Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Syrians Repel Embassy Attack

Philly.com recounts attempted assault.

Armed Islamic militants attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy in a brazen attack Tuesday, the government said. Four people were killed, including three of the assailants. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but an al-Qaida offshoot group was suspected, Syria's ambassador to the United States said.

No Americans were hurt in the attack, in which the militants used automatic rifles, hand grenades and at least one van rigged with explosives.

Inquirer: One Small Site

Philadelphia Inquirer details spending database.

Don't look now, but Congress is on the verge of doing something useful.

The House is set to approve a bill already passed by the Senate that would make it easier for anyone with a computer to track federal spending.

The bill holds some promise for curbing wasteful "earmarks" and other techniques of pork-barrel spending. Its progress is a victory for grassroots activists over the secretive ways of Congress.

Six Meat Buffet Blog Endorses Raj

The Six Meat Buffet Blog has officially endorsed Raj Peter Bhakta. Their endorsement contrasts Allyson Schwartz with Raj’s commitment to reform.

Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, which covers parts of North Philly and the northern suburbs, is an important seat for Republicans to pick up this November.

Raj Bhakta is the Republican candidate running against Allyson Schwartz - a liberal that gives Liberalism a bad name.

By way of contrast, Raj Bhakta is committed to reform and is a refreshing kind of conservative.

Congresswoman, Try Representing America

1776, the United States officially declared our independence from Great Britain. We claimed we were being misrepresented and thus mistreated by the King of England. Over the years we developed our own culture, separate from the United Kingdom.

I read in an article regarding a vote on House bill HR 521, which dealt with a situation of persecution against ethnic Macedonians living and traveling to and from Greece. This bill directly called for Macedonia to cease distribution of what the bill called "propaganda."

Last time I checked the United States distributed pieces of literature around the time of the formation of our country called The Federalist Papers. This article posted by an ethnic Macedonian helped me better understand a situation in Greece (who is an ally of the United States mind you). The Macedonians are persecuted, exactly like the religions in China, where the United States has proclaimed for decades that there are human rights abuses.

I know many of you may ask why should we care about a small but once great nation state of Macedonia. I say this is the United States of America. We are the greatest example of fighting for what is right and just in this world. If we lose that, if we support injustice and persecution, then we have lost all that we have fought for these past 230 years.

I end with this: your representative, Allyson Schwartz, was one of the 77 members of Congress who supports this bill of endorsing the Greeks to persecute the Macedonians. I call to Allyson Schwartz: If you don't represent the ideals of America in your actions than you don't truly represent Americans.

Ryan D.

We Are Rocky

Michael Smerconish rips Philadelphia Art Commission

Either they forget where they are or they're part of the crowd that has a chip on its shoulder thinking we're forever living in the shadow of New York. I've never understood those don't celebrate who we are.

We're unique. This is Philadelphia, a city whose greatest cultural event is a bacchanal called Wing Bowl. We celebrate the New Year with a Mummers Parade. We eat cheesesteaks and scrapple. We idolize the Broad Street Bullies. We have warts. We aren't Beautiful People. We don't have celebrities. We re-elect mayors whose administrations are under investigation. We like simple things. We are proud of the neighborhoods where we were raised and celebrate the shore towns where we vacation.

The rest of us are happy with our station in life among cities. We've taken many national licks, but more important is our proven ability to get off the canvas. This is a town that survived Legionnaires' disease during the Bicentennial. Two MOVE fiascoes. Snowballing Jimmy Johnson. Mitch Williams coughing it up.

The railing collapse at the Army-Navy game. And the scaffolding mishap at the opening of the National Constitution Center. But always answering the bell at the next round. Like Rocky.

Townhall.com: Who’s the Criminal?

Townhall.com reports “serious miscarriage of justice.”

In February 2005, the agents tried to stop a van driven by drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila near the Mexico border. After a scuffle with Compean, Aldrete-Davila fled on foot. Ramos says he believes that he saw a gun -- which the smuggler denies. Both agents fired at Aldrete-Davila, who fell, then continued his escape across the border. After he got away, Ramos and Compean filed a report on the 743 pounds of marijuana they found in the van, but not on the gunfire. As it turns out, Ramos had shot Aldrete-Davila in the butt. A Homeland Security agent heard about the episode, went to Mexico and offered Aldrete-Davila immunity, if he testified against Ramos and Compean.

U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, a Bush appointee, prosecuted the agents. In March, a jury found them guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm during a violent crime, obstructing justice, lying about the incident and willfully violating Aldrete-Davila's Fourth Amendment right to be free from illegal seizure.

Because there was gunfire, the mandatory-minimum prison sentence the agents will serve is 10 years. The U.S. Probation Office in El Paso, Texas, has recommended 20 years -- 20 years away from their wives and their children, and among the type of people they've put behind bars.

As for Aldrete-Davila, he faces no charges for the 743 pounds of pot. That leaves him free to carry out his plan to sue the Border Patrol -- that is, U.S. taxpayers -- for $5 million because his civil rights were violated. What a country.