Let me say up front, I believe in the “War on Terror”, even if I hate it’s name. I don’t abide terror in any of it’s forms. I have made my feelings on terrorists quite clear last July after the attacks in London.
That being said…(you knew that was coming)…the White House needs to lay off the New York Times for their story on a â€œsecretâ€ system of the banking of suspected terrorists being monitored. Why did I put â€œsecretâ€ in quotes? Well, 1 – 2 times a month I transfer funds to Japan for my business, and I have known of the â€œsecretâ€ monitoring since October of 2001. Everything about how we transferred funds changed after the Patriot Act started and I was informed of the â€œsecretâ€ program by multiple people. It wasn’t a secret folks. And if you don’t think the terrorists knew about itâ€¦please, join us in reality. (and for the lovely government officials who may see this, I was told â€œYou know the government is scanning all these wire transfers now.â€ And I will provide a link at the bottom where the White House themselves told the world they were doing this.)
So why even bring this up? I think the media is being treated unfairly on several fronts. Firstly, the New York Times is the only paper being attacked. Why? Other papers, such as the Wall Street Journal, reported on the same story, but yet they are not being accused of “treason” (puh-lease). My suspicion is this all dates back to the story (free registration required) the Times did break back in December about the massive campaign of wire-tapping that angered the White House so much. So now, here is another story they can attack the Times about, but this time it is a story about something everyone knew what was going on.
The job of the press is to inform the public. The person guilty of “treason”, and I use the word lightly, is whomever “leaked” the information to the press, not the press themselves. I would point every one to the Bill Of Rights
“The government should not abridge freedom of the press”
If the press has to live in constant fear of what might be regarded as “treason”, there will be no “free press” left. The concern here should be the leak. not the reporting. If a piece of information is given to the press, with the exception of “off-the-record” pre-facing it, it has to be considered to be publishable. End of discussion. If the press begins second guessing themselves, we will begin a journey down a slippery slope we will never recover from.
I found a fascinating article by The Times on their website. It notes four other occurances of such things happening:
John Adams (1797-1801): During French Revolutionary War he signed Alien and Sedition Acts, making it illegal to criticise the President or Congress. Several editors arrested and indicted
Abraham Lincoln (1861-65): During civil war he enforced mail and press censorship. Military arrested editors who opposed the war and suspended publication of some newspapers
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09): The New York World alleged corruption in acquisition of the Panama Canal. Publisher was charged with criminal libel
Richard Nixon (1969-74): The New York Times published excerpts of secret study on expanding military actions in Vietnam. Injunction prohibiting paper from printing any more was lifted by Supreme Court
Some will say I am attacking Republicans. No, I am not. I am attacking anyone who feels the freedom of the press should be stifled in any way, shape or form. If it was not for the press, who would officials be answerable to? If it was not for the press, how would the public be kept up-to-date on what their elected officials are actually doing?
Ask yourself this, if you believe in a curtailed press, if you believe these hard-working journalists should be brought up on charges, or censured, ask yourself one simple question…where would we be if The Washington Post had given in to White House pressure in the early 1970′s over their Watergate investigation? If Ben Bradlee had said “You know what Woodstein (his shortened name for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein), the White House really says we’re stepping on toes, maybe we shouldn’t pursue this.”, the Nixon administration would have walked away free-and-clear of the numerous laws they broke. The press has to, and must work, in a free environment.
Now, as for the promised link. Thanks to Luis over at BlogD and The Washington Post for this link. As this is a White House press release, and not a copyrighted newspaper, I am allowed to republish the entire document:
The President has directed the first strike on the global terror network today by issuing an Executive Order to starve terrorists of their support funds. The Order expands the Treasury Departmentâ€™s power to target the support structure of terrorist organizations, freeze the U.S. assets and block the U.S. transactions of terrorists and those that support them, and increases our ability to block U.S. assets of, and deny access to U.S. markets to, foreign banks who refuse to cooperate with U.S. authorities to identify and freeze terrorist assets abroad.
Disrupting the Financial Infrastructure of Terrorism
* Targets all individuals and institutions linked to global terrorism.
* Allows the Treasury Department to freeze U.S. assets and block U.S. transactions of any person or institution associated with terrorists or terrorist organizations.
* Names specific individuals and organizations whose assets and transactions are to be blocked.
* Identifies charitable organizations that secretly funnel money to al-Qaeda.
* Provides donors information about charitable groups who fund terrorist organizations.
* States the Presidentâ€™s intent to punish those financial institutions at home and abroad that continue to provide resources and/or services to terrorist organizations.
The new Executive order broadens existing authority in three principal ways:
* It expands the coverage of existing Executive orders from terrorism in the Middle East to global terrorism;
* The Order expands the class of targeted groups to include all those who are â€œassociated withâ€ designated terrorist groups; and
* Establishes our ability to block the U.S. assets of, and deny access to U.S. markets to, those foreign banks that refuse to freeze terrorist assets.
Blocking Terrorist Assets
* The Order prohibits U.S. transactions with those terrorist organizations, leaders, and corporate and charitable fronts listed in the Annex.
* Eleven terrorist organizations are listed in the Order, including organizations that make up the al-Qaeda network.
* A dozen terrorist leaders are listed, including Osama bin Ladin and his chief lieutenants, three charitable organizations, and one corporate front organization are identified as well.
* The Order authorizes the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury to make additional terrorist designations in the coming weeks and months.
Other Actions in War on Terrorist Financing
This Executive Order is part of a broader strategy that we have developed for suppressing terrorist financing:
* A Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center (FTAT) is up and running. The FTAT is a multi-agency task force that will identify the network of terrorist funding and freeze assets before new acts of terrorism take place.
* The President, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State and others are working with our allies around the world to tackle the financial underpinnings of terrorism. We are working through the G-8 and the United Nations. Already, several of our allies, including Switzerland and Britain, have frozen accounts of suspected terrorists.
Um….does this mean we should bring the White House website up on treason charges? Just wondering.
Imagine my joy at the news yesterday that Star Jones was leaving The View. It seems that she and Barbara Walters had reached an agreement as to when it would happen, how it would be announced and she would go out with grace. Instead, being the diva she is, she ambushed her co-hosts by announcing it two days early and going to the press with statements of how she had been fired. This caused Walters to spill her guts on the reasons being fans no longer trusted Star. You can find almost all this info here.
So after all this happened, she was told to not bothier coming in anymore and overnight they delted her from the opening credits and was pulled off the show’s website. Adios Star, sounds like you lived up to being a diva…AGAIN!
Oh, and for the record, this has nothing to do with her race.
Last Thursday there was a lightning strike somewhere very, very close to my house. The sonic boom knocked me off the couch (where I was sleeping) and moved my grandmother’s bed and knocked some pictures off her wall. During all this, it fried my Directv receiver with Tivo. Nooooo!
So I gave Directv a call to see about getting a new one. Turned out they would only charge me shipping to send me a new one and give me a label to ship the old one back. Total of $21.44! Sounded like a bargain, I gave them the go ahead, it got here on Monday. After I had it, I ran home, set it up…remote wasn’t working. Called and talked to them, got the old remote to work and they said just swap them out, no big deal.
Got home from work, went to set up some recording, it said it had to call in to get that part working. I made sure the phone cord was working, made sure it was hooked up, left it alone. By 9 PM I still couldn’t get it to record, so I called them for tech support. I worked with them off-and-on until after 2 AM!
I lost count of how many techs I talked to, how many times I told the story, how many times they asked me the same questions. But one tech will stick out in my mind for ages…Angel.
Angel needs to be taken out and smacked up the side of the head. He told me he felt the system needed a whole reset, ok, fine, I followed his directions. After I had pressed the buttons he goes “This may take up to 4 hours to finish, call us back when it’s done.” Now, wouldn’t you think that’s something that should be done overnight, when people are sleeping? Nope. I missed some of my shows due to this reset, but luckily it only took about 2 hours.
Every tech I talked to after that agreed I should have been warned prior to doing it, but oh well. The last tech I talked to was by far the nicest and was very understanding. She finally declared the unit defective and did the paperwork to send me another one right away. At the very end of the conversation, she surprised with a wonderful bit of news. She had also gone in to my account and knocked my subscription price down by $20 a month for 6 months. The main reason? Even after everything that had gone wrong, she could tell I was angry, but I didn’t yell at her or curse at her. Though, she said in my position, she would be.
Italy beat Australia 1 – 0 in the final seconds of second half stoppage time. It was off a penalty kick that I will question forever. It was a joke of a penalty and the Italian played over-played it to garner the kick. It’s sad they scored off of it, because those of us watching at home know they stole the match. I had planned to root for Italy, that’s no more.
Ukraine defeated Switzerland in penalty kicks! It was a nutty, intense game, but at least we got to see some penalty kicking!
What is going on with England? 1 – 0 over Ecuador, and only based on a Beckham free kick? That’s twice in this World Cup! England is playing so far below their talent, it’s not even funny.
England will now play Portugal in the quarter finals after Portugal beat the Netherlands 1 – 0, but sadly the score wasn’t the story. The story was the insane penalties. 16 yellow cards, 4 reds. This tied a record for the most cards issued in a game. The end of the second half was a mad house as the cards were flying so fast you couldn’t even focus on what was causing them. The question is:were they all deserved or was the ref insane? A lot fo the cards I agreed with, but it still seemed to be totally out of control.
Well I was on the wrong channel and missed Germany’s two goals since they had them both in the first 12 minutes. Yikes! They knocked Sweden out.
The second game was supposed to be an easy victory for Argentina over Mexico. Mexico scored in the 6th minute, Argentina in the 10th minute and that was it in regulation time. They went in to a 1/2 over time with Argentina scoring in the 8th minute. Now, under the old rules this would have been a “Golden Goal” and ended the game, but under the new rules they had to play the full 1/2 hour. The players were dropping like flies with leg cramps as some of them had played the full 90 minutes already. Don’t let anyone ever tell you this isn’t a physical sport. When was the last time you saw an American football player fall over due to leg cramps?
Germany will now play Argentina on Friday in the rond of 8. Question is, will Argentina have recovered by then?
The second episode of Hell’s Kitchen opened with the girls lamenting thier loss of the first service, but they settled in and went to bed. They were awoke very early th enext morning by Scott and Mary Ann and told to gather outside the back door of the resturant.
It seems Ramsay was disgusted by the amount of food wasted the previous night. To make sure the perspective chefs understand the costs involved with the food, he orders them in to the dumpsters to pick through the waste and sort it. After a good sized mound has been accumulated, he again stresses how much that can cost a resturant and tells them to go back in and get ready for the day. Did anyone wonder who put everything back in the dumpsters? I wondered.
The teams met up with Ramsay in the kitchen and learned about cutting 10 ounce steaks to be added as a steak special on the next night’s menu. He demonstrated how to do it with no waste. He told Keith to sit out to even up the teams, and then gave them 10 minutes to cut as many 10 ounce steaks as they could. I won’t bore you with the whole break down, but the girls cut 12 successful steaks and the men cut 11. 5 of the men’s came from Tom alone! Didn’t matter though, the girls won and got to go to Saddle Peak Lodge, a wild game steakhouse outside of Los Angeles, and to travel there by helicopter. The men got to cut all the steaks needed for the resturant.
When the girls got back, they headed out to the hot tub to relax. The men finished the steaks and decided to get to bed early, all except Larry. Mind you, he hadn’t felt well all day, but he couldn’t resist sitting in the hot tub with the girls for a while. After everyone had headed to bed, Larry started having pains and called for an ambulance. The next morning no one could find him, and then they got a phone call from him that the stress had gotten to him, he was in the hospital and would not be returning.
The teams are saddened by this, but they go to meet Ramsay for the service. Ramsay announces that Sara will be one of the wait staff for the red team and Keith would work for the blues. Sara turned in her first ticket with no problem, Keith wrote horrible tickets and sweated all over the customers.
After 45 minutes, neither side has starters out, but by far, Gabe from the blue side is doing the worse job. As the women start getting their orders out, Mary Ann asked Heather for some duck sauce, and while reaching for it, she badly burned herself. Ramsay raced over to stick her hand under water and called for Jean Phillipe to bring ice. As they waited, Heather turned to call out instructions to her team on what she had left cooking, she then left for the hospital.
As the red kitchen spirals out of control being down another pair of hands, Sara asked Ramsay if she could come back in the kitchen. He said that was the smartest thing she had said since he met her and told her to come back in. Their kitchen got more under control and they got some entrees out before people left in disgust. After multiple tables left, Ramsay gathered the teams and showed them what the death of a resturant looked like…empty tables.
Heather returned to compliments from Ramsay on her clear thinking and to see him declare the men the losers and tell Garret to choose the two to come back. When they do team assemble, Garret picks Tom and Giacomo. Ramsay doesn’t like the choice of Tom and send him back calls Gabe forward. Gabe is sent home and Giacamo gets a warning.
I hate to say it, I’m kind of glad the USA got knocked out today in the World Cup. We weren’t ready for this, and we didn’t deserve it after we let our egos get out of control. We were defeated 2 -1 by Ghana, and let’s hear it for Ghana! First African country to make it to the second round!
I think we needed this though. We went in with an incredible ego that “Hey, we’re the USA and we made it to the second round last time, we’ll win it this year!” We aren’t Brazil. We aren’t Germany. We aren’t Italy. We are not ready for the true world stage of football. This is a true world sport and we are woefully behind.