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Feb 14, 2005
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THE FOUNDATION"These are the times that try men's souls."
Thomas Paine

A Referendum on Post 9/11 Planning...
This Sunday will mark four years since the catastrophic attack on our nation, Tuesday, 11 September, 2001. The events of that day seem far removed amid the images of death, human suffering and catastrophic destruction this past two weeks—the result of the most devastating natural disaster in our nation's history.

Focus, if you will, on the haunting images of four years ago. Through smoke and tears, we beheld that morning's mayhem, its mass murder, moment by moment. Our memories of that soft September day are crisp...The New York skyline rendered dark, smudged, forever changed...The Pentagon, both central to and symbolic of our nation's military might, broken and smoldering...A riven green field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a jetliner-turned-missile was drilled into the ground in the first battle of the Long War...A cross fashioned from the serendipitous fall of WTC girders, where rescuers found brief solace in prayer... Tattered U.S. flags still flying proudly, defiantly, amid the rubble...And the grim resolve etched across the faces of firefighters and their countrymen as they turned again and again to dig through the debris.

We now know the details. We now know how survival on 9/11 depended on minutes and inches—and how incalculable loss and unqualified heroism played out together. We now place the death toll in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia at 2,973.

Between 0846, when the first plane hit the WTC North Tower, and 1028, when it joined the South Tower in a pile of 500,000 tons of steel and concrete—and 225 tons of human remains—we Americans were finally forced to confront the truth: We were at war with a willful and fanatical enemy.

We were forced to confront the truth: We were at war...
On the morning of 9/11, only the most fringe media and political elements failed to join the national consensus of condemnation for the enemy that undertook this attack. As New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani took command of response and recovery operations in his city, an as-yet untested President George W. Bush embraced his role as Commander in Chief and took measured and appropriate action against our attackers. Additionally, President Bush made the bold but necessary decision to take pre-emptive military action against our enemies, subsequently tagged, "The Bush Doctrine." He also enacted massive restructuring of government agencies in order both to protect from and respond to future attacks.

Prior to 9/11, Western democracies, particularly those beacons of liberty (the U.S. and our allies), had been engaged in a war for at least two decades with an enemy that was only marginally organized. But by 1998, that enemy had coalesced into a formidable adversary most aptly deemed "Jihadistan" —a borderless nation of Islamic fascists comprising al-Qa'ida and other Islamist terrorist groups.

"Borderless nation"? The "Islamic World" of the Quran recognizes no political borders. Though orthodox Muslims (those who subscribe to the teachings of the "pre-Medina" Quran) do not support acts of terrorism or mass murder, very large sects within the Islamic world subscribe to the "post-Mecca" Quran and Hadiths (Mohammed's teachings). It is this latter group of death-worshipping sects that calls for jihad, or "holy war," against all "the enemies of God" (those enemies would include all non-Muslims). They constitute a borderless nation of "holy" warriors—Jihadistan, whose adherents are characterized by the poisonous Wahhabism of Osama bin Laden and his heretical ilk who would remake the Muslim world in their own image of twisted hate and deathly obsession.

"We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us."
Osama bin Laden

Indeed, al-Qa'ida's murderous leader reminded Americans shortly after 9/11: "We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us." Until 9/11, the West treated most of Jihadi attacks as isolated acts of terrorism. But in the post-9/11 world, we know the Jihadi threat is part of a worldwide network—including sleeper cells in U.S. suburbs, cells now lying low only because of heightened vigilance and increased domestic law-enforcement pressure.

This week, Yossef Bodansky, former director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, issued an analytical report citing a communication between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden in which al-Zarqawi promises a "Great Ramadan Offensive" against the U.S. and our Allies, especially Israel. According to al-Zarqawi, the attacks are to coincide with the observance of the Islamic holy season beginning 4 October.

There are some similarities between 9/11 and the cataclysmic events of the last two weeks. Prior to 9/11, we had been lulled into complacency despite advance warnings, as was the case with Hurricane Katrina. (We Americans seem somehow determined to hold on to those delusions that comfort us most.) In addition, the human suffering and the immediate outreach of the American people have been strikingly similar.

We are determined to hold on to those delusions that comfort us most.
There are major differences. Katrina's attack on the Gulf Coast took days to unfold, and the death toll may well exceed that of 9/11. Virtually all of New Orleans 1.4 million residents had to evacuate, and most of the city, almost 180 square miles, was swamped by Lake Pontchartrain. There were far fewer refugees—those left only with the shirts on their backs—after 9/11. The cost of hurricane damage and recovery may exceed $200 billion, a price tag far above the recovery costs of 9/11. (For reference, the material losses from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 totaled $12.5 billion.)

Though most of the media and political attention have been focused on hurricane refugees in New Orleans, those who suffered tragic losses elsewhere in the region are far outnumbered by relatives, friends and strangers who have taken them in. These folks have opened their churches, homes and businesses to provide shelter for refugees. They have donated time, material goods, services and money. Thousands of Americans from around the nation—professionals and laborers alike with expertise necessary for recovery efforts—have left their homes and families in order to volunteer their assistance.

Now that the remaining displaced persons have been evacuated from New Orleans, the neediest of them—the elderly and infirm—are being taken in by communities in all Southern states. As each day has passed, the ranks of those stepping forward to help their displaced countrymen have grown exponentially. On top of that, countless millions of Americans from coast to coast are offering daily prayer for victims.

This is the real face of America, but not the face of liberal political leaders and their media trucklings.

Four years ago, responsibility for the devastation of 9/11 was appropriately laid at the feet of Islamist terrorists and their state sponsors, who planned, funded and carried out the attack on our nation. It is, after all, in our nature to identify the offender and seek justice for injustice—to reconcile the account.

Liberal politicians and media pundits are busy seeking justice—but for an act of nature.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina's destruction, liberal politicians and media pundits are, again, busy seeking justice—but for an act of nature. There is no "enemy," but they are determined to attach blame for this tragedy on George W. Bush. Their politicization of the human suffering in Katrina's wake is beneath disgraceful, especially because we know after 9/11 that a unified response to catastrophe is critical to success.

The national response and recovery efforts after Katrina are, in some important respects, a referendum on the effectiveness of post 9/11 homeland-security planning. That having been said, every war strategist knows that the best-laid plans often go in the trash soon after the first shot is fired. In other words, circumstances change so quickly that response has to be fluid—because stubbornly sticking to a plan can get you killed. Likewise, response to a natural disaster must be fluid—because the disaster itself is fluid, and because critical decisions must be made quickly and under duress. Additionally, it is well worth noting that the logistical burden created by Katrina far exceeds that of 9/11: One event destroyed a few city blocks; the other destroyed the coastal communities of two states.

Of course, as this column has noted before, individual preparedness is the front line of national preparedness. Local, state and federal government agencies could not begin to pre-position emergency-relief inventories for every contingency plan across the nation. Government agencies will likely not be able to meet even minimal needs for days or even weeks, depending on the nature of the catastrophe, and only then after the surge of response and recovery efforts is sufficient. (FederalistPatriot.US posts an excellent resource page "Recommended Action Plan" with all you need to know about emergency preparedness measures for yourself and your family.)

Democrats may get their "inquisition commission," but they best take care what they ask for, lest they get it.
Inevitably, in the Katrina after-action report, serious errors at the local, state and national level of government will be discovered, and emergency plans will be revised accordingly. Indeed, Democrats may get their "inquisition commission," hoping for colorful headlines protesting "Republican failures" in the upcoming election year, but they had best take care what they ask for, lest they get it. Inquiring too deeply into factual communication, material distribution and evacuation failures after Katrina will likely yield answers that sink Louisiana Democrats—from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (see his evacuation plan) to Governor Kathleen Blanco. Oh, and if Louisiana voters ever hold Sen. Mary Landrieu accountable for diverting Corps of Engineer funding from NOLA levees to her pet projects, well, she just might need to pack her bags. In the end, if Mayor Giuliani set the standard for local leadership in response to a catastrophe, Louisiana's leading Democrats were miserably ill-suited to the challenge.

Quote of the week..."We'll once again show the world that the worst adversities bring out the best in America."
George W. Bush

"This is one of these disasters that will test our soul and test our spirit. But we're going to show the world, once again, that not only will we survive, but that we will be stronger and better for it when it's all said and done, that amidst this darkness, there is light. And I want to thank you all for providing light, immediate light to people who needed help. You make your state and your local governments and your country proud... Americans can be certain our nation has the character, the resources and the resolve to overcome this disaster. We will comfort and care for the victims. We will restore the towns and neighborhoods that have been lost in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. rebuild the great city of New Orleans. And we'll once again show the world that the worst adversities bring out the best in America." —President George W. Bush in Louisiana

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Regarding your support—financially, materially and personally—for hurricane victim relief, please consider small non-governmental organizations or ministries that are closest to the point of distribution for victims. Though supporting organizations like the Red Cross and donating time to FEMA and other EMA providers are certainly helpful, these are big bureaucracies with all the incumbent negatives that attend such organizations. If you don't live in a state where the victims are being housed or supported, we strongly encourage you to check with your local church or missionary service for an affiliate in the affected region. Additionally, we suggest you avoid giving to any of the online "relief" websites, as many of them are fraudulent. To check on the validity of an organization or ministry, or to identify giving opportunities link to GuideStar.org or Give.org

On cross-examination...
"No tragedy is so horrific, no calamity so sad, that somebody can't reduce it to politics. Hurricane Katrina was a tragedy for most of us, but a gift of the gods to the kingdom of the left, where everyone gets up every morning eager to count the ways to despise George W. Bush." —Wesley Pruden

Open query...
"Back in the real world, America's enemies will draw many useful lessons from the events of this last week. Will America?" —Mark Steyn

The BIG Demo-gogue lies...
Editor's Note: As surmised in the essay above, liberal politicization of human suffering in Katrina's wake is beneath disgraceful. In each of the following categories this week, there were simply too many qualified entries to pick just one—so we'll leave that decision to you, our Patriot readers.

"The American people expect and deserve accountability, they expect leadership, and they expect competence. They didn't see any of that coming out of the White House following the disaster of Katrina. Instead of unconscionably blaming others, President Bush must take charge and take responsibility." —House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Memo to Nan: George Bush is the only elected official to date who has NOT blamed anyone else.

"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died." —Teddy Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick), unwittingly reminding us of Mary Jo Kopechne's fate.

"When [President Bush] tours the Gulf region...I hope he will stand on a pile of rubble [as he did after 9/11]. And he will look up to the heavens and say to God, 'You're responsible for this. And soon you will hear from us'." —Illinois Demo-gogue Je$$e Jack$on, Jr.

"[These are] sons and daughters of slaves." —The Congressional Black Caucus's Diane Watson

This week's "Alpha Jackass" awards:
"It is racist to call American citizens refugees... This looks like the hull of a slave ship." —the Ir-"Rev." Je$$e Jack$on

"The real question is not only those that didn't get out. The question is: why has it taken the government so long to get in. I feel that, if it was in another area, with another economic strata(sic) and racial makeup, that President Bush would have run out of Crawford a lot quicker and FEMA would have found its way in a lot sooner." —Al $harpton

"If the majority of the folks left behind were white individuals, and most of the folks who were able to escape on their own were African Americans, then I wouldn't be sitting here right now. This is a racial story." —NAACP attorney Damon Hewitt, apparently oblivious to the fact that 80 percent of New Orleans residents are black, and the vast majority of them did "escape on their own."

This week's "Braying Jackass" awards:
"There are people dying and [the US government is] not putting the boats in the water, I think that's criminal negligence. I don't think anybody ever anticipated the criminal negligence of the Bush administration in this situation." —Sean Penn

See Capt. Sean in action

"C'mon, they're black!... Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days?" —Michael Moore-on

"I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food... They've given them permission to go down and shoot us... George Bush doesn't care about black people." —paranoid rapper Kanye West, going way "off script" (according to NBC) during Friday night's "benefit concert," ostensibly for hurricane victims

"You know, some people are stealing and they're making a big deal out of it. Oh, they're stealing 20 pair of jeans or they're stealing television sets. Who cares?... Maybe those people are so poor, some of the people who do that they're so poor they've never touched anything in their lives. Let them touch those things for once." —Celine Dion

Memo to Celine: We suggest letting looters touch 185-grain 10mm jacketed hollow points at 1,000 fps!

This week's Leftmedia Race-Baiters...
"To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked" —Washington Post headline quoting a black hurricane survivor.

"[Katrina will] necessitate a national discussion on race, on oil, politics, class, infrastructure, the environment, and more." —MSNBC's Brian Williams

"The slow response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina has led to questions about race, poverty, and a seemingly indifferent government." —ABC's Ted Koppel

Memo to Ted: The "indifferent government" of the State of Louisiana has been under Democrat rule for 60 years.

"Tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so black, and this is gonna raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold." —CNN's Wolf Blitzer

Memo to Wolf: Are we to conclude it would've been less tragic if they were middle class Asians, Hispanics or Anglos...?

"Do you think black America's sitting there thinking, if these were middle-class white people, there would be cruise ships in New Orleans, not the Superdome?... Do you think the reason that they're not there or the food is not there or the cruise ships aren't there or all this stuff that you believe should be there, isn't this a matter of race and/or class?" —CNN anchor Aaron Brown, telling a question to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones

"Despite the many angles of this tragedy...there is a great big elephant in the living room that the media seems content to ignore. [We] in the media are ignoring the fact that almost all of the victims in New Orleans are black and poor." —CNN's Jack Cafferty confusing "white elephants" with "800-pound gorillas."

Memo to Jack: Check out Wolf and Aaron.

"[If Katrina's victims were white] they would not have gone for days without food and water, forcing many to steal for mere survival. Their bodies would not have been left to float in putrid water. They would have been rescued and relocated a hell of a lot faster than this. Period." —CBS's Nancy Giles

"It's not a nice topic, it's about race, you know, it's about class, it's about poverty, it's about screw-ups, it's not a happy topic." —MSNBC's Chris Matthews

Memo to Chris: It's a hurricane. It's not supposed to be a "happy topic."

News from the Swamp...
In the Executive Branch, President Bush has continued to focus his energies on getting the Gulf Coast back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina. He's made two trips to the region to view for himself the recovery effort and has pledged an investigation into the government's response to the disaster.

On the Hill, for their part, Congress is crafting a legislative aid package that will tame the bureaucracy so that money and supplies can flow quickly to those who need it. $10 billion in aid has already been approved. Republican and Democrat leaders also stated that a bipartisan review will examine government response on the federal, state and municipal levels.

In the House, a bill providing an additional $51.8 billion in disaster relief sailed through to passage with a vote of 410-11.

Thanks to a movement led by rabid environmentalists, no new oil refineries have been built in 29 years, which accounts for the price of gas.
Arizona Rep. John Shadegg is introducing a bill to address the nation's critical shortage in refinery capacity. Thanks to a movement led by rabid environmentalists who also like to own every electricity-sapping gadget they can take home in their gas-guzzling SUVs, regulations and restrictions have prevented the building of even a single new oil refinery in the United States in the past 29 years. It is this lack of refineries as much as any other factor that has led to painfully high gas prices.

Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave has introduced the Home School Non-Discrimination Act, which will ensure equal treatment for children schooled at home by making changes to laws that overlook or unfairly affect them.

In the Senate, disaster relief has sent the fall legislative agenda into a tailspin. Among the items that have been postponed is a vote on reducing the inheritance, or death, tax. Social Security reform and a crackdown on illegal aliens will also have to take a back seat for the time being. But the confirmation hearings for John Roberts will start on 12 September as scheduled. Now that he is poised to become Chief Justice, the Demos have promised to focus even harder on his record, hoping somehow to divine how he'll vote on key issues. This new level of politicization of the Roberts nomination strikes us as odd, considering that we're still talking about the same man with the same record and the same documents.

William Hubbs Rehnquist...
Farewell to one of our country's most ardent defenders of the Constitution. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist died Saturday evening after battling cancer for a year.

President Bush offered these words: "The 16th Chief Justice of the United States was given 80 years of life. He filled those years with purpose, a gracious spirit and faithful service to God and country to the very end. He now goes to his rest beside his beloved Nan. And William H. Rehnquist leaves behind the gratitude of our whole nation. We're proud of our Chief Justice, and America honors his memory. May God bless him."

"The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based upon bad history [and] should be frankly and explicitly abandoned."
Justice Rehniquist

There are many excerpts from rulings which aptly demonstrate his commitment as a constitutional constructionist, but one comes to mind as an excellent example. It pertains to erroneous undermining of religious freedom and expression under the aegis of Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation." Of the Court's flawed decisions based on revisionist interpretation by judicial activists, Justice Rehnquist wrote: "The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based upon bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned... The greatest injury of the 'wall' notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intention of the drafters of the Bill of Rights."

Justice Rehnquist was a hard-headed and relentless defender of our Constitution. He refused to vacate his seat on the Court so that the political timing of his retirement would promote confirmation of a successor who could preserve his legacy as a guardian our Constitution.

As The Patriot noted in early July, after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor submitted her letter announcing retirement, the Bush administration's strategy was to appoint a "conservative moderate" on nobody's top ten list, which President Bush did a week later—John Roberts. Our legal analysts anticipated that Justice Rehnquist would announce his retirement within days of the confirmation of John Roberts, and the administration could tap a compelling and outspoken conservative like Janice Rogers Brown as his replacement.

Unfortunately for our Constitution, time caught up with Justice Rehnquist.

As it stands now, Judge Roberts' confirmation hearings have been delayed until Monday because Democrat members of the Judiciary Committee, who plan to raise strong partisan objections to Roberts, did not want to do so in the wake of last week's hurricane—and risk being seen as more interested in partisan bickering than the welfare of millions of displaced Americans.

Prospects for the appointment of a solid constitutional constructionist like Brown are still good. President Bush upped the ante on Judge Roberts' nomination, raising it from Associate Justice to Chief Justice, hoping to assuage the Left's concern that he might nominate Justice Antonin Scalia or Justice Clarence Thomas instead once Roberts was confirmed. His move leaves the door open for the nomination of a jurist clearly as fervent a constructionist in their interpretation of the Constitution as was Chief Justice Rehnquist.

From the "Non Compos Mentis" Files...
The death of Chief Justice Rehnquist allows a moment of reflection on the past and future direction of the court, as well as on the Chief Justice himself.

Did you know that Rehnquist was "a friend of corporations, polluters, right-wing Republicans, religious fundamentalists, homophobes and other bigots"? We'll bet you're surprised. Did you also know Rehnquist "began his legal career as a Republican functionary by obstructing African-American and Hispanic voting"? Neither did we. We'll bet you were equally unaware that "he started out his political career as a Republican thug."

These penetrating insights are from the vast intellect of Alan Dershowitz. In his op-ed (on the Huffington blog), he explains that Rehnquist had no memorable opinions and that he "will be remembered not for the quality of his opinions but rather for the outcomes." This comes from a man whose most memorable cases were those in which he defended rapists and murderers such as Mike Tyson, Claus von Bulow and O.J. Simpson.

From the Left...
The Associated (with the Left) Press made an interesting observation this week, noting that potential presidential candidate Russ Feingold could be the Demo's anti-war candidate for 2008. Feingold has denounced the President's Iraq policy almost since the start of combat operations. He also has the distinction of being the only senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001. In addition, he's called for a date for pulling our troops out whether or not the mission is complete—a stance that has set him apart from prominent anti-Bushies like Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid. AP even compared Feingold to other anti-war figures such as Eugene McCarthy and Howard Dean. Of course, they meant that as a compliment, but if Feingold is going to follow in their footsteps, then he's going to be taking a short walk.

From the Protestors R Us Department, "Peace-Mom"-gone-mad Cindy Sheehan has embarked on her bus tour that ends in Washington, DC, later this month while taking offers from book publishers for her "story." Meanwhile, Jane Fonda (a.k.a. "Jihad Jane") has announced the cancellation of her own anti-war bus tour in March. Also, Miss Jihad will also be making only two, not eight, appearances with George Galloway's Bush-bashing tour this month. The change of plans comes about because "I would be a distraction [from Sheehan]," she said, "and the vacuum has been filled. That said, I plan to speak out and write some op-ed pieces, but no bus tour." Well, thank heavens she'll still be speaking out! Fonda went on to defend Sheehan, saying, "...what the right wing has done to [her] is despicable."

How many protesting "evacuees" in DC are actually from the South, as opposed to, say, the Northeast?
Meanwhile, in DC, MoveOn organized "hundreds" of hurricane evacuees to storm the capital to demand an "accountability" meeting from President Bush, a la Cindy Sheehan. They want him to "stop blaming local officials for his mistakes" —meaning, of course, that local officials are not responsible for their (in)actions, either. These "hundreds" of people might be able to actually give a helping hand in the Gulf area, but instead, they are wasting time and camera footage for their own self-indulgence. We wonder how many of these "evacuees" are actually from the South, as opposed to, say, the Northeast.

From the warfront with Jihadistan...
Two-and-a-half years after beginning its investigation into Iran's nuclear pursuits, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear "watchdog," is preparing to release its latest findings: that they don't really know what Iran is or isn't doing. (Isn't that where they were 30 months ago?) Stymied in its efforts to evaluate Iran's nuclear programs, patience on all sides—even among many Europeans—is growing thin. This newfound ambivalence toward Iran is likely to grow with the release of one of the IAEA's few conclusive findings—that Iran has indeed restarted processing nuclear fuel in violation of a previous agreement with the EU3; Britain, France and Germany.

Now let's see. The international nuclear monitoring agency, after a two-and-a-half year investigation, is unable to determine whether an autocratic Middle Eastern country is pursuing nuclear weapons. This sounds vaguely familiar. Apparently, intelligence assessments of closed and oppressive regimes might even have a degree of uncertainty. That same investigative agency will review its findings in Vienna later this month, but it is unclear if these findings will be recommended to the Security Council for review, possibly resulting in what we know is a foolproof deterrent strategy—economic sanctions. Meanwhile, Tehran comes ever closer to achieving its "peaceful" nuclear goals.

Judicial Benchmarks...
From the Leftjudiciary, not even a week before Hurricane Katrina hit U.S. shores, the Leftjudiciary was serving up the possibility of much court mischief in blaming human action for "global warming." In San Francisco's federal court, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled that Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the cities of Santa Monica, Oakland and Arcata, in California, and Boulder, in Colorado, may sue the Overseas Private Investment Corp. and the Export-Import Bank of the United States over-building power plants overseas. The plaintiffs are contending such development abroad adds to heating up the planet. The overreach of our courts is surely boundless...

Redistribution of your income..."The question is...whether state and local officials who have been derelict in their duty should be trusted with that money."
Rep. Tom Tancredo

As for the flood of federal dollars into Louisiana coffers, Rep. Tom Tancredo notes, "The head of the FBI in New Orleans just this past year described the state's public corruption as 'epidemic, endemic, and entrenched. No branch of government is exempt.' The question is not whether Congress should provide for those in need, but whether state and local officials who have been derelict in their duty should be trusted with that money."

From the "Regulatory Commissars" File...
As reconstruction efforts are planned for the Gulf Coast, one course of action sure to speed and cheapen efforts is to suspend the federal Davis-Bacon Act. The Act, which dates back to the '30s, requires union wages for workers on federally-funded projects—though Congress tried and failed in 1999 to waive the rules for disaster areas. The mandated wages can increase the cost of a project by nearly 40 percent. Davis-Bacon also requires a ten-day waiting period between informing contractors of the wages and bidding for the project. Removing such a delay is obviously in the best interest of everyone involved.

From the "Village Academic Curriculum" File...
According to Ohio University Economics Professor Richard Vedder, the inflation-adjusted cost of college tuition is just about triple that of the 1970s. The average tuition increase this year is eight percent—down from the last two years' double-digit hikes, but still daunting nonetheless. Since 2002, the average tuition rate is up 36 percent, while consumer prices rose less than nine percent. Tuition is rising substantially faster than family incomes, a trend that will cause many problems in the near future.

For those who learned anything in economics class, one of the reasons is simple: federal aid has increased in double-digit percentages for years. As Vedder notes, "When someone else pays the bills, we become less sensitive to price." If tuition is $10,000 and the federal government pays $8,000, it won't be long before tuition is $18,000 and we'll just expect a larger scholarship next year. As usual, the solution lies in limiting the federal government's role in "helping" to constitutional enumerations—which means no more "help" at all.

Around the nation...
From the states, in California, the culture-war front over redefining marriage to cover same-sex couplings raged on this week, when the state Senate and Assembly both passed AB 849 making state-recognized matrimony a contract between "two persons."

In 2000, California voters by a 61.4 percent majority enacted Prop. 22, saying, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Now, the Golden State's elected representatives refuse to submit to the obvious will of the voters. If the legislators can treat the citizens' votes for Prop. 22 as meaningless, we in our humble editorial shop are wondering how the people's votes electing them as "representatives" can possibly be seen as meaningful. We wonder, too, if these arrogant pols realize how unpopular homosexual marriage is among Hispanics, who will become 50 percent of the state's population by 2050.

In business/economic news...
Economist Henry Hazlitt once wrote of the "broken windows" fallacy of economics—the theory that jobs and growth are created when the windows of a building are broken, because those windows will be replaced. Some "economists" are floating that idea after Katrina, saying that the economy will grow because the devastation will result in job creation to rebuild the city. If that were the case, we could only hope the rest of the country would be destroyed as well! We might have zero percent unemployment! If it weren't for the broken windows, folks might have that money to actually add goods, rather than simply replace them.

Faith matters...
Ms. Ellen Johnson, senior priestess of American Atheists, complained this week, "[Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and President George Bush] should not be violating the Constitution by telling people to pray for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It's unconstitutional for government officials to be promoting religion."

Memo to Ellen: See comments on "the Wall of Separation" from Chief Justice Rehnquist.

On the frontiers of science..."There has been no statistically significant change whatsoever in the number of global tropical cyclones [due to global warming]."
Patrick Michaels

Patrick Michaels, professor of environmental studies at the University of Virginia, offered this insight last week into the alleged relationship between hurricanes and global warming: "[T]ake a look at data for the Atlantic basin for the last 50 years, and you'll find that only ten percent of the variation in hurricane strength and frequency from year to year is related to sea-surface temperature. In other words, 90 percent of the changes in hurricanes...is due to factors other than sea-surface temperatures... [Though] the world's surface temperature has gone up over the last few decades, not as much as a lot of computer models forecast, but it's gone up...there has been no statistically significant change whatsoever in the number of global tropical cyclones."

Around the world...
In a scathing assessment of the United Nation's Oil-for-Food scam, the report by The Independent Inquiry Committee, headed by Paul Volcker, appropriately damns nearly everyone and everything that even remotely touched the UN program, including Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his deputy, the UN Security Council, individual member states, and even basic UN staff.

"The inescapable conclusion...is that the UN organization needs thorough reform—and it needs it urgently."
Independent Inquiry Committee

Originally set up for the benefit of ordinary Iraqis suffering under UN sanctions meant to punish Saddam Hussein, the program was instead bilked of over $10 billion. Hussein used the program to line his pockets, curry favor by awarding oil contracts to former government officials and bribe activists, journalists and UN officials who opposed the sanctions. In some of its harshest language, the report states that, "The inescapable conclusion from the committee's work is that the United Nations organization needs thorough reform—and it needs it urgently."

Coming just a week before world leaders gather in New York to debate just that, it is hoped that there will now be added urgency to UN reform. Stated U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, "This report unambiguously rejects the notion that business as usual at the United Nations is acceptable. We need to reform the UN in a manner that will prevent another oil-for-food scandal. The credibility of the United Nations depends on it." Indeed. We wish Ambassador Bolton well as he attempts to eradicate the corrupt UN roaches that have become so comfortable in New York.

Meanwhile, Urkraine's new parliamentary democracy hit a major bump in the road this week when Orange Revolution reformer, President Viktor Yushchenko, dissolved the country's cabinet this week amid allegations of corruption. Yushchenko himself has yet to be accused of any corruption, and the situation may prove to be a case of cobelligerents failing to adhere together once the source of their antagonism—Ukraine's previous regime—is no more. A new parliamentary election is scheduled for March.

And last...

The folks at George Soros' petting zoo, MoveOn, organized an "amazing and heartwarming service," they claim, to match hurricane refugees with available housing. Their website notes, however, that MoveOn makes "no guarantees about the people who contact you [so] please use common sense and caution." Since MoveOn is still mired in the mud of the 2000 election, it is probably NOT the best organization to be moving on refugees. As for using "common sense and caution" before housing anyone coming through their website, we second that motion.

Lex et Libertas—Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis! Mark Alexander, Publisher, for the editors and staff. (Please pray for our Patriot Armed Forces standing in harm's way around the world, and for their families, especially those of our fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who have died in defense of American liberty while prosecuting the war with Jihadistan.)


The Federalist Patriot (FederalistPatriot.US) is protected speech pursuant to the "inalienable rights" of all men, and the First (and Second) Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

In God we trust.

2005 © Publius Press, Inc.

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