Monday, June 18, 2007


Johnstown, Pennsylvania's "Showcase for Commerce" started in 1991 as a small trade show for area businesses, but since then it has grown into one of the U.S. defense industry's most important events of the year. Many big names are represented - Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin all have booths within a few yards of each other - but the star of the show is John P. Murtha, Johnstown's U.S. congressman, who attends every year and visits every exhibit booth. An entourage follows Murtha around the crowded arena, including a photographer, several senior staff members, and one assistant whose sole job appears to be gathering promotional materials and taking copious notes. At each booth, powerful defense-industry executives greet him with smiles and handshakes, eager to show him their latest prototypes and proposals.

The showcase is symbolic of Johnstown's transformation from a hard-hit former steel town into, as one contractor who attended this year's showcase put it, "the beating heart of the U.S. defense industry," or at least one of its major regional hubs. Murtha gets a hero's welcome at the showcase, not just because it was his idea, but also because his position as chairman or ranking member of the defense appropriations subcommittee for the past 18 years has a lot to do with the defense industry's interest in the region.

In turn, Murtha's patronage for his district has made him one of the most powerful members of the House of Representatives and a huge roadblock standing between the Democrats and the kind of meaningful ethics reform they promised during their 2006 "culture of corruption" campaign. The money he secures for Johnstown comes back to him in the form of campaign contributions, which ensure his reelection and provide him with surplus cash to give out to other members. Murtha has been reelected 16 times, giving him seniority in the House and the plum committee assignments that go with it. His chairmanship of the defense subcommittee gives him control over half of the earmarks in every defense appropriations bill, which buy him even more loyalty and influence in the House. On top of all that, Murtha has a strong relationship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dating back to when he helped get her a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee. He is an integral part of the new Democratic majority - and it cannot be the party of institutional reform as long as he is in power.

Much more here



Love it!: "Enraged Fatah leaders on Saturday accused Hamas militiamen of looting the home of former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat in Gaza City. "They stole almost everything inside the house, including Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize medal," said Ramallah-based Fatah spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman. "Hamas militiamen and gangsters blew up the main entrance to the house before storming it. They stole many of Arafat's documents and files, gifts he had received from world leaders and even his military outfits."

Ah, the joys of self-rule: "Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister who conceived the disengagement plan, had a brilliant insight: "Why not let them have it? They want it? It's theirs". After all, over the course of Israel's 38 years of occupation, fewer than 10,000 Jews actually sought to live in Gaza - and their settlements required tens of thousands of other Israelis to risk their lives protecting them. The Palestinians spent decades professing their detestation of Israeli occupation and demanding self-rule . . . so Israel gave them their heart's desire. Gaza is Judenrein - emptied of all Jews, just as Hitler dreamed Germany would be. No Jews live in Gaza. No Jews patrol Gaza. It's Jew-Free-by-the-Sea, with a charming Mediterranean coast worth billions of dollars in tourism and trade. So what's the problem? The problem is that the Jews weren't the problem. The problem is that the Palestinians are the problem: They are drenched in an ideology of blood and murder and suicide."

Latest Haditha Prosecution Implosion: "The Marine officer who will help decide whether Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt should face trial expressed doubt yesterday about the prosecution's assertions that Sharratt killed defenseless Iraqis execution-style. Lt. Col. Paul Ware said he was having "a great deal of difficulty understanding the prosecution's theory" that Sharratt and another Marine led four Iraqi men into a house, then executed them Nov. 19, 2005, in the city of Haditha. Ware is scheduled to make his recommendation on whether to court-martial Sharratt by the beginning of next month. The prosecution's arguments aren't supported by forensic and other evidence, Ware said during the final day of Sharratt's preliminary hearing at Camp Pendleton".

The land of the free or the land of political favours?: "Jose Martinez left Mexico around 1988 and toiled for years in a patchwork of fields here, harvesting berries and lettuce and barely making ends meet. In 2002, Mr. Mart-nez took advantage of a city law created to help novice entrepreneurs start businesses related to the city's largely Hispanic cultural heritage. He bought a taco truck, one of 31 licensed mobile catering vehicles in Salinas, and built it into a modestly profitable operation. But the City Council, responding to a business group and its most vocal members - the owners of Mexican restaurants - is poised to vote next month on a draft ordinance to ban taco trucks and other catering vehicles from Salinas, a farm town about 120 miles south of San Francisco. The proposed ordinance, which is still subject to revision, is the latest round in a two-year debate that some say has created a rift in this community, placing poorer Mexicans who are looking to better themselves at odds with longtime residents whose families emigrated years ago."

What the UAW has done to U.S. manufacturing: "Long-term, it seems certain that more of us will be driving small cars. The big question is whether manufacturers will build any of these vehicles in this country or whether plants in Korea, China, Eastern Europe and elsewhere will grab most of the business. The domestic manufacturers are already sourcing a large number of passenger cars from outside the U.S. Ford Motor builds its Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ in a Mexican factory. Ford's Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis come from a Canadian plant that will also take over assembly of the Lincoln Town Car. Chrysler builds its PT Cruiser in Mexico and its Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum and Dodge Charger in Canada. General Motors also builds some passenger cars in Canada--including its best seller, the Chevy Impala--and will soon import the Saturn Astra from Europe and the Pontiac G8 from Australia."

Wal-Mart promotes marriage: "When Wal-Mart Stores discovered many of its betrothed customers were having difficulty finding venues for their July 7 -- or 7/7/07 -- weddings due to the popularity of a "lucky 7" date, they joined G-Squared to provide a solution. In addition, the cost of the average American wedding can be overwhelming at $22,000(1). The answer was the "Lucky in Love Wedding Search" to provide seven couples their local Wal-Mart lawn and garden area as the colorful backdrop for the ceremonies and receptions. After reviewing more than 400 entries from across the country, William and Kymberlie were selected to say "I do" at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 1205 E. Admiral Doyle."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here.

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" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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