ACLU Wins One For The Enemy

The National Security Letters portion of the Patriot Act came under attack today by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, who ruled the practice unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in New York ruled that the landmark anti-terrorism law violates the First Amendment and the Constitution’s separation of powers provisions because it effectively prohibits recipients of the FBI letters (NSLs) from revealing their existence and does not provide adequate judicial oversight of the process.

Just goes to show you who the ACLU is fighting. They are fighting the wrong enemy. It isn’t Bush, as articulated by the ACLU’s executive director. . .

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a plaintiff identified only as John Doe, an Internet service provider prohibited under the law from publicly revealing the receipt of an NSL.

Anthony D. Romero, the ACLU’s executive director, said the ruling “is yet another setback in the Bush administration’s strategy in the war on terror and demonstrates the far-reaching efforts of this administration to use powers that are clearly unconstitutional.”

Can’t wait to hear the presidential wannabes comment on this one.

related:Free, But Not Free To Kill, Patriot Act, Washington Post link

Ron Paul, The Republicans’ Rosie O’Donnell

Tonight’s Republican debate in New Hampshire had one grand loser. That would be Ron Paul, but not because he believes in governing the country being guided by the Constitution. That is called being ‘conservative’ nowadays. Imagine that! It is because he is in denial, utter denial, regarding Iran.

He actually said, and he wasn’t using hyperbole, that in his opinion Iran probably has more reason and right to be in Iraq than the United States. Because they are neighbors. Boy that’s warm and fuzzy. He rejected a question about Iran being involved in Iraq by supplying weapons, training, and money to the insurgents and killing our soldiers in Iraq. And by insurgents I mean the alQaeda types that are fighting the U.S. and Iraqi armies. Ron Paul’s response was ‘no they aren’t.’ Meaning that Iran is not doing all of the above. ‘It’s not been proven’ he said. Not been proven? Is he the republican party’s Rosie O’Donnell?

Air America Radio Exits Memphis

Air America Radio loses Memphis WSMB 680 AM, to be replaced with sports talk. I’m still waiting for that swell of demand for the ‘progressive’ message. WSMB is going from this to this. That should tell them something.

Frustrated by the fact that they can’t get any traction with their brand of rabid radio, they don’t see it as a loss, but rather as justification to whine for the Fairness Doctrine.

To liberals, free markets are fine as long as they are not on the losing side. Imagine for a moment that the popularity of talk radio is overwhelmingly liberal, and conservative talkers just couldn’t cut the mustard. Do you see the liberals calling for the Fairness Doctrine then?

Not Your Best Girl Scout Leader

One for the ‘you gotta be kidding’ column, how about a girl scout leader was charged by a federal grand jury for stealing the identities of girls in her troop?

The indictment charges Holly M. Barnes with 19 counts of filing false claims and 15 counts of identity theft, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Pensacola.

She fraudulently obtained $187,000 from the IRS using the identities of the girls in her troop and her own children.

NWF Daily News link

Iran’s Fork In The Road, Democracy or Theocracy

Signs of a political tug of war showing in Iran. Hashemi Rafsanjani, who lost to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential runoff, was picked today to head a powerful clerical body, the Assembly of Experts, considered a defeat for Ahmadinejad’s hard-line faction.

Rafsanjani’s election as chairman of the Assembly of Experts means the charismatic cleric will oversee the secretive body that chooses or dismisses the Islamic Republic’s ultimate authority, its supreme leader.

The tug of war is between democracy and theocracy. Given a choice, the Iranian people will choose a democracy, where “the government’s authority is derived from popular elections.”

While extremists such as Jannati are among the proponents of the theory that the legitimacy of Iran’s clerics to rule the country is derived from God, Rafsanjani is believed to side with pro-democracy reformers who believe the government’s authority is derived from popular elections.

Question is, will it happen before or after Ahmadinejad does something stupid?

Fewer U.S. Troops In Iraq?

On an unannounced visit to Iraq and traveling with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President Bush said . . .

General (David H.) Petraeus and Ambassador (Ryan C.) Crocker tell me if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer Americans. 

Aside from keeping focused on winning the war and listening to our troops and his generals, Bush met with Sunni tribal leaders that used to be supporting al-Qaeda.  They now have turned against them in favor of a more free and secure life in Iraq.  He also tried to assured the Iraqi people that, despite the cut and run strategy of some politicians in this country, that the United States would not abandon the Iraqi people.

I am going to reassure them that America does not abandon our friends. And America will not abandon the Iraqi people. That’s the message all three of us bring.

Links: BlackAnthem, Washington Post

Another Murder For Geraldo Rivera To Ignore

Did you ever hear something about a murder and recoil at the thought of what kind of person could do such a thing? Like the recent execution of 3 out of 4 college students, this is one of those. Try a 2 year old baby boy being kicked to death by the mother’s boyfriend, Michael Hernandez  . Contrary to what Geraldo Rivera would say, this is not just another brutal murder. This is another preventable murder. You see, Michael Hernandez is an illegal alien.

video link, link

Egyptian Students Indicted On Terrorism Charges

Remember those two Egyptian ‘students’ from the University of South Florida in the news back on August 4th? They were stopped for speeding in South Carolina and were not heading in the direction they said they were going. They were headed in the direction of two sensitive areas of national security, a Navy base where nuclear warheads are loaded onto submarines and another military base where some former Guantanamo prisoners are being held.

Well, surprise surprise, they were indicted on terrorism-related charges relating to explosives and explosive training.

So much for the FBI warnings that University of Sami’s (Al-Arian) Friends a/k/a University of South Florida students Ahmed Abda Sherf Mohamed and Yousef Samir Megahed–the Smiling Mugshot “Just Fireworks” Muslim terrorists–were not terrorists.

A Federal Grand Jury says they are, and indicted them:

Mohamed and Megahed: Smiling Terrorists Indicted

Two Egyptian students at the University of South Florida who were arrested in South Carolina have been indicted on federal charges for carrying explosives across states lines. One of the men also is charged with teaching the other how to use the material for violent reasons.

H/T Debbie Schlussel for the update.

They claimed the explosives found in their car were fireworks. They were not fireworks in the trunk. Their names are Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 24, and Youssef Samir Megahed, 21. If you are into profiling, one might guess that these two are Muslim, not that there’s anything wrong with that. And you would be right. According to Megahed’s mother, Muslims are not into terrorism. She is obviously among the 69% of Muslims in America that reject terrorism. Unfortunately for her, and us, her son is among the 31% of Muslims that don’t.

Mariam Megahed read a prepared statement, “We have a high regard for honor, so breaking the law or bringing harm to anyone is not something that we as Muslims support.”

Note: Pensacola, FL, Pensacola News Journal link.

Update: 09/04/07, State of South Carolina drops charges on the two, deferring to a federal prosecution on their federal indictment.

What War On Islam?

Unless you are deaf, dumb, and blind, you have already heard Islamofascists justify their holy war on us as a defense of Islam. That Islam is being attacked. So who is attacking Islam? Nobody. But Saudi Arabian Airlines had a helpful Travel Guide on their website, warning prospective tourists of certain dangerous items that may not be brought with you “into the Kingdom” due to religious reasons. From their website . . .

These include alcoholic beverages, pork and pork products, prohibited drugs and narcotics, firearms, explosives, edged weapons and pornographic materials.

For PR purposes, the following paragraph was removed from their Travel Guide. Try flying with a cross around your neck.

Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are also prohibited. These may include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David, and others.

Not sure why swords are banned.  Aren’t swords religious items in Islam? But with policies like this, one has to wonder what the alleged war on Islam is all about?

From all that I have seen going on around the world, it seems to me that Islam is at war with everything that is not Islamic. Examples can be found in France, Great Britain, Spain, United States, Russia, Philippines, Sweden, Darfur, Somalia. Who is attacking who here? No one is out to destroy Islam. If there was a war on Islam, don’t you think that their holiest sites would be turned to dust like the Taliban did to the statue of Buddha in Afghanistan? The facts argue to the contrary.

Admitting my ignorance on the difference between good Islam and bad Islam, I am reminded of the way that cults behave. My way or the highway. The 1978 Johnstown cool-aid massacre. The 9/11/2001 attack on America.

A religion that puts so much emphasis on things here on earth, like farm animals (pigs), books (Bibles v Korans), and jewelry (crucifix), and cartoons, instead of living a peaceful and spiritual life with your fellow man while preparing for the hereafter, sounds more like a kind of witchcraft to me than anything you can find among Christianity or Judaism. A little bat’s blood here, rat hair there, an infidel’s eyeball, two pig ears, and just a pinch of garlic (garlic goes good on anything), and the religion is safe? It seems more akin to the Wizard of Oz, where the guy behind the curtain has a bomb or sword.