"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Keep your fingers crossed.

Depressed Annan close to quitting over UN scandals
Sarah Baxter, Times (UK) Original Article

KOFI ANNAN, the United Nations secretary-general, is said to be struggling with depression and considering his future. Colleagues have reported concerns about Annan ahead of an official report this week that will examine his son Kojo’s connection to the controversial Iraqi oil for food scheme.

Three attacks on Christian areas. Wonder who is behind these attacks? Syria, Hezbollah?

Lebanese Opposition Blames Syria for Blast
ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press Original Article

A bomb blast set off huge fires in a mainly Christian suburb of Beirut on Saturday, injuring five people in the third such attack in eight days. Opposition leaders blamed Syria, saying Damascus hoped to sow fear as it withdraws troops from Lebanon.

Great defense for the death penalty. Starve criminals to death, its peaceful.

Inside Terri's brain
Susan Brink, US News & WR Original Article

When Terri Schiavo finally opened her eyes one month after her husband found her unconscious and gasping for air, it undoubtedly looked as if she was getting better. She had suffered cardiac arrest in the early morning hours of Feb. 25, 1990, and defibrillation was performed seven times in the emergency effort to resuscitate her. Her potassium level was a dangerously low 2.0, likely the result of a history of eating disorders and the cause of her sudden collapse. As a teenager and young adult of 5 feet, 3 inches, her weight had gone from over 200 pounds to 110 pounds.

GOP Talking Points or Democratic deception?

The ABCs of Media Bias
Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard Original Article

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER BILL FRIST never saw it. Neither did the Senate Republican whip, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The number three Republican in the Senate, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, didn't get a copy. Nor did the senator with the closest relationship with President Bush, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. And the senator with the familiar Republican last name, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, didn't see it or read it. The same is true of Senator Mel Martinez, the rookie Republican from Florida.

While Bin Laden still has a message of hatred and terror, most Muslims want freedom and democracy.

Losing Battle for Islamists
Amir Taheri, Arab News Original Article

Where do we go from here? This is the question that Islamist groups are posing these days in the murky space they inhabit on the margins of reality. It is asked in mosques controlled by radicals, touched upon in articles published by fellow-travelers, and debated in the chat-rooms of websites operated by militant groups.

Big Three need to make radical changes in their business models and cost structures or suffer a long, slow death.

Big Three Lumbering Toward Failure
Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post Original Article

Six years ago it was Chrysler. Then four years ago, Ford was on the ropes. Now General Motors, facing a $2 billion loss this year from its carmaking operations, has been forced to lay off a quarter of its white-collar workers and plead with union workers to begin contributing to their health insurance.

No argument here.

Rice Describes Plans To Spread Democracy
Glenn Kessler and Robin Wright, Washington Post Original Article

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday set out ambitious goals for the Bush administration's push for greater democracy overseas over the next four years, including pressing for competitive presidential elections this year in Egypt and women's right to vote in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

The Palestinian people had for decades been “pawns” in a much wider war involving the whole of the Middle East.

Bush, Sharon, My Daughter, and Me
Norman Podhoretz, Commentary Original Article

“Who are you?” my daughter Ruthie Blum demands as she greets me in the lobby of the King David hotel, “and what have you done with my father?” I laugh appreciatively at this newest twist on her antic idea that I have been invaded by aliens—an idea that first began taking shape about fourteen months ago, during my last visit to Israel, where she has been living for about 27 years now. And thereby hangs a long and complicated tale.

Blogs have two significant weaknesses: lack of monetary and legal resources.

The Coming War on Blogs
James D. Miller, TCS Original Article

It's a universal law of capitalism: when an industry faces a new and significant threat to its profits and powers it turns to the government for protection. Well, bloggers who write on current events are challenging the mainstream media (MSM), the most politically well-connected industry in America. Watch for the MSM to start using their political influence to burden bloggers.

The mullahs of Iran could similarly be overthrown by their own religious networks.

Iraqi Shiism could topple the mullahs
Cameron Khosrowshahi, International Herald Tribune Original Article

At the start of the last century, some time before World War I, my grandfather left his native Iran for Najaf, Iraq. It was a common journey back then for the young and religious-minded in Iran, eager for guidanc

Revolutions always happen in time of increased freedom, not in the middle of repression.

Middle East dawn
Barry Rubin, Washington Times Original Article

What is going on in the Middle East? Is it the dawn of a liberal democratic era? Maybe. Does it make the much-reviled U.S. policy look good? Definitely. Are liberal Arabs now an important factor in the region's politics for the first time ever? Absolutely.

"We think it's the ocean circulation patterns. It's not human-induced global warming."

Hurricane expert: Blame intense seasons on nature, not mankind
BILL KACZOR, Associated Press Original Article

Nature, not mankind, is to blame for a period of increased hurricane activity that could last for another 20 or 30 years, tropical weather expert William Gray said Thursday. The Colorado State University professor, known for his annual predictions, will be the closing speaker Friday at the 27th annual National Hurricane Conference.

Socialism vs. Capitalism and the future of the EU.

Blair attack on 'out-of-date' Chirac
Toby Helm and David Rennie, Telegraph (UK) Original Article

Tony Blair launched a fierce counter-attack against Jacques Chirac yesterday, accusing him of running an out-of-date economy that delivers low growth and high unemployment. In a statement to the Commons on this week's fractious EU summit in Brussels, the Prime Minister said struggling EU economies such as France's should imitate Britain which had successfully combined flexible labour markets with generous worker protection.

Assad, “would rather break Lebanon over the heads of Hariri and Jumblatt than see his word in Lebanon broken”.

Syria leader threatened Hariri, says UN report
James Bone, Times (UK) Original Article

A UN fact-finding team reported yesterday that President Assad of Syria had threatened Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, “with physical harm”. But it stopped short of pinning his assassination on Damascus. The report called for a full investigation of the bomb on February 14 by an “international independent commission” but said that the top tier of Lebanon’s security services must first be replaced.

Terry Schiavo's right to life and death.

David Frum, NRO Original Article

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen asks today, “Where are the Democrats?” in the Terri Schiavo case. Good question! Cohen cites polls that purport to show that the US public is appalled by Congress’s actions and supports the removal of Schiavo’s feeding tubes. So there are two possibilities here: Either ambitious Democrats like Hillary Clinton are too stupid to recognize an obvious political opportunity – or else these seasoned professionals perceive something that their media claque does not. I bet on the latter.

"Well, John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it."

Starved for justice
Ann Coulter, Town Hall Original Article

Democrats have called out armed federal agents in order to: 1) prevent black children from attending a public school in Little Rock, Ark. (National Guard), 2) investigate an alleged violation of federal gun laws in Waco, Texas (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), and 3) deport a small boy to Cuba (Immigration and Naturalization Service).

Here is a reporter not liking what he is seeing, a democracy becoming stronger.

Iraqi forces win battle but war?
Luke Baker, Reuters Original Article

Recent successes against Iraqi rebels have created an impression the tide may be turning in the fight against the insurgency, but the reality is more clouded. Shopkeepers and residents on a busy Baghdad shopping street this week pulled their own guns on a group of masked men firing at bystanders from a passing car.

Iran has been reluctant to allow inspectors from the IAEA into Parchin. Wonder why?

Iranian Exile Says Uranium Enriched at Secret Site
Louis Charbonneau, Reuters Original Article

An Iranian exile accused Tehran on Thursday of secretly purifying uranium for use in nuclear weapons at a recently-constructed underground facility at a military complex called Parchin. "Iran has completed an underground tunnel-like facility in Parchin, which is now engaged in laser enrichment," said Alireza Jafarzadeh, an Iranian exile who has reported accurately in the past about hidden atomic facilities in Iran.

It is over for the terrorists in Iraq. Make no mistake about it.

New York Post Original Article

U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 85 terror fighters at a suspected training camp along the marshy shores of a remote lake — one of the highest guerrilla death tolls of the two-year war, officials said yesterday. They said citizens emboldened by the January elections are increasingly turning in intelligence tips.

Not sure I would want to be on the side of death in this case.

Supreme Court Rejects Terri Schiavo Case
JILL BARTON, Associated Press Original Article

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Terri Schiavo's parents Thursday, declining to intervene to keep the brain-damaged woman alive, but their supporters pressed a last-ditch effort in Florida courts.

Another despot dethrowned. Now let's see if democracy takes over.

Kyrgyzstan President Resigns
STEVE GUTTERMAN, Associated Press Original Article

Protesters stormed the presidential compound in Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, seizing the seat of state power after clashing with riot police during a large opposition rally. President Askar Akayev reportedly fled the country and resigned.

BP spokesman, "it's my deep regret that we believe we have 14 losses of life."

14 Feared Dead in Texas Refinery Blast
PAM EASTON, Associated Press Original Article

A thunderous explosion tore through a BP oil refinery Wednesday, shooting flames and billowing smoke into the sky and showering the area with ash and chunks of charred metal. At least 14 were believed dead and more than 100 were injured.

EU prospects for future success are gloomy.

Compromise and dashed dreams litter reform path
Raphael Minder and George Parker, Financial Times Original Article

Another summit, another set of promises from European Union leaders to revive their spluttering economies. Yesterday's communiqué at the end of the two-day EU economic summit in Brussels was presented as a "relaunch", but behind almost every page lay a history of broken promises and unfulfilled ambition.

Possibly a huge discovery in fuel cell technology

Big hopes for tiny, new hydrogen storage material
Susan Bauer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Original Article

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are taking a new approach to "filling up" a fuel cell car with a nanoscale solid, hydrogen storage material. Their discovery could hasten a day when our vehicles will run on hydrogen-powered, environmentally friendly fuel cells instead of gasoline engines.

Here is a new way. Tell the truth. Don't spin it. Don't slant it. Just tell the truth.

CNN Seeks New Ways to Battle Fox News
Jacques Steinberg, New York Times Original Article

It is known, in the lexicon of television news, as a throw or toss - an onscreen handoff from one host to another. And to Jonathan Klein, the new president of CNN, none is more critical than the throw from Larry King to Aaron Brown each weeknight just before 10.

No Retitling: See when you tell the truth, it doesn't need retitling.

Pope Blesses Crowd From His Studio Window
VICTOR L.SIMPSON, Associated Press Original Article

Looking gaunt, Pope John Paul II appeared at his open studio window Wednesday before thousands of pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square for Holy Week, raising his hand in blessing a few times but remaining silent.

Retitled: Brutal Terrorist Attack at Pro-Lebanonese Shopping Center Murders 3

Blast at Anti-Syrian Stronghold Kills 3
HUSSEIN DAKROUB, Associated Press Original Article

A bomb killed three people in a Christian commercial center early Wednesday, the second attack in an anti-Syrian stronghold in five days, raising fears that agitators were trying to show a need for Syria's military presence in Lebanon.

If it sounds like a duck and quacks like a duck, its a duck.

85 Militants Killed in U.S. Raid in Iraq
QASIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Original Article

U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a suspected guerrilla (terrorist) training camp and killed 85 fighters (terrorists), the single biggest one-day death toll for militants in months and the latest in a series of blows to the insurgency (terrorists), Iraqi officials said Wednesday.

No surprise here.

Bin Laden Evaded U.S. Forces
ROBERT BURNS, AP Original Article

A terror suspect held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was a commander for Osama bin Laden during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and helped the al-Qaida leader escape his mountain hide-out at Tora Bora in 2001, according to a U.S. government document.

"It is clear that those who carried out this attack are targeting the security and stability of the country."

Bomb Kills Two in Christian Lebanese Town
Nadim Ladki, Reuters Original Article

Two people were killed and five wounded early on Wednesday when a bomb ripped through a shopping center in the anti-Syrian Christian heartland north of the Lebanese capital Beirut, police sources said.

"If conditions are right in the future, North Korea is willing at any time to participate at the six-party talks."

N. Korean Premier Hints at Nuclear Talks
JOE McDONALD, Associated Press Original Article

North Korea's visiting premier said Tuesday that Pyongyang might be willing to return to nuclear talks, a Chinese spokesman said, following the North's claim to have expanded its atomic arsenal.

Parliament's Finance Committee voted 10-9 in favor of the 2005 budget

Sharon Overcomes Key Hurdle to Gaza Pullout
Matt Spetalnick, Reuters Original Article

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon won a key vote on Wednesday over a state budget he must push through parliament by month's end or face a snap election that would threaten his plan to pull out of Gaza.

Unlike in the 'Orange Revolution,' violence has marred rallies that erupted here.

Will Kyrgyzstan's protests follow Ukraine's lead?
Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor Original Article

Echoes of Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" have struck in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, where crowds of opposition activists have burned a police station and seized government buildings in rolling protests against alleged vote fixing.

Exorbitant tax rates and government-imposed workforce protection have all had a paralyzing effect

German Economic Quicksand
Nico Wirtz, TCS Original Article

This month, Germany's largest industry association, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) published its latest survey of German industries. The results were remarkable, but should not have come as a shock to anybody who has been following Germany's economic development over the past decade.

Myths and realities about global warming

Clearing the Air about Cars and Trucks
Robert Balling, TCS Original Article

The environmental activist group Union of Concerned Scientists has launched an attack on the auto industry blaming it for contributing to smog and "global warming pollution". As is so often the case, these concerned scientists seem to have no concern for science. Let's look at some facts.

You just got to wonder about folks who want humans dead but don't want animals killed for experimentation.

Right on Side of Life, Left on Side of Death
Insert Name of Writer/News Service Here Original Article

With the Schiavo case at the end of the program on Friday, I said, "I'm going to throw some gasoline on the fire." I said, "Isn't it amazing that when it comes to the subject of life, you don't find any Democrats on that side?" It just continues to amaze me. Even when the subject is life of a human being, the Democrats always seem to come down on the opposite side of life. So I'm watching all these debates over the weekend and I'm watching some of the debate in the House late last night, and there it was. It was clearly as a bell for anyone to see. The people that are on the side of the life were the Republicans,

Maybe the Europeans have learned from Hitler after all.

Europeans Said to Keep Embargo on Arms to China
Steven R. Weisman, New York Times Original Article

Yielding to pressure from President Bush and threats of retaliation from Congress, the European Union has put off plans to lift its arms embargo on China this spring and may not press the issue until next year, American and European officials said Monday.

So the question is why is her husband and liberals trying to murder her.

Facts First
Fred Barnes, The Daily Standard Original Article

FOR ALL THE QUESTIONING of motives in the Terri Schiavo case, it's three simple facts that make it both wise and morally necessary to have allowed the federal courts to examine the issue. And these facts suggest that Schiavo, brain damaged since a heart attack 15 years ago, should have her feeding tube restored so she won't starve to death.

  • Terri Schiavo is brain damaged but not brain dead.
  • She is not on life support.
  • She breathes on her own.
  • She occasionally laughs.
  • She reacts to stimuli.
  • She responds at times to her parents.
  • She is not dying, though she needs a feeding tube.
  • Schiavo's parents have offered to take full responsibility for her care.
  • with proper care of a type she hasn't received there is a good chance that Schiavo's condition will improve markedly.

Another country where citizens need to rise up and assume power.

Iranian Leader Says He's Ready to Battle to Death
Reuters Original Article

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday he was ready to don combat fatigues and give his life in battle if his country were attacked, accusing Washington of seeking any excuse to start a war.

It is up to China to influence North Korea.

N.Korea Says It Added to Nuclear Arsenal
Reuters Original Article

North Korea said Monday it has increased its nuclear arsenal to help prevent a U.S. attack on the reclusive communist state, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Iraqi terrroists are getting desperate as they lose what little power they wield.

Iraq Sees Largest Militant Toll in Months
TRACI CARL, Associated Press Original Article

U.S. soldiers, ambushed by dozens of Iraqi militants near the infamous "Triangle of Death," responded by killing 26 guerrillas in the largest single insurgent death toll since last fall's battle for Fallujah, the U.S. military said Monday.

Now we await the substance of the changes.

Annan Urges Leaders to Implement Changes
EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Original Article

Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged world leaders Monday to implement the boldest changes to the United Nations in its 60-year history by expanding the size of the Security Council, writing a new definition of terrorism and strengthening protections for human rights.

Power of the people, for the people. What Iraq produced.

Opposition Seizes Major Kyrgyzstan City
KADYR TOKTOGULOV, Associated Press Original Article

Thousands of protesters, some armed with clubs and Molotov cocktails, overran Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city Monday, forcing police to flee as the government lost control of the impoverished southern region of the former Soviet republic.

Settlement #2 Turned Over

Israel Hands Over Security Control of Tulkarm
Reuters Original Article

Israel handed over security control of the West Bank city of Tulkarm to the Palestinians Monday, a Palestinian security official said. "The Israelis have transferred security responsibility for Tulkarm to the Palestinian Authority," Said Abu Fasha, the Palestinian commander of Tulkarm, told Reuters.

Akayev's resignation, a new presidential vote and a new parliamentary ballot.

Group Wants Kyrgyzstan Leader to Resign
KADYR TOKTOGULOV, Associated Press Original Article

Thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of Kyrgyzstan's president over a flawed election rampaged through a southern city on Sunday, burning down a police station and occupying government buildings. The government of the former Soviet republic said it was ready to negotiate, but opposition leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev said talks would only be possible if President Askar Akayev himself is involved.

Germany needs to fix high taxes, job protections laws, and over-regulation.

Why Germany can't create jobs
William Boston, The Christian Science Monitor Original Article

In a sputtering economy, Niles Werke shows how to get the German locomotive running again. The century-old machine-tool company is at the top of its field. Sales are expected to rise by 10 percent this year. "We expect 2005 to be another good year," says Frank Reichel, director of its Berlin plant.

Trade mission will leave for the US in May to bolster trade with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Seeks US Trade, Investment
Arab News Original Article

With Saudi-US bilateral trade on the downswing, the Kingdom is spearheading a major drive to promote trade with US and investment in the Kingdom, where projects estimated at around $623 billion in the water, power generation, communication, mining, oil and gas, banking, railroad and other sectors are waiting to be tapped.

More people in Indonesia now favor American efforts against terrorism than oppose them.

Shifts in Muslim opinion possible
Lee H. Hamilton , CSM Original Article

In its final report, the 9/11 commission said that the United States must prevail over a "radical ideological movement in the Islamic world." Recent news from Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, shows that this can indeed happen.

This is becoming huge. Wait and see what becomes of this.

Iraq, Jordan Pull Envoys in Security Spat
RAWYA RAGEH, Associated Press Original Article

Iraq and Jordan engaged in a tit-for-tat withdrawal of ambassadors Sunday in a growing dispute over Shiite Muslim claims that Jordan is failing to block terrorists from entering Iraq, while U.S. forces killed 24 insurgents in a clash south of Baghdad.

Title change on Yahoo-Full Coverage regarding Terry Schiavo

The Schiavo Case becomes Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia on Yahoo on 21 Mar 05

I find it interesting that Yahoo was tagging their Full Coverage section, "The Schiavo Case" for some time now and then sometime between the night of the 20th and morning of the 21st of March 2005 (Germany time), it was changed to "Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia". Why the change? It seems Yahoo is trying to dehumanize that this is actually the killing of a person, specifically Terry Schiavo, with less specific terms like assisted suicide and euthanasia.

The few remaining objecting House Democrats have so far cost Mrs. Schiavo two meals already today.

Senate Passes Legislation on Schiavo Case
JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Original Article

The Senate passed a bill that could prolong Terri Schiavo's life while House Republicans, stalled by Democrats, scrambled to bring enough lawmakers back to the Capitol for an emergency vote early Monday.

But a guy can dream, can’t he?

Press conference of my dreams
Tim McNabb, The American Thinker Original Article

In a press conference with President Bush the other day, several reporters put on display their nettlesome proclivities. The President is a classy man and did not respond to the nitwittery as it bloomed, but I can always dream about what I’d like him to say. What follows are real questions asked during the actual press conference, with my personal fantasy response from W, in italics.

We've waited 50 years too long.

Rice: U.S. Can't Wait Forever for N.Korean Talks
Saul Hudson and Jack Kim, Reuters Original Article

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday the United States would not allow a stalemate over North Korea's refusal to return to nuclear arms negotiations to go on forever.

15 Years. He needs to be given 150 years.

Jordan Sentences Zarqawi to 15 Years in Absentia
Reuters Original Article

Jordan's state security court sentenced al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in absentia to 15 years in jail and another Jordanian militant to three years on Sunday for a plot to attack the kingdom's embassy in Baghdad.

Rather than Iraq, it could be Syria that ends up collapsing.

Nonstop Turbulence
Robert D. Kaplan, WSJ Original Article

Between the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003 the political geography of the Middle East remained mostly fixed in the Cold War ice. Vast social, demographic and economic changes that swept through the region for decades barely registered upon its highly centralized dictatorships, run by emergency laws enacted as far back as the 1950s. By leveling one of these regimes, and then brazenly confronting the insurgency that followed, President George W. Bush has set the other regimes in motion for the first time in half a century. Democracy doesn't begin to describe the changes that will follow, as the geographic realities of older eras reassert themselves.

Had President Clinton not vetoed an ANWR proposal in 1995, we would have that oil today.

Opening ANWR: Long Overdue
Ben Lieberman, Heritage Foundation Original Article

Congress now has the best—and possibly the last—opportunity to open up a portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil exploration and drilling. The Senate is set to include ANWR drilling provisions in its budget resolution, which should come to a vote before the end of the week. Doing so would help boost domestic oil supplies and send an important signal that the United States is serious about addressing its future energy needs.

That's the national media we see too often. Arrogant, tendentious, partisan, unbalanced, unfair -- and in denial.

Fleischer Reveals the True Bias in the Media
L. Brent Bozell, III, Human Events Original Article

Few have a better understanding of the liberal media elite than Ari Fleischer, who spent several years deflecting the daily barrage of arrogant and accusatory media questions as the first White House press secretary under President Bush. His new book, Taking Heat, has been panned by liberals for having no Bush-trashing moments in it. One can also safely conclude they're the ones who don't want you to read his chapters exposing the liberal ways of the reporters who baited him in the briefing room for three years.

Israel continues to keep its side of the ceasefire deal.

Israel Plans to Hand Over Second WBank City
Reuters Original Article

Israel plans to hand over a second West Bank city to the Palestinians on Monday, Israel Radio said on Sunday, quoting Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. Israeli security sources said Israeli and Palestinian officers would meet later on Sunday to finalize details of the troop pullback from Tulkarm.

China's recent statements about a possible invasion of Taiwan should give the Europeans pause.

Rice: European Nations Must Not Arm China
ANNE GEARAN, AP Original Article

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested Sunday that European governments are irresponsible if they sell sophisticated weaponry to China that might one day be used against U.S. forces in the Pacific. .

Leadership is all about winning and losing, not about elegance and deep thinking.

The Fire in Iran
Michael A. Ledeen, AEI Original Article

From al-Reuters, we have a masterpiece of disinformation:

ISFAHAN--Iranian authorities beat up and tear gassed exuberant young revellers as they breathed new life into a pre-Islamic fire festival with a night of dancing, flirting and fireworks. The Islamic Republic, which has an awkward relationship with its ancient Zoroastrian religion, only gave guarded recognition to the "Chaharshanbe Souri" festival last year.

As Congress considers the budget, it should keep this in mind: government spending harms economic growth.

The Impact of Government Spending on Economic Growth
Daniel J. Mitchell, Ph.D., Heritage Foundation Original Article

Policymakers are divided as to whether government expansion helps or hinders economic growth. Advo­cates of bigger government argue that government programs provide valuable “public goods” such as education and infrastructure. They also claim that increases in government spending can bolster eco­nomic growth by putting money into people’s pockets.

We essentially have two services at war, the Army and the Marines, and two services at peace, the Air Force and the Navy.

Army, Marines Need Priority in Rumsfeld's New Defense Review
Mort Kondracke, Roll Call Original Article

Robert Scales admits he's biased. He's a ground soldier. He won a Silver Star as a 24-year-old artillery captain at "Hamburger Hill" in Vietnam. He commanded ground troops, and the Army War College, before retiring as a major general.

Never before has a minority prevented confirmation by refusing to stop talking.

Here's how Bush may win by losing
Peter A. Brown, Orlando Sentinel Original Article

Politics is a funny game. A win can turn out to be a loss, or sometimes you can lose by winning. The betting here is a California judge's decision to legalize gay marriage there will eventually fall into that category.

"They're way down on their attempts, and even more on their effectiveness."

Insurgency Is Fading Fast, Top Marine in Iraq Says
Eric Schmitt, New York Times Original Article

The top Marine officer in Iraq said Friday that the number of attacks against American troops in Sunni-dominated western Iraq and death tolls had dropped sharply over the last four months, a development that he called evidence that the insurgency was weakening in one of the most violent areas of the country.

Chavez: “I am the second Fidel Castro of Latin America”

Chávez’s Venezuela prepares for confrontation with the US
Roland Watson and David Adams, Times (UK) Original Article

ASSASSINATION plots, anti-American tub-thumping, failed coups and mutual hostility have been the staple of US relations with Cuba for nearly five decades. But increasingly they apply more accurately to Venezuela, where Hugo Chávez, its president, is alarming Washington with a series of aggressive moves that threaten American security.