Saturday, July 4, 2009


By My Hate Speech

With Hungary rejecting a proposed constitutional "Holocaust Denial" law we thought we would clarify a few points. The Mainstream Media always uses negative catch phrases such as "Holocaust Denial" or "Holocaust Deniers". This label is used by those who control the MSM so they can keep reminding us that there is no need to question it, even though history is not a science, and those who would question it are supposedly crazy, and therefore we do not need to engage them in open debate or conversation.

In reality what the mainstream media refers to as "Holocaust Denial" or "Holocaust Deniers", would be correctly termed, if you want to add a category, as Revisionist Historians. We at My Hate Speech refer to them as historians. Why? Because all history is revised, from the Civil War, to the Slave Trade, to Ancient Rome, and Ancient Greece. As new documents come to lite, through historical research, scientific research, or by pure accident, history is always open to revision because History, unlike Mathematics, is not a science.

In Math you do not need to ask why 2+2 equals 4. You just need to know that is what it is. You do not need to know why A squared x B squared = C squared, you just need to memorize it and apply it. But the Study of History requires its students to always ask the question why, so that we may come closer to, but never reaching a historical fact.

So what do Historians who doubt the "Official Version" of the Holocaust believe?

Claims about "Holocaust Deniers" Fact
They deny that Jews were persecuted WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny that Jews were deprived of civil rights WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny that Jews were deported WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny the Jews were herded into ghettos WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny the existence of concentration camps WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny that Jews were put to forced labor WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny the existence of crematoria in concentration camps WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny that Jews died for a great number of reasons: epidemics, malnutrition, diseases, mistreatment WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny that other minorities were also persecuted as well, such as gypsies and political dissenters WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny that the treatment of the Jews was unjust WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny the victims their dignity WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny the victims to be remembered WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny to show compassion for the victims WRONG. They do NOT deny this
They deny that there was a plan to murder all Jews This is what they claim
They deny that Jews were murdered systematically This is what they claim
They deny the existence of gas chambers for mass murder This is what they claim
They deny that six million Jews died in the Holocaust This is what they claim

Learn more about it here

It is amazing to us that in today's age, when you look back on all the persecution that has gone on throughout European History, such as persecutions against scientist like Galileo, religious persecutions by all sides, and witch trials, that such events are still more than alive in Democracies today. In countries Like Germany, Austria, and France, just to name the main culprits, you can be sent to Jail or have your life completely ruined if you question or present evidence of a contradictory nature regarding historical events.

We have all heard the saying that "It is the victor who writes history." This why history is always being revised. Only in places like the former Soviet Union, Communist China, and North Korea has history been so extremely legislated, just to name the big ones. But these governments were and are not Democracies. So why then would Democracies attempt to legislate history. Possibly because when you realize that it is "the Victor who writes history," they need to demonize an enemy so that the eyes of future generations will not see their own crimes and culpability in those events.

Another reason could be, regarding the Holocaust, is that it is a major industry worth billions of
dollars. Jewish Professor Norman Finkelstien writes of this in his book, "The Holocaust Industry." Which we highly recommend you read. Take for instance the recent Holocaust Book to come out, "Angel Girl," which even Oprah jumped on the bandwagon with. Despite it being revealed that the account was fake, and it being practically pulled from the shelves, there is still a possible movie deal in the works.

Much of the Holocaust has allready been revised to some extent, but most people are not aware of it and still continue to report wartime propaganda as fact, confuse several facts as if they were the same incident, or just twist them around. Just watch a skit of Jay Leno's "Man on The Street" and you can see how that is done with history that is actually closer to home. Even the famous Nazi Hunter Simon Weisenthal said that no extermination camps existed in Germany. Jewish Professor Deborah Lipstadt, Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University has also stated this. It is only in the East, which happen to be in the Soviet occupied zones, See Map, where extermination camps are said to have existed. Yet most people believe they were all over Germany. Despite this, year after year, gullable people leaving Dachau always seem to explain how awful it was that people were exterminated in gas chambers there, even though there is a sign to the left of the gas chambers, which were used to fumigate typhus carrying lice from bedding and clothing, that states no one was ever gassed there.

Despite the revision done on the subject, every year in Germany, France and Austria, people are fined and jailed for simply discussing an aspect of history.

So a BIG thumbs up and kudos to countries like Hungary and Spain, who have rejected such laws, because they realize Freedom of Speech, Thought and Expression are what truly makes democratic nations democratic. Who also realize that laws forbidding such expression, found in Draconian Holocaust Denial Laws, not only violate their own constitutions, but also violate article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which all Western Nations are bound by. It states;

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." - Article 19

Believe in what you choose to believe in. Some people regardless of the facts will still cling to their beliefs, and good for them as well. As Voltaire so aptly put it, "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too."

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We're quickly becoming a nation of criminals

Yesterday I used the example of a drunk-driving incident to briefly illustrate how unjust the American legal structure is. From your county commissioners right on up to the federal government, the state constantly seeks to prosecute us for the mere potential to commit crimes, not simply in response to harm done intentionally to someone else or his property.

The problem with this system of governance is that it is extremely tyrannical. From a moral standpoint, you can't have a criminal without a victim, yet the state increasingly criminalizes nonviolent habits or behaviors that do no harm to anyone, save perhaps the individual who chooses to engage them. And even when the state does prosecute someone who's actually violated the property rights of others, the state doesn't merely force the individual to pay for his own crimes; it compels innocent taxpayers to pay for them as well when it robs us at the point of a gun in order to feed, clothe, and incarcerate the miscreant.

Sadly, the vast majority of Americans not only condones but actually encourages this so-called system of "justice," even though granting the state such enormous power means there literally is no limit to the abuses that can be wielded on nonviolent citizens. To illustrate this further, I will reprint some comments I received yesterday in response to my post.

First George Copeland, the National RNC Examiner, weighs in by saying, "I am delighted to contribute my tax money to put this scumball behind bars. He is a menace and I want him kept far away from me and my friends."

I'm astounded that a Republican would say such things, given that the GOP, beginning with Nixon and continuing right on through Reagan and George W. Bush, is primarily responsible for the expansion of the domestic police state through its war on drugs (and other vices) and the concomitant militarization of local, state, and federal police forces. Sure, the Democrats aren't much better and have never seen jobs programs they didn't like, but it's just that the Republicans are usually the ones telling us they're so committed to individual liberty. As if.

But regardless of Mr. Copeland's party affiliation, the point remains that he has every right to donate his own money to such a government; he has absolutely no right to steal mine to further his own agenda. This is a form of fascism, plain and simple.

Then there is "Rick E.," who writes in part:

What right does a person have to drink and potentially kill others? Answer: he has no such right. In fact, once he/she drives intoxicated, he/she is not a potential danger, but an actual one ... If I fire my pistol at someone and miss, does that make it okay? No. The intoxicated driver is no different.

With all this he/she talk, I'm tempted to think Rick's talking about drunk transvestites, but I digress. I don't want to confuse him any more than he already is. Rick's assertion that we don't have a right to "drink and potentially kill others" is awkward. Anyone who exercises free will has a right to drink. Likewise, because everything we do in life involves risk, even the most unsuspecting victim can be killed by someone else accidentally. Therefore, the harsh reality is that we all unfortunately run the risk of harming or even killing someone else every time we get behind the wheel of a car, whether drunk or sober. However, criminal acts turn on intent. If you kill someone intentionally, it's a crime; if you do it accidentally, it's usually at most a civil offense and one in which you will punish yourself far more severely than any judge or jury ever could.

Simply put, Rick misses this crucial distinction in his argument. Drunk drivers do not usually intend to target other motorists, whereas firing a gun at someone and merely missing him constitutes the intent to do harm via threat to one's person or property. The latter is a crime.

Finally, "Tim" claims that "Drunk driving is an offense against the public order," and that driving is a privilege, not a right. Wow, one is unsure whether Tim's beef is with drunk driving in particular or merely driving in general! Let's just assume Tim believes our rights should be limited to whatever people like him think they should be.

For those interested in serious conversation, however, I might point out that flatulence could most certainly be considered an offense against the public order. How about plain ol' body odor? Anyone who's ever had the pleasure of riding on government-run subway trains probably knows what I'm talking about. Perhaps we should incarcerate anyone who's forgotten to brush their breath with Dentyne or scrub-a-dub-dub with a bar of Dial before heading off to work. When you endorse arbitrary limits on beverage intake and treat as a crime the mere refusal to observe such totalitarian diktats, don't be surprised when you too find yourself sitting in a government cage -- most likely over some "offense" you didn't even know existed.

And to Tim's assertion that driving isn't a right but a privilege, all I can say is "bunk." Every last one of us has the right to travel unmolested by the coercive state, especially when we're all robbed to fund the roads.

Pivotally, the state's focus on drunk driving is entirely perverse in that it doesn't criminalize poor driving, destruction of property, or even harm brought to innocent motorists -- it criminalizes the act of having a particular substance in your blood, regardless of whether you've harmed others as a result.

As I noted yesterday, the man who crashed his vehicle into a truck occupied by a man and his daughter deserves to be held accountable for his offense. Today we toss around the word "crime" as justification for throwing people into government cages willy-nilly, but in a moral sense this man did not commit a crime inasmuch as he probably did not intend to harm the innocent party. He commited a civil infraction for which he and he alone should be held to account, and he should be forced to pay damages to his victims in the event they decide to sue. However, banishing him to a jail cell and compelling the public to pay for his confinement -- in essence, spreading the guilt around by forcing the innocent to accept responsibility for someone else's transgressions -- is more evil than even the initial offense.

As stated earlier, everything we do involves risk and bad things can happen inadvertantly. But a free society will always make a distinction between those who intend to do harm and those who do not when determining grounds for criminal prosecution.

The criminal U.S. state has devolved to the point where we are routinely prosecuted for our mere potential to do harm. We all run the risk of hurting others, and the statists know this. Yet if we accept the notion that we deserve to be incarcerated for accidents and nonviolent vices, there's nothing the state won't eventually control.

Source: The Examiner

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PETA condemns Obama for murdering innocent fly: But Doesn't PETA Kill ANimals

PETA's Dirty Secret

Hypocrisy is the mother of all credibility problems, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has it in spades. While loudly complaining about the "unethical" treatment of animals by restaurant owners, grocers, farmers, scientists, anglers, and countless other Americans, the group has its own dirty little secret.

PETA kills animals. By the thousands.

From July 1998 through December 2008, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed over 21,000 dogs, cats, and other "companion animals." That's more than five defenseless creatures every day. PETA has a walk-in freezer to store the dead bodies, and contracts with a Virginia Beach company to cremate them.

Not counting the pets PETA spayed and neutered, the group put to death over 90 percent of the animals it took in during the last five years. And its angel-of-death pattern shows no sign of changing.

Year Received Adopted Killed Transferred % Killed % Adopted
2008 2,216 7 2,124 34 95.8 0.32
2007 1,997 17 1,815 35 90.9 0.85
2006 3,061 12 2,981 46 97.4 0.39
2005 2,165 146 1,946 69 89.9 6.74
2004 2,655 361 2,278 1 85.8 13.60
2003 2,224 312 1,911 1 85.9 14.03
2002 2,680 382 2,298 2 85.7 14.25
2001 2,685 703 1,944 14 72.4 26.18
2000 2,681 624 2,029 28 75.7 23.27
1999 1,805 386 1,328 91 73.6 21.39
*1998 943 133 685 125 72.6 14.10
Total 25,112 3,083 21,339 446 85.0 12.28

* figures represent the second half of 1998 only
† other than spay/neuter animals
» Skeptical? Click here to see the proof.

On its 2002 federal income-tax return, PETA claimed a $9,370 write-off for a giant walk-in freezer, the kind most people use as a meat locker or for ice-cream storage. But animal-rights activists don't eat meat or dairy foods. And during a 2007 criminal trial, a PETA manager (testifying under oath) confirmed the obvious -- that the group uses the appliance to store the bodies of its victims.

In 2000, when the Associated Press first noted PETA's Kervorkian-esque tendencies, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk complained that actually taking care of animals costs more than killing them. "We could become a no-kill shelter immediately," she admitted.

PETA kills animals. Because it has other financial priorities.

PETA rakes in nearly $30 million each year in income, much of it raised from pet owners who think their donations actually help animals. Instead, the group spends huge sums on programs equating people who eat chicken with Nazis, scaring young children away from drinking milk, recruiting children into the radical animal-rights lifestyle, and intimidating businessmen and their families in their own neighborhoods. PETA has also spent tens of thousands of dollars defending arsonists and other violent extremists.

PETA claims it engages in outrageous media-seeking stunts "for the animals." But which animals? Carping about the value of future two-piece dinners while administering lethal injections to puppies and kittens isn't ethical. It's hypocritical -- with a death toll that PETA would protest if it weren't their own doing.

PETA kills animals. And its leaders dare lecture the rest of us?

Source: Peta Kills Animals

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50 things wrong with Cap and Tax: A Garden of Piggish Delights

Waxman-Markey is part power-grab, part enviro-fantasy. Here are 50 reasons to stop it.

By Stephen Spruiell & Kevin Williamson

he stimulus bill was the legislative equivalent of the famous cantina scene from Star Wars, an eye-popping collection of the freakish and exotic, gathered for dubious purposes. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, known as ACES (the American Clean Energy and Security Act), is more like the third panel in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights — a hellscape that disturbs the sleep of anybody who contemplates it carefully.

Two main things to understand about Waxman-Markey: First, it will not reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, at least not at any point in the near future. The inclusion of carbon offsets, which can be manufactured out of thin air and political imagination, will eliminate most of the demands that the legislation puts on industry, though in doing so it will manage to drive up the prices consumers pay for every product that requires energy for its manufacture — which is to say, for everything. Second, it represents a worse abuse of the public trust and purse than the stimulus and the bailouts put together. Waxman-Markey creates a permanent new regime in which environmental romanticism and corporate welfare are mixed together to form political poison. From comic bureaucratic power grabs (check out the section of the bill on candelabras) to the creation of new welfare programs for Democratic constituencies to, above all, massive giveaways for every financial, industrial, and political lobby imaginable, this bill would permanently deform American politics and economic life.

The House of Representatives, famously, did not read this bill before passing it, which is testament to either Nancy Pelosi’s managerial incompetency or her political wile, or possibly both. If you take the time to read the legislation, you’ll discover four major themes: special-interest giveaways, regulatory mandates unrelated to climate change, fanciful technological programs worthy of The Jetsons, and assorted left-wing wish fulfillment. We cannot cover every swirl and brushstroke of this masterpiece of misgovernance, but here’s a breakdown of its 50 most outrageous features.

1. The big doozy: Eighty-five percent of the carbon permits will not be sold at auction — they will be given away to utility companies, petroleum interests, refineries, and a coterie of politically connected businesses. If you’re wondering why Big Business supports cap-and-trade, that’s why. Free money for business, but higher energy prices for you.

2. The sale of carbon permits will enrich the Wall Street investment bankers whose money put Obama in the White House. Top of the list: Goldman Sachs, which is invested in carbon-offset development and carbon permissions. CNN reports:

Less than two weeks after the investment bank announced it would be laying off 10 percent of its staff, ***Goldman Sachs confirmed that it has taken a minority stake in Utah-based carbon offset project developer Blue Source LLC. . . . “Interest in the pre-compliance carbon market in the U.S. is growing rapidly,” said Leslie Biddle, Head of Commodity Sales at Goldman, “and we are excited to be able to offer our clients immediate access to a diverse selection of emission reductions to manage their carbon risk.”

3. With its rich menu of corporate subsidies and special set-asides for politically connected industries, Waxman-Markey has inspired a new corporate interest group, USCAP, the United States Climate Action Partnership — the group largely responsible for the fact that carbon permits are being given away like candy at Christmas rather than auctioned. And who is lined up to receive a piece of the massive wealth transfer that Waxman-Markey will mandate? Canada Free Press lists:

Alcoa, American International Group (AIG) which withdrew after accepting government bailout money, Boston Scientific Corporation, BP America Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Chrysler LLC (which continues to lobby with taxpayer dollars), ConocoPhillips, Deere & Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Duke Energy, DuPont, Environmental Defense, Exelon Corporation, Ford Motor Company, FPL Group, Inc., General Electric, General Motors Corp. (now owned by the Obama administration), Johnson & Johnson, Marsh, Inc., National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, NRG Energy, Inc., Pepsico, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, PG&E Corporation, PNM Resources, Rio Tinto, Shell, Siemens Corporation, World Resources Institute, Xerox Corporation.

One major group of recipients of the free money being given to industry in the form of carbon permits are the electric utilities, represented in Washington by the Edison Electric Institute. Along with the coal and steel businesses, the utilities are positioned to receive a huge portion of the carbon permits — some of which will be disguised as measures for consumers — and have become one of the nation’s highest-spending lobbies, working to ensure that their interests are served by cap-and-trade.

4. To the extent that the allowances actually generate government revenue, that money is going to be used for fraud-inviting projects of dubious environmental or economic value. Example: Some allowance money will be used to “build capacity to reduce deforestation in developing countries experiencing deforestation, including preparing developing countries to participate in international markets for international offset credits for reduced emissions from deforestation.” What are the chances of that being abused?

5. In addition to the permits, the bill also allows for the creation of “offsets” — the medieval-style indulgences of the carbon-footprint world. In fact, nearly all of Waxman-Markey’s carbon-reduction targets can be met with offsets alone through 2050, meaning decades before any actual reduction of greenhouse gases is required. That means huge new expenses for small businesses and consumers in return for basically zero environmental improvement. And how does one earn an offset to sell? Get a farm and cash in through such methods as, and we quote, “improved manure management,” “reduced tillage/no-tillage,” or “afforestation of marginal farmlands.” Translation: Plant some trees around the house and claim some extra credits on the land the government may already be paying you not to farm. And do a better job of handling your B.S. — but you’ll never do as good a job on that one as the authors of Waxman-Markey.

6. Because the cap-and-trade regime will disadvantage domestic refineries vis-à-vis foreign competitors, such as India’s powerhouse Reliance Industries, Waxman-Markey is attempting to buy them off with free permits — 2 percent of the national total will go to domestic refineries, at no cost.

7. Agribusiness is exempted from cap-and-trade controls, but the farm lobby will be given permits to sell and to profit from anyway. All carrot, no stick — precisely what this powerful industry lobby is accustomed to receiving from Washington.

8. Waxman-Markey strips the EPA of its oversight role when it comes to managing the offsets associated with American farms. At the behest of Cargill and other big players in the farm lobby, oversight will be entrusted to the USDA — basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the agriculture cartel, one of America’s most rapacious special-interest groups, which already is stuffed with subsidies and sops.

9. Waxman-Markey directs the EPA to ignore the real environmental impact of ethanol and other biofuels. The gigantic subsidies lavished on the farm lobby through the ethanol program encourage farmers to clear forest land to plant corn — a net environmental loss that the use of ethanol does nothing to offset. An earlier version of the legislation that would have accounted for land-use changes was altered at the farm lobby’s demand. Now, the EPA will be forbidden to rain the same pain on the ethanol gang that it’s going to rain on the rest of the economy — a minimum of five years’ (ahem) “study” is required before a ruling on whether ethanol should be treated the same as any other fuel, and the EPA, USDA, and Congress all must agree to act before Big Corn reaps what Waxman-Markey sows.

10. Rural electrical cooperatives are demanding that the offsets be awarded in proportion to historic emissions, and they probably will prevail. This means that high-polluting generators, such as the coal-fired plants typical of electric co-ops’ members, will be rewarded because they pollute more, while cleaner producers, such as those using nuclear and hydroelectric power, will be penalized.

11. The farm lobby will be rewarded for practices that do little or nothing to reduce greenhouse gases. One such practice is “no till” planting, in which farmers forgo plowing and plant seeds directly into the soil. Two peer-reviewed scientific papers suggest that no-till either does nothing to decrease carbon dioxide or actually increases the level of greenhouse-gas emissions by
upping emissions of nitrous oxide — a much more powerful greenhouse gas. Now it’s not clear that no-till will reduce greenhouse gases, but the practice does make weed-control more difficult, meaning that it supports the market for herbicides such as Monsanto’s RoundUp. Guess who’s spending millions lobbying for no-till?

12. Waxman-Markey provides an excuse for trade protectionism. The bill will give the Obama administration broad new powers to enact tariffs on imports from jurisdictions that have not had the poor sense to enact similar legislation, meaning that it invites both politically driven trade protectionism and retaliatory measures from abroad in the service of an empty green dream. As the New York Times puts it:

A House committee working on sweeping energy legislation seems determined to make sure that the United States will tax China and other carbon polluters, potentially disrupting an already-sensitive climate change debate in Congress. The Ways and Means Committee’s proposed bill language would virtually require that the president impose an import tariff on any country that fails to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions. Directed primarily at China, the United States’ biggest manufacturing competitor, the provisions aim to protect cement, steel and other energy-intensive industries that expect to face higher costs under a federal emissions cap.

13. Waxman-Markey channels billions of dollars into subsidies for “international clean technology deployment for emerging markets.” David H. McCormick of the Treasury Department recently gave a speech on the establishment of an $8 billion fund for that purpose; those who showed up to gets the specs on this new gravy train included Sequoia Capital, the United Steelworkers Union, the Clinton Climate Initiative, Ernst & Young, Duke Energy, SunPower, Honeywell, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Credit Suisse, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, and Goldman Sachs. If you’re wondering who’s going to make real money off of Waxman-Markey, this list would be a pretty good place to start.

14. Naturally, Big Labor gets its piece of the pie, too. Projects receiving grants and financing under Waxman-Markey provisions will be required to implement Davis-Bacon union-wage rules, making it hard for non-union firms to compete — and ensuring that these “investments” pay out inflated union wages. And it’s not just the big research-and-development contracts, since Waxman-Markey forces union-wage rules all the way down to the plumbing-repair and light-bulb-changing level.

15. The renewable electricity standard is the big one here. This would require utilities to supply 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources (or “increased efficiency”) by 2020. The Senate was unable to pass a smaller mandate in 2007, because favored sources of renewable energy (wind power, for instance) just don’t work in certain regions of the country, and regional blocs can wield a great deal of power in the Senate. These blocs may be less powerful this time around, because the Democrats within them will be under a great deal of pressure to pass this bill. The renewable standard would force utilities to rely increasingly on expensive sources of energy like wind and solar — expensive because they are capital-intensive and must be located far away from urban areas, necessitating long transmission lines. You can thank Congress for adding yet another charge to your monthly utility bill.

16. The bill would create a system of renewable electricity credits similar to the carbon offsets mentioned above — utilities that cannot meet the standard could purchase credits from other utilities. One way or another, however, the cost is getting passed along to you.

17. The renewable standard excludes sources of power like nuclear and coal gasification, and perhaps that’s to be understood. Even though these sources are cleaner than traditional coal-burning plants, they violate a number of green taboos. What’s less understandable is the way “qualified hydropower” is narrowly defined to exclude hydropower from Canada. Again, the thing to remember is that Congress is less concerned with greening the environment and more concerned with greening the pockets of parochial interests.

18. The legislation calls for the establishment of a Carbon Storage Research Corporation (CSRC) to steer $1 billion annually into the development of carbon-capture technologies. The CSRC would be funded via assessments on utility companies. Hear that? It’s the sound of another charge being added to your bill. Evidence suggests that subsidizing research into carbon-capture technology is either futile (in the case of traditional coal-powered plants) or unnecessary (the technology for sequestering emissions from gasification plants already exists).

19. The promotion of carbon capture will require a host of new regulations — the bill calls on the EPA to create a permitting process for geologic sequestration (burying captured carbon emissions in the ground), regulations to keep the buried carbon from escaping into the air, and regulations to keep it from escaping into the water supply. All we need now are carbon guards to throw the carbon in solitary confinement if it gets too rowdy in the prison yard.

20. The bill imposes performance standards on new coal-fired power plants to encourage the adoption of carbon-capture technology. Ratepayers would pay more for electricity because of the efficiency losses associated with carbon capture.

21. The bill regulates every light fixture under the sun. Actually, the sun might be the only light source that isn’t regulated specifically in this legislation. There are rules governing fluorescent lamps, incandescent lamps, intermediate base lamps, candelabra base lamps, outdoor luminaires, portable light fixtures — you get the idea. The government actually started down this road by regulating light bulbs in the 2005 energy bill. This bill merely tightens the regulations, which means the unintended consequences produced by the 2005 bill — more expensive light bulbs that burn out quicker — will probably get worse.

22. The bill extends its reach to cover appliances as well. Clothes washers and dishwashers, portable electric spas, showerheads, faucets, televisions — all these and more are covered specifically in the bill. You thought we were kidding when we said this bill represents the federal government’s attempt to expand its regulatory reach to cover everything. We weren’t.

23. Appliances will be required to come with “carbon output” labels, and retailers will get bonus payments for marketing those that are certified “best-in-class.” The bill sets up a payment schedule to reward the manufacturers of these “best-in-class” products: $75 for each dishwasher, $250 for each clothes washer, and so on. So go out and splurge on that new super-energy-efficient refrigerator — under this bill, you already made a $200 down payment.

24. The bill requires the EPA to establish environmental standards for residences, meaning a federally dictated one-size-fits-all policy for greening every home in America. When you’re retrofitting your home according to EPA guidelines, it will come as little comfort to know that the government is reimbursing you for your troubles, especially if you’re doing the work around April 15.

25. The bill would affect commercial properties, too. In fact, all buildings would be governed by a “national energy efficiency building code” that would require 50 percent reductions in energy use in all buildings by 2018, followed by 5 percent reductions in energy use every three years after that through 2030. No one disputes that these changes will be costly, but Waxman-Markey supporters argue that they will pay for themselves through lower energy bills. This argument holds up only if we assume that energy prices will stay flat or fall over time. But the aforementioned carbon caps instituted elsewhere in this legislation make that prospect highly unlikely. Businesses and homeowners will pay twice — once to retrofit their roosts and again when the energy bill arrives.

26. The bill instructs the EPA to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from mobile sources such as cars, trucks, buses, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, boats, planes, and trains.

27. It instructs the EPA to cap and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from non-mobile sources as well. These two items would be bigger news if the Supreme Court hadn’t already cleared the way for the EPA to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. President Obama will probably move forward on this front even if Congress fails to pass the cap-and-trade bill. He has already announced a strict national fuel-efficiency standard for cars, and the implications for other sources of greenhouse-gas emissions are not good.

28. The bill calls on the EPA to establish a federal greenhouse-gas registry. Businesses would be required to collect and submit data on their emissions to the EPA, creating yet another compliance cost for them to pass on to their customers.

29. The bill undermines federalism by prohibiting states from creating their own cap-and-trade programs. Nearly half of all U.S. states have already taken some sort of action to cap greenhouse-gas emissions by forming regional compacts and implementing their own emission standards. Understandably, these states support a federal cap so that they are not at an economic disadvantage to states that do not cap emissions. If these states want to hamstring their own economies in the pursuit of green goals, that should be their business. States that don’t see any reason to do so should not be forced to share in their folly.

30. Utility companies are directed to start laying the groundwork for a glorious future in which everyone drives a plug-in car. The legislation directs them to start planning for the deployment of electrical charging stations along roadways, in parking garages, and at gas stations, as well as “such other elements as the State determines necessary to support plug-in electric drive vehicles.” (States are directed to consider whether the costs of planning or the implementation of these plans merit reimbursement. Either way, you wind up with the bill.)

31. The secretary of energy is required to establish a large-scale vehicle electrification program and to provide “such sums as may be necessary” for the manufacture of plug-in electric-drive vehicles, including another $25 billion for “advanced technology vehicle” loans. As if Detroit hadn’t gotten its hands on enough taxpayer money.

32. The bill directs the secretary of energy to promulgate regulations requiring that each automaker’s fleet be comprised of a minimum percentage of vehicles that run on ethanol or biodiesel.

33. It includes loan guarantees for the construction of ethanol pipelines. Nearly every energy bill in the last five years has included loan guarantees for the construction of ethanol pipelines. Apparently, would-be builders of this vital infrastructure are still having problems getting financing.

34. Congress passed (and Obama signed) a “cash for clunkers” program as part of the war appropriations bill this month. Under the program, you get a rebate for trading in a used car for one that gets slightly higher mileage. The Waxman-Markey bill takes this concept and applies it to appliances, electric motors — basically anything that can be traded in for a more energy-efficient version. These types of programs generally fail cost-benefit analyses spectacularly because more energy goes into the production of the new appliances than would have been used if the old ones had just run their course.

35. The bill includes $15 billion in grants and loans to encourage the manufacture of wind turbines, solar energy, biofuel production, and other sources of renewable energy that have benefited from decades of such largesse already. Another $15 billion is not going to make these energy sources cost-competitive. Only carbon rationing can achieve that. One suspects the Democrats know this; that’s why they are pushing a carbon-rationing bill. The $15 billion is just another sop to the green-energy lobby to help grease the skids.

36. The bill establishes within the EPA a SmartWay Transport Program, which would provide grants and loans to freight carriers that meet environmental goals.

37. The bill requires the secretary of energy to establish a program to make monetary awards to utilities that find innovative ways of using thermal energy, as if utilities needed an extra incentive to discover a new, cheap energy source.

38. It includes another $1.5 billion for the Hollings Manufacturing Partnership Program. This program pops up repeatedly in discussions of programs that both liberals and conservatives think should be eliminated. It is corporate welfare, pure and simple.

39. It includes $65 million for research into high-efficiency gas turbines, another gift to the corporate world with little environmental benefit.

40. It includes $7.5 million to establish a National Bioenergy Partnership to promote biofuels. Economic barriers to the commercial viability of biofuel as an energy source have proven to be so insurmountable that even with all of the federal mandates and subsidies already thrown their way, the ethanol companies lined up with everyone else for a federal bailout when the financial crisis hit. The last thing consumers need is another full-time, federally subsidized lobbying arm for that industry.

41. One of Obama’s most reliable constituencies, college administrators, will be given billions of dollars to play with through the creation of eight “Clean Energy Innovation Centers,” university-based consortia charged with a mission to “leverage the expertise and resources of the university and private research communities, industry, venture capital, national laboratories, and other participants in energy innovation to support cross-disciplinary research and development in areas not being served by the private sector in order to develop and transfer innovative clean energy technologies into the marketplace.” Meaning that the famous business acumen of the federal government will be applied to the energy industry.

42. Another Obama constituency, the community-organizing gang — i.e., ACORN — will be eligible to receive billions in funding as the bill “a
uthorizes the Secretary [of Energy] to make grants to community development organizations to provide financing to businesses and projects that improve energy efficiency.” Think federally subsidized consultants paid $55 an hour to tell businesses to turn down their AC in the summer.

43. Waxman-Markey also enables Obama to indulge his persistent desire to use the tax code to transfer wealth from people who pay taxes to people who don’t — i.e., from likely Republican voters to likely Obama voters. The bill “amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow certain low income taxpayers a refundable energy tax credit to compensate such taxpayers for reductions in their purchasing power, as identified and calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resulting from regulation of GHGs (greenhouse gases).”

44. Not only will Waxman-Markey slip more redistribution into the tax code, it will establish a new monthly welfare check. It will create an “Energy Refund Program” that will “give low-income households a monthly cash energy refund equal to the estimated loss in purchasing power resulting from this Act.”

45. Another new class of government dependents will be created by Waxman-Markey: Americans put out of work by Waxman-Markey. The bill establishes a program to distribute “climate change adjustment assistance to adversely affected workers.”

46. Waxman-Markey will create yet another raft of government dependents, but of a different sort — bureaucrats. The bill creates: a new United States Global Change Research Program, a National Climate Change Adaptation Program, a National Climate Service, Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Strategy office at the White House, and an International Climate Change Adaptation Program at the State Department.

47. And since everybody else is getting a check, Bambi gets one, too, in the form of money for “domestic wildlife and natural resource adaptation.”

48. States also get in on the action. The legislation allows each state to set up a State Energy and Environment Development (SEED) account into which the federal government can deposit emission allowances. States can then sell these allowances and use the proceeds to support clean-energy programs. They must set aside a certain amount of the money to fund federal mandates, but they are given broad discretion to use the rest by making loans, grants, and other forms of support available to favored constituencies. It’s federalism, of a sort — the wrong sort.

49. And, of course, everything includes a health-care component, even cap-and-trade. Waxman-Markey requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a “strategic action plan to assist health professionals in preparing for and responding to the impacts of climate change.”

50. Waxman-Markey dumps money into questionable “partnerships” and grants to study “emerging careers” in “renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change mitigation.” The first career to emerge, of course, will be managing grants to study emerging careers.

That’s our Top 50. We could go on. And on.

When Nancy Pelosi was advising congressmen to back this beast, she said they should not worry about the words of the bill they had not read, but think about four others: “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” The legislation offers Pelosi perverse vindication: Waxman-Markey will create a lot of jobs for Wall Street sharps, Big Business rent-seekers, ACORN hucksters, utility-company lobbyists, grant-writers at left-wing organizations, college administrators, light-bulb-policing bureaucrats, and an army of parasitic hangers-on. It’s up to the Senate to stop it.

Source: National Review Online

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Remembering What the Declaration of Independence is Not

When we celebrate the Fourth of July, we are celebrating one of the most important political documents in the history of the world. The Declaration is a statement to the world -- the people of the world was the audience -- about the very nature of government and its relationship to men. Sometimes we appreciate what this document was, but perhaps we need even more to appreciate what it was not.

It was not a poll-driven summation of current opinion. The men who gathered in Philadelphia did respect each other's talents and knowledge, but the document they signed was not not driven by the latest Gallup or Zogby poll results. What was right and true was not dependent upon popular opinion.

The signers did not even seek a vote of the people. No referendum was necessary for the Declaration of Independence and it might well have failed in some of the colonies. The "will of the people," so precious to demagogues, did not determine what was right and true. The people can fall for Hitler, adore Obama, and be enchanted by silly or wicked men. The purpose of government, as the Declaration clearly states, is to secure liberty and not to implement that dubious, inconstant sentiment "the will of the people."

The men who signed the Declaration of Independence represented the absolute opposite of "interest group politics" so slavishly worshipped in political science departments. They pledged their lives, their wealth, their liberty, and their honor -- everything -- on a toss of the dice. Often, even if the revolution won, these men personally lost. The game was not about them, their economic interest, or their political ambition. They won if America became a new order of liberty in the world. Interest politics would have led them all to make peace with the Crown. Moral principles led them to what Churchill would later call "blood, toil, sweat, and tears."

The brave men in Philadelphia were engaging in unconstitutional action. Britain had a constitution, albeit a largely unwritten one, and Jefferson knew that he was defying our equivalent of the Supreme Court. He and his colleagues defied the moral power of a system which no longer treasured liberty above advantage or caprice. Rulers making decisions which did not really affect them, living thousands of miles from their subjects, lacked the moral authority to wield law.

Moral authority was the heart of the Declaration as well. It lacked a separation of church and state and instead there was a unity of God and government. All men were created equal by God. That is the foundational point of the Declaration from which all else flows like the spring of liberty. If all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, politics is clear and simple. If that is true, then -- of course! -- protecting these inalienable rights is the only reason that governments are instituted among men. These were truths which, in the magical pen of Jefferson, the brave authors and signers held to be "self-evident." There is a Creator. He made us. He made us, specifically, free in body and in conscience. We are not sheep or some sort of oddly self-domesticated animals. We are creatures in the image of a Creator, unique in reality, and given the power to choose.

The men who wrote and signed the Declaration are all dead, long, long, dead -- they never expected otherwise. If we met their ghosts today, they would not ask about our technological marvels or our global economy or our medical breakthroughs or space travel. If we told them about our partisan debates or the new King in Washington, they might cringe like a father over an addled child.

But when speaking of what they wrote in 1776 -- signing their own death warrants, in some respects -- they might ask us this: "We did not mean to confuse you. That is why the words we chose were so clear. You are free creatures of God. Government is your creature, your chattel, your tool -- nothing more. We studied history long before we wrote our brief statement of liberty. You own government or rather the spirit of free men owns government. You fret about ‘stuff.' Why? We are all dead now, as we knew we would be. But we chose to die free, following our consciences - that is the only real choice in life. What confused you?" The principle of liberty is easy. All it requires is courage and honor.

Source: American Thinker

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They Asked Us To Conserve And Now They Need New Taxes

The Congress, particularly the Democrats, have been after auto makers to make more fuel efficient cars and they have been after us to drive less and save fuel to save the Earth and prevent global warming. We have done a pretty good job of that because now there are more cars that get better gass mileage and people are not using as much of it because they are driving less which is probably due as much to the economy as anything else.

The problem is that revenue from gas taxes is way down. The state and federal governments are not getting as much money as they did before because people are not buying as much gas. The idea of raising fuel taxes probably amounts to political suicide so they need a new plan.

A plan is under consideration to tax us based on the number of miles we drive. Vehicles would be equipped with GPS trackers that would report on the number of miles driven and we would be sent a bill for out taxes. I have some issues with this.

First of all, a GPS will also allow them to track us anywhere we go. What would stop them from deciding that they needed to track us because of an amber alert or some other crime that we might have committed? What would stop them from using the GPS to see if you told the police your where abouts on the night in question? I have a problem with them being able to track me everywhere I go in my car. They can already track cell phones and I am not happy about that.

Secondly, How will this work for people who are driving on private roads? How about people who drive into Canada or Mexico? A private road is not repaired with public funds so people should not have to pay taxes when they are driving on them. People should not have to pay taxes if they drive on roads in Canada or Mexico (though those governments might like to get a cut).

Also, will they END the gas tax? Will they completely remove the taxes from the cost of a gallon of gas? If they add mileage tax on top of gas tax then they might as well just raise the taxes on gas. My bet is they would not remove the tax. Government has a hard time cutting the tax umbilical cord.

I also want to know how this will apply to currently owned vehicles. I own both of my vehicles and do not plan on replacing them for a while. Will I be required to put a GPS on them? Who will pay for it and what right do they have to tell me that I have to install that on a vehicle I own?

I also see a huge potential for the theft of personally identifying information when people hack into the database and get personal information. I imagine some of the smart techie people will find a way to beat the GPS system.

This is a real bad idea if for no other reason than the invasion of privacy involved in government being able to track us when we drive.

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New Orleans still illegally confiscating guns

The ACLU, not exactly known for being sympathetic to the right to keep and bear arms, is going to bat for a New Orleans man who had his gun confiscated. From the Associated Press:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed the federal lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Errol Houston Jr., who was arrested last year following a traffic stop. The lawsuit says the district attorney's office declined to prosecute Houston but has refused to return his .40-caliber firearm.

Why? After all:

"Mr. Houston has done nothing wrong. There are no criminal charges against him. His firearm, which he is and was entitled to carry, has been confiscated for no reason..."

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro is not pleased:

Cannizzaro said he doesn't know why one of his predecessors refused to prosecute Houston, whom he said had a gun under the floor board of his car when police stopped him.

"I have a serious question as to why this charge was refused in the first place," he said.

With all due respect, Mr. DA, and it appears very little is due, that's not your call. As an officer of the court, sworn to uphold the law, you don't get to disregard it, or to make up edicts of your own.

This is the kind of authoritarian mentality that leads to "terror watch list" gun bans, to prior restraints, and to "no rights" lists where suspicion trumps all.

This is supposed to be America, Mr. Cannizzaro. If Mr. Houston is a menace to society, he needs to be charged, convicted and segregated from it. If you can't do that, our criminal justice system presumes his innocence.

Perhaps we ought to be assessing the danger of having a DA who ignores that, and who presumes to be a law unto himself.

Source: The Examiner

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Canadian politician sues Jewish groups

TORONTO (JTA) -- An ex-candidate in Canada is suing the country's leading Jewish advocacy groups, alleging they ruined her political career.

Lesley Hughes, who was dumped as a Liberal candidate in a Winnipeg-area electoral district, claims the Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai Brith Canada made false and defamatory accusations that she is anti-Semitic.

In a lawsuit filed June 16, Hughes alleges that as a result of the actions of the CJC and B'nai Brith, former federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion revoked her candidacy in last September's federal elections.

Hughes is suing the organizations, four of its senior members and Peter Kent, now a federal Cabinet minister who represents a heavily Jewish Toronto-area district.

In her lawsuit Hughes acknowledges that in a 2002 article in a Winnipeg community newspaper, she repeated a variation of the Internet canard that legions of Jews avoided death in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center because the Mossad knew of the attacks in advance.

"Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it," she wrote.

Hughes alleges in her suit that CJC and B'nai Brith, using a 6-year-old article, persuaded Dion to revoke her candidacy on the grounds that she was anti-Semitic and unfit for public office.

She says Kent, then a Conservative candidate, issued a news release on Sept. 26, 2008 in which he said Hughes holds "extreme, anti-Israel 9/11 conspiracy theories" and was "unfit to serve for public office."

Hughes claims she has been "branded as an anti-Semite and a person of unsavory character and, as a result, is no longer employable in her role as a freelance journalist/broadcaster." She also says she has suffered mental distress and humiliation.

None of the defendants has filed statements of defense, nor have any of the allegations been proven in court.

Source: Jewish Telegraph Agency

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Happy Independence Day.

Would the signers of the Declaration of Independence have thought it principled for the majority of U.S. politicians today to refuse to give even returning U.S. military veterans preference over illegal aliens for jobs?



You see, strangely enough, our Founders believed in something called a national community. (They CREATED the national community!) Government was to be BY and OF the members of that national community. But it also was to be FOR the members. EVERYTHING about our current immigration policies ignores any special treatment or consideration for the members of our own community.

These immigration policies serve the interests of the few against the many -- they serve the powerful and rich against the weak and poor.


The high-immigration lobbies and their allies in Congress, in the White House and in most state legislatures have taken an extremely ANTI-4TH-OF-JULY approach to our current jobs depression. Official unemployment has now hit 9.5%. But all parts of the federal government and all but a few states have refused to require E-Verify to keep a dwindling number of U.S. jobs available for our fellow citizens.

Thus, I read today about the very sad lot of so many returning National Guardsmen who are returning to an economy that has no job for them. Yet, more than 8 million illegal aliens currently hold U.S. jobs. Wouldn't it make sense to require all employers to use E-Verify to open up those jobs for our returning military -- and so many others of our fellow citizens trying to survive economically?

Only 12 state legislatures have required E-Verify at least to some extent to protect jobs for veterans and other Americans. In 38 states, though, the illegal aliens with jobs have priority.


Perhaps no holiday is more fitted to those of us in the immigration-reduction movement than the 4th of July. For what was the signing of the Declaration of Independence about if not the defining of a new national community and the insistence that the government exists primarily to protect and provide for the quality of life of the members of that community?

There is a tendency to celebrate the individual liberty made possible by our form of government without recognizing the role of community which implies rights and responsibilities toward each other.

Government was said to exist based on the consent of the governed. The inalienable right of individuals to choose their own government was based on theories of natural rights, especially as propounded by the British philospher John Locke.

Our Founders had long believed in natural rights. But in the Declaration of Independence, they had reached a consensus that natural rights were inextricably tied to nationhood. We were a separate people from all other peoples. Unless individuals were part of a national community, there was seen to be little chance that they could achieve their natural rights. For all kinds of geographic, economic and cultural reasons, it was no longer practicable for the colonists to be a true part of the British national community. We had to have our own community if we were to have our individual rights.

Historian Ralph Ketcham concluded that the principles of the Founders were that:

. . . the legitimate powers of government were derived from the people, that government existed to promote the happiness and safety of the people . . .


What kind of happiness do our 15 million unemployed Americans derive from government policies that continue to import some 138,000 foreign workers a month (not counting illegal aliens)?


But I have come to see that many high-immigration advocates do not really believe in the national community that the Signers of 1776 created.

We at NumbersUSA earnestly do believe in it. We would never put illegal aliens ahead of returning veterans, for example. We see radical immigration numbers and slovenly enforcement of immigration laws as a grave threat to the members of our national community.

We disagree with the majority of politicians, with the President, with the former President, and with most newspaper editorial boards that huge numbers of citizens of OTHER national communities have just as much right to the jobs, the infrastructure and the land in the United States as do those who are citizens of THIS national community.

Don't interpret me too narrowly. I believe -- as did the Signers of 1776 and John Locke -- in the national communities of peoples across the world. It is in their own national communities that they have the possibilities of fulfillment of their natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is in their ability to define the membership of their community and to maintain governments of, by and for those communities that any real improvements in quality of life are possible around the world. That is the global spirit of July 4, 1776.

Open borders and second-class status for members of our own community is not the Spirit of 1776.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

Source: NumbersUSA

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“So many people genuinely believe in the freedom of the press”

Suzanne Breen describes her battle to protect her sources from police in Northern Ireland

Nobody expected us to win. Just by mentioning of the word “terrorism” nowadays, the state generally secures whatever it wants, even on the flimsiest basis. So when the Police Service of Northern Ireland went to court seeking a production order for computers, phones and notes relating to stories I’d written in the Sunday Tribune on the Real IRA, everyone thought they’d succeed.

Ten years ago another Northern Ireland reporter, Ed Moloney, had been pursued for material relating to a loyalist paramilitary he interviewed. After a year-long, hugely expensive legal battle, the courts eventually ruled in the journalist’s favour. But that case was taken under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The PSNI were pursuing me and the Sunday Tribune under the Terrorism Act 2000, an even more draconian piece of legislation.

And the political backdrop against which detectives pursued us was hardly conducive to a progressive, liberal verdict. This is the year that two British soldiers were killed by the Real IRA after a decade without security force casualties in Northern Ireland. The London and Dublin governments, local unionist and nationalist politicians, as well as the vast majority of society, were naturally appalled.

Under these circumstances, the general consensus was that the courts would favour the police. If ever we did win it would be far down the appeal road — probably at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

There was no way I was ever going to hand over material to the PSNI even if failure to do so carried a sentence of up to five years in jail. The reasons were two-fold.

Were I to do what police wanted my life would have been in imminent danger from the Real IRA. But, secondly and just as importantly, compliance would make a nonsense of the concept of journalistic confidentiality and the protection of sources.

In a courageous judgment, Belfast recorder Tom Burgess recognised these arguments. He acknowledged my rights under Article 2 of the European Convention. Significantly he also ruled “that the concept of confidentiality for journalists protecting their sources is recognised in law and specifically under the 2000 Terrorism Act and Article 10 of the (European) Convention”.

It is the first time since the Terrorism Act that protection of sources has been enshrined in a judgment. How police must wish they’d never taken this case. Now they are now in a significantly weaker legal position if they wish to pursue another journalist in the same way.

To win at the first hearing in a domestic court was particularly welcome and I hope that the judgment encourages police forces in Ireland and Britain to wise up. Do your job and let journalists do theirs. We are not detectives or agents or informants for the state. We exist to put information into the public domain. Full stop.

I also hope that it encourages journalists not to be bullied or lured by police into betraying their professional ethics. In my case, the police initially invited me to have an off-the-record private chat with them about my sources. No journalist should ever venture down such a dangerous and compromising route.

No journalist should be intimidated when detectives apply for a production order. As we’ve shown, such a move can be challenged and overcome. It is up to reporters and photographers to fight for press freedom, not to capitulate at the first police phone call, letter, or other approach.

On the first day of the hearing, the public, press, myself and my lawyers were cleared from the court so the PSNI could present their arguments in camera. It was Kafkaesque. How could we mount a defence when we didn’t even know what police were saying? We were fighting in a massively disadvantaged position.

And so we decided our tactics would be the exact opposite to those of the police. If their case was shrouded in secrecy, we would respond with transparency. I would go into the witness box and be open to intensive cross-examination. This wasn’t just the PSNI against one journalist and newspaper — it was an attack on the entire media.

We called a range of well-respected journalists as witnesses: Panorama’s John Ware, Channel 4’s Alex Thomson, Liam Clarke of the Sunday Times, and former Mirror editor, Professor Roy Greenslade. Apart from making their secret statement the police didn’t publicly enter the witness box themselves nor did they call any witnesses.

I suspect that the PSNI application against the Sunday Tribune was politically, not security, driven. When the Real IRA murdered two soldiers at Massereene in March it challenged the official view, promoted by the British government across the world, that the gunmen’s day in Northern Ireland was over, that militant Irish republicanism belonged only to the history books.

While much has changed in Northern Ireland there hasn’t quite been the 100 per cent transformation that the authorities portray. The state’s reaction was to make life difficult for journalists who talk to the Real IRA.

The message was, “if you interview these people, if you communicate with them in any way, we will pursue you, we will take you to court, we could even jail you”. But not interviewing the Real IRA won’t make them go away any more than the broadcasting ban made the Provisionals disappear. If we don’t talk to paramilitaries when acts of violence occur we will be forced to rely solely on official police statements for information.

During our legal battle the Sunday Tribune and the National Union of Journalists joined forces in a campaign for source protection. What was most heartening was the overwhelming response from writers, academics, lawyers, the arts world, trade union activists, the business community and ordinary members of the public. So many people genuinely believe in the freedom of the press.

In Northern Ireland that sentiment crosses the nationalist-unionist, Catholic-Protestant, left-right divide. I was delighted that even those bitterly opposed to paramilitaries supported our stance. Willie Frazer the director of FAIR, which represents thousands of people bereaved or injured by republicans, said: “Much as I loathe the Real IRA, I want to know what they’re saying not what (PSNI Chief Constable) Hugh Orde wants me to hear”.

Ex-republican informers, named as targets by the Real IRA, not only signed our 5,000-strong petition but also offered to appear in court as witnesses for the Sunday Tribune if required. If the authorities wanted to deliberately confuse the messenger with the message, in terms of paramilitary interviews, they failed.

The PSNI and their legal advisers called it completely wrong. They thought they’d walk in and win hands-down. Instead, their arguments were comprehensively rejected by the court.

I hope this judgment sets a precedent. It certainly shows that a journalist challenging police demands is no lost cause. The mere mention of the word “terrorism” isn’t enough to create a frenzy and ensure detectives get what they want. For once in these often depressing times, decent liberal principles won. And that old-fashioned concept, the freedom of the press, came back in style.

Source: Index On Censorship

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Rothschild and Freshfields founders linked to slavery

Two of the biggest names in the City of London had previously undisclosed links to slavery in the British colonies, documents seen by the Financial Times have revealed.

Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the banking family’s 19th-century patriarch, and James William Freshfield, founder of Freshfields, the top City law firm, benefited financially from slavery, records from the National Archives show, even though both have often been portrayed as opponents of slavery.

Far from being a matter of distant history, slavery remains a highly contentious issue in the US, where Rothschild and Freshfields are both active.

Companies alleged to have links to past slave injustices have come under pressure to make restitution.

JPMorgan, the investment bank, set up a $5m scholarship fund for black students studying in Louisiana after apologising in 2005 for the company’s historic links to slavery.

The archival documents have already prompted one of the banks named in the records to take action in the US.

When the FT approached Royal Bank of Scotland with information about its predecessor’s links with slavery, the bank researched the claim, updated its own archives and amended the disclosures of past slave connections that it had previously lodged with the Chicago authorities.

But it is the disclosures about Mr Rothschild and Mr Freshfield that are likely to prompt the biggest stir.

In the case of Mr Rothschild, the documents reveal for the first time that he made personal gains by using slaves as collateral in banking dealings with a slave owner.

This will surprise those familiar with his role in organising the loan that funded the UK government’s bail-out of British slave owners when colonial slavery was abolished in the 1830s. It was the biggest bail-out of an industry as a percentage of annual government expenditure – dwarfing last year’s rescue of the banking sector.

The chief archivist of the Rothschild family papers, Melanie Aspey, reacted with disbelief when first told of the contents of the records, saying she had never seen such links before.

Niall Ferguson, Laurence A.Tisch professor of history at Harvard and author ofThe World’s Banker: A History of the House of Rothschild, said the documents showed “how pervasive slavery was in the structure of British wealth in 1830”.

In Mr Freshfield’s case, the records reveal that he and his sons had several slave-owner clients, mostly based in the Caribbean. The lawyers acted as trustees of the owners’ estates and in one case tried to claim unpaid legal fees for the firm through the government scheme set up to compensate owners after abolition.

Nick Draper, a University College London academic who examined the documents, which will now form the basis of a comprehensive British slavery database at UCL, said the records would hopefully promote a better understanding of of the significance of slavery in Britain.

“We need to fill the gaps between those who deny slavery’s role and those who believe Britain was built entirely on the blood of slaves,” he said.

Both Rothschild, the bank, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer were quick to point to their predecessors’ anti-slavery credentials.

Rothschild said Nathan Mayer Rothschild had been a prominent civil liberties campaigner with many like-minded associates and “against this background, these allegations appear inconsistent and misrepresent the ethos of the man and his business”.

Freshfields said James William Freshfield was an active member of the Church Missionary Society, “which was committed to ... the abolition of the slave trade”.

Apologies and acknowledgements

Several institutions have apologised for, or acknowledged, their links to slavery including:

In March 2002, Deadria C. Farmer-Paellmann, a lawyer and activist, launched an unsuccessful legal action against Aetna , a healthcare benefits company, and others for unjust enrichment through slavery. Legislation in California and Illinois prompted several companies to research their past and some to apologise and make atonement gestures.

In mid-2000 Aetna, prompted by Ms Farmer-Paellmann, was one of the first to apologise for insurance policies written on slaves 140 years earlier.

In 2002, New York Life, the insurer, donated documents about the insurance it sold to slave owners in the 1840s to a New York library. It also backed educational efforts.

In 2005 JPMorgan, the investment bank, apologised that two of its predecessors in Louisiana – Citizens Bank and Canal Bank – had mortgaged slaves. The bank made its research public and set up a $5m scholarship fund for African- American pupils.

Lehman Brothers apologised in 2005 for its predecessors’ links to slavery, while Bank of America said it regretted any actions its predecessors might have taken to support or tolerate slavery.

Wachovia Bank, since acquired by Wells Fargo, also apologised for its predecessors having owned and profited from slaves. It set up a programme offering $1bn in loans for black car dealerships.

In October 2001 students at Yale University pointed out its past links with slavery. The university noted it had already founded the Gilder-Lehrman centre for the study of slavery.

Brown University has set up a commission to look into links with slavery and how it should make amends.

In 2006 Tony Blair, prime minister, expressed “deep sorrow” for the UK’s role in the slave trade.

Last week the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution apologising for slavery and segregation.

Source: Financial Times

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