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Archive for November, 2008

November 30th 2008

Sunday Scan – 11/30/2008

A New Level Of Islamist Sub-Humanism

R

eports coming out of Mumbai confirm that Islamist terrorists are capable of sinking still lower in the sight of decent humanity, capable of even worse crimes against decency:

“Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing,” a doctor said.

Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: “It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim’s body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words,” he said.

Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: “It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood,” one doctor said. (Source)

And what of the Jewish “hostages” that had the great misfortune of existing in a world in which Islamists exist?

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: “Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” he said.

This “religion of peace” has become such a scourge on the Earth that we really just can’t allow it to continue in its evil ways. Does Obama see this? Does he have the spine to confront evil? I believe it’s a yes on the first and will prove to be a no on the second. Continue Reading »

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November 30th 2008

Recasting Hillary, Restraining Bill

What do you call the drones at the Office of the President Elect – Opies? Well, the Opies have their work cut out for them to recast Hillary from wannabe tea-sipper to foreign policy diva, all the while trying to do a disappearing act on the problems Bill Clinton brings to his wife’s nomination.

The NYT spilled the beans on the hardball negotiations that have been going on with lawyers from the transition team and Clinton’s team, revealing that there’s an 8-point agreement that won’t be made fully public until after Hillary’s Sec of State announcement has had its headline run.

Foremost among the points is Bill’s agreement to release by year-end the names of the 208,000 donors to the William J. Clinton Foundation, which raised $500 million to build his presidential library. The names that have already leaked out are troubling to Hil as Statemeister – Marc Rich’s wife Denise, the Saudi royal family, the king of Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, the governments of Kuwait and Qatar and the son-in-law of Ukraine’s former dictator.

Clinton also will agree to re-incorporate his foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative as separate corporations and, very interestingly, run his speeches by State and possibly the White House prior to giving them. He made over $10 million giving 54 speeches last year, so he’s not going to favor meddling he feels counterproductive to a major income stream.

The NYT opines (in its editorial columns) that releasing the donor names will “eliminate any concerns.” Fat chance of that. With the names being released before confirmation hearings, concerns will abound; it’ll be up to the GOP to decide whether to pounce on them or not. I believe some pouncing is in order.

Meanwhile, the Opies are trying hard to reinvent the record of the campaign, which saw the Prez-elect saying of his State nominee such things as:

“What exactly is this foreign policy experience?” Was she negotiating treaties? Was she handling crises? The answer is no.”

And incoming White House Counsel Greg Craig saying:

“She did not sit in on any National Security Council meetings when she was first lady. There is no reason to believe … that she was a key player in foreign policy at any time during the Clinton administration.”

But that was then. Count on the Opies to quickly find the other side of Obama’s mouth and stuff it full of fine-sounding words about his problematic nominee.

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November 29th 2008

The Lies They Teach: #13 – #15

O

ur quick summation of Larry Schweikart’s 48 Liberal Lies about American History (That You Probably Learned in School) – which C-SM hopes will lead to you purchasing a copy of the book for yourself and any college-age kids in your acquaintance – continues with three more lies from this solid review of what liberal history profs are doing to revise the past and pollute the minds of the next generation.

Lie #13 – Thomas Jefferson Favored “Small Government” And Was A Pacifist

“He can with some justice be called a ‘half-way pacifist.’” Reginald C. Stuart, The Half-Way Pacifist

The chapter starts with a recounting of Jefferson as the first president with a preemptive war policy, as displayed by his aggressive approach to the Barbary pirates. While he favored a small navy (a half-way pacifist), he had no problem using Adams’ big navy against Tripoli (an all the way warmonger).

As for small government, it is true Jefferson cut the federal budget from Adams’ final budget of $10 million down to just over $7 million. Those were the days! But by 1805, the Jefferson admin was spending a budget of $12 million. Under him, per-capita income fell and government spending as a share of all national spending increased slightly.

Jefferson also directed Sec. of Treasury Albert Gallatin to develop plans for roads, harbors, navigable rivers and canals – all work that had previously been the business of the private sector. Says Schweikart of this supposedly “small government” president:

It is therefore surprising to see Jefferson order Gallatin to prepare an extensive report to Congress in 1808 in which he concluded, “The General Government can alone remove these obstacles”‘ to improving transportation.

At a time when the entire federal budget was $10 million, Gallatin and Jefferson recommended a $20 million federal spending program on infrastructure. Small government indeed.

Lie #14 – Women Had No Rights In Early America

“The United States had founding mothers … but on the whole our history celebrates only the white founding fathers ….” – Carol Berkin and Mary Beth Norton, Women of Amercia

Schweikart starts his rebuttal with an admission that being a woman in colonial America “was no picnic,” but adds that colonial women enjoyed more rights than English women, and better than today’s women in North Korea or Saudi Arabia.

Colonial inheritance laws allowed women to inherit parts of their husbands’ estates (all if the couples were childless), and lawyers in Colonial America invented the prenuptual, protecting the inheritances of many wealthy young women from nefarious scoundrels.

Many women of the era inherited their husbands’ businesses under these laws, and went on to run them successfully.

Where education was available, “Dame Schools” taught young women and there were examples of truly visionary approaches to education here, such as at the Lowell Mills in MA, where “Lowel Girls” working in the mills received an education at company expense. Our churches also offered women great freedom. Many were warm-up preachers to the main sermon, and many denominations included them in the church’s decision-making leadership.

Schweikart sees the problem feminist revisionists face:

One of the problems feminist historians have faced is that they must simultaneously portray women as victims and heroines: for women to be worthy of study as a separate historical topic, women must have done something exceptional or out of the ordinary. Y et as soon as there were examples of women achievers, it challenged the feminist notion of a rigid “classist/sexist” society that held women back.

Lie #15 – Restrictions On The Right To Vote Kept Voter Participation Low

“The roaring flood of the new democracy was now foaming perilously near the crest.” – Charles and Mary Beard, The Rise of American Civilization

Most early colonies had restrictions on the vote. Not only did voters have to be men and white, they had to either own land or property, or in some cases, have certain levels of wealth. Generally, only somewhere around 60 to 80 percent of white men were qualified to vote.

But this didn’t lead to lower voter registration than we have today. Between 1776 and 1780, turnout of eligible voters in the 13 states was between 48 and 65 percent. Between 1952 and 1960, just 64 percent of adults qualified to vote voted. In 2000, 64 percent of the eligible population registered, of whom 83 percent voted, or about half of all qualified voters.

The “foaming perilously near the crest” quoted above is a reference to historians’ portrayal of the surge of popular democracy during the Jackson years. At this time, Jackson’s foes were portrayed as the Eastern business elite “who grew rich by … government-bestowed privileges,” according to John Murrin et al.’s Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People. But, Schweikart says,

What universally goes unmentioned is that Van Buren’s party system, which produced Jackson’s election, was based on patronage and spoils. Both Jackson’s’ and Van Buren’s administrations greatly expanded the scope and power of the federal government, as well as spending by the government, precisely because they had to reward their supporters with party and government jobs.

The Lies They Teach #11 And #12
The Lies They Teach: #9 and #10
The Lies They Teach – #8
The Lies They Teach: #6 And #7
The Lies They Teach: #4 And #5
The Lies They Teach: #1 – #3

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November 29th 2008

The Global Warming Hoax – And What To Do About It

J

ames A. Peden is a likable guy – what’s not to like about a guy who starts his bio, “James A. Peden, better known as “Jim” or “Dad,” ….” He’s also got some good science chops:

[Peden] spent some of his earlier years as an Atmospheric Physicist at the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh and Extranuclear Laboratories in Blawnox, Pennsylvania, studying ion-molecule reactions in the upper atmosphere. As a student, he was elected to both the National Physics Honor Society and the National Mathematics Honor Fraternity, and was President of the Student Section of the American Institute of Physics. He was a founding member of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, and a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His thesis on charge transfer reactions in the upper atmosphere was co-published in part in the prestigious Journal of Chemical Physics. The results obtained by himself and his colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh remain today as the gold standard in the AstroChemistry Database.

Peden got bugged by insistence that the science on global warming is settled when, in fact, the science of global climate prediction is in its infancy and regularly soils its diapers with false predictions, bad data processing and lack of proper respect for the scientific process. Foiled – understandably so – by the reticence of his local newspaper editors to publish his lengthy attack on anthropogenic global warming arguments, he has published his paper on line.

It’s very long, very thorough and pretty darn elegant. It’s a bit over my head, but I am not particularly proficient in math and science, so you’ll probably enjoy it even more than I did. Here is Peden’s summary – which is not the conclusion of his article:

Summary – Exactly what have we learned here?

1. The “Greenhouse Effect” is a natural and valuable phenomenon, without which, the planet would be uninhabitable.

2. Modest Global Warming, at least up until 1998 when a cooling trend began, has been real.

3. CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas; 95% of the contribution is due to Water Vapor.

4. Man’s contribution to Greenhouse Gasses is relatively insignificant. We didn’t cause the recent Global Warming and we cannot stop it.

5. Solar Activity appears to be the principal driver for Climate Change, accompanied by complex ocean currents which distribute the heat and control local weather systems.

6. CO2 is a useful trace gas in the atmosphere, and the planet would actually benefit by having more, not less of it, because it is not a driver for Global Warming and would enrich our vegetation, yielding better crops to feed the expanding population.

7. CO2 is not causing global warming, in fact, CO2 is lagging temperature change in all reliable datasets. The cart is not pulling the donkey, and the future cannot influence the past.

8. Nothing happening in the climate today is particularly unusual, and in fact has happened many times in the past and will likely happen again in the future.

9. The UN IPCC has corrupted the “reporting process” so badly, it makes the oil-for-food scandal look like someone stole some kid’s lunch money. They do not follow the Scientific Method, and modify the science as needed to fit their predetermined conclusions. In empirical science, one does NOT write the conclusion first, then solicit “opinion” on the report, ignoring any opinion which does not fit their predetermined conclusion while falsifying data to support unrealistic models.

10. Polar Bear populations are not endangered, in fact current populations are healthy and at almost historic highs. The push to list them as endangered is an effort to gain political control of their habitat… particularly the North Slope oil fields.

11. There is no demonstrated causal relationship between hurricanes and/or tornadoes and global warming. This is sheer conjecture totally unsupported by any material science.

12. Observed glacial retreats in certain select areas have been going on for hundreds of years, and show no serious correlation to short-term swings in global temperatures.

13. Greenland is shown to be an island completely surrounded by water, not ice, in maps dating to the 14th century. There is active geothermal activity in the currently “melting” sections of Greenland.

14. The Antarctic Ice cover is currently the largest ever observed by satellite, and periodic ice shelf breakups are normal and correlate well with localized tectonic and geothermal activity along the Antarctic Peninsula.

15. The Global Warming Panic was triggered by an artifact of poor mathematics which has been thoroughly disproved. The panic is being deliberately nurtured by those who stand to gain both financially and politically from perpetuation of the hoax.

16. Scientists who “deny” the hoax are often threatened with loss of funding or even their jobs.

17. The correlation between solar activity and climate is now so strong that solar physicists are now seriously discussing the much greater danger of pending global cooling.

18. Biofuel hysteria is already having a disastrous effect on world food supplies and prices, and current technologies for biofuel production consume more energy than the fuels produce.

19. Global Warming Hysteria is potentially linked to a stress-induced mental disorder.

20. In short, there is no “climate crisis” of any kind at work on our planet.

The summary is followed by a lengthy section, “How do we end the panic?” It devotes almost as much space to the politics of global warming as was spent on the science, but concludes with a milquetoast action call: sending the url of the article around. Allayed as we are against a well-funded movement with major momentum and an incoming sympathetic administration, sending around a url, while a valid and hopefully viral action, is not enough.

Recently 100 scientists signed a letter to Ban ki-Moon asking the UN to stop frittering away needed resources on global warming windmill-tilting. The final signature was that of the president of the World Federation of Scientists. A Senate report lists more than 400 scientists who originally bought into the global warming hysteria but now want to be excused. We need more scientists to stand up, more loudly.

We need a good book to counter Al Gore’s. It needs to be written by someone with a good, high-visibility name and be in the same breezy, easily consumed style. We need to sue to get it included in any curricula that includes Gore’s book, and more broadly, we need to sue to remove global warming propaganda from elementary, junior and high school curricula.

We need to shore up the GOP’s good initial read on global warming that has been weakened by John McCain’s candidacy, and we need to add some Blue Dog Democrats to the mix. If anyone will lead the global war on global warming lunacy, it’s America, and we’ll have to put up roadblocks to the Obama admin’s efforts to fight and fund on behalf of the hysteria. The economy is running in our favor now, and we have to seize the opportunity.

And finally, we have to watch the weather. We’re right and the weather is going to prove us right. As it provides proof, it’s our job as the scribes of the new era to share the proof, and use it to rebut the hysterics.

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November 29th 2008

Tracking Down The Perfect Christmas Gift

M

y friend and long-time client Don is a woodworker who makes beautiful furniture, so he has an abiding fondness for tools. That’s why he’s so excited about that $100,000 bag of tools left drifting in space by NASA astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper. If he can just get his hands on it … but how to track it?

Welcome to Live Real Time Satellite Tracking, which has conveniently added the tool bag to the satellites it’s tracking:

Fire up the interceptors! And while you’re tracking the toolbox, you can supplement your data inputs with guidance from friendly terrestrial aides, like this clip of the toolbox drifting by, captured by amateur telescope junky, Kevin Fetter of Ontario.

Did I say “drifting?” “Ripping” is more like it. This baby’s going to be hard to catch!

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November 29th 2008

Inauguration Loons And Lunacy

I just heard a news report speculating that 5 million people might show up for the coronation inauguration of Barack Obama. The Fox reporter dutifully told us how much of the mall would be filled, how many Porta-potties would be required (buy Porta-potty stock now!) – all for a number the Obama-fawners have just pulled out of thin air.

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin asks, Where are all the anti-Inauguration activists now? She reminds us of this coverage from not long ago:

Critics are calling on U.S. President George W Bush to scale back the glittering multimillion dollar parties planned this week in honor of his second-term inauguration, saying lavish festivities are unseemly at a time of war.

Bush is to be sworn in Thursday and feted with four days of pomp and party-going at a price tag of about $40 million. …

But critics insist that with U.S. troops dying daily in Iraq, the tone surrounding this year’s inaugural celebration should be more modest.

“I would have hoped they would have followed the traditions of President Wilson and President Roosevelt, who at a time of war had a very muted celebration,” said Democratic Representative Robert Menendez, speaking on CNN.

“I think when young men and women are dying we should think about the reality of how we conduct ourselves here at home.”

Hmmm. War’s still going on, isn’t it? And isn’t the Obauguration estimated to come in at far, far more than Bush’s $40 million – so massively expensive it may bankrupt DC?

Leftism is never having to say you’re intelligent … or honest.

Art: Moonbattery

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November 28th 2008

Watcher’s Winners – Thanksgiving Week

T

he Watcher of Weasels has posted up the winner’s from this week treat-loaded feast of brain-stuffing, and from the looks of it, we Watcher’s Council members were able to find time between courses and before the naps to read the entries and vote. And a good week of entries it was!

My vote for second place among the Council entries, The Colossus of Rhodey’s Culture of Whine (a rant), came in first. Mr. Colossus is a high school teacher and he’s not impressed with this year’s honors class.

My vote for first, newcomer The Provocateur’s Some Perspective on PNC, Fraud, and the Bailout tied for second with Joshuapundit’s Zero Hour…Iran Now Has Material For First Nuclear Bomb, which was in my top three. The titles tell the story; both are excellent posts with good background on two critical issues of the day.

I was stunned to see I got a vote for Sunday Scan. I was so busy with fire-related crisis work for one of my clients last week that I barely had time to post, so I entered it mainly to give the feature a little exposure.

My pick for first place on the non-Council side, Arthur Laffer’s No Stimulus From Government Spending, came in second (in a three-way tie). A post I didn’t vote for, but one that I scored highly, Serendituous Altruism’s American troops in Afghanistan through the eyes of a French OMLT infantryman, came in first.

It was nominated by two Council members and is a wonderful read about a French soldier’s very positive impression – hero worship would almost be accurate – of our troops in Afghanistan. It’ll only take a couple minutes to read, so do give it a look, along with all the others at Watcher of Weasels.

Thanks, Watcher, for laying out the spread again this week. We’re always thankful for your work.

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November 28th 2008

Jihad’s Phony Hostages

The bodies of five hostages were found at the Chabad House Jewish center where commandos stormed the building through a hole blasted in the wall. – CNN

H

ostages? Why are the media calling the murdered ultra-orthodox Jews in Mumbai’s Chabad House hostages? They were Jews for the slaughter, nothing more.

The Indian government and the media have not presented any evidence that negotiations ever occurred over the fate of the Jews in Chabad House. There was some early talk from the hotels, where larger groups of hostages were held, of a swap in return for the release of jihadists held by India, but it is clear from how events unfolded that people in the hotel were taken as shields, not hostages.

Check out this timeline of all the attacks on the separate terrorist targets. Chabad House only has one entry; no follow-up about discussions with terrorists about the fate of their Jewish “hostages.”

Here’s how quick and devastating the attack was:

Someone must be lighting firecrackers, thought Sandra Samuel, a maid at the center.

Then a gunman came up the stairs.

She and another employee duck into a room and hid in terror as explosions and gunshots rattle the building through the night.

“They destroyed everything, the lift, the dining room, everything,” she says later.

The Jews of Chabad House were slaughtered, with only the Rabbi’s infant son surviving, hustled out of the building by a heroic nanny. So call it what it is: Not hostage taking, but more evidence of the blood lust the Jihadists have for killing Jews.

Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, the chairman of the education and social service branch of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, called it what it is, and it isn’t hostage-taking:

“Words are inadequate to express our outrage and deep pain that the tragic act of cold-blooded murder has fueled.”

Update:

It turns out that something much worse than mere cold-blooded murder was involved here.  As news of the Mumbai autopsies became public, we learned that Indian doctors – hardened to the brutality of terror deaths – were appalled and sickened by the bodies they saw from the Chabad House:

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: “Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” he said. (Source)

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November 28th 2008

Office Of The Primadonna Elect

It’s a testament to the media’s continuing love affair with Barack Obama that in all of Googledom, this is the one photo, the only photo, that shows Obama’s spiffy new Office of the President Elect logo. (It comes from a Fox story, natch.)

The rest of the media continue to write about how brilliant and well-oiled the Obama campaign was, largely overlooking the numerous flat and troublingly egotistical missteps it took: The “presidential” seal, the “President” embroidered onto his airplane seat, the quest to be JFKesque in Berlin, the massive flag over-kill following criticism that he wouldn’t wear an eensy-teensy flag lapel pin.

While Obama learned and adjusted throughout the campaign – you didn’t see a second Che poster in any campaign office, did you? – his egomaniacle compulsion to brand himself continues. No other president in the history of America has felt compelled to create an Office of the President Elect until now.

Is this just more change we can believe in, evidence that Obama is looking at the presidency in a new way, or is it just another negative character clue that makes us very nervous? While I appreciate the former, I find myself spending more time considering it as the latter.

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November 27th 2008

Thanksgiving And Mumbai

N

ot surprisingly, when I think of what I’m thankful for at this time of year, family rises to the top. I felt it this morning when I had a long conversation with my Inside-the-Beltway mom and we talked for a half hour, artfully skirting our differences and thoroughly enjoying our telephonic time together. And I’m thinking it now as our house hums with feast-making activities.

And while my relations with my father were strained for years and stay so – to my shame and regret – as he slips deeper into the fog of Alzheimers, I also remembered him with great thanks in my heart today, thanks to a flood of memories unleashed by the Mumbai terror disaster.

During my brief unhappy stint working for my Dad’s import/export company, he gave me a gift of a lifetime: A business trip around the globe, visiting his suppliers in Tokyo, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Portugal and England. That was over 25 years ago and the thousands of memories and images are with me still … as is the recognition that Dad refused to allow me to visit one country he did business with:  Pakistan.

There wasn’t anything in particular going on in Pakistan at the time; just its normal nastiness. It is not a coincident that of all the countries I could have visited, it was the only Islamic one I was cautioned away from. It may not be PC, but it’s undeniable: The Islamic religion does not foster friendly, high-functioning nations.

India has the great misfortune of having a long, negative history with Islam, and Mumbai has the added misfortune of being close to Pakistan and more accessible than Delhi, due to its seaside location – definitely not something to be thankful for. The Times of India is pretty straightforward in its low opinion of its neighbor to the west:

Strategic gurus and security analysts in the US and from across the world are examining Pakistan’s role in terrorism following yet another terror episode in India ending with fingers pointed at its widely-reviled neighbour.

“Widely reviled” would be edited by worrisome editors here in the States, but it’s much more straightforward at the copy desk of the Times of India – as it was with India’s “normally cautious and restrained” prime minister, Manmohan Singh, who bluntly said the attackers were “based across the border,” an obvious reference to Pakistan. Singh’s comments, according to the India Times, has triggered yet another Indian investigation into Islamabad’s role in using terror tactics against India.

This attack was different in many ways from the other recent terror attacks by Islamists in India, none more important to us than the so-called Deccan Mujaheddin’s deliberate targeting of American and British citizens. This was not the normal “I’m ticked over Kashmir” or “I want India to be an Islamic nation” motivations of the jihadists – this was a message to Barack Obama that continued access to Afghanistan via Pakistan is not going unnoticed by the Islamists.

So, what is there to be thankful for in this? First, of course, for the exquisite beauty of our Christian faith, and for the promise of salvation and the peace during crisis it offers all, so unlike vicious Islam. Then, for the valor and power of our military, which will protect us. For the geographic separation we enjoy still, even post-9/11, offering us more protection than countries like India have. And, as awful as the attack was, we can be thankful that the terrorists’ wildest vision of chaos and carnage was not fully realized in Mumbai, and that there are many more survivors than they hoped.

Finally, I’m thankful I smell the turkey cooking, I hear the laughter of daughters in the kitchen, that friends are on their way over, that our afternoon and evening will be full of friends, food and peace, and that you, dear reader, are well.

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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