Saturday, February 19, 2005


Terri Schaivo - victim

Read this affidavit by Heidi Law. It's in PDF format.

After you do that, go check out the fact that this supposedly totally non-responsive woman makes documented attempts at communication:

From the Empire Journal

Witness: Nurse Heidi Law

* mommy
* momma
* help me

Witness: Nurse Carla Sauerlyer

* pay (meaning “pain” when she was in discomfort)
* Haaaiii (meaning “Hi” in response to “Hi Terri")
* mommy
* help me ("Help me was, in fact, one of her more frequent utterances. I heard her say it hundreds of times.”

Terri’s Mediplex records:

* stop (in reference to one medical procedure being done on her)

Terri’s family members:

* ugh-hugh (meaning yes)
* ugh-ugh (meaning no)
* yea (’yea’ was a word she reportedly first re-learned to speak in 2002.)
* No

All this, despite being refused any rehabilitative services, such as speech therapy.

(Read the article. It has more about them asking for new brain scans to prove once and for all about how unresponsive she is. Thanks to My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy)

Do you want to see what the protocol and the pain involved in starving a healthy human body to death is like? Read here - the Lie of a Painless Death

If this bothers you, you can be a part of those taking action.

Florida State Contacts:Governor Jeb Bush (R)Office of The GovernorFlorida Capitol Building, PL-05Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001(850) 488-7146(850)

Attorney General Charlie CristOffice of Attorney GeneralState of FloridaThe CapitolTallahassee, FL 32399-1050(850) 414-3990Fax: (850)

State Attorney Bernie McCabe14250 49th Street NorthClearwater, FL 33762(727) 464-6221

Senator Bill Nelson (D)United States Courthouse Annex111 N. Adams St.Tallahassee, FL 32301(850) 942-8415Fax: (850) 942-8450or:524

Hart Senate Office Bldg.Washington, D.C. 20510(202) 224-5274 Click here to contact Senator Nelson

General's Charlie Crist, AG Citizen's Services & Office
1-850-414-3990 / 850-414-3300 Bernie McCabe, State Attorney Pinellas and Pasco Counties
727-464-6221 Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities 800-342-0823
850-488-9071 Pinellas County GOP 727-539-6009 Gov. Jeb Bush 850-488-4441,,, State of Florida Office of Civil Rights 954-712-4601 Senator Mel Martinez
Washington: Phone: 202-224-3041 Congressman Jim Davis
Washington: Phone: (202) 225-3376
FAX: (202) 225-565
DISTRICT: Phone: (813) 354-9217
Florida Toll Free: 1 (888) 266-0205
Fax: (813) 354-9514 Satellite Office: (727) 867-5301
FAX: (727) 867-5302 Florida Senate 800-342-1827 Senate President Tom Lee: 1-800-560-4403 Daniel Webster
Capitol Office: Phone: (850) 487-5047
District Office: (407) 656-0066 The Florida Senate-2004-2006 Senators Florida House of Representatives 850-488-6026 Speaker Allan Bense
Capitol Office: Phone: (850) 488-1450
District Office: Phone: (850) 914-6300 Frank Peterman
Capitol Office: Phone: (850) 488-0925
District Office: Phone: (727) 552-1370 Florida Department of Law Enforcement 850-410-7000 Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities 850-488-4257 Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Department of Justice
202-514-2000 Main Switchboard
202-353-1555 Office of US AG U.S. DOJ Disability Civil Rights
Section Chief John L Wodatch
Phone: (202) 307-2227
Fax:(202) 307-1198 Section Deputy Chief Renee M Wohlenhaus
Phone: (202) 307-0663 Philip Breen
Special Legal Counsel
U.S. Department of Justice
Phone: (202) 616-7526
Fax:(202) 307-1198 Liz Savage
U.S. Department of Justice
Phone:(202) 514-7173
Fax:(202) 514-0293

(contacts from Knitting a Conundrum )


Reality in Darfur


(Seamus Farrow is a UNICEF youth ambassador and is currently on deferral from Yale Law School.)

In recent weeks, we have seen the world unite in the face of one humanitarian catastrophe. But another has slipped quietly off the radar. A new wave of violence is convulsing Darfur. For its victims, there is no relief. Continuing attacks on villages by rebel factions, the Sudanese army and government-backed Arab militias known as Janjaweed, have left more than 70,000 dead and sent 2 million fleeing. Last week, eight villages in south Darfur were burned to the ground. In the north, another was bombed by government aircraft. Half of Darfur's population is homeless, living in 137 swollen refugee camps and countless makeshift settlements.

Both camps and villages are utterly defenseless. It is clear that the international community's current policy on Sudan is not working.

This fall I crossed Darfur as part of a UNICEF team. Plans had to be continually adjusted as outbursts of fighting severed access to refugee camps. Currently, more than half are inaccessible to relief workers. In every camp I reached, women told me of their dread of going out to gather firewood, which they need for cooking and trading. Men who leave the camps are killed. As months pass, women must walk farther and farther to find wood. It is on these missions that they are raped. When I asked who their attackers are, the women answered, variously, "Janjaweed," "Arab soldiers," "men in uniform." They are indistinguishable. Every day the women of Darfur face a terrible dilemma: Who will get the wood?

Fatima is 16, my own age. She described the burning of her village. Janjaweed killed her father and two brothers, she said. They tied her mother's wrists while Fatima was gang-raped. Alone, she walked for weeks across the desert to reach the camp outside of El Geneina where we met. She never saw her mother again. Now Fatima is eight months pregnant. She showed me a blue plastic sheet neatly folded in a Ziplock bag, provided for the birthing of her baby. She whispered that she is taunted by the women around her. In an Islamic culture where the victim of rape is often held culpable, no one welcomes these births. And even Fatima must gather wood. There will be no safety for her or her child....
At African Union headquarters, a sandy barracks at the outskirts of El Fasher, I met with Brig. Gen. Festus Okonkwo, a charismatic and affable Nigerian, who is the commander of the AU cease-fire commission for Sudan. I asked about protection, about the people in the camps. "We do not have the capacity," he told me. With only 790 troops patrolling an area the size of Texas, his forces were overstretched just trying to monitor the cease-fire.

I asked how many troops he would need to protect the refugees. A trace of frustration crossed Okonkwo's face. "Protection is the responsibility of the Sudanese government. We are only to intervene within the resources available to us and the areas we are in," he said, quoting the mandate nearly verbatim. Behind Okonkwo, a large map of Darfur illustrated precisely what he was referring to. Six tiny circles, areas under AU defense, were scrawled with arrows and numbers indicating troop activity. But more notable was the vastness of the unmarked area: no arrows, no AU presence.

Poor, forgotten. Caught up in a squabble that involves oil, religious sects and political strength, and possibly just gangbanging for the fun of it, a mess created and continued by a government that's pretty sure nobody cares enough to make it an international issue.

Don't forget. Don't let these people suffer for realpolitik and corruption. See the sidebar for more information and links.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Prolife thought for the day:

If you are not relevant before birth, what makes you relevant afterwards?



Clifford D. May has noted this sad fact:

It is a common misperception that most terrorism is directed against Jews and Christians. The fact is no group has suffered more than Muslims from radical Islamist violence. Especially at risk are those bold enough to speak out for such values as freedom, human rights and democracy.

In Beirut this week, former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was killed by a powerful car bomb – apparently in reprisal for his opposition to Syria's continuing occupation of Lebanon.

In Iraq, scarcely a day goes by when innocent men, women and children are not murdered for such “crimes” as following the Shi'a tradition of Islam, joining the police force, exercising their right to vote or simply going to the marketplace when supporters of Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden are in the mood to create carnage for the evening news.

Tunis, Casablanca and Istanbul are among the Muslim-majority cities that have been attacked. Terrorist groups have turned Palestinian communities into ghettoes where every mother must worry that one day a “militant leader” will fit her child for a suicide bomb vest.

But it is in Algeria, with relatively little international attention, that the slaughter has been most extensive: Over the years, more than 100,000 Algerians have been murdered by Islamist terrorists.

Too often the choices given to those in Moslem areas has been a choice between a religious dictatorship, or a ruthless authoritarianism. This has been in the interest of both sides, not giving a third option where justice and hope of freedom might strip away the hotbed of unrest and dissatisfaction that continues to breed hate and pain and grief.

This now may be changing. The old dichotomy from rule by Sharia only or rule by authoritarian strongman (or traditional authoritarian) may be being put to the challenge by the voting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Will the president's desire to export freedom be enough to fan the flame of an alternative future? All the purple fingers showed people's hopes. May God the merciful, the everloving give the region and its longsuffering people a chance to see.


Le Moyne College Dismisses Student for Personal Beliefs, Violates Own Policy on Free Expression

February 15, 2005

FIRE Press Release

SYRACUSE, N.Y., February 15, 2005—Administrators at New York’s Le Moyne College, which claims to protect academic freedom, have summarily dismissed an education student for writing a paper advocating strict discipline for students. The chair of Le Moyne’s education department expelled master’s student Scott McConnell because of a “mismatch” between his personal beliefs and the goals of the college’s graduate education program.

“Le Moyne College says it respects academic freedom, yet it has dismissed a student purely for expressing personal beliefs that are different from those espoused by administrators,” stated David French, president of FIRE. “This shows a profound lack of respect for the opinions of its students. Le Moyne must not promise freedom and then allow extensive and arbitrary censorship on an administrator’s whim.”

In November 2004, McConnell submitted as part of an assignment a paper expressing his personal views on classroom management, including various ideas for attaining a classroom environment that is “based upon strong discipline and hard work” and that allows “corporal punishment.” The paper received an “A-,” with his professor noting that his ideas were “interesting” and that she had shared the paper with the department chair, Cathy Leogrande. McConnell ultimately received an “A” as his final grade in the course.

Yet in January 2005, with no prior warning, Leogrande dismissed McConnell from Le Moyne. In the dismissal letter, Leogrande stated that she had reviewed McConnell’s grades for courses he took during the summer and fall semesters and had “discussed” his work with his professors. Leogrande wrote, “I have grave concerns regarding the mismatch between your personal beliefs regarding teaching and learning and the Le Moyne College program goals. Based on this data, I do not believe that you should continue in the Le Moyne [Master of Science for Teachers] Program.” At the time he was dismissed, McConnell had achieved a grade-point average of 3.78 for the fall semester and had received an “excellent” evaluation for his work in an actual classroom.

“Scott McConnell is being kicked out of school for an ‘A-’ paper,” noted FIRE’s French. “It appears that at Le Moyne, ideological uniformity trumps any other ideal.”

McConnell soon contacted FIRE for assistance. On February 3, FIRE wrote Le Moyne President Charles Beirne and reminded him that dismissing a student based solely on his expression would undermine the college’s own standards, which state that students who interfere with others’ expression are subject to “the maximum penalty of suspension or dismissal.” FIRE noted that making an arbitrary administrative decision to censor expression “sends the message to the campus community that official censorship is acceptable and that those with controversial ideas should keep silent or risk being deemed a ‘mismatch’ and summarily dismissed.” Furthermore, FIRE pointed out that Le Moyne’s acceptance letter to McConnell stated that his academic performance, not his personal beliefs, would be the determining factor as to whether he was allowed to continue with the master’s program.

On February 8, Le Moyne responded to FIRE, stating that “the College does not believe it is appropriate to enter a public debate with your organization concerning the College’s admission decision concerning any particular student.”

“The fight for the academic freedom of Scott McConnell and for all Le Moyne students will not end just because administrators don’t feel like addressing the issue,” remarked Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s director of legal and public advocacy. “Le Moyne College administrators must learn that the freedom to dissent is everyone’s business.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at

Greg Lukianoff, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE: 215-717-3473;
David French, President, FIRE: 215-717-3473;
Reverend Charles Beirne, President, Le Moyne College: 315-445-4120;
Cathy Leogrande, Education Department Chair, Le Moyne College: 315-445-4375;

Press Release Contact

David French, President, FIRE: 215-717-3473;
Greg Lukianoff, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE: 215-717-3473;

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Some Choice Words on the UN Scandals

Mark Steyn has some choice words on the UN scandals:

It's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice cream and a quart of dog poop and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former. That's the problem with the UN. If you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn't that they'll meet each other halfway but that the free world winds up going three-quarters, seven-eighths of the way. Thus the Oil-for-Fraud scandal: In the end, Saddam Hussein had a much shrewder understanding of the way the UN works than Bush and Blair did.

But another week, another scandal; corrupt organizations rarely stop at just one kind of corruption. If you don't want to bulk up your pension by skimming the Oil-for-Food program, don't worry, whatever's your bag the UN can find somewhere that suits – in West Africa, it's Sex-for-Food, with aid workers demanding sexual services from locals as young as four; in Cambodia, it's drug dealing; in Kenya, it's the refugee extortion racket; in the Balkans, sex slaves.

But you get the general picture: On a UN peace mission, everyone gets his piece. Didier Bourguet, a UN staffer in Congo and the Central African Republic, enjoyed the pleasures of 12-year-old girls, and as a result is currently on trial in France. His lawyer has said he was part of a UN pedophile network that transcends individual missions and national boundaries.

Now how about this? The Third Infantry Division is raping nine-year-olds in Ramadi. Ready, set, go! That thundering sound outside your window is the great herd of BBC/CNN/New York Times/Le Monde/Moose Jaw Times Herald reporters stampeding to the Sunni Triangle. Whoa, hold up, lads, it's only hypothetical.

But think about it: The merest glimpse of a freaky West Virginia tramp leading an Abu Ghraib inmate around with frilly panties on his head was enough to prompt calls for Rumsfeld's resignation, and for Ted Kennedy to charge that Saddam's torture chambers were now open "under new management," and for veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk to be driven into an almost orgasmic frenzy: "Just look at the way US army reservist Lynndie England holds the leash of the naked, bearded Iraqi," wrote Fisk. "No sadistic movie could outdo the damage of this image. In September 2001, the planes smashed into the buildings; today, Lynndie smashes to pieces our entire morality with just one tug on the leash."

Who's straining at the leash here? But, if Lynndie's smashed to pieces our entire morality with just one tug, what would be left for Bush's Zionist neocons running a pedophile network of Congolese kindergartners?

Fisk would be calling for US expulsion from the UN – no, wait, from planet Earth: slice it off from Maine to Hawaii and use one of those new Euro-Airbuses to drag it out round the back of Uranus.

But systemic UN child sex in at least 50% of their missions? The transnational morality set can barely stifle their yawns. If you're going to rape prepubescent girls, make sure you're wearing a blue helmet.

And at least the Pentagon put a stop to Abu Ghraib. As a UN official in Congo put it: "The crux of the problem is that if the UN gets bolshie with these governments then they stop providing the UN with troops and staff."

And the problem with that is...?

IN CONGO, the UN has now forbidden all contact between its forces and the natives. The rest of the world should be so lucky.

I take it from his use of "bolshie" that the quoted UN wallah is British. If so, that's the system in a nutshell: when a British bigwig is with British forces, he'll enforce British standards; when a British official is holed up with an impeccably "multilateral" force of Uruguayans, Tunisians, etc., he's more circumspect. When in Rome, do as the Visigoths do.

He has a good point. We so something wrong, we kick our own people, clean house, and the press acts like we're the huns running rampant. Where is the outrage over what the UN does to vunerable people all over the world? Could it be that the UN's press payola scandal has bought them the good coverage and silence they need?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


At the Gate



Reporters on the UN dole?

MichNews is reporting:

WASHINGTON -- Accuracy in Media (AIM) charged today that the United Nations has been paying journalists to promote its message in the U.S. and abroad, and that billionaires George Soros and Ted Turner have been paying for journalism prizes to make pro-U.N. reporters look good. AIM editor Cliff Kincaid urged the U.N. and any journalists on its payroll to completely come clean by disclosing how much money has changed hands.

In a special report posted on the AIM website (, Kincaid cited direct evidence of U.N. money going to a past president of the U.N. Correspondents Association (UNCA). He said that a key U.N. official has admitted paying other journalists but that she refuses to name names or amounts. Kincaid also cited financial contributions to UNCA from organizations associated with billionaires George Soros and Ted Turner. The money underwrites the awarding of journalism prizes to those covering the U.N.

For merely asking questions about these matters, Kincaid said that he has been personally attacked as "far-right" and a "U.N. basher." He previously revealed that Linda Fasulo, U.N. correspondent for NBC News, had taken $26,000 from the pro-U.N. lobby to write a book favorable to the world body and its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.
In the crooked, bribe and sex scandal laden world of the UN, somehow, hearing that they may be pocketing reporters somehow is not very surprising.

AIM has the following special report on the issue here.

They also have the following press release here:

"Journalists" on UN Payroll - Unbiased Reporting Impossible
February 15, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Accuracy in Media (AIM) charged today that the United Nations has been paying journalists to promote its message in the U.S. and abroad, and that billionaires George Soros and Ted Turner have been paying for journalism prizes to make pro-U.N. reporters look good. AIM editor Cliff Kincaid urged the U.N. and any journalists on its payroll to completely come clean by disclosing how much money has changed hands.

In a special report posted on the AIM website (, Kincaid cited direct evidence of U.N. money going to a past president of the U.N. Correspondents Association (UNCA). He said that a key U.N. official has admitted paying other journalists but that she refuses to name names or amounts. Kincaid also cited financial contributions to UNCA from organizations associated with billionaires George Soros and Ted Turner. The money underwrites the awarding of journalism prizes to those covering the U.N.

For merely asking questions about these matters, Kincaid said that he has been personally attacked as "far-right" and a "U.N. basher." He previously revealed that Linda Fasulo, U.N. correspondent for NBC News, had taken $26,000 from the pro-U.N. lobby to write a book favorable to the world body and its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

"It was right to condemn conservative commentator Armstrong Williams for taking federal money to promote Bush Administration policies," said Kincaid. "We should also condemn the U.N. for hiring and using journalists to spread its propaganda."

Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.

To schedule an interview with AIM Editor Cliff Kincaid, contact Anne Tyrrell at (703)739-5920 or


Live in the Right Part of Florida? Want to help Terri?

Protesters Gathering In Florida TODAY

Protesters from across the country including a number of Christian groups are gathering in Pinellas Park and Clearwater, Fla., in an attempt to save the life of brain-damaged Terri Schindler Schiavo.

Spread the word:
1:00 PM Woodside Hospice
6774 102nd Avenue N.
Pinellas Park, Florida
(near 66th Street N and 102nd Avenue N)
An indoor meeting at 4:00 PM will follow for all of Terri's supporters. Location of indoor meeting will be announced at the Hospice

Source: Prolife Blogs


Griping about Bloggers and Responses

Lots of griping about bloggers going on out there.

Here are some responses:

From the Washington Times:
Add "salivating morons" to the mainstream media's growing canon of stupid things to say about the ever-vigilant bloggers. Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, the self-styled flagship of journalism, said this in the fallout of CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan's resignation on Friday: "The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail." Add also, as loath as we are to do so, the Wall Street Journal's editorial comment from yesterday that professional journalism, of which it proclaims membership, is much better than "the enthusiasms and vendettas of amateurs.".....
The meme among those outlets that didn't provide coverage is that the bloggers were on a headhunting spree, when in fact very few called for Mr. Jordan's immediate resignation. If any underlying theme could be found, it is called truth-hunting — and CNN had an obligation to get it. When influential members of the media defame our troops, they should answer for it. If that's moronic, sign us up.
We also can't understand the WSJ's dismissal of the bloggers as "amateurs." At least CNN, or perhaps Mr. Jordan, felt the bloggers' reporting to be important enough to warrant the resignation of their top news executive. After all, this isn't the first time the bloggers have been proved right.
The Wall Street Journal stands on the wrong side of the barricades in this battle, despite the fact that the mainstream media got beat badly by the morons — again.

Jane Novak says:

In 2004, seventy-one journalists were murdered, in 2003 fifty-three, in 2002 forty-six. Only when the allegation is that the US is doing the targeting does the US media lift its sleeping head.

According to the World Association of Newspaper Editors (WAN) 130 journalists are currently in prison around the world. At least somebody is counting them, but these journalists and editors have no vocal advocates among the powerful and free American talking heads.

Some organizations, like WAN, provide important training, prizes, publications, legal advice, and scholarships for developing media. International organizations like CPJ and RSF regularly send protest letters. But the big boys with their big bats and big voices are missing from the fight.

New York Times weekly columnists Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, and Paul Krugman have a world audience but no time for anything but Bush bashing. Do they understand that speaking the names of these 130 may keep the prisoners alive, get them released, diminish their literal torture, or increase their food rations?

Their atrocities can only continue in the darkness of obscurity. American media titans have the power to shine the light into the prison cells, but they don't.

Is it impolitic, not PC, to advocate for victims of repression? That used to be a liberal thing. Are they expecting the journalists in the censored media to break the story?

These are their colleagues, other journalists after all. Is there no loyalty, no outrage, no dedication to the concept of a free press? Apparently not enough to speak 130 names.

Editors and journalists are censored, imprisoned and murdered in the regimes that are the most cancerous and dysfunctional. It’s a story that would serve the American public as well.

A study in oblivion, the stars of American media ignore the blood of their brothers and instead, in big offices and on comfy chairs, they focus their ire on the guys in pajamas. Bush Derangement Syndrome has taken its hold.

As penance for Eason Jordan's transgression, CNN should have Wolf Blitzer do a daily segment on currently imprisoned journalists. The series would run out of faces to show by July.

L. Brent Bozell III notes:

When Congressman Barney Frank suggested at the conference that journalists dying in Iraq have been "collateral damage," Jordan objected. On the forum's own weblog, journalist Rony Abovitz reported that Jordan "asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by U.S. troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-U.S. crowd) and cause great strain on others."

If these charges were true, they would make Abu Ghraib's naked pyramids pale by comparison. But they were wild and reckless accusations, which explains Jordan's subsequent, furious backpedaling and denials. Still, it begs the question: Why would a man whose profession and expertise was "newsgathering" make such wild charges without evidence? Jordan quickly drew angry objections from fellow panelist Frank, as well as a condemnation from Sen. Chris Dodd. When you're outraging Frank and Dodd, you're really putting yourself out on an extreme limb.

But then Jordan and CNN added to the outrage by refusing any attempts to release a transcript or videotape of the off-the-record panel discussion. What a spectacle: a news outlet always championing the public's "right to know" and crusading for "full disclosure" clamping down like the stereotypical arrogant multinational corporation they like to expose. Richard Nixon, meet Eason Jordan. Does anyone believe that if President Bush (or Vice President Cheney or Secretary Rumsfeld or fill in the blank) claimed in an off-the-record forum overseas that Ted Kennedy was a murderer, that CNN wouldn't be in the front of the line demanding that the administration release the videotape?

The controversy was deepened by the fact that Jordan already carried heavy baggage on this issue. He admitted to the world in 2003 that CNN kept a lid on news exposing the horror of Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime to maintain its access to Iraq and preserve the lives of its staffers there. CNN plays the same shut-up-for-access-to-dictators game with its Havana bureau to this day.

Controversy was also deepened when bloggers like Ed Morrissey (at his blog "Captain's Quarters") reported that this was not a one-time gaffe for Jordan. Morrissey said Jordan had also "accused the U.S. military of torturing journalists (November 2004) and the Israeli military of deliberate assassinations (October 2002) at journalistic forums, all overseas and outside the reach of most American media."

These accusations are stop-the-presses huge. So why didn't CNN ever produce some evidence for these charges and put them on the air? And if they weren't true, why wasn't this man fired long ago?

Amazingly, most of the major "news" media avoided this news -- especially CNN. So when Jordan resigned, it made the blogs seem so powerful that liberals started attacking them for recklessly destroying Jordan's career, even using goofy terms like "cyber-McCarthyism" to denounce it. But what the bloggers did here was deliver information and accountability, the same things the major media purport to be providing -- unless it's one of their own in the hot seat.

I suspect that this intention to discredit bloggers is the latest recirculation of that old propagandist tool - tell a big lie often enough and loud enough people will believe it...but you have to control the information media to make that happen. And the truth is, things have changed, and there are a lot more channels of information nowadays, and a lot more eyes watching.


UN Oil For Food Troubles

Chairman Coleman urges U.N. to waive immunity to clear way for potential prosecution of Benon Sevan, former Executive Director of the U.N. Office of the Iraq Programme
listen to Radio Clip Listen to Radio Clip | view Television Clip View Television Clip
Witnesses being sworn in by Chm. Coleman at 2nd PSI Hearing regarding OFF
Witnesses being sworn in by Chm. Coleman at 2nd PSI Hearing regarding OFF
February 15th, 2005 - Washington, DC - In the second hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) on the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program, Chairman Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) said new evidence suggests Benon Sevan, former Executive Director of the U.N. Office of the Iraq Program, personally received oil allocations worth $1.2 million and called for the United Nations to waive Sevan’s diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution immediately. The Oil-for-Food program (OFF) was instigated in 1996 to provide food, medicine and humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people through the controlled sale of Iraqi oil, but ultimately generated an estimated $21.3 billion in illegal revenue for Saddam Hussein through smuggling, kickbacks, and other schemes in contravention of U.N. sanctions regimes.

“I believe that Mr. Sevan’s misconduct goes well beyond a mere conflict of interest – instead, these documents, when combined with the evidence presented in the Volcker report, certainly establish probable cause that Mr. Sevan’s actions rose to the level of criminal liability,” Senator Coleman said in his opening statement. “Accordingly, I call upon Secretary-General Kofi Annan to strip Mr. Sevan of his diplomatic immunity so that a criminal prosecution against him may proceed unfettered.”

Several additional disclosures at today’s hearing, The United Nations Management and Oversight of the Oil-for-Food Program, provided new details of bribery, conflicts of interest and mismanagement on an unprecedented scale at virtually every level of the scandal-plagued U.N. program. PSI investigators uncovered and presented extensive evidence that:

- A U.N. oil inspector, Armando Carlos Oliveira, a Portuguese national working for Saybolt, received a bribe of more than $105,000 to facilitate smuggling of $9 million worth of oil in contravention of U. N. sanctions.

- A clear and unresolved conflict of interest existed at the time that Cotecna Inspection S.A. was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to inspect humanitarian goods under the program, during the time Kojo Annan was employed by Cotecna as a paid consultant. Evidence suggests that Kojo Annan did not restrict his activities only to Nigeria and Ghana as purported by Cotecna. Kojo Annan’s activities in New York during the 1998 U.N. General Assembly have not been sufficiently explained.

- The U. N. Secretary General and the Office of Iraq Program’s oversight of Cotecna Inspection S.A. during the OFF program failed to account for overpricing of humanitarian contracts and kickbacks procured by the Hussein regime. OIP mandated only a limited quality and quantity analysis, which may have facilitated the use and enforcement of kickbacks by the Hussein regime under the program.

- Cotecna was not required to test medicines for quality, and foodstuffs were tested only under a “fitness for human consumption” standard, despite concerns expressed by Cotecna inspectors. OIP defined this to mean “if you eat it and don’t die, it passes the test.” These oversights may have resulted in the procurement of substandard goods and medicine at the expense of the Iraqi people. One Iraqi official told PSI of tainted imported blood that infected 150-180 children with HIV.

- Waste, abuse, and mismanagement by the U.N. in relation to the OFF program amounted to over $690 million based on a PSI analysis of the 58 Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) audit reports released in January, 2005.

“The gross mismanagement of almost every aspect of the Oil-for-Food program is simply inexcusable and wasted over $690 million,” Coleman said. “Every organization has its shortcomings, but I cannot recall any organization where the scope of its problems encompassed every basic management skill needed to ensure an effective program. American taxpayers pay close to 22 percent of the U.N.’s operating costs. They need assurances that their tax dollars are well spent, especially in light of the fact that sanctions will likely be imposed upon rogue nations in the future.”

Witnesses included Robert M. Massey, CEO, Cotecna Inspection S.A., Andre E. Pruniaux, Former Senior Vice President, Cotecna Inspection S.A., John Denson, General Counsel, Saybolt Group, Verne Kulyk, Former Customs Officer, U.N. Office of Iraq Program, Joseph A. Christoff, Government Accountability Office, Stafford Clarry, Former Humanitarian Affairs Advisor, U.N. Oil-for-Food program, The Honorable Patrick F. Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Management and Reform..

Coleman reiterated his call for U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to take responsibility for the tainted Oil-for-Food program by resigning his post, an essential step in restoring accountability, transparency and credibility to the important world body. The PSI chairman also indicated he expects to hold more hearings on the OFF scandal as new evidence and developments warrant.
Tom Steward


The Ninth Amendment as an Excuse for Bad Political Behavior?

Al Knight at the Denver Post noted this about Ward Churchill:

Back in 1991, he helped cancel a Columbus Day parade in Denver and later defended himself on the basis that he was adhering to international law, which he said compelled him to protest against genocide.

He has since elaborated on this claim, and now says the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives him the authority to interfere with the free-speech rights of Italian-Americans.

The Ninth Amendment says, in its entirety: "Reserved rights. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

In Churchill's mind, as he explained last week, this means that if he finds a "right" - such as the one he says he found in international law to protest genocide - that "right" trumps the right of Italian-Americans to march in a parade.

To label this a novel interpretation of the Ninth Amendment is to badly understate the case. Under Churchill's reading, the amendment is nothing less than a license to suspend or selectively enforce any or all of the other provisions of the U.S. Constitution. It is highly doubtful, of course, that Churchill would allow the Italian-Americans to employ the same logic to block one of his parades.
A license to trample the rights of Americans so that you can be activist in the way you feel? I don't think so. But it's clear that certain members of society would like this right. Several areas are getting close to pushing free speech to the point that anyone who feels offended will have the right to take legal action. Might get hard to live in some of those areas if that happens - particularly for activists!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Want to help Terri Schiavo?

She really didn't do anything wrong but perhaps marry the wrong man and not leave a living will.

She is fast running out of time.

If you would like to make your voice heard, hear are some contacts:

Florida Attorney General’s Charlie Crist, AG Citizen’s Services & Office
1-850-414-3990 / 850-414-3300

Bernie McCabe, State Attorney Pinellas and Pasco Counties

Gov. Jeb Bush

Tom Lee, Senate President
(850) 487-5072

Allan G. Bense, Speaker
(850) 488-1450

St Pete Times President -

Customer Service -

Letters to the Editor -
Letters to the Editor
P.O. Box 1121
St. Petersburg, FL 33731

Mr. Bill Levesque -

Check out Pro-Life Blogs for more info:


Blogistan or the Truth will Out?

bloggers are morons?

Before you go around talking about the bloggers as the Taliban, (ala Mike Moran at MSNBC) you might want to decide if there were any truth to the accusations - "J'accuse" in the manner of Zola without proof means little, but with evidence it means a lot. The evidence does not favor the press.

Check out the timeline at

The true question becomes, if the "official press" is so interested in the truth, why wasn't it on top of this story?


Good demographic analysis of the Iraqi election...

Patrick Ruffini has some great analysis and an excellent map of the Iraqi election returns here.

One interesting tidbit he noticed:

Belying the image of a restive population electing anti-American leaders, the Allawi bloc actually did best in the regions where the insurgency ran strongest, picking up nearly 25% in Baghdad, 21% in Karbala, and an outright win with 38% among the brave few who turned out in Anbar province. In rural precincts where the U.S. presence was more distant, the Shia felt more free to vote their religion.

All in all, it will be an interesting new day for Iraq, and no matter what the doomsayers say, it is the Iraqis right to choose that matters.


Bruhaha in the Media Mix

Jack Kelly comments:

Bloggers are entitled to mount Eason Jordan's scalp on their lodgepoles, next to those of Dan Rather and Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss), all of whom lost jobs because bloggers kept reporting and commenting on stories the "mainstream" media initially ignored, and (except in the case of Lott) would have preferred to go on ignoring.

But the key fact is not that Eason Jordan is now looking for work, but that bloggers were trying to uncover the truth about what he said, while "professional journalists" were trying to suppress it. For us, the "people's right to know"— which we invoke in self-righteous tones when we're prying into the private lives of people who are not journalists — takes a back seat to protecting the reputations of members of our club.

What happened to Eason Jordan — and what happened to Dan Rather before him — shows that we can no longer cover up the stories we don't want you to know about — and there are consequences when the cover-ups fail. That's why there is panic mixed in with our disdain.

We feel about bloggers the way Custer must have felt when he charged that village at the Little Big Horn, and discovered it was much, much bigger than he'd imagined it to be. The bloggers' wigwam is large, and growing. There is plenty of room on the lodgepole for more scalps.

Calling bloggers names won't change the fact that the internet is allowing huge amounts of fact checking, distribution of information, and a distributed network that speeds the news cycle up tremendously. Name calling when your hand is caught in the cookie jar isn't really a proper response.


Welcome French supporters of a convicted copkiller and give them liberty bells?

According to the Philadelphia Daily News:

French politicians and activists seeking a new trial and freedom for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal were welcomed in a Friday rally at City Hall and given replicas of the Liberty Bell.

Mjenzi Traylor, the city's first deputy director of commerce, told the crowd of about 150 that he was there to "make certain that we are receiving the message that you would like for us to deliver to Mayor Street."

Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, later called that greeting an "absolute outrage."

Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering Faulkner in 1981.

"This man stood over him and shot him, point-blank, in the face," Maureen Faulkner said. "For them to give them replicas of the Liberty Bell and welcome them with open arms, I think it's an embarrassment for the city."

Faulkner said she planned to call Street on Monday to protest the city's actions.

"This is a disgrace," she said. "It is a slap in the face for all of law enforcement."

Street planned to attend the meeting with the French politicians but canceled due to a busy schedule, his staff said.

Instead, Traylor was scheduled to meet in private with Connie Little, the mayor's executive assistant, and the French politicians.

But when the large crowd arrived with escorts from the Philadelphia Police Department's Civil Affairs unit after marching around City Hall chanting Abu-Jamal's name, Street's staff decided to let them all into the mayor's reception room.

The OmsbudGod responds with a quiz.

Hube's Cube has comments on it

Read also the Environmental Republican, who encourages to learn about the background of the killing Mumia is being tried for at this link.

Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin and Blogs for Bush are also covering it.


Thomas Sowell on Freedom of Speech

Too many people -- some of them judges -- seem to think that freedom of speech means freedom from consequences for what you have said. If you believe that, try insulting your boss when you go to work tomorrow. Better yet, try insulting your spouse before going to bed tonight.

While this column is protected by freedom of speech, that does not stop any editor from getting rid of it if he doesn't like what I say. But, even if every editor across the length and breadth of the country refused to carry this column, that would be no violation of my freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech does not imply a right to an audience. Otherwise the audience would have no right to its own freedom. Editors, movie producers, speakers' bureaus and other intermediaries have every right to decide what they will and will not present to their audiences.

Unfortunately, many of those who talk the loudest and longest about "freedom of speech" and "academic freedom" are in fact trying to justify the imposition of propaganda on a captive audience in our schools and colleges.

At one college, some gutsy students start chanting "OT" -- for "off topic" -- when one of their professors starts making political comments that have nothing to do with the subject of his course.

Source: Townhall

Monday, February 14, 2005


Reductio ad Absurdum - if someone's speech, even when not directed at you, bothers you, is that harrassment?

February 10, 2005

FIRE Press Release

LOS ANGELES, February 10, 2005—Since June 2004, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has been part of a national coalition urging the California Supreme Court to reverse a state appellate court decision that has profoundly chilling implications for free speech. The broad coalition includes the National Association of Scholars, the Student Press Law Center, the Center for Individual Rights, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, Rubin Postaer and Associates (a prestigious advertising agency), and the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association, all of whom are concerned that an adverse decision in Lyle v. Warner Brothers Television Productions et al. (Lyle) would redefine a great deal of constitutionally protected expression as unprotected “harassment.” Such a ruling would have frightening consequences for free speech on college and university campuses. The amici, whose brief was filed on Monday, February 7, were represented by Horvitz & Levy, the largest civil appellate firm in California and one which frequently argues before the California Supreme Court.

“The free exchange of ideas both on and off campus will be threatened if this decision is not overturned,” remarked David French, FIRE’s president. “The Supreme Court of California must realize that the wrong decision in this case will have an impact far beyond the realm of TV comedy. Colleges and universities in California will likely face many speech-related lawsuits if this decision stands, and will inevitably react with strict prohibitions on speech to avoid costly litigation. Students who do not have the resources to defend their rights will feel the brunt of these restrictions,” he added.

Plaintiff Amaani Lyle, who was briefly a writer’s assistant for the popular sitcom Friends, has alleged that the frequent sexual banter of the show’s male and female writers subjected her to harassment as they discussed ideas and developed storylines and scripts. While admitting that she was not the target of any of the comments, Lyle claimed that some of the comments were generally derogatory towards women and therefore created a “hostile environment.”

The amicus brief, written for the national coalition by attorney Frederic D. Cohen of Horvitz & Levy LLP in Encino, California, argues that “communicative workplaces,” such as writers’ offices and universities, depend on free-wheeling and uninhibited dialogue and discussion to function. Giving offended individuals the power to sue anyone whose speech bothered them—even if not directed at the offended individual—could spell the end of the open exchange of ideas. Activities that could be suppressed might include “a feminist studies course criticizing pornography, a medical school class on human sexuality…or a public health series on means of combating the spread of AIDS,” according to the brief. Any employee of the university—from a professor to an eavesdropping groundskeeper—might take offense to conversation on such topics and could sue the institution.

Discussions involving speech that anyone might find religiously or racially offensive would also be at risk. As the brief points out, the legal risks inherent in making any person within the range of hearing potentially offensive speech a possible plaintiff would create “a de facto mandatory speech code for all universities.”

Such a situation is not farfetched. FIRE has documented instances on hundreds of campuses where overbroad definitions of “harassment” have been abused to stifle speech. For instance, in November 2004, FIRE defended a student at the University of New Hampshire who was kicked out of his dorm and forced to live in his car after he was accused of violating the university’s “harassment” policies for putting up posters suggesting that freshman girls who wanted to lose weight should take the dorm stairs rather than tying up the elevator. (Under pressure from FIRE, the university relented.)

Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s director of legal and public advocacy, concluded, “Institutions throughout California that rely on the free flow of ideas, from state universities to the entertainment industry, face a dire threat from the Lyle case. The wrong decision in this case will make an already absurd situation on campus and beyond even worse.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. Please visit to read more about FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America.

David French, President, FIRE; 215-717-3473;
Greg Lukianoff, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE: 215-717-3473;
Frederic D. Cohen, Horvitz & Levy LLP: 818-995-0800;

Attached Files


A New Yellow Journalism?

With Eason Jorden's decision to resign from CNN, we see shockwaves hitting the press. Michelle Malkin notes:

The ad hominem hysterics of Jordan's defenders stand in stark contract to the way the vast majority of bloggers approached the search for truth in this matter. Veteran journalist and blogger Jeff Jarvis ( got it right when he said on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday: "We didn't want his head — most of us didn't. We wanted the truth." We're still waiting.

It was Jordan who tossed out reckless remarks about American troops deliberately targeting journalists. It was bloggers, starting with American businessman and Davos eyewitness Rony Abovitz, who asked that Jordan back up his bombshell assertion with facts.

Abovitz's courage in this matter cannot be overstated. He raised his voice against Jordan at an international forum of media bigs, political heavyweights and Europe's most influential America-haters. Abovitz's remarks prompted Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to press Jordan for details. Abovitz also received thanks from an outraged Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).

It seems clear from a number of eyewitness accounts, including Rep. Frank's, that while Jordan may have backtracked, he did not completely back off — rendering his Friday night explanation that he "never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent" disingenuous at best.

After Abovitz spoke to some journalists in the audience who didn't consider Jordan's remarks news and weren't going to cover it, he bypassed the mainstream media and exposed the controversy with a simple click of the mouse.

From there, a network of bloggers — connected only by their modems — pressed the story. Minnesota-based blogger Ed Morrissey (, southern California blogger/talk show host/author Hugh Hewitt (, Washington, D.C.-based blogger La Shawn Barber (, Tennessee-based blogging giant/law professor Glenn Reynolds (, Jarvis, Rosen and the ad hoc group blog at were among those who provided context for Jordan's remarks, carefully assembled facts, requested release of the videotape/transcript and forcefully challenged the mainstream media blackout of the story.

For their fine efforts, these citizen bloggers are being attacked as "morons" and "bible-thumping knuckledraggers" and "hounds" by nervous media nellies aghast at the sight of unwashed amateurs beating down effete journalism's gates. Meanwhile, CNN continues to spin.
Is this the new yellow journalism? Or will the old guard learn that things are forever different, that innuendo will be fact checked, and because there are so many willing to get the word out, that the old ways of manipulating the news won't work any more?

Name calling won't work either.

Doing credible jobs with real facts and real figures, verifiable, are what will get you noticed.


Alan Dershowitz on Columbia University's Approach to Academic Freedom

Columbia, when it comes to hatred of Israel, has become France on the Hudson.

Carrying on the tradition is Joseph Massad, one of Said's followers and an untenured professor in the Middle East department. I am told that he is a mediocre scholar whose main claim to fame is his vocal extremism.

Yet he is likely to receive tenure, largely because there are some on the Columbia faculty who fear that denying him tenure would open the school to criticism from anti-Israel zealots around the world.

A Columbia committee is looking into charges that Massad denied some students academic freedom in his classroom. According to one student, and at least one other witness, she raised her hand during a discussion of Israel's incursions into the West Bank to point out that Israel often issued warnings to civilians prior to its bombings. Massad allegedly replied:

"If you're going to deny the atrocities being committed against the Palestinian people, then you can get out of my classroom."

The committee appointed to look into the charges includes, among others, at least two anti-Israel extremists. They signed a petition calling for Columbia to divest only from Israel, a democracy struggling to fight against terrorism.

By singling out Israel for economic capital punishment and ignoring such real violators of human rights as Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Libya, the Sudan and China, these committee members have demonstrated their own bigotry against the Jewish nation.

Read the rest here. Reasoned discourse about what is going on is one thing. Rabid anti- type behavior is another thing. I posted this because higher ed seems to have become a home for those who have axes to grind in nasty ways. Ward Churchill, and a number of others have recently hit the national spotlight as poster children for hate groups. Hate groups are a bad thing on the left and on the right. But it's particularly sad when we give the sanction of academia, with its veneer of reasoned, learned respectability, to those who would transmit hate rather than true analysis.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Freedom of Speech and Job Security

Michael Bowers with the Star in Chicago writes:

Now comes Ward Churchill, a history professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, who believes those who died in the World Trade Center on 9-11 were "little Eichmanns."

The reference is to the banal Austrian bureaucrat, surprisingly ordinary-looking, who was in charge of the infrastructure of Hitler's Final Solution.

Adolf Eichmann never piloted a train through the night in Poland. He never sealed the hermetic door of a "disinfection chamber." No, Eichmann was the desk-murderer.

Now we know from Ward Churchill that those in the Twin Towers were banal American bureaucrats in charge of a new Final Solution that murders Iraqi infants for profit. What do you know?

Churchill would like you to think he's fighting for free speech. He's not. He's fighting for his right to be a jackass and still keep his job. This case has nothing to do with the First Amendment. It's about employment at will.

You see, in America, having a job is like having a girlfriend. Like it or not, each party has the right to end the relationship at any time, for any reason.

The First Amendment simply keeps you out of jail. It does not protect your employment. It does not give you immunity to the consequences of your speech that may arise in the American marketplace of jobs and ideas.

Ward Churchill does not grasp this point. Nor do performers such as Natalie Maines.

Two years ago, Maines, who is a Texan, told an audience in London, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." Angry fans stopped buying her CDs, and she complained her First Amendment rights had been violated.

Al Gore added that the Dixie Chicks "were made to feel un-American and risked economic retaliation because of what was said. Our democracy has taken a hit."

Oh no! Made to feel un-American! That's funny, I never knew there was a constitutional right to feel American.

Furthermore, our democracy did not "take a hit" here. It got a boost. You see, another definition of Gore's "economic retaliation" is: "people voting with their dollar."

In short, the First Amendment is not about CD sales. Can we please dispense with this silliness now?

All that said, I still must conclude it would be a mistake for the school to fire Ward Churchill.

Michael talks about the fallout that could happen, from the left as well as the right if this becomes precident. Academic freedom has long included freedom to say the thing that the politicians don't want to hear. But should there be a point of reductio ad absurdum, where it reaches the point of absurdity, of being so far from rationality that one loses one's job because of it?

I've always admired the concept of academic freedom, argue for it, fight for it, and point out where it is being abused. Churchill has abused it by lying about who he is, by possibly making up data for his academic papers and other things. If he has crossed the line for academic fraud, he most certainly needs to go, like anybody else.

But it is a good question: how far do we allow academic freedom to go? If Churchill comes out of a honest audit of his academic work and hasn't lied on his applications, should he still be let go?

Does that mean that Larry Summers at Harvard should be fired because he said something the feminists are unhappy out?

The answers to these questions will do a lot to shape the future of higher education.


Why is this not surprising?

NEW YORK - The U.N. oil-for-food program chief under scrutiny for alleged corruption and mismanagement blocked a proposed audit of his office around the same time he's accused of soliciting lucrative oil deals from Iraq according to investigators.

A U.N. auditing team, which was severely understaffed, said running the $64 billion oil-for-food program was "a high risk activity" and a priority for review. But Benon Sevan denied the internal auditors' request to hire a consultant to examine his office in May 2001 — an act top investigators of the program are now calling into question.

"I think the auditors thought they were steered away from some areas," Paul Volcker, who's leading the independent probe, told The Associated Press. "Our judgment is that the main office should have been audited. And that leaves the inference that perhaps the auditors were not encouraged to do the work. I think we draw the inference that it was at least suspicious."

Two months after Sevan refused the auditors' request, a Panamanian company, African Middle East Petroleum, purchased 1 million barrels of oil, which Iraq had allocated to Sevan — one of nine allocations made between 1998 and 2002 involving Sevan and believed to have netted the company $1.5 million, said an interim report Volcker's committee released this month.

The head of AMEP, Fakhry Abdelnour, a friend of Sevan, told investigators he paid $160,000 as a kickback to an Iraqi-controlled account in Jordan in October 2001 under one of the oil-for-food schemes under examination.

Volcker did not say that Sevan received kickbacks but expressed concern at $160,000 in cash that Sevan said he received from an aunt in his native Cyprus in 1999-2003. The investigative report questioned this "unexplained wealth," noting that the aunt, who recently died, was a retired government photographer living on a modest pension.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan last week suspended Sevan after Volcker accused him of a "grave conflict of interest," saying his conduct in soliciting oil deals for AMEP was "ethically improper and seriously undermined the integrity of the United Nations."

On the day Volcker issued his report, Sevan's lawyer, Eric Lewis, accused the panel of trying to make his client a "scapegoat," saying: "Mr. Sevan never took a penny." He said Sevan was proud of his 40-year U.N. career and of the oil-for-food program, which saved tens of thousands of Iraqis "from death by disease and starvation."

The oil-for-food program was the largest U.N. humanitarian aid operation, running in 1996-2003. It was designed to let Saddam Hussein 's government sell limited amounts of oil in exchange for humanitarian goods as an exemption from post-Gulf War sanctions imposed in 1991.

Faced with a $64 billion program involving multiple U.N. agencies, the small team of auditors assigned to monitor it were overmatched and underfunded. For other programs, Volcker's investigators said, the United Nations mandated one auditor for every $100 million in funding. At that ratio, the oil-for-food program managers should have expected more than 160 auditors, because the program's budget totaled about $16 billion in 2000.

Instead, in 2001, they had only five, according to Volcker's report.

Via Yahoo News



By Pamela Hess

Last May, members of the 2/4 dropped in on an elementary school they had paid an Iraqi contractor to rebuild. He told them he was finished, but before they handed over the cash, they wanted to see that the work was actually done. So they got into four Humvees loaded with soccer balls, coloring books and candy and went to the school. They were in and out within 10 minutes. By the time they got outside, children were crowded around the trucks, scrambling for the candy and toys they had come to associate with the Marines.

This part was actually something they all look forward to -- tossing balls to the kids, seeing happy faces in a town that was roundly hostile to them.

Within moments the air around them exploded: two "insurgents" down a side alley had fired a rocket into the crowd of children, killing five instantly and wounding many others.

Marines are trained for crisis. Some went after the shooters. Others, carrying wounded children, ran from door to door to try to call an Iraqi ambulance. No one would let them in. Still others tended the children lying like litter around the Humvees. That's when a second rocket came, tearing the leg off a Marine who was tending to the injured kids. He died a week later.

I defy anyone to suggest to the Marines present that day they should feel ambivalent about killing their enemy in Ramadi.

When I returned to Mattis' headquarters after my time with the 2/4, he summoned me into his office -- rarely a good thing -- and asked for my observations. I was still sorting out my thoughts, so I repeated something a young lieutenant told me: If nothing else comes out of this war, the Marines have a battle-hardened force.

Mattis nodded, not at all ambivalently. He then told me this: Go into any VFW or American Legion Hall in the United States and the true combat veterans are easy to spot. They are invariably huddled together off to the side. They are not talking about war, or battles, or the friends they lost. They talk about anything but that.

After General Mattis' experience last week, perhaps we know why. We don't want to hear it.


Campus Outrage Award Nominations

ISI is calling for nominations for stories of outrageous academic/adminstrative behavior on college campuses:

The national press routinely turns a deaf ear toward the outrageous excesses of politically correct students, faculty, and administrators in higher education. Radical campus activists continue to undermine the traditional curriculum, implement speech codes that persecute politically incorrect students, enforce group-identity politics with sensitivity seminars, and treat students with a double-standard emanating from a multiculturalist perspective.

Now, however, you can do something about it.

Nominate the outrage of your choice for a Campus Outrage Award, popularly known as the "Pollys." The Grand Prize Winner will receive $1,000; four second-prize winners will each take home $500. The awards are announced April 1.

We created the Campus Outrage Awards to expose the excesses of college administrators and professors who misuse their authority to silence dissent and impose their own political agendas on unwilling students," says Collegiate Network president, T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.

Winning entries can be outrageous events, kooky course listings, politicized textbooks, totalitarian student groups, intolerant administrators, and illiberal faculty. Anything, in short, that violates the spirit of liberal learning.

Entries are limited to college students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs of study.

Submission Requirements:
A short narrative of 300 words (one double-spaced typed page) describing the Outrage on your campus.
Supporting documentation such as newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, memos, bios, course descriptions and syllabi, etc.
Your name, class, school, major, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
If multiple nominations are received for the same Outrage, a drawing will be held to determine the winner.

The eagerly anticipated "Polly" awards have become the national standard against which outrageous episodes of political correctness are measured. The Washington Post has referred to the "Polly" awards as "the coveted Campus Outrage Award for loony political correctness." The Wall Street Journal has called the annual awards "a great public service."

Contact for more information.

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