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   PoliticsPolitics for Pros- moderated

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To: Alan Smithee who wrote (201919)4/9/2007 1:24:16 PM
From: MJ
   of 773327
Thank you-----now understand.


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To: DMaA who wrote (201920)4/9/2007 1:24:32 PM
From: Ichy Smith
   of 773327
so you are saying you would rather have your tax dollars spent for 18 years to raise the baby than for the abortion the Mother wanted because she couldn't support the child and didn't want him or her. And of course the psychiatric and social treatment the little child needs for being born unwanted into the world.... Ok I can see that.

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To: Nadine Carroll who wrote (201921)4/9/2007 1:26:31 PM
From: Ichy Smith
   of 773327
come on now, the tooth fairy is far more credible than Hillary.... I mena buying used teeth for cash makes some sense doesn't it?

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To: Ichy Smith who wrote (201923)4/9/2007 1:27:34 PM
From: DMaA
   of 773327
Yes actually I would.

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To: DMaA who wrote (201925)4/9/2007 1:32:47 PM
From: Ichy Smith
   of 773327
Good for you, my own experiences have convinced me that this is not a decision I can make. But then I had my dog spayed, because I couldn't face the thought of selling her puppies, so I believe the whole question is best left in the hands of those facing it.

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To: Ichy Smith who wrote (201926)4/9/2007 1:36:07 PM
From: DMaA
   of 773327
For the third time, I am talking about how MY tax dollars are spent. That is something most people would say is MY business.

my own experiences have convinced me that this is not a decision I can make.

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From: DMaA4/9/2007 1:43:46 PM
   of 773327
Giuliani continues to taunt Eagles:

Rudy Giuliani Says He Backed Govt Efforts to Help Terri Schiavo's Family by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 7, 2007

St. Petersburg, FL ( -- Rudy Giuliani came under fire last week for saying he supported taxpayer funding of abortion and then backing off the remarks a day later. But the former New York City mayor made a campaign swing through Florida and told people there that he supported the state government's efforts to save Terri Schiavo's life.
During the high profile legal battle, the Florida state legislature approved a bill to allow then-Gov. Jeb Bush to prevent Terri's former husband Michael from taking her life.

Congress also approved, and President Bush signed, a measure allowing federal courts to review the Schindler family's lawsuit to prevent her euthanasia death.

While those efforts ultimately failed to save Terri's life, politicians on both sides of the aisle have been asked about their thoughts on those efforts.

Giuliani told reporters he supported those attempts to prevent the painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death that ultimately killed Terri.

"I thought it was appropriate to make every effort to give her a chance to stay alive," he said at the campaign stop.

The comments come in contrast to those from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who upset pro-life advocates and Terri's family last month when he said he disagreed with the government's efforts to save her life.

"I think it's probably best to leave these kinds of matters in the hands of the courts," Romney said.

"I generally think that it's not a good idea for courts to legislate. Nor is it great idea for legislatures to adjudicate in a specific circumstance," the former Massachusetts governor added.

Romney has been trying to connect with pro-life advocates after changing his position on abortion just a couple years ago and those remarks were seen as hurting his efforts.;

The SI record will show that I disagree with Rudy on this subject also.

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From: Brumar894/9/2007 1:54:00 PM
   of 773327
Ahmadinejad: Iran has joined nuclear nations
Apr. 9, 2007

Following an announcement by one of Iran’s vice presidents that Iran had begun “industrial-scale” production of enriched uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that, “With great honor, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations.”

And from a delighted Associated Press:
Iran says it’s able to make nuclear fuel
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

NATANZ, Iran - Iran announced Monday that it has begun enriching uranium with 3,000 centrifuges, a dramatic expansion of a nuclear program that has drawn U.N. sanctions and condemnation from the West.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony at the enrichment facility at Natanz that Iran was now capable of enriching nuclear fuel “on an industrial scale.”

Asked if Iran has begun injecting uranium gas into 3,000 centrifuges for enrichment, top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani replied, “Yes.”
He did not elaborate, but it was the first confirmation that Iran had installed the larger set of centrifuges after months of saying it intends to do so. Until now, Iran was only known to have 328 centrifuges operating.

Uranium enrichment can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material for a nuclear warhead. The United States and its allies accuse Iran of intending to produce weapons, a charge the country denies.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, had no immediate comment on Monday’s announcement.

The United Nations has vowed to ratchet up sanctions as long as Iran refuses to suspend enrichment. The Security Council first imposed limited sanctions in December, then increased them slightly last month and has set a new deadline of late May…

In his speech, Ahmadinejad insisted Iran has been cooperative with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, allowing it inspections of its facilities, but he warned, “Don’t do something that will make this great nation reconsider its policies” in a reference to the threat of increased U.N. sanctions.

“With great honor, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale,” Ahmadinejad said…

Across Iran, school bells rang on Monday to mark the “national day of nuclear energy.” The government sent out text messages of congratulations for the occasion to millions of mobile phone users.

In Tehran, some 200 students formed a human chain at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization while chanting “death to America” and “death to Britain.” The students burnt flags of the U.S. and Britain<./b>…

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From: Hoa Hao4/9/2007 2:21:57 PM
   of 773327
Iraq's Real 'Civil War'

Sunni tribes battle al Qaeda terrorists in the insurgency's stronghold.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page
Thursday, April 5, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq--Last fall, President Bush, citing the violence in Baghdad, said that the U.S. strategy in Iraq was "slowly failing." At that time, though, more Americans were dying in Anbar Province, stronghold of the Sunni insurgency. About the size of Utah, Anbar has the savagery, lawlessness and violence of America's Wild West in the 1870s. The two most lethal cities in Iraq are Fallujah and Ramadi, and the 25-mile swath of farmlands between them is Indian Country.

Imagine the surprise of the veteran Iraqi battalion last November when a young sheik, leader of a local tribe outside Ramadi, offered to point out the insurgents hiding in his hometown. "We have decided that by helping you," he said, "we are helping God."

For years, the tribes had supported the insurgents who claimed to be waging jihad. Now, citing the same religion, a tribe wanted to switch sides. Col. Mohammed, the battalion commander, accepted the offer. "The irhabi (terrorists) call themselves martyrs. They are liars," he said. "I lost a soldier and when I pulled off his armor, there was the blood of a martyr."

With Iraqi soldiers and Marines providing protection, the sheik and his tribesmen rolled through town, pointing at various men. The sweep netted 30 insurgents, including "Abu Muslim," who was wanted for the murder of a jundi (Iraqi soldier). "He was just standing there waving at us with all the others," one jundi said during the minor celebration at the detention facility.

Six months ago, American intelligence reports about Anbar were dire. Although the Marines won the firefights, insurgents controlled the population--the classic guerrilla pattern. Among the groups, the extremists called al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) had achieved dominance. In 2004, AQI briefly held Fallujah, where they whipped teenagers who talked back, bludgeoned women who wore lipstick and beheaded "collaborators"--hapless passersby and truckers. AQI preached a persuasive message: Our way or the grave.

In Anbar, AQI became the occupier, shaking down truck drivers and extorting shop owners. In the young sheik's zone, AQI controlled the fuel market. Each month, 10 trucks with 80,000 gallons of heavily subsidized gasoline and five trucks with kerosene were due to arrive. Instead, AQI diverted most shipments to Jordan or Syria where prices were higher, netting $10,000 per shipment and antagonizing 30,000 shivering townspeople. No local cop dared to make an arrest. The tribal power structure, built over centuries, was shoved aside. Sheiks who objected were shot or blown up, while others fled.

In late 2005, acceptably-trained Iraqi battalions began to join the persistent Americans in Anbar. AQI resorted to suicide attacks and roadside bombs, and avoided direct fights. Sub-tribes began to kill AQI members in retaliation for individual crimes, and discovered that AQI was ruthless, but not tough. Near the Syrian border, an entire tribe joined forces with the Marines and drove AQI from the city of al Qaim.

By the fall of 2006 AQI had become the oppressor, careless in its destructive swath, while the American and Iraqi forces persisted with their mix of force of arms and civil engagement. When an AQI suicide car bomb attacked an Anbar market in November, killing a Marine and nine civilians, the Marine battalion commander and his Iraqi counterpart offered medical care at the local clinic for the entire town, including the first gynecological examinations many local women had seen. This was not an isolated event, and the people noticed.

With a war-weary population buoying them, 25 of the 31 Anbar sub-tribes have pledged to fight the insurgents over the past five months, sending thousands of tribesmen into the police and army. Led by Sheik Abu Sittar, who has called this an "awakening," the tribes believed they were joining the winners.

Politics in Baghdad have swirled around reinstating former Baathists to their prior jobs, thereby supposedly diminishing the insurgency. The central government, though, has given Anbar such paltry funds that jobs are scant, Baathist or not. In Anbar, reconciliation theories count far less than that eternal adage: Show me the money.

When the sheiks delivered thousands of police recruits, they consolidated their patrimonial power by providing jobs, plus pocketing a fee rumored at $400 paid by each recruit. The tribal police then provided security that permitted American civic action projects profitable to contractors connected, of course, to the sheiks. Our Congress has just appropriated an emergency supplemental for our troops that included millions to grow spinach and store peanuts; in Anbar, the sheiks are filling potholes that can conceal IEDs.

There remain problems that require military solutions, however. Neither the coalition nor the Iraqi government is prepared to imprison the sharp increase in killers like Abu Muslim who are being netted in the surge in Baghdad and the tribal awakening in Anbar. No one wants to take the heat from the mainstream press that would accompany the construction of prisons and the indefinite incarceration of several tens of thousands of insurgents.

In response to the 2003 abuses at Abu Ghraib, the U.S. military and the Iraqi government instituted a catch-and-release system that Sweden would find too liberal. Unlike uniformed prisoners who in past wars were held until the war was over, in Iraq most detainees are released within a few months. To some, this represents a scrupulous adherence to the rule of law, with every insurgent provided the right of habeas corpus.

To the sheiks, it is both naïve and deadly. The Iraqi judicial system in Anbar is nonexistent. Locals are quick to relate stories of killers who returned to murder those who snitched. So it's no surprise that while most insurgents are arrested, some simply disappear. The American command in Anbar has issued a clear order barring support to any unauthorized militia. But guidance from the Iraqi ministries has been vague. If the insurgents have a complaint, they can take it up with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

In recent weeks, al Qaeda has struck back with suicide bombers, blowing up a Sunni mosque in the young sheik's area, killing 40 worshipers, and then detonating a series of chlorine truck bombs in residential neighborhoods outside Fallujah. They hope that if they murder random groups of women and children, the tribes will fall back in line. These tactics have locked AQI in a fight to the death against the tribal leaders. It reflects an enemy who has lost popular support for his jihad, clinging to fear alone. Had any American analyst predicted AQI would attack local Sunnis with weaponized chemicals nine months ago, he would have been laughed at.

In itself, the tribal shift is significant but not decisive. The intensity of tribal loyalty varies across the province and is weakest in the cities. While perhaps only a quarter of the males in Anbar heed the orders of the sheiks, their cohesion gives them larger sway. Others will follow their lead, provide tips or stay out of their way. Numerical estimates aren't possible because there has been no systematic effort to identify via biometrics the military-age males in the Sunni Triangle, a gross military error in combating an insurgency. The tribes aren't trained fighters. They occasionally engage AQI in a melee, but they need American or Iraqi soldiers to destroy insurgent bands, especially when holed up in houses that serve as concrete pillboxes.

The real value of the tribes lies in providing specific information and recruits for the police and army. The tribes openly acknowledge that it has been the personal behavior, strength of arms and persistence of the American forces that convinced them to join the fight. "The American coalition is the only thing," Sheik Abureeshah of Ramadi said, "that makes the Iraqi government give anything to Anbar."

The tribes want their share of oil revenues, more power and a cut of the American contracts. With American combat forces likely to leave within a year or two, it is the Iraqi Government that must determine the modesty of the demands. But to put the state of the province in perspective, six months ago the head of Central Command, Gen. John Abizaid, told the Congress that "Anbar was not under control." Last week the U.S. commander in Anbar, Maj. Gen. Walt Gaskin, said he was "very, very optimistic."

Gen. David Petraeus, the top general in Iraq, recently persuaded Mr. Maliki to visit Ramadi and meet with the tribes. That was the start of the bargaining. The Iraqi government faces a classic risk-versus-reward calculation. The reward is that the tribes will provide the information, recruits and local policing that shrinks the area where AQI operates. With less area to search, the Iraqi Army can concentrate wherever al Qaeda tries to rest or regroup, eventually drying up the swamp. The risk is that, if the Shiite-dominated government refuses reasonable terms, the tribes use their military muscle to reach a truce with AQI and the province reverts.

Baghdad is the critical battleground. But it is only in Anbar that the Congress agrees with the president that U.S. forces must combat the AQI terrorists. The tribes will learn to play that card to keep pressure on the central government not to neglect them.

Civil war between the Sunni tribes and the extremists has broken out in Anbar Province, the stronghold of the insurgency, and the U.S. and Iraqi government should support it. Anbar is like the American West in the 1870s. Security will come to towns in Anbar as it came to Tombstone--by the emergence of tough, local sheriffs with guns, local power and local laws.

Bing West, a correspondent for The Atlantic, is currently on his 12th trip in Anbar Province. Owen West, his son, is a managing director at a Wall Street bank and just returned from Anbar where he was a Marine adviser.

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From: John Carragher4/9/2007 2:39:28 PM
   of 773327
In Pa., it's high noon in battle over gun control
At least 15 firearms bills are back in the legislative pipeline.
By Amy Worden
Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Seven months after a special two-day legislative session on crime in which more than a dozen gun-control bills were defeated, anti-crime advocates are hoping a new climate in Harrisburg will mean movement on long-stalled gun-control measures.

The drumbeat for tougher firearms laws, they say, is swelling from people in many quarters, including the governor.

The effort comes at a time when the number of slayings in Philadelphia is edging painfully upward - 105 at last count(midday Friday), the majority of them at the point of a gun. At least 15 bills are back in the pipeline; Gov. Rendell has turned up the volume on his pleas for stronger gun-control measures, and Democrats now control the state House. All this comes at a time when a new poll suggests a majority of Pennsylvanians are willing to accept handgun-sale limits.

But despite the renewed hope - and calls by Rendell, Mayor Street, and mid-sized city mayors from mid-size cities across the state for legislation to /help /reduce gun violence - the bills face an uphill battle in the General Assembly, which is dominated by lawmakers who support gun rights.

From House Speaker Dennis O'Brien (R., Phila.), who blocked gun-control bills as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to the current leaders of the committees in the House and Senate, there is reluctance to support gun bills for fear they will fail or bring lawmakers defeat in the next election.

Rep. Dan Surra (D., Elk) said that while he sympathized with residents living in high-crime areas, he could not support any gun-restriction bill because in certain quarters of his district, a hunting stronghold in the north-central part of the state, guns are a single-issue item at the polls.

"They will vote you out on this," Surra said.

Rendell's mention of gun control in his February budget in the Capitol drew a chorus of hisses from Republicans - and likely some Democrats in the Capitol - underscoring the largely geographical, rather than political, divide on the issue.

Rendell, nevertheless, has pressed on, using two high-profile settings - his budget address and a speech at the Pennsylvania Press Club - to ask lawmakers to send him a bill limiting handgun purchases to one a month. Such a bill, Rendell said last month, would still allow a law-abiding individuals to buy 12 handguns a year.

Last week Rendell, while acknowledging his budget and other controversial proposals are weighing on the legislative agenda in the months ahead, Rendell pledged not to give up the effort.

"I'm going to continue to push for one gun a month," he said following a news conference to drum up support for his proposal to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Still,There is reason for gun-control advocates to be optimistic.

Control of the House changed hands this year, putting Democrats in charge for the first time in a decade. Among the first orders of business for Rep. Tom Caltagirone (D., Berks), the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was to schedule the first-ever hearings on gun-control proposals.

And a new poll suggests Pennsylvanians could be softening to the idea of limiting handgun sales to reduce the number of so-called "straw purchases."

"Voters are in a different place than some lawmakers," said Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.), the poll's sponsor and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Evans' poll, which asked 600 residents statewide for their views on various gun-control proposals, showed that 70 percent of the respondents supported a one-handgun-a-month law. Among those queried, 38 percent owned a firearm.

"They realize the need for laws if you really want fundamental change to make it a safer state," said Evans, nowone of/ the most powerful Philadelphia Democrats in the General Assembly. He's running for mayor on the crowded May 15 Democratic ballot.

Crime hit home last year for the one-handgun bill's lead sponsor, Rep. John Myers (D., Phila.), whose son disappeared under mysterious circumstances last August and has yet to be found.

"We have to reduce the availability of guns," said Myers, who has introduced a bill restoringgiving Philadelphia's authority to make its own gun laws.

But deep philosophical differences separate those in rural areas who treasure their Second Amendment rights, and for whom a Winchester .30-06 is for shooting deer, from those in urban areas who associate gun use with murder.

"The feeling out here is that proposals that deal with firearms in general are inched toward the precipice, and once you start eroding Second Amendment rights, it's a cascading effect," Surra, the legislator from northwestern Pennsylvania said.

"Guns are part of our culture, too. The difference is we don't shoot each other," said Surra, who recalls teaching students to build guns in shop class.

And although Evans is determined to get the one-handgun-a-month bill to the floor this year, Caltagirone, the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, does not think he can deliver it. "I don't have the votes at this point in time," Caltagirone said, adding that he hopes to work on a compromise that could pass.

Clearly, a battle looms over one-handgun-a-month in the Capitol.

"We're opposed, of course," said Melody Zullinger, executive director of Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen, an umbrella group representing 300 hunting and outdoor organizations.

The National Rifle Association and the sportsmen's groups know that their members are sensitive about gun control, and the organizations are increasing their efforts to combat the bills pending in Harrisburg. They are planning a rally in the Capitol on April 24.

"All [the laws] do is infringe on law-abiding citizens' rights," Zullinger said. "The criminals get illegal guns on the black market. It's not going to curb the crime problem."

Although gun-rights advocates are concerned about the Democratic majority in the House, they still think they can prevail, she said.

"We still have confidence enough on both sides to stop the bill from getting to the floor, or passing," Zullinger said.

This time around, gun-control groups have a new advocate: Philip R. Goldsmith, Philadelphia's former managing director, who is now president of CeaseFire PA.

"The time is ripe," said Goldsmith, who wants to build a grassroots movement like the one that defeated the controversial pay raise that legislators voted themselves in 2005. "The paradigm is changing on this."

can cut from here on................f Virginia, Maryland and California have enacted laws limiting handgun sales to one a month, and legislatures in eight other states, including Pennsylvania, are considering such bills.

There are few studies tracking the effectiveness of handgun limits, and at least one is 10 years old.

That 1996 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found evidence that Virginia's one-a-month limit reduced by more than half the number of guns traced to Virginia that were used in crimes in the Northeast.

Pennsylvania "is a priority state for us," said Peter Hamm, communications director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence, which teamed with other gun-control groups to form the coalition Pennsylvanians Against Trafficking Handguns in 2005. "We believe there is enough political ability in the legislature to enact change."

State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R., Bucks), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he supported one-handgun-a-month but would not bring up a bill for a vote in his committee that is doomed to failure.

"I run what I think I can get through, and this didn't come close to passing," said Greenleaf. "Still, we have to do something that will have an impact. It's a war."

Contact staff writer Amy Worden at 717-783-2584 or

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