Iraqi elections fraught with irony, hope

CNJ staff Today’s elections in Iraq are brimming with ironies. A celebration of democracy and freedom features curfews under which citizens are not allowed on the streets after dark, candidates fearful of appearing in public, stores and restaurants closed, concrete barriers restricting movement in major cities and heavily armed police and security forces everywhere. It […]

‘Ownership’ means taking responsibility

Freedom Newspapers The “Ownership Society” seems poised to make a comeback, just in time for the president’s second term. Some might remember the Ownership Society: It made a brief appearance during last fall’s campaign, as the president and his handlers took a half-hearted stab at what the elder George Bush once called “the vision thing,” […]

Consider capacity for action, not intent

By Walter E. Williams: CNJ columnist “On Sept. 11, one in 3,000 New Yorkers perished, but in the same year, over one in 1,000 urbanites were murdered in three major cities in the Western Hemisphere alone,” according to Russell Seitz in his article “Weaker Than We Think” in The American Conservative. He adds that the […]

Do not confuse stock market with gambling

CNJ staff If we’re to believe the AARP’s advertising blitz against partial privatization of Social Security, the U.S. economy is just one big casino. “If we feel like gambling,” declares one full-page newspaper ad, “we’ll play the slots.” But is investing in stocks the same as playing the slots? Is it as risky as taking […]

Privatization is independence for our future

CNJ staff Part of President Bush’s recent economic summit involved a possible overhaul of Social Security. Long considered untouchable for politicians who hoped to be re-elected, Social Security is approaching insolvency in the foreseeable future, prompting Bush and others to take another look at the program. Although Social Security has enough to pay benefits now, […]

Homeland Security candidate lacks character

Freedom Newspapers As Mickey Kaus so aptly put it on his recent Web log, whenever a nominee for an important post readily admits that he has an “illegal nanny,” it’s certainly a sign there are far more problems lurking behind the surface. The nanny excuse, he writes, is the modern version of leaving politics to […]

Security agency candidate has plenty to prove

Freedom Newspapers At the top levels, law enforcement is mainly about management. That’s why we hope the Senate Government Affairs Committee confirmation hearings on Bernard Kerik closely examine whether he has the management skills to run the mammoth and labyrinthine Department of Homeland Security, the job for which he was nominated by President Bush. There’s […]

Is the Department of Homeland Security effective?

Freedom Newspapers It is probably too much to hope that the resignation of Tom Ridge as Secretary of Homeland Security will prompt a rethinking of the wisdom of creating such a department in the first place. As we noted when the department was created by bundling together 22 existing agencies, that kind of reorganization was […]

Feds shouldn’t be involved with airport security

Freedom Newspapers Singer Patti LuPone was recently barred from a flight in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., because she complained when asked to take off her shirt. Other women have complained that they have been subjected to pat-downs of their breasts and other indignities at airport security checkpoints. Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration […]

Can Rice bring bad news when it’s necessary?

Freedom Newspapers What many fear, with the elevation of national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to the position of secretary of state, is that President Bush has surrounded himself so completely with loyal advisers that the administration will hear never a dissenting word. With Colin Powell, who had his own special prestige, gone, the thinking goes, […]

Social Security needs to be fixed now

by John Bussian, Guest Columnist Were the country not at war, easily the biggest issue in the presidential campaign would be President Bush’s plan to save Social Security benefits for younger workers. The issue isn’t just a curiosity, to see if the plan would work. It is a necessity if workers below the age of […]

Claims rep not handicapped by blindness

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Tom Martinez uses a Braille pad below his keyboard that transcribes the text on the screen and a computer that speaks to him to perform his work. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) by Ryan Lengerich There is a good bit of irony each morning when Claims Representative Tom Martinez arrives at the Social Security Administration office […]

Democrats using polarization tactics

by Thomas Sowell Every election year there are great alarms in the media that not enough Americans vote. Supposedly this shows there is something wrong at the core of our society. In reality, societies where different groups are at each other’s throats often have high voter turnout, as each fears the worst if some other […]

Tight security expected for first lady

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First lady Laura Bush will be speaking at the Curry County Fairgrounds Wednesday at 1:35 p.m. as part of her Victory ‘04 Rally tour. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Ryan Lengerich: CNJ staff writer It’s not the president visiting Clovis today, but local Republicans say security at the event may be just as tight. First […]

Organizing show tough

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Staff Sgt. Sarah Cross, of the 27th Security Forces Squadron, checks a bag at the entrance to the 2004 Air Expo on Saturday at Cannon Air Force Base. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Despite Saturday’s rainy weather, the 2004 Air Expo at Cannon Air Force Base was completed as scheduled. […]

New gates open at Cannon

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Airman 1st Class Jason Knockaert, 27th Security Forces Squadron, tests the buttons for the pop-up barriers at Cannon’s new main gate. The redesigned gate opened for traffic at midnight Friday. (Freedom Newspapers: Keith Pannell) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Cannon personnel and Clovis citizens met Friday afternoon to celebrate the completion and re-opening of […]

Profiling system has serious flaws

Freedom Newspapers Some people might scoff when we worry aloud about the potential confusions, embarrassments and delays — not to mention invasions of privacy and abuses of power — that could result from the creation of a government airline passenger screening system. But Sen. Ted Kennedy probably isn’t among them. We have no doubt the […]

Bush’s White House is all about politics

Leonard Pitts Jr. I have nothing against Tom Ridge. Granted, his color-coded threat alert system seems nearly useless as a way of spreading anything but anxiety. And his advocacy of duct tape as a security measure was one of 2003’s great moments of unintended comedy. For all that, though, the homeland security secretary strikes me […]

Plan’s changes don’t benefit spouses

By John Fondrick All the hoopla over the military’s Survivor Benefit Plan breaks down to political votes and whose pocket it will come out of. This is do-nothing, feel-good legislation so politicians can say “Look what I did for the veterans. Vote for me.” In reality, plans that call for increasing SBP benefits from 35 […]

Security K-9 finds home at Cannon

By Keith Pannell: Mach Meter Staff CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — After approximately 44 presidential security details, three deployments and six years of guarding American lives and assets, one former security forces member has retired to a comparative life of luxury in Clovis. Tosca, a retired Air Force K-9 military working dog, was recently adopted […]