Daily Archives: July 25, 2007

Police flagrantly violate Ron Paul supporter’s right to free speech

Post Tribune | Jul 24, 2007

By Andy Grimm

HAMMOND — Joel Ferguson felt he had a lot in common with outsider presidential candidate Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who is known for complaining about Congress straying from a “strict” interpretation of the Constitution.

And, after a Hammond parks worker and a police officer kicked him out of last week’s Festival of the Lakes for passing out Paul campaign literature, Ferguson himself has a constitutional gripe.

“I feel my First Amendment rights were violated,” said Ferguson, a 30-year-old Munster resident who said he was peacefully handing out pamphlets outlining Paul’s anti-war, anti-tax presidential platform.

“The first time, they told me I had to go because (the festival) was on private property. It’s not. The next day, the cop just told me to leave ‘Because I told you so.'”

Ferguson called City Hall on Friday, the morning after he was asked to leave by a Park Department employee after standing at the entrance to Wolf Lake Park for about 90 minutes. City officials told him he did indeed have a right to pass out literature, provided he didn’t create a disturbance.

Ferguson returned Friday, again he was there for about an hour, and this time was told to leave by a police officer.

“I told (the officer) that City Attorney Kristina Kantar said I could be there. He just said I had to go, ‘She’s not here. I am.'”

Kantar said she did respond to his call, and was not aware that Ferguson had been told to leave again Friday.

“We have no policy that says he couldn’t be there. Nor could we,” she said. “I’m not sure what happened.”

Ferguson said he did not see anyone from rival campaigns passing out literature, but still feels it was wrong to limit free speech in a public place. Ferguson, a student taking online classes, said he is head of the local Meetup.com group for Paul supporters.

A spokesman for the Paul campaign did not return calls for comment.

Paul, a 10-term U.S. Congressman who finished third in the 1988 presidential race as a Libertarian Party candidate, has cultivated an outsider campaign based on what he calls a “strict” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, which calls elimination of income tax, a strong support for gun rights and disdain for foreign alliances.

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Victims’ Relatives Mark Stalin Purges

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty | Jul 25, 2007

stalin_purge_victims

Relatives of victims of Stalin’s purges laid flowers today at the Solovetsky memorial stone on Lubyanskaya square near the KGB headquarters in Moscow (AFP)

MOSCOW, July 25, 2007 (RFE/RL) — Hundreds of people gathered in Moscow today to honor victims of Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s purges.

The purges, in which an estimated 40 million people were killed, began in the summer of 1937.

Mostly elderly relatives of victims laid flowers and lit candles at a memorial stone from northern Russia’s Solovetsky prison camp.

Sergei Volkov, chairman of the Russian Association of Victims of Political Repression, told RFE/RL’s Russian Service that “not a single top official” came to lay flowers at the monument, which is located in front of the Federal Security Service’s Moscow headquarters.

“There’s a law [in Russia] on the rehabilitation of the victims of political repressions that was drafted by us, by public organizations, and was adopted and signed in 1991 by President [Boris] Yeltsin,” Volkov said. “It states clearly that the state recognizes its guilt. Today, for some reason, nobody talks about it.”

Yury Brodsky, director of a museum of the victims of political repressions at Solovki on the Solovetsky Islands, said it has become increasingly difficult to gain access to archives about the purges in recent years.

“I don’t even know if Putin is to blame for that. Maybe it’s the people around him,” Brodsky told RFE/RL. “Until a proper assessment of what happened is made, we won’t be able to develop further, and there is always a possibility of recurrence of what happened in one form or another.”

Today’s gathering in Moscow was organized by the Moscow Association for the Victims of Illegal Purges.

Illegal immigrant ID card is absurd

Minot Daily News | Jul 25, 2007

This just in: The city of New Haven, Conn., is offering identification cards to illegal immigrants, which officials there say will help the illegal aliens open bank accounts and use other services that may be unavailable without drivers licenses or state-issued IDs.

That’s right – a city in the United States is giving illegal immigrants an identification card to help them use services they have no right to be using.

John DeStefano, mayor of New Haven, says the cards will encourage immigrants to carry less cash, which makes them easy targets for robbers. The mayor also says the cards will encourage immigrants who are crime victims or witnesses to cooperate with police.

What color is the sky in DeStefano’s world?

It’s unimaginable for any city, county or state in this country to be doing something to encourage illegal immigrants to move there, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen in New Haven. Count on it. Well, that is if New Haven officials can actually convince any of the estimated 10,000 to 12,000 illegal immigrants living in the city of 125,000 people to sign up.

It’s hard to believe any reputable bank would let a customer carrying a card identifying them as an illegal immigrant to open an account. Shouldn’t the government – whether it be city, state or federal – be cracking down on businesses that deal with illegal immigrants instead of encouraging such transactions?

While other cities and counties around the country are searching for ways to enforce immigration laws, New Haven stands alone. The city already provides federal tax help to immigrants and prohibits police from asking about their immigration status, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised about the ID card idea.

We’ve never been against legal immigration. But to issue a card that provides illegal immigrants with benefits that should be reserved for legal residents is nothing short of absurd.

Poll: Russian “Putin Generation” youths admire Soviet dictator Josef Stalin

Reuters | Jul 25, 2007

3_masons_churchill_truman_stalin_potsdam2

Three Freemasons, Churchill, Truman and Stalin shake on the New World Order at Potsdam, July 1945

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s youths admire Soviet dictator Josef Stalin — who presided over the deaths of millions of people — and want to kick immigrants out of Russia, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

The poll, carried out by the Yuri Levada Centre, was presented by two U.S. academics who called it “The Putin Generation: the political views of Russia’s youth”.

When asked if Stalin was a wise leader, half of the 1,802 respondents, aged from 16 to 19, agreed he was.

“Fifty-four percent agreed that Stalin did more good than bad,” said Theodore Gerber, a sociologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Forty-six percent disagreed with the statement that Stalin was a cruel tyrant.”

Stalin, who took over from Vladimir Lenin, built a system of terror and repression in which tens millions of people died or were killed. He died in 1953.

“What we find troubling is that there is a substantial proportion of young people in Russia today who hold positive or ambivalent views on Stalin and his legacy,” Gerber said.

“We think it would probably be more appropriate if there was more condemnation of the Stalin era.”

The poll showed 17 percent of the young people disagreed that Stalin was responsible for the imprisonment, torture and execution of millions of innocent people, while 40 percent thought his role in the repression had been exaggerated.

The majority of respondents thought the collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy and two thirds thought that America was a rival and enemy. Only a fifth viewed Iran as a potential rival or enemy.

Most young people also wanted immigrants kicked out of Russia: 62 percent said they agreed with the statement that the Russian government should evict most immigrants.

But 64 percent agreed with the idea that immigrants should be allowed to have Russian citizenship if they abided with Russian laws and customs.

The poll showed the biggest concern for the youth was the problem of drugs, followed by unemployment, poverty, corruption, education, crime, HIV/AIDS and ecology.

U.S. arrests Chinese-Mexican meth king

Reuters | Jul 25, 2007

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The United States arrested on Monday a Mexican laboratory owner accused of helping make huge quantities of crystal meth, four months after police found $206 million cash in his Mexico City mansion.

Mexico’s attorney general, Eduardo Medina Mora, said U.S. authorities had confirmed the arrest of Chinese-born Zhenli Ye Gon.

“We have received the news informally but confirmed by official sources that the arrest took place,” Medina Mora said on Mexican television network Televisa.

Mexico has requested the extradition of Ye Gon, the attorney general’s office said in a statement. He was arrested in the Washington suburb of Wheaton, Maryland.

It was not immediately clear if the arrest was the result of Mexico’s request, although U.S. authorities had previously said no warrants had been issued for Ye Gon. Mexico now has 60 days to make its case for extradition.

Mexican police in March raided a mansion owned by Ye Gon and found wads of U.S. bank notes in bulging suitcases and overflowing closets.

Seven people were arrested after that raid in the swanky Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood. It also turned up six Mercedes-Benz vehicles and pistols equipped with silencers, but Ye Gon escaped to the United States.

Ye Gon, a naturalized Mexican, is accused of importing through Mexican ports huge quantities of chemicals used to make the powerful stimulant crystal meth.

Ye Gon says he is an innocent victim of a government plot.

Mexican methamphetamine producers have muscled in on the U.S. market. So-called superlabs that mass produce the drug have sprung up across Mexico, where precursor chemicals like pseudoephedrine are more easily available.

The government recently clamped down sales of cough remedies that contain pseudoephedrine.

Police say a company run by Ye Gon illegally imported chemicals and that he was setting up a lab to make crystal meth, or methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant.

Ye Gon has caused a scandal in Mexico in recent weeks by saying a government minister forced him to hide the cash under threat of death during last year’s election campaign.

President Felipe Calderon has deployed thousands of police and soldiers across Mexico to clamp down on drug cartels since taking office in December. So far, March’s raid of Ye Gon’s house has been the only high-profile bust.

China to impose massive fines on parents breaking 1-child rule

Breitbart | Jul 25, 2007

BEIJING — Central China’s Hunan Province will impose massive fines on wealthy parents who break the nation’s one-child policy, state media reported Wednesday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the much heavier penalties are to be introduced after the provincial family planning commission found that nearly 2,000 government officials and what it described as “celebrities” had contravened China’s family planning laws in recent years.

A national government survey carried out last year also said the majority of wealthy Chinese now have two children, with 10 percent having three.

An unnamed official with Hunan’s family planning commission told Xinhua, “The current penalties are too low for well-off people and we are raising them to ensure social justice.”

Couples in Hunan who have a second child illegally are now fined double their combined annual income. After the new laws are introduced they could be fined up to seven times their yearly salaries.

Parents found to have illegitimate second children could be fined up to 10 times their annual earnings, the report said.

Hunan Gov. Zhou Qiang in April ordered local officials to “expose the celebrities and high-income people who violate the family planning policy and have more than one child,” said Xinhua.

The southern province of Guangdong introduced similar tougher fines five years ago to deter high-income families from breaking family planning laws.

The vast majority of Chinese couples can only have one child, although the restrictions are sometimes relaxed in rural areas and among China’s ethnic minority groups.

Riots broke out in parts of the southern region of Guangxi earlier this year after the authorities tried to collect fines, or seize the property, of families deemed to have broken family planning regulations.

The so-called one-child policy was introduced in 1979 in an attempt to control China’s rapidly growing population.

The head of the National Population and Family Commission, Zhang Weiqing, said earlier this year it was essential that the policy continue to be strictly enforced if the government is to succeed in bringing the population under control.

Secret memo: One-world agenda dominates SPP summit

Document reveals plan for meeting of U.S., Mexico, Canada leaders

World Net Daily | Jul 24, 2007

By Jerome R. Corsi

rice_mackay_espinosaSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice with her counterparts, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa at February meeting

A multinational business agenda is driving the upcoming summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, according to a document obtained through an Access to Information Act request in Canada.

The memo shows a secondary focus of the leaders’ meeting in Montebello, Quebec, Aug. 20-21, will be to prepare for a continental avian flu or human pandemic and establish a permanent continental emergency management coordinating body to deal not only with health emergencies but other unspecified emergencies as well.

As WND has reported, President Bush, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon will attend the third SPP summit.

The document, obtained by Canadian private citizen Chris Harder, is a two-page heavily redacted summary of the ministerial meeting in Ottawa, held Feb. 23 between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterparts, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa.

The purpose of the Feb. 23 meeting in Ottawa was to set the agenda for the August summit.

The Access to Information Act-obtained memo noted the nation’s leaders intend next month to pursue the five priorities set at their second summit meeting in Cancun in March 2005:

* Strengthening Competitiveness

* Avian and Pandemic Influenza

* Emergency Management

* Energy Security

* Secure Borders

Of the five issues, the memo clearly states recommendations by the North American Competitiveness Council, or NACC, regarding competitiveness “took centerpiece” at the Feb. 23 meeting. Almost immediately, the memo says, governments “will need to begin assessing the potential impact of adopting recommendations made by the NACC and coordinating their response to the authors of the report.”

The memo states “the most dynamic element on the plenary agenda was a meeting with the NACC, the body created by the Leaders in 2006 to give the private sector a formal role in providing advice on how to enhance competitiveness in North America.”

The NACC consists of 30 multinational business corporations that advise SPP and set the action agenda for its 20 trilateral bureaucratic working groups.

The memo notes the NACC was created by the leaders in 2006 “to give the private sector a formal role in providing advice on how to enhance competitiveness in North America.”

According to the memo, the NACC made recommendations in three areas: border-crossing facilitation, standards and regulatory cooperation, and energy integration.

The memo suggested NACC members were getting impatient, charging the speed of SPP regulatory change was too slow. The members complained of “the private sector’s seeming inability to influence the pace of regulatory change ‘from the bottom up.'”

“Some NACC representatives,” the memo comments, “felt that direct signals from ministers were required if work was to advance at a pace rapid enough to address challenges from more dynamic international competitors – particularly China. The subtext was clear: In the absence of ministerial endorsement, bureaucracies are unlikely to act on the more challenging recommendations.”

The memo noted the ministers agreed at their Feb. 23 meeting to finalize by June a plan to create a coordinating body to prepare for the “North American response to an outbreak of avian or pandemic influenza.” The leaders are expected to finalize the plan at the August summit.

The memo also reported ministers agreed to create a coordinating body on emergency management similar to that set up for avian or pandemic flu. The governance structure of coordinating body was also scheduled for completion in June, so it could be presented to the leaders for final approval at the August summit.

A comment at the end of the memo said the ministers at their Feb. 23 meeting “acknowledged that the SPP was largely unknown or misunderstood and needed to be better communicated beyond the officials and the business groups involved.”

WND has reported that as many as 10,000 protesters plan to assemble in Quebec to show opposition to the summit.

The Corbett Report, a Canadian blog that first reported on the memo obtained by Harder, noted the term “Security and Prosperity” was first used by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, or CCOCE, in a Jan. 23, 2003, report entitled, “Security and Prosperity: Toward a New Canada-United States Partnership in North America.”

CCOCE’s membership consists of 150 of Canada’s leading businesses. In the U.S., the Chamber of Commerce would be considered a counterpart.

WND previously reported on National Security Presidential Directive No. 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive No. 20, which allocate to the office of the president the authority to direct all levels of government in the event he declares a national emergency.

WND also has previously reported that under SPP, the military of the U.S. and Canada are turning USNORTHCOM into a domestic military command structure, with authority extending to Mexico, even though Mexico has not formally joined with the current U.S.-Canadian USNORTHCOM command structure.

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