The Patriot Post® · Digest

· https://patriotpost.us/digests/7326-digest-2001-07-27

Quote of the week…

“A free and virtuous society, which America aspires to be, must reject practices that devalue and violate human life at any stage, from conception to natural death. … Experience is already showing how tragic coarsening of consciences accompanies the assault on innocent human life in the world, leading to accommodation and acquiescence in the face of other related evils such as euthanasia, infanticide, and, most recently, proposals for the creations for research purposes of human embryos destined to destruction in the process.” –Pope John Paul II

On cross-examination…

“Mr. Bush seems to be discovering the joys of bilingualism. Is Canada his model?” –William F. Buckley, Jr.

Open Query…

“Will the American people submit eventually and finally to the authority of Big Brother and big nanny government that dictates their daily actions and runs their daily lives or one day, while they still have their guns, will they rise up as they did 225 years ago and begin again the fight for liberty and justice for all?” –Lyn Nofziger

The BIG lie…

“The federal government is not a toy, and checks from the U.S. Treasury should not be used as political props.” –DNC Chairman and Consummate Clintonista Terry McAuliffe on the message “Tax Relief for America’s Workers” printed on tax rebate checks being issued by the Treasury. We suppose McAuliffe would have preferred the checks say, “It is with deep regret that Republicans have forced the central government slush fund to return a mere pittance of your hard-earned income.”

News from the Swamp…

In the Executive Branch, former President Jimmy Carter broke with normal post-presidential courtesy, unleashing a tongue-lashing on the current occupant of the White House. “I thought he would be a moderate leader, but he has been very strictly conforming to some of the more conservative members of his administration, his vice president and his secretary of defense in particular,” said Mr. Carter.

“If President Bush has any doubts about how well he’s doing his job, former President Jimmy Carter has laid them to rest,” noted The Federalist’s eminence grise Lyn Nofziger. “Carter has announced that ‘I’ve been disappointed in almost everything he has done.’ This from the most incompetent president of the 20th century.”

In the House of Commons Wednesday, members voted 240-186 to lift travel restrictions to Cuba for U.S. citizens. “What we’ve done is erect our own Berlin Wall preventing the free travel of Americans. It’s time to tear the wall down,” argued Demo Rep. William Delahunt. Sponsored by the aptly named Rep. Jeff Flake as an amendment to the $32.7 billion fiscal 2002 spending bill for the Treasury Department, post office, White House and other agencies, the action is claimed by supporters as a first step toward ending the communist nation’s economic isolation. Guess this means we’ll C U (and C $) in C-U-B-A! (Perhaps they can now land the Winter Olympics!)

Always on the guard, Majority Leader Dick Armey lambasted House approval of a spending measure that appropriated $800,000 to the District of Columbia, for photo-radar (AKA spy) cameras to be installed at traffic intersections. “It’s not good for the federal government to be involved in promoting devices that undermine citizens’ privacy rights, especially the right to face one’s accuser,” commented Richard Diamond, Mr. Armey’s spokesman. (Those Texas boys, Armey, Delay and Paul, are always calling on their colleagues to pay attention to our Constitution. Must be something in the water down there!)

To date, this cash cow has brought in more than $12 million in fines for the district since its inception in 1999. With the addition of the new cameras, the Washington Times reports that the city will pull in $11 million per annum. Similar spy cams in San Diego, California, are subjects of a trial charging constitutional violations, in tandem with admissions that the private contractor maintaining the cameras (and also earning a portion of each fine) had moved the sensor-triggers without readjusting the cameras’ timing, likely undermining the accuracy of the ticketing. Stay tuned!

In the House of Lords, Senate Plurality Leader Tom Daschle noted, when asked about Rep. Gary Condit’s continuing service on the House Intelligence Committee, despite his plain vulnerability, “But there are probably others that are subject to blackmail as well.” (Thanks, Tom, we can all sleep a little better now!)

For your edification, House and Senate members “overseeing” intelligence are privy to some of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence operations, but none of the members are subject to background investigations by the FBI, CIA, or DIA. They do take oaths of secrecy, but then they also take oaths to uphold the Constitution – and, like the oaths to uphold their marriage vows, too few honor any of the above.

Speaking of intelligence, Sen. Ms. Hillary (Mrs. Bill Clinton) Rodham-Clinton advanced hubby Slick’s legacy of duplicity, criticizing the Bush administration for delaying implementation of tougher standards for arsenic levels in water. She is pressing for a re-commitment to the 10 parts per billion policy, which was so urgent her husband waited to adopt it until almost his last nanosecond in office.

Hard on the heels of announcing his support for federal spending on limited embryonic stem cell research, Sen. Bill Frist this week indicated he favors moving away from an emphasis on AIDS prevention, giving equal time to treatment of AIDS.

Memo to Bill: An excellent place to start would be to deal with AIDS infection like other communicable diseases – by contact tracing of all sexual partners of infected patients.

Judicial Benchmarks…

In the halls of justice on the right, U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson ruled that a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children did not pass the test of religious discrimination. The Sibilant Libertines Union had charged the Baptist agency with discrimination after they fired Alicia Pedreira because she was a lesbian.

On the Left…

In News from the American Labour Party, Democrat National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued a statement criticizing recent Republican efforts to “reach out” to women voters across the nation. He remarked, “Where have the Republicans been for the past 200 years? From denying the need for equal pay to cutting funds for breast cancer prevention to attempting to drop birth control coverage from Federal health insurance plans, the Republican Party demonstrates everyday how it is dramatically out of step with the concerns of America’s women and families.” Hmmm, let’s see: Republicans have put more money back into family pocketbooks with the tax rebate, have protected women’s access to effective Second Amendment self-defense for themselves and their children, and have plans to protect women and their families from ballistic missile attacks. No, not a thing there women should be concerned about!

From the “Clinton Presidue” Files…

America’s “first black” president this week moved to his office in Harlem. Counting up only Mr. Clinton’s pension, staff and office, taxpayers will be out a cool $992,000 annually, and that doesn’t include his Secret Service protection costs – or other associated expenses. The record-breaking budget leaves George Bush (41) coming in a distant second, at $623,000 a year, or 37% cheaper than Clinton. But we think they should all pay their own way!

The Commissars…

Interior Secretary Gale Norton rightfully decided that family farmers are more important than preservation of the sucker fish, ordering 75,000 acre feet of water to be released to Klamath Basin farmers. Many of that region’s farms are blowing dry and dusty after a lawsuit to protect the endangered fish resulted in the shutdown of irrigation that had been flowing, as promised, for nearly a century. Some of the farm families have already been forced into bankruptcy for lack of water for their crops, and for others, Norton’s action is too late to get crops underway.

Regarding your IRS overpayment…

Previously, The Federalist has noted that the so-called “surplus” was being spent with great vigor. We have also noted repeatedly that the economic decline is likely to diminish that much-anticipated surplus. The pork barrel spenders have virtually zeroed-out the excess tax collections. Now, House Sociocrat Leader Dick Gephardt has announced that should the Demos retake the House, he will push for higher taxes to offset any budget shortfall – rather than spending cuts. “I’ll do it again because I believe in being fiscally responsible with the taxpayers’ money,” Gephardt said.

Apparently “reduced spending” is not in Gephardt’s leadership lexicon when it comes to “being fiscally responsible with the taxpayers’ money.”

Of course, if Daschle-Gephardt, et al., hang around for a few years – and you know they will – they wont have to raise taxes. You see, almost all of the provisions in Mr. Bush’s meager $1.35 trillion tax cut – reduced marginal tax rates, phase-out of the marriage tax penalty and death taxes, and portable pension plan provisions – are going to expire in 2011.

From the department of military readiness…

Dropping by to visit U.S. troops in Europe during his travels on the continent, Mr. Bush remarked, “America and allied forces came into Bosnia and Kosovo. They came in together, and we will leave together.” Uh oh…. That means our military’s expected exit date from the Balkans is approximately the 12th of Never. We do seem to recall that Candidate Bush criticized such “peacekeeping” missions as this one, characterizing them – quite correctly – as overdeployments that erode readiness.

From the department of military correctness…

John Hensala, honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force after announcing his homosexuality to superiors in 1994, has appealed a federal judge’s decision he must repay $71,000 in expenses for his education as a psychiatrist. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will now decide whether the “talking cure” trumps the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. In our view, it’s more like non compos mentis meets nolo contendere!

From the states…

A Maryland-based interfaith coalition, TakeBackMaryland.org, spearheaded a successful petition drive to stall a bill that would have inserted sexual orientation into the state’s civil rights law. Coalition Chairman Tres Kerns explained, “We were positive all along that we had enough signatures. Even after some last-minute concerns with missing sheets and minor discrepancies in signature totals, it was clear that there would be enough signatures to secure the referendum.” The group’s aggressive activism produced impressive signature numbers despite polls that indicated 60% statewide approval for the law.

In economic news…

From the Keen Sense of the Obvious Files, economists and political analysts are reporting that this year’s tax cut will result in an upturn in spending and economic activity. “We think the rebates are going to boost the economy in the second half of this year, adding around three-quarters of a percentage point to economic growth,” said Martin Regalia, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s chief economist. And people joke, if you lay all the economists end to end, they never reach a conclusion!

In business news…

AOL Time Warner has started serious talks with AT&T regarding a possible merger with AT&T Broadband. AT&T recently rejected a $40 billion offer from Comcast, but has indicated it is willing to entertain other offers. To our fellow patriots currently using AT&T Broadband, you may want to consider switching services now – before another blackout of The Federalist on the AT&T network as well!

The “Dumb and Dumber” Department…

In Cincinnati, Shekeyma Barnett lobbed charges that arresting officers were rude to her when they caught her looting a store during last April’s riot. Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Melba Marsh chided Barnett, “You say, ‘I’ve broken into a store. I’ve been looting. I’ve been taking things that don’t belong to me. I walk outside and police are wearing riot gear. They are carrying guns,’ and then you say, ‘They’re being rude to me’? Oh, come on!” Nine months pregnant at the time, Barnett gave birth in jail while serving her sentence for grand theft. The mother of three had a prior arrest while shopping in 1997, whereupon she remarked to the arresting officers, “Should I check on my kids? They’re home alone.”

Memo to Je$$e Ja¢k$on: Like in Washington, D.C., the vast majority of police shootings – like the vast majority of murders – in Cincinnati have been black on black. Why did you mouthpieces wait for a white officer to shoot a black man before coming to town?

Culture comment…

A new National Center for Health Statistics report shows a record 22% decline of the teen birthrate, from 62.1 in 1991, to 48.7 births per 1,000 teens. The decline is “very encouraging news,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. However, the report also detailed that, at the same time, the number of babies born to single women reached a new record high in 2000. (You may recall, when asked about the findings on single parent households a few months back, White House Domestic Policy Advisor Margaret La Montagne responded, “So what?” We checked, and she still has her job.)

Faith Matters…

An Acton Institute survey reveals that officials at nine of 10 Christian seminaries said that corporations will abuse power if not regulated, while six in 10 believed only government redistribution of wealth brings social justice. “Religious leaders are given a lot of credence when they speak on political and economic policy, but that is where they are least qualified,” said Acton Institute historian Kevin Schmiesing. Wait a minute, wasn’t there something in those Commandments about “thou shalt not steal”?

On the frontiers of science…

Researchers plan human testing this fall on a promising vaccine, AN-1792, that might retard or even cure Alzheimer’s disease. Functioning like typical immune-system stimulating vaccines, this treatment has been judged safe for humans and moderately effective in animal testing.

On the frontiers of junk science…

Just in time to spoil your late summer barbecues, the fear-mongers of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences added to their list of carcinogens … grilled steaks … and well-done meats in general. (Additions to the cancer-suspect roster this year also included moth balls, toilet bowl cleaners, some detergents, shampoos and perfumes, and radiation from high-altitude air flights.) Fingered as culprits for harming seared animal flesh aficionados were heterocyclic amines (HCAs), formed when muscle meat is heated around 400 degrees. “Anything that’s fun tends to be hazardous to your health,” observed Christopher Portier, the group’s director of environmental toxicology. Hey, given that the risks from eating one broiled steak and driving three miles are about the same, and that life is the only 100% certain risk associated with death, fire ‘em up!

Around the world…

In the latest “Star Wars” sequel, Russia has unexpectedly agreed to Mr. Bush’s proposal linking plans for a U.S. ballistic missile defense system with bilateral talks on reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles. President Vladimir Putin said after the two leaders met at the G-8 summit in Genoa last weekend that a “joint striving” existed to deal with changed nuclear threats since the end of the Cold War. Bush said of defensive and offensive weapons, “These two go hand in hand,” and dispatched National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to Russia for consultations toward reaching agreement. Putin said, “It seemed to me, that his mental reasoning is very deep, very profound. Both of us are aiming at partnership.”

Washington Times Editor in Chief Wesley Pruden observed, “Vladimir Putin … recognizes what some of Mr. Bush’s critics in the West insist they do not, that the world has changed and so has the way the world’s leaders must deal with the changed reality. And so, too, the rest of the world’s assessment of the vision thing of the new president of the United States.”

But columnist William Safire warned that Putin’s move may be part of adopting “China’s model: Centralize political control by cracking down on dissent and crushing democratic tendencies. At the same time, develop a controlled capitalism to generate profits that the state can tax to build military strength.”

And last, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon filed lawsuits against a television tarot psychic, alleging consumer fraud for charging callers for phone hold times and violating the state’s no-call law. Nixon said, “Miss Cleo should have seen this coming. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to realize that ripping off consumers isn’t without consequences.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: ERRATUM – Last week, we reported on comments from “Million Mom March” spokeswoman Mary Leigh Blek, who said in her testimony regarding the UN’s effort to regulate small arms possession and trade that, “The gun lobby has been talking for 40 minutes. During that time, 40 people have died from the use of small arms and light weapons in this country. That figure…is further proof that this country is at war.” She implied that there are 525,000 deaths annually in the U.S. involving guns, which we noted was far from accurate. According to the FBI, the actual figure for murders committed with firearms is 8,259 for the most recent year of record, the majority of those being drug and gang related.)