Saturday, February 28, 2009

CORRECTIONAL CODE OF SILENCE

Here we go again. Another "expert" on the horrors of the death penalty is weighing in from an unusual perspective. Ron McAndrew is described by the Houston Chonicle as "the former warden of three Florida state prisons and an expert in prison and jail issues throughout the South." Yesterday, he had an op-ed piece in the Chronicle in which he complained that a code of silence among correctional officers is keeping those awaiting execution from receiving a fair clemency hearing.

McAndrew claims that correctional officers throughout the country are afraid to break a code of silence that prevents them from speaking up in favor of death row inmates at clemency hearings, fearing that to do so would get them fired or even beat up by fellow officers. He alleges that the code is enforced by correctional supervisors and "employers."

McAndrew's op-ed piece zeroed in on Willie Earl Pondexter who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, 2009. McAndrew wrote that one "courageous" officer came forward and reported that "Pondexter is not a danger to anyone, stays calm even in challenging situations, does everything that is asked of him and 'could safely live out his days in a structured environment.'" In other words, according to McAndrew's "expertise," Pondexter has been "rehabilitated" and is no longer a threat to anyone, thus deserving of clemency.

Before going any further, here is the Texas Attorney General's description of Pondexter's crime: On Oct. 28, 1993, Pondexter and four other men discussed robbing Martha Lennox, an elderly woman. All five men went to Lennox’s Clarksville home. One of the men left the group, and the other four proceeded, with Pondexter kicking in the front door to Lennox’s home. The four men entered Lennox’s bedroom, where the 85-year-old Lennox was sitting on the bed. After taking Lennox’s money, James Henderson, one of the men, shot the woman in the head, then handed the gun to Pondexter, who also shot Lennox in the head. Henderson and Pondexter were tried separately, and both men were sentenced to death for the robbery and slaying of Lennox.

Rehabilitated my ass! All Pondexter has done is learned how to do his time: (1) "Hold your mud." (2) Don't give officers any shit. (3) Don't associate with troublemakers. (4) When the shit hits the fan, don't get involved - stay way back and enjoy all the head-knocking and ass-kicking as it takes place.

I have always maintained that prisons do not rehabilitate anyone (PRISONS CANNOT REHABILITATE CRIMINALS [11-28-07]) because, unlike society in the free world, prisons are "a highly structured institutional society." Many inmates can do their time and appear to be model prisoners, but when they re-enter the free world, it's often back to the old ways that got them into prison in the first place. The same may hold true for model death row inmates when they are transferred out to a less structured environment within the prison system.

McAndrew contends that death row officers get to know the condemned better than anyone else and are well qualified to judge whether or not they have been "rehabilitated." What utter nonesense! While on duty, correctional officers are imprisoned every bit as much as their charges. In fact, they are really held hostage by the inmates. Thus, the "Stockholm Syndrome" (a psychological response sometimes seen in abducted hostages, in which the hostage disregards his victimization and shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker) could come into play.

Pondexter, who insists that he did not kill Martha Lennox, has been on death row for about 15 years. During that time numerous appeals on his behalf have been heard by the courts. If there is, as Ron McAndrew claims, an enforced code of silence, could it be that the prison administration is merely trying to protect correctional officers from making fools of themselves because they are not actually qualified to give a clinical prognosis based solely on a long-time personal relationship within the very strictest of structured institutional settings?

HOMICIDES AS NATURAL DEATHS

The Houston Police Department has on several recent occasions listed gunshot victims as having died of natural causes. HPD deliberately misrepresented those deaths in order to make Houston's homicide rate look a lot better than it really was. Seems like Kansas City, Missouri has a similar problem. But, KC was not trying to misrepresent homicides as natural deaths. The police and the medical examiner's office simply screwed up and it appears they've done it more than once.

Here is yesterday's report from The Wichita Eagle's Kansas.com:

POLICE SAID NATURAL CAUSES; FUNERAL HOME SAID GUNSHOTS

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man's death that police and a medical examiner had said was the result of natural causes has been ruled a homicide after a funeral home found three bullet holes in his body.

The Kansas City Star reported Thursday that the wounds -- two of them in Anthony Crockett's head -- were noticed by funeral home workers after the man's body was embalmed. The funeral home returned the 49-year-old Kansas City man's body to the Jackson County medical examiner's office, and police counted the death as a homicide.

It was the second time in 17 months that a Kansas City funeral home had to return a homicide victim's body mistakenly ruled a natural death by the medical examiner's office.

The other case was in September 2007 and involved Lorraine Grayson, 77, who had been beaten and sexually assaulted in her home. Police later found out that Grayson's purse was missing, and her 46-year-old neighbor was charged with her death.

"This kind of mistake is a pretty bad mistake," said Thomas Young, the former Jackson County medical examiner who now runs a private forensic pathology practice.

In Crockett's case, a homicide detective and an investigator from the medical examiner's office never visited his home to inspect his body. A paramedic told police he believed the death was natural after finding prescription containers for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Crockett's girlfriend, who had called police after finding his body, told authorities that he had heart problems for years.

Jeph BurroughsScanlon, a Jackson County spokesman, said standard protocol was followed in Crockett's case, but he added that the county is concerned and looking into its practices.

Police also plan to study their practices.

"We're going to be reviewing how we handle these kinds of cases, to see if anything needs to be changed," said Capt. Rich Lockhart, a Kansas City police spokesman.

Police responding to the call from Crockett's girlfriend noted blood on his face, but victims can bleed from natural causes or have blood on them from a fall.

A paramedic showed a police officer Crockett's medications and said he thought the death was natural.

The officer called a homicide detective and medical examiner investigator. The investigator called Crockett's doctor, who said she would sign the death certificate.

But physician Ghazal Shaikh told the Star that she never did sign the certificate and agreed to only after she was told the death was natural.

Friday, February 27, 2009

OFFICER DUDLEY DOORITE IS ALWAYS OUT THERE

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. That is especially true if officer Dudley Doorite is on the job. A Denver rapid transit bus driver and one of his passengers got out of his bus to help two old women cross the street safely. When he saw they were about to be hit by a pickup truck, he pushed the three out of the way, thus saving their lives. Unfortunately for him, he was struck by the truck and suffered some very serious injuries. Adding insult to injury, along comes officer Dudley Doorite of the Colorado State Patrol and issues him a jaywalking ticket.

Does that make any sense? Not to me! And I am not the least bit swayed by the Colorado State Patrol's valid argument that, since it leads to a lot of fatalities, jaywalking is a very serious offense. Where do they recruit some of these clowns? Don't they teach their recruits that an officer always has the discretion to issue or not to issue a traffic citation? Clearly, in this case, none should have been issued. The Dudley Doorites are the shameless lame-brained law enforcers who lack the ability to differentiate between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. And shame on the State Patrol's spokesman for defending Dudley Doorite, the fastest (ticket book) draw in the West.

The passenger who helped the bus driver escort the women across the street also received a jaywalking ticket. I guess Doorite just wasn't quick enough to cite the two old ladies. I'm surprised he hasn't called for a womanhunt to capture these two dangerous miscreants so that they too will get their just deserts - jaywalking tickets. And shouldn't Doorite also charge these old ladies with reckless endangerment for trying to get home by crossing the street?

Here is The Rocky Mountain News report describing this event:

INJURED GOOD SAMARITAN GETS JAYWALKING TICKET FOR HIS TROUBLE
by Bill Scanlon
Rocky Mountain News, February 24, 2009

He may have saved three lives, but RTD bus driver Jim Moffett got a jaywalking ticket anyway, along with broken bones.

Moffett, 58, was driving an RTD bus south on Federal Boulevard at 62nd Avenue at 9 p.m. Friday, the State Patrol said.

Two elderly women exited the bus and tried to walk across Federal to their trailer home on the east side, Moffett's stepson Ken McDonald said Tuesday.

With that light snowstorm, my stepdad didn't think they could cross the street safely," McDonald said. "So he got off the bus with another passenger, and they helped the ladies cross."

The four people had made it about halfway across Federal, and most of the northbound traffic had slowed to let them go the rest of the way, McDonald said.

But one pickup driver got impatient and passed in the left- hand turn lane," McDonald said. "He plowed right into my stepdad - but not before (my stepdad) pushed the old ladies and the other guy out of the way."

Moffett is at St. Anthony Central Medical Center with bleeding in the brain, broken bones in his face, a dislocated shoulder, a broken wrist and possible ruptured spleen and liver.

Eddie Moore, the passenger who helped Moffett assist the women, also was cited for jaywalking. The pickup driver, Steven C. David, was cited for careless driving causing injury.

The jaywalking citation should be dismissed and crosswalks should be installed, McDonald said. Ryan Sullivan, of the State Patrol, said that while Moffett's "intentions were good," jaywalking caused the accident.

Editor's Note: As of today, Bill Scanlon is out of a job. The Rocky Mountain News folded today, another newspaper that is the victim of declining revenues.

END THE WAR ON DRUGS ???

If you've been reading my blogs, you must know that I advocate a hardline approach to the use of illicit drugs, including some jail time for the use or possession of pot. As the founder of the Texas Naroctics Officers Association, as a life-member of the California Naroctics Officers Association, as a former member of the board of directors of the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association and as someone who spent half of his law enforcement street experience in California's war on drugs, I've earned the right to speak with some authority on this subject.

Lately, I've noticed an increasing number of columnists calling for an end to the war on drugs. When this call comes from recognized liberal columnists, I've considered it as just more of the same old liberal drivel that's been around forever. Legalize drugs and use the money wasted in the war on drugs to fight real crime. Tax drugs like we do alcohol and tobacco and our treasury would be overflowing with money to fund education, health care, welfare, social security, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc., etc., etc. Yeah, yeah! But when well known conservative columnists call for the legalization of pot, heroin, cocaine, meth, etc., I cannot say that it's just more of the same old liberal crap.

In today's Townhall.com, Burt Prelutsky called for an end to the war on drugs. He is the latest among some conservative columnists to make this call. While I do not agree with Prelutsky's stance, here is the column he wrote:

THIS WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER
by Burt Prelutsky
Townhall.com, February 27, 2009

I believe it is long past time to end the War on Drugs. That’s not because I approve of drug use or have any desire to encourage it. But this particular war has already gone on longer than the ones in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, put together, with no end in sight and far less to show for it.

I would not only decriminalize drug use, I would give it the same legal status as tobacco and alcohol, and with the same age restrictions. For one thing, this would provide a great source of new tax revenue. Also, it would free up jail space for non-drug related crimes.

With the legalization of drugs, the profits that currently accrue to dealers, who use a portion of their ill-gotten gains to pay off politicians, judges and corrupt cops, could go to American companies and American workers.

In Mexico, the majority of murders and kidnappings can be traced directly to the illegal drug trade. Here in the U.S., just in the past two years, over 700 drug-related kidnappings-for-ransom have taken place in Phoenix, Arizona, and those are just the ones we know about. That city can now boast that in addition to all that sunshine and all those golf courses, it is the number one drug gateway to America.

In spite of what the bleeding heart liberals would claim, it’s not poverty, but greed, that has turned most of our big cities into shooting galleries where innocent bystanders seemingly get plunked more often than the punks battling over drug turf.

I realize that among those people opposed to my suggestion are those who’d see it as the government’s endorsing drug use. Considering all the rotten stuff the government has been up to, ranging from the confiscation of private property to the redistribution of wealth, I don’t think many people look to the government for their moral guidance. I would suggest that such people are not only na├»ve, but dangerously shortsighted. First of all, the War on Drugs has been going on for decades, and the good guys aren’t winning. I wish we were, but that’s simply not the case. Prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s and it’s not working any better today. And as was the case 80 years ago, it only works to the advantage of the criminal class to keep the price of the product so much higher than it would be if the drugs were made legal.

One of the most irksome aspects of the War is that we Americans are always claiming the moral high ground, righteously condemning the poppy growers in Afghanistan, the drug czars in Colombia and the Mexican cut-throats, as if they all conspired to turn us into a nation of junkies. The fact is, if so many of us weren’t infantile hedonists who can’t even go 24 hours without snorting, shooting or smoking, this crap, the Afghanis would start planting potatoes and the Latino criminals would have to find another way to make a living.

Besides, when millions of us go through as much booze, nicotine and Prozac, as we do, we’re hardly in a position to be casting stones at someone else’s habit.

Furthermore, without the high cost that goes with the stuff being contraband, there wouldn’t be such a major campaign to hook school children. Actually, if the drugs were as legal as soda pop, a good deal of their present allure would evaporate. And not just for the kids, but for most of the overpaid louts in Hollywood and on Wall Street.

If drugs were legalized, we could all finally stop pretending that addiction is an illness, and that those who commit crimes while under the influence are automatically entitled to a Get Out of Jail Free card. Using drugs in the first place is a choice, not an imperative. By this late date, even 10-year-olds know that the damn things are addictive.

I would think that rational people, whatever their political affiliation, could agree that legalizing drugs would be beneficial. After all, Libertarians don’t think it’s anybody’s business -- let alone the government’s -- what people elect to do to themselves. Conservatives, who already believe in smaller government and individual responsibility, should also be delighted by the additional tax burden that would be carried almost exclusively by liberals.

But even for Democrats, there’s a huge upside to my proposal; namely that there would be far fewer laws for scofflaws to scoff at and, as a result, far fewer of these pinheads would be sent to prison. And, as a result, they’d be free to vote.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WAR IS REALLY GOOD !

If you saw the 1987 movie Wall Street, you'll surely remember the scene in which its star Michael Douglas, as Gordon Gekko, extolled the virtues of greed. Gekko: "The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for a lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of it's forms - greed for life, for money, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed - you mark my words - will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA." Near the end of that scene, Gekko repeats that "Greed is good."

Greed is good? Like hell it is! Greed is what got us into the economic disaster our country is now experiencing. Greed is at the root of the subprime mortgage fiasco. Greed is at the root of bad banking practices. Greed is at the root of high risk investment practices which caused the collapse of some leading Wall Street institutions. Greed is at the root of the stagnation, decline and fall of the American auto industry. Greed is at the root of investors, including reputable charities, buying into Bernie Madoff's 50 billion dollar ponzi scheme. Greed is at the root of a growing unemployment problem. Greed is at the root of the health insurance mess. And because of all that greed, retirees have lost half their life savings over the past year as the stockmarket continues to plunge into a seemingly bottomless abyss.

But all is not lost, or is it? Along comes a black knight in shining armor to slay the greedy dragon and to rescue the banks, insurance companies, Wall Street investment companies, auto companies, homeowners facing foreclosure and the unemployed. Sir Hope has now signed the biggest spending bill in the nations history. He promises that it will employ millions of people to rebuild the nation's crumbling infrstructure. It reminds me of another time in 1932 when a white night in shining armor came along and promised to slay the deep depression dragon and take millions of Americans out of the bread lines and soup kitchens to work at rebuilding America.

Sir New Deal set up the Works Progess Administration (WPA) and did put millions to work building streets, sidewalks, libraries, schools, city halls, courthouses and hospitals. Of course, there were too many people on the same job so that you would end up with two workers leaning on their shovels for every worker who was shovelling. And that was at a time when the unemployed did not have the high-tech skills required of workers in today's society. Did the New Deal bring us out of the depression? No, it did not! World War II brought us out of the depression, starting in 1939 with the lend-lease progam which put millions to work manufacturing war materials for the British.

Which brings me to my point. Instead of Sir Hope's questionable trillion dallar stimulus package, we need a war to restore our nation's economy. I don't mean a puny war to establish democracy in the Middle East. I don't mean a puny war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I don't mean a puny war to eliminate North Korean and Iranian nuclear ambitions. I mean we need a really bigtime war - a war against Russia or China, or better yet, a war against both Russia and China. Since we are in a global economic crisis, such a war would not only restore our economy, but also the economies of Russia and China which right now are hurting as much as ours.

Just think what such a war would do. It would force us to restore the draft to fill our military ranks with millions of new recruits. No more of this volunteer army shit. It would put every able bodied man, woman and child not in the military to work manufacturing the weapons, tanks, ships and planes needed by the army, marines, navy and airforce. We would have to beg illegal immigrants from Mexico to come to the U.S. to help us out. The war would lead to the research and development of many new technologies. And in the end, the winner would employ millions of people to help rebuild the countries on the losing side, as we did with the Marshall Plan after WWII.

Of course, millions would be killed on each side, including lots of civilians. Tragic as it may be, that's not all bad! Scientists have long predicted that we are facing a grave world overpopulation crisis with severe food and water shortages. The millions of war deaths would cull out enough people so that it would postpone any overpopulation crisis for the foreseeable future.

So there you have it. Greed is no good! Peace is not all that good. But war is really good!

Friday, February 20, 2009

NO TEARS FOR DRUG OFFENDERS IN PRISON

Some of my friends keep jumping on me for taking a hard-line approach to the use of illicit drugs, including that "benign" gateway drug, marijuana. They keep bombarding me with the false propaganda put out by Hugh Heffner's National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and other groups that our prisons are overcrowded with inmates who are serving long prison terms for possessing only a few joints or small amounts of crack and other drugs.

I have always maintained that almost all drug offenders in prison are there for distributing illegal drugs, not for mere possession. Those who are serving time for "possession" are actually drug dealers who, in order to obtain a shorter sentence, copped a plea to the lesser charge of possession.

Along comes John Pfaff, associate professor of law at Fordham University Law School, with an article entitled, "Five Myths About Prison Growth Dispelled." Professor Pfaff's article in yesterday's Slade Magazine backs my contention to the hilt. Here is the portion that deals with the number of drug offenders in prison:

"Myth No. 2: Low-level drug offenders drive prison population growth.

It is popular, perhaps almost mandatory, to blame the boom on the War on Drugs. But it is just not true. Only 20 percent of inmates in prisons (as opposed to jails) are locked up for drug offenses, compared with 50 percent for violent crimes and 20 percent for property offenses; most of the drug offenders are in prison for distribution, not possession.

Twenty percent is admittedly much larger than approximately 3 percent, which was the fraction of prisoners serving time on drug charges in the 1970s. But if we were to release every prisoner currently serving time for a drug charge, our prison population would drop only from 1.6 million to 1.3 million. That's not much of a decline, compared with the total number of people in prison in the 1970s—about 300,000."

So to those of you who have fallen for all that false propaganda, I suggest you take some time off and think up a better reason for decriminalizing the possession of illicit drugs. And don't give me that crap about how much it is costing us to keep all those poor souls locked up. That wont fly with me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

HEALTH CARE IN DIRE NEED OF CRITICAL CARE

There is something terribly wrong with the state of health care in America. I am not talking about the quality of health care which is second to none. I'm talking about the astronomical cost of health care and I'm talking about the lack of health care delivery for millions of Americans who cannot afford private health insurance. We are the richest nation in the world and it is a real shame that so many of our men, women and children are deprived of decent health care.

The cost of health care reminds me of when I was hospitalized a number of years ago. I had a runny nose and requested some Kleenex. I was given a very small box containing at most 25 tissues. What do you think my hospital statement showed they charged for that little box? Would you blieve 30 dollars? Well, that's what they charged. Yes, 30 fucking dollars for 25 tissues. If that isn't highway robbery, I don't know what is.

Have you ever gone to a hospital emergency room for a medical problem on a weekend when your doctor's office was closed? If you went there for a problem that was not too serious but did require some attention, you probably had to wait a lot longer than the time it took for you to be attended to. If you were seen for just 20-30 minutes, I'll bet your emergency room charges ranged anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 fucking dollars.

With hospitals required to offer emergency care to the indigent and with many patients unbale to pay their medical bills, the costs for their care are simply passed on to those of us who have insurance or can otherwise pay for our health care. That $30 little box of tissues and other exorbitant hospital charges are desiged to make up for whatever hospital care the poor receive that they are unable to pay for. And on top of that we have to help pay for all those newfangled high-tech diagnostic and therapy devices and for the technicians operating that equipment.

And the cost of prescription drugs is also outrageous. Why is it that American drugs cost so much less in Canada than they do in the United States? I am tired of hearing that the high cost of drugs pays for the money pharmaceutical manufacturers are pouring into research and development. If that were true, the cost in Canada would be the same. While research and development costs are high, they are only a fraction of what the drug companies spend on marketing. I know this is true because I once worked as a pharmaceutical representative for one of those companies.

The skyrocketing cost of health care is forcing many employers to drop the health insurance they provided their employees and retirees. General Motors and Chrysler have been begging the government for billions of dollars in bailout money to avoid bankruptcy. GM and Chrysler, as well as Ford, have only themselves to blame for the financial crises they are experiencing.

The big three have been poorly managed. The quality of their cars was inferior to those of the Japanese and German automakers. They rested on their laurels and failed to recognize and prepare for a future with less reliance on fossil fuels. They gave in to unreasonable union wage and featherbedding demands. But the heaviest millstone around their necks is the high cost of health care for their workers and retirees, a cost which has prevented them from competing with foreign automakers and has brought them to the brink of bankruptcy.

Our nation's health care delivery system needs a drastic change. We should switch to some type of universal heath care system. The question is, should that care be administered by the government or by private carriers? History has shown that the government often screws things up royally, wasting money while achieving negligible results. The private sector has demonstrated that the profit motive has driven up health care costs year after year to astronomical proportions.

The private sector and the medial profession have railed against "socialized medicine" as practiced in Canada and Europe. They provide us with horror stories about the poor quality of medicine and lack of care patients receive in countries with nationalized medicine. Someone told me today that Norway's government health program has a built-in age preference system - persons under 65 receive treatment preference over seniors. He claimed that even with emergency calls, those over 65 are put last if there is a waiting list for ambulance service. I find it awfully hard to believe such horse shit.

For the most part, those horror stories are fabricated fairy tales. While there are long waits for elective procedures, people requiring medical attention receive it in a timely manner. I have a close buddy in Germany, two good friends in England, and I know a number of Canadians from my son's ice hockey playing days. Without exception, these folks have expressed their satisfaction with the quality of care they are receiving through their respective government health programs.

Of course, some wealthy Canadians and Europeans come to the United States for their health needs because they think their money will provide them with better care here. And a number of doctors have left Canada and Europe to open practices here, believing they will strike it rich like so many of our doctors have. But those patient and doctor defections are not an indication that the Canadian and European nationalized health care systems are in disarray.

Because someone has to pay for this care, there is a downside to nationalized health care systems. The people of Canada and the European countries are paying for their health care with very high value added (sales) taxes and other government fees. We complain about the taxes we have to pay, but ours pale when compared to the taxes in countries with nationalized health care systems.

Anyway you look at it, the American health care delivery system is in dire need of critical care. So, should we turn to the private sector or to the government to cure what ails the system? I just cannot see turning to the private sector for a solution when that sector has been the problem all along. Now, as somone who keeps getting accused of being to the right of Attila the Hun, I am going to bite my tongue and come down on the side of the government and a nationalized health care system.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE ..........

The American Jewish left is a trojan horse for the State of Israel. While proclaimig its friendship for Israel, it has opposed every security step the Jewish state has taken. It supports Israel's Peace Now movement which seeks peace at any cost to the detriment of the Jewish state's long-term survival. It supports the "refuseniks," the cowardly Israelis who refuse to serve in the military. It stronly opposes Bibi Netanyahu and is unalterably opposed to the inclusion of ultra-nationalist Avigdor Lieberman in any Israeli government.

A Haaretz.com report - 'Say 'nyet' to Lieberman,' leftist U.S. Jews urge Kadima, Likud - calls attention to the latest shenanigans of the American Jewish left. Here are some snippets from that report:

..... left-wing Jewish activists have been busy, taking little time to rest in between demonstrations against Israel's policy toward Gaza and the prospects of Avigdor Lieberman's joining the ruling coalition.

Two Massachusetts professors, Dennis Gaitsgory, a mathematician from Harvard University, and MIT Professor Josh Tenenbaum launched an online petition entitled "No government with Lieberman," calling on the next Israeli prime minister to cease courting the Yisrael Beiteinu leader. ..... The petition lists some of Lieberman's controversial campaign slogans and positions regarding the Arab citizens of Israel, including his elections "ace" of calling for Arab citizens of Israel to sign an "oath of loyalty" to the state or be stripped of their citizenship.

The call to exclude Lieberman comes alongside another petition by the California-based Jewish Voice for Peace, which calls on President Obama to urge Israel to lift the Gaza blockade and to initiate a dialogue with the Islamist organization. ....."We are Americans who voted for you and we are Palestinians and Israelis a world away," the petition reads. "We are the women, men, and children who are suffering every single day in Gaza and Israel and we are the people who seek to heal their suffering. We are mothers of soldiers and children of refuseniks."


What about Liberman? I do not like some of the racist remarks he directed against Israeli Arabs. But no one can deny that those Arabs constitute a potentially dangerous "fifth column." So what is wrong with stripping them of their citizenship if they refuse to sign an oath of loyalty to the state? Come to think of it, what is wrong with requiring an oath of loyalty from all Israeli citizens?

The left-wingers are no friends of Israel. They are friends of the Palestinians who have vowed to destroy the Jewish state. The Jewish Voice for Peace sorry-ass members were prominent in the San Francisco demonstrations where Palestinians carried signs in Arabic that called for the slaughter of Jews. Other leftist Jews participated in the San Francisco demonstrations and in similar demonstrations in Columbus, Ohio and in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where Palestinians shouted "gas the Jews."

With friends like America's left-wing Jews, Israel doesn't need any enemies.

Monday, February 16, 2009

PRESIDENTS DAY ?

Today we are celebrating a national holiday which is now called Presidents Day. However, officially we are actually celebrating George Washington's birthday. Why don't we call this national holiday what it was called until the mid 1980s - George Washington's Birthday - and what it still represents?

A group of historians has just ranked all of America's presidents. The top five were (1) Abraham Lincoln, (2) George Washington, (3) Franklin Roosevelt, (4) Theordore Roosevelt and (5) Harry Truman. The bottom five were (38) Warren Harding, (39) William Harrison, (40) Franklin Pierce, (41) Andrew Johnson and (42) James Buchanan.

There can be no question that Abraham Lincoln was the best president America ever had. He served during the greatest crisis our country ever faced - the secession of the southern states from the union. His leadership resulted in the restoration and preservation of the union. And he abolished slavery and helped to heal some of the wounds that divided the country. His reward? He was assassinated.

George Washington was not only "The Father of Our Country" but, according to the historians, he was an outstanding president as well. Then why change the name of the holiday celebrating his birthday to Presidents Day? Some claim it was to honor both Washington and Lincoln because their birthdays, February 22 and 12 respectively, fell so close together. Some say it was to honor all presidents. Others demanded we not celebrate Washington's birthday because he was a slave owner. I suspect the objection to honoring a man who owned slaves had more to do with the name change than anything.

Presidents Day? Does this not mean that we are honoring all the presidents including Richard Nixon who resigned in disgrace and George W. Bush who has been one of the most hated politicians in our history? Are we not also honoring James Buchanan who ranks last on the presidential list? Some of the 42 presidents do not deserve to be honored.

In 1971, Columbus Day was officially designated as a national holiday. A holiday named after Christopher Columbus when none is named after Licoln? How crass! In 1986, Martin Luther King, Jr. was honored with an official national holiday. How can he be honored and not Abraham Lincoln? Dr. King most certainly deserved to have a holiday named after him but President Lincoln is much more deserving of that honor.

Let us stop calling George Washington's birthday Presidents Day. Let us establish an official national holiday honoring Abraham Lincoln. Too many paid holidays? Let me propose we drop Columbus Day as an official holiday. I know that would really piss off my Italian-American friends. But Columbus does not deserve to be honored with a holiday. After all, he didn't really discover America. Columbus landed in Hispaniola, believing he had reached the East Indies. Shit, Chris never even set foot on North American soil.

No more Presidents Day! Let us restore the George Washington's Birthday designation. Let us establish Abraham Lincoln's birthday as a seperate national holidaly. And if it takes the elimination of Columbus Day in order to honor Linclon, well so be it!

IF ISRAEL WOULD ONLY ..........

In my last blog, I reproduced part of a speech by Geert Wilders on the Islamization of Europe. Most Europeans and quite a few Americans believe that Israel is at the root of the conflict between Islam and the West. They believe that if Israel would only give up all of the West Bank, its settlements and East Jerusalem, all would be hunky-dory - peace would ensue and the whole Middle East would be stabilized. Some even believe that if Israel were to disappear, Islam would embrace the West.

Wilders' speech in New York contradicts all these thoughts of a peaceful Muslim World as pipe dreams. Wilders maintains that if there were no Israel, Islam would simply find another venue to focus on in its quest to conquer the world. President Obama, who wants America to reach out to Muslims, should heed what Wilders has to say. The all knowing, all seeing Thomas Friedman (see my blog, "Friedman Ought To Know Better"/1-30-09) should take note of Wilders' words. And so should all those who keep blaming our support of Israel (Pat Buchanan, for one) for the turmoil between America and the Muslim world.

Here is that part of Geert Wilders' speech which deals with the Israeli-Islamic conflict:

The (European) public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I have lived in this country (Israel) and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel. First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense.

This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam's territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia. Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed.

The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything

ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE

President Obama has been reaching out to the Muslim World. Geert Wilders, Chairman of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, recently gave a speech in New York that was sponsored by the Hudson Institute. What he said should give Obama second thoughts and should alarm us all. Here is just one part of what Wilders told his audience:

In a generation or two, the US will ask itself who lost Europe? All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe.

The Europe you know is changing. You have probably seen the landmarks. But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration.

All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighborhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well.

It's the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corners. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity.

These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighborhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city.

There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe. With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.

Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam, Marseille and Malmo in Sweden. In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighborhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities.

In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims. Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear 'whore, whore'.

Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin. In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin.

The history of the Holocaust can no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity. In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system.. Many neighborhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels, because he was drinking during the Ramadan.

Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel. I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization.

A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe. San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.

Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France. One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks.

The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favor of a worldwide caliphate. Muslims demand what they call 'respect'. And this is how we give them respect. We have Muslim official state holidays.

The Christian-Democratic attorney general is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey.Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behavior, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots.

Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus. I call the perpetrators 'settlers'. Because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies, they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers.

Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighborhoods, their cities, their countries. Moreover, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.

So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as 'right-wing extremists' or 'racists'. In my country, the Netherlands, 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat.

Yet there is a danger greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine.

An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare,atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve and a loss of military might for America - as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with the heritage of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem.

.....liberty is the most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish.

We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties.. We simply do not have the right to do so.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A RELIGION WHOSE CENTRAL TENET IS HATE

It is hard to conceive how anyone could screw up a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. According to Michael Medved, that is exactly what President Obama did when he attended his first prayer breakfast as president. Apparently, Obama addressed those gathered at the breakfast with a speech containing numerous inaccuracies.

In a recent Townhall.com column, among a list of glaring inaccuracies presented by Obama, Medved considered this statement as the president's most noteworthy single passage: "We subscribe to different accounts of how we came to be here and where we're going next - and some subscribe to no faith at all. But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. That much we know."

Medved wrote, "With this sweeping simplification, the President of the United States offered instant exoneration to those who follow the false God of fanatical Islam.........." Medved quipped, "No God who condones taking the life of innocent human beings?" He revealed that three days after the prayer breakfast, "British MP (member of parliament) John Whittingdale, Chairman of the House of Commons Media Select Committee, condemned Al Jazeera's English language network for broadcasting live sermons by esteemed cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi 'celebrating the Holocaust and praying for the killing of all Jews.'"

Medved continued, "Every Friday without exception, radical mosques in various corners of the planet conduct prayerful services not only condoning, but demanding, the massacre of innocents - services often followed by riots and violence. If President Obama paused to consider the nineteen deeply devout (Muslim) hijackers who slaughtered 3,000 Americans on 9/11, and if he reflected on the tens of millions of Muslims around the world who celebrate these killers as 'the Magnificent Nineteen,' could he honestly conclude 'that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate'?"

I am not going into the other Obama speech inaccuracies reported by Medved because what I have covered so far is in keeping with several of my past blogs. Winston Churchill once called Islam "the most retrograde force in the world" and he compared Hitler's "Mein Kampf" to the Quran. I have always maintained history has shown that Muslims adhere to a faith that is NOT and NEVER has been a religion of peace.

No God who condones taking the life of innocent human beings? Muhammad, the father of Islam, was a brutal warlord who had his opponents murdered, had prisoners of war executed, and personally participated in slaughtering the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. And how does Obama think the Muslims took over much of Africa, Asia and parts of Europe? How did some zealots from Mecca manage to establish Islam in Indonesia where Obama spent part of his schooling? Muhammad ordered the faithful to take up the sword and go forth to conquer the world in the name of Allah. And so, with the clarion call of "death to the infidels," the faithful set forth from Mecca to kill those who would not convert to Islam.

Muslim clerics have been calling for the deaths of innocents in the name of Allah ever since. Just today, IsraelNationalNews.com reported on the latest sermons by prominent Islamic clerics. Sheik Himam Sa'id, tbe Supreme Guide (cleric) of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, called on Palestinian Authority Arabs to formally start a third intifada and carry out suicide bombing attacks to "slaughter the Jews" in Israel. Husan Abdallah, a representative of the Lebanese Association of Islamic Scholars, urged the faithful to "Let pure bodies (suicide bombers) blow up again in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and in all the cities of occupied Palestine (Israel)," adding that they "will be martyrs for the sake of Allah."

Medved's column emphasized that Islam is a religion of hate. The Palestinian-Americans who protested in San Francisco, in Columbus, Ohio and in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida against Israel's attack on Gaza clearly demonstrated that Islam is a religion of hate by calling for the slaughter of Jews and by extolling the Holocaust. Muslim hatred of Jews, and of Christians as well, has existed since Muhammad's time and that time was some 1,300 years before the birth of Israel.

I am convinced that President Obama knowingly included inaccuracies in his prayer breakfast speech as his way of sucking up to the Muslim World. But history tells us the truth. With all that despicable Muslim hatred, it's no wonder why columnist Burt Prelutsky would say that, instead of two, there are now three certaintees - death, taxes and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Friday, February 13, 2009

REGISTRATION OF SEX OFFENDERS

A Houston area English teacher just had a trial in which she was charged with Sexual Assault of a Child. The 43-year-old teacher had been accused of having oral sex with two high school football players. After the jury was deadlocked for two days, she accepted a plea deal in which she pled guilty to two counts of Improper Relations with a Student and received 10 years probation.

Andy Kahan, director of the (Houston) mayor's Crime Victims Assistance office, then appeared on a local television news broadcast and threw a fit. What was Kahan, who I almost always agree with, so incensed about? He threw a fit because the former teacher was allowed to plead guilty to charges which do not require her to register as a sex offender. Conviction on the original charges would have required her to so register. He told the interviewer that there was now a bill before the Texas legislature which would require teachers convicted of Improper Relations With a Student to register as a sex offender and urged viewers to contact their representatives and senators requesting they pass this legislation.

Our nation's sex offender registration laws were intended to protect potential victims from dangerous sexual predators, and that is well and good. But all sex offenders are not dangerous and should those who are not dangerous be treated the same way as those who should not be released from prisons in the first place? Our registration laws are examples of well intentioned lesgislation poorly written.

Now those who know me personally recognize me as a hardline law and order type. But, those who have read my blog, "Let's Be Reasonable With the Registration of Sex Offenders" (2-18-08), also know that I do not agree with way in which sex offender registration laws are applied. There are dangerous sex offenders who should be required to register and there are those who commit certain acts of sexual misconduct that should not be subject to those requirements.

In my previous blog I wrote: "Let me make myself perfectly clear. I have no sympathy whatsoever for sexual predators. Shooting is to good for those who sexually molest infants, toddlers and pre-teens. They deserve the death penalty. At the very least, they should serve the rest of their lives confined behind bars, never seeing the light of day outside of prison walls. None of this crap about an abusive childhood or a diminished mental capacity. Those who forcibly rape older juveniles and adults deserve a harsh prison term and, if released, should be required to register as sex offenders."

Please bear with me while I use additional statements from that blog. "A 'weenie waver' is a sex offender while some jerk taking a leak in public is not. Yet, when the guy taking a piss is convicted of indecent exposure, he is required to register as a sex offender. When a 20 year-old is convicted of having consensual sex with a 17 year-old, he is also required to register."

"............from the sublime to the ridiculous, the new federal Adam Walsh Act even mandates that any male juvenile who had consensual sex with a female juvenile must be included in the national sex offender registry, a requirement that is strongly opposed by many prosecutors and by most probation and social service officials."

"School teachers who have sex with a student should be fired, have their teaching credentials permanently revoked, and be punished by the law. But, should a female teacher be required to register as a sex offender for fulfilling every red-blooded young schoolboy's dream? I think not! Male teachers who engage in sex with their students, and lesbian teachers who have affairs with female students, subject themselves to sexual predator laws. But a female teacher, who has one of her ecstatic male students "get lucky" with her, hardly seems to be a sexual predator in the strictest sense of the term."

The problem with registration laws is that those who have to register may be subjected to some stipulations which, for those who are not dangerous predators, are simply unreasonable. Convicted sex offenders are prohibited form residing within certain distances from any school, child care center, playground or any other place where children might gather. When that distance reaches 1,500 feet, there are few places, if any, where a sex offender can live. In Miami, that distance is 2,500 feet. Thus, Miami has made its sex offenders homeless people.

So there you have it. I hope you agree with me that it is ridiculous to require a guy who takes a leak in the street to register as a sex offender. The same for a male juvenile who has consensual sex with a female juvenile. The same for a young adult man who has consensual sex with a 17-year-old girl. And the same for a female teacher who gives a blow job to a high school student or has a good roll in the sack with him.

In addition to the 10-year probationary term, the former Houston area English teacher had to surrender her teaching credentials for life and cannot be around any children under 17 without a chaperone. That is good! She was also granted deferred adjudication, meaning that the conviction will be removed from her record if she successfully completes her probation. I don't have a problem with that as long as she can never teach again.

I hope that those of you who live in Texas do not follow Andy Kahan's request. Instead, I strongly urge you to contact your state representative and senator, requesting them to vote against goofy legislation that will require teachers convicted of improper relations with a student to register as sex offenders.

THREE CERTAINTIES: DEATH, TAXES AND THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLCT

In today's Townhall.com, Burt Prelutsky has a great column which illustrates the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - when President Obama leaves office, whether four or eight years from now, no peace will have been achieved between the two adversaries. Here is Prelutsky's Townhall.com column:

ISRAEL IS A LAMB AMONG WOLVES
by Burt Prelutsky

When I was very young, people were accustomed to saying that the only two certainties were death and taxes. Over the years, there’s a third item that could be added to the list: Every American president will try and fail to bring peace to the Middle East. Obama is merely the latest to put it at the top of his to-do list. My guess is that four or eight years down the road, long after he has managed to cure the leper and raise the dead, it will still be at the top of his list.

I hate to be a pessimist, but I see no reason not to be. While the folks in Gaza didn’t have two great choices during their last election, much like the electorate here in the U.S., they opted for the greater of two evils, much like the electorate here in the U.S.. They voted for Hamas, a terrorist group sworn to wipe Israel off the map -- the actual map, that is, not merely the fantasy maps they use in their schoolbooks.

It confounds me when people in America and non-Muslims in Europe attempt to find a moral equivalency between Israel and her enemies. For one thing, they invariably find Israel culpable. Israel may not always be right, but that’s far better than always being wrong. I mean, how does anyone living in a civilized nation dare argue on behalf of people who treat their women as chattel and who treat Christians and Jews even worse?

The same bigots who condemn Israel for killing Arab children when they respond to countless missile attacks never seem to condemn the Arabs for either firing those missiles or for using women and children as shields when Israel finally retaliates.

Israel has had nuclear weapons for a good number of years, but has never once used them. Is there anyone anywhere who honestly believes that if Israel’s enemies had nuclear capability, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem would be anything but moonscapes by this time?

Those who claim to find a moral equivalency between the two sides in the Middle East are those who, themselves, have no sense of morality. Decades ago, Abba Eban observed that Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. He was of course referring to their failure to seek a peaceful resolution. But it isn’t peace the Palestinians want. Neither is it statehood. Even Clinton, who had Yasser Arafat sleeping in Lincoln’s bedroom far more often than Lincoln ever had, got the Israelis to offer up 97% of what Arafat was demanding. The way Arafat stormed off, you would have thought the Israelis had asked to have sex on a first date.

People who believe that Israel was wrested from the Arabs by the U.N. in 1948 are simply ignorant of the facts. Zionists had been buying up desert property at wildly inflated prices for several decades by then. All that happened in 1948 was that the U.N. recognized Israel as a sovereign state. Although the Arabs were invited to remain where they were, they were told by Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, Syria and Iraq, to leave so that the invading forces wouldn’t have to worry about collateral damage when they eradicated the Jews. The departing Arabs were assured that they’d soon be free to return and share in the spoils. At the time of the invasion, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, left no room for doubt when he declared: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." That was 61 years ago and the grandkids and great-grandkids of those who fled and wound up in Gaza are still waiting for that Great Come and Get It Day.

Recently, Pat Buchanan, sounding, as usual, an awful lot like Jimmy Carter, wrote a piece advising Israel to surrender still more land for peace. Well, why not? It’s always worked so well in the past. Whenever I read Buchanan on the Middle East conflict, I find myself wondering if his solution to the problem of illegal immigration in America would be to hand Texas, Arizona and California, over to Mexico.

Perhaps next time, just as a change of pace, Mr. Buchanan might consider giving the Arabs the benefit of his wisdom. Perhaps something along the lines of "In case you haven’t noticed, it’s 2009, not 1009. Stop behaving like bloody savages!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

HOW COULD THE VATICAN NOT HAVE KNOWN?

As a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, I was personally offended by the Pope's revocation of Bishop Richard Williamson's excommunication. For over 20 years, Williamson has made many anti-Semitic pronouncements and Holocaust denials. On the very day the Pope revoked his excommunication, Williamson told a Swedish television audience that no Jews died in Nazi gas chambers and that, instead of six million Jews, only 200 - 300,000 died in Hitler's concentration camps.

It is possibile that the Pope was unaware of Williamson's hatred of Jews and Holocaust denials, but it is incomprehensible to me that other high ranking Vatican officials did not know of his many offensive pronouncements. Now that he knows, has the Pope reversed the revocation? No! Instead, Vatican authoirities have ordered Williamson to publicly distance himself from his positions on the Holocaust and to issue an apology. WHAT A JOKE! What kind of fools does the Vatican take us for? After expressing his hatred of Jews over and over again for the past 20 years, does anyone in his right mind believe that any retraction or apology Williamson might make will be sincere? Of course not!

Anti-Semites like Williamson do not bother me nearly as much as does the manner in which the excommunication revocation was handled by the Pope and other Vatican authorities. Both sets of my grandparents were among the six million Jews that perished in the Holocaust. Had my parents not had the good fortune in 1936 of being able to come to America, they and I would have been among those six million Jews who perished in Hitler's concentration camps, with many of them being put to death in gas chambers.

In yesterday's Townhalll.com, Dennis Prager had a column on this whole sordid affair. Here is that column:

WHEN A PRIEST DENIES THE HOLOCAUST
by Dennis Prager

For those of us, Christians and non-Christians, who count themselves as friends of Catholics and their church, these have been a bad few weeks.

On Jan. 21, Pope Benedict XVI revoked the excommunication of four priests who, in 1988, were illegally ordained bishops by the late renegade archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Those ordinations led to Pope John Paul II excommunicating Lefebvre and the four priests.

One of those four was Richard Williamson, who announced in an interview aired on Swedish television in November 2008 and on January 21, 2009 that "two hundred (thousand) to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps. None of them in a gas chamber."

In the interview, Williamson also referred to the Holocaust as "the, quote unquote, Holocaust ..." He has long been a Holocaust denier. As far back as 1989, for example, he risked criminal prosecution in Canada, where he praised books written by Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel.

While empirically true, it is misleading to simply say, as many news reports have, that Pope Benedict repealed the excommunication of a Holocaust denier. It is highly unlikely that the pope, a German who has visited Auschwitz and spoken forcefully about the Shoah (the pope used the Hebrew term for the Holocaust), knew about Williamson's Holocaust denial. The pope, in his fervent desire to end schisms within the church, decided, wisely or not, to reach out to one prominent schismatic group, the extreme right-wing Lefebvre organization known as the Society of St. Pius X.

But it was obviously a mistake in the case of the Lefebvre priests. Williamson is a truly bad man who disgraces the church. When one watches him spew his venom in the Swedish television interview while wearing a large cross, the cross is rendered ugly -- just as the Muslim crescent is rendered ugly by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he spews his Holocaust-denying venom.

What is perplexing is not that the pope and/or his top officials made a serious mistake by readmitting Williamson into the church. People make mistakes. What is perplexing is that the moment Williamson's big lie and Jew-hatred became known, the revocation of his excommunication was not halted or reversed. Rather, the Vatican demanded that he must "unequivocally and publicly distance himself from his positions on the Shoah."

On the assumption that there not only theological but also moral criteria to being reinstated in the Catholic Church, an excommunicated priest who denies the Holocaust should automatically remain excommunicated. Would a priest who denied that Jesus was crucified have his excommunication rescinded? Both Christians and non-Christians believe that Jesus was crucified despite the fact that we have so much more proof of the Holocaust than we do of Jesus' crucifixion. Yet, here is a priest denying the Holocaust of Jesus' people, as if those nearly 6 million European Jews all died of old age.

One would love to ask these Holocaust deniers one question: Poland had three 3 million Jews in 1939 and almost none in 1945. Where did those 3 million Jews go?

A man who denies the Holocaust is either a liar on a magnitude difficult for most mortals to comprehend, or a manifestly sick human being for whom the difference between truth and lie is not discernible, or profoundly anti-Semitic.

Such a person shouldn't be asked to "distance himself from his positions on the Shoah." He should be shunned by the man Catholics believe to be the Vicar of Christ on Earth and by his church. If Williamson is ever to be a Catholic in good standing, he needs to repent from evil, not adopt another "position" on the Holocaust. There are no "positions" on whether the Holocaust took place any more than there are "positions" on whether slavery took place or whether there was a French Revolution.

And if he does repent, we will know. That repentance will take the form of doing work for the victims of the Holocaust that he once said never occurred.

In the meantime, there should be no place for an Ahmadinejad in the Catholic Church.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

AMAZON CULTURE CLASH

Evngelical Christian missionaries have long been involved in a culture clash with the primitive Indians of the Amazon. A story on the missionaries in Brazil was featured last week on ABC World News. It reminded me of what I experienced in 1991 during a special expedition deep into the Venezuelan Amazon.

The ABC news story dealt with the activities of the American evangelical group, Youth With A Mission, and its work with the primitive Suruwaha Indian tribe in the Brazilian Amazon. The Brazilian government claims that the missionaries are trying to convert the Suruwahas to Christianity, thereby destroying an ancient civilization in the process.

The missionaries claim that they are only trying to stop the Suruwahas from committing infanticide of newborns with deformaties and they insist they are not trying to convert the tribe's members. But the Brazilian government, like everyone else, knows that the real reason for the Youth With A Mission group to be there is to evangelize the Indians, not to stop infanticide.

The Amazon rain forest is about 1.6 million square miles in size, covering about 40 percent of South America, including parts of Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia, Peru and Ecuador. A number of stone-age-like Indian tribes live within the Brazilian and Venezuelan Amazon. It is common practice for these primitive Indians to kill any newborns with deformities. In an environment where it is hard to survive under the best of circumstances, these infants are killed because experience has taught the Indians that deformed babies have little chance of surviving in the harsh jungle environment.

In 1991, my son and I, and a friend of mine, received special permission from the Venezuelan government to visit the Yanomamo Indians who live deep in the Venezuelan and Brazilian Amazon. The Yanomamo men are still warriors and have been known to attack outsiders. As a matter of fact, the military in Tamatama (the last outpost in that region) warned us that we would be at some risk by venturing into their habitat. We managed to safely find and visit two Yanomamo villages. In one of those villages most of the Yanomamos were suffering from malaria, with several infants and adults near death.

The evangelical mission on the Padama River is the mission that is nearest to the Yanomamo's habitat. When we stopped there on the way to and from the Yanomamo villages, it was quite obvious that the missionaries were there for the purpose of converting the Indians to Christianity. While there, the missionaries told me about the infanticide of deformed Yanomamo infants and, even worse, that multiple birth babies were buried alive because they were believed to be an evil omen.

Like the government of Brazil, the Venezuelan government accuses the missionaries of destroying the ancient civilization of the Indians. Let's face it, the missions exist for the purpose of converting the heathens to Christianity. To their credit, the missions do provide an education and badly needed medical services to the Indians. But what happens to the Indians after they've been converted and educated. They leave the jungle and head for the cities to seek employment. Unfortunately for them, jobs are few and far between and they find themselves in surroundings far different from their former jungle habitat.

I spent a few days in Puerto Ayacucho, the state capital of Venezuela's Amazonia territory. It was sickening to see what the Christianization of the mission Indians has done to them. Just as with our American Indians, alcoholism runs rampant among the former jungle inhabitants. I saw hundreds of drunken Indians, quite a few passed out on Puerto Ayacucho's sidewalks and in its street gutters.

I don't know about the Suruwahas, but I do know that the Yanomamos are between a rock and a hard place - they are being decimated by malaria. It was estimated that they numbered around 65,000 in the early 1900s. Their numbers have dwindled down to a few thousand. If they cannot be saved from malaria they will die off. If the missionaries save them for Jesus they will probably end up dead drunk on the streets of Puerto Ayacucho. In either event, the ancient Yanomamo civilization will have been destroyed.

BIBI NETANYAHU FOR PRIME MINISTER

TO ALL ISRAELIS, including those presently in the United States:

The so-called "moderate" Palestinians and their leaders have repeatedly declared that their ultimate goal is the liberation of Palestine "from the river to the sea."

In California last month, "moderate" Palestinian demonstrators carried Arabic signs which read, "Slaughter The Jews," "Palestine Is Our Land And The Jews Are Our Dogs," "With Our Soul, With Our Blood,We Will Cleanse You Oh Palestine," and "Death To The Jews." In Ohio they chanted, "Palestine will be free from the river to the sea." And in Florida, "moderate" Palestinians kept shouting, "Gas the Jews" and "Go back to the ovens."

So, if you value the long-term survival of the Jewish state, make BIBI NETANYAHU the Prime Minister of Israel by voting for the LIKUD party candidates!

(Please note: This unsolicited endorsement of Benjamin Netanyahu will be repeated daily until the February 10th parliamentary elections.)

Monday, February 09, 2009

EAST TEXAS JUSTICE

When it comes to law enforcement and justice, East Teaxas, or rather deep East Texas, is a region all of its own. I often told my criminal justice classes that peace officers in East Texas believed that the Miranda Warning was something Santa Ana yelled as the Mexicans charged the Alamo. Even the justices of peace in that region seem to be illiterate when interpreting the state's laws.

Federal and state laws granting the seizure of property involved in or aquired through the use of illicit drug activites are a valuable law enforcement tool in the suppression of drug trafficking. But those seizures can be abused. A glaring example of that abuse in East Texas came to light in yesterday's Houston Chronicle article by Lisa Sandberg. Seems as though the hick cops in two counties have been stopping motorists, primarily black drivers, who are just passing through and seizing their properties to supplement county and town budgets.

Here is Sandberg's Chronicle article:

PROPERTY SEIZURE BY POLICE CALLED 'HIGHWAY PIRACY'
by Lisa Sandberg

TENAHA — A two-decade-old state law that grants authorities the power to seize property used in a crime is wielded by some agencies against people who are never charged with, much less convicted, of a crime.

Law enforcement authorities in this East Texas town of 1,000 people seized property from at least 140 motorists between 2006 and 2008, and, to date, filed criminal charges against fewer than half, according to a San Antonio Express-News review of court documents.

Virtually anything of value was up for grabs: cash, cell phones, personal jewelry, a pair of sneakers, and often, the very car that was being driven through town. Some affidavits filed by officers relied on the presence of seemingly innocuous property as the only evidence that a crime had occurred.

Linda Dorman, a great-grandmother from Akron, Ohio, had $4,000 in cash taken from her by local authorities when she was stopped while driving through town after visiting Houston in April 2007. Court records make no mention that anything illegal was found in her van and show no criminal charges filed in the case. She is still waiting for the return of what she calls "her life savings."

Dorman’s attorney, David Guillory, calls the roadside stops and seizures in Tenaha "highway piracy," undertaken by a couple of law enforcement officers whose agencies get to keep most of what is seized.

Guillory is suing officials in Tenaha and Shelby County on behalf of Dorman and nine other clients who were stripped of their property. All were African-Americans driving either rentals or vehicles with out-of-state plates.

Guillory alleges in the lawsuit that while his clients were detained, they were presented with an ultimatum: waive your rights to your property in exchange for a promise to be released and not be criminally charged. Guillory said most did as Dorman did, signing the waiver to avoid jail.

The state’s asset seizure law doesn’t require that law enforcement agencies file criminal charges in civil forfeiture cases.

It requires only a preponderance of evidence that the property was used in the commission of certain crimes, such as drug crimes, or bought with proceeds of those crimes. That’s a lesser burden than that required in a criminal case.

But Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, said the state’s asset forfeiture law is being abused by enough jurisdictions across the state that he wants to rewrite major sections of it this year.

"The idea that people lose their property but are never charged and never get it back, that’s theft as far as I’m concerned," he said.

Supporters tout the state’s forfeiture law, when used right, as an essential law enforcement tool, allowing state and local departments the ability to go after criminals using the criminals’ money. Law enforcement agencies last year captured tens of millions of dollars from such seizures statewide, according to records from Whitmire’s office.

But in Tenaha, a town of chicken farms that hugs the Louisiana border, critics say being a black out-of-towner passing through with anything of value is almost evidence of a crime.

Tenaha Mayor George Bowers, 80, defended the seizures, saying they allowed a cash-poor city the means to add a second police car in a two-policeman town and help pay for a new police station. "It’s always helpful to have any kind of income to expand your police force," Bowers said.

Local police, he said, must take aggressive action to stem the drug trade that flows through town via U.S. 59. "No doubt about it. (Highway 59) is a thoroughfare that a lot of no-good people travel on. They take the drugs and sell it and take the money and go right back into Mexico," said Bowers, who has been Tenaha’s mayor for 54 years.

Bowers said he would defer questions about whether innocent people were being stripped of their property to Shelby County District Attorney Lynda Russell.

Russell could not be reached for comment, and her attorney declined comment. Randy Whatley, a local constable who himself deposited $115,000 into the county’s seizure account for fiscal year 2007 — state records show $45,000 was eventually returned to their owners — also could not be reached for comment. Russell, Whatley and Bowers are named in Guillory’s lawsuit.

Harris County (Houston) District Attorney Patricia Lykos said the state’s forfeiture law, which last year put millions in the coffers of local law enforcement agencies, including hers, takes some of the profit out of crime. "These ill-gotten gains are used to further the aims of law enforcement and public safety," she said. "It’s kind of poetic justice, isn’t it?"

Lykos believes the law, if followed, provides citizens with adequate safeguards. Local police and attorneys in her office, she said, are well-versed in what constitutes adequate evidence for seizures. Rarely, she said, do seizures take place locally without the filing of criminal charges.

In Shelby County, the district attorney made legal agreements with some individuals that her office would not file criminal charges so long as the property owner waived all rights to the valuables.

"In exchange for (respondent) signing the agreed order of forfeiture, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office agrees to reject charges of money laundering pending at this time," read one waiver, dated April 10, 2007.

The property owners named in the waiver had just signed over $7,342 in cash, their 1994 Chevrolet Suburban, a cell phone, a BlackBerry and a stone necklace.

The law, forbids a peace officer at the time of seizure to "request, require or in any manner induce any person ... to execute a document purporting to waive the person’s interest in or rights to the property."

DEA TO BE DEFANGED

Just as a study of 369 men published in the journal Cancer found being a regular pot smoker doubled the risk of developing testicular cancer, one of the most common cancers in younger men, comes word that the Obama administration will order the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to stop raiding California's "medical" marijuana shops.

Thirteen states have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. California is the only state that allows businesses to dispense marijuana and to advertise their services. Federal law prohibits the possession, distribution or cultivation of marijuana for any reason. The DEA has been raiding California's pot pharmacies ever since they were legalized by state law. Last week DEA agents raided four pot shops in Los Angeles and seized 500 pounds of marijuana.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro has just released this statement: "The president believes that fderal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws, and as he continues to appoint senior leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects them to review their policies with that in mind." Shapiro's statement was in keeping with statements Obama made on the campaign trail. In other words, Obama will tell the DEA to BUG OFF!

California's pot heads and pot shop owners must be jumping up and down with joy. Said Mark Kleinman, a UCLA professor and former Justice Department official, "This message is, this is no longer drug warrior time. We are not on a cultural crusade against pot-smoking." Keinman also put it another way: "It is no longer federal policy to beat up on hippies."

Cultural crudade? Beat up on hippies? What a crock of supreme shit! Kleinman's statements clearly show that he is not talking about medical marijuana. He is talking about LEGITIMIZING THE POT CULTURE. And Obama obviously fails to realize how much California's medical marijuana law has been abused? What may have been a law passed with the best of intentions has turned into a means for pot heads to obtain and use marijuana withouf fear of retribution.

Many medical experts claim that marijuana diminishes the suffering of glaucoma, cancer and AIDS patients. However, other experts dispute that claim or say that other drugs, legal ones, are readily available to help such patients.

What has happened in California is that thousands of healthy pot heads have taken advantage of the law by coming forward with phony symptoms, so that many doctors, knowingly or unwittingly, are writing scrips to satisfy their patients. The scope of the abuse can be seen in last week's 500 pound seizure from just four Los Angeles pot pharmacies.

I have often said, and continue to say, that marijuana is on of our most dangerous drugs because it is held up as a benign drug comparable to alcohol. But marijuana is the GATEWAY DRUG to the use of heroin, cocaine and meth. When its use becomes prosaic, pot users are likely to turn to those more powerful mind altering substances. That is why I am strongly opposed to any legal use of marijuana.

According to Devlin Barrett, an Associated Press writer, "Experts believe it is already clear the Obama admiinstration will change the strategy, if not the law, on medical marijuana." As in California, when that happens it will open up the flood gates for the nationwide use of marijuana and lead to an eventual increase in the use of heroin, cocaine and meth. That makes me wonder - how much pot did President Obama smoke during his formative years?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

BIBI NETANYAHU FOR PRIME MINISTER

TO ALL ISRAELIS, including those presently in the United States:

The so-called "moderate" Palestinians and their leaders have repeatedly declared that their ultimate goal is the liberation of Palestine "from the river to the sea."

In California last month, "moderate" Palestinian demonstrators carried Arabic signs which read, "Slaughter The Jews," "Palestine Is Our Land And The Jews Are Our Dogs," "With Our Soul, With Our Blood,We Will Cleanse You Oh Palestine," and "Death To The Jews." In Ohio they chanted, "Palestine will be free from the river to the sea." And in Florida, "moderate" Palestinians kept shouting, "Gas the Jews" and "Go back to the ovens."

So, if you value the long-term survival of the Jewish state, make BIBI NETANYAHU the Prime Minister of Israel by voting for the LIKUD party candidates!

(Please note: This unsolicited endorsement of Benjamin Netanyahu will be repeated daily until the February 10th parliamentary elections.)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

MISTAKES AND HEROES

Another sports "hero" has fallen off his pedestal. Michael Phelps was pictured smoking pot through a bong on the front page of the British tabloid, News of the World. Or to put it in other words, another role model "gone to pot."

Phelps, who received world-wide acclaim for winning a record eight gold medals in swimming at the Beijing olympics, has received millions of dollars in commercial endorsements for his unprecedented feat. So far, only cereal maker Kellogg has announced it will not renew its lucrative sponsorship contract with the pot smoking role model. It is possible that other sponsors may follow suit.

To his credit, Phelps immediately 'fessed up' to his transgression. Unlike Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both of whom appear to have lied when they denied ever using any steroids and human growth hormones, Phelps publicly admitted his "mistake" and apologized to his fans.

This brings me to comment on a couple of frequently misused words - mistakes and heroes. Does one make a mistake when he intentionally commits a wrongful act. Not to my way of thinking! A mistake is when you add three and three and come up with five. A mistake is when you're driving and turn right instead of left. A mistake is when you overcook the Thanksgiving Day turkey.

The illegal use of steroids and growth hormones is not a mistake. It's a crime. Thefts, fraud, assaults, rapes and smoking pot are not mistakes. They're all crimes. So, when Phelps and other wrongdoers admit to making a mistake, are they really confessing to breaking the law, or do they mean getting caught was the mistake they made?

Hero! It sickens me to see how often the word is misused. Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, Muhammed Ali (who refused to serve his country when he was drafted during the Vietnam War), Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and a legion of other star athletes are not heroes. They're outstanding sports figures. They're stars and entertainers, but not heroes. They may well be role models. But no matter how outstanding, they have not earned the honor of being called a hero.

A hero is someone who risks his own life trying to save the life of another person or risks his life on behalf of his country. Our front-line troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are heroes. A firefighter rushing into a burning building is a hero. A cop facing down a dangerous criminal is a hero. And so is someone who crawls out on a frozen pond in an attempt to save the life of an animal that has broken through the ice. These true heroes deserve far more recognition than a bunch of star athletes with inflated egos.

Take O.J. Simpson. Like most other athletes, he never ever did anything even remotely heroic. He never risked his life to save someone else's. He never served a day in the military, nor a day as a firefighter or police officer. Yet Simpson was worshipped as a hero by millions of American football fans for running over and around opposing players. And though he fell from his pedestal when he was arrested for murdering his ex-wife and Ron Goldman, his die-hard fans continue to consider O.J. a hero. What an awful misuse of the word!

On the other hand there was Pat Tillman. He gave up a solid pro football career to serve his country by enlisting in the army after 9/11. Tillma was killed in action while serving on the front lines in Afghanistan. Now there is a true hero! His heroism had absolutely nothing to do with sports. By his sacrifice, Tillman has exposed all those other star athletes as fake heroes.

BIBI NETANYAHU FOR PRIME MINISTER

TO ALL ISRAELIS, including those presently in the United States:

The so-called "moderate" Palestinians and their leaders have repeatedly declared that their ultimate goal is the liberation of Palestine "from the river to the sea."

In California last month, "moderate" Palestinian demonstrators carried Arabic signs which read, "Slaughter The Jews," "Palestine Is Our Land And The Jews Are Our Dogs," "With Our Soul, With Our Blood,We Will Cleanse You Oh Palestine," and "Death To The Jews." In Ohio they chanted, "Palestine will be free from the river to the sea." And in Flrorida, "moderate" Palestinians kept shouting, "Gas the Jews" and "Go back to the ovens."

So, if you value the long-term survival of the Jewish state, make BIBI NETANYAHU the Prime Minister of Israel by voting for the LIKUD party candidates!

(Please note: This unsolicited endorsement of Benjamin Netanyahu will be repeated daily until the February 10th parliamentary elections.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

BAILOUT PLAN EXPLAINED BY MONKEY BUSINESS

If you are confused by how the Wall Street Bailout Plan works, here is an explanation that was recently sent to me:

MONKEY BUSINESS

Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

The villagers, knowing there were many monkeys, went to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.

He then announced that he would buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the villagers efforts and they started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf.

The assistant told the villagers, "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that my boss has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when my boss returns, you can sell them to him for $50."

The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars.

They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys!

Now you have a better understanding of how the WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN WORKS !!! It doesn't get much clearer than this........

CONVICTED BY JUNK SCIENCE EVIDENCE AND SCIENCE FICTION TESTIMONY?

The National Academy of Sciences, a very prestigious gourp, is set to release a report this month on the use of scientific evidence by law enforcement. What the report boils down to is that evidence on fingerprinting, firearms identification, analysis of bite marks, blood splatter, hair, handwriting, etc. has been developed by "shoddy practices" and that "such analyses are often handled by poorly trained technicians who then exaggerate the accuracy of their methods in court."

This report is an indictment of the nation's crime labs, including the highly regarded FBI lab. It is predicted that defense attorneys will use the report in court to discredit "scientific" evidence and that there will be an avalanche of appeals claiming that defendants were convicted of crimes by junk science evidence and science fiction testimony. Attorneys defending Casey Anthony for the murder of her 2-year-od daughter Caylee have already stated they will use the Academy's report to discredit evidence from the trunk of her car - the detection of chloroform, the odor of human decomposition, hair and a stain said to belong to Caylee.

Here is the story as reported yesterday in The New York Times:

Science Found Wanting in Nation's Crime Labs
By SOLOMON MOORE

Forensic evidence that has helped convict thousands of defendants for nearly a century is often the product of shoddy scientific practices that should be upgraded and standardized, according to accounts of a draft report by the nation’s pre-eminent scientific research group.

The report by the National Academy of Sciences is to be released this month. People who have seen it say it is a sweeping critique of many forensic methods that the police and prosecutors rely on, including fingerprinting, firearms identification and analysis of bite marks, blood splatter, hair and handwriting.

The report says such analyses are often handled by poorly trained technicians who then exaggerate the accuracy of their methods in court. It concludes that Congress should create a federal agency to guarantee the independence of the field, which has been dominated by law enforcement agencies, say forensic professionals, scholars and scientists who have seen review copies of the study. Early reviewers said the report was still subject to change.

The result of a two-year review, the report follows a series of widely publicized crime laboratory failures, including the case of Brandon Mayfield, a lawyer from Portland, Ore., and Muslim convert who was wrongly arrested in the 2004 terrorist train bombing in Madrid that killed 191 people and wounded 2,000.

American examiners matched Mr. Mayfield’s fingerprint to those found at the scene, although Spanish authorities eventually convinced the Federal Bureau of Investigation that its fingerprint identification methods were faulty. Mr. Mayfield was released, and the federal government settled with him for $2 million.

In 2005, Congress asked the National Academy to assess the state of the forensic techniques used in court proceedings. The report’s findings are not binding, but they are expected to be highly influential.

"This is not a judicial ruling; it is not a law," said Michael J. Saks, a psychology and law professor at Arizona State University who presented fundamental weaknesses in forensic evidence to the academy. "But it will be used by others who will make law or will argue cases."

Legal experts expect that the report will give ammunition to defense lawyers seeking to discredit forensic procedures and expert witnesses in court. Lawyers could also use the findings in their attempts to overturn convictions based on spurious evidence. Judges are likely to use the findings to raise the bar for admissibility of certain types of forensic evidence and to rein in exaggerated expert testimony.

The report may also drive federal legislation if Congress adopts its recommendations. Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama, who has pushed for forensic reform, said, "My hope is that this report will provide an objective and unbiased perspective of the critical needs of our crime labs."

Forensics, which developed within law enforcement institutions — and have been mythologized on television shows from "Quincy, M.E." to "CSI: Miami" — suffers from a lack of independence, the report found.

The report’s most controversial recommendation is the establishment of a federal agency to finance research and training and promote universal standards in forensic science, a discipline that spans anthropology, biology, chemistry, physics, medicine and law. The report also calls for tougher regulation of crime laboratories.

In an effort to mitigate law enforcement opposition to the report, which has already delayed its publication, the draft focuses on scientific shortcomings and policy changes that could improve forensics. It is largely silent on strictly legal issues to avoid overstepping its bounds.

Perhaps the most powerful example of the National Academy’s prior influence on forensic science was a 2004 report discrediting the F.B.I. technique of matching the chemical signatures of lead in bullets at a crime scene to similar bullets possessed by a suspect. As a result, the agency had to notify hundreds of people who potentially had been wrongfully convicted.

In its current draft report, the National Academy wrote that the field suffered from a reliance on outmoded and untested theories by analysts who often have no background in science, statistics or other empirical disciplines.

Although it is not subject to significant criticism in the report, the advent of DNA profiling clearly set the agenda. DNA evidence is presented in less than 10 percent of all violent crimes but has revolutionized the entire science of forensics. While DNA testing has helped to free more than 200 wrongfully convicted people, "DNA was a shock to police culture and created an alternative scientific model, which promoted standardization, transparency and a higher level of precision," said Paul Giannelli, a forensic science expert at Case Western Reserve University School of Law who presented his research to the National Academy. Enforcement officials, Mr. Giannelli said, "chose to say they never make mistakes, but they have little scientific support, and this report could blow them out of the water."

Peter J. Neufeld, a co-director of the Innocence Project, a nonprofit group that uses DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongfully convicted, presented to the academy a study of trial transcripts of 137 convictions that were overturned by DNA evidence and found that 60 percent included false or misleading statements regarding blood, hair, bite mark, shoe print, soil, fiber and fingerprint analyses.

The courts have long struggled with the proper role of scientific evidence. In a 1993 landmark decision, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the Supreme Court held that scientific testimony had to meet an objective standard. Federal courts have occasionally excluded evidence like handwriting and hair analysis.

Donald Kennedy, a Stanford scientist who helped select the report’s authors, said federal law enforcement agencies resented "intervention" of mainstream science — especially the National Academy — in the courts.

He said the National Institute of Justice, a research arm of the Justice Department, tried to derail the forensic study by refusing to finance it and demanding to review the findings before publication. A bipartisan vote in Congress in 2005 broke the impasse with a $1.5 million appropriation.

Mr. Shelby also accused the National Institute of Justice of trying to infiltrate the forensic study panel with lobbyists for private DNA analysis companies, who were seeking to limit the research to DNA studies.

The National Institute of Justice said it would not comment until the report was released. But a preview of potential turf wars played out in the presentations to the National Academy in December 2007. A forensic expert from the Secret Service blasted the F.B.I. for developing questionable techniques "on an ad-hoc basis, without proper research."

He said the Secret Service wanted the National Academy "to send a message to the entire forensic science community that this type of method development is not acceptable practice."

Everyone interviewed for this article agreed that the report would be a force of change in the forensics field.

One person who has reviewed the draft and who asked not to be identified because of promises to keep the contents confidential said: "I’m sure that every defense attorney in the country is waiting for this report to come out. There are going to be challenges to fingerprints and firearms evidence and the general lack of empirical grounding. It’s going to be big."