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Location: La Mirada, California, United States

All original content on RickSpeak is the intellectual property of Rickspeak.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Harry Reid, Protector of the American People, er, Democratic Party

Richard L. Barrett

When it comes to national security, an issue the Democrats are hoping to make a case to the American people in this Fall's general elections that they, and not the Republicans, will be the responsible party in fighting terrorism if elected to the majority, have proven once more that they are more interested in attaining a majority Congress than being patriots in the War on Terror.

Upon the breaking news this past Thursday that a major Islamic terrorist plot to blow up passenger planes flying out of England to America had been foiled, Democrat senate minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada rushed out to release the following statement, "As a result of mismanagement and the wrong funding priorities, we are not as safe as we should be...The Iraq war has diverted our focus and more than $300 billion in resources from the war on terrorism and has created a rallying cry for international terrorists. This latest plot demonstrates the need for the Bush administration and the Congress to change course in Iraq and ensure that we are taking all the steps necessary to protect Americans at home and across the world." (http://reid.senate.gov/)

There are two problems with Mr. Reid's rushed statement, his obvious attempt to "get ahead" of the story to show the voters that the Democrats are the real vigilant anti-terror party. The first is that, well, the terror plot failed. So unless Mr. Reid is criticizing President Bush's lack of ESP in discovering terrorists even before they begin planning their vicious mayhem, I'm not sure what he is upset about.

Secondly, yesterday, it was revealed that American intelligence played a major role in intercepting the "terrorist chatter" among the Muslim plotters. The AP reported that, "a U.S. congressman briefed by intelligence officials, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the investigation, said U.S. intelligence had intercepted terrorist chatter." Time magazine online also reports, "MI5 and Scotland Yard agents tracked the plotters from the ground, while a knowledgeable American official says U.S. intelligence provided London authorities with intercepts of the group's communications."

Contrary to Mr. Reid's attempt to disparage the commander-in-chief and his administration with his thoughtless and highly partisan statement, this President is keeping America as safe as it should be. There are many wrong-headed points Mr. Reid makes in his statement that reeks of partisanship over patriotism. One is that the war in Iraq has created a rallying cry for international terrorists. Hello, McFly! International terrorists have had their sights set on America well before our second incursion into Iraq. From the suicide bombing of our Marines based in Southern Lebanon in 1983 to the 9/11 attacks, Muslim terrorists have targeted Americans for over two decades.

Mr. Reid concludes his preposterous statement by tying the recent foiled bombing plot to Iraq! How this failed attempt to kill thousands of innocents over the Atlantic Ocean is related to changing the course in Iraq to "ensure that we are taking all the steps necessary to protect Americans at home and across the world" is purely and utterly nonsensical.

The party that wants to end the Patriot Act, the party that wants to kill the NSA surveillance tactics, and the party that wants to pull our troops out of Iraq, NOW, and who cries, "Uncle!" when the going gets tough, this is the party that will protect Americans here and the world over? Only the French have less fortitude than Democrats, but the French can be excused due to the extravagant and elegant nature of the their country. Who wants to fight wars when you can be dining on French cuisine, fine wines and cheese along the French Riviera?

In the end, Mr. Reid's shortsighted rush to criticize our Commander-in-Chief reveals, with unintended consequences, to the American people that the Democratic Party is not interested in protecting our country. They are, at best, ugly opportunists interested solely in regaining congressional power. At worst, they are undermining the War on Terror and causing a very real risk to the lives of the American people. One can only hope that Mr. Reid's position as the minority leader in the Senate will continue after the votes are tallied for the coming November elections.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Michael Berg Never Looked Into a Terrorists Eyes

By Richard L. Barrett, III

In light of the recent death of murderous psychopath, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (Allah be praised!) and Michael Berg’s statement upon hearing the news that the man who beheaded his son, Nicholas Berg, said, "I don't think that Zarqawi is himself responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, I think George Bush is.” I had to go back and review Mr. Berg, who is a Greenpeace candidate running for Congress in the coming fall election, and his open letter regarding the death of his son.
Below is his letter with my own running commentary about his accusations in bold black.

George Bush never looked into Nick's eyes
By Michael Berg

Even more than the murderers who took my son's life, I condemn those who make policies to end lives

Even more than the murderers who took your son’s life, I condemn those who are left-wing apologists for Islamofacisism.

My son, Nick, was my teacher and my hero. He was the kindest, gentlest man I know; no, the kindest, gentlest human being I have ever known. He quit the Boy Scouts of America because they wanted to teach him to fire a handgun. Nick, too, poured into me the strength I needed, and still need, to tell the world about him.

People ask me why I focus on putting the blame for my son's tragic and atrocious end on the Bush administration. They ask: "Don't you blame the five men who killed him?" I have answered that I blame them no more or less than the Bush administration, but I am wrong: I am sure, knowing my son, that somewhere during their association with him these men became aware of what an extraordinary man my son was. I take comfort that when they did the awful thing they did, they weren't quite as in to it as they might have been. I am sure that they came to admire him.

I am sure that the one who wielded the knife felt Nick's breath on his hand and knew that he had a real human being there. I am sure that the others looked into my son's eyes and got at least a glimmer of what the rest of the world sees. And I am sure that these murderers, for just a brief moment, did not like what they were doing.

Wrong assumption. The men who killed your son were psychopaths who are detached from human feeling and emotion. They kill innocent women and children and behead peacekeepers and foreign workers trying to make Iraq a civilized country where, under Saddam Hussein, they knew only brutality and fear. They looked into your son’s eyes and shouted “God is great! All glory to God!” They enjoyed killing your son, Mr. Berg.

George Bush never looked into my son's eyes. George Bush doesn't know my son, and he is the worse for it. George Bush, though a father himself, cannot feel my pain, or that of my family, or of the world that grieves for Nick, because he is a policymaker, and he doesn't have to bear the consequences of his acts. George Bush can see neither the heart of Nick nor that of the American people, let alone that of the Iraqi people his policies are killing daily.

Donald Rumsfeld said that he took responsibility for the sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners. How could he take that responsibility when there was no consequence? Nick took the consequences.

Even more than those murderers who took my son's life, I can't stand those who sit and make policies to end lives and break the lives of the still living.

Once more the liberal disconnect. Mr. Berg conveniently forgets the reign of terror Saddam Hussein not only injected into his citizens, but also the entire region (Invaded Iraq and Kuwait, launched missiles at Israel and paid the families of Palestinian Homicide bombers.)

Nick was not in the military, but he had the discipline and dedication of a soldier. Nick Berg was in Iraq to help the people without any expectation of personal gain. He was only one man, but through his death he has become many. The truly unselfish spirit of giving your all to do what you know in your own heart is right even when you know it may be dangerous; this spirit has spread among the people who knew Nick, and that group has spread and is spreading all over the world.

So what were we to do when we in America were attacked on September 11, that infamous day? I say we should have done then what we never did before: stop speaking to the people we labeled our enemies and start listening to them. Stop giving preconditions to our peaceful coexistence on this small planet, and start honouring and respecting every human's need to live free and autonomously, to truly respect the sovereignty of every state. To stop making up rules by which others must live and then separate rules for ourselves.

Once again, we get liberal disconnect propaganda from Mr. Berg. Listen to our enemies, Mr. Berg? Listen to those who tried to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993? Listen to those who brought them down in 2001? Listen to those who blew up the USS Cole, who bombed our soldiers in Beirut and in a German disco? Who blow themselves up in order to kill civilians in Israel, Madrid and London? Who regularly preach in their mosques the destruction of Israel, America and the West because we are all infidels? Who do you suggest we listen to, Mr. Berg? You cannot give respect to those who do not respect you! You, and your left-wing comrades, live in a fantasy world of Utopia.

George Bush's ineffective leadership is a weapon of mass destruction, and it has allowed a chain reaction of events that led to the unlawful detention of my son which immersed him in a world of escalated violence. Were it not for Nick's detention, I would have had him in my arms again. That detention held him in Iraq not only until the atrocities that led to the siege of Fallujah, but also the revelation of the atrocities committed in the jails in Iraq, in retaliation for which my son's wonderful life was put to an end.

Actually, Mr. Berg, your son would still be alive today if you had not taught him your false doctrines of left wing activism/utopianism. I am willing to bet that this is the real reason for your cause of grief, that it was actually your teachings that killed your son. Take responsibility for your actions, sir!

My son's work still goes on. Where there was one peacemaker before, I now see and have heard from thousands of peacemakers. Nick was a man who acted on his beliefs. We, the people of this world, now need to act on our beliefs. We need to let the evildoers on both sides of the Atlantic know that we are fed up with war. We are fed up with the killing and bombing and maiming of innocent people. We are fed up with the lies. Yes, we are fed up with the suicide bombers, and with the failure of the Israelis and Palestinians to find a way to stop killing each other. We are fed up with negotiations and peace conferences that are entered into on both sides with preset conditions that preclude the outcome of peace. We want world peace now.

Many have offered to pray for Nick and my family. I appreciate their thoughts, but I ask them to include in their prayers a prayer for peace. And I ask them to do more than pray. I ask them to demand peace now.




Friday, May 12, 2006

On Taxes and Magic

The Los Angeles Times reported on May 10th, 2006 that because of unexpected windfall collections from stock market and business gains during the month of April, the state of California received $5 billion dollars in tax receipts.

This is nothing new to California. During former Governor Gray Davis’ five years in office, state revenues increased by 25%. The problem was that, in that same time period, state expenditures increased by 43%! This astounding fiscal mess was achieved with the witting help of the predominantly Democratic State Congress. When Governor Davis first came into office, California had a $9 billion surplus. Five years later it had turned into a $22 billion dollar deficit.

Governor Davis’ proposal to compensate for the deficit was a typical Democrat solution to all deficits: increase taxes. This promptly got him re-called by the voting citizenry who installed Republican action-hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, into office. When the Governator took over in 2004, the whopping $22 billion dollar deficit was facing him like a terminator cyborg.

One year later, without raising taxes (much to the chagrin of the Democratic controlled legislation), Governor Schwarzenegger presented the State Congress with a balanced budget. How was this done? Certainly by paring back programs, forcing the bureaucrats who run them to spend within their financial constraints helped. Just as important, Schwarzenegger did not raise the state personal income tax, to the dismay of the Democrats, who complained bitterly like spoiled kids to whoever would listen to them.

They no longer had the money they wanted to continue to spend on whatever vanity programs they had embraced once the tech boom and stock market bubbles burst, thus the temper tantrums begun:

"The governor has declared war on the state of California," proclaimed Assemblywoman Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park. "He declared war on us, and I declare war on him." (Democracy for America in Orange County, CA 2005)

"No one could have predicted he'd declare nuclear war on teachers and firefighters all in the same year," said Democratic consultant Roger Salazar. (Democracy for America in Orange County, CA 2005)

Attorney General Bill Lockyer, reached for an entirely different weapon, criticizing Schwarzenegger for "the arrogance of power" that comes with "the odor of Austrian politics." (Democracy for America in Orange County, CA 2005)

So, according to the spoiled brat politicians, Governor Schwarzenegger has declared war on the state of California, he has declared nuclear war on teachers and is governing with “the arrogance of power…an odor of Austrian politics.” Lockyer’s analysis is particularly revolting in its insinuating accusation that Governor Schwarzenegger is a Nazi. Adolph Hitler was Austrian by birth.

Under the five years of Davis leadership, the “kids” on Capitol Hill were undisciplined until Super Nanny Governator made them take a time out and insisted that there were to be no more shenanigans about deficit spending and raising taxes on personal income.

What is the lesson to be learned? Not raising taxes on personal incomes actually increase government budgets! This is the second year in a row, under Republican Governor Schwarzenegger's fiscal policies, that California has received "unexpected" large tax collections from businesses and stock gains, according to the mystified Los Angeles Times who, apparently, still do not understand basic Economics. Or, worse, they want to keep the cronies on the liberal left in office who continue to use "Magical" economic plans that always include raising income taxes while using the poor and destitute as pawns in their slimy grab for political power.

There is no magic needed, though, because the economic answer is really quite simple: Low personal income tax fuels businesses, which in turn expands because they invest in ways to grow and maintain the business, including the hiring of more people. When more people have jobs and get to keep more of what they earn, they tend to spend or invest their incomes. With businesses and people prospering, tax receipt collections overflow the government's coffers that finance the public works and public needs of its citizenry. All of this is accomplished without raising personal income taxes. The state of California has proved this two years running.

(Citation of budget figures: http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/BudgetDocuments.asp)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Barry and the Babe

As Barry Bonds attempts to tie the Babe's 714 home run total, there has been a lot of discussion leading up to this moment about the validity of Bonds' accomplishments, specifically the years he allegedly took steroids, from 1999-2004. Barry Bonds is a lightning rod figure in baseball, which no doubt encourages such discussion amongst fans, the media and the players about whether Bonds' home runs, and the single season record of 2001, during the alleged steroid years should be allowed.

I think it helps to look at baseball through the eyes of history to help guide it in the present. Barry Bonds and other steroid users are not the first players in baseball to cheat in order to gain an upper hand against their opponents. Ty Cobb filed down his cleats, turning them into little daggers. Woe to any infielder who got in his way. Gaylord Perry now resides in baseball's Hall of Fame because the grease ball, not his fastball, was his best pitch. Numerous players have used corked bats. Sammy Sosa not only was "juiced" but used corked bats as well!

Baseball's owners, and their overwhelmed puppet commissioner, former Milwaukee Brewer owner, Bud Selig, brought on this mess by looking the other way when reports of players began to surface that they were becoming juiced on steroids in the early 1990's. Three things occurred to finally garner the attention of Selig that steroid use in baseball was a serious matter and needed to be tended to. First, Barry Bonds hits 73 home runs in 2001 just three years after Mark McGwire (another alleged steroid user) broke Roger Maris' mark. Maris' mark lasted 37 years and Ruth's 60 held up for 34 years. One of baseball's most cherished records had been reduced to mockery.

The second occurrence was the 2004 State of the Union Address given by President George W. Bush who demanded that professional sports "get rid of steroids now." Thirdly, a year after President Bush called for an end to steroid use, Congress opened hearings investigating the illegal use of steroids in baseball.

"(Players) are not bigger than the game, and they are certainly not bigger than the law," said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., a former major leaguer and the opening witness. "The same goes for the owners. For over a decade, they turned their heads when it came to steroids. They helped put the game at risk."

With the United States government breathing down their backs, owners and the players union decided they had better work together to create rules against the use of performance enhancement drugs and attaching stiff penalties to those who break the rules, including a lifetime ban for a third offense.

So where does this leave us in the Barry Bonds chase for Ruth's and Hank Aaron's home run totals? I think we should follow the lead of the Philadelphia Phillies fans. During last Sunday night's game which was broadcast on ESPN, the notoriously brutal Phillies fans, reviled by both visiting and Phillies players, let Bonds have it. They booed him at bat, they booed him in left field, and they booed him in the on-deck circle. They even booed him during batting practice!

Then, in the top of the sixth inning, Bonds hit home run number 713 off of Jon Lieber that reached a third deck sign in right field. The ego-bruising Phillies fans, who had shown nothing but contempt towards the Giant slugger all night, gave him a standing ovation.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Revisionist History of Judas Iscariot

The Gnostic gospel of Judas Iscariot has just been introduced to the waiting public. The explosive revelation revealed in the text is that Judas did not betray Jesus for a small bribe, but that he was doing the will of Jesus.

I think what is most interesting, and the least reported idea, is that the "lost" gospel of Judas might be nothing more than revisionist history by the Gnostics. Which, in turn, should foster more interest in exploring the idea of revisionism in the four gospels of the New Testament.

The most dangerous books in the world are the Bible, Torah and Koran if they are published and distributed without precise historical context. It is within the context of the historical times that explains the motivations of the authors behind these sacred texts, because all three texts were written decades to hundreds, even thousands, of years after the facts had already been played out.

Too many people who claim to be followers of a particular religion have no idea why they believe what they believe. They simply believe what they were told to believe since childhood. And that's how you grow terrorists and the pious, self-righteous Pat Robertson.


Friday, March 24, 2006

A Dodo of A Writer


Once more, I have to take great exception to Times’ columnist Rosa Brooks (see above link). But first, I am stupefied as to why the Los Angeles Times, an established and highly respected newspaper, continues to have a narrow-minded writer whose analytical skills rival any average college freshman’s on their payroll. We get it, Ms. Brooks, you have no use for President Bush and his administration. It’s time, to use a phrase in your liberal lexicon, to “move on”.

It is one thing to opine about the differences of philosophy you may have with the current administration. It is quite another to combine said philosophy with comments that denigrate those who are in opposition to you, particularly when it comes to the leaders of our country. By writing sophomoric lines such as, “I used to believe in the theory of evolution, but these days I'm having my doubts” and “We're losing because the cavemen in the Bush administration don't understand the difference between strength and bellicosity” undermines the credibility of your opinion among people, conservatives and liberals alike, who read the Times editorials for engaging and intellectual enlightenment. Qualities that you, Ms. Brooks, seem to lack.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Democrats Still Bent on Destroying Country

by Sher Zieve

The Democrats hatred of President Bush, for having had the audacity to be elected to the presidency twice, has reached a fever pitch. As “we the people” elected him, the Democrats would probably like to impeach us, too! Don’t forget that the Democrat Party’s “leaders” don’t believe the general American citizenry has the capacity or intellect to think for themselves. Therefore, they’ll do the “thinking” for us.

If ever a political Party has lost its collective mind, it is the one populated by those who call themselves Democrats. In time of war, they are working to destroy the US’ leader and in so doing, giving carte-blanche to terrorists’ activities. They are also giving “aid and comfort to the enemy”, by attempting to destroy the man who is aggressively working to protect the country—legally—from those who committed their Acts of War against the United States of America on 11 September 2001.

Are these Democrats really ones that any sane and rational human being would want running any aspect of the country? Absolutely not. Let’s just hope and pray their madness becomes widely known to the voting public before November 2006—and most certainly before 2008. And will someone please tell them that President Bush won’t be running for president again?

Bush Lied?

I'm wondering how many Democrats, after reading the following researched facts, can end their demogouery and at least support our President, our Troops, and our Country during these trying times in engaged conflict. Because, since 9/11, our policies on the War on Terror is not about politics, or at least it shouldn't be, it is about the survival of the Western Civilization.

The passage of time normally brings historical events into perspective. For the cynic, hindsight is 20/20. For the historian, distance provides clarity.

From today's NY Times:

Naji Sabri, Iraq's foreign minister from 2001 until the America-led invasion began in 2003, told French intelligence officers that Iraq had stockpiled chemical weapons and might use them against invading troops or Israel, according to (then CIA director) George Tenet.

From the New York Post

February 16, 2006 -- Top-secret tapes of Saddam Hussein capture him talking with his son-in-law in the 1990s about how well Iraq hid its weapons of mass destruction.

The tapes also reveal Saddam's top deputy telling him how easy it would be to create a biological weapon, "drop it into a water tower and kill 100,000."

The disclosures, aired by ABC News last night, come from 12 hours of tape recordings of Saddam and his top aides provided by a former member of a U.N. inspection team.

In one of the most dramatic tapes, Saddam talks with Hussein Kamel, whom he put in charge of Iraq's heavily guarded WMD effort after he married Saddam's daughter Raghad.

Kamel, who later defected and died in a shootout with Saddam's gunmen, is heard boasting how he misled U.N. weapons inspectors about the size of Iraq's biological-weapons program.

"We did not reveal all that we have," Kamel said in the 1995 tape.
"Not the type of weapons, not the volume of the materials we imported, not the volume of the production we told them about, not the volume of use," Kamel added. "None of this was correct."
The tapes, apparently recorded in the mid-1990s in the Iraqi version of the Oval Office, have been authenticated by the House Intelligence Committee, ABC said.

Bill Tierney, a former member of the inspection team who was translating the tapes for the FBI, gave them to ABC and plans to make them public this weekend at a non-government "intelligence summit" that could revive speculation about an Iraqi WMD arsenal.

San Antonio Express-News
Jonathan Gurwitz:
In 2003, WMD threat was clear
The media and the public are only now gaining access to a trove of official U.S. and Iraqi documents and tapes, much of it seized during the early days of the invasion. These sources make clear the reasons most major intelligence services came to the conclusion that Saddam continued to possess proscribed weapons of mass destruction and why U.N. weapons inspectors would never be able to locate them. They should finally put to rest the hysterical distortion that Bush lied to push the United States into war.

The U.S. military's Joint Forces Command engaged in a two-year project to analyze hundreds of thousands of documents and the transcripts of interviews with dozens of Iraq's political and military leaders. The USJFC partially declassified its study last month.

"Saddam's Delusions: The View from the Inside" makes abundantly clear why the Bush administration believed Saddam had WMD and could use them again — because Saddam's own regime believed it had WMD and could use them again.

Up high, the researchers draw the following conclusion:

"When it came to weapons of mass destruction, Saddam attempted to convince one audience that they were gone while simultaneously convincing another that Iraq still had them. Coming clean about WMD and using full compliance with inspections to escape from sanctions would have been his best course of action for the long run. Saddam, however, found it impossible to abandon the illusion of having WMD."

Fearful of the consequences of delivering bad news to Saddam, Baathist leaders gave false assessments to their dictator and to one another about weapons programs. A footnote to "Saddam's Delusions" suggests that in the months following the fall of Baghdad, senior Iraqi officials in coalition custody continued to believe that Iraq still possessed a WMD capability.

While these dissonant messages confused Iraqi leaders, they confirmed to intelligence analysts the continuation of a decade of deception. In 2002, U.S. intelligence intercepted an order to remove the words "nerve agents" from "the wireless instructions." Another revealed instructions to "search the area surrounding the headquarters camp and for any chemical agents, make sure the area is free of chemical containers."

Three years ago, these orders were reasonably interpreted as evidence of Saddam's shell game with weapons inspectors. The consensus belief now is that they were intended to remove any residue left over from WMD programs abandoned years earlier.

Bush did not lie. American intelligence was mistaken, with good reason. And it's even more clear today than it was three years ago that the blame for the tragedy in Iraq falls on a single person: the homicidal dictator who used WMD in the past and wanted the world to believe that he could do so again.