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01 April 2005
Federalist Patriot No. 05-13
Friday Digest
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THE FOUNDATION

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic..." --Justice Joseph Story

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THE PATRIOT PERSPECTIVE

Top of the fold -- The "Gun Problem"

In the wake of another school shooting by another sociopathic teenager, Second Amendment opponents are again out in force attempting to convert the blood of innocents into political capital for gun confiscation.

Among the first to demagogue the issue was Brady Campaign gun control advocate Michael Barnes, who condemned the "gun problem" and criticized Congress and President George W. Bush for letting the so-called "assault weapons" ban expire. Million Mom Marcher Kate Havelin howled, "We need to do more to make sure...our young people are safe from gun violence."

In an observation typical of the gun confiscation crowd's Leftmedia trucklings, Washington Post Deputy Editor Colbert King posed this loaded question: "What about the guns that take away the life?"

"Gun problem," "gun violence" and "guns that take away the life"? Like Barnes and Havelin, King insists that the problem is guns and that confiscating guns will solve the problem. But Barnes, Havelin and King, like most Leftists, display a chronic disconnect with reality. The "problem" in Red Lake, Minnesota (nine dead), is similar to that which visited Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado (thirteen dead), back in 1999.

What was the problem? Leftists brace yourself: It was not a gun problem, but a culture problem. Amazingly, Barnes inadvertently touched on this problem, saying, "Our leaders are preaching about the culture of life. They should spend the same amount of energy taking steps to stop our nation's culture of death." Of course, Barnes and his ilk think the culture of death begins and ends with guns. Their silence on the real cultural problems is deafening.

Like the Columbine murderers, the 16-year-old Red Lake sociopath was obsessed with "Goth" culture. Similarly, he played violent video games and was fascinated with the ultra-Leftist Hitlerian Nazi anarchist movement. And, likewise, he asked some of his victims "Do you believe in God?" before gunning them down.

Of course, focusing on inanimate objects like guns is far easier than focusing on cultural problems, particularly since many of the problems in question are the result of Leftist doctrines -- like parents (particularly fathers) who have abdicated the responsibility for raising responsible and moral children to government schools. The cultural consequences of renouncing that responsibility are exacerbated by the phony "Wall of Separation" arguments, which Leftjudicial activists have used to eliminate religious (read: "moral") training from those schools, and remove the Ten Commandments in principle and substance.

The best teachers in America are barely holding the high ground in classrooms where half the kids are under-parented (at best). The Left's response is to treat disorderly children and youth for ADD or (as was the case in Red Lake) with more powerful drugs like Prozac.

Not to be overlooked is yet another sacred cow of the Left -- the "entertainment" industry's perverse glorification of murder, mayhem and drug use. Typical of Leftist hypocrisy, it is those Hollywonk "actors" making the biggest bucks on the bloodiest big screen splashes who are advocating for gun confiscation. Even allegedly "moderate" actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, in his worst role yet as Governor of California recently signed a gun-ban, reached his position in life making films featuring wholesale slaughter and/or disembowelment of innocent folks.

Back to reality, Founder John Adams wisely noted, "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." Indeed, the fact is, the Left's assertions about the "gun problem" simply don't hold up under scrutiny.

If the problem of criminal misuse of firearms was dependent on the availability of guns, research would demonstrate that the prevalence of firearms is directly related to violent gun crimes -- that is, the more guns in an area, the more criminal gun use. However, any such relationship has been refuted by multiple and differing analyses. All studies inevitably lead to this conclusion: The crime problem is not about implements but intentions, and intent is inexorably defined by culture.

Guns as implements are irrelevant to the criminal mindset that must perforce precede the decision to commit violence. To wit, despite Leftmedia folklore, the most violent attack on a school occurred on 18 May 1927 when Andrew Kehoe, a Bath, Michigan, school board member, murdered 45 people, including 38 elementary students -- with a bomb.

Yale researcher John Lott addressed the relationship between gun possession and crime, and concluded his research with the title of his 1998 book, "More Guns, Less Crime." Notably, Lott's research also determined this corollary to be fact: The countries that ban guns have the highest homicide rates. And why is this true? Intended victims are much easier to murder when their government has already disarmed them through gun control laws.

So, what about internal U.S. murder rates tracked against gun access over time? In 1900, the U.S. homicide rate was estimated at 1 per 100,000. In 2003, FBI statistics put the rate at 5.7 per 100,000. But during the 20th Century, gun availability was inversely related to these numbers; nearly anyone could buy and carry a gun in 1900, whereas there were 23,000 federal, state and local restrictions on firearms purchases by the end of the century.

Consider the comparable murder rates in the adjacent states of Massachusetts (very restrictive gun laws), versus Maine and New Hampshire (unrestrictive gun laws). Rates for crimes committed with guns are lower in Maine and New Hampshire than in Massachusetts. Furthermore, cities with the most restrictive gun laws, like Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia, have the highest murder rates in the nation.

Similarly, U.S. murder rates have trended downward in the last decade as more states have implemented "right to carry" laws, which make the criminal task of choosing unarmed victims more difficult. To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, "Most criminals aren't that stupid; they tend to go where the guns aren't."

The same correlations are in evidence around the world. Nations with the highest per-capita possession of firearms, such as Switzerland (where most households contain at least one "assault weapon" as part of their "well regulated militia") are among those with the lowest murder rates. Conversely, nations like the UK, with the most restrictive gun laws, are now experiencing escalating murder rates. The UK's restrictions on handguns, for example, did not stop a sociopath from slaughtering 16 kindergarteners and their teacher in Dunblane, Scotland, three years before Columbine.

Gun confiscation has never protected anyone. Gun restrictions have not protected citizens in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York or Boston, much less anyone in Columbine or Red Lake. Nor did such laws protect Jews from Hitler or Stalin or Chinese peasants from Mao, etc., ad infinitum.

In his Commonplace Book, Thomas Jefferson quotes Cesare Beccaria from his seminal work, On Crimes and Punishment: "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." Again, no less true today than it has been throughout history.

The next time some Chardonnay-sipping Leftists pontificates about the "gun problem," reminded them that far more Americans, particularly children, die as a result of alcohol abuse, than at the hands of criminals using guns. Would a five-day waiting period on the purchase of good bottle of wine prevent those injuries and deaths?

As for the Marching Moms, it's worth noting that women are the fastest-growing demographic group of gun owners. And for good reason. It's now estimated that guns are used defensively more that 2.5 million times annually -- four times more often than the estimated use of a gun in commission of a crime.

In short, culture trumps firearm access in determining murder rates, and if our murder rates are going to be further reduced, Americans of all political feathers would be well advised to take a sobering look at the cultural components which breed such violence, not the instruments used to commit violence.

Any efforts by the government to further regulate firearms should be met head-on by the clear language of our Constitution's Second Amendment: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." In fact, broad reduction of current gun regulations is consistent both with the letter of our Constitution, and the historical reality of self-defense and criminal restraint. Political folly such as the Feinstein/Schumer gun control act -- which was, fortunately, defeated by Congress last year -- serves only to weaken this "palladium of the liberties of our republic." For your neighbors who don't see it that way, tell them to put one of these on their front door: http://PatriotShop.US/GunFreeHousehold

Quote of the week...

"The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. ... In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA -- because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. ... I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! ... Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. ... We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!" --Congressional testimony of Darrell Scott, whose daughter Rachel Scott was murdered at Columbine

The BIG lie...

"To use a tragedy like this to advocate for more guns in the streets is unconscionable. It is also, unfortunately, vintage NRA. Whenever there is high profile gunfire, their reaction is to try to sell more guns." --Michael Barnes, president of the Brady Campaign

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Open query...

"[T]he Atlanta courthouse attack that left four murdered; the Wisconsin church shooting, where seven were murdered, and Monday's high-school shooting in Minnesota, where nine were murdered.... All three attacks took place in areas where gun possession by those who did the attack as well as civilians generally was already banned -- so-called 'gun-free safe zones.' ... Would you feel safer putting a sign in front of your home saying 'This Home is a Gun-Free Zone'? ... As with many other gun laws, law-abiding citizens, not would-be criminals, would obey the sign. Instead of creating a safe zone for victims, it leaves victims defenseless and creates a safe zone for those intent on causing harm." --John Lott

News from the Swamp...

In the Executive Branch, the President's push to reform Social Security continues to face staunch resistance from the Left. AARP, ever committed to determining the financial futures of everyone over (AND under) 55, has dedicated virtually every resource at its disposal to defeating the plan to create private investment accounts for younger workers. And with 35 million members and an $800 million war chest, it is safe to assume that AARP is no idle threat to the future of Social Security reform. But despite AARP and Demos on the Hill taking a zero-tolerance stand on private accounts, word around the Swamp is that backroom meetings may yield more room for compromise than the public is being led to believe.

Social Security reform is not the only item of interest on the Hill that may see strange bedfellows. The fight to prevent reauthorization of expiring portions of the USA Patriot Act has brought together groups as diverse as the ACLU, the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Free Congress Foundation. They are calling for the repeal or refusal to renew portions of the Patriot Act they believe are constricting civil liberties. Of course, there have to date been no verified civil liberty violations filed against the Patriot Act, which itself is made up of a conglomeration of executive orders and other laws in existence long before September 11, 2001.

In the House, the Republican leadership has allowed a bill to relax restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research to come to the floor for a vote. There is a growing consensus among members of Congress that research on stem cells should be expanded somewhat beyond the restrictions that President Bush put in place in August 2001. Just how far that expansion may go, and when exactly the vote will come are yet to be determined.

New and notable legislation: Last week, Rep. Jeff Flake introduced the Prescription Drug Benefit Oversight Act (HR 1382), which would delay the implementation of the new prescription drug benefit under Medicare until 2007 to allow Congress more time to assess its cost and consider new cost-control mechanisms. Rep. John Hostettler reintroduced the Marriage Protection Act (HR 1100), which would prevent federal judges from ruling on cases arising under the Defense of Marriage Act. Rep. Phil Gingrey reintroduced the Firearm Commerce Modernization Act (HR 1384), which would update certain procedures applicable to commerce in firearms and remove certain federal restrictions on interstate firearms transactions.

This week's "Alpha Jackass" award:

"To upend the way the Senate has operated, just because you can for sheer political power? For partisan advantage? To basically end minority rights? To go ahead and consign 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington' to the dustbin of history?" --Hillary Clinton, on the constitutional option of ending "filibusters" on judicial nominees

Memo to Hillary: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is fictional, not unlike your righteous indignation in defense of the Constitution.

On the National Security front...

Sometimes they get it right: The Patriot has no great love for The New York Times and their famously liberal worldview, but we also give credit where credit is due. Monday's editorial opposing the EU's plans to drop their arms embargo on China was dead center in its focus on the reason for the embargo's very existence: China's brutal crackdown on the Tiananmen Square democracy protesters in 1989, and its continued abysmal human rights record.

In the Times' own words: "President Bush had been urging just such a reconsideration [about dropping the embargo] on European leaders without result. It took China's legislative authorization of war to prove that Mr. Bush was absolutely right. ...elling China weapons that might be used to shoot down United States aircraft assigned to defend Taiwan is a terrible idea, and one that could lead Congress to restrict the sharing of American military technologies with European arms exporters." We could hardly have said it better ourselves....

And from the Clintonistas, after claiming to have made "an honest mistake" in taking and losing classified intelligence documents from the National Archives twice in 2003, Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger has plead guilty to intentionally removing and destroying documentation regarding the Clinton administration's handling of the al-Qa'ida threat in anticipation of his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. The document in question was written by former NSA terrorism expert Richard Clark, and detailed the emergent al-Qa'ida threat in an "after-action review" of the Clinton administration's counterterrorism activities during the 1999 millennium celebration. Berger's deal with the Justice Department amounts to a slap on the wrist: a $10,000 fine and a three year suspension -- not revocation -- of his national security credentials. The agreement must now be approved by a judge.

From the warfront with Jihadistan...

The Presidential Commission studying intelligence failures regarding weapons of mass destruction released its finding this week, lambasting the CIA and other intelligence agencies for their improper assessment of Saddam Hussein's political maneuverings. It also made several recommendations for streamlining the nation's intelligence apparatus that are similar to those that led to legislation late last year creating the office of the National Intelligence Director. John Negroponte, the President's nominee for NID, is likely to face these issues and more in his confirmation hearings coming up in April.

Contrary to the mainstream media and political Left's interpretation of these findings, the report's central implication is not that Hussein had no WMD, but that intelligence failures were so egregious that we don't know what WMD our adversaries have with a high degree of confidence.

Significantly, the Commission concluded that there was "no evidence of 'politicization' of the Intelligence Community's assessments concerning Iraq's reported WMD programs. No analytical judgments were changed in response to political pressure to reach a particular conclusion." Given these findings, coupled with indications of WMD development or possession by Iran, Syria, North Korea and other enemies around the globe -- and the danger of these weapons falling into the hands of terrorist surrogates -- we strongly urge lawmakers and the intelligence community to heed the Commission's findings.

On the Homeland Security front...

Department of Homeland Security officials announced that 500 new U.S. Border Patrol agents will be added to the southern border of the U.S. -- well short of the 2,000 new agents promised next year. They estimate that 150 will be ready immediately and the others will be added by summer. The Border Patrol apprehended 1.15 million illegals last year; only about 20 percent of the estimated total. Somehow, we doubt a token 500 agents will contain the flood. With Congress and the President steadily refusing to comprehensively deal with the immigration problem, angry citizens have already organized the Minuteman project -- more than 1,000 civilians watching the borders to report any illegal activity to the border patrol for one month, beginning today.

Meeting with Mexican President Vicente Fox, President Bush went so far as to disingenuously refer to citizen-volunteers of the Minuteman Project as "vigilantes." Perhaps Mr. Bush did not yet receive the memo for extending PC terminology into this topic. These volunteers are not "vigilantes" -- they are "undocumented persons," specifically, "undocumented Border Patrol agents." They are also "willing workers matched with willing employers" (border-area residents happy to have greater protections). And they are simply "doing jobs that Americans won't do" (that is, the jobs the American President and members of Congress won't do, but are constitutionally-mandated duties for common defense against border invasion).

Contrary to the President, the Border Patrol is apparently asking for more "vigilantes," with its "Operation Be Alert" program encouraging citizens to report suspicious activity along the nation's border. Citizens can report such activity by calling the U.S. Border Patrol hotline: 1-877-USBP-HELP (872-7435).

Meanwhile, Wednesday, four Iraqis were detained at Mexicali airport, Mexico, for carrying fake Dutch passports; two others with fake Greek passports were caught at a highway checkpoint. While scant information is available at this time, we seriously doubt the would-be insurgents were taking advantage of their recent liberation to visit Disneyland.

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Judicial Benchmarks...

From the Leftjudiciary, the courts throughout the land dishonored themselves massively this week. The Supremes twice refused to take up the case of saving Terri Schindler Schiavo's life. Two-for-two in their support for the culture of death, they also refused to hear an appeal tossing out Idaho's law requiring parental consent before minor girls could have abortions. The Supremes also handed down disappointing rulings expanding "sex discrimination" charges under Title IX causes of action and age discrimination cases even absent proof of intentional employer bias against older workers.

From the "Court Jesters" File, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the decision by a lower court to throw out a death sentence for a man convicted of raping and murdering a cocktail waitress near Denver in 1995. The convicting jury voted unanimously for the death penalty, though the Court ruled that only a life sentence will now be given. The jury's "crime" was the use of the Bible in their deliberation. Passages such as "an eye for an eye" (which does not even originate in the Bible, but rather the Code of Hammurabi) were used. Both the judge and defense lawyers encouraged them to use the Bible, but the higher courts have now ruled against a Higher Authority. So the Supreme Court can site Zimbabwe, un-ratified treaties, "world opinion" and "evolving standards," but jurors can't refer to the Bible for wisdom. Solomonic it's not.

From the "Village Academic Curriculum" File...

Montgomery County, Maryland, schools decided several years ago to treat sunscreen as an over-the-counter drug, which could only be used with an accompanying doctor's note. Howard County schools require a parental note. Even then, only older students are allowed to carry it at school. Justifying the absurd with total absurdities, Judith Covich, Montgomery's director of health and student services, said, "If you had a very young kid, and they put it in their eyes, it could hurt them." Apparently the risk of skin cancer is of no concern to school officials -- the kids won't be around when that sets in. Now, Anne Healey, a Maryland state legislature is stepping in with a bill that would "require school health officers to make sure students are allowed to wear sunscreen when they go outdoors on sunny days, a right that is not universally recognized in schools, according to cancer prevention advocates." Who could've guessed we'd need that law?

Around the nation...

Terri Schindler-Schiavo died Thursday morning of starvation and dehydration in her hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida. And contrary to The New York Times' report, Terri likely experienced severe pain during the starvation period as her mouth, nose and skin dried out, her stomach convulsed and her other organs shut down. The long legal and medical battle between her estranged husband Michael and her parents has finally come to a tragic end -- at least for Terri. In a final act of selfish cruelty, Michael Schiavo, who arrived only minutes before her death, denied the Schindlers' request to remain with Terri for her final breath.

From the states, in Vermont, a farmer convicted of starving his cows to death began serving a reparative sentence this week. In a deal with prosecutors, he received the one-year sentence, as well as 30 days of work crew assignment and alcohol-abuse counseling. At least eleven cows lost their lives due to starvation on his farm between early 2003 and 2004, and many others died from other causes. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is on the record demanding jail time. The farmer is one of many convicted in recent years for animal abuse, including starvation and dehydration.

And New Yorkers by a wide margin are upset over abuse of feeding tubes. Oh, but no, not the dehydration and starvation of innocent, disabled human folk like Terri Schindler by withdrawal of feeding tubes.... New York state lawmakers, citing a survey showing 78 percent support, are readying a bill to outlaw the abuse of feeding tubes to augment normal nourishment intake for ducks and geese -- so as to produce foie gras. Advocates of the proposed law criticize this particular abuse of feeding tubes as "cruel and inhumane."

Around the world...

In China, people are also quite concerned about starving animals. The Baishuijiang State Nature Reserve in northwest Gansu Province will either bring food to at least 22 panda bears facing starvation in the park, or push the endangered animals to migrate into areas with healthier bamboo. "Workers in the reserve will move old and weak giant pandas and lure fit pandas to new habitats," Reserve Director Zhang Kerong said. Giant pandas will not eat bamboo once it flowers and must move to areas where it has not done so in order to survive. The Reserve and government have also told local villagers "not to harm the hungry animals if they roam around villages looking for food." We at The Patriot still find it incredibly tragic that a starving human being in the United States could not enjoy the same treatment.

Family and faith matters...

Pope John Paul II's increasingly dire health problems have left him weak and unable to speak, and he is presently being sustained by a feeding tube. What's truly of note, though, is the reason behind it. Last year the pontiff effectively declared his "living will" in a speech to doctors and ethicists, concluding that the presence of a feeding tube -- even for those in a coma or vegetative state -- did not constitute an extraordinary life-saving measure, and that this and similar measures were moral obligations for Roman Catholics. "The intrinsic value and the personal dignity of every human being does not change no matter what the concrete situation of his life," the Pope said. "The administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act." A sharp critic of what he called a "culture of death," the Pope declared that to deny such care would be "euthanasia by omission." He continued, "Considerations about the 'quality of life,' often actually dictated by psychological, social and economic pressures, cannot take precedence over general principles."

On cross-examination...

"Two Republican Florida Senators could have saved Terry Schiavo's life by voting 'yes' to a law. 'The death penalty is an authorized punishment for capital crimes designated by the legislature' (Article I, Basic Rights, SECTION 17, Florida Constitution), not the order of a county judge. The Florida House could have impeached Judge Greer (Article III, SECTION 17) for committing the felony (Florida Statute Chapter 825) of denying nutrition to a disabled person and multiple violations of guardianship (Florida Statute 744). ... Instead, George Greer, a black-robed priest-king, ordered that a deputy sheriff stand guard in Terry's room and prevent her parents from giving her a cup of water. When Gov. Bush had an executive agency exercise their authority under Florida law, George Greer ordered -- took executive authority -- over all Florida authorities. ... The Roman Republic ended when Roman Law was contested by men who said, 'the law is what I say it is.' Civil wars begat dictators, more civil wars and dictators until the civilization was a shell to be broken by invading barbarians. American Civilization is at her Rubicon." --James Atticus Bowden

This week's "Braying Jackass" award:

"Oh my God, we really are in a theocracy. Are the Republicans so obsessed with maintaining control over all branches of government, and are the Democrats so emasculated about not having any power, that they are willing to turn the nation into a wholly owned subsidiary of the church?" --Maureen Dowd rabidly frothed in a New York Times column on Washington's involvement in the Schiavo case

In business/economic news...

More evidence of a strengthening economy: There were 110,000 jobs created last month, making March the twenty-second consecutive month of job growth -- now totaling more than three million -- since May 2003. That news was greeted by this Leftmedia headline from USA Today: "March jobs report disappointing: 110,000 created, fewest in 8 months." Whoever said the Left was bereft of fresh ideas?

From the Annan Annals...

According to the investigation headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker, Secretary-General Kofi Annan failed to oversee the UN oil-for-food program, though the report did not find sufficient evidence to accuse Annan of a crime. Not quite a finding of 'innocent'. The same may not be said for Annan's son, Kojo. Kojo was paid twice as much ($400k) as the Swiss inspections firm admitted. Program director Benon Savon received chump change of $160k in questionable payments. An aide, Iqbal Riza, shredded documents immediately after the Security Council authorized the Volcker inquiry and the day after he ordered subordinates to save documents. Another aide, Dibep Nair misspent program money.

So, do you resign if you are in charge of a house of malfeasance? "Hell no," was Annan's courageous reply. And so it seems Slick Willy will have to wait his turn for the top spot at the UN after all.

And last...

Events at Harvard have made the news again. The most recent uprising pits students against the cafeteria service. While that's old news in most school settings, this particular episode caught our eye. As the Boston Globe reports, "Angry cereal fans are lashing out after Harvard University cleared its dining halls this school year of brand-name cereals, such as Fruit Loops and Cap'n Crunch, and swapped them for less expensive, apparently healthier options like Tootie Fruities and Colossal Crunch." Students complained about the cost of the meal plan, only to have cheap substitutes for breakfast. Sophomore Allison Kessler laments, "I used to eat Lucky Charms for lunch and dinner. The fake stuff gets real soggy, and I've just stopped eating cereal. This is not fair." Ever energetic and organized, Harvard students are now finding the time to organize a cereal lobby -- "Harvard Students for the Reimplementation of Brand-Named Cereals." Flaky.

Lex et Libertas -- Semper Vigilo, 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 in defense of our liberty, and for the families awaiting their safe return.)

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More on Sandy Burglar....

The Berger whitewash
Posted: April 4, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

I knew it. You knew it.
When Sandy Berger, the former national security adviser to the president of the United States, was caught red-handed stealing highly classified documents from the National Archives more than a year ago, he was permitted to go free. He was allowed to go out and give speeches. He was even permitted to serve as a national security adviser to a presidential candidate and was talked about as a possible secretary of state for John Kerry, should he have been elected to the White House.
The investigation dragged on for more than a year.
The public has never received answers as to the specific papers taken by Berger, whose excuse for being in the National Archives at the time was preparing his former boss, Bill Clinton, for testimony before the 911 commission.
And, last week, confirmation came. Berger would be charged with one misdemeanor count of taking classified material. He copped a plea and would plead guilty, avoiding any jail time. His "punishment" would be a $10,000 fine and not being allowed to serve in a national security position in the federal government for a period of three years, which, of course, is meaningless since Republicans will be in control of the White House until 2008.
It was the proverbial slap on the wrist. It's worse than that. It's a shake of the finger with a wink and a nod. It's a joke.
Berger didn't even have to admit he did anything wrong. He got away with characterizing this high crime as an "honest mistake."
Once again, the case shows there are two standards of justice in America – one for ordinary people like you and me and another for members of the establishment, the elite.
If you or I had walked out of the National Archives with highly classified documents, we would have been slapped in leg irons and done hard prison time. Berger did it and never saw the inside of a jail cell.
He wasn't even forced to produce all the documents stolen. He wasn't even forced to account for them. Did he shred them? Did he burn them? Did he sell them to foreign powers? Did he give them to the presidential candidate for whom he was working? Did he use them to blackmail someone?
The American people will never know the answers to these questions. The American people will never even get to see those documents – even though they may well have been distributed to our enemies. The American people will never even get an accounting of those papers or a suitable explanation.
Was Sandy Berger covering up for his own serious national security mistakes leading up to Sept. 11? Or was he covering up for the mistakes of his superiors?
We know that Berger signed off on instructions not to attack Osama bin Laden at least three times before the devastating terror attacks in 2001. Since this was a matter of public record, one can only wonder what unrevealed scandal or scandals he was trying to conceal.
And that's what this yearlong-plus Justice Department investigation has left us with – more unanswered questions.
Are we really at war? Are we really concerned about national security in this country? As we leave the borders wide open and slap former top national security officials on the wrist for stealing classified secrets, can we really say we are behaving like a nation at war?
When men in the battlefield, operating under wartime conditions, are prosecuted for premeditated murder for killing terrorists, we give a pass to civilian officials who steal national security secrets. Does this make sense to you?
And notice that Sandy Berger's plea agreement was announced by the Justice Department on the day Terri Schiavo died – to ensure it would be buried and overwhelmed in the day's news coverage.
Whatever crimes Berger committed – and I am certain they would be stunning if the public ever learned the full extent – the Bush Justice Department has just affirmed it is complicit in them.
 

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