Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Threat to Sovereignty

It seems that our fearless leaders who hang out around the beltway seem to believe that it's not a good thing to be a US citisen anymore. It's far better, evidently, to be subject to a universal, world organisation. And they haven't even chosen or invented a good one to hand national sovereignty to, they've decided the United Nations is the one world organisation of choice.

I could give reasons based on creditials alone as to why this particular body would not be a good choice even if forking over national sovereignty actually WAS a good idea. Honestly, has this body ever done anything right? Where are the WMD that the UN was supposedly wanting to monitor in Iraq? The UN never said they were disappearing, they just whined what they couldn't look at them. UN sanctions against "rogue nations" have never worked. The body is rife with scandal, mismanagement and violations of it's own laws. It sucks up money from it's members (or the ones who pay them anyway) and deliver very little back to them. WHO ON EARTH would want this brain trust in charge of anything!!

However, that's not what has me irritated. I don't believe forking over national sovereignty is a good idea in the first place. I have several fairly old articles posted explaining how things related to the UN undermine said sovereignty. These would be
CEDAW, , the creation of world heritage sites , Conference on Human Settlements , the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. These articles explain in detail why each of these things are a bad idea and what it would mean to the United States if they were applied to citisens here. And just because I've not said anything at Screw the UN recently does not mean threats have disappeared. They haven't.

Today's threat Du Jour...H.R. 2421, "Clean Water Restoration Act." But wait, isn't that federal legislation, not a UN treaty? Oh, but don't run off so fast, lately things are never what they seem. According to this Act, water is very important. (Um, duh.) This legislation claims to Sounds good so far. It protects intrastate waters and "OTHER WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES." (always get suspicious of government paperwork which has the word "other" in it. It's a frivolous term used to mean "everything else I can think of" or "whatever we decide later") The legislation does attempt to define these "other waters" and here is what our hacks have come up with...

"All waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and
all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes,
rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands,
sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, natural ponds, and all
impoundments of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters, or
activities affecting these waters, are subject to the legislative power of
Congress under the Constitution."

Now, what word DON'T you see in this lovely masterpiece of legal mumbo jumbo? Well I suppose fishtank isn't in there and neither is bathtub, but those aren't what I was thinking about. The important word missing is "navigable." See, water that can't support ships and stuff has always been the property owner's property to do with what he or she likes, that's the way previous legislation has always defined it. Standing water, farm ponds, sink holes and such are automatically private property cause, well you can't run a ship through it.

This bill has nothing to do with making sure we have safe drinking water for all the people and animals that depend on it. It's about restricting land use. It used to be said that if a person had a large puddle on their property and the government wanted your land it would be labelled a "wetland" and had to be protected...Now the government doesn't need to contort itself that much. Your mud puddle, creek, personal swamp, whatever, are "other waters of the United States."

Now, in case you think you're lost, you're really not. So far I have not mentioned the UN. This, so far, has ended State Sovereignty and Private Property rights if the government so chooses to exercise the power vested in this abominable legislation. That is bad enough. However, there is more.

There is the "LAW OF THE SEA TREATY." (aka as LOST). The Law of the Sea Convention is a set of rules for the use of the world’s oceans, which cover 70 percent of the earth’s surface and a treaty resulted in 1982. To date 154 countries and the European Community have joined. So far the US has not joined this treaty. At the time Reagan was in power and refused to sign the abomination. He even fired people for suggesting he do so. Eventually Clinton did sign it, but the Senate has refused (so far) to ratify it.

If we did we would be subject to the UN Court and UN rules about various things including fishing, environmental protections, and navigation. IF the US Senate ratifies LOST and HR 2421 kicks in, the United Nations will in effect have jurisdiction over our private property. Remember how inclusive the "other waters of the United States" can be. You really want some uneducated nutcase from some minor third world nation telling you what to do with the sink hole in your backyard?

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas and the Troops

In the spirit of the season of giving this Christmas post is dedicated to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces around the world in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Also in the spirit of the season it should be made clear that goodwill toward men is a phrase that requires setting aside other matters if only for a moment as dictated by circumstance. With that in mind you may still find it a little peculiar that there would be a kind word for an outfit like But hey, it's Christmas and regardless of anything else and that things may change shortly, one should give credit where credit is due. Assuming this is not a hoax and ignoring the natural tendency to comment on items outside the scope of the story, Stanford Matthews from the Blog @ would like to go on record thanking those at for raising a serious six figures for the troops at Christmas.

Even The Grinch Would Like This: MoveOn Raising Money For Troops
By Martin Kady II
Dec 21, 2007

(The Politico) Remember that whole "General Betray Us" advertisement back in September that criticized Army Gen. David Petraeus?

Well, that scourge of the right wing, is raising money like crazy for a Christmas gift for the troops.

In the past 24 hours, MoveOn, perhaps the most powerful liberal advocacy group in the country, has raised $275,000 for the United Services Organizations (USO) for calling cards for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The USO may be most associated with Bob Hope-type visits to troops overseas, but the non-partisan organization is clearly comfortable partnering with MoveOn if the cause helps soldiers stationed overseas during the holidays.

It is not a surprise that President Bush would again remind the country of our troops and their families for the incredible sacrifice and commitment being contributed daily. At the very least we can remember them in our prayers and spread the word so they know we are thinking of them and exceedingly grateful for their service. The President's weekly radio address included an often repeated sentiment for the troops as reported by VOA. Try to ignore the remainder of the report about someone else's take which is not so pleasant.

President Bush Praises US Troops, Their Families
By Sean Maroney
22 December 2007

In his weekly radio address, President Bush thanked U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families for their sacrifices. "This Christmas, many will sit down for dinner thinking of their loved ones half a world away. These families deserve the thanks and the prayers of our whole nation," he said.

There are news reports of generous efforts being provided by the public and various organizations to help the troops have some kind of Christmas away from home. If you want to help there are nearly countless ways to pitch in. If you have no idea where to start, simply use google and type the words troops and Christmas. Plenty of results will point you in the right direction. Or of course you can check with the DOD, any of the armed services, the USO or your elected representatives or the VA or someone.

And finally, let's make that annual effort to extend the good we think of during the holidays so the New Year can bring the kind of solutions needed to solve some of the world's problems. If we all try again and keep repeating these sentiments to each other long enough, we might finally succeed with some major improvements.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year or whatever sentiment does it for you. Cheers.

Stanford Matthews
Blog @

(the link just above takes you to a good Christmas story)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Get rich quick, join the Bluehelmets.

The model for a one-world government, the organization tasked for world peace, is in a nutshell, beyond repair:

"The task force identified multiple instances of fraud, corruption, waste and mismanagement at U.N. headquarters and peacekeeping missions, including ten significant instances of fraud and corruption with aggregate value in excess of $610 million," said one report by the task force, headed by a former federal prosecutor in Connecticut, Robert Appleton.

The new corruption cases highlight the limits of reforms imposed since the early 1990s, when a previous buildup of peacekeeping missions led to reports of rampant corruption in Cambodia, Somalia and the Balkans. In response, in 1994 the United Nations created the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), but it has a poor record of holding corrupt officials to account.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

UN Trademarks: Failing and Fundraising

Back to one of the stories that demonstrates the United Nations continuum. An internet search of the word continuum may give you definitions the ease of which to understand equals the difficulty of determining where all the money goes after being given to the international organization whose name implies a lofty goal. The same can be said for the program known as the Millennium Development Goals that it happens just received an evaluation from 'educators.'

Earlier reports on this topic pointed to the low probability of the goals being achieved over a 15 year period and how that plays into the UN's strategy. Propose unrealistic goals while ignoring the conflicting agendas, collective plausible denial, timetables designed to out live participants or oversight and infinite appeals for funding always reported as inadequate. If the United Nations is not the real world version of the fairy tale goose that lays the golden eggs it is close enough.

A group of educators, donors, lobbyists and most likely UN reps held a meeting to discuss the MDG education program status and funding. It would almost seem incredible that what are supposed to be intelligent people could use the same words and phrases over and over again, year after year, to describe more failures and pandering for more money with no shame. The trick is one has to pay attention to every word and you quickly notice nothing is being said but the hand is out.

Half way through the 15 year goals timetable, just like earlier reports of other programs, they may mention the original goal more or less specifically but it is followed by vague and broken descriptions of what has happened to date. That is followed by excuses that funding was inadequate and more is needed. The cycle repeats until a new program is launched that also accomplishes nothing but requires continuous funding. Hence, the reference at the top of this post about the UN continuum. Here are some examples from the latest report.

"We are really making progress," he said. "There are huge challenges, but progress is being made to achieve this important goal."

After a slow start in the 32 countries funded by the Fast Track Initiative, their annual report says by 2010 most will have 100 percent of kids start first grade.

7 or eight years into a 15 year program the 'slow start' means they have completed nothing. They probably reason that if you bought the program to begin with and nothing is even remotely close to complete at the half way point, you're good for believing that 3 more years story. By then you will have forgotten about it or another classic excuse will be provided right before the appeal for more money the destination of which no one knows outside the UN.

"I would say the most critical issue is that the governments are making education a priority," he said. "It is a political will issue and they are really making very rapid progress. They have got a lot of catching up to do. They are moving faster than any region has ever moved before."

How's that for 50 words that say nothing? The report admits widespread corruption that is standard for UN operations. Can you say Oil for Food Program? And their audacity is unmistakable. Right after essentially saying nothing which translates into these programs are totally useless, true to form the final comment from a spokesperson is:

"Overall, we need another $6 billion U.S. per year just to get every child to complete a primary cycle of education," she explained.


Stanford Matthews
Blog @

Monday, December 03, 2007

How UNRWA Creates Dependency

From YID With LID

As a people, the Palestinians are addicted to their equivalent of Crack Cocaine--It's not a chemical dependency it is a financial dependency. The drug is called the United Nations Relief and Works Agency or UNRWA.

The UNRWA is one of those self-perpetuating bureaucracies that you hear conservative politicians rail against. And like all self-perpetuating bureaucracies, their mission is to maintain the status quo--but in this case maintaining the status quo means preventing peace.

Washington Times: How UNRWA creates dependency

December 3, 2007

By Asaf Romirowsky and Jonathan Spyer - For Israelis the United Nations is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they are fully aware of the anti-Israel sentiment that the United Nations perpetuates, but on the other hand they want to be part of it and to have their voices heard. This stance is understandable. But it produces positions which sometimes directly contradict Israel's clear interest.

Observe: During a recent conference titled, "Hijacking Human Rights: The Demonization of Israel by the United Nations," Daniel Carmon, Israel's deputy permanent representative at the United Nations stated that "We [Israel] encounter hypocrisy and cynicism on the one hand, and we are all witness to that when we walk into the building, but we are also trying with relative success to identify how, within the existing mandate, [to find] parallel paths of working with the world body." Reflecting this problematic and paradoxical Israeli stance, Mr. Carmon urged the approximately 200 conference participants to state that UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East) was "doing a good job" providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the Palestinian territories.

The matter of UNRWA perhaps above all others illustrates the difficulty of the Israeli position on the United Nations. Israeli officials well tell you that if UNRWA does not take care of Palestinian needs then these will become Israel's responsibility. And despite UNRWA's well-documented terrorist ties, Israel prefers not to bear this burden.

This position produces a situation in which Israel itself ends up forming one of the factors blocking the way to the dismantling of UNRWA. UNRWA, in turn, is a central factor blocking a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue - which is one of the central factors preventing the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Understanding the way that UNRWA helps perpetuate the Palestinian refugee problem requires taking a closer look at the way that the agency functions. Doing so reveals the workings of a dysfunctional bureaucracy.

While Palestinian refugees benefit materially from UNRWA, the agency benefits in return from the refugees. The refugees are the organization's raison d'etre. And bureaucracies tend to dislike dissolving themselves. So, like any good bureaucracy, UNRWA has zero incentive to resolve the Palestinian refugee problem if it is to continue to exist. Ending the refugee problem would render UNRWA obsolete.

Instead, UNRWA finds a hundred and one ways to perpetuate Palestinian dependency. The interests of the refugees and UNRWA are fatally intertwined; UNRWA is staffed mainly by local Palestinians - more than 23,000 of them - with only about 100 international United Nations professionals. Tellingly, while the U.N. High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) avoid employing locals who are also recipients of agency services, UNRWA does not make this distinction. Terrorism does not exclude one from being a part of UNRWA. In fact, quite the opposite is true: UNRWA-overseen hospitals and clinics routinely employ members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Employing Palestinians for decade after decade and providing them with subsistence-level food aid and rudimentary education are a far cry from giving them usable skills and a positive attitude about creating their own independent economy and viable civic institutions.

In addition, the Palestinian agenda (and sympathy for the Palestinian cause) have infiltrated every aperture at Turtle Bay. UNWRA has spent decades keeping this single issue, key to the organization's survival, at the forefront of the U.N. agenda whether it belongs there or not. It has engendered Arab and Western support for the delegitimation of Israel, and facilitated comparisons between Nazism and Zionism - a false linkage that bolsters Palestinian claims of oppression. When former Secretary-General Kofi Annan appeared at a U.N. "Palestine Day" event which astonishingly featured a map of the Middle East that conspicuously omitted Israel, it was emblematic of the way in which the United Nations has transformed itself into a propaganda machine for such thinking. UNRWA has no parallel in the U.N. system. UNRWA is dedicated solely to providing assistance to Palestinian refugees; no other group of refugees, whatever their circumstances, warrants this much attention.

As we look toward the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations, the United Nations as a member of the Quartet has a special obligation to uphold the commitment outlined in the 2003 "road map" for Israeli-Palestinian peace to dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. In an effort to insulate good works from terrorist infiltration and exploitation, Washington should stand ready to help the United Nations live up to this obligation by funding an "Office of Competent Standards" for UNRWA and similar agencies.

It's also in the interest of Israel to support such an initiative. As it stands, the self-perpetuating bureaucracy of UNRWA is one of the central factors offering day jobs to members of terror groups, propping up Palestinian dependency and perpetuating the myths and falsehoods about Israel which help prevent a solution to the conflict.

Asaf Romirowsky is the Manager of Israel & Middle East Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum. Jonathan Spyer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center in Herzliya, Israel.

Posted by Yid With Lid at 12/04/2007 04:06:00 AM

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