Paitence, gentle reader. Patience.
President Vicente Fox vetoed a controversial bill last night that would have permitted the possession of small quantities of drugs, sending the measure back to Congress after mounting criticism from the United States that his administration was backing away from drug enforcement.Maybe they're further from becoming the genuine national security threat I thought. But then, there's still that pesky illegal immigration problem.
Fox refused to sign the bill in hopes of eliminating “any doubt that in our country the possession and consumption of drugs are and will continue being crimes.”
Although he did not mention the United States in a statement that his office released last night, Fox's careful wording seemed aimed at concerns raised by U.S. officials over the past few days about Mexico's commitment to fight the drug cartels that smuggle billions of dollars of narcotics across the border.
“The Mexican government will have to deepen the fight against drug trafficking,” Fox said. “In no way is it promoting the use of drugs. The objective of the bill is to attack with all the weight of the law the trafficking of narcotics, in particular small-scale trafficking.”
After seven days of deliberation, the nine men and three women rebuffed the government's appeal for death for the only person charged in this country in the four suicide jetliner hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001.If you've been reading for a while, you already know I agree. I have been skeptical of how involved Moussaoui was in the actual plotting, because, though better educated he has never struck me as being much brighter than Richard "the Shoe Bomber" Reid." History may tell, but I'm not going to wait with bated breath for an answer.
Three jurors said Moussaoui had only limited knowledge of the Sept. 11 plot and three described his role in the attacks as minor, if he had any role at all.
In an op-ed essay in [May 1st]'s editions of the New York Times, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) wrote that the idea "is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group . . . room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests."The plan, basically, would create three quasi-autonomous regions, a Kurdish region in the northeast, a Sunni Arab region in central and western Iraq, and a Shi'a Arab region in southern and eastern Iraq.
"We are allocating most funds for construction of new submarines," Admiral Vladimir Masorin told a news conference after a meeting with heads of defense industry companies in the Volga region of Tatarstan. "We should be able to replace strategic submarines with new ones in the near future."A recent article in Foreign Affairs provides a quick sketch of the effects of lack of money and attention to the Russia's ballistic missile submarines (and gives you an idea of what a Russian news agency believes is a "successful" test).
He said that the new Bulava ballistic missile had been designed specifically to equip new strategic submarines.
Bulava missiles, a sea-based version of the Topol-M, could be deployed on Borey-class nuclear submarines as early as in 2008, a leading missile designer said earlier.
Last year, Russia conducted two successful test launches of the Bulava. The first in-flight test launch was conducted on September 27, 2005, from the Dmitry Donskoi, a Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine.
On December 21, 2005, another Bulava was launched from the Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea before traveling thousands of miles to hit a dummy target on the Kura test site on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was the first time a Bulava had been launched from a submerged position.
The third leg of Russia's nuclear triad has weakened the most. Since 2000, Russia's SSBNs have conducted approximately two patrols per year, down from 60 in 1990. (By contrast, the U.S. SSBN patrol rate today is about 40 per year.) Most of the time, all nine of Russia's ballistic missile submarines are sitting in port, where they make easy targets. Moreover, submarines require well-trained crews to be effective. Operating a ballistic missile submarine -- and silently coordinating its operations with surface ships and attack submarines to evade an enemy's forces -- is not simple. Without frequent patrols, the skills of Russian submariners, like the submarines themselves, are decaying. Revealingly, a 2004 test (attended by President Vladimir Putin) of several submarine-launched ballistic missiles was a total fiasco: all either failed to launch or veered off course. The fact that there were similar failures in the summer and fall of 2005 completes this unflattering picture of Russia's nuclear forces.On another note, the Russians may be onto something with their plan for their surface fleet.
Masorin also said Russia would continue building small- and medium size surface ships, rather than "huge missile cruisers."Those folks in the Pentagon could use advice like that.
"We already have them [the cruisers], and we will keep and modernize them," he said. "But we will continue building ships that are under construction, from small gunboats ... to frigates."
A 37-year-old Saudi psychiatrist made his initial appearance in federal court in Sacramento, California on Friday to face charges that he traveled to Vallejo, California, on Thursday to sexually molest a two-and-a-half-year-old girl after exchanging numerous emails with an undercover agent posing as the toddler's father.Now that's sick. What to do with people like this? Something involving a millstone and the sea comes to mind. After all, he probably came to America to feed his perversions because he knew the Saudis would seperate his head from his body if he did it there.
Nabil Al Rowais, who entered the United States on a nonimmigrant visa issued in Canada, was arrested Thursday night by agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as with the California Bureau of Investigation at a motel in Vallejo, California.
According to the affidavit filed in the case, an undercover agent posing as the father of a toddler daughter exchanged numerous emails with Al Rowais in which the suspect expressed a desire to travel to California to sexually molest the child. When the suspect, who claims to be a practicing psychiatrist, arrived at the Vallejo motel for the agreed upon meeting yesterday evening, he was taken into custody. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California.
In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan obtained by The Associated Press, Iran's U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif called President Bush's refusal April 18 to rule out a U.S. nuclear strike on Iran and a similar follow-up statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "illegal and insolent threats."Of course, just three days ago, Khrushchev-nejad said the following about his country's respect for U.N. resolutions:
"Those who want to prevent Iranians from obtaining their right, should know that we do not give a damn about such resolutions," Ahmadinejad told a rally in northwest Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported.Ah, hypocrisy. On another note, it's uncanny how much it feels like we're on the brink of another Cold War. An ascendent totalitarian state, presumed to be a threat, begins to arm and exert its influence throughout its neighborhood. The free world notes the build-up and the dangerous ideology of the state and resolves to do something. However, the free world is unable to back up its diplomacy and take any substantive action because of other commitments. In the end, the dictators get what they want, and the West is left with only decades of political maneuvering ahead.
In the normal course of things, America is not a country given to excessive deference to historians and to the claims of history, for the past is truly a foreign country here. But the past quarter century was no normal time, and Mr. Lewis no typical historian. ... He is, through and through, a man of public affairs. He saw the coming of a war, a great civilizational struggle, and was to show no timidity about the facts of this war. "I'll teach you differences," Kent says to Lear. And Mr. Lewis has been teaching us differences. He knew Islam's splendor and its periods of enlightenment; he had celebrated the "dignity and meaning" it gave to "drab impoverished lives." He would not hesitate, then, to look into--and to name--the darkness and the rage that have overcome so many of its adherents in recent times.Lewis' essay, The Roots of Muslim Rage (1990) can be said to have been the first distant clarion call of impending struggle. Huntington merely became famous for quoting Lewis. Additionally, while many in the policy communities of the West know his value and judgement, even those who Lewis examines - and names as a threat - respect him.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which once translated one of Mr. Lewis's books into Arabic, said that his book was "the work of a candid friend or an honest enemy." Either way, the Brotherhood said, it was the work of "someone who disdains falsification."And, In classic, understated Lewis style, he may very well have predicted the domestic struggles we're seeing play out today in America and Western Europe:
In one of his many splendid books, "Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery," [Lewis] gave voice to both his fears and to his faith. "It may be that Western culture will indeed go: The lack of conviction of many of those who should be its defenders and the passionate intensity of its accusers may well join to complete its destruction."If you've read Lewis and have looked around, you probably see clearly why we must all work with renewed committment to ensure that this Sage of Princeton is, this time at least, wrong. And, if you're not reading Lewis already, you should start. Soon.
Selden G. Hooper (25 December 1904 – 7 February 1976) was the only Admiral of the United States Navy to be convicted by court-martial.Q.E.D. To paraphrase the court, so long as you take the King's shilling, you're the King's Man. Now, can we please get back to more important things?
Hooper was the commissioning commanding officer of the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Uhlmann (DD-687).
In U.S. V. Hooper, 26 CMR 417 (CMA, 1958), Hooper was tried by general court-martial for sodomy, conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the Armed Forces, and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Hooper had retired as a Rear Admiral in 1950, and the acts for which he was tried were committed after he had retired. The defence questioned the military court's jurisdiction, but the court explained that "retired personnel are a part of the land or naval forces." The military retiree, then, is not simply a civilian. The court held that the admiral was "a part of the military forces of this country." He was described as "an officer of the Navy of the United States, entitled to wear the uniform and to draw pay as such." He was convicted and sentenced to dismissal and total forfeitures.
Hooper was the only flag officer of the US Navy to be convicted by court-martial, and strictly speaking, the only Navy flag officer to ever be tried by court-martial. In 1995 Everett L. Greene was acquitted of sexual harassment and other related charges; he had been selected for promotion to Rear Admiral but was still a Captain when he was tried.
Mexicans would be allowed to possess small amounts of cocaine, heroin, even ecstasy for their personal use under a bill approved by lawmakers that some worry could prove to be a lure to young Americans.First, we need to build our own little Maginot Line on the U.S.-Mexican border, then we need to start pushing for a little peaceful regime change in our misguided neighbor to the south.
The bill now only needs President Vicente Fox's signature to become law and that does not appear to be an obstacle. His office said that decriminalizing drugs will free up police to focus on major dealers.
"This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children," said Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar.
Police would no longer bother with possession of up to 25 milligrams of heroin, 5 grams of marijuana (about one-fifth of an ounce, or about four joints), or 0.5 grams of cocaine _ the equivalent of about 4 "lines," or half the standard street-sale quantity.
The law lays out allowable quantities for a large array of other drugs, including LSD, MDA, MDMA (ecstasy, about two pills' worth), and amphetamines.
Rebels from the Darfur region of western Sudan are dissatisfied with a proposed peace settlement, rebel leaders said Friday, as global pressure built for them to strike a deal with the Sudanese government by a Sunday deadline.If you want to know more, visit Live from the FDNF. He's been following the situation for a long time and has some great info and commentary.
Mediators from the African Union have proposed a draft agreement aimed at ending a three-year-old conflict that has left tens of thousands of people dead and forced 2 million to flee to refugee camps in Darfur and neighboring Chad. The draft addresses security, power-sharing and the division of wealth.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,I don't normally get into the public outcry game, but for this I'll make an exception. How about all bloggers that remember what the national anthem really stands for post these lyrics in their entirety over the next week or so?
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
The U.S. military has only seen "loss, disaster and misfortune" in Iraq, al-Qaida's No. 2 said, in a video message that a U.S. official deemed part of a propaganda campaign to demonstrate the terror network's relevancy.Let's look at the evidence:
The video by Ayman al-Zawahri, posted on an Islamic militant Web forum Saturday, came within the same week as an audiotape by Osama bin Laden and a video by the head of al-Qaida's branch in Iraq - a volley of messages by the group's most prominent figures.
Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian militant believed to be hiding in Afghanistan or Pakistan, also denounced the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq as "traitors" and called on Muslims to rise up to "confront them."
He said that U.S. and British forces in Iraq had bogged down in Iraq and "have achieved nothing but loss, disaster and misfortune."
Al-Qaida in Iraq "alone has carried out 800 martyrdom operations (suicide attacks) in three years, besides the sacrifices of the other mujahedeen, and this is what has broken the back of American in Iraq," al-Zawahri said.