Monday, March 31, 2008
Although Obama says Clinton should remain in the race, some of his key supporters have been urging her to withdraw in the name of party unity.
Clinton says this is an attempt by the Obama campaign to keep people from voting. The Obama camp calls the charges laughable.
On the one hand, the latest Gallup Poll shows Obama with a commanding 10 point lead over Clinton. On the other, Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan have been, thus far, precluded from selecting delegates (a compromise proposal to use Democratic congressional district conventions to choose them has just been floated in Michigan). And, as Clinton argues, if she withdraws, people in states that set primaries after the April Pennsylvania vote will also be removed from the process.
As I've suggested before, the Obama-Clinton debate is healthy. As will be the discourse during the general election.
If Clinton feels like she still has a chance, she should remain in the race.
A British man tells the paper that he was recruited to carry out a bombing in London. And that he was asked at a terrorist safe house in Pakistan to conduct an act of martyrdom in the United Kingdom.
He says killing the king of Saudi Arabia, blowing up the U.S. embassy in London were on the table. He claims that he was approached by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who is the alleged planner of the World Trade Center attack.
The man, who spoke under condition of anonymity, has since renounced violence.
Newport, speaking on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com, said sometimes the polls help identify suspected voter fraud. If the actual vote is a major departure from the polling, he says, it can be an indication that the vote counting process needs to be reviewed.
The latest Gallup poll finds that Barack Obama holds a 10-point lead over Hillary Clinton. Leading to a discussion about whether Clinton ought to withdraw.
One caller suggested that, Clinton does Obama good, bringing out issues early that Republican John McCain might raise on the eve of the election. Making it less likely that there will be a November surprise that might affect its outcome.
With New York City's treasury near empty, Koch restored the city's credit in his first term through a series of budget cutting measures, enabling the city to enter the bond market within a few years and raise capital funds. As the city's fiscal prognosis began to brighten, so too did the mood of New Yorkers.
He has remained extremely active and popular since leaving office, practicing law in New York City, lecturing, authoring books, serving as a newspaper columnist, hosting his own radio show, and more recently, serving as a television judge on the popular show, The People's Court.
The biggest obstacle is that the federal government must first approve it. But at least someone is trying to find solutions to the problem of the influx of undocumented immigrants.
Whether the Arizona program is ultimately successful isn't the real point. If the feds permit states to try initiatives of their own, they may serve as a model for the rest of the nation.
It's better to try a guest worker program out on a state level first. Then if it works, the federal government can adopt a similar program. If not, it can avoid enacting a nationwide program that doesn't work.
The flame's arrival in Beijing was surrounded by tight security to prevent a recurrence. But similar protests are possible as it makes its world wide tour and return to Beijing for the games.
China is accusing the western press of slanting news coverage of the protests against that nation.
The violence surrounding the protests is prompting calls for restraint from both sides.
But scenes like these of demonstrators being beaten with sticks outside the Chinese Embassy in neighboring Nepal do little to encourage sympathy for the Chinese government.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
That's the largest lead Obama has enjoyed. And indicated a marked rebound from the days he struggled after the controversy over his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, surfaced.
We'll be discussing this poll with Gallup Editor In Chief Frank Newport on News Talk Online at 5 PM New York time Monday.
These large gatherings have become a trademark of the Democratic front runner. And have the look and feel of a rock concert.
Obama told the crowd that he will win the party nomination even if rival Hillary Clinton stays in the race to the finish. Clinton has vowed to take it to the Democratic convention for a floor fight if necessary. Although some Obama supporters and party leaders, like national Democratic party boss Howard Dean, have urged her to step down in the name of party unity, Obama is advocating that Clinton remain in the race.
Obama took some time as well to bowl at the Altoona Bowling Center where he laughed and joked with the crowd. Obama said that he hasn't bowled since he was 16.
Hayden, in remarks to NBC's Meet The Press, says this is all in preparation for another attack on the United States.
If he's right about this, then stereotypical concerns about people should be discarded. And the ability to ferret out terrorists becomes more difficult.
Hayden says the terrorists training sites are in Pakistan, along the Afghan border. Instead of concentrating so much on Iraq, perhaps our military sites should be trained on these camps.
Hayden also wants Congress to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expired in February.
There may be fewer big rigs on the roads this Tuesday as some independent truckers plan to park for the day in protest of rising fuel prices.
In New Jersey, some truck drivers say they will block the turnpike at noon to underscore their concerns. A trucker convoy is planned for I-81 in Pennsylvania today.
The truckers say the increasing cost at the pumps is cutting into their profits. And they are hoping their protest will bring some regulatory relief.
One suggestion is a temporary suspension of fuel taxes.
But this protest is not expected to be widespread, nor, as a result, very effective.
Moqtada al-Sadr, the leader of one of the factions has ordered his men off the streets. The move was heralded by Iraq's prime minister.
Media reports say since Tuesday as many as 270 people have died in the fighting.
Iraqi, U.S. and British forces have been engaged in trying to put down this latest conflict inside Iraq.
McCain heads to five states this week, giving the Republican candidate a jump start on his Democratic rivals.
Hillary Clinton is again rejecting calls today from some in the Democratic Party to withdraw in the name of party unity.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
He is fearful the two will eat one another up and leave the last person standing wounded as he, or she, enters the general election race against Republican John McCain.
But there's one thing Obama and Clinton do agree on.
Clinton should remain in the race.
Obama calls Clinton a "fierce and formidable" competitor. That she is.
I applaud Obama for his stance.
As I've stated before, the debate between the two Democratic candidates is part of a healthy political process in the United States.
Let the Democratic Party campaign continue!
There are those who argue that the surge which began in January 2007 has proven effective and that U.S. and other Coalition forces as well as Iraqi troops are beginning to take control of the country.
Violence between Shiites and Sunnis does appear to have subsided. But now, there's been a flurry of battles between Shiites loyal to different leaders.
News reports vary in their estimates of the death toll, from 50 to as many as 300 dead in recent days.
British ground troops are engaged with the insurgents and the United States has been conducting air strikes in Basra, where most of the fighting has been concentrated.
In spite of a desire by most Americans to get out of Iraq sooner rather than later, the continued failure to bring order makes it doubtful that the long hoped for withdrawal will take place anytime soon.
The Democratic presidential candidate's rhetoric pledging a quick end to the war may resonate well with the voters. But Republican John McCain's assessment that the U.S. troop commitment may continue for years may prove to be far more pragmatic, no matter who is elected in November.
I've done stories on their efforts on CNNRadio and I've had their representatives on Paltalk, performing on News Talk Online.
What struck me is that, while the expatriated Chinese are given opportunity to enjoy music and dance that ties them with their past, people in mainland China are not.
It's illegal, the NTD TV folks tell me, to produce entertainment that highlights generations of culture.
Now, the Dalai Lama is warning that China is, not only trying to impose its rule on Tibet, but wants to wipe out Tibetan culture.
And it's not just by military force. It's by demographics as well. By moving hundreds of thousands of Chinese into the Himalayan region, he argues, Tibetan culture is being deliberately diluted.
The Dalai Lama is also calling on the world community to step up and pressure China to back down.
We should all be listening to his pleas. And we should be asking our government representatives to do so as well.
The latest poll show, for the first time since the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, that Barack Obama is in the lead.
Clinton says it would be unfair to the voters of the remaining primary states for her to remove herself from the race.
The debate, though pointed, between Clinton and Obama, is actually healthy to the process.
Party leaders say this won't get to a delegate fight at the convention. Many of the super delegates who remain sitting on the fence are waiting for decisive victories by Obama before announcing they will be supporting him.
But there are still primaries to hold in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana.
If the party was truly concerned about "unity" they would work to bring Democrats in Michigan and Florida back into the fold and let them participate in a real presidential primary. You know, one that counts?
But that's not the kind of unity they want. Not if it means prolonging the race and giving Clinton a chance at a floor fight in Denver.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Dorjee, speaking on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com says the summer Olympics gives Tibetans and their supporters an opportunity to tell the world about their plight.
He says he is particularly gratified that the European Union is putting pressure on China to ease its stranglehold of Tibet. And he's hopeful that the United Nations will follow suit.
He suggests the world should seize this opportunity to pressure China. But whether China listens, he says, is an entirely different matter.
Several leaders of European nations have announced they will not attend the opening ceremonies to the Olympics in protest of the crackdown on Tibetan dissidents.
The foreign ministers to the European Union, meeting in Slovenia, are debating whether to boycott the Olympics.
Newport appears regularly on CNBC’s Kudlow and Company and other television and cable news shows. He is the on-air host of Gallup’s daily web cast program The Daily Briefing at galluppoll.com, which is available as a podcast on iTunes. He is author of weekly analyses on The Gallup Poll Web site and has a regular weekly program on NPR affiliate WHYY in Philadelphia.
It's why the Founding Fathers determined that there would be no official state religion.
This separates the USA from many other nations. Including Muslim countries.
In many of the Muslim countries, Islam is the official religion. There is little or no tolerance for other religions.
Some countries permit people of other faiths to practice their traditions. But even in those nations, that is severely limited.
A lack of understanding of this cultural divide causes problems.
Saudi Arabia is, perhaps, the greatest case in point. Religious persecution and gender discrimination abounds. It's deplorable and condemnable. But, alas, it is not easily changed. For example, the Saudi Sharia Council last week defeated a proposal to "respect" other religions.
We, in the western world, offer an alternative to this life style. A place of refuge today, as much as it was in the 1700s, for those who are religiously persecuted.
The danger the world faces today is that forces on both sides of the cultural divide want to impose their world on the other. It is this kind of intolerance that shouldn't be tolerated.
The plan was floated by the United States, which wants to help legitimize the Palestinian Authority's control over the territories. The security forces would maintain order in Jenin during the day. Israel would continue to provide nighttime security.
The Israelis are likely to approve this in order to appease the Americans who are anxious to give the Palestinians reason to negotiate a peace settlement.
The Israelis are also considering an easing of restrictions in the West Bank.
This presupposes that Fatah, the party of the Palestinian Authority, really seeks peace with Israel. The decades long failure of the party of the late Yasser Arafat to sign a peace accord is indicative of its unwillingness to really seek a two-state solution.
Hopefully a new U.S. administration with a fresh attitude toward diplomacy will successfully help broker a peace. But the new White House will need to be committed to this strategy early in the administration. And not wait, as was done with this administration, until the end of the president's tenure.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
This is known because Spiegel Magazine has obtained a 45 minute video showing the last minutes of Cüneyt Ciftci's life.
The video gives rare insight into the fanatic mind set of people who commit such vile crimes.
The poll also finds that many Obama supporters would defect if Clinton were to win.
Gallup analysts say, these findings could change, however, by the November general election.
Manjoo, who wrote the book True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society, says, sometimes, the stations are playing video news releases that are produced to look and sound like real news reports. But what they really are, essentially, are videos that promote an organization or a product.
Manjoo's comments came during an appearance on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com. He says as more people go to the new media for news, they must take the time to research the information they receive and become even more discerning. Because, he says, there's a lot of disinformation that's being disseminated as fact.
Joseph C. Smith, Author Who Says Washington Did Not Embrace Separation Of Church And State, On Paltalk
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The discourse over the issue, O'Neill asserts, should be focused on the proper response to the problem. But not over whether or not it exists.
Speaking on News Talk Online on Paltalk, O'Neill says South Americans and Europeans are far more accepting of the realities of global warming and other environmental issues and are, therefore, focused more on solutions. Americans, she says, are still debating issues that are matters of general agreement among the scientific community.
Prior hearings have focused on how the federal government should provide health care services for individuals whose health was adversely impacted by the effects of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. This hearing, scheduled for April 1, will mark the first time that Congress has focused specifically on those individuals' economic losses. For example, many people who became ill from their exposure to the toxins haven't been able to work.
The hearing will focus on possible compensation programs for those affected. The members of Congress will also investigate specific problems arising for first responders, workers, local residents and other individuals whose illnesses did not become apparent for months or years after the attacks.
Among those expected to testify: Kenneth Feinberg, the former special master of the Victim Compensation Fund and Mike Valentin, a former NYPD detective with severe 9/11-related health problems.
That's according to an article in the British paper The Guardian, which reports that the criticism of this practice is being voiced by Muslims in the UK.
This is significant. For too long, people without an understanding of the various forms of Islam have been calling upon moderate Muslims to speak out. They have, actually, in the past. It just seems to escape the attention of many.
Well, here they are raising concerns once again. Both the Muslim and the non-Muslim world should take note.
Those who promote extreme Islamic practices and beliefs are doing a disservice to their followers and to the rest of the world. But perhaps the biggest victims are the moderate Muslims, who are beginning to feel a backlash.
It's time other Muslims who do not follow the Saudi religious views speak out. It's time that non-Muslims understand the differences.
It's also time that the freedom-loving world takes a closer look at the real agenda of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The idea that some of your fellow passengers may be pistol packing federal police officers is designed to ensure the traveling public that it's safe to fly. It's also supposed to be a deterrent to would be hijackers.
But CNN is reporting that fewer than 1 percent of domestic flights have air marshals assigned.
That means it's extremely unlikely that the plane that you're on is so protected.
Given the recently reported security lapses at airport check ins, this gives one little faith that security on flights is adequate.
Post 9/11 regulations also require that the door between the cockpit and the cabin be closed, locked and fortified. But I've been on flights when the door has stood open. Not a lot of flights. But some.
As the song, Where Have All The Flowers Gone asks, "when will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?"
Many laws have come into effect since 9/11 to follow the money. But the Los Angeles Times is reporting that groups that are collecting money to pay for terrorism and terrorist training are finding ways to circumvent them.
The paper also reports that international cooperation in nabbing those collecting money for these purposes is waining. One reason suggested is that interest peaked shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But another possibility is that many nations are frustrated with U.S. foreign policy and are, therefore, less cooperative.
Hopefully a the new administration will bring with it a fresh outlook and renewed enthusiasm among nations to work together to choke the flow of money to terrorists.
Speaking on News Talk Online on Paltalk, Childers said he and his organization, backed by the government, have thus far saved 800 children who have been abducted by rebel militiamen involved in a 20+ year civil war. An additional 250 are under their protection.
Attempts are made to repatriate rescued children with their families. Those who cannot be reunited are cared for at an orphanage Childers founded.
A federal appeals court has tossed out New York's so-called Passenger Bill of Rights, which dictated that water and food and clean toilets were required when planes full of passengers were stuck on the ground.
The state law was enacted after passengers were stuck for up to 10 hours on jetBlue planes about a year ago. Their horrific experience was broadcast live by radio and TV stations that passengers called while held captive on the planes.
The circumstances resulted in a promise from jetBlue that it would never happen again.
The court ruled that such a law is only within the purview of the federal government.
My friends and family were supposed to be there to greet me, but I remember ducking and running for cover because we were under sniper fire.
The above is NOT true. But closer to the truth than Hillary Clinton's claim that she came under sniper fire when landing at a Bosnia airport in '96.
The Barack Obama campaign has released a YouTube video showing Clinton walking off the plane, smiling and waving to the crowd. No sniper fire. No running for cover.
Note that Clinton is walking calmly. Daughter Chelsea a few steps behind her. The acting Bosnian president shaking her hand. An 8-year-old girl greeting her for the cameras.
We were expecting Republican John McCain's memory to be a bit faulty at times due to his age. But Mrs. Clinton's?
Memories get fuzzy over the years, no matter one's age. But her recitation of events is a massive departure from reality. This sounds far more like fabrication than a faulty recollection. Unless she's thinking of another airport arrival where she was under sniper fire. If so, she should release video of that event -and she should do it today.
This departure from reality is a sign of a Clinton character failure. The willingness to become extremely loose with the facts in order to get a point across.
It's stupid as well. Don't these candidates realize that everything they do in public is recorded and, given the opportunity, can and will be used against them by their opponents?
Now, as to the Detroit City Airport sniper incident. No, that did not happen to me. But it actually happened to a friend of mine who was taking flying lessons there.
We drove to the airport one day so he could show me one of the small planes he trained on. It had bullet holes in it. He said people, presumably youngsters, in the neighborhood would occasionally take pot shots at the planes as they landed for "fun."
Perhaps Mrs. Clinton once landed at Detroit City Airport. If so, maybe she can talk her way out of this one. Much of the east side neighborhood surrounding the small airport has the look and feel of a war zone. Maybe she was just confused about where this sniping incident took place.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Cox Newspapers Washington Bureau Chief Andy Alexander Says The Internet Offers Print Reporters New Outlets
Cox Newspapers Washington Bureau Chief Andy Alexander sees the Internet as an enhancement to what the traditional media already does.
Alexander, speaking on News Talk Online on Paltalk says print reporters should embrace the Internet as an opportunity to expand on the stories they file for their newspapers.
He also believes that the traditional news media's involvement on the Internet offers discerning web users the opportunity to find credible sources of information.
After graduating from Boston College in 1995, O'Neill traveled throughout America, making long stopovers in Maui and New York City, where she began her writing career when she landed a job at Yahoo Internet Life magazine. Later, while working at Interior Design, she was inspired by the tremendous boom she saw in eco-design and sustainable architecture, which led her to help launch TreeHugger.com.
Now, as the editor of TreeHugger.com and PlanetGreen.com, Meaghan knows what questions people have about doing the right thing when it comes to going green. She has contributed to publications such as Interior Design, I.D., Boston, Men's Journal, The Boston Globe Magazine, and Teen Vogue. She is also the author the eight-part series "The Slate Green Challenge with TreeHugger," a 2007 National Magazine Award finalist.
To talk to O'Neill at 5 PM New York time Wednesday March 25 CLICK HERE. There is no charge.
Paltalk is the largest multimedia interactive program on the Internet with more than 4 million unique users.
News Talk Online is also syndicated by CRN Digital Talk Radio coast-to-coast across the United States to 12 million additional households.
Recently, Osama bin Laden also called for a "holy war" to "liberate" the Palestinians.
That's the bad news.
The good news is that everyday, the intelligence community is working on ways to improve their information gathering abilities. This means that every day, al Qaeda and its supporters, are weakened.
It doesn't, however, guarantee that the worldwide intelligence agencies will catch every threat and plot. That's an impossibility.
Which is why, everyday citizens must remain vigilant and report any activity they deem suspicious.
As they say here in New York, "if you see something, say something."
Another way is to choke their monetary pipeline.
The latter tactic is one being utilized by prosecutors going after a charity they say has funnelled $22 million dollars collected in the United States into terrorist organizations overseas.
And once again, the foundation that's being accused, is based in Saudi Arabia.
The courts will ultimately decide the veracity of the government's claims against the SAAR Foundation, now defunct. But it seems that this legal maneuver may be far more effective than military strikes, result in no collateral damage and cause no backlash of anti-American sentiment.
Plus, through the open legal system, it brings to the public's light the reality of how terrorists fund their operations through donors in the United States who knowingly or unwittingly give them their money.
While the military has provided the statistics on the number of American casualties, there is no way to accurately determine the number of Iraqis killed. Iraqbodycount.org says it has documented more than 80-thousand civilian deaths.
Also, when collecting information about the number of Iraqi dead, one must decide whether to include those who were killed by sectarian violence and not at the hands of coalition troops.
The 4,000 U.S. deaths do not include the reported 175 British troops and 133 other coalition service members who have been killed.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The Newark Star Ledger reports employees at the airport are routinely waived through into secure areas without proper screening of themselves or their belongings.
This is the same airport where inspectors carrying fake bombs and weapons successfully made it through the screening process.
Also, a counterfeiting ring was busted at Newark last week. Baggage handlers were recruited to steal some $2 million dollars in government checks from airplane cargo holds.
The Star Ledger report is based on videos of security lapses taken by an airport employee using a cellphone camera.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which runs the airport maintains security is adequate.
The military says the targets of the operation had shaved their bodies, the last step in preparation for a suicide attack.
They say about 12 terrorists were killed.
Saman Kareem Ahmad, who translated for the troops for about four years, can't become a permanent U.S. resident because he was once a member of the Kurdish Democratic Party.
Now get this. The Kurdish Democratic Party is listed by the United States government as an "undesignated terrorist organization" ... for working to overthrow Saddam Hussein!
I'm not kidding.
The KDP, by the way, is part of the newly elected Iraqi government and its military wing is now part of the new Iraqi military.
So let's get this right.
Ahmad, under potential penalty of death at the hands of our enemies, works as a translator for our troops in Iraq. He was part of a party who, like the United States of America, sought to toppled Saddam Hussein. A party that's part of the new government that the United States helped establish. And the military that the United States is training. And because of this, is denied a green card?
Ahmad was permitted into the United States on a special visa program for those who helped our troops. He should now be, not only permitted, but encouraged, to stay.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
When Israel refuses, they will, according to the report, set up tents and remain there, creating a sudden humanitarian crisis.
The Israelis will be, the article says, pressured by the international community to alleviate the problem.
I've long said there's little difference between Hamas and Fatah. Neither wants to establish a Palestinian state. Not yet. Not if creating that nation results in boundaries with the recognized state of Israel.
They want all of the Israeli land. They believe the Zionists (read: Jews) are interlopers.
Hamas would take the land by force. Fatah by demographics.
Frankly, the so-called partners in peace are far more insidious. Yes, Hamas fires rockets (the Palestinian representative to the UN calls them "toys") into Israel. And occasionally pulls off a suicide bombing.
These are easily condemnable acts.
But Fatah appears "reasonable." Negotiating but never agreeing to a two-state solution. And then creating a humanitarian crisis for their own people. To make the Israelis look bad.
Israel should just declare the nation of Palestine. Recognize the borders of the Palestinians. Declare it sovereign land. Wash their hands of the entire problem.
Let the Palestinians buy their electricity from Israel or Jordan.
Oh by the way. Where is Jordan's culpability in all this? After all, we're talking about former Jordanian land. The Jordanians, not the Israelis, are the ones who actually massacred Palestinians. On this the world remains strangely silent.
If DEBKAfile is right about this, let's hope the world sees through it as the sham that it is.
Israel will not be forcing the protesting Palestinians into living in squalor. It will be their choice. Rather than transferring this onto the Israelis, those pitching the tent cities should be held accountable for and accept the responsibility for their decisions.
The Pope will be in the United States for five days in mid-April. Bin Laden's remarks have some security experts concerned about a possible terrorist attack during his visit.
Bin Laden also made similar remarks against Europe over the publishing there of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammad. And against all parties involved in a Middle East peace process.
The FBI posted a fake hyperlink on the Internet that purported to contain child porn.
When people clicked on the link they got gibberish on their computer. But no kiddie porn.
FBI agents then raided their homes and arrested the people who clicked on the link for attempting to download child porn. Which is a federal crime. Punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
That's right. People are being arrested now in the United States for their thoughts. Sort of like the movie Minority Report, a fictionalized futuristic look at a society where people are arrested in advance of committing their crimes.
The links were posted to an online discussion forum.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Iraqi Christians are finding it difficult to worship because of al Qaeda thugs who can't fathom anyone practicing religion in a manner different from their beliefs. An unintended consequence of the war in Iraq.
That according to Open Doors USA president Carl Moeller. Moeller, who just returned from Iraq, joined us on News Talk Online on Paltalk to tell us abut the plight of Iraqi Christians.
Open Doors USA works to fight persecution of Christians around the world. Moeller's appearance on the show coincided with Good Friday and the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.