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Predictably backwards considering the left-stream media plus President Obama have made it so. Now, we can add Mike Castle (R-DE), supposedly right-wing though his record doesn’t reflect that, among others:

The problem here is: Just who is listening to whom?

The left-stream media has operated for decades on the premise that they shape opinion. But they ran into a problem along the way: Common sense. Common sense told the “unwashed masses” that the media was lying as they played the “nothing to see here, move along” card. But the media didn’t get it. They are now on a suicide course of political activism.

Common sense tells us that the left-stream media isn’t listening to its audience though that audience is rejecting vocally and tacitly the media’s spin. Continue reading

Individual freedom is being assaulted from so many different directions the sheer weight of the assaults can cause the hardiest of us to buckle. Yet, there are still some who believe the government has only our best interests at heart. I find that sentiment mind-blowing in the face of what the government is doing.

Accessing records without consent of the individual.

… This study should include incentives such as “higher rates of reimbursement or other incentives for such health care providers to use electronic health records” and “promoting low-cost electronic health record software packages that are available for use by such health care providers.”

Read it all. Apparently, our ever so magnanimous government doesn’t care about the assault on our private records or the sharing of such records across agencies as their new health care legislation will require it.

As one friend put it:

“Our best
practice dictates that if you want to keep something private, don’t
share it. If data is shared by more than one entity, none of the
parties knows who leaked it. Eventually, anything shared becomes
public knowledge. This is one more case of the unwary opening
Pandora’s box.” (Thanks, Loren.)

But that’s not possible, is it? The government is supposed to take care of us, right? Right?

Then there’s net neutrality.

Their website is full of blatant lies. They claim that Net Neutrality would not be a new regulation, when in fact the whole point of the push is to get new regulations in place backed by the so-called Internet Freedom Preservation Act currently in the House. Obama’s FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also made that much plain in a recent speech, that he wants the FCC to be an active, aggressive force on the Internet, picking winners and losers in private network policy disputes.

Again, read the whole article.

It’s okay if a Democrat does it.

Every student who brings someone to the polls to vote in the city council elections in Athens, OH gets $5.00.

Nice. But is that illegal?

Of course, it’s illegal. When did legality ever stop a liberal from doing what a liberal wants to do? They have a “cause” and this is merely the means to the end. Never mind that most of us don’t want the end they want.

How do you compete with government owned?

A new union contract would have lowered Ford’s labor costs in line with General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC. It also included a no-strike provision. Workers are barred from striking Ford’s domestic rivals for several years as a condition of their bankruptcy restructurings.

“The UAW contract is up in 2011, and I think there could be a strike,” said John Wolkonowicz, an analyst with IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass.

Isn’t that bit like union workers sabotaging a competitor because they now have a stake in the other two companies? Nah, the government owns the union workers, too, now doesn’t it?

Wouldn’t that make union bosses the overseers of the government owners’ plantations? I thought slavery was dead in this country. Apparently, the Democrats want to go back to the future.

It’s not illegal so get used to it.

A San Francisco cosmetics company has ignited an outcry among pro-lifers for including an unexpected ingredient in its anti-aging creams: skin-cell proteins from an aborted fetus. […]

In a statement released Friday, in response to a wave of condemnation from pro-life and religious blogs, Neocutis defended the use of its trademarked ingredient, Processed Skin Cell Proteins, or PSP, arguing that the fetal cell line was harvested in a responsible, ethical manner for use in treating severe dermatological injuries.

The company compared its situation to that of researchers who used fetal kidney cells to develop the polio vaccine.

It’s not as if they’re human, after all. That would be murder wouldn’t it? Murder for hire, if you want to put a fine point on it considering abortionists are paid to do the dirty work. And then they sell the bodies of the slain innocents to others for a bit more?

It’s not as if you’re not pro-choice. Oh no, we wouldn’t want to interfere with the government ruling that killing innocents is legal as long as it isn’t civilian casualties in the midst of fighting wars against terrorists who find safe havens among those civilians.

It’s for the children, after all, isn’t it? To make beauty products so others don’t have to age gracefully.

If the government can’t manage vaccinations with any level of competency, how do we expect them to manage health care? By creating more government agencies (read: bureaucracies), of course.

For a comparison to other welfare programs spending, let’s take a look shall we?

Over the next decade, welfare spending will amount to $30,000 per person per year — $120,000 for a family of 4 per year — 56% of which (or $67,200) goes to the recipients.

Moreover, these direct costs do not cover the concomitant costs for enterprises. That is, many organizations apply to whole populations, although their justification is the needs of the “poor.” For example, most people can afford education, but to guarantee it for the poor, there is public education for most, as well as subsidies. The same holds for establishing Social Security, Medicare, housing, health insurance, and industrial policy. There are then huge additional costs to the taxpayers and to the recipients of services who are not “poor.”

How much more than the 36% already being spent will these new bureaucracies cost? I wouldn’t put it past the government to flip those numbers. We can do without, of course. We might starve, freeze to death, or have a heat stroke but we’ll have health care if we do, right?

You can continue to believe in government’s goodwill if you choose. But don’t expect me to “jump off the Brooklyn Bridge” with you. If you keep trusting a government that has proven untrustworthy, this is what you get. You can make excuses all you want or say you didn’t sign onto this but if you support any part of it, you support the whole.

One person critiquing said this post seems disjointed but it’s not really. They are widely varying topics but are all these things are being perpetrated by the government simultaneously.

What the government is doing is assaulting us with a dozen skirmishes at once all taking place in the same general location but with different foci; the individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the right to make our own decisions based on our individual circumstances as to what is best for us. When we focus on one point of attack we risk losing sight of the other battles taking place around us. These battles are orchestrated to keep us off balance in the hopes that one of them will gain them an opening and their desire of government for the government in spite of the people.

Crossposted to RedState

It’s been an interesting couple of days since I last posted.  Like many, I’m looking at the remaining candidates, wondering which I could settle for. I settled for Romney since he was somewhat of a second choice anyway as being the only one in the race who has at least one conservative leg on his stool. The liklihood of Romney winning the nomination is pretty dim in the overall picture, in spite of the money he’s throwing into the campaign.

The problem for me and, apparently, many others is we’re tired of settling. Every election we have to settle for someone progressively worse than the time before. We’re told its our civic duty to vote for this person or that person because we have to defeat the other side and we have to keep the party together to win. They will use every trick they can imagine to get us to go along with the rest of the crowd and we have been to our detriment. There will be those who say we’re throwing away our vote by writing in a candidate or voting for someone who “doesn’t stand a chance.”

Who decides they don’t have a chance? We do. Each media person has only one vote. No more, no less. Each candidate has only one vote. No more, no less. We, as individuals have only one vote each. No more, no less. However, if one can convince another to vote the way of the first against the former’s own wishes, the first gains two votes while the former threw his away.

Consider this: Tennessee is very strong for Fred Thompson. Now, before you wave that off, also consider: Arkansas is not strong for Huckabee nor is Arizona very strong for McCain. New York is not strong for Guiliani and are leaning toward McCain. I haven’t heard much about Massachussetts one way or the other for Romney, although Michigan gave him a thumbs up partially due to his father’s tenure there.

But Tennessee is very strong for Fred. Tennessee is still strong for Fred in spite of the fact that he’s withdrawn.

Also consider this from PajamasMedia.

I was Fred Thompson’s first hire. In fact, I moved from ABC Radio, where I worked with him on the Paul Harvey show, first into the exploratory committee and then the campaign proper. When the campaign turned its focus and limited resources to the mechanics of traditional primary politics, my role ended.

FDT’s decision to drop out of the race at this point is entirely logical. It is, nevertheless, truly depressing.

This is a particular moment in history. After a brief respite, during which it appeared that the dangers posed by imperialistic totalitarian ideologies had abated, we are facing more seriously deranged enemies than ever. This time, however, they have billions in petrodollars and at least the possibility of acquiring nuclear or biological weapons. […]

Read the rest. It goes on to talk about the mechanics of campaigning and how Fred’s late entry played into that and I’m not talking about the fact the he waited until September to announce but the fact that he hadn’t been working toward this aim for years behind the scenes.

What happened this election is that a large body of the conservative party refused to settle. We tried to draft in a man who stood for what we stood. It didn’t work because of the process behind the elections. It smacked of desperation and it was. Having been handed candidate after candidate that weren’t up to snuff, we tried very hard to go against the status quo.

Even now, there are people who are adamantly voting for Fred Thompson, either because he will still be on the ballot or as a write-in. There are others telling them they’re stupid for doing so. That it’s a waste of vote and other arguments of a similar type.

Is it really? I would think it would be more wasted to go along with the status quo because if you keep going along with it, nothing will change. Going along with it only entrenches it more. It’s a false hope being held out that next time will be different but instead it gets progressively worse.

This is about Fred Thompson only nominally. He is but the symbol of our need for a true conservative leader. If we want to break out of the cycle of “next time it will be different” we have to start somewhere and it’s not by settling. Consider the “Cycle of Abuse.” An incident happens and there is recrimination, then wine and roses and promises, then a honeymoon period, then another incident and so on as the cycle begins again. The abused settles for the promises time and again, helping to continue the cycle and making excuses for the abuser. That cycle will continue until the day the abused dies or realizes the only way to break the cycle is to get out of it.

We have a chance to break the cycle this election and we have the right to demand conservative representation from the conservative party which is supposed to be the Republican party.

We might lose in the end but we don’t win by not trying. Bob Krumm thinks we ought to actively work for a brokered convention by voting for Rudy in Florida. I don’t know if I agree with that strategy. I’d say vote for the person you really want, rather than settle.

NewsMax sums it up nicely with this article:

Fred Thompson More Obvious in Absentia

Fred Thompson is having greater influence on the Republican presidential race now that he’s out of it than he had when he was in it.

In just the few days after he withdrew his candidacy, the tall Tennessean stands out more clearly than ever above the ranks of GOP contenders. By its very silence, the absence of Thompson’s steady baritone is heard above the cacophony he left behind.

Nothing else in this campaign is making so obvious the lack of an authentic, consistent, common-sense conservative among the surviving candidates.

It calls to mind the tale of the couple tending a lighthouse. In addition to a beacon pivoting, their lighthouse had a klaxon that blared on regular intervals.

They grew accustomed to the noise, the way folks living alongside a railroad track eventually ignore the roar of passing trains. One night, the mighty foghorn failed to sound off at the appointed time.

In that instant, the lighthouse keeper and his wife awoke with a start, sat upright in bed, looked at one another and asked: “What wasn’t that?”

It is the same effect Thompson will have, by increased measure, in this floundering Republican pre-nomination campaign. As the GOP rivals “surge” then fade in opinion polls, it will become embarrassingly obvious that what conservative voters still want is not altogether there.

Not a blessed one of them – Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney – is a 360-degree conservative. Each has at least one essential piece of his pie missing.

By not being among them any longer, Thompson has brought the spotlight to bear on those missing pieces.

The effect on the candidates is already having a noticeable, salutary effect. With Thompson off the platform, those remaining candidates have started fudging their credentials to shade over into the space of one or more conservative issues once occupied by the man who had no serious empty spaces.

Not much consolation for Thompson, personally, but it is a wholesome development for the Republican Party, which has been busy divesting itself of its founding principles and growing difficult to distinguish from the opposition.

This opens up a golden opportunity for Thompson to make a mighty contribution to the rescue and revival of the GOP.

Read the rest.

We’re Americans and we don’t settle.

They will get worse. 

While the media is deciding who will be the next president, Russia is flexing its muscles in anticipation of a much weakened United States. China has already thrown its weight around and continues to do so. In addition, they court our enemies

In the meantime our politicians promise us the moon while they chip away the foundations of this country. The stock market is falling fast.

And the American people have been hung out to dry as the choices are no longer ours but at the discretion of the elites, which don’t include the rest of us. If matters continues the course upon which they are set even the worst I can imagine may pall in comparison to the actuality.

But cheer up. We can bury our noses in the boob tube and maybe we won’t even know what hit us until it’s far too late to worry about it. We’ll still have American Idol, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears to talk about, right?

Oh, by the way, Heath Ledger is dead.

When the 9/11/01 event shook this nation, there was a lot of hindsight indicators that something was going to happen. Hindsight doesn’t really help unless you learn the lesson it gives you and apply it to future threats, and I don’t mean just the Middle East, either.

As a follow up to one of the links provided yesterday in the midweek minis the second on the list tells us:

BEIJING (AP) – China’s last-minute cancellation of a U.S. Navy visit to Hong Kong was not the result of a misunderstanding, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday, adding that ties had been “disturbed and harmed” by Congress’ honoring of the Dalai Lama and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Spokesman Liu Jianchao denounced an earlier report from Washington that said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told President Bush the incident was a misunderstanding.

But Liu offered no concrete explanation as to why China barred the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk and its escort vessels from entering Hong Kong harbor for a planned Thanksgiving visit.

“The report is not in line with the facts,” Liu said at a regular news briefing.

He refused to elaborate, but his negative characterization of U.S.- China relations appeared to indicate that Beijing had canceled the visit deliberately in order to register its displeasure over U.S. actions, as it has occasionally with previous Hong Kong port calls.

China’s refusal to allow U.S. warships to visit Hong Kong recently was carried out to protest U.S. sales of Patriot missile equipment to Taiwan, Bush administration officials said yesterday.
 

Meanwhile, the senior commander in the Pacific called China’s action “troubling” and inconsistent with Beijing’s claim to being a “peaceful” power.
 

“This is perplexing,” said Adm. Timothy J. Keating via video from Honolulu. “It’s not helpful. It is not, in our view, conduct that is indicative of a country who understands its obligations of a responsible nation.”

In a follow up article this morning there is this:

China: US Navy Spat No Misunderstanding

BEIJING (AP) – China’s last-minute cancellation of a U.S. Navy visit to Hong Kong was not the result of a misunderstanding, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday, adding that ties had been “disturbed and harmed” by Congress’ honoring of the Dalai Lama and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Spokesman Liu Jianchao denounced an earlier report from Washington that said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told President Bush the incident was a misunderstanding.

But Liu offered no concrete explanation as to why China barred the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk and its escort vessels from entering Hong Kong harbor for a planned Thanksgiving visit.

“The report is not in line with the facts,” Liu said at a regular news briefing.

He refused to elaborate, but his negative characterization of U.S.- China relations appeared to indicate that Beijing had canceled the visit deliberately in order to register its displeasure over U.S. actions, as it has occasionally with previous Hong Kong port calls.

Further, on the heels of that followup article on the incident comes this(emphasis mine):

World faces “cyber cold war” threat: report

LONDON (Reuters) – A “cyber cold war” waged over the world’s computers threatens to become one of the biggest threats to security in the next decade, according to a report published on Thursday.

About 120 countries are developing ways to use the Internet as a weapon to target financial markets, government computer systems and utilities, Internet security company McAfee said in an annual report.

Intelligence agencies already routinely test other states’ networks looking for weaknesses and their techniques are growing more sophisticated every year, it said.

Governments must urgently shore up their defenses against industrial espionage and attacks on infrastructure.

“Cybercrime is now a global issue,” said Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs. “It has evolved significantly and is no longer just a threat to industry and individuals but increasingly to national security.”

The report said China is at the forefront of the cyber war. It said China has been blamed for attacks in the United States, India and Germany. China has repeatedly denied such claims.

The Chinese were first to use cyber-attacks for political and military goals,” James Mulvenon, director of the Center for Intelligence and Research in Washington, was quoted as saying in the report.

The report was compiled with input from academics and officials from Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and NATO.

Now I may be just a dumb hillbilly to most, but, when you take these articles and compare them to previous articles on the same subject

coupled with the massive recalls for products made in China and other recent news, how come there really aren’t that many people seriously considering that China’s actions are not conducive to a peaceful, free trade alliance?

The initial article with which I started this one talks about a “Cyber Cold War”. Regardless of how much China denies knowledge of any of it, does anybody other than the MSM really believe them? I don’t and there are reasons why that people just don’t talk about because it’s politically incorrect to do so. China is a communist country. The one thing people don’t talk about when talking about communism is the degree to which government controls the lives of everyone within the scope of their government. 

We need to start getting off our duffs and getting our hands dirty again in the bowels of cyberspace rather than import technology experts from other only slightly friendly nations just to save a few bucks. A “cyber cold war” could mean a real war in real life if the goal is to sniff out state secrets, military capabilities, and how to counter them best. While China has no real reason to go to war with us, neither do the radical Islamists in the Middle East, and considering China’s increasing ties with terrorist harboring nations, doesn’t anybody think it’s time to use a little foresight?

Unlike the ‘cold war’ between the Soviet Union and the U.S. both sides had equal power in the world. The U.S. is losing their power, not because of the war in Iraq, but because of policies enacted over the last couple of decades. Pres. Clinton sold nuclear and defense technology to China. He signed the free trade agreement with China, as well. Unfortunately, Bush II has continued the Clinton legacy in these areas contributing to China’s rising threat.

Some think all these maneuvers mean another cold war along the nature of the one between us and the Soviet Union. I disagree. Such a cold war wouldn’t work this time around. For one, the military has been gutted over the same couple of decades. Technology will not help offset the lack of boots on the ground in a confrontation with China. They are technological equals if not slightly ahead of us on that front and they have a lot more boots, too. 

For another, a ‘cold war’ means the opponents are on equal footing in terms of global power and we lost much of ours before 9/11/01. Recall all the countries saying we brought it upon ourselves? Those weren’t terrorist sponsoring nation saying such. Europe and Asia joined in as well. Anti-Americanism was alive and thriving long before 9/11/01, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

China also purportedly outranks us economically, as well. Their exports far outweigh their imports. According to almost all economics experts, our economy is booming and perhaps it is, for the investors taking their dollars out of the country. The blue collar workers and the middle class have a much more negative view precisely because we’re not enjoying those trickle down economics of previous Republican presidency. The dollars are flowing out to other countries with cheaper labor(outsourcing) or trickling down to cheaper labor here in the form of imported technologists from cheaper labor nations or illegal immigrants.

Yeah, yeah, I know I’m starting to sound a little like Ron Paul, but this is where I would part ways with him. He wants to go backwards, into isolationism, which isn’t possible. You can’t go back, no matter how hard you try. Nor do I want to institute a “Red Scare” which, in my opinion, is counter-productive.

The problem with all that is: ‘we rested upon our laurels’.  We stopped innovating and only improve upon existing innovations. In other words, we went to sleep while the rest of the world marched onward. It’s past time to wake up.

What we need from the past, however, is some good old-fashion ingenuity. Ingenuity takes you beyond the present into future applications. Bill Gates became more than rich from Microsoft Windows because it revolutionized computing and brought it to the average American and later, the world… that’s ingenuity, no matter how people hate him now because of it, let alone for his politics. The Wright brothers brought us flight. Henry Ford brought us automobiles. Alexander Bell, Edison, Ben Franklin… ingenuity… and the world benefits.

So, we sold ‘stuff’ to China and other countries not really friendly toward us who would celebrate our downfall just as surely as our avowed enemies would. The ingenuity for that ‘stuff ‘ originated here. However, ingenuity will aid us only if we begin to employ some foresight rather than allowing hindsight be our guide.  The future is too important to leave to the past. Perhaps, with a little ingenuity we can keep relations with China at the “cold war” level. At the moment, China may seem only the shadow of a threat to this nation but that can change quickly in this technological world. I’d rather not wait until they are a more corporeal threat before acting to counteract whatever they might throw at us.

More Info, H/T Drudge Report: Report: China targeting all ‘enemy space vehicles’ including GPS satellites

Wiretapping probe revived under Mukasey

Folks, I gotta tell you, I’m about sick of the Big Brother silliness. Big Brother has been around a long long time; longer than most of us still alive. The United States first met Big Brother in 1936 when social security was inacted and we were required to file for social security numbers. Now, think about that. Every newborn in this country is now required to have a social security number almost from birth. That social security number is used for EVERYTHING. Here are just a few of things it’s used for: applying for a job, getting a driver’s license, medical forms, mortgages and credit cards.

In addition to your SSN, there’s the internet and you’re not anonymous by any means. How many of you have gmail accounts? How many of you have used Google earth and search?

Now considering all this, why the heck would you buck at something that might give us at least notice before another 9/11? We’ve already lost our privacy and gave it up willingly. National security agencies aren’t interested in you. They’ve already got you.

Trust me, I’ve put this to the test. I have used the security buzz words in conversation and haven’t heard the first knock on my door yet. Nor have I seen unmarked cars on stakeout here… although they were staking out a next door neighbor for something totally unrelated to national security. Heck, I’ve even tried to stir up stuff on the net with the result of nada, zip monitoring of my activities.

So, whose privacy are you protecting? Yours or potential terrorists’? Reality bites sometimes.

Hat tip: Attack Machine

China sells trojan laden external hard drives.

Portable hard discs sold locally and produced by US disk-drive manufacturer Seagate Technology have been found to carry Trojan horse viruses that automatically upload to Beijing Web sites anything the computer user saves on the hard disc, the Investigation Bureau said.

Around 1,800 of the portable Maxtor hard discs, produced in Thailand, carried two Trojan horse viruses: autorun.inf and ghost.pif, the bureau under the Ministry of Justice said.

The tainted portable hard disc uploads any information saved on the computer automatically and without the owner’s knowledge to www.nice8.org and www.we168.org, the bureau said.

The affected hard discs are Maxtor Basics 500G discs.

The bureau said that hard discs with such a large capacity are usually used by government agencies to store databases and other information.

Sensitive information may have already been intercepted by Beijing through the two Web sites, the bureau said.

The bureau said that the method of attack was unusual, adding that it suspected Chinese authorities were involved. (emphasis mine)

An update article states blame is attributed to a Chinese subcontractor.

In addition:

Security mavens from Kaspersky say they have discovered a nasty virus that came pre-installed on Maxtor external hard drives sold in the Netherlands.

Taking into consideration:

Pentagon investigators could not definitively link the cyber attack to the Chinese military, the source said, but the technology was sophisticated enough that it indicated to Pentagon officials – as well as those in charge of computer security – that it came from within the Chinese government.

And:

1. U.S. safety officials have recalled about 4.2 million Chinese-made Aqua Dots bead toys that contain a chemical that has caused some children to vomit and become comatose after swallowing them.

2. Mattel Issues Third Recall of China-Made Toys

3. Other Recent Product Recalls

4. Full search list on Foxs News for recalls.

No matter how much China vows to step up inspections the recalls and dangerous products keep coming.

We’ve become dependent upon cheap goods from China and other countries that are really aren’t all that friendly toward us, though we call them allies. Tell me, when you pick up a product in a store, any store, and read Made in China, does fear strike your heart? Is there a little skip in the beat? Does adrenalin tingle your spine? It does mine.

Consider also: Iran’s New Alliance With China Could Cost U.S. Leverage (2004), Iran, Venezuela Cement Alliance Against US , War Games: Russia, China Grow Alliance (2005),
Iran in talks to join alliance against West (2006), THE GREAT PAN-ASIAN ENERGY ALLIANCE (2007),  and China’s Antisatellite Missile Test: Why? (2007).

Have you ever heard the expression “softening up for the kill”? Consider also:

 Academia’s Pervasive PC Rot

2. Minnesota Muslims Refuse to Sell Pork at Target Stores

3. http://mediaserver2.afa.net/twb2007/lowescatalog.pdf   What’s with the upside down tree?

4. President Ahmadinejad Delivers Remarks at Columbia University while Terror Supporters Shout Down David Horowitz and Gays Deserve Torture, Death Penalty, Iranian Minister Says while Why I Have A Little Crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because hatred of Bush trumps a desire for self preservation.

5. Heard It With Our Own Ears (and We Still Don’t Believe It)

How about the saying: “Like shooting fish in a barrel”?

While it might take longer than all out war, it’s much easier to conquer a people who have been trained to go against their own instincts for survival, wouldn’t you say? I’d also postulate that it’s much easier to assure victory in the long run. While we are focused on terrorism in the Middle East there are other forces working behind the scenes playing both sides against the middle… with little to fear in the process.

Oh, I forgot one that really highlights the possibility of being fish in a barrel:

US control over Internet dominates discussion at UN conference in Brazil

[…] At issue is control over domain names like “com” and “org,” which computers need to find Web sites and route e-mail. By controlling the core systems, the U.S. indirectly influences much of what appears online.

The U.S. government, which funded much of the Internet’s early development, delegated domain-name policies to a Marina del Rey, Calif.-based nonprofit, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, over which the U.S. retains veto power.

Many countries complained U.S. influence wasn’t discussed enough during the first Internet Governance Forum last year in Athens, and preceded this year’s conference with panel devoted to “critical Internet resources.” […]

Any one article read in isolation of any others probably wouldn’t make much of an impression. However, when read in relation to other articles of the same topics, they give one pause for thought.

MoveOn Moves In on Youth Forum 

The MySpace-MTV youth forum today with Senator Barack Obama had been billed as a casual “dialogue,” with questions posed by those in the youthful audience and elsewhere from their peers.

Gideon Yago, the MTV host, said at the top of the show that questions for Mr. Obama would come from students in the audience and from “you guys at home,” referring to the MTV target audience (a.k.a. people who recognize Gideon Yago). [snip]

The winner was Joe Niederberger, a New Jersey e-businessman [snip]

But how did Mr. Niederberger’s question rise to the top of the heap, or near the top? Judging by his video clip, Mr. Niederberger is probably old enough to have voted for a George Bush. Meaning 41, not 43.

Mr. Niederberger, it turns out, is a member of liberal activist group MoveOn.org. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, per se.

But, TechPresident, which produces 10Questions, says MoveOn sent an e-mail to 60,000 members urging them to vote for Mr. Niederberger’s video question, “Would you make it a priority in your first year of office to reinstate net neutrality as the law of the land? [Read Full Article]

LOST Runs Silent, Runs Deep

According to Senator Jon Kyl, the entire Senate Republican leadership is now opposed to a controversial treaty supported by the President and an implausible alliance of special interests – from the U.S. Navy to Greenpeace. At a joint press conference last Wednesday, he was one of several Senators to declare that, as a result, supporters would be unable to muster the necessary 67 votes for ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). Yet, it seems not one of the “establishment” media organs felt moved to report these momentous political developments.

More extraordinary still is the apparent news-blackout concerning the fact that virtually every Republican presidential candidate (with the surprising, and hopefully ephemeral, exception of Rudy Giuliani) has announced either outright opposition to the Treaty or deep misgivings about its inevitable effect: conferring more power on international organizations at the expense of U.S. sovereignty. Apart from a front-page article in the Washington Times last Friday and postings by an array of on-line news outlets, bloggers and a couple of newsletters, the so-called “mainstream media” have denied the American people virtually any information about LOST’s growing difficulties. [ Read Full Article ]

Pirates Seize Ship in Somalia

Pirates in Somalia hijacked a cargo ship with dozens of foreign crew members reportedly on board, officials said Tuesday.

The attackers seized the ship late Monday in the waters off the war-battered capital, Mogadishu, said Paddy Ankunda, a Somalia spokesman for the African Union, which has peacekeepers at the city’s port.

A cargo trader who works at the port said the ship was from South Korea, with 43 foreign crew members on board. The trader, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to feared reprisals from the pirates, said the ship had been carrying a load of sugar from India. Both spoke by telephone from Mogadishu. [ Read Full Article ]

 Poor children now majority in Southern public schools

WASHINGTON – For the first time in more than 40 years, the majority of children in public schools in the South are poor, according to a report released Tuesday.In 11 Southern states, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, a significant increase in the number of poor children attending public school has sent district officials scurrying for solutions on how to best educate kids who are coming from economically disadvantaged homes.

“The future of the South’s ability to have an educated population is going to depend on how well we can improve these students’ education,” said Steve Suitts, a program coordinator with the Atlanta-based Southern Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on Southern educational issues and conducted the study.

Michelle Malkin has more on education woes.

Oh, criminey. Just what American high school students need: “Less homework, more yoga:”

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