Source: Senator Bill Frist's 2002 weekly column on his Senate page
Cloning: A Question of Morality or Science?
Senator Bill Frist, M.D.
Can one be an advocate for embryonic stem cell research while opposing human cloning experimentation? That's the question facing about 30 United States Senators who have not taken a final position on human cloning legislation to be brought before the Senate.
But we must first understand the similarities and distinctions between the two. It's important to understand that human "therapeutic" or "research" cloning is an experimental tool often confused with, but distinct from, embryonic stem cell research. Only then can we appropriately dissect a debate on the potential of the science versus the restraint defined by ethics and moral concerns.
Most agree that human reproductive cloning, or the cloning of human beings, should be banned. The contentious issue is whether this ban should extend to all human cloning, including human research cloning experimentation, a brand new field. Advocates point to its potential to develop tissues that will not be rejected by a patient's immune system. They also argue for human cloning as a source of genetically diverse stem cells for research. Moreover, they say such experimentation will further our basic understanding of biology and life's origins.
However, regardless of our religious background, most of us remain extremely uncomfortable with the idea of creating cloned human embryos to be destroyed in an experiment. As a physician and legislator who struggles with this inherent tension between scientific progress and ethical concerns, I focus on two fundamental questions: (1) Does the scientific potential of human research cloning experimentation justify the purposeful creation of human embryos, which must be destroyed in experiments? and (2) Does the promise of human embryonic stem cell research depend on experimental human research cloning?
At this point in the evolution of this new science, I cannot justify the purposeful creation and destruction of human embryos in order to experiment on them, especially when the promise and success of human embryonic stem cell research does not depend on experimental research cloning.
President Bush last August outlined a scientifically and ethically balanced policy that allows federal funding of embryonic stem cell research for nearly 80 stem cell lines. This has opened the door to a significant expansion of embryonic stem cell research. Further, there are no restrictions on private research using stem cells from the thousands of embryos left over after in vitro fertilization. This research, too, is underway. The promise and hope for new cures is being investigated. And the promise of this research does not - I repeat, does not - depend on human cloning.
Human cloning would indeed provide another source of stem cells - this time by asexual reproduction. But a human embryo still has to be created - then destroyed - to produce these stem cells. Moreover, there has been very little research cloning experimentation in animals - a prerequisite to any demands for such work in humans. Given the early state of this uncharted new science, the large number of federal cell lines and the unlimited number available for private research, I believe there is presently a sufficient number and range of cell lines.
As a heart transplant surgeon, I know intimately the challenges of transplant rejection. But I also know that there are multiple promising strategies to address this issue, such as the development of "tolerance strategies," improved pharmacologic immunosuppression, and the manipulation of cell surface structure to make cells "invisible" to the immune system, none of which carry the ethical burdens attached to human cloning.
No one can deny the potential human cloning holds for increased scientific understanding. But given the serious ethical concerns this research raises, the fact that promising embryonic stem cell research will continue even under a cloning ban, the lack of significant research in animal models, and the existence of promising alternatives, I am unable to find a compelling justification for allowing human cloning today.
The fact that we are even engaged in this debate testifies to the rapid and encouraging progress of science. As it moves forward, we will undoubtedly be forced to reexamine this issue. For now, the proper course is to stop short of allowing cloning research in humans, but to enthusiastically embrace the ongoing public and private stem cell research that holds such great hope for those who suffer from a wide range of diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer's disease,
Parkinson's disease and diabetes.
Friday, August 20, 2004
Source: Senator Bill Frist's 2002 weekly column on his Senate page
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 8/20/2004 10:59:00 PM
Source: New York Times "Stem Cell Science and the Preservation of Life" by George W. Bush August 12, 2001 http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/12/opinion/12BUSH.html
August 12, 2001
Stem Cell Science and the Preservation of Life
By GEORGE W. BUSH
CRAWFORD, Tex.-Some of the hardest ethical decisions pit good against good. In the case of stem cells, the promise of miracle cures is set against the protection of developing life. The conflict has left Americans divided, even in their own minds.
Stem cell research is still at an early, uncertain stage, but the hope it offers is amazing: infinitely adaptable human cells to replace damaged or defective tissue and treat a wide variety of diseases.
Yet the ethics of medicine are not infinitely adaptable. There is at least one bright line: We do not end some lives for the medical benefit of others. For me, this is a matter of conviction: a belief that life, including early life, is biologically human, genetically distinct and valuable. But one need not be pro-life to be disturbed by the prospect of fetal farming or cloning to provide spare human parts. Most Americans share a belief that human life should not be reduced to
a tool or a means.
There are, however, two ways for the federal government to aggressively promote stem cell research without inviting ethical abuses.
First, we can encourage research on stem cells removed from sources other than embryos: adult cells, umbilical cords and human placentas. Many researchers see great potential in these cells - and they have already been used to develop several new therapies.
Second, we can encourage research on embryonic stem cell lines that already exist. These cells can reproduce themselves in the laboratory, perhaps indefinitely. Stem cell lines at the University of Wisconsin have been producing cells for over two years. More than 60 of these cell lines now exist around the world. According to the National Institutes of Health, these lines are genetically diverse and
sufficient in number for the research ahead.
Therefore my administration has adopted the following policy: Federal funding for research on existing stem cell lines will move forward; federal funding that sanctions or encourages the destruction of additional embryos will not. While it is unethical to end life in medical research, it is ethical to benefit from research where life and death decisions have already been made.
There is a precedent. The only licensed live chickenpox vaccine used in the United States was developed, in part, from cells derived from research involving human embryos. Researchers first grew the virus in embryonic lung cells, which were later cloned and grown in two previously existing cell lines. Many ethical and religious leaders agree that even if the history of this vaccine raises ethical questions, its current use does not.
Stem cell research takes place on a slippery slope of moral concern where much biomedical research is and will be conducted. We must keep our ethical footing. Government has a clear duty to promote scientific discovery - and a duty to define certain boundaries:
Under my policy, existing stem cell lines, to be used in publicly supported research, must be derived (1) with the informed consent of donors, (2) from excess embryos created solely for reproductive purposes and (3) without any financial inducements to the donors.
I have directed the National Institutes of Health to establish a national human embryonic stem cell registry. This will ensure that ethical research standards are observed by all recipients of federal funding.
Soon I will appoint a Presidential Council on Bioethics, chaired by Dr. Leon Kass, to advise my administration on moral and scientific questions raised by biomedical research. My administration supports legislative efforts to prohibit the cloning of human beings for any purpose, and also to prohibit the production of human embryos solely to be destroyed in medical research.
As we enter the new territory of modern science, the choices will only grow more difficult. The new technologies we create - with their potential to cure disease and relieve suffering - may well define our age. But we will also be defined by the care and sense of self-restraint and responsibility with which we took up these new powers.
Power - even technological power - is always judged by its ends and its means. Seeking noble ends by any means is unacceptable when life itself is in the balance.
Biomedical progress should be welcomed, promoted and funded - yet it can and must be humanized. Caution is demanded, because second thoughts will come too late. As we work to extend our lives, we must do so in ways that preserve our humanity.
George W. Bush is the 43rd president.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 8/20/2004 09:44:00 PM
Source: The American Heritage Dictionary, 1983.
disfranchise- v. , To deprive of a right or privelage, esp. the right to vote.
Bill's note: aka disenfranchise
Why do I bring this up? The time machine takes us back to the 2000 election. Remember the brain cell-deprived folks of parts of Florida who "claim" to have been disenfranchised? When the smoke cleared, it was a fabrication made by the Democrats; in fact, it was the absentee votes casted by those in the military that were being disfranchised. Thank goodness, they did count, if I remembered. For the record- BUSH WON EACH AND EVERY RECOUNT! BUSH WON!
Also, this is beginning to take place in New Jersey. The longer Governor McGreevey stays in office as an act of disgrace, the same will happen if something does not happen soon. The last day for him to leave in order to have a special election, as per the New JerseyState Constitution, is September 3. My fellow New Jerseyans, time is running out!
If you have not voiced your say to Governor James E. McGreevey, here is a site to check out:
While I am on the subject of the Garden State, another favorite game of the NJ Democratic Party is the bait-and-switch. Two years ago, they were succesful in doing it by removing Senator Robert "The Torch" Torricelli, and replacing him with our version of C. Montgomery Burns, Frank Lautenberg, nicknamed "The Fossil" by Rush Limbaugh. Now, they want to reverse gears of this by keeping McGreevey around till after the Presidential election. This is all part of their calculation of giving New Jersey to "Lurch", I mean, John Kerry. It is all about the thirst for power for the Democrats. If they lose California and New York, they are pretty much DOA, in their eyes.
Personally, I hope that Governor McGreevey comes to his wits, and leaves office; thus, giving the New Jersey voters the opportunity to elect somebody to fulfill the duration of term, which will end in January, 2006.
Governor McGreevey- there is still time for you to save face for both you and the Office of the Governor. Hey, some of us may respect you a little bit more. (Sorry, but I really hate being a mendicant. )
Talk about disfranchisement.
Posted by William N. Phillips, Jr. at 8/20/2004 09:15:00 PM
H.H.S. Secretary Tommy Thompson's USA Today Opinion Editorials On Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Source: USA Today "Door to research is open" by Tommy Thompson
September 7, 2001
Door to research is open
By Tommy Thompson
President Bush opened the door to embryonic-stem-cell research in an ethical and morally sound manner.
The immediate challenge before us is to conduct the vital basic research. Before we can talk credibly about therapies for diseases, we must do the fundamental research to fully understand how those cells work. This basic research will take years, but can now occur with federal funding and an adequate supply of lines.
* There are 64 stem-cell lines that meet the eligibility requirements for federal funding. The president's decision was about whether to allow federal funding of embryonic-stem-cell research. He decided to allow research with existing stem-cell lines -- for which the life-and-death decisions had already been made -- but not to encourage the further destruction of human embryos. This was the standard. The National Institutes of Health has confirmed that there are 64 stem-cell lines. And from the beginning, administration officials made it clear that these stem-cell lines were in varying stages of development. The key, however, is that they are all eligible for federal funding.
* There are ample stem cells for basic research. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which owns five lines, says it has enough to supply every researcher with a federal grant. That's a powerful statement. The scientist who discovered this research is doing his work on just two lines.
* There is value in research at all stages. Very valuable basic research can be done on stem cells at all stages of development. Researchers will now be able to use federal dollars to work on further developing some of the existing lines.
* We need to get to work. We have a historic opportunity for research that did not exist at this level until now. Although we certainly want to seize the moment, we must not lose sight of the fact that the research we do must be conducted in an ethical manner. The only place we're going to find definitive answers to all of these questions is in the laboratory. The lab door is now open; let's get to work.
Tommy Thompson is secretary of Health and Human Services.
Source: USA Today "Why Bush's stem-cell policy is reasoned — and why it's working" by Tommy Thompson August 15, 2004 http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-08-15-stem-cells_x.htm
Why Bush's stem-cell policy is reasoned — and why it's working
By Tommy G. Thompson
As Americans, we cherish human life. We celebrate a pregnancy and the birth of a child as one of our greatest gifts. We also suffer when disease ravages and robs the life we so cherish.
But what happens when our respect for the sanctity of life collides with our desire to find therapies and cures for debilitating diseases? This is the dilemma our society wrestles with when it comes to human embryonic stem cells and their potential to treat, and perhaps cure, the most wretched diseases facing humankind.
Fair, compassionate and reasoned people can disagree on how to answer this question and resolve this dilemma. It's a tough issue that has generated renewed public discussion, and all viewpoints must be respected.
Federal funding: A first
Three years ago, President Bush made the decision to open, for the first time, the laboratory doors to federal funding for human-embryonic-stem-cell research. He determined, however, that federal funds should not be used to encourage or support the destruction of living human embryos, a principle that has been part of federal law since 1996. Funds would be made available for research derived from embryos that had already been destroyed. He placed no limits on private funding of research.
The president's policy is working. Federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research has grown from zero dollars in 2001 to $24.8 million now, with no cap on future funding. Most of the established U.S. scientists in this field have received funding, and shipments of stem-cell lines are going out to researchers in record numbers. More lines are available in the USA than in any other country.
At the same time, state governments and the private sector are supporting research outside the federal guidelines. One study estimates that 1,000 scientists at more than 30 firms spent $208 million experimenting on embryonic and adult stem cells in 2002.
Much important stem cell work is also being done without wrestling with the ethics of research on embryos. Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded $190 million in "adult" stem-cell research on, for example, cells from bone marrow or placental tissue.
Sowing false hopes
It is important for those on all sides of this debate to be sure not to make reckless promises that stem-cell research will immediately cure the world's diseases. Years of hard work must be done before the basic research of today possibly becomes viable treatments and cures in the future.
That is why we are taking two new steps to further accelerate research in this field:
The NIH will create a National Embryonic Stem Cell Bank that will provide a ready source of human embryonic stem cells to scientists, ensure quality of the lines and provide other technical support that will make it easier for scientists to use federally approved stem cells.
The NIH also will create at least three Centers of Excellence for Translational Stem Cell Research with the goal of exploiting discoveries in basic embryonic and stem-cell biology. The centers, funded through $18 million in grants over four years, will bring together stem-cell experts, disease experts and other scientists to explore ways stem cells may be used to treat a wide range of illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and neurological disorders.
Both of these initiatives are under development.
The president's embryonic-stem-cell policy holds tremendous and yet-untapped potential, and we have much, much work to do within the policy, as it exists. Before anyone can successfully argue that the stem-cell policy should be broadened, we must first exhaust the potential of the stem-cell lines made available within the policy, as well as the ability of the private sector to go beyond the policy.
Stem-cell research holds great promise and hope. The president opened the door to federal funding for this research in a compassionate and ethical manner. And he continues to take aggressive steps to accelerate research in this field.
Tommy G. Thompson is secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 8/20/2004 08:44:00 PM
I was in the process of cleaning some stuff out of my computer, and I came across the article that I saved. This topic sounds like something that a former radio personality that I knew once covered. My question is who was looking? Have a good night's sleep, everybody!
Sleep Position Reveals Your Personality
The position in which you sleep at night--whether it's all curled up in a fetal position or sprawled out across the bed--reveals your personality, Reuters reports of new research from Britain's Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service.
Led by Chris Idzikowski, the team has identified six common sleep positions and the personalities of the people who sleep that way. "We are all aware of our body language when we are awake, but this is the first time we have been able to see what our subconscious says about us," he told Reuters.
The six basic sleeping positions and the personality traits:
Sleep Position No. 1: Crouched in the fetal position: Shy and sensitive
Sleep Position No. 2: Soldier position flat on the back with arms at the sides: Quiet and reserved
Sleep Position No. 3: On the side with legs outstretched and arms down: Social and easy-going
Sleep Position No. 4: On the side with legs outstretched and arms outstretched: Suspicious
Sleep Position No. 5: Flat on the tummy with hands at the sides of the head: Brash and gregarious
Sleep Position No. 6: On the back with outstretched arms and legs: Unassuming and a good listener
Crouched in the fetal position is most common way to sleep, assumed by fully 51 percent of women. The most unusual is on the stomach with only 6.5 percent of respondents saying they sleep this way. Once we adopt a preferred sleeping position, we rarely change it.
Final Word: There are actually seven sleep positions, but they deleted number seven. Here is what they did not tell you.:
Sleep Position No. 7: If you add up Sleep Positions Numbers 2 through 6, then you must have slept with my ex, that whore!
(Actually, I made that one up.)
Posted by William N. Phillips, Jr. at 8/20/2004 07:41:00 PM
Here is the official link from the site:
Bill's Comment: Just another example of how Kerry and the Democrats are doing damage control and spin the facts of those who were there. I would love to have somebody file a complaint to the FEC in regards to the Democratic Party filtering campaign money illegally. John Kerry couldn't distinguish the truth even if it was injected into him as a bait-and-switch botox injection.
Article to follow:
MoveOn Ads OK; Swift Boat Ads Not OK, Kerry Campaign SaysBy Susan JonesCNSNews.com Morning EditorAugust 20, 2004
(CNSNews.com) - The Bush campaign has suggested that Sen. John Kerry join President Bush in calling off the dogs -- those "shadowy" 527 groups that run ads for and against Bush and Kerry.
The liberal group MoveOn.org and the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are both 527s, named after a section of the tax code.
But on Friday, a spokeswoman for the Kerry campaign backed away from the suggestion. She said what MoveOn.org is doing is perfectly fine, while what the Swift Boat Veterans are doing is "dishonest" and "dishonorable."
Debra Deshong of the Kerry campaign told Fox News there's a difference between MoveOn.org and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: "MoveOn.org is an independent organization that existed well before the Kerry campaign," she said, whereas Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "is not an independent group."
Deshong invoked Friday's New York Times article as proof: "And in today's New York Times, it details exactly all the ties this group (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) has to the Bush White House."
Deshong condemned Bush for not telling Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to stop running their ad. (Swift Boats say it wouldn't matter what Bush said -- see related story)
"Again, we (the Kerry campaign) have nothing to do with these independent ads, like MoveOn.org. That is an independent organization that existed well before the Kerry campaign. They have every right to be running what they are under the campaign finance laws." According to Deshong, "This is about the Swift Boat Vets that are running dishonorable ads that Bush refuses to condemn."
What about the barrage of 527 ads thrown at President Bush? a Bush campaign spokeswoman asked on Friday.
"The fact is, not only has this president had over $62 million dollars spent attacking him by these shadowy groups, but let's not forget about Michael Moore's movie," said Bush campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise, also speaking on Fox News. She noted that for weeks, Americans could "hardly turn on a TV" without seeing Michael Moore "launch unbelievable attacks on this president."
Millerwise said the Bush campaign would rather focus on the major issues -- including Sen. Kerry's spotty attendance at Senate Intelligence Committee hearings.
Final Word: It is real easy for them to throw stones at glass houses, isn't it? When it comes time for them for ATQ, they cower worse than a dog with its tail between it's legs.
With all of this soft money being floated around like Niagara Falls in the DNC, it is so obvious that they are hellbent beyond obsession to oust President Bush. With folks like George Soros willing to spend whatever it takes to defeat Bush, I pray to hear on November 3, 2004, that I hear President George Walker Bush being declared the winner- "FOUR MORE YEARS!"
Should that scenario pan out so, then the real entertainment begins. The Democrats will become undone quicker than a pair of Bill Clinton's drawers, and down like Governor Jim McGreevey (D-NJ). (Oops, I forgot. My governor may actually like to do that. Let us not go there.)
Posted by William N. Phillips, Jr. at 8/20/2004 07:06:00 PM
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Welcome to a new, occasional feature called "Philled To The Brim". This will be the equivalent to a "What's Bugging You?", or to put it into layman's terms, a bitching session. Let us all be real real, we all need to turn off the kettle when the whistle starts to blow, especially if you are a postal worker or drive in either California or my home state of New Jersey.
Disclaimer: If I piss off any one, too bad, because you should not have done it in the first place. This is your one and ONLY warning!
In this initial installment, I will rile off some random anger on the following subject matter- "Why I Tend To Hate People". The source of this is taken from an e-mail that I sent to my loving girlfriend, Ashley.
I really tend to hate people more as I get older. I am not saying that every one of them is bad, but it seems that real good ones are really hard to find these days, just like a very good friend. If you were here with me at this moment, you may say that I look like Jack Nicholson from "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"- I am really that hot right now. To those who really know me, they would probably have others steer clear away from me. (Yes, I do have a "look" when I am really mad. The best way to describe it is a "Dirty Harry" facial _expression. My dark brown eyes do not help out, either. People find me to be intimidating. My American Indian genes, I guess.) Enough of this tangent.
To all of those spineless maggots who can't shit or get off the pot on their own, here is a lesson of real life- Not every one is nice, not every one is going to like you, so stop fucking worrying about why they don't like you and/or what you may have done to cause such a time-wasting, fruitless conclusion. Perfect example- Islamic fruit loops called The Taliban. They perverse their very own religion worse than Governor McGreevey's double life, all to shield their own hatred towards those who don't bow down to their so-called worthiness.
Why am I ranting, you ask? Hang in there. Before I left my second job, the third shift supervisor told me that it looks as if I am not going to get reimbursed $21.25 for filling up the company car last Saturday. If that is the final decision, I will not just let it go, roll over, and play dead. I will voice my displeasure to my supervisor.
Last Saturday, I hopped into the company car to do the yard inventory, a task that we usually do on a daily basis. When I hopped into it, it was virtually on empty. I took it to the nearest gas station, which is 1.5 miles away. I filled it up to the amount listed above, and paid for it with cash out of my pocket. I know that they do have a company gas card, but only Security is there on the weekends, and I do not know where it is kept exactly. Besides, I have no business going into places that I need not be when no one else is really there. I obtained a receipt from the cashier, and documented that I paid cash out of my pocket, initialed and dated it, then notified the incoming shift supervisor.
It was taken to the Corporate Office on Monday, and everything seemed okay, at first. On Tuesday, Scott, my shift supervisor, showed me a photocopy of two receipts- one from 8/10 @ 1608, and one from 8/11, early afternoon. For the record, the company car was not on company property on 8/10. It was in the shop for repairs. A member from Security fueled the company car on 8/11, we know that for a fact. Unfortunately, the receipt from 8/10 is still a mystery. There were only three people in the building at that time- all three Security, and none had access to the company card. As a result of one "abusing the privelage" , I may get screwed for doing the right thing, and doing everything properly as far as passing the receipt along. I personally hope that whomever did do it can explain themself, because I am getting BOHICA'd. If they did use it for personal use, they can be terminated immediately.
I could pass a couple more stories along, but I need to get some rest. Chances are the mystery person is sleeping just fine, figuring that nothing will happen. Count the sheep, whomever it may be.
I am certain to expand on this subject at a later time. This column will appear on a freelance basis.
Posted by William N. Phillips, Jr. at 8/19/2004 09:48:00 PM
Source: Washington Times Inside Politics by Jennifer Harper
August 19, 2004
Uneven military service records have proved toxic to John Kerry's campaign for president, prompting him to post his full military record on his Web site (www.johnkerry.com) for critics to peruse.
But one sharp-eyed Washington Times reader — a former B-52 pilot and U.S. Air Force colonel — isn't buying Mr. Kerry's pre-emptive strike.
"I looked at that Web site and the first thing I looked at was Kerry's Silver Star citation. Guess what? It is for an action that took place in 1969, but it is signed by Secretary of the Navy John Lehman. Strangely, Lehman was secretary of the Navy from 1981 to 1987," he noted.
"How could Kerry have received a citation from an official that would not be in office for 12 years? This was NOT just a case of providing a new copy of a citation for the office to replace one that was lost (destroyed/thrown over a wall). This effort by Lehman & Kerry actually changed Kerry's official Navy record, sometime in the 80s," he continued.
"What other portions of his record did Kerry have Lehman sanitize or spiffy up? Evidently, Kerry did not think his original Silver Star made him look 'heroic' enough, so he provided 'suggested' words for a new certificate. This certainly calls Kerry's entire Navy record into question."
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 8/19/2004 12:57:00 PM
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Source: New York Post "Dots All, Folks" by John Podhoretz
August 4, 2004 http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/26197.htm
DOTS ALL, FOLKS
THIS weekend, the Bush ad ministration took various pieces of data, turned them into data points, and placed each point on a piece of graph paper just like we did back in high school.
Data point No. 1: Multiple sources indicating al Qaeda fully intends to try and hit us before the election.
Data point No. 2: Hard evidence from the hard drive of an al Qaeda member featuring very specific information about five buildings in New York, New Jersey and Washington. The information gathered on the buildings was several years old. But the United States only found out that al Qaeda had it over the weekend.
Then the Bush administration drew a line from point 1 to point 2. If al Qaeda wants to hit us and it has all kinds of material on those five buildings, then prudence dictates that we intensify our efforts to protect those buildings in order to stave off an attack.
In other words, the Bush administration connected the dots.
Remember how the Bush administration was attacked during the 9/11 Commission hearings precisely because it didn't "connect the dots" before 9/11? On March 25, the editorial writers at The New York Times excoriated the administration for what they called "the chain of miscommunications, wrong guesses and misplaced priorities that left the nation so poorly defended against the terrorists." The Times even praised the Clinton administration by contrast for being more serious about terrorism than the Bushies were.
The conclusion of the 9/11 Commission was that there had been a "failure of vision," an inability to see into a likely future in which al Qaeda would hijack planes and fly them into buildings.
Administration critics were particularly insistent on the predictive value of the Aug. 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing, with the headline that read "Al Qaeda Determined to Strike In U.S." How could the president not have sent everyone to battle stations to find the data to connect the dots that would have prevented 9/11?
This weekend, the administration did exactly what its critics said it should have done before 9/11. It connected the dots. It raised the threat level to orange and let America and the world know which specific buildings were under threat.
And how have some administration critics reacted?
They accuse Bush of playing politics with terror. Of lying, in other words, about the peril we're in.
Let's go right to the source, The New York Times editorial page: "The Times reports today that much of the information that led to the heightened alert is actually three or four years old and that authorities had found no concrete evidence that a terror plot was actually under way," the editorialists wrote yesterday.
This is true. And it's entirely beside the point. So al Qaeda collected the data about the five buildings before 9/11. The data they gathered are still relevant.
Take the Citigroup Center. Aside from heightened security, nothing has changed about the place: 53rd Street still runs west, 54th runs east, Lex goes downtown, Third goes uptown and the garage entrances are where they were. The information may be a few years old. But it isn't dated.
No matter, saith The Times: "This news does nothing to bolster the confidence Americans need that the administration is not using intelligence for political gain."
No, what The Times and others chastising the administration for the supposedly suspicious timing of this terror alert are demonstrating is that they were simply "using" the connect-the-dots argument "for political gain."
It's only four months since one-time counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke electrified the nation by going before the 9/11 Commission and claiming that Bush had failed to grasp the threat from al Qaeda. Clarke went so far as to apologize to the families of those killed on 9/11 for the failure.
This was the first successful political assault on the president's chief strength — his leadership of the War on Terror. By portraying Bush as having somehow allowed 9/11 to happen, Bush's enemies finally found a way to seem harder-line and more serious about the subject than the president himself.
No matter. They didn't mean it. They don't mean it. They just want to destroy him, and they'll say or do or argue just about anything to see that it happens.
Some of the attacks on Bush are crazy. Some are intellectually indefensible spin, and therefore nothing less than contemptible. This latest attack goes in the "contemptible" pile.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 8/15/2004 06:41:00 PM
Source: The Washington Times Inside Politics by Jennifer Harper
August 12, 2004 http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040812-123642-9177r.htm
Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry is living up to his reputation as a flip-flopper, according to Human Events yesterday.
"Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry has waffled again, this time on his own recollections of a supposed mission to Cambodia on Christmas of 1968," an editorial noted, citing a Kerry speech from the Senate, made in 1986.
"I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what is was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared — seared — in me," Mr. Kerry had said.
Mr. Kerry made other references to his Christmas in Cambodia in a 1979 letter to the Boston Herald.
But Kerry campaign adviser Jeh Johnson was on mop-up detail yesterday on Fox News, noting that Mr. Kerry had amended his story yet another time:
"He has corrected the record to say it was some place near Cambodia, he is not certain whether it was in Cambodia but he is certain there was some point subsequent to that he was in Cambodia."
Kerry, Part Deux
"The misnamed and misguided Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is as unconstitutional and unnecessary as it is mean-spirited and malicious," Sen. John Kerry wrote in a Sept. 3, 1996, column in the Advocate.
The Democratic presidential nominee, who now says he opposes same-sex "marriage," in 1996 called the law banning federal recognition of such unions "legislative gay bashing."
"Echoing the ignorance and bigotry that peppered the discussion of interracial marriage a generation ago, the proponents of DOMA call for a caste system for marriage," Mr. Kerry wrote in the Advocate, a national magazine devoted to homosexual issues.
Mr. Kerry said supporters of DOMA were motivated by "hatred and bigotry," but the measure passed both houses of Congress by overwhelming margins in 1996. On July 12 that year, the House passed the bill 342-67, while the Senate approved the act 85-14 on Sept. 10, and on Sept. 21, President Clinton signed it into law.
In his Advocate column, Mr. Kerry cast himself as a leading proponent of homosexual rights: "When the Senate debated the outrageous ban on gays in the military, I knew firsthand from my tours of duty in Vietnam the bravery and distinction with which gay soldiers served their country. ... When I first came to the Senate in 1985 as part of a new generation of young Democrats, I authored the federal gay and lesbian civil rights bill."
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 8/15/2004 06:04:00 PM
Source: CNSNews.com "Kerry's View on Israel's Fence: 'Legitimate' or 'Barrier to Peace'?" http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=%5CPolitics%5Carchive%5C200402%5CPOL20040226a.html
Joyce Notes: Two-faced Kerry strikes again--this time on the subject of the Israeli security wall in the West Bank (eastern Israel). One day Kerry blesses the wall then a few months later he condemns it as a "barrier to peace". What a fish! With all of his career flip-flops, Kerry has yet to grow his fins. Apparently his gills are in ;-)
Kerry's View on Israel's Fence: 'Legitimate' or 'Barrier to Peace'?
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com Pacific Rim Bureau Chief
February 26, 2004
(CNSNews.com) - As three days of hearings at the International Court of Justice over Israel's security fence came to an end, an Israeli newspaper contrasted Democratic front-runner Senator John Kerry's positions on the issue now, and four months ago, when he addressing an Arab American audience.
After hearing submissions by countries and groups overwhelmingly hostile to Israel, including the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the 15-judge panel in The Hague will consider its verdict and issue a decision at a date to be announced.
Israel did not participate in the oral proceedings, arguing in a written submission that the ICJ did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the case.
That position was supported by the United States, although Washington has criticized the route taken by the security barrier, which encroaches in some places on areas the Palestinian Authority (PA) claims as part of a future independent state.
Israel says the fence is essential if terrorists from the PA self-rule areas are to be prevented from carrying out suicide bombings in Israeli cities. More than 900 Israelis have been killed, and 29 such attacks have occurred, since September 2000.
Adopting a stance echoing that of the Bush administration, Kerry indicated in a statement issued this week that Israel had the right to erect the barrier, while its route should be carefully considered.
"Israel's security fence is a legitimate act of self defense," he said. "Israel has a right and a duty to defend its citizens. The fence only exists in response to the wave of terror attacks against Israel."
Kerry also said that President Bush was "rightly discussing with Israel the exact route of the fence to minimize the hardship it causes innocent Palestinians."
The Jerusalem Post pointed out that the statement was issued a week ahead of the March 2 primaries, which include New York state, "with its high concentration of Democratic Jewish voters."
It also noted that last October, Kerry had referred to the fence as a "barrier to peace."
He did so during a speech at the Arab American Institute's national leadership conference in Michigan, which was also addressed by other Democratic contenders. A transcript is posted on the organization's website.
"I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli government's decision to build the barrier off of the Green Line -- cutting deep into Palestinian areas," Kerry told the AAI audience in a video link-up.
"We don't need another barrier to peace," he continued. "Provocative and counterproductive measures only harm Israelis' security over the long term, increase the hardships to the Palestinian people, and make the process of negotiating an eventual settlement that much harder."
Kerry also used the speech to criticize President Bush for "ignoring or downplaying" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "for far too long," and vowed that, as president, he would appoint an envoy in the Middle East "who would never depart ... a person of
such stature that we could move the process forward."
Kerry has said since that speech that he would consider former President Clinton, former President Jimmy Carter, or former Secretary of State James Baker as a Mideast envoy.
An AAI poll last July showed a sharp decline in support among Arab Americans for Bush -- from 45.5 percent at the 2000 election to 33.5 percent in the poll. Respondents in the same poll placed Kerry and Howard Dean at the head of the pack of Democratic contenders at that time.
A poll released by the American Jewish Committee last month indicated that 31 percent of Jewish voters would vote for Bush in a race against Kerry in 2004, while 59 percent would support Kerry and 10 percent were unsure.
The Republican Jewish Coalition said that poll result showed a more than 50 percent increase in Jewish support for Bush since 2000, and made him "the most popular Republican presidential candidate with Jews since Ronald Reagan won a second term in 1984."
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 8/15/2004 05:17:00 PM
Source: Independent Media Review Analysis "Teleseker Poll: Israelis prefers Bush over Kerry 48%:29%" http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=21728
Teleseker Poll: Israelis prefers Bush over Kerry 48%:29%
Aaron Lerner Date: 6 August 2004
Teleseker - for Maariv
Adult Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) week of 6 August 2004:
Percent "satisfied with Sharon's performance as prime minister: 35%
Percent feel secure on a personal level: 61%
If you could vote in the American presidential elections, who would you vote
Total Bush 48% Kerry 29%
Likud voters: Bush 69% Kerry 18%
Labor voters: Bush 36% Kerry 44%
Shinui voters: Bush 40% Kerry 37%
Did Shinui succeed in attaining its goals since it joined the government?
Total: Yes 26% No 61%
Shinui voters: Yes 44% No 56%
If Yahadut Hatorah joins the government what should Shinui do?
Stay in any case, leave in any case or stay subject to certain conditions?
Total: Stay 32% Leave 38% Conditions 17%
Shinui voters: Stay 43 %Leave 32% Conditions 23%
This week it was published that senior members of the security apparatus
recommended that the route of the separation fence be changed so that a
large part of the Arab neighborhoods in Eastern Jerusalem remain beyond the
fence in order to prevent the entry of suicide bombers into western
Jerusalem. Do you support building the fence this way?
Yes 74% No 17%
This week it was published that some of the residents of Sderot are leaving
the city, either temporarily or permanently, because of the Qassam rockets.
The mayor of Sderot attacked those who left permanently, calling them
cowards. Do you agree?
Yes 16% No 79%
This week Yasser Arafat celebrated his 75th birthday. Ariel Sharon already
has passed the age of 76. Which of them do you think will remain longer in
Sharon 42% Arafat 38%
Maariv 6 August 2004
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: email@example.com
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 8/15/2004 05:01:00 PM