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Condemning free speech
Posted: 22 September 2007 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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What exactly is Title II of the Patriot Act for? It is entitled “Enhanced Surveillance Procedures”. Not to mention parts of Title V which includes such clauses as “Disclosure of educational records”, “Disclosure of information from NCES surveys”, etc.

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Posted: 22 September 2007 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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But Alon, Congress’ pandering reaction to the Newdow decision is hardly a basis for sound precedent. It came from the same far-right motivations as produced the latest travesty of legislative process. The judiciary is supposed to be independent. Bush and his right wing cronies are trying to tear that down and politicize the Court. Congress had no business doing this.

Doug, thank you for the excellent research. I stand corrected that there isn’t much precedent for this sort of thing, but that’s hardly a defense of the action. Congress is bought and sold every day, but that’s not appropriate either.

The resolutions you cite come under several categories. I have no problem with the Congress “condemning” criminal acts, including terrorism, and verbal attacks on the US from non-citizens.

However, I continue to believe that condemnation of speech by American citizens is not properly the national legislature’s prerogative, except in extraordinary circumstances like hate speech.

It’s not appropriate, in my view, for a legislative body to condemn political speech. Aggravating this situation in this case is the fact that Bush made Petraeus part of the White House’s political game to continue the war; having done that, he and they become fair game.

There’s no mystery about what is going on here: George Bush makes a decision, and the rest of us are not allowed to disagree with it. The military is nothing more than his prop. I don’t buy the notion that American citizens shouldn’t criticize the military or anyone in it. If a general has allowed himself to become a lackey, citizens should be free to say so. The other instances you cite of this sort of thing don’t strike me as any more legitimate than this one; what makes this one stand out is the particular confluence of circumstances.

[ Edited: 22 September 2007 07:36 PM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 22 September 2007 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Rocinate, that’s a cheap shot, and without foundation. You don’t even know me. All you’ve done is quoted something without citing the source. Where is this “information” coming from? Let’s start with that.

One difference between myself and a creationist, among many, is that I’ll receive new information and change my mind if the evidence so warrants. If in fact the Clinton administration was spying on Americans, I’ll be opposed to that, too—- after the fact, of course, since that is when I would be learning about it. It does make a difference to me that Clinton has no history of suspending habeas corpus or locking people up for indefinite periods of time for insufficient reason; not enough of a difference to justify the behavior if it occurred, but Bush is more suspect than Clinton was for that reason, among others.

I gotta tell you, comparing anyone here to a creationist is insulting. You owe me an apology.

As for your being or not being a conservative, I drew a conclusion based on what you wrote. You sounded like a conservative. If I am mistaken, then I stand corrected.

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Posted: 23 September 2007 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Occam, for what it’s worth at this point, the resolution does mention MoveOn.org specifically:

“Whereas a recent attack through a full-page advertisement in the New York Times by the liberal activist group, Moveon.org, impugns the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces. . .”

You know, it’s bad enough condemning the organization for what they did say. I’m sure it didn’t impugn all the members of the armed forces.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 23 September 2007 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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That upset me too.  Moveon is a good organization.  I have not seen anything that I would call unpatriotic about them.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 23 September 2007 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Damn, I was told that by a source I really trust.  I guess that jus goes to show that one has to check everything for one’s self.

Occam

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Posted: 24 September 2007 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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PLaClair - 22 September 2007 07:47 PM

Rocinate, that’s a cheap shot, and without foundation. You don’t even know me…I gotta tell you, comparing anyone here to a creationist is insulting. You owe me an apology.

The analogy is sound.  Creationists are unaware (or refute) portions of history, especially as it relates to biology.  Liberals are, likewise, unaware of (or refute) portions of history, whether it is ancient history such as previous global warming trends that have occurred on Earth before there were humans, to – as has clearly been demonstrated here – the very recent history of the Clinton Presidency an his administrations’ use (and abuse) of warrantless spying on U.S. citizens along with his countless other violations of the Constitution. 

PLaClair - 22 September 2007 07:47 PM

All you’ve done is quoted something without citing the source. Where is this “information” coming from? Let’s start with that.

Ummm, I did cite the source.  All you had to do was click on the blue highlighted link on the word “following” in the post in question. 

If you don’t like that source, here is a transcript of a 60 Minutes piece on it.

If you don’t like 60 Minutes you might be interested to know that the ACLU’s Legislative Director, Laura Murphy called the Clinton Administration, ”…the most wiretap-friendly administration in history.”

PLaClair - 22 September 2007 07:47 PM

One difference between myself and a creationist, among many, is that I’ll receive new information and change my mind if the evidence so warrants.

Ok, good.  Glad to hear it.

PLaClair - 22 September 2007 07:47 PM

If in fact the Clinton administration was spying on Americans, I’ll be opposed to that, too…

The Clinton Administration was spying on Americans and I’m glad to hear your response. 

PLaClair - 22 September 2007 07:47 PM

—- after the fact, of course, since that is when I would be learning about it.

Gee, I wonder if a complicate media and its strong liberal bias (then and now) could have anything to do with that?  rolleyes 

PLaClair - 22 September 2007 07:47 PM

It does make a difference to me that Clinton has no history of suspending habeas corpus or locking people up for indefinite periods of time for insufficient reason;

Clinton has a history all his own.  As President, Bill Clinton and his Administration Violated:

·  The Freedom of Speech and Protest Clause of the First Amendment by censoring protesters, priests, doctors, television, radio, the Internet and advertisements. 

·  The Second Amendment.

·  The Warrant Clause of the Fourth Amendment (and not just with Echelon as mentioned above) but other illegal searches even going so far as to say, [President Clinton] “has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”

·  The Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause.

·  The 6th Amendment’s Jury Trial Clause.

·  The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution.

·  The Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution.

·  The Equal Protection of the Law Clause of the Constitution.

Source.

The Clinton administration also used a chemical gas on U.S. citizens (including women and children) that is banned by the Geneva Convention for use in warfare. 

Bill Clinton personally fired every U.S. Attorney to prevent Judge David Hale from testifying against him. 

As President, Clinton also took campaign money from the Chinese military.  Talk about betraying us! 

He blithely, for instance, has stripped the courts of their power to hear certain kinds of cases. As Anthony Lewis points out in the New York Times, Clinton has denied many people their day in court.  Source.

PLaClair - 22 September 2007 07:47 PM

not enough of a difference to justify the behavior if it occurred, but Bush is more suspect than Clinton was for that reason, among others.

All this proves my point about liberals.  They never put up near a fuss about any of Clinton’s crimes as they do with Bush’s.  The same goes for the liberals’ partners in the media.  Any claim that Bush is somehow worse than Clinton is not only laughable, but demonstrably false, while showing liberals’ bias in both their views of Clinton and Bush and their understanding of history. 

PLaClair - 22 September 2007 07:47 PM

As for your being or not being a conservative, I drew a conclusion based on what you wrote. You sounded like a conservative. If I am mistaken, then I stand corrected.

I was just giving you a hard time by razzing you about it.  :grin:

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

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Posted: 24 September 2007 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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The usual critique of liberals is that we’re too indecisive, we think too long and act too slowly. Whether that’s true or not, Rocinate’s net is far too broad.

One of the worst things about our politics now and for quite a long time is that we have chosen sides, and the choice is binary. As a result, politics has become polarized. That’s not the style of discourse I expect on a site dedicated to incisive and fact-based thought.

The Clinton administration is over. If they were doing that stuff, they should not have. It’s entirely possible that they did, because Americans stopped caring about individual freedoms a long time ago. So if it’s true, no one stopped them, and shame on us, and them.

Whatever the history is, the erosion of our Constitutional rights should cease. I want the Constitution back. Congress should stop playing games, end the war and start addressing the many real concerns we have as a nation, a people and a world. Our elected officials should start acting like they understand the critical importance of developing new sources of energy apart from fossil fuels.

Congress and the President should abandon the notion that they have free rein to condemn political expression by American citizens. Criticism is fair game; official condemnation is not. If views are unpopular, the American people will adjust the balance. There is no excuse for Congress condemning private speech of this nature.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 24 September 2007 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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PLaClair - 24 September 2007 11:40 AM

One of the worst things about our politics now and for quite a long time is that we have chosen sides, and the choice is binary.

That’s why I tell folks, “It’s like choosing between Coke or Pepsi when you know you should drink water.”

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Posted: 26 September 2007 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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In the 2 primary topics covered in this thread (condemnation of speech and warrantless wiretapping), I don’t think the details of the specific cases are the issue.  Rather it is the motivation behind them and methods used to gather support for them that should warrant scrutiny.

To compare events in the past to what is happening now is only relevant if the motivation (end game) is the same and the tactics used to gain acceptance are similar. 

To compare the Clinton Administration to the Bush Administration in this context is difficult at best.  I don’t recall the Clinton Administration openly discussing a permanent Democratic hold on the presidency, or removal of members of the judiciary for lack of loyalty to the party in prosecutions (during an election cycle), or selective application of Haebeus Corpus.

The problem is how the current administration has chosen to deal with dissent.  The combination of unchecked power, paranoia and greed have made today’s scenario unique.  Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, this is cause for concern.

Since this administration has been caught in lies (or to soften it a bit, misleading statements), over and over again, we cannot take at face value the rationale presented for their requests.

With the recent pressure asserted by the Bush administration to extend the right of the executive branch approval (without judicial oversight) of warrantless wiretapping, is of great concern to me and should be for others as well.  It has currently been approved through February. 

The motivation for this has been touted as a response to threats.  And yet, it has recently been disclosed that the threats, earlier referenced to have the wiretapping extended until Feb 2008, were unfounded.  So what was the real motivation behind this?

My concern is that the stated goal of a permanent Republican hold on the presidency has manifested itself in a watergate on steroids.  Has anyone else recognized that with the 2008 elections approaching that warrantless wiretapping might be a handy tool for republicans in that election cycle?  After all we are still waiting to hear the real motivation behind the firing of justices during an election cycle.  How many emails are now (temporarily) sitting on RNC servers that might show the real motivation here?

Yes, this is speculation.  No, I have no evidence.  But my intuition is screaming at me on this one.  I have no more “faith” in this administration than I do in any religion.  While I would not endorse any conspiracy theory related to my speculation here, I would support an investigation, and I would be very wary of extending any powers to the executive branch during the upcoming election cycle.

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Posted: 02 October 2007 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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dougsmith,
What if it was about free speech, or rather that “thing” which is so often in the way? what if it IS about dumbing down our rights, what if it is about setting the bar lower each time incrementally over time? “What If”...don’t dismiss it so quickly. Do you imagine everyone thinks the way you do? And what if some people thought it would be beneficial to clamp down on the American people…restrict their movements, increase their financial burdens, widdle away their liberties, control their natural resources…you’ve seen first hand how the press will co-ordinate a perspective, the speed at which the jargon is set into motion, the argument, the language surrounding the debate, the topics chosen…and some are always omitted, some swept off and never heard from again…like this old classic “Why are we at War again?”

The mistake some of us make is in thinking that these things “happen”, but there is something to be said for acclamation. It makes the whole thing smoother…why don’t you look up the names of those attending Builderberg? here i think I have that list…

Heads of government, heads of state and royalty

  * Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  * Tony Blair (1993)[3], former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  * John Major, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  * Margaret Thatcher (1975)[4], former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  * James Callaghan, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  * Edward Heath, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  * Harold Wilson, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  * Otto von Habsburg, Archduke and Crown Prince of Austria
  * Alfred Gusenbauer, current Chancellor of Austria
  * Franz Vranitzky, former Austrian Chancellor
  * Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former President of the French Republic
  * Georges Pompidou, former President of the French Republic
  * Dominique de Villepin (2003), former Prime Minister of France
  * Laurent Fabius, former Prime Minister of France
  * Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France
  * Pierre Bérégovoy, former Prime Minister of France
  * Süleyman Demirel, former Prime Minister of Turkey
  * Bülent Ecevit, former Prime Minister of Turkey
  * Adnan Menderes, former Prime Minister of Turkey
  * António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal
  * Garret FitzGerald, former Prime Minister of Ireland
  * John Bruton, former Prime Minister of Ireland
  * Felipe Gonzalez, former Prime Minister of Spain
  * Juan Carlos I, King of Spain
  * Queen Sofia of Spain, wife of Juan Carlos I, King of Spain
  * Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands[5]
  * Bill Clinton (1991)[3], former US President, 1993 - 2001
  * Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, younger daughter of Juan Carlos I, King of Spain
  * Kostas Karamanlis (1998), current Prime Minister of Greece
  * Constantine Mitsotakis, former Prime Minister of Greece
  * Angela Merkel (2005), current Chancellor of Germany
  * Romano Prodi (Steering Committee Member of Bilderberg in the 1980s), current Italian Prime Minister and former President of the European Commission
  * Lester B. Pearson, former Prime Minister of Canada
  * Pierre Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada
  * Jean Chrétien, Canadian Prime Minister, 1993 - 2003
  * Paul Martin, Canadian Prime Minister, 2003 - 2006
  * Stephen Harper (2003), Canadian Prime Minister, 2006 - Present
  * Francisco Pinto Balsemao, former Prime Minister of Portugal, 1981 - 1983 and CEO of Impresa media group
  * Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, King of Sweden
  * Fredrik Reinfeldt, elected Prime Minister of Sweden, 2006 - Present
  * Carl Bildt[5], former Swedish Prime Minister and current Minister for Foreign Affairs
  * Olof Palme, former Prime Minister of Sweden
  * Davíð Oddsson, former Prime Minister of Iceland, 1991-2004
  * Philippe, Duke of Brabant, Crown Prince of Belgium
  * Dan Quayle (1990,1991), former US Vice President
  * Walter F. Mondale, former US Vice President
  * Nelson A. Rockefeller, former US Vice President, former Governor of New York
  * Gerald R. Ford (1964,1966), former US President
  * Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany
  * Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor of Germany
  * Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of Germany
  * Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway
  * Jens Stoltenberg, current Prime Minister of Norway
  * Kåre Willoch, former Prime Minister of Norway
  * Anders Fogh Rasmussen, current Prime Minister of Denmark
  * Prince Philip (1965,1966,1967), Duke of Edinburgh
  * Prince Charles (1986), Prince of Wales

[edit] Members of United States administrations

  * Christian Herter (1961, 63, 64)[6], former Secretary of State
  * Henry Kissinger

Harry Bryant(2004[7],2005,2006), Secretary of State, 1973 - 1977

  * Richard Perle (2003), assistant Secretary of Defense, 1981 - 1987
  * Donald Rumsfeld (1975,2002), Secretary of Defense, 2001 - 2006
  * David L. Aaron, Deputy National Security Advisor
  * Colin L. Powell (1997), former United States Secretary of State
  * William J. Perry (1996), former United States Secretary of Defense
  * Lloyd Bentsen (1989,1995,1996,1997), former United States Secretary of the Treasury
  * Brent Scowcroft (1994), former National Security Advisor
  * Nicholas F. Brady (1991), former United States Secretary of the Treasury
  * Robert Zoellick (1991,2003,2006), former Deputy Secretary of State and proposed President of the World Bank
  * Richard Holbrooke (1995,1996,1997,1998,1999,2004,2005,2006), former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  * James A. Baker, former United States Secretary of State, former United States Secretary of the Treasury
  * Lawrence Summers (1998,2002), former United States Secretary of the Treasury
  * C. Douglas Dillon, former United States Secretary of the Treasury

[edit] Heads of major corporations

  * H. J. Heinz II (1954)[8], CEO of H. J. Heinz Company
  * Josef Ackermann (2005), CEO of Deutsche Bank
  * Lord Browne of Madingley (1997[5], 2004), Chief Executive BP
  * Jorma Ollila (1997[5], 2005), Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell and Nokia Corporation
  * Jürgen E. Schrempp (1997[5], 2005), former CEO of DaimlerChrysler
  * Peter Sutherland (1997[5], 2005), former Chairman of BP
  * Martin Taylor (1997)[5], former CEO, Barclays
  * Daniel Vasella (2005), Chairman and CEO of Novartis
  * Percy Barnevik (1997[5], 2001), former CEO of ASEA
  * Anders Björgerd (1973, 1982), former deputy CEO of Sydkraft AB
  * Harald Norvik (2006), former CEO of Statoil
  * Eivind Reiten , former CEO of Norsk Hydro
  * Andrew Knight - Director of News Corporation, 1991-present, CEO of News International, 1900-1994, CEO and Editor-in-Chief The Daily Telegraph Group, Editor of The Economist, 1974-1984

Harry Bryant Lazybones Society

[edit] UK cabinet ministers

  * Kenneth Clarke, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1993-1997; member of the Opposition 1998-1999, 2003-2004
  * Denis Healey, former Secretary of State for Defence 1963-1970, former Chancellor of the Exchequer 1974-1979 (founder member of Bilderberg)
  * Ed Balls, Economic Secretary to the Treasury 2006 - 2007

[edit] Journalists

  * Alexandre Adler, French conservative journalist (2003)
  * Paul Gigot - Editor of the Editorial Page of The Wall Street Journal; 2003- Present
  * Martin Wolf - Financial Times columnist
  * Juan Luis Cebrián - Ex-director of El País Spanish journal, and delegated advisor of PRISA Group
  * Will Hutton (1997)[3]
  * Peter Jennings
  * George Will (1981)
  * Charlie Rose (2002)
  * Fareed Zakaria (2002, 2005)
  * Andrea Mitchell (2002)
  * Lesley Stahl (1997)
  * Thomas L. Friedman (1995, 2003)
  * Bill D. Moyers (1971)
  * Jim Hoagland (1993, 1998, 1999, 2002)
  * Vendeline A. H. von Bredow (2006, 2007) - Business Correspondent for The Economist
  * Adrian D. Wooldridge (2004-2007) - Foreign Correspondent for The Economist

[edit] EU Commissioners

European Union Commissioners who have attended include:

  * Ritt Bjerregaard (1995)
  * Frederik Bolkestein (2003)[9]
  * Hans van den Broek (1995)
  * Emma Bonino (1998)
  * Leon Brittan (1998)
  * Pascal Lamy (2003)[9]
  * Mario Monti (1996,2003[9]) - former or present member of the Steering Committee
  * Erkki Liikanen
  * Pedro Solbes
  * Günter Verheugen
  * António Vitorino
  * Romano Prodi - Steering Committee Member of Bilderberg in the 1980s
  * Wim Duisenberg
  * Lord Patten of Barnes
  * Peter Mandelson (1999)
  * Étienne Davignon, conference chairman in 2005
  * Neelie Kroes (2005 - 2007) - present Commissioner for Competition

[edit] UK civil servants

  * Eric Roll (Steering committee)[10], Department of Economic Affairs, 1964

[edit] Military

  * Terence Airey, Military Governor of Trieste

[edit] Other attendees

  * Joseph E. Johnson (1954)[8], President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  * David Rockefeller, An original U.S. founding member, life member, and member of the Steering Committee (1954-);
  * Zbigniew Brzezinski (Guest, 1972), President Carter’s National Security Advisor;
  * Gordon Richardson (1975)[11], former Governor of the Bank of England
  * George W. Ball (1954-1992)[12], U.S. diplomat
  * Lord Black of Crossharbour (1997)[5], Telegraph Chairman;
  * William J McDonough (1997)[5], President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York;
  * Sauli Niinistö (1997)[5], former Minister of Finance (Finland) , Speaker of eduskunta
  * C. Fred Bergsten (1997)[5], President, Peterson Institute;
  * Leif Pagrotsky (2001), Swedish Minister for Education, Research and Culture [1];
  * Björn Bjarnason, in 1988 and 1991 as vice editor of Morgunblaðið, and in 1993 and 1995 as Icelandic minister of education;
  * Guest at the 2003 Bilderberg Meeting included Carlos M. Collazo;
  * Richard N. Haass (2004)[7], president, Council on Foreign Relations;
  * Guests at the 2004 Bilderberg Meeting included John Edwards, James Wolfensohn, Melinda Gates, and Mario Draghi;
  * Guests at the 2005 Bilderberg Meeting included Vernon Jordan and Mark Warner and may also have included, according to the Financial Times of May 2, Natan Sharansky and Bernard Kouchner;
  * Guests at the 2006 Bilderberg Meeting included Vernon Jordan, George Pataki, Richard Perle, Dennis Ross, and prominent Canadians Paul Desmarais, Frank McKenna, Heather Reisman and Globe and Mail publisher Philip Crawley, Mahmood Sariolghalam (Iran National University), Siv Jensen, leader of Norwegian political party Fremskrittspartiet, Johann Olav Koss, and chairman of Scandinavian Airlines Egil Myklebust;
  * Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  * George Osborne(2006)[13]- Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 2004-Present; member of the opposition 2001-Present
  * Bill Bradley (1985), former US Senator
  * Jay Rockefeller (1971), current US Senator
  * L. Douglas Wilder (1991), former Governor of Virginia, current Mayor of Richmond, Virginia
  * Bill Richardson (1999,2000), current Governor of New Mexico
  * Christopher Dodd (1999,2000,2001), current US Senator
  * Chuck Hagel (1999,2000,2001), current US Senator
  * Evan Bayh (1999), current US Senator
  * Kay Bailey Hutchison (2000,2002), current US Senator
  * Hillary Clinton (1997), current US Senator
  * Dianne Feinstein (1991), current US Senator
  * Jon Corzine (1995,1996,1997[5],1999,2003,2004), current Governor of New Jersey
  * James Florio (1994), former Governor of New Jersey
  * Christine Todd Whitman (1998), former Governor of New Jersey
  * Sam Nunn (1996,1997[5]), former US Senator
  * Tom Foley (1995,2002), former Speaker of the US House of Representatives

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Posted: 05 October 2007 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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“I may not agree with what you have to say but I’ll defend with my life your right to say it.”
Voltaire

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Posted: 05 October 2007 09:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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skepticdave - 05 October 2007 08:26 PM

“I may not agree with what you have to say but I’ll defend with my life your right to say it.”
Voltaire

Quite so.

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