Showing posts from June, 2007

Brits arrest 2 in Cheshire in connecting with car bomb

Reuters /NY Times: British police said on Sunday they had arrested two people in northern England in connection with an attempted car bombing in London and an incident at Glasgow airport in which a car was rammed into the building. "Police have this evening arrested two people in connection with events in London and Scotland on the 29th and 30th of June," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement. The arrests were made in the county of Cheshire by counter-terrorism officers, the statement said. ... A caller to BBC television said he had been in a car on a motorway in Cheshire when traffic had been brought to a halt by unmarked police cars in all three lanes. The man, named as Peter Whitehead, said he saw a woman in what he called Muslim dress and two men in suits step out of a car which had pulled to the side of the motorway. ... It appears that the police are moving quickly to round up suspects in the failed bombing attacks. The story had no graphics to give a be

Zimbabwe cleric ask UK to overthrow Mugabe

Sunday Times: ZIMBABWE’S leading cleric has called on Britain to invade the country and topple President Robert Mugabe . Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, warned that millions were facing death from famine, unable to survive amid inflation believed to have soared to 15,000%. Mugabe, 83, had proved intransigent despite the “massive risk to life”, said Ncube, the head of Zimbabwe’s 1m Catholics. “I think it is justified for Britain to raid Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe,” he said. “We should do it ourselves but there’s too much fear. I’m ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready.” Some parts of Zimbabwe have seen 95% of crops fail, leaving families with only two or three weeks’ food supply to last a year. Prices in the shops are more than doubling every week and Christopher Dell, the American ambassador, predicts that by the end of the year inflation could hit 1.5m%. Ncube said that far from helping those struggling on less than £1 a week, Mugabe had jus

Terrorist theology

Hassan Butt: When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the 'Blair's bombs' line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology. ... ... what drove me and many of my peers to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain, our own homeland and abroad, was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world. How did this continuing violence come to be the means of promoting this (flawed) utopian goal? How do Islami

Blair criticizes Islamist "victim" culture

Observer /Guardian: Tony Blair has launched a powerful attack on 'absurd' British Islamists who have nurtured a false 'sense of grievance' that they are being oppressed by Britain and the United States. In his most outspoken remarks on Islamists, the former Prime Minister warns that Britain is in danger of losing the battle against terrorists unless mainstream society confronts the threat. Blair's remarks, in which he also attacks some civil liberty campaigners as 'loopy loo', were made in a Channel 4 documentary recorded last Tuesday on the eve of his departure from Downing Street. 'The idea that as a Muslim in this country that you don't have the freedom to express your religion or your views, I mean you've got far more freedom in this country than you do in most Muslim countries,' Blair told Observer columnist Will Hutton, who presents the documentary. 'The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle is that we're not actually

Police mine for evidence in two failed bomb attempts

Sunday Telegraph: Teams of forensic scientists are poring over two "gold mines" - the Mercedes cars filled with petrol, gas and nails which failed to explode in central London. Last night, scores of specialists were taking the vehicles apart at secret locations, confident they will find crucial clues to the identity of the terrorists. Police expect to find DNA from the bombers and to secure evidence about where the bomb material came from. The car bombs are of the kind used on a daily basis in Iraq but, unlike attacks there, the militants operating in London were not suicide bombers prepared to sacrifice themselves for their cause. It is the first time that so-called vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices have been used in an attack in Britain since the IRA abandoned its terror campaign. The IRA, however, always tested its bombs before embarking on a mission. It appeared the London bombers had been unable to try theirs out, as both failed to explode. The decision not to u

US warned of attack at Glasgow 2 weeks ago

ABC News: U.S. law enforcement officials received intelligence reports two weeks ago warning of a possible terror attack in Glasgow against "airport infrastructure or aircraft," a senior US law enforcement officials tells the Blotter on The intelligence reports also warned that airports and aircraft in the Czech Republic could be the targets of al Qaeda-connected terrorists. ... The US assigned air marshals to flights to and from those destinations. It is not clear how the US got the intelligence, but my speculation is that we probably intercepted enemy communications. If so it would demonstrate the value of the terrorist surveillance intercepts and the poor judgment of Democrats who want to hamstrung it with hoops that must be jumped through before we can listen to what the enemy is saying.

The hydrogen Honda

The Sunday Telegraph's David Millward takes the 100 mile per hour Honda hydrogen concept car for a spin. ... Somewhat rashly Honda invited me to get behind the wheel of its latest concept car, a vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell engine. The car is filled with hydrogen rather than petrol and is the world's fastest high performance zero emissions car. The hydrogen is pushed through a "fuel stack" somewhere beneath the arm rest between the driver and passenger, where it is converted into electricity which powers the engine. While conventional cars give out varying amounts of C02, this rather sleek beast emits only water vapour. ... The car is said to cost roughly $10 million, but a few will be leased in Japan for around $500 a month, which means it truly is cheaper to rent. Besides the problem with finding a place to refill the tank, I think the emission of water vapor will be a problem for the environmental wackos, since it is a bigger component of greenhouse ca

Tribes turn out 100's in Baghdad to fight al Qaeda

MNFI: Hundreds of volunteers from area tribes, willing to fight against al Qaeda, turned out for a screening to become Iraqi Police candidates in Baghdad’s Nasir Wa Salam and Abu Ghraib neighborhoods starting June 25. The three-day recruiting drive by the Ministry of Interior saw more than 600 men participate. During the recruiting drive, potential candidates were screened for identification, health, and fitness. “The first day was a resounding success,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Peter Andrysiak, deputy commander for 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. “The large turn out was not entirely unexpected. We have been working with reconcilable tribal leaders and the government of Iraq to make this happen.” ... “The additional police presence in the area will allow us to focus our soldiers more on key insurgent leaders and individual insurgent cells,” Andrysiak said. “This recruitment drive is a success because the tribes in this area want to reconcile their difference

Car fire closes Scotland airport

BBC: A car on fire has been driven at the main terminal building at Glasgow Airport, police have confirmed. Eyewitnesses have described a Jeep Cherokee being driven at speed towards the building with flames coming out from underneath. They have also described seeing two Asian men, one of whom was on fire, who had been in the car. The airport has been evacuated and all flights suspended following the incident at 1515 BST. A Whitehall spokesman said the incident was not being treated as a national security threat. ... Fires in the electrical wiring of Jeeps have been a problem for some time. I suspect a manufacturing defect is more responsible than a terrorist act. Update: The BBC reports that two "Asian" men were arrested for crashing the burning car into the airport. Asian is BBC code for Pakistani, which probably means they were Muslims. In a separate report the BBC says the threat level in the UK has been raised to "critical." ... The critical threat level i

Exploiting Iran's vulnerability

Westhawk: Iran’s vulnerability concerning gasoline, and its lack of capacity to refine crude oil has been well known. Thus, it should not have been a surprise when a gasoline crisis inside Iran finally exploded. This story from the International Herald Tribune describes the Iranian mob’s response: many burning fuel stations, banks and businesses under attack, and dozens of arrests two days after the Iranian government imposed gasoline rationing on consumers. What remains to be seen is whether Iran’s angry masses will follow through on their protests, and what measures the internal security services will take to suppress the angry gasoline protestors. In spite of abundant crude oil reserves, Iran’s capacity to refine crude oil has deteriorated due to a lack of investment and poor economic policies. The regime has discouraged foreign investment partnerships in the oil sector. As is common in the region, the government has set the retail gasoline price at a ridiculously low level. Final

Another bogus AP story from Iraq

Confederate Yankee and Multi National forces Iraq shoot down an AP story on 20 decapitated Iraqis. The headline on the MNFI reports tells the story, "Extremists using false media reporting to incite sectarian violence." The news services owe us an explanation. Be sure and check the link for the details.

Iraqi sought in London bomb plot

Scotman: POLICE were last night hunting an Iraqi, suspected of plotting car-bomb attacks in Britain, who went on the run just days before two vehicles packed with petrol, gas and nails were found in central London. ... Police say they are looking for an Iraqi who went on the run from a control order only 11 days before yesterday's failed bombing attempts. The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is part of a six-strong cell linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq. He went missing on 18 June in north-west England, and his whereabouts are unknown. The Scotsman understands that MI5 and counter-terrorism police consider him a suspect in the failed attacks. However, security sources insisted he was "one of many possibilities". ... Investigators were last night examining forensic evidence from both vehicles, and considering the echoes of earlier terrorist plots linked to al-Qaeda. In April, five men were jailed for life for plotting to explode fertiliser bombs at targets includi

Pelosi's investment in terror regimes

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has disclosed that she holds stock valued at up to $15,000 in Alcatel-Lucent (formerly Alcatel SA), a company with extensive investments in Iran and Sudan — nations that sponsor terrorism. The disclosure of Pelosi’s holdings comes at the same time that legislation is making its way through the California legislature barring state pension fund managers from investing in companies, like Alcatel-Lucent, that do business with "terror-friendly" nations. According to, a citizens group pushing a South Africa-style disinvestment program to discourage companies from doing business in terror countries, Alcatel-Lucent’s investments in terror countries are so extensive that it is included on the organization’s “dirty dozen” list of offending companies. The organization estimates that the company has invested upwards of $300 million in terror sponsoring nations during the past five years. According to Di

Rudy makes his case

Brian Carney: "I think the American people in November 2008 are going to select the person they think is strongest to defend America against Islamic terrorism. And it is not going to focus on--as some of the media wants it--just Iraq. I think Americans are smarter than that." Thus did Rudy Giuliani summarize the rationale for his presidential campaign at a meeting this week with the editorial board of the Journal. Next year's election will be about national security, not about Iraq narrowly defined. In an hour-long conversation in our offices in lower Manhattan, the former New York City mayor sat facing away from the view of Ground Zero below, but 9/11 was very much in the front of his mind. A few minutes into the interview, he paused midsentence, gestured over his shoulder and looked down at his hands. "Coming down here just fills me with memories," he offered. "I can't come here without thinking about what happened that day." Mr. Giuliani has bee

Mutiny of the masses over immigration

Rich Lowry: BEWARE of an aroused citizenry. It's an admonition that should be ingrained in the brain of any run-of-the-mill politician, let alone someone who has ascended to the United States Senate. But from the Olympian heights of the world's greatest deliberative body, it is often forgotten. So senators got a reminder in the humiliating defeat of a "comprehensive" immigration bill that had the support of the president of the United States, a bipartisan group of senators with the blessing of the leaders of their caucuses and the support of the editorial boards of the country's most important newspapers. All of that was enough to get all of 46 votes on a key procedural vote that needed 60 to pass. The fight over the immigration bill was the first instance of an insider parliamentary struggle in which bloggers, talk-radio hosts and citizens were able to have a major voice through the synergistic power of the Internet, radio waves and telephone lines. Bloggers pi

Sen. Leahy playing politics with lives of Americans

NY Post Editorial: Senate Democrats this week escalated the game they're playing with Amer ica's national security. Two car bombs defused in the heart of London yesterday should be a wake-up call to them - but will it be? Investigators say the bombs point to a "terror plot involving Islamic extremists" - just days short of the two-year anniversary of the "Tube" bombings that killed 52. This shouldn't surprise; there is a war going on, after all - notwithstanding that on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney's office and the Justice Department demanding information on the National Security Agency's post-9/11 wiretapping policy. Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy charged that the administration's refusal to hand over various documents is "stonewalling of the worst kind." In fact, Leahy's activities are politics of the worst kind - to say nothing of giving wha

Democrats guilty of suppressing white voters in Mississippi

Bloomberg /Washington Post: The head of a Mississippi Democratic Party organization illegally suppressed white residents' votes, a federal judge ruled Friday in the first case filed by the Justice Department alleging that whites were subjected to voting discrimination based on their race. U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee ruled that Ike Brown, chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of Noxubee County, violated the Voting Rights Act by issuing different procedures for collecting and counting absentee ballots from white and black voters. The executive committee, also found liable in the case, is responsible for administering Democratic primaries in the county. There was "ample direct and circumstantial evidence of an intent to discriminate against white voters which has manifested itself through practices designed to deny and/or dilute the voting rights of white voters in Noxubee County," Lee's ruling said. Brown, who is black, has been chairman of the committee si

Evidence the left wants to deny about al Qaeda and Iraq

Christina Shelton: On Aug. 15, 2002, I presented my part of a composite Pentagon briefing on al-Qaeda and Iraq to George Tenet , then CIA director. In his recent book, "At the Center of the Storm," Tenet wrote that I said in opening remarks that "there is no more debate," "no further analysis is required" and "it is an open-and-shut case." I never said those things. In fact, I said the covert nature of the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda made it difficult to know its full extent; al-Qaeda's security precautions and Iraq's need to cloak its activities with terrorist networks precluded a full appreciation of their relationship. Tenet also got the title of the briefing wrong. It was "Assessing the Relationship Between Iraq and al-Qa'ida," not "Iraq and al-Qa'ida -- Making the Case." That day I summarized a body of mostly CIA reporting (dating from 1990 to 2002), from a variety of sources, that reflected a

Chavez looks for Russian investment

AP /Washington Times: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on Russian business leaders yesterday to boost their investment in his country, criticizing U.S. companies as "vampires" and inviting Russians to help develop a massive oil deposit. Mr. Chavez, a firebrand leader and vehement U.S. critic, also reportedly confirmed that his country would be negotiating with Russia about purchasing submarines. Russian media speculated that one of Mr. Chavez's key goals during his trip to Moscow was to arrange a major purchase of Russian weaponry. At a meeting with Russian lawmakers, Mr. Chavez again suggested that the United States had threatened Venezuela and was categorically opposed to Venezuela's buying submarines, according to Russian news agencies. Mr. Chavez arrived Wednesday amid widespread speculation that he wanted to sign a major arms deal, and President Vladimir Putin said the weapons trade was among the topics of their talks late Thursday when he met with Mr. Cha

Dear Sen. Edwards, ... about those bumper stickers

Brian Bresnahan: Dear Senator Edwards, Our small Nebraska town recently held its annual festival and honored those who’ve served in the Global War on Terrorism. As it seems you’ve forgotten what that is, let me remind you that it’s the war against those pesky Islamic radicals who have sworn their lives to the destruction of our nation. From a town of 1200, there were 28 of us who served or are still serving in the military during this Global War on Terrorism. Eight of the 28 were unable to attend the festival because they were overseas at the time, most of them fighting terrorists. I understand from your statements that you believe the Global War on Terrorism is nothing more than a bumper sticker slogan. In light of those beliefs, I was wondering if you could purchase and have 28 of those bumper stickers sent to our town. I’ll make sure they get distributed to the veterans and those still fighting this war, I mean slogan. I did a little research, and in Sgt Grit’s latest catalog of Mar

Taliban pushing into rest of Pakistan

NY Times: The Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf , was warned this month that Islamic militants and Taliban fighters were rapidly spreading beyond the country’s lawless tribal areas and that without “swift and decisive action,” the growing militancy could engulf the rest of the country. The warning came in a document from the Interior Ministry, which said Pakistan’s security forces in North-West Frontier Province abutting the tribal areas were outgunned and outnumbered and had forfeited authority to the Taliban and their allies. “The ongoing spell of active Taliban resistance has brought about serious repercussions for Pakistan,” says the 15-page document, which was shown to The New York Times. “There is a general policy of appeasement towards the Taliban, which has further emboldened them.” The document was discussed by this country’s National Security Council on June 4 while General Musharraf was present, the document notes. It appears to be the first such document to

Brits warned of night club car bomb attacks 2 weeks ago

Times: Nightclubs across Britain were warned they could be terrorist targets just weeks before a double car bomb attack in London, The Times has learnt. A 53-page document alerting businesses to the threat posed by VBIEDs — vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices — was issued by police before a warning over “one of the most effective weapons in the terrorist’s arsenal” became reality in the heart of the West End. Early yesterday morning only the vigilance of ambulancemen and the courage of police officers stood between hundreds of nightclubbers and a potential loss of human life on a massive scale. ... The story suggest that they had some intelligence on a possible attack. CBS News says that a jihadi website had a post abut 17 hours before the first car was found saying an event was to happen.

Al Qaeda's manual on gas canister bombs

Times: The suspected car bomb discovered outside a central London nightclub has similarities to two of the most significant terror plots discovered in recent years. A plan to pack cars with propane gas canisters before detonating them at prominent central London locations had been drawn up by Dhiren Barot, an al-Qaeda mastermind. At about the same time another group of Islamic extremists with links to al-Qaeda was plotting to blow up central London nightclubs with bombs created with fertiliser. Barot was author of an al-Qaeda terror manual called Rough Presentation for the Gas Limos Project . It sets out in detail a plan to pack limousines with explosives and gas cylinders, park them in car parks beneath buildings and detonate them. Barot spent a year researching and drawing up the 39-page document before presenting to al-Qaeda planners in April 2004. He decided to use gas as the main component of his bombs because it was easy to obtain.The 13kg cylinders of Calor Patio Gas disco

Brits have identified suspect

ABC News: British police have a "crystal clear" picture of the man who drove the bomb-rigged silver Mercedes outside a London nightclub, and officials tell the Blotter on he bears "a close resemblance" to a man arrested by police in connection with another bomb plot but released for lack of evidence. Officials say the suspect had been taken into custody in connection with the case of al Qaeda operative Dhiren Barot (pictured), who was convicted of orchestrating a vehicle bomb plot involving targets in London, New York, Newark, N.J. and Washington, D.C. Officials say a surveillance camera caught the suspect "staggering from the Mercedes" shortly after parking it outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub. U.S. and British law enforcement officials tell ABC News it is increasingly clear Friday's bomb plot in London involves multliple vehicles, and is described by a senior official as a "terror plot involving lslamic extremists." ... Police h

2nd suspect car found in London

BBC: Police are searching for the driver of an abandoned car containing a bomb that would have killed hundreds of people in central London had it exploded. An ambulance crew spotted the metallic green Mercedes by chance outside the busy Tiger Tiger night club in Haymarket at 0130BST (0030GMT). Police defused a bomb made of 60 litres of petrol, gas cylinders and nails. The BBC's Daniel Sandford said a second device was found in another Mercedes in a car park in London's Park Lane. The major thoroughfare was closed while bomb squad officers checked the vehicle. It reopened at 1930BST. The Haymarket area remains closed as dozens of officers carry out forensic searches. The Mercedes is being tested at the Forensics Explosives Laboratory in Kent. CCTV footage is also being examined and police are believed to be making some progress towards getting an image of the driver. The BBC understands that the second car was towed to the Park Lane car park after it was found parked illegally i

Hillary care?

Neal Boortz supplies the picture and some commentary on Hillary's latest ideas. click on the picture for the full size view.

Dubai and Iran

Thomas Lifson: As the gasoline riots continue in Tehran (and who knows where else in Iran?), popular discontent with the mullahs' regime increases as economic hardships multiply. Kenneth Timmerman, writing in Front Page Magazine, discusses both the economic roots of unrest and the prospects for heightening it. Among several interesting bits of information is the role of HSBC Bank (one of the world's biggest, a British institution that grew out of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) as a key link in Iran's ability to do financial business with the rest of the world. Working quietly behind the scenes, the Bush administration has won agreement from bankers in Dubai to stop clearing Iranian government financial transactions. Because Dubai has become the economic lifeline connecting Iran to the outside world, this has been a major blow to the regime. Just last week, sources in London told me, the British government agreed to a U.S. request to put pressure on the HSBC

Real Mothers

Valley Morning Star: Carolyn Jean Durham became a mother at 9:55 a.m. Thursday. That’s when 103rd state District Judge Janet L. Leal signed off on Durham’s adoption of 16-year-old Christopher, who now carries Rene as his middle name and Durham as his last. “This is one of the things we get to do that is really, really, very wonderful,” Leal said in finalizing the adoption in her busy courtroom. “Congratulations. You are the mother of a bouncing baby boy,” she told Durham, of La Feria. Durham, with Christopher by her side, beamed with joy in front of a diverse group of people inside Leal’s court in the Cameron County Judicial Building: friends and family, attorneys, court staff, and prisoners waiting to be processed and their families. All of whom clapped for Durham and Christopher. “Thank you God. I have my son,” the 39-year-old Durham said. The pair wore light blue shirts that bore the the words “Adoption Rocks.” The road to adoption has been long for both. Durham is a special educati

A query from the Iraq front to Washington

Oliver North: "Does anyone know or care that we're turning things around over here?" The query was in one of several dozen e-mails I received this week from troops with whom our FOX News "War Stories" team has been embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of them are on their third -- some even their fourth -- combat tour. The sender was chiding me for going to the Philippines to cover his comrades-in-arms in the campaign against Abu Sayyaf instead of heading back to Mesopotamia. In fact, his plaint could have been aimed at anyone in the so-called mainstream media -- where good news is no news -- and no bad news story is too old to resurrect with a new lead. The soldier's lament is valid. As congressmen prepare to embark on their weeklong Independence Day recess, there will be no vacation at the beach for the 177,000 U.S. troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. While the rest of their countrymen are carping about $3 per gallon gasoline and whining about long lines at a

What the troops really think

Buzz Patterson: ... I invited warriors to weigh in with their perspectives, interviewing hundreds of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, many on the battlefields of Iraq. Together, their interviews constitute much of War Crimes: The Left’s Campaign to Destroy the Military and Lose the War on Terror . And the picture they paint of their fellow citizens at home is anything but rosy. “Every day, the enemy changes…only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our lives. And they do not realize it. But in denouncing our actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and fight, they are isolating the military from society…and they are becoming our enemy. Terrorists cut the heads off of American citizens on the Internet…and there is no outrage but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes so

Race balance is not the problem with todays schools

Juan Williams: ... Desegregation does not speak to dropout rates that hover near 50 percent for black and Hispanic high school students. It does not equip society to address the so-called achievement gap between black and white students that mocks Brown’s promise of equal educational opportunity. And the fact is, during the last 20 years, with Brown in full force, America’s public schools have been growing more segregated — even as the nation has become more racially diverse. In 2001, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that the average white student attends a school that is 80 percent white, while 70 percent of black students attend schools where nearly two-thirds of students are black and Hispanic. By the early ’90s, support in the federal courts for the central work of Brown — racial integration of public schools — began to rapidly expire. In a series of cases in Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Kansas City, Mo., frustrated parents, black and white, appealed to federal j

Empathy with delusions

David Limbaugh: Almost as upsetting as the fact that the United States is engaged in a long-term global war against radical Islamists is that a shocking percentage of people seem predisposed against grasping it. To the perennially oblivious, we are in a war of choice in Iraq, which, among other "elective" actions, is stoking extremism and provoking retaliatory action against us. If we will just cease and desist these actions and otherwise alter those policies giving rise to grievances among radical Muslims, their rage will subside and they'll quit targeting us for extinction. Those afflicted with this line of thinking not only believe it is our actions and policies that cause terrorists to hate us, but that many of those actions and policies are indeed objectionable. That is, many of those who think global jihadists can be pacified uncoincidentally also believe they have legitimate complaints against the United States. To these critics, America is not a shining city on a

Color blind justice

Opinion Journal: Liberals were already wailing about a radical turn in Supreme Court jurisprudence, and yesterday's decisions really brought out the sackcloth and outrage. But the end of this first full term of the John Roberts-Samuel Alito Court presented no sweeping departures, instead hewing to the incremental conservative judging that was its hallmark this year. The most contentious opinion determined that programs engineering the racial composition of school districts in Seattle and Louisville were unconstitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the 5-4 majority, expressed the bedrock principle in a single sentence: "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." But the majority was in effect only a plurality. Anthony Kennedy concurred but wrote his own, more narrow opinion that said schools can be "race-conscious," though race can't be the only or controlling factor. Nonetheless, Stephen

US media does Tokyo Rose

Strategy Page: June 29, 2007: U.S. troops have been mystified at how differently the war they fight in Iraq is portrayed by the U.S. media back home. Most just shrug it off as "politics," and yet another reason to not trust what the mass media presents as reliable reporting. But recently, the troops have been passing around an interesting discovery. Namely, that the Japanese psychological warfare effort during World War II included radio broadcasts that could be picked up by American troops. Popular music was played, but the commentary (by one of several English speaking Japanese women) always hammered away on the same points; 1 Your President (Franklin D Roosevelt) is lying to you. 2 This war is illegal. 3 You cannot win the war. The troops are perplexed and somewhat amused that their own media is now sending out this message.... The media is largely picking up the meme of the left wing Democrats which in turn is picked up by al Qaeda

Muslim terror raising the cost of religious freedom in US

Diana West: If anyone wants to know why Muslims the world over tell pollsters the United States is at war with Islam, just read President Bush's speech at the Islamic Center of Washington, especially the part about American-style religious freedom — in the president's words, "what we wish for the world." He began this way: "For those who seek a true understanding of our country, they need look no farther than here." No, not the mosque itself, but down the street it occupies. "This Muslim center sits quietly down the road from a synagogue, a Lutheran Church, a Catholic parish, a Greek Orthodox chapel, a Buddhist temple — each with faithful followers who practice their deeply held beliefs and live side by side in peace," the president explained, standing in his Islamically observant stocking feet before a cool Muslim audience. "This is what freedom offers: societies where people can live and worship as they choose without intimidation, without s

The people prevailed in Senate vote on immigration

Scott Rasmussen: Scott Rasmussen’s first law of politics is that America’s politicians aren’t nearly as important as they think they are. That law was clearly demonstrated earlier today when the United States Senate finally surrendered to the American people on immigration. Politicians may make things messy for a while, but over the long haul it is the American people who determine the nation’s fundamental policies. The final Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll before the vote found that just 22% of Americans supported the legislation . No amount of Presidential persuasion, Senate logrolling, and procedural tricks was able to overcome that solid bi-partisan lack of public support (although it’s breathtaking to consider how close a determined leadership could come to passing such an unpopular bill). The real mystery in all of this is why the Senators and their cheerleaders didn’t anticipate the public response. Perhaps they fell in love with their own rhetoric and forgot ho

A deal on the West Bank?

Strategy Page: Israel and Fatah are negotiating what amounts to a peace treaty. An informal deal, but perhaps one of the most effective ever worked out between the two antagonists. In return for Fatah really cracking down on Palestinian terrorists, Israel would dismantle much of its security system on the West Bank. There are 560 Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank, making it difficult for Palestinians to move around. There are 35 checkpoints controlling access into Israel, and 43 internal checkpoints within the West Bank. The check points require a document check and search before getting past. If there is an alert, many of the roadblocks will stop and search as well. All this is to make it more difficult for terrorists to organize and carry out attacks inside Israel. So far this has worked. But Israel will only take down the movement restrictions inside the West Bank if they can get convincing assurances that Fatah will crack down on the terrorists, and share inform

Retail price maintenance means higher prices

NY Times: Striking down an antitrust rule nearly a century old, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that it was not automatically unlawful for manufacturers and distributors to agree on minimum retail prices. The decision will give producers significantly more, though not unlimited, power to dictate retail prices and to restrict the flexibility of discounters. Five justices, agreeing with the nation’s major manufacturers, said the new rule could in some instances lead to more competition and better service. But four dissenting justices agreed with 37 states and some consumer groups that abandoning the old rule could result in significantly higher prices and less competition for consumer and other goods. ... The dissent is right on this case. Retail price maintenance is used to benefit the high end retailer and take away the competitive advantage of discounters. Rather than let the market decide whether the services of the high end retailer are worth the higher price, retail price mai

Dem senators' drive to make us like China

Charles Krauthammer: The senator was vexed. The U.S. auto companies were resisting attempts by her and other Senate well-meaners to impose a radical rise in fuel efficiency by 2017. Why can't they be more like the Chinese, she complained. Or, to quote Sen. Dianne Feinstein precisely: "What the China situation, or the other countries' situation, shows is that these automakers, in all of these countries, build the automobile that the requirements for mileage state. And they don't fight it, they just do it." Yes. That is how things work in Communist Party dictatorships. It is odd to hold up China as a model of corporate-government relations. It is also poor salesmanship. Just a week after Feinstein made that statement, the Brilliance BS6 sedan -- "a car with which [China] wanted to conquer Europe's automobile market" -- failed a German crash test so miserably that it may be banned from Europe , reported the European news agency AFX News. "It was