This is priceless!! Even the Dalai Lama has the common sense to fight evil in the right way! But I’m sure all of his followers will just ignore his comments on terrorism. Well, I guess Richard Gere will be looking for a new best friend. He must be sooo disappointed in the Dalai Lama.
Non-violence can’t tackle terror: Dalai
18 Jan 2009, 0451 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence on Saturday candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed.
“It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture here.
He also termed terrorism as the worst kind of violence which is not carried by a few mad people but by those who are very brilliant and educated.
“They (terrorists) are very brilliant and educated…but a strong ill feeling is bred in them. Their minds are closed,” the Dalai Lama said.
He said that the only way to tackle terrorism is through prevention. The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said “I love President George W Bush.” He went on to add how he and the US President instantly struck a chord in their first meeting unlike politicians who take a while to develop close ties.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
YES! YES! YES!! It’s about time!!!! Why did Bush wait so long?
Bush Commutes Sentences for Two Former Border Patrol Agents
President Bush commutes the sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.
Monday, January 19, 2009
On his last full day in office, President Bush commuted the controversial sentences of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.
The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the men were just doing their jobs and were punished too harshly. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.
Their sentences will now expire on March 20 of this year.
Ramos and Compean were sentenced in connection with the shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was shot in the buttocks while trying to flee along the Texas border. He admitted smuggling several hundred pounds of marijuana on the day he was shot and pleaded guilty last year to drug charges related to two other smuggling attempts.
The pair’s case ignited debate across the country, as a chorus of organizations and members of Congress — many of them Republican — argued that the men were just doing their jobs. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., was particularly outspoken on the issue, at one time describing Ramos and Compean as “unjustly convicted men who never should have been prosecuted in the first place.”
Rohrabacher applauded Bush on Monday, telling FOXNews.com “his own stubbornness was overcome by better parts of his own soul.”
“The order … reaffirms our faith that the system works, if indeed the American people are willing to work at it,” he said.
Nearly the entire congressional delegation from Texas and other lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle pleaded with Bush to grant them clemency. Conservatives hailed Bush’s decision Monday.
“The whole thing was ridiculous from beginning to end, and two years was way too long for them to serve,” said radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. “Conservatives are very happy across the country.”
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said in a written statement that Bush had “responded to the calls for compassion that came from across the country and made the right decision in granting these two men commutations.”
The border agents argued during their trials that they believed Davila was armed and that they shot him in self defense. The prosecutor in the case said there was no evidence linking the smuggler to the van that contained the marijuana. The prosecutor also said the border agents didn’t report the shooting and tampered with evidence by picking up several spent shell casings.
The agents were fired after their convictions on several charges, including assault with a dangerous weapon and with serious bodily injury, violation of civil rights and obstruction of justice. All their convictions, except obstruction of justice, were upheld on appeal.
-snip-Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Yes! I totally agree!!
Why America Is The Greatest Country On Earth
By Ben Shapiro
I was sitting at lunch with a colleague a few weeks back, and he mentioned that he did not understand the general media hubbub over Michelle Obama’s unpatriotic statements.
“So she said that she hadn’t been proud of America in her adult life,” he said. “So what?”
I answered that many Americans, rightly, were offended at the idea that a prospective First Lady of the United States was not proud of her country. “If you don’t believe this is the best country on earth, don’t live here,” I said.
“That’s ‘love it or leave it,'” he answered. “I don’t have to love everything about this country.”
“That’s right, you don’t,” I stated. “But if you don’t believe in the essential goodness of America’s founding principles — if you don’t believe that those principles constitute the greatest set of essential values ever instituted on a national scale — then you don’t belong here.”
He was insulted. The typical liberal talking point states that patriotism is jingoism because America’s founding principles are so much claptrap — that modern values trump those old-fashioned ideas. But that should be an automatic disqualifier for political victory in this country. Disavowing the thoughts underlying the Declaration of Independence and Constitution is a tragic surrender to nihilism, a surrender to the barbarism of the French Revolution.
Liberals often ask for a definition of American values.
Let’s begin with what such values are not. They are not the “evolving standards of decency” of Justice Anthony Kennedy. And they are certainly not the vague prescriptions of Barack Obama, who preaches unity but never explains precisely which Americans values are supposed to unify us.
They are the values held in common by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. They are the values shared by James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Here are some of those values:
Free enterprise allows every American the opportunity to succeed. Encroachment on free enterprise by government violates the basic right to pursuit of happiness.
Freedom of political speech is a vital component for a functioning republic. Such freedom must not be disturbed by complaints about fairness or whining about the “tenor” of modern campaigning. The hurly-burly of politics allows truth to rise to the surface.
Traditional moral values must be the basis of the republic. Freedom without any societal moral compass leaves the nation adrift in a relativistic sea. The same sea that swamps traditional morality sinks the ship of state.
America must be defended and her liberties spread abroad when possible. Kowtowing to international multiculturalism promotes tyranny.
The left disagrees with these values. Free enterprise is to be opposed in order to rectify inequality. Free speech is to be contained to quash the extremism of political discourse. Traditional morality is intolerant and therefore to be jettisoned. And defending American values demonstrates bigoted ethnocentrism.
There are certain countries in which the founding philosophy is deeply flawed. America is not one of them. There are certain countries for which patriotism should be a sin. America is not one of them. American history, in all of its most glorious permutations, represents the outgrowth of our founding philosophy. Only by accepting the greatness of America’s founding philosophy can we hope to ensure that freedom flourishes at home and around the globe.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
I love this guy!! We need more like him! Maybe he’ll run for President in 4 years!!
Jindal condemns Supreme Court, signs castration bill
Governor glad for new law to punish sex offenders on same day as ‘atrocious ruling’
Posted: June 25, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it struck down the death penalty for child rape in his state, Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill authorizing castration of sexual offenders.
Jindal – frequently mentioned as a potential vice-presidential nominee – said he was “especially glad” to sign the Sex Offender Chemical Castration Bill “on the same day the Supreme Court has made an atrocious ruling against our state’s ability to sentence those who sexually assault our children to the fullest extent.”
“Those who prey on our children are among the very worst criminals imaginable,” Jindal said in a statement.
In a 5-4 vote announced yesterday, the Supreme Court’s majority said imposing the death penalty in child rape cases violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
“The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.
Hailing the new state castration law, Jindal said that as a father of three children, as well as a governor, he believes “sexually assaulting a child is one of the very worst crimes, and I am glad we have taken such strong measures in Louisiana to put a stop to these monsters’ brutal acts.”
“I want to send the message loud and clear – to the Supreme Court of the United States and beyond – make no mistake about it, if anyone wants to molest children and commit sexual assaults on kids they should not do so here in Louisiana,” said the governor.
“Here, we will do everything in our power to protect our children, and we will not rest until justice is won and we have fully punished those who harm them,” Jindal said.
The Louisiana bill, SB 144, gives the court the option of castration on a first conviction of aggravated rape, forcible rape, second degree sexual battery, aggravated incest, molestation of a juvenile when the victim is under the age of 13, or an aggravated crime against nature.
Castration is required on a second conviction of the listed crimes.
The bill also allows a court to order physical castration instead of chemical castration. Convicted sex offenders who undergo castration must still serve their full sentence.
In the case addressed by yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, 43-year-old Patrick Kennedy was sentenced to death for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter. The assault was so severe the girl needed surgery to repair some of her organs.
Kennedy is one of two people in the country condemned to death for a rape not accompanied by a killing.
Both cases are in Louisiana, where proponents of the law argued there is a national trend toward the death penalty for child rape cases. Justice Samuel Alito pointed that out in his dissent, arguing the “harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapists is grave.”
“It is the judgment of the Louisiana lawmakers and those in an increasing number of other states that these harms justify the death penalty,” Alito wrote.
Justice Kennedy contended, however, “there is a national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape,” based on the absence of any executions for rape and the fact that only five states allow it.
Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas allow executions for child rape if the defendant had a previous conviction for the crime.
YES!!!!! Finally we have a little bit of good news coming from the Supreme court!
Supremes: Individuals have right to bear arms
Divided court strikes down D.C. handgun ban in 1st conclusive 2nd Amendment interpretation
Posted: June 26, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
In its first conclusive interpretation of the Second Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, affirming an individual right to own firearms and not merely a right for states to form armed militias.
Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said the Constitution does not permit “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”
Justice John Paul Stevens, writing in dissent, said the majority “would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.”
Scalia said the ruling should not “cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.”
Scalia was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Joining Stevens in dissent were Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, called the decision “a great moment in American history.”
“I consider this the opening salvo in a step-by-step process of providing relief for law-abiding Americans everywhere that have been deprived of this freedom,” he said.
LaPierre told Fox News the NRA is filing lawsuits in Chicago, San Francisco and other cities, vowing the organization “will not rest until individuals everywhere have this freedom.”
In a statement, he said the decision “vindicates individual Americans all over this country who have always known that this is their freedom worth protecting.”
“Our founding fathers wrote and intended the Second Amendment to be an individual right,” LaPierre said. “The Supreme Court has now acknowledged it. The Second Amendment as an individual right now becomes a real permanent part of American constitutional law.”
The amendment, ratified in 1791, says: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the White House is “pleased by the decision upholding Americans’ right to bear arms.”
(Story continues below)
The District’s law barred handgun ownership by residents who did not own one before the law was enacted in 1976.
The case, District of Columbia v. Heller, came to the Supreme Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled the ban unconstitutional, reversing a U.S. District Court decision.
Security guard Dick A. Heller, 66, was one of six District residents who filed the challenge to the ban. The others were determined by the appeals court to not have legal standing.
The District required residents who owned handguns or rifles before the 1976 ban took effect to keep the weapons in their homes. Any legal firearms had to be kept unloaded and fitted with trigger locks or disassembled.
McCain: Gun ownership ‘sacred’
Sen. John McCain called the decision a “landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom in the United States.”
The Republican presumptive presidential nominee signed a friend-of-the-court brief in the D.C. case affirming his belief the Second Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms.
He crticized his Democratic Party rival, Sen. Barack Obama, for refusing to sign the brief.
“Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today’s ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right – sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly,” McCain said.
Obama has sidestepped the issue. In an April debate, he was asked by ABC News’ Charlie Gibson if he considered the D.C. law to be consistent with an individual’s right to bear arms.
“Well, Charlie, I confess I obviously haven’t listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence,” Obama said.
The Illinois senator has said the Second Amendment provides an individual right but insists it is not absolute. The Constitution, he has contended, does not bar local governments from enacting “common sense laws.”
ABC News reports the Obama campaign is disavowing an “inartful” statement to the Chicago Tribune last year in which an unnamed aide characterized Obama as believing the D.C. ban was constitutional.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the statement to the paper was inaccurate, because the senator has refrained from developing a position on whether the D.C. gun law violates the Second Amendment.
The Nov. 20 Tribune story quoted the aide saying Obama “believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.”
Well, well, well, we have another study showing that conservatives are more giving, loving and selfless than liberals. Some of the findings are very interesting so read below for more details…
Don’t listen to the liberals – Right-wingers really are nicer people, latest research shows
By Peter Schweizer
14th June 2008
George Orwell once wrote that politics was closely related to social identity. ‘One sometimes gets the impression,’ he wrote in The Road To Wigan Pier, ‘that the mere words socialism and communism draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, nature-cure quack, pacifist and feminist in England’.
Orwell was making an observation. But today a whole body of academic research shows he was correct: your politics influence the manner in which you live your life. And the news is not so good for those on the political Left.
There is plenty of data that shows that Right-wingers are happier, more generous to charities, less likely to commit suicide – and even hug their children more than those on the Left.
In my experience, they are also more honest, friendly and well-adjusted.
Much of this springs from the destructive influence of modern liberal ideas.
In the Sixties, we saw the beginning of a narcissism and self-absorption that gripped the Left and has not let go.
The full-scale embrace of the importance of self-awareness, self-discovery and being ‘true’ to oneself, along with the idea that the State should care for the less fortunate, has created a swathe of Left-wing people who want to outsource their obligations to others.
The statistics I base this on come from the General Social Survey, America’s premier social research database, but they are just as relevant to the UK, as I believe political belief systems drive one’s attitudes, regardless of where you happen to live.
Those surveyed were asked: ‘Is it your obligation to care for a seriously injured/ill spouse or parent, or should you give care only if you really want to?’ Of those describing themselves as ‘conservative’, 71 per cent said it was. Only 46 per cent of those on the Left agreed.
To the question: ‘Do you get happiness by putting someone else’s happiness ahead of your own?’, 55 per cent of those who said they were ‘very conservative’ said Yes, compared with 20 per cent of those who were ‘very liberal’.
It’s been my experience that conservatives like to talk about things outside of themselves while progressives like to discuss themselves: how they are feeling and what their desires are. That might make for a good therapy session but it’s not much fun over a long dinner.
Research also indicates those on the Left are less interested in getting married: 30 per cent of those who were ‘very liberal’ said it was important, in contrast to 65 per cent of Right-wingers.
The same holds true when the question of having children arises. Progressive American cities such as San Francisco and Seattle have become ‘childless liberal boutique’ cities, according to Joel Kotkin, an expert on urban development.
While 69 per cent of those who called themselves ‘very conservative’ said it was important for them to have children, only 38 per cent of corresponding liberals agreed.
Many on the Left proudly proclaim themselves ‘child-free’. While some do not want children on ecological grounds, much has to do with the fact that they simply don’t want the responsibility of having a child.
When asked by the World Values Survey whether parents should sacrifice their own well-being for those of their children, those on the Left were nearly twice as likely to say No.
‘I’ll have babies if you pay for them,’ one Leftie blogger said on the social networking website yelp.com.
Billionaire Ted Turner, a self-described socialist, publicly regrets that he had five children. ‘If I was doing it over again, I wouldn’t have had that many,’ he says. ‘But I can’t shoot them now they’re here.’
All of this should not come as a surprise to anyone watching the drift of progressive thinking over the past 40 years.
Starting with British anthropologist Edmund Leach, who said: ‘Far from being the basis of a good society, the family, with its narrow privacy and tawdry secrets, is the source of all its discontents’, feminists, progressives and others have seen the family as an oppressive force.
Feminist Gloria Steinem says on behalf of women: ‘The truth is, finding ourselves brings more excitement and wellbeing than anything romance can offer.’
Linda Hirshman tells women not to have more than one baby so they can concentrate on a career. ‘Find the money,’ she advises. Ah, the important things in life.
Even when they do have children, research carried out at Princeton University shows liberals hug them less than conservatives. My wife thinks they’re too busy hugging trees.
Most surprising of all is reputable research showing those on the Left are more interested in money than Right-wingers.
Both the World Values Survey and the General Social Survey reveal Left-wingers are more likely to rate ‘high income’ as an important factor in choosing a job, more likely to say ‘after good health, money is the most important thing’, and agree with the statement ‘there are no right or wrong ways to make money’.
You don’t need to explain that to Doug Urbanski, the former business manager for Left-wing firebrand and documentary-maker Michael Moore. ‘He [Moore] is more money-obsessed than anyone I have known – and that’s saying a lot,’ claims Urbanski.
How is it possible that those who seem to renounce the money culture are more interested in money?
One might suggest those on the Left are simply being more honest when they answer such questions. The problem is that there is no evidence to support this.
Instead, I believe the results have more to do with the powerful appeal of progressive thinking.
Many on the Left apparently believe that espousing liberal ideals is a ‘get out of jail free’ card that inoculates them from the evils of the money culture.
Cherie Blair, for example, never lets her self-proclaimed socialist attitudes stop her making money. She is even willing to be paid (as she was in Australia) to appear at charity events.
Such progressives, sure that they are not overly interested in money and possessions, believe they are then free to acquire them.
Studies also indicate that those on the Left are less likely to give to charity or to volunteer their time to charity. When they do support charity, it is often less the sort of organisation that helps people and more one that advocates political action.
Uber-progressive Barbra Streisand gives lots of money to charity but the largest recipients are not organisations that feed the hungry – the cash goes to advocacy organisations such as The Bill Clinton Foundation.
Similarly, Michael Moore gives to film festivals and elite cultural institutions such as the Lincoln Center – but barely a penny goes to needy people.
Progressives see economic equality as the highest form of social justice, so they have become obsessed with questions of income inequality.
Can there be any surprise then that those on the Left tend to be more envious and jealous of successful people? That’s what studies indicate.
Professor James Lindgren, of Northwestern University in Chicago, found those who favour the redistribution of wealth are more envious than those who do not.
Scholars at Oxford and Warwick Universities found the same sort of behaviour when they conducted an experiment.
Setting up a computer game that allowed people to accumulate money, they gave participants the option to spend some of their own money in order to take away more from someone else.
The result? Those who considered themselves ‘egalitarians’ (i.e. Left of centre) were much more willing to give up some of their own money if it meant taking more money from someone else.
Much of the desire to distribute wealth and higher taxation is motivated by envy – the desire to take more from someone else – and bitterness.
The culprit here is not those on the Left who embrace progressive ideas but the ideas themselves.
As John Maynard Keynes reminds us: ‘The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and wrong, are more powerful than commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else.’ Or, as the American theorist Richard Weaver once declared: ‘Ideas have consequences.’
And it seems that today modern progressive ideas can often bring out the worst in people.
• Peter Schweizer is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His book, Makers And Takers, is published by Doubleday.
Good news!!!! Now let’s get Chessani exonerated also! This whole Haditha thing was a disgusting fiasco that Murtha tried to capitalize on. Give these marines some peace and thank them for risking their lives for us!
Jury acquits another Haditha Marine
Verdict eliminates charges filed after Murtha accusations
Posted: June 05, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A military jury of seven officers acquitted Marine 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson of all charges stemming from what a law firm has described as a political attack on the U.S. military over a firefight with insurgents in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005.
Grayson immediately came to the defense of another Marine still facing accusations for the incident that left one Marine and 24 Iraqis dead.
He said Lt. Col Jeffrey Chessani was “one of the most steadfast men. … He led by example and he knew the difference between right and wrong,” according to the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., whose lawyers are representing Chessani.
“The government ordered these Marines to the front lines, they ordered them to attack the insurgents. … Marines, risking their lives, followed those orders without hesitation; their reward – criminal prosecution,” Richard Thompson, president of the law center, said today. “There must be some righteous person in the chain of command that will say ‘enough is enough.'”
Hearings continue in the Chessani case. Earlier this week, Military Judge Col. Steven Folson heard arguments over several defense motions but delayed a decision until June 16. He also delayed the start of the trial until July 21.
Just weeks ago, Folsom concluded there was evidence in the Chessani case of unlawful command influence, which is considered the “mortal enemy” of justice within the military judicial structure.
The judge’s conclusion was based on evidence two generals who controlled Chessani’s case were influenced by Marine lawyer Col. John Ewers, one of the investigators assigned to the case. Ewers was allowed to attend at least 25 closed-session meetings in which Chessani’s case was discussed.
Defense lawyers note that shifted the burden of proof to prosecutors to convince the judge that the facts presented by the defense were untrue, don’t constitute unlawful command influence or would not affect the proceedings.
Although the case awaits rulings, Folsom might have offered a hint during this week’s hearings, asking both sides what they would recommend to remedy the unlawful command influence issue. Robert Muise, a Thomas More Law Center defense attorneys, asked that the case be dismissed.
Grayson’s attorney, Joseph Casas, said the acquittal of his client “sets the tone for the overall whirlwind Haditha has been. It’s been a botched investigation from the get-go.”
“I believe in the end all of the so-called Haditha Marines who still have to face trial will be exonerated,” he said.
The Associated Press reported cheers erupted in the Grayson courtroom when the acquittal was announced.
Grayson was not on the scene of the house-to-house firefight but was accused of telling a sergeant to delete photographs of the dead from a digital camera.
He was acquitted of two counts of making false official statements and other counts, and could have faced as many as 20 years in prison.
The Nov. 19, 2005, firefight also resulted in 14 Marine casualties, including one death. Prosecutors allege the Marines were attacked by a bombing, then Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and another Marine shot five men at the scene. They alleged Wuterich then ordered his men into nearby houses where more Iraqis were killed in the firefight.
Defense lawyers have reported the insurgents deliberately attacked the Marines from hiding places where they surrounded themselves with civilians to use as shields.
Eventually eight Marines were charged, but counts against five have been dropped. Those defendants are Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, Capts. Randy Stone and Lucas McConnell, Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz and Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt.
Wuterich’s and Chessani’s cases remain.
The enlisted Marines had been charged with murder and the officers accused of failing to investigate the deaths.
Critics have described the charges as a vendetta against U.S. Marines following a public condemnation of the troops by U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., before the conclusion of the investigation.
The Thomas More Law Center said the officers involved in the firefight handled its aftermatch according to military protocol.
“Even though Lt. Col. Chessani promptly reported the events of that day to his superiors, including the deaths of 15 noncombatant civilians caught in the battle, nobody in Lt. Col. Chessani’s chain of command believed there was any wrongdoing on behalf of the Marines,” the law firm said.
But months later, a Time magazine story “planted by an insurgent propaganda agent,” caused Pentagon officials to order the investigation, the law firm said.
The article was followed quickly by Murtha’s comments. The congressman held a news conference and announced he’d been told by the highest levels of the Marine Corps there was no firefight and Marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
“All the information I get, it comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they’re talking about,” Murtha told reporters.
Murtha’s statements conflicted with investigative results from the military itself. An initial investigation by Army Col. G.A. Watt found “there are no indications that (Coalition Forces) intentionally targeted, engaged and killed noncombatants.” Later, Army Maj. Gen. Aldon Bargewell found no coverup, the law firm said.
For those who continue to speak out against America this should wake you up. We are the most generous country in the world – from private citizens, churches and the gov’t. In total we give $129.8 billion, and coming in second is Britain with $20.7 billion. We are the 911 for the world and it’s time people acknowledge and appreciate that!!!
America’s generosity is unmatched
By Star Parker
Americans are hearing so much these days about how bad we are that we’re starting to believe it.
In a recent Gallup poll, 68 percent said they are “dissatisfied with the position of the United States in the world today,” and 55 percent said they think that the rest of the world views us unfavorably.
However, as I page through a publication called the Index of Global Philanthropy, which is produced annually by the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute in Washington, it becomes obvious that these American feelings of self-deprecation are misguided.
This is the just released third annual edition of this index. It produces a unique snapshot portraying the full extent of American generosity to developing countries, by amount and by source.
Usually when the question of aid to the developing world arises, we think of government funds. But this index shows that, whereas it may be the rule in the rest of the industrialized world that most aid is government aid, in our country this isn’t the case. Most of the contributions that Americans make abroad are private and voluntary. And they are large.
In 2006, the latest year for which data is available, the index reports that Americans contributed privately and voluntarily $34.8 billion to individuals and organizations in developing countries.
Philanthropy is distinct from government aid in that it originates with private citizens and is voluntary, but also the recipients are private individuals and organizations, as opposed to governments. Private to private versus government to government.
The $34.8 billion in philanthropy from private Americans exceeded the $23.5 billion in official U.S. government aid abroad by $11.3 billion, or 48 percent.
This private philanthropy is flowing from foundations, corporations, private and voluntary organizations, universities and colleges, and religious organizations.
Of particular interest in this year’s index is the $8.8 billion reported from religious organizations. According to Carol Adelman, who directs this work, the data was produced by commissioning “the first national survey of congregational giving to the developing world” ever done.
The average contribution of congregations was $10,700.
To put this in some kind of perspective, the $8.8 billion in giving from American religious institutions to developing countries was $1.5 billion more than the total giving from all private sources in 30 of the world’s major industrialized democratic countries combined.
When consolidating all assistance funds flowing from the United States to developing countries, the total is $129.8 billion. This is the total of government aid, philanthropy, and remittances — funds sent directly by private individuals to other private parties in developing countries, often family members. A far second in total giving behind the United States is the United Kingdom at $20.7 billion.
There are a couple of important messages here.
First, of course, is the incredible compassion and generosity of Americans. American largesse does not need to be pried or forced by the government. It flows organically from free, civic minded and often religiously motivated citizens. And it comes from citizens of every income strata. The religious giving data shows that whereas the average congregation gives $10,700, the median number is $2,500, indicating that there are many smaller, less wealthy congregations engaged.
The other headline is the central importance of the private sector in both generating prosperity, but also in sharing it.
Bookshelves now strain with studies showing the failures of government-to-government aid.
It is individuals who create wealth. Compassion and personal responsibility reside in the breasts of those same individuals. Neither can be said of government bureaucracies.
Barack Obama spoke at the commencement ceremony at Wesleyan University the other day. He talked about national service and, recalling John F. Kennedy, committed to doubling the size of the Peace Corps if elected president.
From what I see and what the data shows, Americans don’t need government to make them care, contribute, and volunteer. If anything, they need less government so they’ll retain and keep control of more of what they produce and subsequently share with those in need.
Other countries may have their own motivations for what causes them to view Americans the way they do. But the data is clear. Americans are unmatched in creating prosperity and sharing it.
It’s time to pay closer attention to what Americans do rather than what others say.
Doesn’t it just burn you up that our own media wants us to lose the war so badly that they won’t even tell us when things are going well?? It’s hard for me to comprehend why the media would be against its own country…oh, wait, that’s right…it’s because a Republican is in charge, and they hate him more than they love our country. Sad.
The Iraqi Upturn
Don’t look now, but the U.S.-backed government and army may be winning the war.
Sunday, June 1, 2008; Page B06
THERE’S BEEN a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks — which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. While Washington’s attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have “never been closer to defeat than they are now.”
Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained “special groups” that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans. It is — of course — too early to celebrate; though now in disarray, the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr could still regroup, and Iran will almost certainly seek to stir up new violence before the U.S. and Iraqi elections this fall. Still, the rapidly improving conditions should allow U.S. commanders to make some welcome adjustments — and it ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the “this-war-is-lost” caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
Gen. David H. Petraeus signaled one adjustment in recent testimony to Congress, saying that he would probably recommend troop reductions in the fall going beyond the ongoing pullback of the five “surge” brigades deployed last year. Gen. Petraeus pointed out that attacks in Iraq hit a four-year low in mid-May and that Iraqi forces were finally taking the lead in combat and on multiple fronts at once — something that was inconceivable a year ago. As a result the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki now has “unparalleled” public support, as Gen. Petraeus put it, and U.S. casualties are dropping sharply. Eighteen American soldiers died in May, the lowest total of the war and an 86 percent drop from the 126 who died in May 2007.
If the positive trends continue, proponents of withdrawing most U.S. troops, such as Mr. Obama, might be able to responsibly carry out further pullouts next year. Still, the likely Democratic nominee needs a plan for Iraq based on sustaining an improving situation, rather than abandoning a failed enterprise. That will mean tying withdrawals to the evolution of the Iraqi army and government, rather than an arbitrary timetable; Iraq’s 2009 elections will be crucial. It also should mean providing enough troops and air power to continue backing up Iraqi army operations such as those in Basra and Sadr City. When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
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