Friday, August 18, 2006

Terrorists v. Martha Stewart

"Bush and his Republican advisers have one hope: that last week's terror scare will awaken Americans to the fact that the nation is indeed engaged in what the president and Prime Minister Tony Blair quite correctly have been calling a war to preserve Western civilization. If that happens, the president will find himself blessed with a more conservative Congress, which would be good news for corporate America, desperate to have its research and development tax credit renewed, and the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley relaxed."

Irwin M. Steltzer, columnist, the Weekly Standard, issue of 8/21/06.

From UK reports, the "terrorists" apprehended in the UK last week had not even made the "liquid bombs" they are alleged to have conspired to want to make. It is also unclear as if these men actually possessed airline tickets or passports to get on any flight in the first place. Reports also say the UK had been following these gents for months but only arrested them just two days after Joe Lieberman's loss, during a rapidly escalating debacle in Lebanon, and well before these gents had actually (a) made bombs and (b) secured the necessary airline tickets and passports to get on a plane and (c) actually gone to Heathrow with said explosives to board said plane. From a prosecutor's standpoint, a much stronger case would exist against these men if police could have continued to track these men until they actually possessed the necessary prerequisites of the crime they are alleged to have conspired to commit.

Based on what has been released thus far, the UK police have the equivalent of a tape of some wannabe Mafia guys sitting in the backroom of a seedy bar talking about maybe whacking some guy.

The "war against western civilization" drivel is as ridiculous as some wacko Islam cleric saying there is a "war against Islam." Where's the war against Saudi Arabia? The war against Indonesia? The war against Sweden? The war against Canada? The war against Luxembourg? The war against Kuwait? The war against Portugal?

The end of Steltzer's column in priceless. The "war on terror" apparently has nothing to do with stopping terror, but is really about electing a more conservative Congress that will "relax the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley." What is Sarbanes-Oxley exactly and how does it relate to the war on terrorism? Here's a basic overview of Sarbanes-Oxley from Wikipedia:

"The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Pub. L. No. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745, also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 and commonly called SOX or SarbOx; July 30, 2002) is a United States federal law passed in response to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, and WorldCom (now MCI). These scandals resulted in a decline of public trust in accounting and reporting practices. Named after sponsors Senator Paul Sarbanes (D–Md.) and Representative Michael G. Oxley (R–Oh.), the Act was approved by the House by a vote of 423-3 and by the Senate 99-0. The legislation is wide ranging and establishes new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company Boards, Management, and public accounting firms. The Act contains 11 titles, or sections, ranging from additional Corporate Board responsibilities to criminal penalties, and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement rulings on requirements to comply with the new law."

So is Mr. Steltzer saying that Islamo-fascist terrorists are so determined to keep Sarbanes-Oxley as US law they will bring down western civilization to do so? And wouldn't the downfall of western civilization sort of cause Sarbanes-Oxley to be relaxed, given that the US Congress would not exist any more? Wouldn't that mean that the terrorists would lose by winning?

So shouldn't Mr. Steltzer be rooting for the terrorists since their victory would abolish the US Congress and thereby abolish Sarbanes-Oxley?

Or is Mr. Steltzer admitting that the "war on terror" at this point has nothing to do with a "war on terror" but is a useful canard to elect a more conservative Congress this November? Doesn't it sort of sound like Mr. Steltzer wants more "terrorist threats" between now and November, if only to increase the chance that Sarbanes-Oxley will be relaxed?

How come we haven't heard more about this ...

My fellow Americans. We have learned through well-placed and highly confidential channels that the terrorists who threaten our great Nation, and indeed all western Nations, have as their most important goal preventing Congress from relaxing the mandatory reporting requirements for US corporations as set forth in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. We have learned these terrorists will stop at nothing and spare no amount of human life to ensure the specific corporate reporting requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are continued for years to come. If the terrorists win, this will mean continued excessive paperwork for US corporations and the need for more federal employees to read what these corporations submit for years to come. High-placed corporate officials could face criminal prosecution for failing false or misleading reports, resulting in the loss of some of our best and brightest corporate officials to a minimum-security federal penitentiary for weeks or months. We could lose Martha Stewart again -- and this time for two years because it would be a second offense. I do not have to explain the impact of this on every American. Millions of American households would be deprived of festive, creative table centerpieces and wall decorations that cost just a few dollars to make. Untold billions of radishes would be wasted instead of crafted into tasteful, nutritious and aesthetically pleasing garnishes to a lightly steamed haddock entre with fluffy rice lightly scooped and spread over this healthful source of Omega fatty acids. The health and aesthetic senses of our entire great Nation, and wherever else the Martha Stewart empire reaches, is at stake. That is why we must not let the terrorists succeed in preventing Congress from relaxing the reporting requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley in the next session. Thank you and join me in asking God to confer his Blessing on this United States of America.

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