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Archive for January, 2008

Brits Re-brand War

Posted by Joshua Price on January 29, 2008

Our friends from across the pond have decided that’s incorrect and insensitive to refer to a terrorism act committed by a Muslim as an “Islamic extremist attack, or an “attack by the Islamofascists.”

So what are the Brits suggesting we refer to Islamofascism as:

“Anti-Islamic Activity”

Oh it gets much better. Read the justification for the new reference as cited in today’s New York Sun:

My favorite headline of the year so far comes from The Daily Mail in Britain: “Government Renames Islamic Terrorism As ‘Anti-Islamic Activity’ To Woo Muslims.”

Her Majesty’s Government is not alone in feeling it’s not always helpful to link Islam and the, ah, various unpleasantnesses with suicide bombers and whatnot. Even in his cowboy Crusader heyday, President Bush liked to cool down the crowd with a lot of religion-of-peace stuff. But the British have now decided that kind of mealy-mouthed “respect” is no longer sufficient. So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated “anti-Islamic activity.” Britain’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, unveiled the new brand name in a speech a few days ago. “There is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief,” she told her audience. “Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic.”

Then why are the majority of terrorists Muslim? Why does the Koran preach kill or convert?

Answer: Because Islam is not a “religion of peace” and many terrorist acts are essentially justified if not encouraged by the Koran.

Please check out the full article written by Mark Steyn.

http://www.nysun.com/article/70269

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Tought Talk About English Proves to be Hypocritical for Some GOP Candidates

Posted by Joshua Price on January 28, 2008

So I’m scanning the papers like I do every day for blog preparation and I run across this interesting piece from the immigration blog at The Houston Chronicle:

Hypocrisy is the American way in politics. We expect our politicians to kiss our babies during the campaign and steal their candy after the election.

Here’s an interesting look from the Austin American-Statesman on Republican presidential candidates who talk tough on embracing English but use Spanish to market themselves to Hispanics:

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani often garners applause when he says that immigrants must learn to read, write and speak English to become U.S. citizens.

Fellow GOP candidate Mitt Romney is greeted with a similar response when he advocates making English the nation’s official language.

Meanwhile, both men have turned to the airwaves — in Spanish — to go after voters in Florida, a key state in the Republican primary and a must-win for Giuliani, according to political analysts.

Douglas Rivlin, spokesman for the National Immigration Forum, an immigrant advocacy group, said that the candidates are trying to have it both ways.
“Going from pandering to the deportation-only crowd, and pivoting towards attracting Hispanic voters is like watching Republican politicians playing Twister,” he said.

Reaching out to Latino voters in Spanish does not contradict their positions on promoting English among immigrants, the candidates said. Learning English is a process, and many voters have not yet mastered that language, they say.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, said in a recent debate that he welcomed legal immigrants into his campaign and was “going to reach out to them in any language I can.”

The Republicans still don’t get it on two fronts: immigration and why they lost the 2006 mid terms. It is astonishingly hypocritical for Romney and Giuliani to be “campaigning” (I use quotes because I don’t think they’re very sincere on this issue) on encouraging immigrants to assimilate to our culture and learn to speak English yet they are running ads in Spanish simply to pander to the Hispanic vote.

Are you kidding me? This ought to be something that gets talked about by the mainstream media and conservative media outlets, but I’m sure it won’t. I mean, after all, why should we hold our candidates to any kind of standard?

I think the bottom line on this goes beyond immigration and the English language; I think this is a microcosm of why Republicans are floundering: they don’t mean what they say. They have become nothing more than panderers.

Until this changes, Republicans better saddle up for an extended period of election disappointments.

http://blogs.chron.com/immigration/archives/2008/01/post_82.html

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New CFIUS Order Gives More Authority to Treasury Department

Posted by Joshua Price on January 24, 2008

Well, just when we thought we were running out of ways to shoot ourselves in the foot as a country, it appears that CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) has undergone some changes that will result in the Treasury Department laying a bigger role in signing off on foreign investments in the U.S.

You might be asking what difference does it make if Treasury plays a bigger more important role in CFIUS? Well, the Treasury Department is charged with “promoting economic growth and stability,” so you can better believe that if a proposed foreign investment appears to fit that mission,even if there are potential national security threats–especially if the investment is coming from one of our so-called Arab “allies”– Treasury will probably sign off on it. I mean, come on, we don’t want to offend one of these “allies” in the pursuit of national security, do we?

From today’s Washington Times:

President Bush yesterday signed a new executive order on foreign investment that gives the Treasury secretary, instead of the president, key power to authorize or reject purchases of U.S. companies by foreign buyers.

The president said the order bolsters recently passed legislation by ensuring the Treasury-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) “will review carefully the national security concerns, if any, raised by certain foreign investments into the United States.”
At the same time, Mr. Bush said, the order recognizes “that our openness is vital to our prosperity and security.”
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his agency is “happy with the final order.”
“I think it creates a process that will achieve the dual objectives of promoting investment but making sure we don’t compromise our national security,” Mr. Chertoff said from Switzerland.

But not everyone is pleased with the new order:

The order outlines more clearly the role of the director of national intelligence (DNI) in providing CFIUS with threat assessments posed by a foreign purchase and adds a requirement for the DNI to assess “potential consequences” of a foreign deal involving a U.S. company.
However, a comparison of the new order with a draft order from October — which was opposed by U.S. national security officials — shows that CFIUS will continue to be dominated by pro-business elements of the government.
As late as last month, national security officials from the Homeland Security, Justice and Defense departments expressed concern the order was being co-opted by pro-business officials at Treasury, Commerce and other trade agencies.
A memorandum from the three national security agencies obtained by The Washington Times called for tightening the draft order’s national security provisions to “accurately reflect pro-security interests.”
The final order released by the White House yesterday removed a provision that would have required the committee to “monitor the effects of foreign investment in the United States.”

The last sentence is very key. This essentially means that there will be no accountability–no monitoring of the effects of a decision by CFIUS on national security. I really hope I’m missing something here because if not, that’s very troubling. I mean shouldn’t we monitor the effect and the results of decisions we make so that we can ensure we are making the most appropriate and safest decisions possible with respect to national security?

The bottom line here is that we need more national security influence on CFIUS.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080124/NATION/855566306/1002

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More Signals from Russia

Posted by Joshua Price on January 23, 2008

This story from The Washington Times today pretty much says everything:

Russian presidential heir apparent Dmitry Medvedev, in his first major campaign speech yesterday, said he would seek to boost the power of the United Nations and would not sever Moscow’s ties to “problem states” like Iran, despite Western pressure.

The nationally televised address took a softer rhetorical line than that favored recently by Mr. Putin but came on a day when Russia’s military staged another exercise heavy with symbolic echoes of the old Soviet superpower days.
In the first such exercises since the Cold War, Russian warships and nuclear bombers test-fired live missiles in the Bay of Biscay off the coasts of Spain and Portugal. The three-day exercise had been cleared in advance with NATO planners but was widely seen as the latest in a series of moves by the Kremlin to advertise Russia’s reviving military might.

Like I’ve been saying, we better pay very close attention to Russia.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080123/FOREIGN/583905107/1001

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Actor Heath Ledger’s Death Causes Bush to Cancel Speech

Posted by Joshua Price on January 23, 2008

In another stunning example of Hollywood indirectly (or perhaps directly) influencing Washington, President Bush canceled a speech he was set to give yesterday (January 22) on prescription drug abuse after it was reported that actor Heath Ledger was found dead with prescription drugs close to him.

What is the official statement from the White House?

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush’s event had been scheduled for a while.

“We thought it would be better to postpone the event rather than run the risk of anyone thinking that we were being opportunistic in highlighting the issue,” she said.

If this event had been scheduled for “a while” then why the need to cancel it? It can’t be because the White House thought it would be seen as being “opportunistic.” More likely it was probably due to the desire to not offend anyone by potentially being seen as insensitive.

While it is indeed tragic about Ledger’s death was it really necessary to have the President of the United States cancel a speech because an actor died?

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/shared-gen/ap/US_President_And_White_House_Advisers/Bush_Ledger_Death.html

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