Saturday, July 23

Dissidents Arrested in Cuba crackdown, Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello has been Freed

From the BBC:
Opposition figures in Cuba say at least 20 Cuban dissidents have been detained as part of a crackdown against the country's political opposition.
Netforcuba.org is reporting that Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, one of the many dissidents arrested has been freed.
Miami, Florida, July 23, 2005 – We received a call from Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello at 5:30 AM from her house in Havana, who informed us that a large political police deployment blocking traffic had stopped and detained her yesterday at approximately 8:45 A.M. while on her way to pick up Felix Bonne Carcasses to go together to the demonstration convened by the Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba at the French Embassy.

Martha Beatriz informed us that she was forced out of the car she was riding on and taken in a police car to the Technical Department of Investigations, better known as D.T.I., located at 100 and Aldabó, where she was confined for two hours. At the D.T.I. she exchanged strong words with state security officers, because she refused to be treated as a common delinquent. From there, she was taken to a police station located at Infanta and Amenidad, in Centro Habana. Martha Beatriz added that during all the time she remained there she felt very ill, and that she had refused to ingest any food or water.

The regime’s agents tried to have her sign a “Detention Report Document” stating that she had attempted to go in a “provocative” manner to a zone with diplomatic immunity. which she refused to sign. They had two police officers witness her refusal. Roque Cabello wrote her own document, assuming full responsibility for convening and selecting the location of the demonstration. Martha Beatriz continued to inform us that at 11:30 PM she was taken to a jail cell that had a wooden board with two pieces of newspapers, where she remained until the pre-dawn hours, at which time she was taken to her home. We also were able to speak with Rene Gomez Manzano’s brother, who informed us that René had not been returned home and continued in detention. Martha Beatriz stated that “this has not finished, that people need to be taken out of prison and that they would continue the campaign until all were liberated”.
More comments and discussion at BabaluBlog.com.

London, Says Man Killed by Police Had No Tie to Bombings, Believed to be South American

This is terrible news. It is terrible for the London police, and the consequences it will have to their investigation. But, let us now forget what happened.

A police officer called out to stop, and the man ran from the authorities. Why was he wearing a heavy jacket? That still remains a question. Was he set up for this? There are still a lot of unanswered questions.
LONDON, July 23 - Scotland Yard admitted Saturday that a man police officers chased and shot to death at point-blank range in front of horrified subway passengers on Friday had nothing to do with the investigation into the bombing attacks here.

Senior investigators and officials of the Metropolitan Police said the man was believed to be South American; it was not known whether he was Muslim. No explosives or weapons were found on the man's body after the shooting, police officials said.

The incident sent shock waves through the country's 1.6 million Muslims, already alarmed by a publicly acknowledged shoot-to-kill policy directed against suspected suicide bombers. And it has dealt a major setback to the police investigation into suspected terrorist cells in London.

"This really is an appalling set of circumstances," said John O'Connor, a former police commander. "The consequences are quite horrible."

Azzam Tamimi, head of the Muslim Association of Britain, said: "This is very frightening. People will be afraid to walk the streets, or go on the tube, or carry anything in their hands."

Friday, July 22

U.N. Brings Population Control to the Philippines

Alarming article from Family News in Focus correspondent, Kim Trobee. Is the Philippines going to become the next China?
The heavy hand of the U.N. is again trying to bolster abortion worldwide through coercion and threats.

Next month the Philippine Congress will vote on legislation that could have serious consequences for the family. Under the Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act, Filipinos would be limited to two children per family. The U.N. is behind the intimidation.

In the Philippines, the fertility rate among women is 2.8 children over the course of their lifetimes. Why the need for population control? Eileen Macapanas Crosby, who is with the Filipino Family Fund, points to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

"The population control movement is now putting emphasis on the Philippines in a way—and at a time—where they're under a lot of pressure to accept foreign aid because of the financial burden of the debt," Crosby said. "The money that the UNFPA is promising the Philippines is a pretty attractive benefit."

The government claims the plan is not coercive, but there are reports of involuntary contraception. Lea Sevcik, who is with the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, is concerned that pro-life healthcare workers may be at risk.

"One of the things that the bill prohibits," she said, "(is for individuals to) to 'act from conscience.' It actually threatens up to six months imprisonment."
Read the rest of the article here.

Roberts has two latino adpoted children

Interesting fact being discussed in different blogs. It speaks of Robert's compassion and character.
Roberts and his lawyer-wife, Jane, are the parents of two young children adopted from Latin America.
It seems someone tried to make a connection between the fact that he has adopted, and his views on abortion. I don't know that I see a connection, other than supporting adoption, regardless of your views on abortion, supports and provides for women wanting to make the choice to place their babies for adopotion. This, of course, has nothing to do with Roberts.

Verizon and ProLiteracy Worldwide Boosting Literacy Levels in Santo Domingo

It's good to see Verizon taking good corporate responsability. This makes a difference in curbing illegal immigration by preparing individuals in third world countries to earn a better living and contribute to their own communities.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--July 22, 2005--Verizon Dominicana President Jorge Ivan Ramirez will read to children enrolled in the EDUCA program as part of a celebration of the more than 10,000 families enrolled in or graduated from literacy programs that span the country Beginning at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, 2005, the reading will precede a news conference to be held at 1 p.m. at the headquarters for Verizon Dominicana, Avenida John F. Kennedy, No. 54, during which officials and graduates will discuss the success that participants have enjoyed over the past two years.

The nine educational programs in 377 communities across the Dominican Republic, which represent a collaboration between corporate and nonprofit sectors, have increased literacy levels as well as life and employment skills among learners from preschoolers to senior citizens. ProLiteracy Worldwide, the world's largest organization of community-based adult literacy programs, created and developed some of the initiatives using $248,000 donated over the last two years by the Verizon International Foundation and by counting on the support of Verizon Dominicana employees. The programs offer residents of urban and rural communities the
opportunity to learn in age- or skill-specific settings or together as families and provide the resources residents need to apply literacy skills toward the first steps in greater personal and economic development.

"It's inspiring to see how people of all ages who, by developing a proficiency in literacy, have unlocked their potential in so many other areas," said Dan Petri, president of Verizon International. "Our support of these programs is an investment in the future of the Dominican Republic, and the return on that investment is realized when we hear the success stories and from one visit to the next when we see the progress that has been made on a person-by-person basis."

From Santo Domingo to Guerra to San Pedro de Macoris, ProLiteracy has developed programs that incorporate literacy training into real-world projects such as micro-businesses, health initiatives or in community-building activities. Each program is tailored to a community?s specific needs, explained Lynn Curtis, vice president of international programs, ProLiteracy Worldwide.

"This approach drives results but it also helps secure the support of participants. They can see from the onset how what they learn applies to their everyday lives," Curtis added. "Once they've seen the benefit, participants return and serve as volunteers, so the program has an impact and is sustainable."

Windows Vista - Microsoft Reveals New Name for Longhorn

Watch MS Streaming video of the announcement of Windows Vista as the name for the new operating system code named Longhorn. Be warned: this is Microsoft. You may experience constant interruptions as the video attempts to buffers, and your computer potentially will crash. Expect it.

Castro: I'm Honored to Be Elian's Friend


Ken at secondbreakfast.net blogs on Castro's statements during Elian's sixth-grade graduation and the media's romance with the Communist dictator. Of course, as Ken points out, the MSM goes out of their way to leave out the important facts--federal agents took the boy by force at gun point!
Well, I noticed in my search for this story that it appears that all of the hits at TV websites use the same story as KRON. They all seem to be missing the same element of the story. Let's check the Florida papers:
His father wanted him returned to Cuba, however, and an April 2000 raid, federal agents seized the boy, then 6.
OH YEAH, THAT'S IT! The damn courts never got to "intervene in a fierce legal battle" because Janet Reno ordered federal agents to take the kid at gunpoint without going through the hassle of court. And her boss couldn't wait to get in Castro's good graces by sending him back to the gulag worker's paradise.

But you wouldn't know that from TV news.

Secure America Act, Finding Solutions to illegal immigration

What is this about a Secure America Act? I read up on Kolbe site, but I can't find the text. I am concerned that the Title III: Essential Worker Visa Program won't fix the problem. I am told of 5 year waiting period and all sorts of abuses happening in embassies in Central and South America. If poor, but honest and hard working immigrant cannot promptly process their requests to find work in the US, they will continue to pursue illegal methods. Additionally, more has to be done to hold these countries accountable for their economic, and corruption problems.
Christina DeConcini, a spokeswoman for the National Immigration Forum, a nonprofit group in Washington, said her group supports the Secure America Act. Ultimately, she said, helping workers in Mexico and other low-wage nations earn higher wages at home is the best way to reduce the number of illegal immigrants coming to the United States.

“The vast majority of illegal immigrants come to this country to work — not for political freedom,” DeConcini said. “Until there is less poverty in Mexico and other low-wage countries, the number of illegal immigrants in Vermont and nationally is likely to keep growing.”

Lessons from London

Interesting argument. It does make sense. It tells you something about what the left is doing. Words do have consequences. When will the Liberals learn this lesson?
London's lessons
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, an author and terrorism analyst, says al Qaeda could execute a London-type train bombing "within 24" hours in the United States.

"But why attack here," Gen. McInerney said in an interview, "when you have leftists in America who have aided and abetted the enemy more than Tokyo Rose did in World War II? They don't need to set off bombs. If they set off bombs, they would silence the shrill of leftists in the United States."

Gen. McInerney says the July 7 London bombing was an attempt by Muslim militants to bring down Prime Minister Tony Blair and see him replaced by a left-wing Laborite who would pull troops out of Iraq.

Patriot Act Passed 257-171

Patriot Act Passed 257-171. The Political Teen beat DrudgeReport to the story?

H.R.3199
Title: To extend and modify authorities needed to combat terrorism, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [WI-5] (introduced 7/11/2005) Cosponsors (None)
Related Bills: H.RES.369, S.1266
Latest Major Action: 7/21/2005 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 257 - 171 (Roll no. 414).
House Reports: 109-174 Part 1, 109-174 Part 2

When is Racial Profiling More than just Profiling?

This is ridiculous. It's this kind of thinking that endangers more people! If Latino's in an area are being "profiled" for possible gang activities, then it just might be because there are a lot of Latino gangs in the area. Is that racial profiling? What about truth and evidence? What about the authorities responsibility to protect the community?

This is another reason why illegal immigration is a security liability to our cities. When social workers and community leaders start complaining and trying to protect illegal immigrants because the police is being proactive in doing their job, this becomes a barrier to security and the law.

"El justo no tiene nada que temer" goes the saying. It translates to "The just has nothing to fear." If you are illegal, you are right in being afraid--you broke the law of this nation. We feel for your circumstances, and we apologize it is so difficult to enter this country legally. We respect your hard work and contributions to our country, but you broke the law. We do have an immigration mess. But this does not justify by any means breaking the law.
Fear runs deep in Shelby County's Hispanic communities this week as a federal gang investigation continues, bringing agents to neighborhoods largely left alone in previous immigration roundups, advocates said Thursday.

Apprehension has been mounting for more than a month, said Isabel Rubio, executive director of The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama. Her office received calls about intensifying scrutiny long before federal authorities detained 30 people this week, she said.

"We understand there are concerns in Hoover, Pelham and Alabaster about the growing Latino community," Rubio said. "But it is our concern that Latino members of the community are being unfairly picked on, possibly victims of racial profiling. We have heard incidents where people are being asked to take off their shirts during routine traffic stops so tattoos can be photographed."

Harry Potter Mania -- Discussion

There is a great discussion going on at WorldMagBlog on the whole Harry Potter mania. Nothing to do with Latinos, I suppose, but I thought I would ad my two cents.

A reader commented:

I think its interesting how much people want to be in a group that is all connected by some common thread. It says a lot about our desire for homogeny, not always along racial, sexual or religious lines, but also simply based on what we do in our spare time.

The interesting thing about Harry Potter fans vs. Star Trek fans is that a vast majority of them are kids who have grown up with the books, or the parents of said kids. I wonder if what sort of effects this will have on them as they get older (and whether or not they will remain HP fans).

We live in an obsessive culture.

Posted by David B. at July 22, 2005 07:54 AM
This is an interesting phenomenon. I would think it is indicative of our society, more than anything else. I tend to agree with the idea that it shows a desire or need for community or belonging in a way that crosses boundaries. Why is it that this seems so hard for the church to do? I am generalizing of course, as I know many churches that are doing a great job crossing boundaries in building community.

I have to agree with this reader, who points out it's a good example for other writers.

The books are very well written and [other] writers should read them in order to see good examples of excellent plotting, well-defined characters, multiple back stories, well-placed humor and irony, keeping the reader interested, etc.

However, I do agree that things have gone to excess. After all, the stories are well written from a childrens (and even adult) literature perspective, but the stories are not so singular that they should consume our lives.

Posted by outdeep at July 22, 2005 08:04 AM
On the other hand, it would be interesting to see what could happen if C.S.Lewis's Narnia series was re-packaged, perhaps with some new illustrations, and maps? Would the county jump on that band wagon? I think it would do well, but I would suspect that there would be many in the main stream media that would quickly point out to it's evangelical roots. We'll see what happens after December and the movie, I suppose.

Obsession can never be a good thing. Is potter mania creating a renewed interest in reading in general, or are these kids reading one book (Potter) every couple years?

PERSPECTIVES ON THE FREEDOM TOWER PROPOSAL

I just learned about the controversy surrounding the new development around the Freedom Tower in Miami. I don't know the details, so I am not sure what to say. I do know that it is my desire, as of every other Cuban, that this landmark be perserved as a monument to freedom.

The following two opinions apeared on the Miami Herald:
Posted on Fri, Jul. 22, 2005

I attended Wednesday's hearing on the Freedom Tower project to learn more about it before I took sides on the issue.

I believe now that the Miami Planning Advisory Board, although acting with good intentions, is suffering from shortsightedness. Hopefully, city commissioners will let the project proceed.

The bottom line is that the Freedom Tower will be preserved. Maybe not as a skyline head turner, but as the beautiful and dominant centerpiece of a bustling plaza.

The tower will remain a centerpiece, but also become the center of cultural events and a gathering place for tourists and locals.

If not Pedro Martin, then another developer will certainly build high-rises around the tower. It is possible that someone else would not be as kind to the Freedom Tower as Martin appears to be.

I hope that commissioners realize this as well.

RAMON MAYOR, Sunny Isles Beach


Re the July 21 article Condo project hits snag: Pedro Martin's plan to overshadow the Freedom Tower with a condominium is unnecessary. It's a shame that he wants to disgrace such a beautiful monument in order to make money. Miami has enough luxury condos going up already.

Again the dollar has a chance to win over history, sacrifice and decency. We need to take a stand and make decisions that mold our city into one that not only looks to the future, but also respects the past.

Why not build a condo around the Philadelphia Liberty Bell or put high-rises on Ellis Island? Because history must be preserved. Time will tell what Miami chooses.

JULES MASON, Sunny Isles Beach

More Truth About Castro's Cuba

Babalu Blog has a story on the 5 Cuban dancers that defected in La Vegas some months ago. Surprisingly, the very liberal New York Times seems to have done justice to the story. This is the so-called-freedom experienced in Cuba.
A year ago this week, Cuban officials raided the Havana building where the group rehearsed and seized thousands of dollars worth of equipment. They ordered the group to disband and told them they would no longer be permitted to perform. Their founder and artistic director, Nicole Durr, who is German, was arrested and expelled from the country.

Roberts nomination -- Does the Constitution Matter?

Are we no longer a democracy guided by the principles of the Constitution? Where is our nation going to when "slightly more than half of all Americans what to know" a Supreme Court nominee's views on a controversial issue, and see this is a the crux of the matter, versus actually following the letter of the law as it is written?

My question is, if so many American's care about abortion, and believe it is so important, why don't they push for a Constitutional amendment? That would solve the whole controversy. At the very least, while immoral killing of millions of children, we would be within the law. The truth is those that oppose true freedom of choice--the choice to be informed, and the choice to know the real consequences of an abortion--do not have a logical argument that resonates. It is just not convincing. If it was, we would see the country going in a different direction. Wake up America. Stop the murders!
Washington -- Slightly more than half of all Americans, and a solid majority of women, want to know John Roberts position on abortion before the Senate votes on whether to elevate him to the Supreme Court. Abortion is sure to come up at his Senate confirmation hearings and an Associated Press-Ipsos survey found 52 per cent believe he should give his position on the controversial matter before lawmakers vote on him, while 42 per cent said he should not.
On a second thought, this sounds like more statistics propaganda. I find it hard to believe that more than half of American's and a solid majority of women care this much about abortion. My propaganda alarm went off on this one.

Who did they survey; progressive, lesbian women in San Francisco or maybe it was a survey done to the American Abortionist Association of America?

Cuban system gains support in Venezuela--Propaganda on the Miami Herald?

This sounds like twisted statistics. I just completed my first graduate level statistics course, and I learned enough to know it is VERY easy to twist statistics in the direction you want. Are the underclass in Venezuela this blind to Chavez's intentions and the direction he is taking the country?
CARACAS - Venezuelans' support for Fidel Castro's model of government and the installation of socialism here has been growing, two recent polls show, although a majority remains critical of the Cuban system.

The polls suggest that President Hugo Chávez, Castro's closest ally, is succeeding in shifting public opinion toward the left as he pushes his ''revolution'' among a population that historically identified more with the values of Miami than Havana.

Chávez, whose own approval rates are running at over 70 percent, makes frequent pro-Cuba speeches, and more than 20,000 Cuban medical personnel and sports instructors work in poor neighborhoods here.

A poll released last weekend by the Caracas-based Datanálisis company showed 11.6 percent approved using Castro's Cuba as a model for Venezuela, while 63.2 percent said they were opposed.

The percentage of pro-Cuban sentiment represented a significant increase. In July 2002, in response to the same question, only 3 percent expressed support and more than 91 percent were opposed. As recently as this January, the support was under 6 percent.

Another nationwide poll, carried out by Seijas & Asociados in late May and early June, showed that about 48 percent of respondents preferred a socialist over a capitalist system, with less than 26 percent preferring the latter.

After years of denying that his ''Bolivarian revolution'' -- named after independence hero Simón Bolívar -- was socialist, Chávez now openly calls himself a socialist and attacks what he calls the ''perversions'' of capitalism.

Datanálisis director Luis Vicente León warned, however, that the various poll results must be analyzed ''with tweezers'' and do not necessarily mean that Venezuelans want a Cuban-styled system in their country.

Venezuelans, León said, associate the Cuban system not with socialism but with communism, which the majority abhors. ''There remains a very high level of rejection of extreme models such as communism,'' he said.

Wilson Four Can Stay in U.S.

In a reversal, an immigration judge ruled yesterday that the wilson four, the honors students who faced deportation after being detained by immigration agents while on a trip to a science competition, would be able to stay in the US after all. I apreciate Rick Oltman's statement. That is what this issue is about--the rule of law.

This case just demonstrates (I know, I am repeating myself) the mess our immigration laws are in as a result of court mendling, and political correctness. For the safety of our nation, for the prosperity of hard working citizens and legal immigrants, and for the future of our children, it's time to fix the immigration problem.
Rick Oltman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which supports tighter restrictions on immigration, said that if the students' rights were violated, the ruling should stand. "We support the law," he said.

But he said there would be additional cases like this one as children of illegal immigrants grew up.

"Clearly, something needs to be determined here so we can either remove the impediments to deportation or allow the people who've been here to adjust their status," Oltman said.

The case of the "Wilson Four," named after their high school, has transfixed Phoenix for years. The students were members of an after-school workshop on solar energy when they traveled to Buffalo for a national competition on building and racing a solar-powered boat.

In their testimony, the four described how their teachers took them to Niagara Falls, where immigration agents became suspicious because the students were Latino, and held them for nine hours without letting them contact attorneys. The agents approached some of the students and after determining that one was in the country illegally, demanded that their teachers bring the rest in for interrogation.

After London Bombing, Police Begin Searching Bags on NYC Subways

Oh, what it will take for America to wake up? They can do random searches and arrests in NY city, but the government won't start enforcing current law and secure our borders. Let's hope our immigration mess does not become the cause for our next terrorist attack on US soil.
NEW YORK -- Alarmed by a new round of mass transit attacks in London, police in New York began random searches of bags and packages brought into the city's vast subway system.

The inspections started on a small scale Thursday in Manhattan and were expanded during Friday morning's rush hour _ a development welcomed by some commuters.

"I'm not against it," Ian Compton, 35, a computer consultant, said at Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan. "I think any measures for safety that aren't terribly intrusive are worth doing."

Officers, some with bomb-sniffing dogs, were stopping people carrying bags as they entered subways, commuter trains, buses and ferries at various points in the city, police said. Anyone who refuses a search will be turned away, and those caught carrying drugs or other contraband could be arrested.

London, Eyewitnesses Described Mayhem

From thisinlondon.com:
Eyewitnesses described mayhem at Stockwell Tube station today after a suspected suicide bomber was shot dead fleeing from armed police.

One said the man was shot five times as he ran on to a Northern line train soon after 10am.

Scotland Yard have confirmed they shot a man and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sky News has further details on the suicide bomber that was shot trying to escape.

Alarmed onlookers said they saw up to 10 plain-clothed officers chasing an Asian-looking man before opening fire.

Witness Mark Whitby was on the train as he saw a big man wearing a large coat and "looking absolutely petrified" lurch through the doors.

Canada, Tunnel Discovered at Border

The Canadian Press reports the discovery of a tunnel between the US and Canda being used to smuggle pot. It makes me wonder what else they smuggled or could have smuggled? What is not to say that there is something like this left undiscovered elsewhere on our northern or southern border?
LANGLEY, B.C. (CP) - Three Surrey, B.C., men have been charged in Washington state with conspiracy to distribute and import marijuana after law enforcement officials discovered a tunnel crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

The U.S. Justice Department says the 110-metre tunnel runs from a depth of one to three metres and is reinforced with iron rebar and 2x6 wood supports

Thursday, July 21

John G. Roberts, huge blow to conservatism?

A reader comments:
I don't enjoy the candidate that Bush picked. I am EXTREMELY disappointed in his LACK of leadership and LACK of common sense. This might prove to be a huge blow to conservatism.
Anonymous | 07.20.05 - 10:54 pm | #
I have to say that doubt Bush's selection of Roberts will prove to be a huge blow to Conservatism. As someone respected in the community wrote today [whom I would rather not name];
Of course, no one can discern with perfect accuracy what lies in the heart – and specifically the philosophy and beliefs – of this nominee. It will not be until future decisions are handed down by the Supreme Court that the ideology of this man, if confirmed, will become evident. We’re all aware of the tragic consequences that have resulted from the David Souter appointment by President George H.W. Bush, who believed at the time that Souter was a social conservative. He has turned out to be a radical liberal who has done great damage to this country. I know Souter has been a source of great embarrassment to former President Bush, who thought he knew the man but didn’t. Unfortunately, the extremely liberal influences of Washington, D.C, when combined with a position of enormous power, can often change a person for the worse. That is why we need to be in prayer that Judge Roberts’ true colors will become apparent before a final confirmation decision is reached. For right now, however, the man looks good.
At worst, we will all wake up to the reality that no one is immune to deception and liberal pressure. Even the president could be wrong on this one, but based on everyone's testimony about this man (including Hugh Hewitt, a very trustworthy source) Roberts should prove to be an originalist as Bush promised. The best thing to do is to pray for this nation, for the leadership, and for Roberts himself. Pray he will resist the pressure to legislate from the bench, and pray he will remian faithful to the Constitution.

Welcome to Babalu Blog & hispanicpundit.com Readers

Many thanks to Babalu Blog for the introduction and link.
To Babalu & hispanicpundit.com readers, welcome. Take a look around, and check out some of my previous posts. I like my readers to generally keep me on my toes, so your comments are always welcome. My only rule for commenting is to keep the language to a PG rating, and keep things respectful. I hope you will bookmark the site, and link to me on your site or blog.

Best Regards,

Josue Sierra

Kennedy's secret deal with Khruschev

This is the first time I read or hear about this! Incredible! Read the whole piece at HumanEventsonline.com. Thanks to Babalu Blog for the link to this one!

Kennedy's secret deal with Khruschev forbad any liberation of Cuba, not just by the U.S. but by any group or nation in the Hemisphere. Indeed it was up to the U.S. to prevent any such liberation attempts. The Best and Brightest not only pulled the rug out from Cuba's freedom-fighters, they also sanctioned the 40,000 Soviet troops and KGB goons already in Cuba coaching and aiding Castro's butchery of these freedom-fighters.

Richard Nixon summed up the the Missile Crisis "resolution" best. "First we goofed an invasion--now we give the Soviets squatters rights in our backyard."

Joint Chiefs member General Curtis Lemay slammed his fist on his desk and bellowed: "The biggest defeat in U.S. history!

Admiral Anderson, in charge of the very naval "blockade' against Cuba got the news of the "resolution" and shouted. "We've been had!"

In his memoirs Nikita Khrushchev himself clarified the matter: "It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba--for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. [So much for all the media and Hollywood hype of those peril-filled Thirteen Days] We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along, security for Fidel Castro's regime and American missiles removed from Turkey. Until today the U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro. After Kennedy's death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba" [emphasis added].

John G. Roberts--The Battle Begins!

I got this email from Mike DuHaime at the RNC. I think its a travesty that we have politized the Judicial court nomination process!! Don't get me wrong--the strategy is right on. If constituents don't call their senators, and put the pressure on, who knows what these spineless Republicans might do! And we know that the left will be going all out in their campaign to demonize Roberts in any way they can.
Dear Josue,

It's been over 36 hours since President Bush named Judge John G. Roberts to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Judge Roberts is a fair-minded and compassionate jurist who knows his job is to interpret the Constitution, not legislate from the bench. Response to Judge Roberts' nomination has been very positive from Republicans, legal scholars, the media and even some Democrats thanks to actions you took shortly after the President announced his choice. But our work is not done.

Liberal interest groups such as NARAL and MoveOn.Org are committed to doing all they can to keep Judge Roberts from the bench. President Bush selected Judge Roberts after an unprecedented outreach effort, consulting with Democrats and Republicans alike. He has been thorough, thoughtful and deliberate throughout the entire process. To ensure Judge Roberts is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, we need you to do three things.

1. Call your senators, tell them Roberts has your support and deserves theirs.

2. Sign our petition in support of the timely confirmation of Judge Roberts.

3. Call talk radio, write a letter to the editor of your local paper and tell your friends and neighbors why you support the President's choice.

Judge Roberts has a record that demonstrates a commitment to faithfully applying the Constitution and not legislating from the bench.

The President and Judge Roberts need your help. We need to keep the momentum going so this highly qualified nominee becomes the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Thank you for your hard work and please take action today.

Sincerely,


Mike DuHaime
RNC Political Director

Appeasing Castro prolongs tyranny

Great piece by the Boston Herald on the French embassy's celebration of Bastille Day and their shameless invitation of Fidel Castro's communist cronies. It's good to see a strong US newspaper putting the spot light on the EU's appeasing of Castro. So much for enlightened, civilized society--they are prolonging the suffering, and human rights abuse of the worst tyrant in the hemisphere.
Shamefully, they expressly didn't invite any of Cuba's dissidents: France had promised to turn a cold shoulder to democracy activists struggling to free themselves from their own (island) prison. So much for liberte, egalite and fraternite.

But it's not just the French who have decided to play along with Cuba's horrendous human-rights practices; the European Union as a whole has caved to Cuba's caudillo, Fidel Castro.

Back in 1996, the EU adopted a ``Common Position'' on Cuba, with the avowed goal of promoting democracy, respect for human rights and improvement in the often-dismal living conditions for the Cuban people. But the EU has shifted to appeasing Castro on these issues.

It started in March 2003, when Fidel threw 75 nonviolent democracy dissidents into jail. The next month, the EU slapped Cuba with economic sanctions, lowered the level of diplomatic contact and put regime opponents on the A-list for embassy parties. In response, Havana suspended relations with the EU.

Cuba and the Communist propaganda Machine

This article will just make you mad. I am not sure what context the author is referring to, but I have to ask, "What about putting into context Fidel, the corruption, the murders, the prisoners, and the thousands who have died?" Is that to much to ask for? From People's weekly, of course it is.

The People’s Weekly World / Nuestro Mundo is a national, grassroots weekly newspaper and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker. Published by Long View Publishing Co., the PWW reports on and analyzes the pressing issues and struggles of the day: for workers’ rights, peace, equality, social and economic justice, democracy, civil liberties, women’s rights, protection of the environment, and more.

The PWW is known for its partisan coverage. We take sides — for truth and justice. We are partisan to the working class, racially and nationally oppressed peoples, women, youth, seniors, international solidarity, Marxism and socialism. We enjoy a special relationship with the Communist Party USA, founded in 1919, and publish its news and views.

Putting Cuba in context

Thank God for alternative media, blogs, and talk radio. Perhaps you will find the above article laughable. Then again, I would hope you would find the pack of lies disgustingting and irreprehensible, considering the lives of those who have suffered under the Castro regime.

High Alert. Police search London hospital for bomb suspect

The Guarding is reporting on the ongoing search for the would be suicide bomber inside University College Hospital in London. The hospital is now on "high alert" as London police search for suspects. Fox News' Simon Marks is reporting that intelligence sources are saying that the mastermind behind the 7/7 bombings is not yet in custody and still at large.
Armed police are searching a hospital in central London amid reports that a suspected would-be suicide bomber was on the run inside after explosions on tube trains and a bus today.

Officers went back into University College Hospital (UCH) an hour after calling off their original search, which came after an incident involving explosives at the nearby Warren Street tube station.

Speaking at 4.50pm, a Metropolitan police spokesman said: "We have armed deployment at UCH, but we are not prepared to discuss this further at this stage."

At 4.30, the Sky News television channel reported that a convoy of police vans and two armed response units had arrived at the hospital, including officers from the anti-terrorist branch.

Bush CAFTA speech--Did not directly mention the London bombing

Bush spoke today to the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. this morning, where he did not specifically mention the London bombing, but did say we would not be frightened by acts of terrorism.

Make sure to read the entire speech at HispanicBusiness.com.

"They have the desire to use their terrorist techniques to frighten us," Bush said during his speech. "They understand when they kill in cold blood it ends up on our TV screens. And they're trying to shake our will." "They don't understand our country though. They don't understand that when it comes to the defense of universal freedoms, this country won't be frightened," he added.

New London Bombing Prompt Stock Selloff

The Associated Press is reporting the US Stock market reaction to this morning's London bombing. Whoever thinks that what happens on the other side of the world is no business of ours has a wake up call coming.
NEW YORK - Stocks dropped Thursday as uneasiness over the latest subway attacks in London overshadowed strong earnings reports and China's decision to revalue its currency.

While the London attacks appeared to be minor — only one injury was reported — investors took the opportunity to secure their recent gains one day after a record-setting session.

BBC, Running Account of Events Related to London Blasts

The BBC is providing a running account of events related to the London blasts.

The last five entries:
1758: Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, says space limitations and the number of people using the Underground make airport-style security checks difficult.

1755: Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair says the arrest of a man outside 10 Downing Street appears "entirely unconnected" to the transport system incidents.

1750: Sir Ian says London is "back to business". He says it will take "a little bit longer" to determine whether there is a connection between the incidents on Thursday and those of 7 July - but adds that the intention on Thursday "must have been to kill".

1630: Armed police return to University College Hospital to search the premises.

1620: Two people are detained, police say. A police source says officers are looking for an unknown number of fugitives.

Sky News, London Bomb Attack

Latest news from London, and the failed bomb attack at Sky News.

Instapundit writes:
SKY NEWS is reporting that the bus bomb is identical to designs used in the 7/7 attacks.
I could not find the link to the story.

Venezuelan official criticizes US plan for radio, TV broadcasts

The Associated Press is reporting on Chavez' and the Venezuelan Ambasador's reaction to the news of the amendment authorizing U.S. radio and television broadcasts to Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called an amendment authorizing U.S. radio and television broadcasts to Venezuela to ensure its citizens receive "accurate news" another "desperate attack by the imperialists."

Chavez said Wednesday that Venezuela's government would "jam the signal" of any broadcasts from the United States, but added he would "carefully evaluate" the decision made earlier in the day by members of the House of Representatives.

"We'll see if the U.S. government takes any action because what they have done is give the green light to the government, so it takes the initiative," said Chavez, one of Latin America's most outspoken critics of U.S. foreign policy in the region.

Venezuela's ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, said "manipulation and lack of knowledge" led to the approval in the U.S. Congress of the amendment authorizing future broadcasts aimed at establishing a counterweight to Telesur, a recently launched TV station backed by Venezuela, Argentina, communist-led Cuba and Uruguay

LA TIMES RUNS SOB STORY ON DEPORTATION OF ILLEGALS

This from the LauraIngraham.com web site:
The MSM is complicit (along with the business community and numerous Hispanic organizations) in encouraging illegal entry into the United States by highlighting weepy deportation stories whenever they can. Get ready to get mad, click here.
I do have to say that these are the stories that reveal the true victims of illegal immigrating--the children. I feel for these 4 young latinos, but there where choices made and consequences to those. We must live under the law! I do think the parent's should face up to the law as well--they are the ones who brought these 4 individuals as children. They should face repercussions as well.

Considering the London Bombing this morning, it may be good time to stop playing games with people, and start talking about the reality of an unsecured border. Illegal immigration is a symptom of a broken border security system.

I heard talk this morning on the Laura Ingraham show about a new piece of legislation that would give illegals 5 years to return to their home countries, and would then allow a legal, secured method for guest workers to enter our country. It sounded interesting, but I can't find any more information on it. As soon as I have it, I will post it here.

Blair Calls for Calm After London Blasts

Washington Post:

"We can't minimize incidents such as this," Blair said during a news conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister John Howard. "They're done to scare people, to frighten them and make them worried."

One injury was reported in the Thursday attacks.

London Bombing: Man Arrested, Lookout for Black Male

Sky News:
Scotland Yard have confirmed there is an incident involving armed police officers at University College Hospital in Bloomsbury close to Warren Street station.

A man was also arrested by armed police at the gates of Downing Street.

An internal memo to staff at the hospital has warned them to be on the lookout for a black male, possibly of Asian origin, about 6ft 2ins tall, wearing a blue top with wires protruding from the rear of the top.

Police officers in chemical protection suits have been seen appearing to enter Warren Street, where British Transport Police say one person has been injured.

A initial chemical search at Oval station has proved negative.

Sir Ian told reporters at Scotland Yard the incidents were "serious".

Sky News Network: Hazmat Investigators entering London Stations

This from Captain's Quarter:
I also followed this on Fox News while in transit this morning, who relayed the feed from Britain's SkyNews Network. Reports of hazmat investigators entering the stations where the incidents occurred raise suspicions of what materials were used in the apparently-coordinated attack. It seems odd that several incidents all would have resulted in duds -- unless the same incompetent built all the devices, which certainly could be possible.

Round Up: Chavez Plans Al Jazeera Type Network for Latin America

From NewsMax.com:
Telesur, short for "Television of the South," is billed as a commercial-free counterbalance to North American media and is set to begin broadcasting in several weeks, according to The Washington Times.

"Soon we will have Telesur, a channel with information for South American countries, because it is not possible that Venezuela and other southern countries depend only on information from CNN," Chavez said during a March press conference.

Chavez has enlisted support from left-leaning governments in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

Chavez has already developed a new anti-American axis with Fidel Castro's Cuba. Tens of thousands of Castro's agent are believed to be in Venezuela helping Chavez maintain dictatorial control over his oil-rich nation.
This from Phil Gunson of Newsweek International on the MSNBC web site:
July 4 issue - On paper, at least, Telesur sounds like an idea whose time has come. Until now, Spanish-speaking Latin Americans who wanted to watch an international all-news network broadcasting in their language have had a limited menu to choose from: CNN en Espanol or Spain's government-run Television Espanola. But that will soon change when Telesur, a new venture backed by four left-of-center Latin American governments, begins airing in September from a studio in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. "We have to tune in to CNN, the BBC or Television Espanola to find out what's happening in neighboring countries," notes Telesur's director, Aram Aharonian. "[But] today we are beginning to see ourselves with our own eyes."
From Venezuelananalysis.com, TeleSur is being toughted as being a counter-hegemonic project to compete with CNN and Univisión. This from station’s general director Aram Aharonian:
“The seed money is from the state. It is the first time in Latin America, after many years of neoliberalism, that the State has returned to fomenting projects that serve the citizenry.

Telesur will follow the same premises that for decades took refuge in small alternative and community media.

But now we have left our marginal niche and are heading toward mass communications.

We will focus on doing the opposite of commercial television. We will search out the protagonist role of social movements, people, communities, and towns."
Smells to me to serious conflict of interest, and just a big socialist propaganda tool paid for on the backs of the Venezuelan people. Chavez will starve Venezuela for the sake of his crusade to spread communism and socialism in South America.

Scotland Yard: Londoners should stay exactly where they are

Eyewitness stories from FoxNews.com:
The head of Scotland Yard said in a brief press conference Thursday that commuters and other Londoners should stay exactly where they are; he said it's possible more portions of the transit system will be shut down.

Some witnesses said they heard gunshots at the Warren Street stop but according to Sky News, police believe those noises were actually detonators going off for bombs that didn't explode.

"People were panicking. But very fortunately the train was only 15 seconds from the station," witness Ivan McCracken told Sky News.

McCracken said he smelled smoke, and people were panicking and coming into his carriage. He said he spoke to an Italian man who was comforting a woman after the evacuation.

"He said that a man was carrying a rucksack and the rucksack suddenly exploded. It was a minor explosion but enough to blow open the rucksack," McCracken said. "The man then made an exclamation as if something had gone wrong. At that point everyone rushed from the carriage."

House OK's Anti-Chavez Broadcasts to Venezuela

Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack is sponsoring an amendament that would provide for Radio and TV-Marti-like broadcasts into Venezuela, recognizing Chavez growing influence in the region and the danger he posses to political stablity in the South American continent.

This from the Miami Herald.
Mack said the broadcast idea stemmed from concern that Chávez appears focused on expanding his influence beyond Venezuela by pushing socialist ideals like those supported by Cuban leader Fidel Castro while criticizing U.S.-endorsed democratic principles often labeled as imperialist.
Of course, for those who have stayed on top of this story, we know how Chavez has been attempting to blunt and control the media in Venezuela. Now, the Miami Herald article says Chavez has financed a new Latin America-wide television station based out of Caracas. Think the Latino version of AlJazira, with less violence, but just as much anti-American sentiments.
''Chávez has clearly gone astray and doesn't believe any more in freedom and democracy. He has said that he is on a march to socialism,'' Mack told The Herald. ``What we are saying to Chávez and his cronies is that we're keeping an eye on him.''

Search for New York City's"Goal Shouting" Champion Before Gold Cup Final

Champion goal shouter to be crowned prior to final match; event to be hosted by La
Kalle's Jimmy and Pacha.

New York, NY--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--July 21, 2005--This Sunday, July 24, Miller Lite,the official beer of the 2005 Gold Cup, is inviting soccer fans (21 years and older), attending the final Gold Cup match at Giants Stadium, to give their most passionate rendition of a goal shout, in the Miller Lite Goal Shouting Competition, where one winner will emerge as New York City's undisputed goal shouting champion.

The competition, a part of Miller's pre-game festivities on Sunday, will be emceed by Jimmy Nieves and Pacha, hosts of the hottest new show on La Kalle 105.9 FM/92.7 FM, El Jangueo. Nieves and Pacha will entertain the hundreds of fans in attendance invited by Miller with games and music, and eventually assemble the boisterous crowd to determine who has the most electrifying goal shout.

Ultimately, the winner of the contest will receive the first ever "Miller Lite Goal Shouting Champion" trophy, along with a number of different prizes and gifts from Miller Lite and La Kalle.

Schedule of pre-game activities in the Miller Lite hospitality tent include:

1:00 PM - Music, food, drinks
1:30 PM - Goal Shouting competition
2:00 PM - Presentation of Goal Shouting Champion trophy
3:00 PM - Start of Final game

"When each of us anxiously tunes in to watch our teams, be it Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Mexico, etc., there is no sweeter sound in the world than the breathtaking shout of a goal" says Ana Villodres, New York City Marketing Manager, Miller Brewing Company. "The goal shouting contest, as part of the complete Gold
Cup experience, is Miller's way of trying to enhance the passion and excitement soccer fans demonstrate for their teams and countries.

The final CONCACAF Gold Cup game will be played at 3 PM on July 24 in East Rutherford, New Jersey at Giants Stadium. After the match, Miller will present the Miller Lite Tournament MVP to the best overall player, as selected by CONCACAF.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup is soccer's championship of North and Central America, and the Caribbean and a prelude to the World Cup. This year's tournament featured perennial powerhouse teams from the region including returning champion Mexico, as well as the United States, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Cuba and Jamaica.

Bombs, Explosions Confirmed On London Underground

Reports coming in today of what aprears to be another terrorist attack in London. This from Reuters.

LONDON (Reuters) - Up to four explosions hit London's transport system on Thursday, exactly two weeks after more than 50 people were killed in blasts on underground railway trains and a bus.

No one was reported injured in the blasts that caused major disruption and shook the nerves of an already jittery city.

Witnesses said they had seen what could have been a would-be bomber running away after dropping a rucksack on one of the trains.

"We all got off on the platform and the guy just ran and started running up the escalator," one witness who gave her name as Andrea told the BBC.

"Everyone was screaming for someone to stop him. He ran past me ... and he ran out of the station. In fact he left a bag on the train," she said.

A blast blew out the windows of a bus in Hackney in east London, but there were no reported injuries.

Sky News is reporting it apears as these explosions where smaller than the ones used in the attacks two weeks ago. This seems strange to me. Could it be the explosions contained chemicals? Why would they set of smaller bombs with little impact?

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said the bombs appeared to be smaller than used in the attacks two weeks ago but advised people to "stay where you are".

Passengers reported one blast at Warren Street station off Tottenham Court Road in central London.

There has also been an incident on a bus in Hackney, East London.

Stations at Warren Street, Oval and Shepherd's Bush have been closed.

Also, more details on Number 26 bus from Sky News.

The explosion on the Number 26 bus blew out the windows, but there were no reports of injuries.

Bus operator Stagecoach said: "The driver heard a bang he believed came from the upper desk of the bus.

"The windows were blown out. There are no reports of any injuries."

The No 26 bus was travelling from Waterloo to Hackney in the east of city.

The BBC news has additional information on armed officer deployment and police response to the situation.

London, you are in our prayers.




Wednesday, July 20

Drudge Report: Coulter Says Roberts Wrong Pick for Supreme Court

On the DrudgeReport.com, criticism from Ann Coulter:
"We don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever... Oh, yeah...we know he's argued cases before the supreme court. big deal; so has Larry Flynt's attorney."

So declares conservative columnist Ann Coulter in a new dispatch set for release.
Read the whole story at DrudgeReport.com

John G. Roberts, incompatible Statements on Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade

Some more great comments from WorldMagBlog on John G. Roberts and one of the key statements that will become an issue for his comfirmation to the Supreme Court. I agree with Weaver--these would not be incompatible, but it certainly demonstrates astute diplomacy by Roberts in weaving his way around the subject. Let's hope he doesn't flip once he is on the bench.

I don't believe those two statements are incompatible. [ John G. Roberts ] believes that Roe v. Wade was "wrongly decided" [ by the Supreme Court ] in that a right to abortion does not exist within the Constitution. However, Roe v. Wade remains "the settled law of the land", and must be recognized as such. The latter statement does not mean that when Roberts is faced with a case similar to Roe v. Wade that he will slavishly decide the case in a pro-abortion way. Instead, I believe, he will decide the case on the evidence available and on the basis of the Constitution of the United States. Abortion opponents may take heart, since there is no right to abortion within the Constitution, Roberts will not find one there.

Posted by Steve Weaver at July 20, 2005 08:33 AM

Howard Dean--2006 is Going to Immigrants

From HispanicBusiness.com:
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean predicted Tuesday that the Republican Party will make immigrants an issue in the 2006 election.

In a speech to an influential Hispanic civil rights organization, Dean said Republican-sponsored immigration legislation and escalating rhetoric about immigration are part of the latest GOP effort to use fear as a political tactic.

Republicans tried to scare people in 2002 by talking about "race quotas" instead of affirmative action, he said.

"In 2006, it's going to immigrants, you wait and see," he told the National Council of La Raza at its annual convention.

Afterward, Dean told reporters he doesn't think President Bush is a bigot, but said the president "doesn't have the guts" to speak up against "the bigots in his own party."

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman said Dean's claims were "laughable" and belied by the administration's record.

"This is a party that is proud of the fact that America is a nation of immigrants. This is a president that speaks about it all the time. When debating the issue of immigration, this is a president that always says ... that family values don't stop at the Rio Grande," Mehlman told reporters after his speech at the convention.

Dean cited legislation introduced Monday by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), an outspoken critic of illegal immigration.

The bill would pay for substantial increases in border enforcement and reimburse hospitals for treating illegal immigrants if the facilities report citizenship information to the government.

The bill also would allow immigrant labor only when companies could prove a need and would require workers to go home after a limited stay.

Doctors and Students Yelling "Out!" to Chavez and Winds of Change in Cuba

This from Gateway Pundit:
On Friday doctors in Venezuela rallied in Caracas yelling "Out!" to Chavez and the Cuban doctors he has brought into the country. Now, on Tuesday, students marched in Caracas demanding autonomy of the universities from government influence.

Not a good sign for any dictator!
Aleksander Boyd has a post on students calling Chavez "Fake! Murderer of students. "


Things are also getting somewhat out of control in Cuba. Is it possible? Could we hope for winds of change in both Venezuela and Cuba?

This also at Gateway Pundit:
Fidel Castro is facing revolts after Cuba was hit by its worst hurricane in memory. The destruction will cost $3 billion. But Castro is doing everything he can to keep aid out. And that's an outrage.

Following Hurricane Dennis, a different wind is blowing through Cuba — the wind of change. Three spontaneous and rare demonstrations sprang up in Havana this week. Fed-up Cubans attacked an electrical substation after learning of yet another delay in restoring power. Other angry Cubans protested housing evictions.

The despair from hurricane damage on a neglected and oppressed people is leading to protests about Castro's rule. The third protest commemorated Castro's military assault on a boat of 41 fleeing refugees 11 years ago (pictured above).

Cubans are in a dark mood. In the hurricane rubble, Castro's failed regime offers them nothing. The damage inflicted by the hurricane is worse than anyone realized. The category 4 storm howled across nearly the length of the island at 135 mph for 12 hours, knocking out electricity and power. Some areas are yet to be heard from.

At Least 11 of the demonstrators opposing the Castro Regime from the "tugboat" protest were arrested at their demonstration.

The conditions were becoming unbearable in the communist state even before the hurricane:

Editorial Response To Roberts Nomination: Stunned And Cautious

Great round up by Captian's Quarter on the editorial reaction to last night's nomination by the president.
If George Bush wanted to set the media elite back on their heels with his first Supreme Court nomination, he succeeded brilliantly.

The selection of John Roberts appears to have stunned editorial writers in the four largest cities. Their entries today heralding this new judiciary battle show a healthy dose of caution and calls for a dignified process. Most of them tip their hat to Bush's political skills, noting the difficulty for Democrats to deal with the thin paper trail of Roberts, but still point out potential land mines for his confirmation.

John Robert--A Confirmable Conservative?

From WorldMagBlog:
John Robert
So Supreme Court nominee John Roberts once wrote a brief arguing that Roe v. Wade "was wrongly decided and should be overruled." But during his 2003 confirmation hearings for the judgeship that he has now, he testified that the decision had become "the settled law of the land." Can we Christian conservatives rally behind him? Has the president found that rarest of species, a confirmable conservative?
Christopher Taylor comments on this seemingly opposite statements.
The statement he [Robert] made in 2003 was in response to a question about how he'd rule on law established by a superior court. As a law-abiding judge, he'd have to abide by it until it is overturned, because he was being confirmed to a lower court. In the Supreme Court, one does not abide by previous rulings, one abides by the constitution, and he's in a different set of circumstances. His statements seem to indicate that he understands this.
I have to say, it seems for the most part, the conservative right is celebrating. At CitizenLink, Dr. James C. Dobson, Ph.D., chairman of Focus on the Family Action, said, "Judge Roberts is an unquestionably qualified attorney and judge with impressive experience in government and the private sector." He went on to ad, "He has demonstrated at every stop on his career path the legal acumen, judicial temperament and personal integrity necessary to be a Supreme Court justice."

This also from the same CitizenLink story by Pete Winn:
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, agreed, calling Roberts an "exceptionally well-qualified and impartial nominee."

"Judge Roberts is widely respected for his fair judgments, intellect and integrity," Perkins noted, "all things qualifying him to serve as the next Supreme Court Justice."

Pro-family legal experts who know Roberts best say they are extremely pleased with the pick.
Let us all hope the Democrats don't embarrass themselves by going foaming-mad in the confirmation process--well, one can hope. It makes me hope they use the filibuster, so as to reveal who are the true extremist in the Senate. If we could only get some backbone in the Republican leadership, then perhaps things would get done.

Tuesday, July 19

John Roberts--All The Reasons to Like Him

Some great comments by a RedState.org reader on why to like John Roberts for the Supreme Court. I have to agree--it is a great selection by President Bush.

Why I like Roberts... By: iamcool388
The comment above is hilarious... unless I am reading sarcasm where there is none.

Here is why I like Roberts :-

  1. Brilliant - Anyone doubt?
  2. Young - He's only 48. Can easily serve for 30 years.
  3. Diplomatic - Always a big plus. Sure we would have loved to see an opinion written by Luttig and Janice Rogers Brown. But in the political environment today... diplomacy is huge.
  4. Looks - Had to add that in. He looks like a rock star. A liberal girl studying with me was absolutely swooning over his pic on Drudgereport.
  5. Liked - He is supposedly liked by everyone who knows him... excluding 'dumbasses' like Schumer (Orrin Hatch's implication, not mine)
  6. Recommended - Thomas loves him... Scalia recommends him. All present justices agree he has been 'far and away' the best advocate to argue in front of them. If Scalia likes someone... I grow an immediate affinity for him.
  7. Did I mention he is conservative?

There must be plenty of more reasons to like the guy... but these are the first ones which occur to me.

Anyone care to write a concise diary about his standing on different issues? Or better still, can anyone provide a link where this has already been covered?

Thanks.

Is it because I is black? - Ali G

Go over to PowerLineBlog.com for some great analysis on how the left will attack Roberts.

It didn't matter whom President Bush nominated. The Democrats were poised to attack, and they would have unleashed whatever ammunition they could muster regardless of who the nominee was. "People for the American Way" and other extreme-left groups were faxing out packets of attack materials on John Roberts within minutes after his nomination was announced.

So: what have they got? The short answer is, little or nothing.

John Roberts, Roe Should be Overruled

The abortion rights advocates will be foaming from this statement by John Roberts. The Washington post reports that Roberts helped write a brief that stated, "We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

Remarks by Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr

Washinton Post has published the text of remarks by Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions:

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.

Thank you very much. It is both an honor and very humbling to be nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Before I became a judge, my law practice consisted largely of arguing cases before the court. That experience left me with a profound appreciation for the role of the court in our constitutional democracy and a deep regard for the court as an institution.

I always got a lump in my throat whenever I walked up those marble steps to argue a case before the court, and I don't think it was just from the nerves.

I am very grateful for the confidence the president has shown in nominating me, and I look forward to the next step in the process before the United States Senate.

Read the rest.

EFE--Cuba Embargo is Working

Babalu Blog has the text of an EFE report on the embargo. This is good news, and answers questions I had posted earlier. The fact is that tourism is very much a life line to Fidel Castro, but not to the people. Eye witnesses report tourist "zones" where dollars are used, and where the regular population has limited access. Anyone who travels to Cuba and claims its a paradise, is insane, blind, or plain stupid.
President Bush just cost you $95 million, barbudo. Not that people actually want to be around you. But this is what you get. Go see if Hugo Chavez will, yet again, be happy to make up the difference to you, mendicant.

The embargo is working. EFE reports:

Number of U.S.-Cuba travelers falls over 60 pct

Miami, Jul 18 (EFE).- The number of travelers from the United States to Cuba has fallen more than 60 percent in the past year, the press reported Monday, citing official figures.

The drop in travel from the United States to Cuba was a direct result of the tougher restrictions imposed on dealings with the island by President George W. Bush's administration to "promote a democratic transition on the island," the El Nuevo Herald newspaper said.

For Cuba, the drop in visitors from the United States translated into a reduction of $95 million in revenues, the newspaper said, adding that the restrictions also cost U.S.-based airlines and travel businesses money.

In the past 12 months, according to official figures, some 55,000 people traveled from the United States to Cuba, or about 35.7 percent of the number that had been visiting the island annually before the tougher travel restrictions kicked in June 30, 2004.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issues specific licenses to Cubans living in the United States, who are allowed to visit relatives in Cuba once every three years.

Since the restrictions took effect, OFAC has processed more than 30,000 applications for the travel permits, of which 20,000 were approved and the rest rejected.

The US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council estimates that some 154,000 people traveled legally to Cuba in 2003, some 85 percent of them for family reasons.

About 23,000 traveled to the island under specific licenses for business, religious functions, cultural and sports exchanges, and as members of humanitarian groups. EFE nbc/hv

RedState.org--President's nominee for the United States Supreme Court

From RedState.org:
White House source calls back and says "Don't go beyond Roberts. He's it."

Thanks for confusing me.

John Roberts will be the President's nominee for the United States Supreme Court.

I'm glad it's Roberts. While he has said some things about court precedence that concerns me, I congratulate the President on making a selection based on qualifications and commitment to the Constitution and it's original intent. This is what I was hoping for, and what many conservatives have been hoping for. With all the talk about replacing Connors with another woman, or the pressure for Bush to nominate a Hispanic, I was starting to get worried.

PowerLine.com--It's John Roberts

Keith Olbermann and Dana Milbank are not over the moon. Keith led off his interview of Milbank by suggesting this was "wag the dog" -- in other words, that President Bush pushed up the announcment to divert attention from Rove. Milbank agreed that, of course, that's what is going on.

Edith Clement for the Supreme Court?

A lot of the Blogs out there are going with the Edith Clements for Supreme Court rumor. I personally don't think that's the case. While Powerline starts talking about Clement, it later posts some updates about ABC story that Clement is not the nominee.

Here is the initial post from PowerLine:

Edith Brown Clement. Maybe not a done deal, but you wouldn't want to be betting on anyone else right now.

UPDATE: Kathryn Lopez has been hearing the same thing.

JOHN adds: The Clement rumor is everywhere, which doesn't mean, of course, that it's true. Some say the announcement could come at any moment.

I don't know enough about Judge Clement to have an opinion on her nomination (compared, that is, to the considerable number of judges about whom we are very enthusiastic). I would say that the last 20 or 30 years of history suggest that Republican nominees who do not have a clear track record of commitment to conservative jurisprudential principles drift to the left over time--some, of course, farther than others. I'm not saying that this is a law of nature, only that it seems like a pretty clear pattern in recent years.

If this turns out to be Bush's selection, the Conservatives are going to be livid. There is going to be trouble. Reuters is reporting that Judge Clement counts with the support of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu from her home state of Louisiana, which can't be a good thing.

A few hours later, Powerline started pointing in a different direction:

ABC News is reporting that, according to an unnamed source, Judge Edith Clement is not President Bush's Supreme Court choice. So I guess we'll all have to tune in and see what happens.

UPDATE: If you want rumors, we've got 'em. The latest is that the source of the report that Clement is not the nominee is Clement herself, via one of her clerks. Plus, Michael Luttig and his family are rumored to be in Washington. Take it for what it's worth, which is most likely nothing.

Instapundit is going with the ABC story that it is going to be John Roberts. Like I said, we'll see what the President announces later tonight.

John Roberts, Strong Conservative, to Replace O’Connor?

ABC and Fox news have reported that Bush has offered the positionto the Supreme Court to Roberts. The New York Times reports Bush offered the job via a telephone call at 12:35 p.m. "after a luncheon with the visiting prime minister of Australia, John Howard."

New York Times seems to be worried:

Advocacy groups on the right say that Roberts, a 50-year-old native of Buffalo, N.Y., who attended Harvard Law School, is a bright judge with strong conservative credentials he burnished in the administrations of former Presidents Bush and Reagan. While he has been a federal judge for just a little more than two years, legal experts say that whatever experience he lacks on the bench is offset by his many years arguing cases before the Supreme Court.

Liberal groups, however, say Roberts has taken positions in cases involving free speech and religious liberty that endanger those rights. Abortion rights groups allege that Roberts is hostile to women's reproductive freedom and cite a brief he co-wrote in 1990 that suggested the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion.

"The court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion ... finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution," the brief said.

In his defense, Roberts told senators during his 2003 confirmation hearing that he would be guided by legal precedent. "Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."

Frankly, I am troubled by this last statement by Roberts. The Constitution should be the highest and only guiding presedent used in making decisions. It would be my hope that Roberts will adhere to the original intent of the Constitution when making decisions, and start the process of cleaning up the junk-precedents the court has been establishing over years of legislating from the bench.

WorldMagBlog thinks the timing has to do with limiting the Democrats ability to sway public opinion. Commitee for Justice afirms this.

"If Ted Kennedy is not anywhere near a microphone when the nominee is announced, that is an advantage," said Sean Rushton, Director of the Committee for Justice.

Political Teen has a round up of Blogs on the issue:

The Supreme Court nomination is today’s blog topic:

Wizbang - First SCOTUS nomination in the blogosphere

Redstate - Started rumor that the pick would be today

SCT Nomination - Information on Edith

Blogs for Bush - Asks for your reactions on the choice tonight

Think Progress - Supreme Court pick is changing the “Rove” subject.

He has Fox News video on the selection of John Roberts.

RedState.org has provided two helpfull links on Roberts:

Well, this is all good, but there hasn't been an announcement yet. We'll see.


Chavez--Anyone who thinks "revolutionary" government is turning into a dictatorial regime "is crazy enough to be tied up or just ignorant"

It would be expected that tensions would mount between Leftist Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and the Catholic Church. The Associated Press is reporting Chavez denied a cardinal's statement that he is leading Venezuela toward a dictatorship. Considering his growing friendship and alliance with Fidel Castro, this is not very believable.

We cannot be blind to the danger to our hemisphere of a left-wing, dictatorial alliance on our own continent. Venezuela has nuclear power plants, and it would not be to difficult for him to attain nuclear capabilities. Regardless, Chaves is leading Venezuela down the failed path of communism, and it will affect the economies of neighboring countries, increasing the influx of illegal immigration.
Chavez said anyone who thinks his "revolutionary" government is gradually turning into a dictatorial regime "is crazy enough to be tied up or just ignorant (and) doesn't know what's happening in Venezuela."

The statements made by Chavez in Lima, Peru, where he was attending an Andean summit meeting, were released by his press office in Caracas on Monday. A day earlier, Cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara said Chavez's administration "has seized control of all the branches of government" in Venezuela.

The cardinal warned that "true democracy" does not exist in Venezuela, and said the president is steering the world's fifth largest oil exporter toward a Cuba-style dictatorship.

"The only solution is democratic, which must involve the resistance of all the people," Castillo Lara said.

The church has been one of the loudest critics of Chavez, a former paratroop commander and self-styled revolutionary. Chavez, in turn, has described the church leadership as a "tumor."

Chavez, and Venezuela Slow Decent into Authoritarianism

For those who have read my past posts on the relationship between Chavez and Castro, I found this great blog that is following the situation from Venezuela. Check out Daniel's blog. Being from Cuban decent, I am no fan of Chavez, and since my life as a US citizen is a result of Cuba's social experiment with the island nation, I also know where Venezuela is heading. There is nothing good coming from Chavez.

If you think American's should not care, just watch what Chaves is doing in his attempt to consolidate petroleum control in the region. It is their consummate goal to make life difficult for the United States. If it means helping terrorists get into our country, they would be capable and willing to do so. Fidel is already a huge conduit for illegal drugs through Florida. I do hope the administration is keeping a close eye on this clear and growing danger in our own continent. Read the blog: http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.com/ I'll be adding it to my side bar shortly.

I thought I would include here a full recent post on left & right blog attention given to the situation in Venezuela. Daniel has some interesting discoveries. Where is the renowed scrutiny of the blogsphere? As an anti-Castro, and naturally anti-Chavez, I am gratefull for Instapundit for the attention he has put on this import
The view from the left and the right
I am the writer of a niche blog. Indeed, writing in English about Venezuelan politics can be seen as an exercise in folly: who could really care that much when already California is population wise bigger than Venezuela and Miami Florida GDP probably compares favorably with Venezuela's one. The amazing number would not be how few readers one might have, but that one actually has readers. Granted, with our oil reserves and the price of oil happily lurking at 60 USD per barrel, some people must on occasion land on such a blog. But as a writer of a niche blog, one wonders what effect one has elsewhere, really. So, in an exercise in futility I decided to check out what the "main" blogs say about Venezuela.

In a totally unscientific experiment I went to the page of The Truth Laid Bear which has a counting system that rank blogs, according to traffic and people linking to these blogs. I took the top 10 as of today. The result below:

Higher Beings
1.Instapundit.com (2910)
2.Michelle Malkin (2331)
3.Daily Kos: State of the Nation (2167)
4.Power Line (1935)
5.Captain's Quarters (1833)
6.small dead animals (1827)
7.lgf: declear the crudase and be unite (1649)
8.the evangelical outpost -- Culture, politics, and religion from an evangelical worldview. (1627)
9.1st-Private-Krankenversicherung.com (1612)
10.Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall (1561)

The numbers are a representation of the pages linking to them. The "Higher Beings" is, well, the name of the category for the top ten (yours truly somehow manages to be an "adorable rodent" which considering what I wrote above, is not bad at all).

Then I applied, whenever possible, the word VENEZUELA in the search engine offered at the respective blogs.

The first an easiest result is for #9, in German, no search, and cannot read it anyway. I thought about taking in #11, Eschaton (1493) (Atrios) but when I saw that there was no search engine I could find there, I decided to operate on 9 blogs only.

To simplify, again based on a perfectly unscientific method, I divided the blogs among right or left according to the advertisement that appeared, or their self declared orientation. No investigation as to how far left or right is the blog.

The Left

Only two blogs out of 9 are from the left, 3, Daily Kos and 10, Talking points (though adding "searchless" Eschaton would give 3 out of 10, still surprisingly meager in the Internet wars).

The results for Daily Kos are difficult to evaluate as the search engine picks up comments, articles and what not. Most comments are of the nature "as long as Chavez sticks a finger in Bush's eye, I will support him!". But some, too few perhaps, show definitely some knowledge. For example at recent texts, a certain shockwave, concerned that Bush might send the marines to secure Venezuelan oil fields still writes:
I do not like Chavez at all. At best he is a populist demagogue, but he is not a fool.

Joshua of Talking points #10, an otherwise thoughtful and interesting writer, is rather disappointing when we see his search results. Several commentaries but all focused on the US role in Venezuela around April 2002. Not much inquiry as to why the April events, what happens in Venezuela. Just what was the role of the US there. And as later inquiries to this day have not been able to prove anything more than talk and encouragement from the US to overthrow Chavez then, this does not appear. Forgotten topic?

The Right

Should the right fare better on Venezuela as this one is an avowed enemy? Let's see.

The evangelical site (#8) has really only one post where Chavez is quoted as suggesting that Bush should kneel in front of the Pope. Obviously, not really interested in Venezuela.

The Canadian entry, Small Dead Animals, has Kate wondering once about who produces oil (so Venezuela figures by coincidence) and poking fun at election observers in the "fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela [elections]". We can see that awareness of Venezuelan electoral problems is seeping through! But still, no interest for Venezuela

Captain's Quarters, at #5, has no search engine but a foreign affairs section. Thus using there the "find" feature, I could see two articles on Venezuela, one on Venezuela arms purchase to Spain (quoting Barcepundit) and another one on Chavez pseudo assassination attempts. Interestingly not a single Venezuelan source although the articles are rather complete. But I know that Barcepundit checks with the locals....

With Power Line (#4) we find a certain amount of hits from their search engines, but most on oil needs and beauty pageants.

Little Green Footbals has a whopping 25 hits just from entries, some totally irrelevant but some totally to the point such as on Miguel exposing the photoshop montage of pseudo revolutionary crowds. The advantages of multi hand blogs? By the way, once upon a time a reader sent me a comment that appeared in LGF where someone was saying that I was way to the left to be taken seriously. Put that together with some of my reader that say I am way to the right....

This brings us to Michelle Malkin, the number 2 today. There are several entries about Venezuela from her search feature, and one can note that she is looking at the supporters of Chavez in the US such as Medea Benjamin from Code Pink, apparently a paid off agent of chavismo according to some sources. I have to say that Michelle might be onto something there.

But the number one, shows why he is number 1. Instapundit with about 60 entries over the last three years demonstrates that he has been keeping an eye on Venezuela and on a variety of Venezuelan topics at that.

Conclusions?

None of course, this is for fun. Not even as to whether the left is more or less interested by Venezuela. Most on each side, as seen on the comments to the posts, only care as to whether it favors or hurts Bush... That there is only two left wing blogs is only a reflection of ratings, not of political interest.

But one cannot fail to be impressed for example about the Karl Rove story which in Venezuela has not made more than a ripple and which is overflowing in so many US blogs. Of course, in Venezuela chavismo makes Karl Rove looks like the dream ethicist.... It remains that on the top 10 posts, only one, and of all of them arguably the one closest to the thoughtful center, is the one that values enough the importance of Venezuela for the US to drop by on occasion but regularly to observe our misery.

Venezuela is indeed only a blip on the US public opinion radar and my blog a niche blog as a reader once told me.
posted by Daniel Permalink 2:44 PM