Triumph for truth! New York Governor signs law protecting residents against suits in foreign courts
New York state fought back today against terrorism apologists who have used foreign libel laws to silence opponents as Gov. David Paterson signed a law granting protections under the First Amendment. The Libel Terrorism Protection Act was inspired by New York-based author Rachel Ehrenfeld's battle with a British court over her 2003 book, "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Funded and How to Stop It."
New York officials said the law will make it more difficult for "libel tourists" to threaten authors and publishers with foreign libel suits. It bars enforcement of a libel judgment in foreign courts unless a New York court determines the decision is consistent with the free speech and free press protections guaranteed by the U.S. and New York state constitutions. "New Yorkers must be able to speak out on issues of public concern without living in fear that they will be sued outside the United States, under legal standards inconsistent with our First Amendment rights," said Paterson. "This legislation will help ensure the freedoms enjoyed by New York authors."
Britain's libel law has been used in a number of instances against writers who speak out against international terrorism. As WND reported, Saudi banker Khalid Bin Mahfouz filed suit against Ehrenfeld after she named him in her New York-published book as a funder of Islamic charities that supported terrorism. She asserts there are more than 10 lawsuits outstanding by numerous plaintiffs in the U.S. claiming billions of dollars in damages from Mahfouz's alleged involvement in financing the 9/11 attack of the World Trade Center. Only 23 copies of her book were sold in the United Kingdom, but Mahfouz took advantage of the country's liberal laws and filed the suit there, charging damage to his reputation.
The British court issued a $225,000 judgment against Ehrenfeld after she refused to appear, on advice of her counsel in Britain. The author then sought a judgment in New York declaring the British decision unenforceable in the U.S., because her work is protected under American law. The New York Court of Appeals ruled Ehrenfeld's suit could not be heard under state law unless legislature made changes. Paterson, who succeeded disgraced Gov. Eliot Spitzer last month, urged the federal government to take similar action.
"Although New York state has now done all it can to protect our authors while they live in New York, they remain vulnerable if they move to other states, or if they have assets in other states," said Paterson. "We really need Congress and the president to work together and enact federal legislation that will protect authors throughout the country against the threat of foreign libel judgments."
State Sen. Dean G. Skelos noted "the truth is a critically-important component of the war on terror." "American authors, like Dr. Ehrenfeld, who expose terrorist networks and their financiers should not be subject to intimidation and lawsuits in foreign courts designed to circumvent our First Amendment rights," he said. "This is important legislation, and I thank Governor Paterson for signing it into law."
Boris! "Britain's Labour Party has suffered its worst local election defeat on record and lost control of London, forcing Prime Minister Gordon Brown to rethink his strategy to avoid losing the next national election. Conservative Boris Johnson, a journalist-turned-politician prone to gaffes, wrested the prized post of London mayor from Labour's maverick Ken Livingstone, who has run the capital since 2000. After an often bad-tempered campaign, Mr Johnson paid tribute to Mr Livingstone as a "distinguished leader" of the city, singling out his efforts after the Tube and bus bombings in 2005. He promised to those who did not vote for him to "work flat out from now on to earn your trust and to dispel some of the myths that have been created about me". To those who did vote for him, he said: "I will work flat out to repay and to justify your confidence." ... Mr Johnson will be in charge of an $23.31 billion budget covering public transport, police and fire services in a city of some 7.5 million people. He will oversee preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games and be responsible for promoting policies on housing, the environment and the economy in Europe's biggest financial centre."
Navy Announces Commissioning of Submarine North Carolina : "The Navy's newest attack submarine North Carolina will be commissioned Saturday, May 3, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at Port of Wilmington in Wilmington, N.C. Designated SSN 777, the fourth submarine of the Virginia-class will bear the name North Carolina to honor the Tar Heel State. The submarine will be the fourth ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name North Carolina. The Virginia-class is designed and built to fulfill all current warfighting requirements and provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. Equally adept at operating in the world's shallow littoral regions and deep waters, North Carolina and her sister ships will significantly contribute to the mission areas of anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; special operations forces; strike; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; battle group support; and mine warfare. Capt. Mark E. Davis, a native of upstate New York, will become the ship's first commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel. North Carolina will be homeported in Groton, Conn., as a member of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. The 7,800-ton North Carolina was built under a teaming arrangement between Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat."
High taxes are for others, not Leftists -- the Metzenbaum story: "Though a lifelong Ohioan, the Senator moved to Florida in 2002, according to a declaration of domicile filed with the Broward County Clerk's office in 2003. In doing so, he avoided paying his home state's income tax (top rate: 6.55%). More important as he neared the end of his life, the former Senator also saved his family from paying Ohio's death tax, which features one of the highest state rates (7%) and lowest asset thresholds - $338,333 - in the country. Florida famously has no income or estate tax, which is one reason other than the climate that it is home to so many northern-born retirees. Howard Metzenbaum thus denied the state in which he lived most of his life a parting financial gift. But he has at least provided the rest of us with a teaching moment in tax policy. If a liberal lion like Metzenbaum is willing to relocate late in life to avoid his state's death tax, maybe living politicians in Ohio will better understand how their confiscatory tax laws are driving its citizens to warmer climes."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)