Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Iraqis Hopeful About The Future

USA Today seems almost surprised to learn that more Iraqis believe their country is headed in the right direction and fewer think it's going wrong than at any time since the U.S. invasion two years ago, according to a new poll.

The poll, by the International Republican Institute (IRI), due to be made public Wednesday, also found that nearly half of Iraqis believe that religion has a special role to play in government.

The survey of 1,967 Iraqis was conducted Feb. 27-March 5, after Iraq (news - web sites) held its first free elections in half a century in January. According to the poll, 62% say the country is headed in the right direction and 23% say it is headed in the wrong direction. That is the widest spread recorded in seven polls by the group, says Stuart Krusell, IRI director of operations for Iraq. In September, 45% of Iraqis thought the country was headed in the wrong direction and 42% thought it was headed in the right direction. The IRI is a non-partisan, U.S. taxpayer-funded group that promotes democracy abroad.
I am not surprised and neither are many pundits that just a few weeks ago were predicting civil war in Iraq. Just a thought: You know a war is going well/better when The Associated Press and the rest of the MSM don't lead off their news feeds with "...Dead After Suicide Bomber..."

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One Step Closer To Reducing Dependence On Foreign Oil

The Senate has voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. The portion that will be open to drilling (assuming the Senate approves its budget and the House goes along) is a largely barren coastal section about the size of a regional airport in a refuge the size of the state of South Carolina. Drilling will occur only in the winter, when the place is frozen solid, using sophisticated technology that will scarcely leave a footprint come spring, when the single caribou herd that grazes in the refuge comes calling.

The vote was 51-49.

Via Powerline.

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Hijacking Marriage for Societal Homosexual Acceptance

By Kevin D. Korenthal -

When San Francisco trial judge Richard Kramer said in his March 14, 2005 ruling that it is unconstitutional for California to have a law banning gay marriage, he was framing the issue as one of civil rights. Marriage is not a civil right and even if it was, no one person is being denied marriage. Indeed homosexuals are still free to marry… persons of the opposite sex.

One only has to look at what California law has offered to gay couples in place of gay marriage to see that the rights and privileges given to married couples is not their main motivation for their activism. In California, Civil Unions provide rights and protections to gay couples that were previously reserved for those that legally marry. The only real right refused is the right to use the term “marriage” to legally describe the relationship. So why are the liberal judges and gay activists resisting Civil Unions? What Judge Kramer and the gay lobbyists really want from the legalization of gay marriage is the credibility that the term marriage offers to those that are homosexual.

In gathering quotes from both sides of the issue, it becomes clear that both sides agree on one thing. If gay marriage is defeated in California, it will be difficult for the Gay Lobby to move forward elsewhere in the country. By the same token, a win in CA will bolster efforts to undue anti-gay marriage legislation in any state where it exists. Attorney Bill Lockyer (who personally supports homosexual marriage) believes the issue should be decided by the voters, not the courts. "The more appropriate way to enact a change in policy that's this basic is to go to the people," Lockyer said, speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C. "This issue probably will wind up before the people in one way or another eventually." So the question now is will the vote turn out like it did 5 years ago when California passed a definition of marriage in the law.

In a National CBS News/New York Times Poll taken at the end of February, a full 2/3 of respondents said they preferred Civil Unions (34%) or no legal recognition (41%) for gay couples over redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. Nearly 23% of those who voted for George W. Bush in the 2004 election said they did so based on a set of moral principles that did not include gay marriage. Indeed, the MSM has pointed out Karl Rove’s masterful plan to get anti-gay marriage initiatives on as many ballots as possible being one reason President Bush won the election with a clear majority.

The Gay Lobby has used the court system to advance their cause for this very reason. Most Americans reject a redefinition of marriage and if given the chance to vote on it, will defeat it every time. "The gay community constantly beats the drum of, 'We will get gay marriage through the Legislature or the courts.' They're not going to the people because they know they will never get it at the ballot box," said Benjamin Lopez, a lobbyist for the Traditional Values Coalition, a church-based group that is spearheading efforts to get such an amendment voted on in California. "The public is wholeheartedly against this concept." But that is exactly where groups like the TVA want to wage this war and if recent history is any lesson, the activists on the right will prevail in their endeavor to make that happen.

Mr. Korenthal is a California-based Conservative Activist and runs a blog at He can be reached at

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