Monday, 23 July 2007

Michael Moore does the right thing. Now it is your turn

barry sinrod
 
Dear MoveOn member,

In the wake of Sicko's box office success, Congress is debating the largest expansion of guaranteed health care coverage in over 40 years.1 This is our chance to make progress on health care.

Democratic leaders want to offer free health care to millions of uninsured children. Who could be against that? But President Bush is afraid insuring kids is a slippery slopeopening the door to affordable health care for everyone. How terrible.

Bush is threatening to veto if the bill passes, but some Republican senators are ignoring him in favor of insuring kids. We still don't have enough votes to override Bush's veto, thoughand the Senate vote is just days away.

Can you help win the biggest health care victory in decades? Clicking here will add your name to the petition:

http://pol.moveon.org/kidshealth/o.pl?id=10851-3589861-5Uctt.&t=3

After you sign, please forward this email to friends with kidsand any email lists you're on for PTA groups, childcare, or kids' sports teams. We're teaming up with our friends at the Service Employees International Union and others to collect petition signatures. We'll deliver your signature and comments just as key lawmakers are deciding how to vote on our kids' health.

For the last decade, a public program called the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) has provided health insurance to many low-income kids. Congress must renew the program by September or it will disappear.

But Democratic leaders are fighting to do even betterexpanding the program to include millions of children still not covered.
"There are more kids without health insurance than there are kids in the first and second grades," said the Democratic senator in charge of the bill.2

They'll pay for it by cracking down on for-profit health insurance companies who are ripping off the current system or taxing tobacco.

This bill won't bring us affordable health care for everyone, but it's a step in the right direction. Just look at why President Bush is so worried: "My concern is that when you expand eligibility...you're really beginning to open up an avenue for people to switch from private insurance to the government."3

Bush has called this the "beginning salvo" of the health care fight.4 Please sign our petition to make sure we win this first round. The vote is this week.

Click here to add your name to the petition:

http://pol.moveon.org/kidshealth/o.pl?id=10851-3589861-5Uctt.&t=4

Thank you for all you do.

Noah, Laura, Marika, Tanya, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
  Monday, July 23rd, 2007
  




Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.

jimmyq what did the government ever do better than private? no matter how bad you think private health care is the government will make it 100 times worse. theres no such thing as free. someone is paying for it. (07/23/07)


CAMPAIGN FROLICS

Ken Berwitz

Think of this as the first of an ongoing series of funny and/or outrageous events on the presidential campaign trail:.

EXETER, N.H. - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is refusing to apologize for posing with a sign that said "No to Osama, Obama and Chelseas Moma,"  .

I admit that Romney probably should not have posed with that sign.  But I also admit that I reacted more to the silly humor than the outrageous comparison. 

What do you think?


A TASTE OF THE FUTURE: PART 19

Ken Berwitz

Here is the latest installment of how your world will be if radical islam wins the global war it is fighting and ends western civilization.  .

Three sisters stabbed to death in Gaza 'honor killing'

Three sisters were found stabbed to death in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, raising suspicion they were killed by relatives because of suspected immoral behavior, a human rights organization said.

The three sisters, 16-year-old Nahed Hija and her sisters, 19-year-old Suha and 22-year-old Lina, were found dead from multiple stab wounds, buried in a shallow grave in the central Gaza Strip early Sunday morning, said Hamdi Shakkour of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

Shakkour said they suspected the women were victims of "honor crimes," in which women are murdered by male relatives because of suspected intimate relations - not necessarily sex - outside of marriage.

The Hamas force that polices the Gaza Strip said in a statement it was investigating the deaths.

Honor killings are practiced throughout the Arab world. At least 12 women were killed for honor crimes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last year, but this is the first time three sisters were murdered together.

In February, three unrelated woman were killed within a 24-hour period in the Gaza Strip.

At the time, there were concerns that vigilante moral groups were behind the killings.

The Palestinian judiciary does not take "honor crimes" seriously, Shakkour said. Perpetrators of "honor crimes" are often given light sentences of a few years, while others convicted of murder under other circumstances are sentenced to death. .

Take a good look.  Because this is what will replace western civilization if we allow it to.  And it will be the way YOU live.

If we fight against radical islam we may win and we may lose.  If we do not, we will most assuredly lose because, either way, they will continue fighting.  And if they win, our culture and our civilization is over, to be replaced by what?  Girls being killed for the crime of living their own lives?  Women treated at best with the esteem reserved for barnyard animals or at worst as embarrassments to be killed for someone else's idea of HONOR?         

God help the people who want to live this way.  I know I'm not one of them.  Are you?

We play political games with this lunacy at our own peril.


A FEAST OF MY POINTS

Ken Berwitz

It's not often that one article - a small one at that - embodies so many of the points I make in this blog,.  But here's one from the Raleigh (NC) News-Observer.  So I am posting the article, and then we'll count them up:

Sheehan takes case to Carolina

By The ( Raleigh ) News & Observer

 

CARRBORO, N.C. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan strode through a mall parking lot, flashing the peace sign and carrying a white wooden cross with "Casey" written on it.

 

About a dozen supporters carried signs such as "Honor the Warriors. Defund the War." A waiting group of two dozen more cheered.

Sheehan, wearing a T-shirt reading "Humanity before politics," then walked into a restaurant that emphasizes local ingredients, and hugged those waiting to meet her.

 

Her visit to this small North Carolina town Thursday was part of a cross-country tour that will go through Washington, D.C., where she plans to call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

"We want them both gone," Sheehan said. "I'm holding elected officials accountable."

 

She was invited to Carrboro by the Grassroots Impeachment Movement (GRIM), which has been working for impeachment since the discovery of the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic-eavesdropping program in late 2005. The 100-member group wants the Carrboro Board of Aldermen to adopt the nickname "Cradle of Impeachment" until the 2008 election. Both Carrboro and Chapel Hill have adopted resolutions calling for impeachment.

 

"Carrboro is where the impeachment movement started in North Carolina and maybe in the South," said civil-rights lawyer Al McSurely, a co-founder of GRIM.

 

Sheehan, 50, is best known for camping outside Bush's Texas ranch after her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq. She announced last week that she will run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., next year if Pelosi doesn't move to impeach Bush by Monday, the day Sheehan should reach the capital.

 

Pelosi aides previously have said the congresswoman thinks the best way to support the troops in Iraq is to bring them home safely and soon.

After her Washington stop, Sheehan and her tour will head to the United Nations in New York. Then, she said, she will go to the Middle East, including Jordan, Syria and Iraq, where she will meet with Iraqi war refugees.

 

Ok, let the count begin:

 

1. Ive said that Cindy Sheehan has no problem exploiting her dead son for publicity.  Well, here she is, carrying a cross with his name emblazoned on it.  Why, if her mission is to stop the killing of thousands of OTHER soldiers is Casey Sheehans name always there when she is?  Isnt he the son who rejected her views by enlisting in the army and then, when his time was up, re-enlisting?  Frankly (and sickeningly), Casey Sheehans death was the greatest thing that ever happened to mother cindy;

 

2. Ive said that the left would love Sheehan until her publicity waned and/or she became a liability.  Then theyd dump her without a second thought because an avenue of publicity was all she ever was to them.  Well, Sheehan took time out from attacking President Bush to assure us that she was also against Democrats who wouldnt act on her demands and she was going to challenge Nancy Pelosi for her congressional seat.  And suddenly there are virtually no followers anymore; 

 

3. Ive said that media fawn over Sheehan because her hard-left, Bush-hating views are so in line with so many of them.  Well, here she is with a total of three dozen followers -- one dozen marching, two dozen waiting to hear her pearls of wisdom.   An average three card-monte hustler in Manhattan has more suckers lining up than that.  And yet, there it is, a feature story, complete with picture (I havent posted it, but its there).  I rest my case;

 

4. Many of the anti-war people are LAMBs (i.e. members of the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade).  That certainly encompasses her sponsoring group all 100 or so of them who want Bush impeached because he dared to upgrade surveillance on terrorist suspects during a war, and after we were hit by terrorism with the loss of thousands of people.  The one thing they have right is their acronym:  GRIM.

 

So, there you have it.  A four course feast.  Thanks Cindy.  Everyone likes being right, and Im no exception.

 


TROOP SURGE UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Here is some more good news concerning the troop surge, from Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of the Washington Times.

I would show you this information from countless other sources as well, except it is good news coming out of Iraq which relates to a decision President Bush made, so finding it in print or on-air isn't very easy.  I doubt this surprises you. 

The bold print is mine:.

WASHINGTON -- The war against Islamic terrorism in Iraq is still a work in progress, but a few strategic victories in the past few months suggest the forces of freedom may be making some headway there.

American and Iraqi forces have cleared several terrorist-infested areas, including Anbar province. Large swaths of Baghdad have also been made safer as a result of the surge of U.S. troops.

"The level of violence is down in the two areas where the 'surge' is focused, Anbar and Baghdad," U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said last week. There have been numerous reports that tribal sheiks in Anbar and elsewhere have begun forming alliances with Iraqi and U.S. military forces for the first time, identifying terrorist locations and weapons caches and the places where Al Qaeda killers have planted roadside bombs.

Perhaps the most important evidence the surge is having an effect is the fact that the terrorist attacks have declined or stopped in the areas where U.S. forces have focused their enforcement efforts.

Since President Bush initiated the surge earlier this year, Al Qaeda has stepped up its attacks in some places. But overall, sectarian killings, total car bombings and suicide attacks have fallen in May and June.

Listen to what New York Times reporter John Burns, who has covered Iraq for the past five years, told PBS talk-show host Charlie Rose last week:

"I think, quite simply, that the United States armed forces here -- and I find this to be very widely agreed amongst Iraqis that I know, of all ethnic and sectarian backgrounds -- the United States armed forces are a very important inhibitor against violence," Burns said.

"I know it's argued by some people (i.e., Democratic war critics) that they provoke the violence. I simply don't believe that to be in the main true. I think it's a much larger truth that where American forces are present, they are inhibiting sectarian violence and they are going after the people, particularly Al Qaeda and the Shiite death squads, who are provoking that violence," Burns added.

There are signs that the surge has produced dividends in other areas of Iraqi governance and society. Recruitment for the Iraqi army and police forces is way up, attracting thousands of Iraqi men, including Sunnis. We are seeing the reappearance of professional soccer leagues in Baghdad, as well as new reconstruction projects in larger numbers.

There was another important victory in the Iraq war here at home, too, where the Democrats' efforts to force a pullout was soundly defeated in the Senate, falling eight votes short of the 60 needed to end debate and move to a vote. In addition to showing that a majority of GOP senators continue to back Bush's opposition to a troop-withdrawal deadline, it also gave him time to show that the military surge can and will bring some level of security to Iraq as the Iraqis prepare to take over the brunt of the fighting sometime next year.

Another key development in a battle that appears to be shifting in Bush's favor was the sharp public contrast between the Democrats -- who argued that all hope of saving Iraq is lost and we should begin pulling out now -- and those who say that leaving now would only embolden Al Qaeda, free them to expand their terrorist plots elsewhere, including here in the United States, and inevitably lead to a bloodbath for the Iraqi people.

Burns says it is "incontrovertible that the most likely outcome of an American withdrawal any time soon would be cataclysmic violence."

But in the closing hours of an all-night debate on their troop-withdrawal amendment, the Democrats were hardly thinking of what would happen to the Iraqis if we told Gen. David Petraeus and his high command to end the surge and prepare for a pullout of U.S. forces now.

Instead, the Democrats were calling on the Iraqis to begin negotiations with all parties in the country, presumably including Al Qaeda leaders, to reach some kind of "political settlement." That approach not only smacks of appeasement but it could lead to the kind of bloodbath that Burns and our military leaders in Iraq have warned would be the inevitable result if we just left.

It was the kind of cold-blooded appeasement that even the Washington Post -- whose military reporters have been unrelenting in their criticism of the war -- could not stomach.

"Before Congress begins managing rotation schedules and ordering withdrawal, it should at least give those generals the months they asked for to see whether their strategy can offer some new hope," the Post editorialized.

Last week's Senate vote bought Bush and Petraeus the additional time they need to make that hope a reality.  .

Over the past two weeks I have put up blog after blog detailing specific successes and general progress being made since the troop surge was implemented.  Always referenced.  It's not like this information is unavailable.

Therefore, if you haven't come across it in your newspaper and/or your newscast, it's not because the information isn't there, it is because your newspaper and/or newscast declines to tell you about it.

Whose side are they on, anyway?


GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ (THUS NEWS YOU PROBABLY WON'T SEE IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA)

Ken Berwitz

This piece of extremely good news is from the Times of London.  Please read it (bold print is mine:

July 23, 2007

Al-Qaeda faces rebellion from the ranks

Sickened by the groups barbarity, Iraqi insurgents are giving information to coalition forces

Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a persons face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood.

The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.

They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace, said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area.

The sewage-filled streets of Doura, a Sunni Arab enclave in south Baghdad, provide an ugly setting for what US commanders say is al-Qaedas last stronghold in the city. The secretive group, however, appears to be losing its grip as a surge of US troops in the neighbourhood part of the latest effort by President Bush to end the chaos in Iraq has resulted in scores of fighters being killed, captured or forced to flee.

A key factor is that local people and members of al-Qaeda itself have become sickened by the violence and are starting to rebel, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael said. The people have got to deny them sanctuary and that is exactly what is happening.

Al-Qaeda informants comprise largely members of the Doura network who found themselves either working with the group after the US-led invasion in March 2003, or signed up to earn extra cash because there were no other jobs going. Disgusted at the attacks and intimidation techniques used on friends, neighbours and even relatives, they are now increasingly looking for a way out, US officers say.

It is only after al-Qaeda has become truly barbaric and done things like, to teach lessons to people, cut their face off with piano wire in front of their family and then murdered everybody except one child who told the tale afterwards . . . that people realise how much of a mess they are in, Lieutenant James Danly, 31, who works on military intelligence in Doura, said.

It is impossible to corroborate the claims, but he said that scores of junior al-Qaeda in Iraq members there had become informants since May, including one low-level cell leader who gave vital information after his arrest.

He gave us dates, places and names and who did what, Lieutenant Danly said. When asked why he was being so forthcoming, the man said: Because I am sick of it and I hate them, and I am done.

Working with insurgents even those who claim to have switched sides is a leap of faith for both sides. Every informant who visits Forward Operating Base Falcon, a vast military camp on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, is blindfolded when brought in and out to avoid gleaning any information about his surroundings.

The risk sometimes pays off. A recent tip-off led to the fatal shooting of Abu Kaldoun, one of three senior al-Qaeda leaders in Doura, during a US raid last week. He was turned in by one of his own, Colonel Michael said.

Progress with making contacts and gathering actionable information is slow because al-Qaeda has persuasive methods of keeping people quiet. This month it beheaded two men in the street and pinned a note on to their corpses giving warning that anyone who cooperated with US troops would meet the same fate.

The increased presence of US forces in Doura, however, is encouraging insiders to overcome their fear and divulge what they know. Convoys of US soldiers are working the rubble-strewn streets day and night, knocking on doors, speaking to locals and following up leads on possible insurgent hideouts.

People in al-Qaeda come to us and give us information, said Lieutenant Scott Flanigan, as he drove past a line of fruit and vegetable stalls near a shabby shopping street in Doura, where people were buying bread and other groceries.

The informants were not seeking an amnesty for crimes that they had committed. They just do not want to be killed, Lieutenant Flanigan said.

Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who was killed in a US raid last year established the Iraqi al-Qaeda network in 2004, but opinions differ on its compilation, size and capabilities. Some military experts believe that the group is a cell-based network of chapters who are loosely linked to an overall leader by go-between operatives.

Others, however, describe al-Qaeda in Iraq as a sort of franchise, with separate cells around the country that use the brand made infamous by Osama bin Laden and cultural ideology but do not work closely with each other or for one overriding leader.

Despite the uncertainties one thing seems guaranteed. A hardcore of people calling themselves al-Qaeda in Iraq remains devoted to the extremist cause and is determined to fight on whatever the cost. .

That certainly is good news.  But where is it in your newspaper?  Have you seen it on the network news?  And if you have, did it get anything like the attention car bombs get? 

Often, when media are confronted by this blatant double standard, they sit back, shrug their shoulders and explain it away by saying things like "if it bleeds it leads". 

But it should be remembered that "if it bleeds, it leads" goes both ways.  If this is a story of, "people" who, to quote the article,  ...cut their face off with piano wire in front of their family and then murdered everybody except one child who told the tale afterwards...   , then it seems to me bleeding is somewhere in the mix.  So burying this good news is just plain purposeful on their part.

And please note that much of this good news is directly ascribed to the US troop surge.  That's right, the troop surge that reid and pelosi condemned as a failure BEFORE IT EVEN STARTED.

Last week the Zogby poll indicated that the Democratic -majority congress has dropped to its lowest level in Zogby's polling history, and by plenty.  Congress is at a 14% positive approval rating (that's right, 14%, NOT a typo).  Meanwhile President Bush jumped from 30% positive approval to 34% in the same poll.

You have to wonder how much of this historic low for congressional approval rating is due to comments like reid's and pelosi's, that demoralize our troops and give hope to our enemies.  And how much of it is because mainstream media are happy to report every setback but equally happy to minimize or completely bury each success.

I've asked it before and I'll ask it again here:  Whose side are they on, anyway?


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