Tablighi Jamaat sect, being built near the Olympics site in east London. A number of terrorists are said to have had connections with Tablight Jamaat. The center-right think-tank Civitas has also raised concerns about the mosque which will hold 12,000 people, four times as many as Britain's largest Christian building, Liverpool's Anglican cathedral.

Civitas said: "Are we sure, as a nation, that we want by far the largest place of worship in our land to be sponsored by an organization which holds views directly opposed to our democracy and a religion which, in many parts of the world, denies essential freedoms?"

Opinions penned by the young war correspondent Winston Churchill in 1899 in his book The River War, long regarded as something not merely unfortunate but literally unmentionable, are now being widely circulated and cited:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property -- either as a child, a wife, or a concubine -- must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men....

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

This is the country in which, a few years ago, police rampant to celebrate diversity made a lady take a collection of toy china pigs off her window-sill lest passing Muslims be offended (though none had complained). The times they are a-changing.

Hal G. P. Colebatch, a lawyer and author, has lectured in International Law and International Relations at Notre Dame University and Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and worked on the staff of two Australian Federal Ministers.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Will Giuliani Need Plumbers?

It is amazing to me how many times in the course of our history, serious issues have taken a back seat to trivial and often foolish diversions that were politics-driven. Does anyone remember Quemoy and Matsu – nondescript islands off the coast of China whose status probably enabled John Kennedy to defeat Richard Nixon in 1960? Does anyone remember the “brainwashing” of George Romney or the pubic hair in the Coke can? How about the videos that someone in Judge Bork’s family viewed – videos that were gleaned from receipts fished out of the Bork family garbage by people who want to kill babies in the ninth month, regardless?

I raise this point because of two diversions that are ongoing right now – diversions that Congressional Democrats have tried their best to manufacture into scandals. In the first instance we have two holdover, liberal Democrats, Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, who decided that they knew better than the elected President of the United States what the policy of the country should be – and then set out to undermine that policy through lies and deceptions. In almost any other country they would have been executed after a summary trial, but in this country, they are heroes to those liberals who also disagree with our policy and for whom the end justifies any means. They don’t seem to realize that the actions of the Wilsons undermine our Constitution.

Instead of confronting their disloyal, fifth-column activities, we have found ourselves bound up in arguments over who might have outed Plame when outing her was meaningless, and who said what to whom, and in what order, when there was no underlying crime. Even with a well-documented appointments book, I sometimes can’t remember what I did last Monday.

At the same time thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars are being expended over the firing of a few federal prosecutors, ignoring completely that the President has complete and unassailable authority to hire and fire said prosecutors for any reason he wishes – for political or any other reason, and also ignoring completely that Democrat President Clinton abruptly fired 92 of the 93 federal prosecutors in the first week of his first term in office. It was widely thought at the time that he did so to shut down the Whitewater investigation and to reward Democrat activists. Although there was an outcry because of the Whitewater connection, it was short-lived, and I don’t recall that there was any investigation of his actions.

It may well turn out that Attorney General Gonsalves mishandled and underestimated the intensity of the political smearing operation being assembled against every aspect of the Bush Administration, but in the end, the firings will stand.

I have written before of the thousands of liberal appointees and government employees who try every day to undermine and undercut whatever policy of President Bush’s that they disagree with. Many problems we face are almost beyond solution. These problems become even harder to solve when almost everything you try to do is undermined by the very people who are sworn to carry out the policies of whatever president they are currently serving.

Our next Republican President needs to have much more of a mean streak than does President Bush – first to defend himself quickly and vigorously when smeared – and second to put in place people and procedures who will make sure his policies are given a fair chance to succeed. Maybe Nixon’s ‘plumbers’ weren’t such a bad idea. We had no idea then what was really going on.


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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hillarycare Revisited

I try to stay away from the back and forth of the politics of the ongoing presidential campaigns; it’s just too early, but when a candidate associates herself with a failed program of pure socialism, my hackles rise up. Hillary Rodham Clinton seems to have learned nothing from past experience.

Hillarycare Revisited
By Ralph R. Reiland, The American Spectator
Published 7/24/2007 12:06:50 AM

During Hillary Clinton's 1993 visit to Capitol Hill to testify about her proposed health-care plan, she was asked by Virginia Rep. Norman Sisisky what could be done to ease the burden of the plan's mandates on small businesses.

The former first lady responded in her best let-'em-eat-cake style: "I can't go out and save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America."

That it was precisely her plan that could cause an otherwise sufficiently-capitalized entrepreneur to become "undercapitalized" wasn't acknowledged by Mrs. Clinton.

The message from central planning, from Hillary and her 500 hand-picked health-care advisers, was loud and clear: Go out of business if you can't pay for our vision.

Reported Time magazine at the time in "Prognosis: Fewer jobs": President "Clinton has publicly stated that health-care reform will 'boost job creation,' a claim that unnerves many of his advisers. What they know -- and some of them fear Clinton has not been told -- is that the administration's own preliminary computer-aided studies of the 'employment effects' of health reform predict 'significant' job losses."

From various quarters, the projected amount of job destruction wasn't small. "Time has learned that according to one computer run, the plan would slow net employment growth by as many as 1 million jobs over the next five years. The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's largest small-business organization, has estimated that 1.6 million jobs will be lost over five years. A new study, financed by restaurant owners, forecasts losses of 3.1 million."

From inside the White House, more optimistically, Laura Tyson, the administration's chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, estimated employment losses from Mrs. Clinton's employer mandate at one half of 1 percent of the labor force, or roughly 600,000 jobs.

And Hillary Clinton's reaction to these warnings of job losses? "She has waved off warnings of job losses as the propaganda of greedy business interests," reported Time.

In other words, it's business that's wrong, not her plan. It's the private sector that's flawed, not the public sector. It's the greed of businessmen for money that's the problem, not the greed of politicians for power.

Not unlike the rosy projections on Iraq that came from the current administration in the White House prior to the U.S. invasion of Baghdad, Bill Clinton and "his top health-care strategist, Ira Magaziner, have been selling health-care reform as a four-course free lunch," Time reported. "Everyone will be covered. It wouldn't require new taxes. It will immediately boost job creation. And it will immediately reduce the federal deficit."

The employer mandate in the Clinton "Health Security Act," a 1,342-page bill, required all employers to pay a minimum of 80 percent of the cost of the government's health benefits package, with initial costs ranging from 3.5 percent to 7.9 percent of payroll, depending on the size of the company.

That the 7.9 percent cap would stick is doubtful, given the long record by politicians of low-balling costs and exaggerating benefits in order to sell their proposals.

President Bush announced in 2003, for instance, that it would cost "up to $400 billion" over 10 years to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare. "Senior officials in his administration suppressed estimates by chief Medicare actuary Richard Foster that projected the leading bills before Congress would exceed that amount by as much as $200 billion," reported Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute.

More than costly, Hillary Clinton's health-care plan advocated a giant step toward top-down, centralized planning. As she explained, not unlike Vladimir Lenin, "It's time to put the common good, the national interest, ahead of individuals."

Putting individuals in the back seat meant big government. "Not since Franklin Roosevelt's War Production Board," said the Economist magazine, "has it been suggested that so large a part of the American economy should be brought under government control."

The plan would have "created at least 200 regional alliances, staffed by more than 50,000 bureaucrats," reported Grace-Marie Arnett, president of the Galen Institute, a national health policy organization. "The whole scheme would have been enforced with a plethora of fines, penalties and jail terms for physicians and their patients."

On the whole, what we got from Hillary Clinton in her first shot at power in the White House was coercive, arrogant and amateurish.

And now? "We're going to have universal health care when I'm president," she says. "There's no doubt about that." And the job losses and those she drives out of business? So far, no comment.

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Felt Good About This

There were two news reports last night that pleased me greatly: Ward Churchill was fired, and the doctor who faced up to an impossible situation during Katrina was treated with compassion by the community. I suppose not everyone will agree.

Colorado Prof Fired After 9-11 Remarks
Associated Press Writer
July 24, 2007, 9:34 PM EDT (Excerpt)

BOULDER, Colo. -- The University of Colorado's governing board on Tuesday fired a professor whose essay likening some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi leader provoked national outrage and led to an investigation of research misconduct.

Ward Churchill, who had vowed to sue if the Board of Regents took action against him, said immediately after the 8-1 vote was announced: "New game, new game."

Three faculty committees had accused Churchill of plagiarism, falsification and other misconduct. The research allegations stem from some of Churchill's other writings, although the investigation began after the controversy over his Sept. 11 essay.

No Indictment in Katrina Hospital Deaths
Associated Press Writer
July 24, 2007, 9:33 PM EDT (Excerpt)

NEW ORLEANS -- A grand jury refused on Tuesday to indict a doctor accused of murdering four seriously ill hospital patients with drug injections during the desperate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, closing the books on the only mercy-killing case to emerge from the storm.

Dr. Anna Pou acknowledged administering medication to the patients but insisted she did so only to relieve pain.

Pou (pronounced "Poe") and two nurses were arrested last summer after Attorney General Charles Foti concluded they gave "lethal cocktails" to four patients at the flooded-out, sweltering Memorial Medical Center after the August 2005 storm.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Phantom Baghdad Diarist?

Although we hate to publish anything emanating from the liars and traitors at the NY Times, they are the source for this story. Any one who remembers the movie, “Shattered Glass”, knows the story of the liberal, but highly respected by all, regardless of political affiliation, New Republic, a hard-hitting news magazine. Stephen Glass, the reporter the movie was named for, was a person with serious emotional problems who made up several fascinating stories and then covered his tracks during the magazine’s fact-checking process, and so delighted his editorial board with his story-telling that they were enticed to publish lies.

There seemed to be no political bias in the New Republic’s publication of these fake stories, but, alas, the same is probably not the case in the current brouhaha. It appears that the New Republic will have to join the Associated Press and the BBC on the list of once-respected news organizations which have reported fiction from Iraq and Israel for political reasons. If so, we hope that this time the New Republic will not survive this betrayal of the public trust and perversion of its special status under the First Amendment.

Doubts Raised on Magazine’s ‘Baghdad Diarist’
By LOUISE STORY, July 24, 2007, New York Times

Just who is the “Baghdad Diarist”?

It is a question that many people are asking The New Republic, the Washington political magazine that has been running articles attributed to an American soldier in Baghdad.

The author, who used the pen name Scott Thomas, has written three articles for the magazine since February, describing gruesome incidents in Iraq. Last week, The Weekly Standard questioned the veracity of the New Republic articles and invited readers with knowledge about the military or Baghdad to comment.

Since then, several readers and a spokesman for the base where the soldier is supposedly based have written in, raising more questions.

“Absolutely every piece of information that’s come out since we put that call up has cast further doubt on that story,” said Michael Goldfarb, the online editor of The Weekly Standard. “There’s not a single person that has come forward and said, ‘It sounds plausible.’ ”

Franklin Foer, the editor of The New Republic, will not reveal the author’s identity but says the magazine is investigating the accuracy of his articles. In the late 1990s, under different editors, the magazine fired an associate editor, Stephen Glass, for fabrications.

“Now that these questions have been raised, we’ve launched an inquiry. We’re putting the full resources of the magazine to look into the story,” Mr. Foer said. “It’s taking me a little bit longer than I wish it did. The author, not to mention some of the participants in the anecdotes he described, are active duty soldiers and they’re on 20-hour active combat missions sometimes, and it’s very difficult for me to get them all on the phone to ask them the questions that I’d like to ask.”

The diaries have described some shocking incidents of military life, including soldiers openly mocking a disfigured woman on their base and a private wearing a found piece of a child’s skull under his helmet.

The magazine granted anonymity to the writer to keep him from being punished by his military superiors and to allow him to write candidly, Mr. Foer said. He said that he had met the writer and that he knows with “near certainty” that he is, in fact, a soldier.


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Monday, July 23, 2007

Is The Anti-war Vote Really An Anti-war Vote?

The far-left, which is demanding an end to the war against the Islamic radicals who want to kill us and destroy Western Civilization, and is also demanding an immediate end to our military presence in Iraq, may be waking up to the con game being foisted on them by most Congressional Democrats. It appears that, secretly, many Democrats are well aware that it will take 10 years to bring about a stable and functioning democracy to Iraq, and that it is, after all, in our interest and is our purpose there, and that some level of the American military will probably remain in Iraq for 50 years or so (we are still in Germany, Japan and Korea since 1945). This column by Dick Morris, former advisor to President Clinton, discusses this situation:

The Left Redefines 'Withdrawal'
By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
Wednesday, July 18, 2007, Townhall

When the House of Representatives voted, on July 12, 2007 — by a margin of 223-201 — against the Iraq war, the news media characterized the bill as requiring a “withdrawal” from that war-torn country. Media reports said that the legislation required the start of withdrawal in four months and mandated that it be completed by April of 2008.

Nonsense. The bill did nothing of the sort. Rather, it specified that its goal was to “require the secretary of defense to commence the reduction of the number of United States armed forces in Iraq to a limited presence by April 1, 2008” (emphasis added). The legislation went on to specify what it meant by a “limited presence.” It specified that the “president shall, at a minimum, address whether it is necessary for the armed forces to carry out the following missions:

“(A) Protecting United States diplomatic facilities and United States citizens, including members of the armed forces who are engaged in carrying out other missions.
“(B) Serving in roles consistent with customary diplomatic positions.
“(C) Engaging in actions to disrupt and eliminate al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations in Iraq.
“(D) Training and equipping members of the Iraqi Security Forces.”

Indeed, rather than require a pullout, the legislation requires the president to keep troops in Iraq if he finds that any of the above purposes are “necessary.”

The legislation thus comes relatively close to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) goals in Iraq, as she indicated to The New York Times in March of this year.

In that interview, she specified that our troops should fight al Qaeda; train, equip and support the Iraqi forces; and stop infiltration over the border from Iran.

According to the Times, Pentagon experts who evaluated how to perform a similar menu of missions estimated that it would require upwards of 75,000 troops.

So the left in Congress has redefined its goal. Instead of a pullout, it merely proposes a “reduction” and a “redeployment.”

Under a Democratic administration, the war will clearly go on.

Michael Medved, an unusually well informed talk radio host operating out of Seattle, pointed out this distinction — one that has been almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media, yet one that is critically important.

First of all, it raises the question of whether the left will be satisfied with its Democratic candidates if they are committed to so limited a change in Iraqi policy.

Will they find Hillary acceptable if all she wants to do is end our involvement in what she calls the Iraqi Civil War, but still wants these other missions to be executed? With Ralph Nader making noise indicating that he will likely run again, the threat of a genuine anti-war third-party candidacy emerging in the November elections could bring back all the 2000 nightmares for the Democratic Party. If Nader runs as the only candidate who wants to pull out of Iraq completely and can accuse the Democrats of wanting to prolong the war indefinitely, he will probably get a good percentage of the vote — perhaps as much as 10 points, enough to destroy the Democratic chances.

And secondly, the new and more moderate (and reasonable) Democratic goals raise the possibility of a genuine consensus in Washington orchestrated by moderate Republicans like Sens. John Warner (Va.), Richard Lugar (Ind.) and Pete Domenici (N.M.) in conjunction with moderate Democrats. If Bush’s filibuster-sustaining majority is about to melt away and his margin for sustaining a veto is in peril, the reduction position is a clear halfway house to which he may wish to repair.

If the president does so — or has to do so — will the debate over Iraq just boil down to an arithmetic contest where a matter of 40,000 or 50,000 troops separates the two parties?

Finally, will John Edwards breathe new life into the lifeless Democratic contest by opposing the “reduction” legislation and demanding total withdrawal? The now-phlegmatic Democratic debates could become riveting if Edwards seizes the opportunity the actual text of the reduction initiative gives him and attacks his rivals for wanting to continue the war, albeit while masquerading as advocates of ending it.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Democrats Cut 'John Doe' Provision

Democrats Cut 'John Doe' Provision

July 20, 2007, Little Green Footballs

This is not good news: House Democrats have succeeded in removing the provision to protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior: Democrats cut ‘John Doe’ provision.

Congressional Democrats today failed to include a provision in homeland security legislation that would protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior that may lead to a terrorist attack, according to House Republican leaders.

“This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves in to radical Islamists,” said Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Republicans wanted the provision included in final legislation, crafted yesterday during a House and Senate conference committee, that will implement final recommendations from the September 11 commission.

Mr. King and Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, sponsored the provision after a group of Muslim imams filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against US Airways and unknown “John Doe” passengers. The imams were removed from US Airways Flight 300 on Nov. 20 after fellow passengers on the Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight complained about the imams’ suspicious behavior.

On March 27, the House approved the “John Doe” amendment on a 304-121 vote.

“Democrats are trying to find any technical excuse to keep immunity out of the language of the bill to protect citizens, who in good faith, report suspicious activity to police or law enforcement,” Mr. King said. “I don’t see how you can have a homeland security bill without protecting people who come forward to report suspicious activity.”

While the conference is not likely to meet again, Mr. King noted the conference report has not been written and says he will continue discussions with Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, to insert the “John Doe” language.

Given the situation we face today and the actions of CAIR and the Muslim organizations suing the airline passengers who brought the actions of the “flying imams” to the attention of the pilot, it is unfathomable that Democrats would remove this protection. Are the trial lawyers who give huge donations to Democrats so powerful that they can stop this? Or are Democrats responding to pressure from Muslim organizations? In either event, this is disgraceful, and is further evidence that we are engaged in a civil war right here in the USA that may well turn violent.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Hit Piece on Fred Thompson

The New York Times must be getting nervous about Fred Thompson's chances to win the presidency. Yesterday they published an article (below) clearly intended to be a hit piece. Perhaps they don't understand that most people DO understand that lawyers take clients and argue positions all the time that they (the lawyers) don't agree with. Actually I do hope that Fred Thompson wants Roe v. Wade overturned, but also wants abortion legal in the first three months, since it's identical to my own position.

Records Show Ex-Senator’s Work for Family Planning Unit

By JO BECKER, New York Times, July 19, 2007

Billing records show that former Senator Fred Thompson spent nearly 20 hours working as a lobbyist on behalf of a group seeking to ease restrictive federal rules on abortion counseling in the 1990s, even though he recently said he did not recall doing any work for the organization.

According to records from Arent Fox, the law firm based in Washington where Mr. Thompson worked part-time from 1991 to 1994, he charged the organization, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, about $5,000 for work he did in 1991 and 1992. The records show that Mr. Thompson, a probable Republican candidate for president in 2008, spent much of that time in telephone conferences with the president of the group, and on three occasions he reported lobbying administration officials on its behalf.

Mr. Thompson’s work for the family planning agency has become an issue because he is positioning himself as a faithful conservative who is opposed to abortion.

Earlier this month, Mr. Thompson disputed accounts by the group’s former president and others, saying through a spokesman that he had “no recollection” of doing anything to aid the group’s efforts to overturn a rule banning federally financed clinics from dispensing information about abortion to pregnant women. At most, said Mr. Thompson’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, he “may have been consulted by one of the firm’s partners who represented this group.”

Yesterday, Mr. Corallo said the family planning group was an Arent Fox client.
“The firm consulted with Fred Thompson,” he said. “It is not unusual for a lawyer to give counsel at the request of colleagues, even when they personally disagree with the issue.”

From the time he was elected to the Senate from Tennessee in 1994 until he left office in early 2003, Mr. Thompson voted for every abortion restriction measure as well as a ban on government financed abortion for Defense Department personnel. He has also said that he opposes the Roe v. Wade decision because it establishes a federal right to abortion, an issue that he says should be left to the states.

But his record on abortion has not always been as clear cut. In questionnaires Mr. Thompson answered during his 1994 Senate campaign, for instance, he checked a box stating that he believed abortion should be legal under any circumstances during the first three months of pregnancy and said, “I do not believe that abortion should be criminalized.” He has also opposed a constitutional amendment banning all abortion, also on the grounds of states’ rights.

But in answering questions by the conservative Tennessee group Flare during the 1994 campaign, Mr. Thompson promised not to support tax-financed clinics that recommend “abortion as a method of birth control.”

His representation of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, which was trying to overturn the ban on abortion counseling, put him at odds with the anti-abortion movement, which considered the ban a crucial victory.

The billing records from Arent Fox show that Mr. Thompson, who charged about $250 an hour, spoke 22 times with Judith DeSarno, who was then president of the family planning group. In addition, he lobbied “administration officials” for a total of 3.3 hours, the records show, although they do not specify which officials he met with or what was said.

The billing records, along with meeting minutes from the association, show that Arent Fox was hired to help overturn the ban.

The family planning association became a client of Arent Fox through Michael Barnes, a former Democratic congressman who was then a partner at the firm. The firm’s current chairman, Marc Fleischaker, said, “Regardless of whatever the political ramifications are, Fred was being a good colleague by helping out one of the firm’s partner.”

After his work for the family planning group was made public earlier this month, Mr. Thompson sought to distance his own positions from those that he took on behalf of clients he represented as a lobbyist and a lawyer.

In a column published on the conservative blog Powerline, Mr. Thompson wrote that in light of lawyer-client confidentiality, it would not be appropriate for him to respond to those who are “dredging up clients — or another lawyer’s clients — that I may have represented or consulted with” 15 or 20 years ago.

If “a client has a legal and ethical right to take a position, then you may appropriately represent him as long as he does not lie or otherwise conduct himself improperly while you are representing him,” he wrote.

He continued, “In almost 30 years of practicing law I must have had hundreds of clients and thousands of conversations about legal matters. Like any good lawyer, I would always try to give my best, objective, and professional opinion on any legal question presented to me.”


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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

When Treason is Subtle

Bill O’Reilly devotes considerable time and a book to warning of the dangers to America from those he calls Secular Progressives or SP’s. These are people whose belief system is atheism, who believe that anything goes in sex and in the media, that America is a bad country that should make it up to the rest of the world for past sins, that our military is evil and should never be used to advance or defend our interests, and that every other culture in the world is superior to our own. Many liberal Democrats are SP’s, and only by understanding this can we understand the depth of their hatred of President Bush, who is a practicing Christian, and who definitely believes in using American military power to advance and defend our interests.

Over the years, hundreds of thousands of SP’s have found jobs in government, most in civil service, but also in appointed, high-ranking jobs.

When President Bush was denied his presidency for so long by the self-serving temper tantrum of Al Gore and his supporters, an underlying problem facing all conservative administrations reached the boiling point. When you struggle to understand what’s really behind the Valerie Plame-Joseph Wilson-Scooter Libby-Richard Armitage drama and what’s behind the Federal Prosecutors-Attorney General pseudo-scandal, that understanding cannot be realized without an appreciation of the activities of the SP’s in the federal bureaucracy. That’s because SP’s are perfectly comfortable with the notion of working behind the scenes to undermine and undercut the policies being put in place by an elected, conservative president. The SP’s know better.

The people who elected George Bush in 2000 were probably motivated by the results of eight years of liberal policies in the areas of taxation, environment, military strength and individual freedoms, to name a few, and they wanted some corrective actions taken. President Bush was denied an opportunity to begin focusing on the transition in November, 2000, and had to live with many Democrat appointees as well as a federal bureaucracy laden with SP’s. Inept CIA Director George Tenet is a good example of someone who probably never would have been appointed, and then had to be retained for a decent interval after 9/11.

The Joseph Wilson saga is only the prime and most public example of an SP bureaucrat attempting to undermine the President’s policies – in this case the preemptive strike into Iraq. His lie about the yellowcake comes as close to treason as one can, but he is a heroic figure to this day with liberal Democrats and the mainstream press – despite being exposed for what he really is by both the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee. Hundreds (possibly thousands) of similar schemes have been underway for the past 6 ½ years. The following article is a long one, but it spells out some of this nasty nonsense:

Lizard Listing
By Jeffrey Lord
Published 7/12/2007 American Spectator
The Washington Post got me thinking about Bill O'Reilly's book Culture Warrior.

It was a front-page story, fairly typical for the Post. Its equivalents have been run doubtless by the hundreds during the course of various Republican administrations since the Nixon years, arguably the dawning era of today's culture wars.

Yet as Americans really laser in on what O'Reilly is saying in describing an ongoing battle between "Secular Progressives" or "SP's" and "Traditional Warriors" or "T-Warriors" (and if bestseller lists and O'Reilly's radio and TV ratings are any indication than they surely are), understanding what's really being said in this June 21st Post article is worth translating into plainer language. And no spin: its implications for any Republican elected president in 2008 are as important as they have been for the Bush presidency and every one of Bush's recent Republican predecessors.

The story, headlined "Political Hiring in Justice Division Probed," is a classic example of O'Reilly's "SP's" duking it out with "T-Warriors." Doubtless unwittingly, it spotlights one aspect of the culture wars that has somehow managed to escape serious scrutiny -- the federal government bureaucracy and the much ballyhooed fiction that career government officials are sterling non-partisans of a neutral Civil Service.

Written by Post reporter Carol D. Leonnig, on the surface it purports to tell readers that politics has reared its ugly and divisive head in the Justice Department's studiously non-partisan Civil Rights Division. The bad guys of the piece -- surprise! -- are stereotypical bigoted Republicans/conservatives, the good guys stereotypical "career lawyers" at the Justice Department. You know the type. As the last Superman movie had it, the career lawyers stand for "truth, justice, all that stuff."

The story begins through the eyes of three female minority career lawyers at Justice. According to the Post, the three had "good performance ratings as career lawyers in the Justice Department's civil rights division. And they were minority women transferred out of their jobs two years ago -- over the objections of their immediate supervisors -- by Bradley Schlozman, then the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights." Reporter Leonnig begins by touching all the appropriate SP hot buttons. She has portrayed the three (pointedly describing them by gender and race) as neutral career attorneys with "good performance ratings." As anyone who has worked in Washington well knows, the word "career" hitched to words like "lawyer" or "employee" or "diplomat" is meant to convey a priestly devotion to all things non-political and non-partisan. To say "I'm career" is to politely inform the listener that the speaker is just here to serve the good folks of America. To add "good performance ratings" to a story about a "career" is akin to mentioning that a particular Catholic is recognized as a saint.

Her SP bandwagon rolling now, Leonnig goes on to paint Mr. Schlozman with the stereotypical Secular Progressive media brush. Schlozman "ordered supervisors to tell the women that they had performance problems or that the office was overstaffed." Then Leonnig zeroes in on the heart of the matter: "But one lawyer, Conor Dugan, told colleagues that the recent Bush appointee (Schlozman) had confided that his real motive was to 'make room for some good Americans' in the high-impact office, according to four lawyers who said they heard the account from Dugan." As if this wasn't dastardly enough, Leonnig uncovers "another politically tinged conversation" involving Schlozman, this time with Schlozman inquiring if a "career lawyer" who "had voted for Senator John McCain (R-Ariz), a onetime political rival of President Bush." The story goes on -- at length -- in the same vein, replete with references to Schlozman's being hauled before the Senate Judiciary Committee to be grilled "as part of a wide-ranging investigation of the Bush administration's alleged politicization of the Justice Department."

HERE'S WHERE UNDERSTANDING WHAT Bill O'Reilly is saying becomes important. First, the headline that appeared over the inside-the-paper continuation of the story. It read: "Efforts to Hire Conservatives in Justice's Civil Rights Division Probed." In other words, in spite of the fact that George W. Bush is the elected president, replete with the constitutional authority to run the executive branch of the federal government, the startling news in the SP Post is that one of his appointees is trying to hire -- gasp!!! -- conservatives. T-Warriors. Talk about a big no-no! In his book, O'Reilly quotes Marie Arana, a Washington Post editor, who freely confesses the Post has a problem with ideological "narrowness." "We're not very subtle about it at this paper. If you work here at this paper you must be one of us. You must be liberal, progressive (O'Reilly's emphasis.)" So right from the start a careful reader understands that Mr. Schlozman hasn't a prayer of getting a fair shake from the Post.

But as much as the SP media is always involved in matters of these kinds, the point here is the institution that is the federal government. To get a better snapshot of how things work inside what is frequently described as the "permanent government" (the people who make a career out of federal service), return for a moment to January 9, 1993. The date is eleven days before Bill Clinton is to be inaugurated. Twelve years of Reagan and George H.W. Bush are within days of ending. The liberal establishment is jubilant. And in this mood appeared a front page story in the liberal-minded Philadelphia Inquirer that gave an eye-popping reality check to the idea of the carefully neutral "career" employee in the federal government, a perhaps unintended lift-the-rock-and-see-what's-underneath view that verifies precisely what O'Reilly is saying.

Amid volumes of stories that month that celebrated Clinton's style, his personality, and his promises was this story by reporter Frank Greve of the paper's Washington bureau. Headline: Fighting a clean sweep. Bush appointees scramble to stay on the U.S. payroll. The story? "A purge is underway in federal agencies, and things are getting nasty," reads the first sentence. Greve goes on to detail "desperate Bush appointees, facing unemployment in less than two weeks" trying to burrow into the federal bureaucracy by playing down their political affiliation. Also in play were GOP congressional aides whose bosses had lost re-election races and were using a 1940 law sponsored by Georgia Democratic Congressman Robert Ramspeck to continue their career as career employees of the federal government bureaucracy. By 1993 the Georgian's last name was now a verb - as in "to ramspeck" or "ramspecking." The Inquirer article focused on the outrage among federal career bureaucrats at the idea Republicans would "ramspeck" their way into the permanent government, a practice long used by Democrats who had dominated the Congress for decades.

The Inquirer breathlessly noted with obvious relief that "career bureaucrats are exposing their former Republican supervisors with the kind of angry glee that the liberated French showed when turning in Nazi sympathizers." At the Department of Education "a so-called Lizard List was slipped to members of Bill Clinton's transition team" that "targets" GOP political appointees seeking to slide into the permanent government. According to the Inquirer the hunt for "lizards" ranged throughout major portions of the federal government, including the National Endowment for the Arts (where bureaucrats sported buttons taunting the departing chairwoman) and the Transportation and Interior departments.

Surely, you may think, there must be some Republicans (let's call them T-Warriors) amongst all those liberal career appointees (the SP's) in the bureaucracy over at the Education Department back in January of 1993. You would be right. The Inquirer story describes them as "60 or so career bureaucrats whom a civil service union official considers Republican collaborators." Collaborators. The word once used to describe French citizens who "collaborated" with the invading Nazis.

TO PUT THIS IN O'REILLY-ESE, the federal bureaucracy is not only not nonpartisan, it has emerged as a veritable private club for Secular Progressives whose very professional life is not only about maintaining control of the levers of bureaucratic power, but punishing or denying jobs outright to those who are viewed as "collaborators." According to the bureaucrat who compiled the "Lizard List" at the Education Department, those who had "lived by the sword" (translation: sought to implement the philosophy of Reagan and Bush) must now "die by the sword." Meaning, the SP's of the bureaucracy were going to enlist their new and very like-minded Clinton-Gore political bosses to purge any and all bureaucratic T-Warriors, civil service and ramspecking rules be damned.

Far beyond the issue of whether political appointees of a defeated president or party get to keep their job (any new president has zero obligation to keep them) is the startling look at the similar attitudes revealed in the Post's 2007 article and the Inquirer's article fourteen years earlier. It spells out in unintended detail the challenge that faces any GOP winner of the modern presidency.

When a Liberal SP wins the presidency and appoints thousands of SP's to run the government, the SP's in the bureaucracy are thrilled, happily taking orders from political appointees with whom they agree. When a conservative Republican wins the White House and sends his duly appointed T-Warriors to run the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy's SP's view their new bosses as "Nazis," and any bureaucrat who helps them achieve their political goals as "Republican collaborators." And of course, the "careers" promptly set out to do mischief, particularly in federal departments that handle hot button issues.

When you know this, your understanding of what you see in the news clarifies. Recent examples include Mr. Schlozman's adventures at Justice Over at the Federal Elections Commission, SP columnist Cynthia Tucker from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (whom O'Reilly describes as "hard-core left-wing" ) has unloaded on one Hans von Spakovsky, a Bush FEC nominee who had run the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division at Justice. Reading the fine print in her attack you find that Mr. von Spakovsky is, in Ms. Tucker's charming phrase, "among the GOP hacks who perverted the U.S. Justice Department" by -- brace yourselves -- "rewarding partisanship over competence and converting the entire machinery into an arm of the Republican Party." Translation: Mr. von Spakovsky had the audacity to question the impartiality of the staff of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division. He apparently so stirred the hornets in their nest that Ms. Tucker blithely informs us that "more than half the career lawyers [SP saints] in the Voting Section left in protest during his tenure."

And on it goes. Interior department regulations about snowmobiling in the Grand Tetons? Opposition to lifting the Clinton-era ban came, according to a Post series on the dark influence of Vice President Cheney, despite the opposition of "park managers", career employees in uniform. Perhaps you've heard of a "career" over at the CIA by the name of Valerie Plame, married to her "career diplomat" husband Ambassador Joe Wilson?

The attitude that careered professionals are to be held above reproach while they play deeply partisan SP politics at will certainly goes well beyond the federal bureaucracy. It was the attitude at the core of the dispute at the World Bank that drove out bank president Paul Wolfowitz, an episode described by U.S. News and World Report as resulting because "staff members (i.e., career employees from governments around the globe) were long critical of Wolfowitz's stewardship." And what exactly do you think is really going on when there are cries of outrage from SP journalists and unions that media mogul Rupert Murdoch must guarantee he won't touch the "editorial independence" of the Wall Street Journal if he succeeds in his efforts to purchase the paper? In short, Mr. Murdoch is supposed to buy the paper but not run it -- that all-important task to remain in the hands of the paper's SP journalists who run the non-editorial page side of the paper.

The problem that Bill O'Reilly has so accurately fingered is not limited to the ACLU or television networks like NBC or Vermont judges. The permanent bureaucracy of the United States federal government is overwhelmingly SP. Elected presidents and their political appointees, having won elections representing O'Reilly's T-Warriors, are then forced to do battle with a permanent government that is a functional equivalent of an auxiliary of the left wing of the Democratic Party, with allies aplenty in the SP press like the Post.

No spin?

If O'Reilly were a career employee of the federal government, he would be the Lizard-in-Chief.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another Sneak Attack on Our Second Amendment Rights

Proposed “Safety” Regulations Would Dry Up Ammunition Sales

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed new rules that would have a dramatic effect on the storage and transportation of ammunition and handloading components such as primers or black and smokeless powder. The proposed rule indiscriminately treats ammunition, powder and primers as “explosives.” Among many other provisions, the proposed rule would:

Prohibit possession of firearms in commercial “facilities containing explosives”—an obvious problem for your local gun store.

Require evacuation of all “facilities containing explosives”—even your local Wal-Mart—during any electrical storm.

Prohibit smoking within 50 feet of “facilities containing explosives.”

It’s important to remember this is only a proposed rule right now, so there’s still time for concerned citizens to speak out before OSHA issues its final rule. The National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute will all be commenting on these proposed regulations, based on the severe effect these regulations (if finalized) would have on the availability of ammunition and reloading supplies to safe and responsible shooters.

The public comment period was originally scheduled to end July 12 but has been extended sixty (60) days until September 10, 2007. To read the OSHA proposal click here (PDF file).

According to OSHA, you may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2007- 0032, by any of the following methods:

Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on-line for making electronic submissions.

Fax: If your comments, including attachments, do not exceed 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger or courier service: You must submit three copies of your comments and attachments to:
OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032
U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625
200 Constitution Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20210

telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA"s TTY number is (877) 889-5627).

Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change and may be made available online at Therefore, OSHA cautions you about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and birthdates.

For further information on submitting comments, plus additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the OSHA proposal.
Sample Letter:

OSHA Docket Office Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625 200 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20210
Re.: Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 (Explosives—Proposed Rule)

Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing in strong opposition to OSHA’s proposed rules on “explosives,” which go far beyond regulating true explosives. These proposed rules would impose severe restrictions on the transportation and storage of small arms ammunition—both complete cartridges and handloading components such as black and smokeless powder, primers, and percussion caps. These restrictions go far beyond existing transportation and fire protection regulations.

As a person who uses ammunition and components, I am very concerned that these regulations will have a serious effect on my ability to obtain these products. OSHA’s proposed rules would impose restrictions that very few gun stores, sporting goods stores, or ammunition dealers could comply with. (Prohibiting firearms in stores that sell ammunition, for example, is absurd—but would be required under the proposed rule.)

The proposed transportation regulations would also affect shooters’ ability to buy these components by mail or online, because shipping companies would also have great difficulty complying with the proposed rules.

There is absolutely no evidence of any new safety hazard from storage or transportation of small arms ammunition or components that would justify these new rules. I also understand that organizations with expertise in this field, such as the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Association, will be submitting detailed comments on this issue. I hope OSHA will listen to these organizations’ comments as the agency develops a final rule on this issue.



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Monday, July 16, 2007

The Downfall of John McCain

Why anyone is surprised at Senator John McCain's downward plunge is beyond me. For years he has been the darling of the mainstream press by sticking a knife into conservative concerns. He opposed tax cuts; he allied with one of the most far-left members of Congress to champion a campaign finance bill that does nothing to affect money flows in political campaigns, but robs us of our rights; and recently he tried to foist the abominable amnesty-immigration bill on all of us. Through all of this I have held in my disgust at his actions because of the respect I have always had for his service and his sacrifices. This past year he went too far.

The McCain-Feingold Effect
By Kimberley Strassel, July 13, 2007, Real Clear Politics

John McCain's campaign fell into disarray this week, kicked off by the news it had raised a scant $24 million so far. Mark these money woes down to any number of problems, but don't entirely discount the McCain-Feingold effect.

Let's stipulate that most of the good senator's troubles stem from high-profile policy disagreements he's had with his own base. He's tweaked noses on global warming and slapped faces on immigration. His admirable decision to stand strong on Iraq has been undermined by his tendency to stand weak on national security issues such as interrogations and enemy combatants. And economic conservatives just don't trust a guy who won't admit that cutting taxes is good.

Yet while each of these issues has undoubtedly taken its financial toll, Mr. McCain has labored under yet one more burden: McCain-Feingold. He was the prime author of that 2002 law, which took direct aim at his own party and its activists, making it harder for them to collect money, register voters and voice opinions about candidates. It left the very people so vital to a campaign in its early stages--those who write checks, knock on doors, turn out for primaries--furious with him.

Talks with party officials and activists today suggest that hostility remains, and has played into his money difficulties.

"For most conservatives, campaign finance is conceptually pretty easy; they saw it as targeting them," says Bradley Smith, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, now a professor of law at Capital University and chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics. "I've been surprised at how angry people were, and remain, over that law."

Don't underestimate just how many Americans he means. Huge and influential interest groups such as the National Rifle Association and the National Right to Life Committee viewed McCain-Feingold as a direct threat to their missions. Both were among the first to sue over parts of the law, including provisions barring ads 30 to 60 days before primaries and elections.

Both also went out of their way to inform their memberships about McCain-Feingold's threats to free speech and activists' ability to target politicians who support gun laws or abortion. For years now, the NRA has bombarded its four million members with information and attacks on the law via its magazines, emails, direct mailing, telephone calls and its satellite radio program. "Our members are more politically savvy, more in tune, and they understand the impact of McCain-Feingold more than your average interest-group member," says Andrew Arulanandam, director of public affairs at the NRA. Which is another way of saying they aren't always keen to open their wallets for Mr. McCain.

National Right to Life took campaign-finance restrictions so seriously that it included McCain-Feingold as two of three key votes it used to score Senate members in 2002 (the third was a ban on abortions in military medical facilities). It has reminded its many subscribers to its monthly newsletter of the law's problems. David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), the nation's oldest conservative lobby group, goes so far as to say that he always thought "there was a ceiling on [McCain's] support," largely because of McCain-Feingold.

That ceiling, if it does exist, isn't just on financial donors, but on those in the party apparatus who might otherwise be out drumming up support. The Republican National Committee membership as recently as this January passed a resolution condemning McCain-Feingold, which could only be seen as a rebuke to one of the party's leading candidates for the presidential nomination. "The RNC is interesting; it is overwhelmingly negative [toward him], and that seems to be driven by campaign-finance reform," says David Norcross, New Jersey's Republican National Committeeman.

Similarly, talk to Republican Party officials at the state, county and local level, and among their biggest gripes is the difficulties they face in recruiting local candidates, funding those candidates, and registering voters to support those candidates--all thanks to McCain-Feingold. Some leaders point to the lackluster support Mr. McCain has received from state delegates as an expression of this bitterness.

How much has this really made a difference to Mr. McCain's bank account? Impossible to say. Maybe lots, maybe only a few million dollars. McCain campaigners are quick to point out their guy has a better record on gun rights and life questions than do his leading opponents; they believe voters care more about that history than they do free-speech limitations. McCain fund-raisers say this isn't an issue they hear about when they are ginning up money.

Mr. McCain's opponents aren't as sanguine. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made repeal of McCain-Feingold a key policy statement way back in March. Rudy Giuliani, who once supported McCain-Feingold, recently hailed the Supreme Court decision overturning part of that law as a "victory for free speech and personal liberty." Publicly, candidates present these views as a matter of principle, but privately some staffers admit it also has to do with collecting money.

All eyes are meanwhile on Fred Thompson, who was a supporter of campaign-finance restrictions in 2002. Mr. Keene of the ACU says he's already been getting calls from activists asking about Mr. Thompson's record in the Senate, and that he's been telling them that while the overall picture was good, "it would be better if he hadn't been a chief water-carrier for McCain-Feingold."

To the extent the former Tennessee senator has said anything, he's walking back. Early comments suggest he may argue McCain-Feingold was an experiment he supported at the time, but that simply hasn't panned out. He noted in June that the 30-60 days ad restrictions--coincidentally, the part of the law that most annoyed grassroots activists--weren't "working."

Whatever the effect, Mr. McCain must surely be considering the irony of his current situation. Mitt Romney has also burned through money quickly, and in theory should be looking at a low bank balance. But Mr. Romney can write himself a check at any time--one of the few things McCain-Feingold allows.

Mr. McCain might well have some billionaire supporters who'd be only too happy to give him a big financial boost at this crucial time, though they won't be allowed to thanks to finance restrictions. The senator has family money, though it's not clear he'd tap that to keep his bid running. For now, he's stuck raising it the hard way, under a system that much of the GOP hates.

Ms. Strassel is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.


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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Global Warming Skeptic Threatened

As more and more evidence surfaces that the science of man-made global warming is highly suspect (hockey stick is fraudulent, Little Ice Age not accounted for, CO2 buildup occurs AFTER warming, computer models faulty, etc.), the global warming alarmists and THOSE PROFITING FROM THE SCARE-MONGERING grow more desperate.

Environmental Group President Threatens To Destroy Career of Global Warming Skeptic

Posted by Noel Sheppard on July 13, 2007 - 16:49.

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a president of a major environmental group sending an e-mail message to a colleague threatening to ruin that person’s career over disagreements regarding anthropogenic global warming.

Yet, as published at National Review Online’s “The Corner” on Friday, that’s exactly what happened just days after a Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow wrote an article for the American Spectator which spoke against proposed legislation to mandate carbon dioxide emissions reductions.

According to National Review’s Iain Murphy, the author, Dr. Marlo Lewis, received the following e-mail message this morning (one character edited by Murphy for vulgarity):

Marlo –
You are so full of cr*p.
You have been proven wrong. The entire world has proven you wrong. You are the last guy on Earth to get it. Take this warning from me, Marlo. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on.
Michael T. Eckhart
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)

I guess that’s one way to end the debate.


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Friday, July 13, 2007

The New York Times Surrenders

Once again Victor Davis Hanson exposes the lies, mischaracterizations and smears that have been constantly put forth about every aspect of our attempts to defend ourselves and Western Culture from the "death" culture of the Islamic fanatics. It is a constant struggle to keep answering the lies of the liberal Democrats and of various Socialists, appeasers and cowards who would have us surrender our precious freedoms and our hard-won prosperity to satisfy their ignorance, their fears and their envy. It is a constant struggle to overcome those who think the answer to every tough challenge is to bury their heads in the sand and pretend everything is fine, or will be if we just stop defending ourselves. This is the same crowd that blames the Israelis whenever they shoot back at the monsters constantly trying to exterminate them. Winston Churchill said that "a lie goes around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on". He was absolutely correct.

Mr. Hanson won't stop fighting back, and neither will I. It is outrageous that the main front in the battle against the terrorists is right here at home against the opportunists and copper heads in our midst, but Washington faced them, Adams faced them, Lincoln faced them, Wilson faced them, Roosevelt faced them, Truman faced them, and Johnson and Nixon faced them; and so shall we. Thank God we have a brilliant historian with the writing talent of Victor Davis Hanson to help lead this fight. It is a fight we must not lose.

The New York Times Surrenders
A monument to defeatism on the editorial page

Victor Davis Hanson
12 July 2007, City Journal

On July 8, the New York Times ran an historic editorial entitled “The Road Home,” demanding an immediate American withdrawal from Iraq. It is rare that an editorial gets almost everything wrong, but “The Road Home” pulls it off. Consider, point by point, its confused—and immoral—defeatism.

1. “It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.”

Rarely in military history has an “orderly” withdrawal followed a theater-sized defeat and the flight of several divisions. Abruptly leaving Iraq would be a logistical and humanitarian catastrophe. And when scenes of carnage begin appearing on TV screens here about latte time, will the Times then call for “humanitarian” action?

2. “Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.”

We’ll get to the war’s “sufficient cause,” but first let’s address the other two charges that the Times levels here against President Bush. Both houses of Congress voted for 23 writs authorizing the war with Iraq—a post-9/11 confirmation of the official policy of regime change in Iraq that President Clinton originated.

Supporters of the war included 70 percent of the American public in April 2003; the majority of NATO members; a coalition with more participants than the United Nations alliance had in the Korean War; and a host of politicians and pundits as diverse as Joe Biden, William F. Buckley, Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, Francis Fukuyama, Kenneth Pollack, Harry Reid, Andrew Sullivan, Thomas Friedman, and George Will.

And there was a Pentagon postwar plan to stabilize the country, but it assumed a decisive defeat and elimination of enemy forces, not a three-week war in which the majority of Baathists and their terrorist allies fled into the shadows to await a more opportune time to reemerge, under quite different rules of engagement.

3. “While Mr. Bush scorns deadlines, he kept promising breakthroughs—after elections, after a constitution, after sending in thousands more troops. But those milestones came and went without any progress toward a stable, democratic Iraq or a path for withdrawal. It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost.”

Of course there were breakthroughs: most notably, millions of Iraqis’ risking their lives to vote. An elected government remains in power, under a constitution far more liberal than any other in the Arab Middle East. In the region at large, Libya, following the war, gave up its advanced arsenal of weapons of mass destruction; Syria fled Lebanon; A.Q. Khan’s nuclear ring was shut down. And despite the efforts of Iran, Syria, and Sunni extremists in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, a plurality of Iraqis still prefer the chaotic and dangerous present to the sure methodical slaughter of their recent Saddamite past.

The Times wonders what Bush’s cause was. Easy to explain, if not easy to achieve: to help foster a constitutional government in the place of a genocidal regime that had engaged in a de facto war with the United States since 1991, and harbored or subsidized terrorists like Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, at least one plotter of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida affiliates in Kurdistan, and suicide bombers in Gaza and the West Bank. It was a bold attempt to break with the West’s previous practices, both liberal (appeasement of terrorists) and conservative (doing business with Saddam, selling arms to Iran, and overlooking the House of Saud’s funding of terrorists).

Is that cause in fact “lost”? The vast majority of 160,000 troops in harm’s way don’t think so—despite a home front where U.S. senators have publicly compared them with Nazis, Stalinists, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, and Saddam Hussein’s jailers, and where the media’s Iraqi narrative has focused obsessively on Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, and serial leaks of classified information, with little interest in the horrific nature of the Islamists in Iraq or the courageous efforts of many Iraqis to stop them.

4. “Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles.”

The military is stretched, but hardly broken, despite having tens of thousands of troops stationed in Japan, Korea, the Balkans, Germany, and Italy, years—and decades—after we removed dictatorships by force and began efforts to establish democracies in those once-frightening places. As for whether Iraq is a diversion from the war on terror: al-Qaida bigwig Ayman al-Zawahiri, like George W. Bush, has said that Iraq is the primary front in his efforts to attack the United States and its interests—and he often despairs about the progress of jihad there. Our enemies, like al-Qaida, Iran, and Syria, as well as opportunistic neutrals like China and Russia, are watching closely to see whether America will betray its principles in Iraq.

5. “Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs.”

The Times should abandon the subjunctive mood. The catastrophes that it matter-of-factly suggests have ample precedents in Vietnam. Apparently, we should abandon millions of Iraqis to the jihadists (whether Wahhabis or Khomeinites), expect mass murders in the wake of our flight—“even genocide”—and then chalk up the slaughter to Bush’s folly. And if that seems crazy, consider what follows, an Orwellian account of the mechanics of our flight:

6. “The main road south to Kuwait is notoriously vulnerable to roadside bomb attacks. Soldiers, weapons and vehicles will need to be deployed to secure bases while airlift and sealift operations are organized. Withdrawal routes will have to be guarded. The exit must be everything the invasion was not: based on reality and backed by adequate resources.

“The United States should explore using Kurdish territory in the north of Iraq as a secure staging area. Being able to use bases and ports in Turkey would also make withdrawal faster and safer. Turkey has been an inconsistent ally in this war, but like other nations, it should realize that shouldering part of the burden of the aftermath is in its own interest.”

This insistence on planned defeat, following incessant criticism of potential victory, is lunatic. The Times’s frustration with Turkey and other “inconsistent” allies won’t end with our withdrawal and defeat. Like everyone in the region, the Turks want to ally with winners and distance themselves from losers—and care little about sermons from the likes of the Times editors. The ideas about Kurdish territory and Turkey are simply cover for the likely consequences of defeat: once we are gone and a federated Iraq is finished, Kurdistan’s democratic success is fair game for Turkey, which—with the assent of opportunistic allies—will move to end it by crushing our Kurdish friends.

7. “Despite President Bush’s repeated claims, Al Qaeda had no significant foothold in Iraq before the invasion, which gave it new base camps, new recruits and new prestige.

“This war diverted Pentagon resources from Afghanistan, where the military had a real chance to hunt down Al Qaeda’s leaders. It alienated essential allies in the war against terrorism. It drained the strength and readiness of American troops.”

The Times raises the old charge that if we weren’t in Iraq, neither would be al-Qaida—more of whose members we have killed in Iraq than anywhere else. In 1944, Japan had relatively few soldiers in Okinawa; when the Japanese learned that we planned to invade in 1945, they increased their forces there. Did the subsequent carnage—four times the number of U.S. dead as in Iraq, by the way, in one-sixteenth the time—prove our actions ill considered? Likewise, no Soviets were in Eastern Europe until we moved to attack and destroy Hitler, who had kept communists out. Did the resulting Iron Curtain mean that it was a mistake to deter German aggression?

And if the Times sees the war in Afghanistan as so important, why didn’t it support an all-out war against the Taliban and al-Qaida, as it apparently does now, when we were solely in Afghanistan?

8. “Iraq may fragment into separate Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite republics, and American troops are not going to stop that from happening. . . . To start, Washington must turn to the United Nations, which Mr. Bush spurned and ridiculed as a preface to war.”

But Bush did go to the United Nations, which, had it enforced its own resolutions, might have prevented the war. In fact, the Bush administration’s engagement with the UN contrasts sharply with President Clinton’s snub of that organization during the U.S.-led bombing of the Balkans—unleashed, unlike Iraq, without Congressional approval. The Times also neglects to mention that the UN was knee-deep in the mess of its cash cow Iraq, from its appeasement of the genocidal Hussein regime to its graft-ridden, $50 billion oil-for-food scandal, reaching the highest echelons of Kofi Annan’s UN administration.

9. “Washington also has to mend fences with allies. There are new governments in Britain, France and Germany that did not participate in the fight over starting this war and are eager to get beyond it. But that will still require a measure of humility and a commitment to multilateral action that this administration has never shown. And, however angry they were with President Bush for creating this mess, those nations should see that they cannot walk away from the consequences.”

New governments in France and Germany are more pro-American than those of the past that tried to thwart us in Iraq. The Times surely knows of the Chirac administration’s lucrative relationships with Saddam Hussein, and of the German contracts to supply sophisticated tools and expertise that enabled the Baathist nightmare. Tony Blair will enjoy a far more principled and reputable retirement than will Jacques Chirac or Gerhard Schroeder, who did their best to destroy the Atlantic Alliance for cheap partisan advantage at home and global benefit abroad.

Nations like France and Germany won’t “walk away” from Iraq, since they were never there in the first place. They never involve themselves in such dangerous situations—just look at the rules of engagement of French and German troops in Afghanistan. Their foreign policy centers instead on commerce, suitably dressed up with fashionable elite outrage against the United States.

10. “For this effort to have any remote chance, Mr. Bush must drop his resistance to talking with both Iran and Syria. Britain, France, Russia, China and other nations with influence have a responsibility to help. Civil war in Iraq is a threat to everyone, especially if it spills across Iraq’s borders.”

China and Russia, seeing only oil and petrodollars, will take no responsibility to help. Both will welcome a U.S. retreat. Yes, “civil war” will spill over the borders, but not until the U.S. precipitously withdraws. Iran and Syria—serial assassins of democrats from Lebanon to Iraq—are hoping for realization of the Times’s scenario, and would be willing to talk with us only to facilitate our flight, with the expectation that Iraq would become wide open for their ambitions. In their view, a U.S. that fails in Iraq surely cannot thwart an Iranian bomb, the Syrian reabsorption of Lebanese democracy, attacks on Israel, or increased funding and sanctuary for global terrorism.

11. “President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have used demagoguery and fear to quell Americans’ demands for an end to this war. They say withdrawing will create bloodshed and chaos and encourage terrorists. Actually, all of that has already happened—the result of this unnecessary invasion and the incompetent management of this war.”

But as the Times itself acknowledges, what has happened in the past only previews what is in store if we precipitously withdraw. And this will prove the case not only in Iraq, but elsewhere in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Taiwan, and Korea. Once the U.S. demonstrates that it cannot honor its commitments, those dependent upon it must make the necessary adjustments. Ironically, while the Times urges acceptance of defeat, Sunni tribesmen at last are coming forward to fight terrorists, and regional neighbors are gradually accepting the truth that their opportunistic assistance to jihadists is only threatening their own regimes.

We promised General Petraeus a hearing in September; it would be the height of folly to preempt that agreement by giving in to our summer of panic and despair. Critics called for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, a change in command in Iraq and at Centcom, new strategies, and more troops. But now that we have a new secretary, a new command in Iraq and at Centcom, new strategies, and more troops, suddenly we have a renewed demand for withdrawal before the agreed-upon September accounting—suggesting that the only constant in such harping was the assumption that Iraq was either hopeless or not worth the effort.

The truth is that Iraq has upped the ante in the war against terrorists. Our enemies’ worst nightmare is a constitutional government in the heart of the ancient caliphate, surrounded by consensual rule in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Turkey; ours is a new terror heaven, but with oil, a strategic location, and the zeal born of a humiliating defeat of the United States on a theater scale. The Islamists believe we can’t win; so does the New York Times. But it falls to the American people to decide the issue.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Resign In Disgrace, Congressman Murtha

Congressman John Murtha, who announced our surrender in Iraq long before Senator Reid did, embarrassed even Speaker Pelosi with his off-the-wall statements smearing our military and smearing President Bush. Long before anyone had really looked into the Haditha incident, a place in Iraq where U.S. Marines were engaged in a firefight, and where various Iraqis told tales of deliberate murders carried out by our Marines, Congressman Murtha passed judgment, and said that they were guilty.

It now appears that he will owe them an apology. To the rest of us, and to his constituents in Pennsylvania, he owes us his resignation.

Here are three pertinent excerpts:

“Lawmaker: Marines deliberately killed Iraqis
Navy conducting war crimes probe into November violence in Haditha”

By Jim Miklaszewski and Mike Viqueira
NBC News, May 17, 2006

“WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.

One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents. “The Americans came into the room where my father was praying,” she said, “and shot him.”

On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true.” NBCNews

“The Haditha Heroes”

Philip V. Brennan
Wednesday, July 11, 2007, NewsMax

“Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt is a Marine hero. In the horror of the bloody battles of 2nd Fallujah in 2004 and Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005 his actions were in accord with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps.

By any standard, his father Darryl Sharrat is a hero too. Faced with accusations that his son is guilty of murdering innocent civilians in Haditha he has devoted almost every living moment to defending his son against what he knew to be false charges at great cost to himself and his family.

"I don't want to paint Justin in the light of being a hero," he told me, "but if you listen to the testimony of Sgt. Wolf [at his son's Article 32 hearing,] Justin pulled a [30 calibur machine gun from its mounting on his Humvee] when he saw two guys starting to assault house number 1 — they were receiving fire from it, they marked with a M203 grenade and Wolf said Justin did one of the best tactical things he could have done when he dismounted [the machine gun], and was laying down suppressing fire with this 30 calibur belt-fed machine gun.

"My thoughts are that possibly his actions may have been what broke the back of this insurgent ambush."

Darryl is not alone. John Tatum, the father of Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, the second of three enlisted men charged in the Haditha case, and another hero, has gone to bat for his son. It has cost him dearly.

"We are hard working people, and so do not like to ask for help. The Marine Corps cannot pay for civilian lawyers, but we have taken out a second mortgage on our home and used our savings to defend our son."

As Marines are expected to make every sacrifice for the honor of the Corps and country, these fathers have given everything they have to defend the honor of their sons and they deserve every ounce of respect from their fellow Americans.” NewsMax

“Marine Investigator Recommends Dropping Charges in Haditha Killings”

July 11, 2007, SAN DIEGO — FoxNews

“An investigating officer has recommended dismissing murder charges against a U.S. Marine accused in the slayings of three Iraqi men in a squad action that killed 24 civilians in the town of Haditha, according to a report.

The government's theory that Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt had executed the three men was "incredible" and relied on contradictory statements by Iraqis, Lt. Col. Paul Ware said in the report, released Tuesday by Sharratt's defense attorneys.

"To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, and sets a dangerous precedent that, in my opinion, may encourage others to bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of the Marine Corps and mission in Iraq," Ware wrote.

Defense attorneys James Culp and Gary Myers said in a statement that he was pleased with the report and that it "reflected the value of the calm of a courtroom and the adversarial process."

Sharratt's mother Theresa said she was overjoyed.

"This is a huge result, that report is a declaration of Justin's innocence," she said. "This is very, very good news."

The recommendation is nonbinding. A final decision about whether Sharratt should stand trial will be made by Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commanding general overseeing the case.

It is the second time an investigating officer has recommended charges not continue to trial in the killings. In the case of Marine lawyer Capt. Randy W. Stone, the investigating officer recommended his dereliction of duty charge be dealt with administratively.” FoxNews

We do not want American soldiers to engage in wanton murders of civilians under the fog of warfare. In Iraq and Afghanistan, however, our military is operating in environments against terrorists who wear no uniforms, who use women and young children as shields and also use them to blow themselves up when they get close to Americans, who operate out of schools, mosques and homes, and who melt away into dense neighborhoods when the going gets rough. We appear to have almost as many JAG lawyers offering advice to commanders on rules of engagement as we have combat troops on the line, and after-action reports read like legal briefs. For Congressman Murtha to let his anti-war agenda spill over to the public smearing of Marine heroes before the facts are known is beyond comprehension and beneath contempt.

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