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

New York

"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." --Thomas Jefferson

People power rattling politics of Latin America
Danna Harman, Christian Science Monitor Original Article

First came the indignation, then the street protests and the disapproving comments from foreign countries. It culminated last Sunday with an estimated 1.2 million Mexicans marching silently through center of the capital. But President Vicente Fox moved to defuse the political crisis Wednesday night by accepting the resignation of his attorney general, who had been leading the criminal case against popular Mexico City Mayor and 2006 presidential hopeful Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The so-called "nuclear option" means: "Majority vote wins."

Ann Coulter Original Article

Democrats are in an incomprehensible rage over the filibuster. DON'T STOP READING! I AM NOT GOING TO DISCUSS THE HISTORY OF THE FILIBUSTER! Republicans have got to learn to stop getting into technicalities with the Democrats. They win in the dark; we win in the light. And it doesn't get much darker than a discussion of the Senate filibuster.

Energy independence will only come if over-regulation is reduced to allow production of plants.

Bush Touts Technology to Solve Energy Woes
H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Original Article

President Bush called for construction of more nuclear power plants and urged Congress on Wednesday to give tax breaks for fuel-efficient hybrid and clean-diesel cars. He also said he was powerless to bring down high gasoline costs.

A parent has a right to know if their child is having surgery, plain and simple.

House OKs Bill Toughening Abortion Consent
LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Original Article

The House passed a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal to dodge parental-consent laws by taking minors across state lines for abortions, the latest effort to chip away at abortion rights after Republican gains in the November elections.

Title should read "Crime rate down because justice is being served."

Crime rate down, but prison population on the rise
SIOBHAN McDONOUGH, Houston Chronicle Original Article

While the U.S. crime rate has fallen over the past decade, the number of people in prison and jail is outpacing the number of inmates released, the government reports. . . . .


Several articles are surfacing about how inmate population is on the rise with a spin that the rise in incarcerations is something that should be stopped or reduced. The US is often compared to other countries as having the highest percentage of personnel incarcerated. While the article above mentions in the title that US crime rate is down, it does not give a comparative percentage in conjunction with the rise in inmate population.

Between 2000-2003, inmate population went up 4.83%. (According to this article.)

Between 2000-2003, overall crime went down 1.57% (See Crime in the United States, 2003, FBI, Uniform Crime Reports. 2000-2003 data was used since this is the latest data from the source found).

Based on rough analysis, it seems that the US is putting folks behind bars that need to be behind bars. It also appears that mandatory drug sentences, "three-strikes-and-you're-out" laws for repeat offenders and "truth-in-sentencing" laws that restrict early releases are working and should continue to be enforced.

However, this and several other articles often cite institutions/people which advocate alternatives to tough sentencing like the "Sentencing Project" and "Justice Policy Institute" cited in this article.

I am hard pressed to listen to or entertain these institution/people when we already have effective sentencing guidelines that are reducing overall crime.

Crime in America reach a pinnacle in 1991 (See Crime in the United States, 2003, FBI, Uniform Crime Reports). Tough and mandatory sentencing guidelines have resulted in a 31% reduction of the Total Crime Index from 1991 to 2003. Something I learned long ago and continue to carry with me. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Not only are tough and mandatory sentencing guidelines not broke, they are working marvelously. Now is not the time to listen to people or instituations who want to open up our prisons and jails and let these criminals back on our streets so they can commit more crimes. We tried that prior the the 1990's. It didn't work then, it won't work now. Putting criminals in prison is what lowers crime. If professionals want to experiment with rehabilitation, experiment in prison under controlled circumstances. Criminals should serve their time since they did the crime.

Another country moving towards democracy.

Tense Togo Awaits Result of Vote for New Leader
John Zodzi and Silvia Aloisi, Reuters Original Article

Security forces and opposition supporters in Togo clashed on Sunday at the end of a tense day of voting for a new president and there were fears of more street violence when the winner is declared.

The number of deaths is way down. That is the first crucial step. It takes awhile to rebuild a wartorn economy.

Abbas mired in struggle
Ben Lynfield, The Christian Science Monitor Original Article

A line from Mahmoud Abbas's inauguration speech in January has proven prescient: "The way forward will not be easy." Mr. Abbas has succeeded in forging a crucial cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants. In March and April, there have been no Israeli fatalities, the longest such stretch since the intifada started in 2000. During the same period, six Palestinians were killed, says the Israeli human rights group Btselem.

Not sure why we should change the rules. They broke the law so keep them in jail. Crime rate is down. There is no bad here.

U.S. Prison Population Soars in 2003, '04
SIOBHAN McDONOUGH, Associated Press Original Article

Growing at a rate of about 900 inmates each week between mid-2003 and mid-2004, the nation's prisons and jails held 2.1 million people, or one in every 138 U.S. residents, the government reported Sunday.

Not sure what the issue is. Constitution states 50%, change the rules to match the constitution.

Frist Hardens Effort to Stop Filibusters
DAVID ESPO, AP Original Article

Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday it was not "radical" to ask senators to vote on judicial nominees as he hardened his effort to strip Democrats of their power to stall President Bush's picks for the federal court.

In the 5th grade I was told the rain forest would be destroyed in 30 years. 30 years later, my son is hearing the same thing.

Environmentalists Mull Future of Movement
TERENCE CHEA, Associated Press Original Article

As the world marks the 35th anniversary of Earth Day on Friday, environmentalists are debating the future of a movement that seems to be losing the battle for public opinion.

Dependence on foreign oil has nothing to do with its price or our security posture.

The Independence Chimera
Robert Krol, TCS Original Article

There appears to be one issue on which both Republicans and Democrats agree -- the high price of oil and the vulnerability of Middle-East supplies to terrorist attacks calls for a national effort to reduce oil imports. Concern over our dependence on foreign oil was expressed in the Bush Administration's 2001 National Energy Policy report. John Kerry talked about the need to reduce oil imports during last year's presidential campaign. More recently, a bipartisan group of former national-security officials urged President Bush to accelerate the adoption of energy policies designed to reduce U.S. consumption of foreign oil.

Continued progress in the Global War on Terror.

Another Senior Taliban Official Gives Up
Reuters Original Article

A senior member of the ousted Taliban movement surrendered on Saturday, the latest in a series of defections to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government by Taliban commanders. Mofti Habibur Rahman, chief of the criminal department at Taliban's interior ministry, also said other high-level and low-ranking Taliban officials inside and outside Afghanistan would take advantage of a government amnesty offer.

Freedom Scorecard Update - The World is becoming a much safer place.

Afganistan - Free; has asked US for continued security assistance
Iraq - Free
Georgia - Free
Ukraine - Free
Palestine -Free, continuing to push aside Arafat kronies
India - Free, with new peace treaty complete with Pakistan
Pakistan - Dictator, but on the right side of the war on terror
Ecuador - Seeking Freedom, Mass protests ousted corrupt president
Egypt - Dictator, will hold multiparty Federal Democratic elections
Saudi Arabia - Dictator, Held Regional Democratic Elections
Libya - Dictator, gave up WMD, does not want US troops on his soil
Syria - Dictator, severely weakened
Lebanon - Almost all Syrian forces out, will soon have democratic elections
Venezuela - Dictator (unfortunately validated by ex-president), its people seeking freedom
Iran - Defiant, its people growing more and more bold; countries lining up against it
North Korea - Defiant, its people starving, severe internal strife
Soviet Union - Trying to go back to Communism

Lebanon is once again a free democracy. Thank You Mr. President.

Last Syrian forces to quit Lebanon in days
Reuters Original Article

Syria's military will complete its withdrawal from eastern Lebanon in the next 48 hours and its security chiefs will go a day later, a senior security source said on Saturday, completing their pullout earlier than planned. The source said Rustum Ghazaleh, the Syrian intelligence chief in Lebanon, would be the last to leave after a farewell ceremony in the Bekaa Valley on Tuesday.

The data shows that Bush won Ohio by 51-49% and the Country by 51-48%; hardly a narrow margin

Poll finds Ohioans still split on Bush
Howard Wilkinson, Enquirer Original Article

Ohioans are nearly as evenly split now on whether President Bush is doing a good job as they were during last fall's presidential campaign. According to the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll, Bush has an approval rating of 49 percent among Ohio voters. In the 2004 presidential election, Bush won Ohio's electoral votes - and, with them, the White House, by a narrow margin of about 118,000 votes out of 5.5 million cast.

Too bad rape is a crime of violence and not a crime of passion. This guy is an idiot.

Muslim cleric: women incite men's lust with 'satanic dress'
Miranda Devine, The Sun-Herald Original Article

A Muslim sheik told followers at a public meeting in Bankstown that women who were raped had incited men's lust by dressing immodestly and only had themselves to blame. Sydney-born Sheik Faiz Mohamad, 34, a former boxer who teaches at the Global Islamic Youth Centre in Liverpool, made the comments during a lecture for more than 1000 people at Bankstown Town Hall.

The Hart admendments, while harse, will get Germany's economy back online.

'Another day, another euro' for some Germans
Carter Dougherty, International Herald Tribune Original Article

Cora Hellmann, 44, is a self-described former Yuppie, a university graduate in business who has worked for major global corporations. She once bounced between Berlin, Paris and the Mediterranean for her vacations.