URGENT ACTION TO CONTACT: As part of the House adjournment resolution, congress must agree to the Senate's HABEAS CORPUS bill to save Terri.
From a reliable source:
The House (Federal) has left for the night, but they have not adjourned for recess, as was originally thought. There must be a resolution tomorrow morning, first thing to adjourn.
House leaders, listed below, can make a condition of adjournment the approval of the Incapacitated Persons Legal Protection Act (Habeas Corpus) a requirement.
We know as little about these things as anyone possibly could, but we've been directed to ask you that you please flood the following with emails, phone calls or faxes to insist on these conditions prior to the House adjournment.
Remember, both chambers have already approved, in some form, the Incapacitated Persons Legal Protection Act. This is a very small step for them to finalize the measure before they recess and there is no time left for our representatives to squander.
Please make contact and encourage others to.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert
Majority Tom Delay
Ph. (202) 225-5951
Fax (202) 225-5241
Representative James Sessenbrenner
LAHORE: Over 90 percent of married women reported being physically and sexually abused by their husbands, according to a Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences survey. The women said they were abused when their husbands were dissatisfied with their cooking or cleaning, or because they had failed to give birth, or produced a daughter rather than a son.
The survey was reported by Amnesty International Lahore, a non-government organisation (NGO), in a session arranged to commemorate International Women’s Day. Fayyazur Rehman presided over the session, which was attended by graduates and postgraduates of various institutes.
Naeem Akhter, group president of the NGO, Aasia Khan, general secretary, and Zarghoona Gishkori, the campaign executive, said that domestic violence was widespread in society. They said that violence against women in the home, community and in police custody was on the rise. They acknowledged that women’s rights and civil society organisations had raised awareness among women about the problem.
Nevertheless, Hamas and Islamic Jihad — the main groups that have waged a campaign of violence against Israel — preserved a broad loophole allowing them to call an end to the cease-fire. The declaration says the halt in violence is conditional on Israel's halting all military operations against Palestinians and releasing all 8,000 Palestinian prisoners, a step Israel has shown no sign of taking.Fatah is not staying out of the loop, either:
The final agreement issued by the factions, including Fatah, also underlined that the Palestinians maintain their "right to resistance in order to end the Israeli occupation."And in case you still think this might be a move towards peace, rest assured that it's not even a "cease-fire" or a "truce", it's an "atmosphere of calm."
The term "atmosphere of calm" — in Arabic, "manakh al-tahdi'a" — was used instead of the word "truce" — which the armed groups apparently view as more binding and long-term. The term in Arabic, "hudna," is steeped in Islamic history and means a truce of a fixed duration, usually between Muslims and non-Muslims. Israeli skeptics have said in the past that even the term hudna implies the Muslim side can break it off at any time, a claim denied by Palestinian scholars.And that lasted all of six weeks.
Hamas called the June 2003 truce a "hudna."
The Legislative Council of Hong Kong meets every Wednesday afternoon in a three-story building that looks like any state capitol, with standard-issue neo-Classical dome and high columns all around. From the council's roof, a statue representing justice brandishes a sword and raises a scale into the tall shadows cast by fabulously expensive Asia-boom-era skyscrapers with designer pedigrees -- a pocket of the 19th century sandwiched amid the castles of global capitalism.
The meetings of the Legislative Council, or Legco, also seem anachronistic, a surprisingly seamless blend of Asian and Western pomp and circumstance. The clang of a gong calls the bilingual sessions to order, and proceedings operate according to a precise set of rules adapted from those of the British Parliament. Upon entering or leaving the chamber, Legco members -- all except one -- bow to Rita Fan, the council president, who dominates the body from her high leather chair like a representative of the emperor (which in a way she is, since she also serves as a delegate to Beijing's rubber-stamp National People's Congress).
On one Wednesday afternoon in January, all of Legco's 60 members -- except one -- arrived in their best dark suits (the women favored Chanel). Hong Kong's chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, was about to make one of his infrequent appearances before the Legislature, to deliver his annual policy address -- a Hong Kong version of the State of the Union. A shipping tycoon's son handpicked by Beijing eight years ago (he was ''elected'' by a committee of 800 businessmen and community leaders), Tung is wildly unpopular in Hong Kong. More than half a million people marched in Hong Kong's streets on July 1, 2003, and again in 2004, demanding Tung's resignation and the right to directly elect the chief executive.
Nevertheless, when Tung strode into the Legco chamber, everyone respectfully rose. As Tung took the podium, the representatives sat down.
All except one.
The Honorable Mr. Leung Kwok-hung, better known in Hong Kong as Cheung Mo, or ''Long Hair,'' remained on his feet. For a moment he said nothing, pausing to let the effect of his disobedience -- and maybe, also, his appearance -- sink in. In a sea of suits and ties, Long Hair, 48, was dressed like a 60's-vintage campus radical, in a ratty tweed jacket over a pair of black trousers patched and repatched with a million tiny stitches. Under the jacket, he wore a blue sweatshirt bearing the face of his idol, an unlikely hero for a Hong Kong-born Chinese politician: Che Guevara. Long Hair tossed his head slightly, causing some of his thick black hair, which falls past his shoulders, to come loose from the black scrunchie that keeps it tamed, sort of, in a ponytail. Finally, he pointed an accusing finger at the chief executive and declared, in a loud, deep voice thickened by 30 years of street demonstrations and thousands of cigarettes: ''You! Mr. Tung! You are not qualified, and have no right to address this body. We have been elected by the Hong Kong people. You were not. You were appointed by a clique of 800 tycoons. You don't defend the interests of Hong Kong people; you are in collusion with tycoons. . . . ''
Before he could say another word, Rita Fan hastily adjourned the meeting and Tung scuttled out of the chamber. Fan instructed Long Hair to meet with her in her private chamber. Five minutes later, they returned, and she spoke to him in front of all the representatives, adopting the voice of a mother scolding a child: ''Would you promise not to interrupt the chief executive's speech, Mr. Leung?''
Long Hair stood his ground. ''He is not qualified to speak before elected officials. . . . ''
''Mr. Leung! . . . ''
''And I want to say one more thing. Absolute power leads to absolute corruption.''
Then Long Hair turned on his heel and walked out.
When I put a $55 barrel of oil on the table and look at it from all angles, there’s no way the current price can be justified. As a free-market disciple, I am compelled to accept the market’s verdict: $55 a barrel. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to last.So it may be that by slowly ratcheting up the interest rate, the Fed is making it harder for hedge funds to speculate on oil prices, bringing prices to a more realistic level and countering the slow-down effect of higher rates with an easing effect from lower oil prices.
Today’s oil episode is demand-driven, quite unlike the supply shocks of 25 years ago. Back then, OPEC withheld oil because they disagreed with the U.S. policy-tilt towards Israel. Additionally, under Presidents Ford and Carter, U.S. energy policy generated strict price controls and supply allocations, a most bizarre policy combination that kept oil from those population centers most in need of it.
Oil is certainly flowing today, but at much higher prices. In fact, in real inflation-adjusted terms, today’s oil price is the highest since 1983. To a certain extent, we owe this to a favorable development: the global spread of market capitalism in emerging economies such as China, India, and Eastern Europe. At the margin, the increasing oil demands of these countries have undoubtedly boosted the barrel price.
It is instructive to note how much higher oil prices have jumped in comparison to other commodities. From the 2001 low, oil has increased 214 percent. Over the same period, an index of metals -- equally in demand from the emerging economies -- has risen 122 percent. Seemingly along for the ride, gold prices have increased 73 percent. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 stock index has rallied 55 percent from its late 2002 low point while the broader Wilshire 5000 has gained 62 percent.
The fact that oil has increased so much more than these commodity and financial-asset prices is important. It suggests that the oil sector is way out of line. Increased China demand cannot alone explain it -- over-speculation is also a culprit.
It is rumored that hedge funds have used low interest rates to leverage and borrow for the purchase of oil market contracts. Big oil companies may also be speculating on higher future oil prices, with or without leveraged borrowing. It may also be that tanker companies have slowed down their deliveries as they wait for still higher prices.
Fortunately, the U.S. economy is much less susceptible nowadays to the tax-hike impact of higher oil prices. Numerous studies have shown that greater efficiencies in oil and energy usage have lowered our vulnerability to energy shocks by roughly 50 percent in relation to 25 years ago. Rather than stagflating, today’s economy is quite healthy.
So, what to do?
Ultimately, the answer to high oil prices is a lot more production. That’s exactly what the Bush administration intends to do. New Energy Secretary Sam Bodman has been put in place to implement Bush policies for greater nuclear energy use, increased use of clean coal, the development of a free-trade national electricity grid, and the foreign coordination of liquid natural gas. Also in the policy mix is new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
Is Bodman the right man for this job? Absolutely. Bodman, a chemical engineering scientist who has taught at MIT, was the chief operating officer of the super-sized Fidelity mutual fund company and is a former venture capitalist. This is a guy who will quietly manage the U.S. effort to break out of the current OPEC-reliant paradigm and shift to the development of multiple new energy sources.
We’re already seeing signs of progress. The Excelon utility company has just received an early site permit for nuclear power, and Duke Power has nearly completed its combined operating license permit, which includes a pre-approved reactor design.
Meanwhile, there’s still a lot of oil out there. “Hard Green" author Peter Huber has suggested that there are 3 trillion barrels of oil buried in Venezuela and Alberta, Canada. Washington policy analyst James Lucier also notes that individual states are taking matters into their own hands by exercising states’ rights to drill on the outer continental shelf. In Virginia, Democratic governor Mark Warner is expected to sign an OCS drilling bill from his legislature to do exactly that.
The key point is to let markets work. Free-market pricing will best allocate the shifts in both demand and supply. Spiking energy prices will reduce consumption. They will also attract capital investment leading to much greater production. That is, if government policies allow markets to work.
In the meantime, small investors thinking about jumping on the gravy train of higher oil prices should beware. Bubbles happen. And a major oil bubble could be on the verge of bursting.
Get on the phone now!!!!!
It's BOTH Senator Reeds that need to be encouraged to support Terri - Urgent that EVERYONE CALL NOW - ONLY TWO HOURS LEFT!
ASK THEM TO PLEASE support: "The Incapacitated Persons Legal Protection Act."
Reed, Jack - (D - RI) Class II
728 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: http://reed.senate.gov/form-opinion.htm
Reid, Harry - (D - NV) Class III
528 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: http://reid.senate.gov/email_form.cfm
Finally, NRO's Andrew McCarthy says she'd be better off if she were a terrorist. Here's another excellent article: Cruel and unusual punishment: the starving of Terri Schiavo. Don't read any of this yet, go and call Senators! It works!
The following Florida Senators may not be giving favorable consideration to SB 2128 (the companion now to HB 701). If you can, please hit the phone lines. If you can email, please do. This is to be considered in both chambers today in Florida. We need your help.
We've been asked to relay that the best use of language is something very concise and brief, such as " Pass a law that is constitutional, good public policy and that will protect the interests of Florida's disabled and elderly."
EMAIL AND TELEPHONE THEM ASAP!
email list to cut and paste:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Nancy Argenziano (R)
"Mike" Michael S. Bennett (R)
Rm 216 (senate office building)
She might be willing? Maybe
Larcenia J. Bullard (D)
Lisa Carlton (R)
Alex Diaz de la Portilla
Friend of Jim King probably will go the same way
Dennis L. Jones
"King" James E. King
Evelyn J. Lynn
Burt L. Saunders
Alex J. Villalobos
TUNIS, Tunisia -- Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa predicted Thursday the upcoming Arab summit would not approve normalizing relations with Israel.Yeah, it would be a catastrophe. Peace might break out in the Middle East and then what would happen?
Mousa was quoted in the Tunisian daily al-Shourouk as saying: The Arab leaders will reiterate their commitment to the 2002 Arab peace initiative and there is no intention to break that framework."
The Saudi-inspired initiative offered full normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Arab territories captured in the 1967 Middle East war, namely the West Bank and Gaza, Syria's Golan Heights and the Shabaa Farms in Lebanon.
Moussa was responding to Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom's recent claim Arabs would declare normalization of relations with Israel at the summit in Algiers on March 22.
"If such claims are to be believed and if the wishes of the Israeli officials are realized it will be a catastrophe," Moussa said.
In March 14, 2005 issue of the Financial Times, under the heading of 'Europe's leading role in the spread of democracy,' Mr. Javier Solana, (High Representative for European Union's Foreign Policy) asserts that 'the point of politics is to change things'. But in reality, Europe can hardly claim any credit for the changes that are occurring in the Middle East today. Europe, as represented by Mr. Solana, is doing everything in its powers to retard, if not reverse, the march toward democracy in the Greater Middle East.
Take the case of Iran as an example. While President Bush and his administration have used every opportunity to encourage and support the struggle of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy, not a single European head of state or official, such as Mr. Solana, have ever spoken or written one word in that context. They have not even dared to raise the issue of gross violations of human rights, at least publicly, in the course of their frequent meetings with the officials of IRI. More than two decades of documented violations and even criminal indictment of the leaders of IRI by a German court has been systematically ignored. In the collective memory of the Iranian people the images of European leaders happily and proudly posing in pictures with the criminal leaders of the Islamic Republic are bitter souvenirs for the future.
Mr. Solana states: "The values of democracy and human rights are in our collective DNA." One should ask when was the last time that any manifestation of this deeply placed conviction was manifested? For the people of Eastern Europe, when they were under the yoke of dreadful communist regimes, it was the United States of America beaming rays of hope for eventual liberation through the Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. At the same time Mr. Solana's socialist comrades were marching against the American initiatives and in support of appeasement of communism. Even as late as 1988, the European leaders, with the exception of Margaret Thatcher, were calling President Reagan's famous Berlin Wall speech dangerously reckless.
Once again, the Europeans are missing an opportunity by not placing themselves, along side of the United States and the freedom-loving people of Iran. It should not be difficult to decipher which powers and what 'tyranny' President Bush had in mind on the 8th of March during his speech at the National Defense University when he said: "By now it should be clear that decades of excusing and accommodating tyranny, in the pursuit of stability, have only led to injustice and instability and tragedy. It should be clear that the advance of democracy leads to peace, because governments that respect the rights of their people also respect the rights of their neighbors. It should be clear that the best antidote to radicalism and terror is the tolerance and hope kindled in the free societies. And our duty is now clear: For the sake of our long-term security, all free nations must stand with the forces of democracy and justice that have begun to transform the Middle East."
"We are raising the red flag to warn the government and the community that we are following very much in the footsteps of Europe" in the scope of anti-Semitism, Frank Dimant, executive vice president of B'nai Brith Canada, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
"People are becoming more brazen... virtually at every level," he added.
According to an annual report released by B'nai Brith Canada's League for Human Rights on Tuesday, anti-Semitism in Canada is at its worst point in more than two decades. A total of 857 incidents were reported in 2004, nearly 47 percent more than the previous year, according to the report. It also said that the number of incidents had increased more than three-fold since 2000.
Dimant believes the real number of anti-Semitic incidents could be even 10 times higher, saying that the vast majority go unreported. While most of the incidents in 2004 were "merely" cases of harassment, the report noted that the greatest increases were registered in vandalism and violent attacks.
Synagogues were targeted 74% more often than in 2003. Cemetery desecrations increased more than 300%. As in Western Europe, Canada has seen a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic attacks carried out by Arab immigrants.
"Kill the Jews" graffiti scrawled in a university library in Hamilton is but one example of anti-Semitic incidents that are multiplying on campuses across Canada. Jewish students were now very afraid, Dimant said, because the "atmosphere has been poisoned."
What's worse, he added, is that university authorities refused to admit they have a problem. "Some have told us, 'You have to expect a little bit of anti-Semitism,'" Dimant said. "But why? Why do we have to tolerate any anti-Semitism?"
Dimant criticized the government for doing too little to combat the phenomenon.
"When a rash of violent crimes breaks out, the government makes fancy speeches, and that's all," he said. "There's plenty of political rhetoric, but no political will to deal with problem. We expect a lot more."
Police were too slow in investigating hate crimes, he added. "Our government isn't dealing very rapidly with perpetrators. So, words are good, but if people think they can get away with... hatred, they will only continue to raise the bar."
B'nai Brith has recommended to the government that it criminalize Holocaust denial and implement a zero-tolerance policy for anti-Semitism in public schools.
A solution must be found soon, Dimant said, because "a whole generation of Canadians is growing up with a perverted view of what Jews are."
LAHORE: Dr Amina Wadud, who is all set to become the first Muslim woman to lead a Friday prayer to a mixed congregation on March 18, has received death threats, leading to a change of venue. The new location will now be kept secret until the last moment. Dr Wadud, who teaches Islamic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, is aiming to achieve spiritual equality. Talking to Naseeb Vibes, a Pakistani webzine, she said the idea of having a woman imam (prayer leader) was not a revolutionary step, but a return to the true spirit of Islam. “Islam is growing, and it is an ongoing situation, and Muslims need to be proactive members of this experience," she said. “The Quran and Sunnah operated in a system requiring human interactions, ideas and changes to implement those ideas can better demonstrate the Quranic mandate for justice; not its patriarchal interpretation of the past where women were submissive," she added. Rejecting Islam’s alleged patriarchal overtones, she said Islam was a liberator of women.