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Archive for March, 2008

Geert Wilders Releases “Fitna”

Posted by Joshua Price on March 28, 2008

Here is the link to Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ movie about the Koran, “Fitna,” or “Strife” in Arabic:

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CAIR Exposed: Part 4

Posted by Joshua Price on March 27, 2008

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Government Printing Office Profits at the Expense of American Taxpayers and Security

Posted by Joshua Price on March 27, 2008

This story about the outsourcing of the manufacturing of U.S. passports, reported by Bill Gertz, is getting more interesting.

Gertz has written the second in a three-piece installment about the issue today, and in it he reports that the GPO recorded a $100 million profit. Now you may say, What’s the big deal? All it means is that the GPO took $100 million more in revenue than it had it costs. Fair enough.

But there’s a little problem with that: the GPO is only supposed to break-even. In other words, it’s only supposed to charge what it takes to offset its costs.

According to the GPO:

The bonuses are part of a 2005 plan by GPO, which is a monopoly printer for the U.S. government, to generate greater revenues under the assumption that a private-sector business model is more efficient, GPO documents show.

Okay, I have no problem with the business approach to operating government agencies. In fact, I am a proponent of it, but what the GPO forgot (or didn’t care about) is the quaint little we fact the we, American taxpayers, are the shareholders in this case. Therefore that $100 million should have been returned to the taxpayers, but it wasn’t.

What was done with it?

When the government’s main printing agency booked $100 million in unexpected profit it went on a spending spree: large bonuses to top managers, trips to Paris and Las Vegas, and an official photo of the boss that cost $10,000.
The bonuses, some nearly as high as $13,000, and travel are raising questions among congressional investigators and Government Printing Office officials about whether the agency is misusing its newfound wealth and whether it received the proper authority for some of the larger compensation payments from the Office of Budget and Management.
Additionally, investigators are looking into whether Public Printer Robert C. Tapella paid close to $10,000 for photographs of himself for his office and during his swearing-in ceremony in November.

And how is the GPO making such a profit? Well for starters, go to the GPO website and try to purchase a hard copy of the federal budget and you’ll soon find that it will cost roughly the amount for a rather nice dinner for two. So that’s how they’re doing on the revenue side, but let’s not forget about the cost side of the equation.

The GPO has apparently been able to cut a considerable amount of cost by outsourcing part of the production process used to make U.S. passports which presents major security issues:

Additionally, The Washington Times’ investigation disclosed that the security of the blank-passport production involves computer chips purchased in Europe and then shipped to Thailand for outfitting with a wire antenna that transmits personal data to an electronic scanner at U.S. border entry points. Security specialists said the use of foreign chips and assembly abroad makes the blank passports, a key travel document, vulnerable to theft or counterfeiting.

A Dutch company that assembles e-passport covers in Thailand, Smartrac Technology Ltd., said it could not guarantee steady production of passports and warned in its annual report that social unrest in Thailand could halt production.
Internal GPO documents obtained by The Times revealed that GPO has faced security problems related to passport production, including the use of unsecure FedEx couriers.

That’s fantastic. Of course our wonderful government officials continue to tell us that we have nothing to worry about:

GPO officials, however, insist the production process is secure.

Officials at GPO, the Homeland Security Department and the State Department said they review security of overseas suppliers and that the production process is secure.

Of course it’s secure, I mean, what could possibly be insecure about sending blank American passports overseas?

Here’s what is really interesting about this story:

Gregory Brower, the GPO general counsel until last year, also received a $7,500 bonus. Mr. Brower, now U.S. attorney in Nevada, made a key legal opinion that permitted GPO to make large profits from the sale of passports to the State Department, despite laws restricting GPO to operating at basically a break-even business model.

It will be very interesting to see what happens in Brower’s case. Was the legal opinion justified? Or was it possibly given in order to make the profits in an attempt to get a bonus?

As I said yesterday, greed is destroying American allegiance and security–even inside the government.

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CAIR Exposed: Part 3

Posted by Joshua Price on March 26, 2008

Here’s the link to the third installment of Steve Emerson’s series on CAIR. I really hope you take the time to read these reports so that you can understand the threat we face from the Islamofascist front groups operating in this country.

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U.S. Outsources Manufacturing of Passports

Posted by Joshua Price on March 26, 2008

There is absolutely nothing that can’t get outsourced apparently. First our government tried to outsource port security now we get word that they are outsourcing part of the production process used to make U.S. passports.

The United States has outsourced the manufacturing of its electronic passports to overseas companies — including one in Thailand that was victimized by Chinese espionage — raising concerns that cost savings are being put ahead of national security, an investigation by The Washington Times has found.

The Government Printing Office’s decision to export the work has proved lucrative, allowing the agency to book more than $100 million in recent profits by charging the State Department more money for blank passports than it actually costs to make them, according to interviews with federal officials and documents obtained by The Times.
The profits have raised questions both inside the agency and in Congress because the law that created GPO as the federal government’s official printer explicitly requires the agency to break even by charging only enough to recover its costs.

It really is all about the bottom line. Everywhere we look we discover that we are being sold out at the expense of national security and sovereignty all so our government and a handful of companies can increase their profit margins.

I’m so sick of it. Are there any patriots left inside the government or in corporate America?

Do you not realize that it’s starting to appear as if our own government is doing what it can, at least inconspicuously, to help our enemies.

And if course we get the standard line whenever we raise questions about government actions potentially compromising national security:

Officials at GPO, the Homeland Security Department and the State Department played down such concerns, saying they are confident that regular audits and other protections already in place will keep terrorists and foreign spies from stealing or copying the sensitive components to make fake passports.

Oh yeah, we have nothing to worry about. Does that garbage sound familiar at all?

They’re trying to sell us on this like they did the Dubai Ports deal. This is equally, if not more, dangerous.

There better be a lot of outrage on this issue, and I suspect there will be.

Our government is so corrupt and greedy that I just don’t know how we’re going to win the War on Terror when we continue to open ourselves up, voluntarily, to massive security exploitations.

Where is the logic and patriotism? Answer: when your God is money they don’t apply.

Is it really too much to ask for the U.S. government to act in the best interest of America?

And since when has Bush been concerned about spending?

We’re cutting costs in the areas that we should be increasing funding and we’re wasting money in other areas–AIDS relief in Africa anyone? I’m sure I just hacked off the CDC, the radical homosexuals, and Barack Hussein Obama’s church, but I don’t care.

This really has me fuming.

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