“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Barack Obama, Tony Rezko, Nadhmi Auchi and Saddam Who?

Every Dog Has His Day.

The American Thinker has looked at a few of the connections of Barack Obamam, Antoin Rezko and Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. The sudden emergence of Auchi into this story indicates Rezko's deals may include a money trail leading back to dead Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Auchi's Saddam links trace back to a failed 1959 assassination attempt on the life of then-Iraqi-prime-minister Abdul Karim Qasim. Go to the linked article for all the additional links.

March 06, 2008
Obama's Iraqi Oil for Food connection

By Andrew Walden American Thinker

Out on bail awaiting trial, dual US-Syrian citizen, Antoin ‘Tony' Rezko, was rousted out of bed by police pounding on the doors of his Chicago mansion the morning of Monday, January 28. According to the Associated Press:

"U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve jailed Rezko...saying he had disobeyed her order to keep her posted on his financial status. Among other things, he failed to tell her about a $3.5 million loan from London-based Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi -- a loan that was later forgiven in exchange for shares in a prime slice of Chicago real estate. Rezko gave $700,000 of the money to his wife and used the rest to pay legal bills and funnel cash to various supporters."

Funds from Auchi's loan may have helped finance a complex series of transactions between Rezko and Democratic Presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama involving the 2005 purchase of Obama's Chicago mansion and Rezko's purchase of an adjoining landlocked parcel.

The Times of London reports:

"A company related to Mr. Auchi, who has a conviction for corruption in France, registered the loan to Mr. Obama's bagman Antoin ‘Tony' Rezko on May, 23 2005. Mr. Auchi says the loan, through the Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA, was for $3.5 million.

"Three weeks later, Mr. Obama bought a house on the city's South Side while Mr Rezko's wife bought the garden plot next door from the same seller on the same day, June 15. Mr. Obama says he never used Mrs. Rezko's still-empty lot, which could only be accessed through his property. But he admits he paid his gardener to mow the lawn."

Rezko's relationship with Barack Obama goes back to at least 1990, when Obama's law firm did work relating to a Rezko housing development. Rezko was a key early-money fund raiser in Obama's state Senate campaigns and his failed run at the US Congress. In June 2005, when the mansion was purchased, Rezko was widely known to be under federal investigation. Rezko also is a key fundraiser for Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The sudden emergence of Auchi into this story indicates Rezko's deals may include a money trail leading back to dead Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Auchi's Saddam links trace back to a failed 1959 assassination attempt on the life of then-Iraqi-prime-minister Abdul Karim Qasim.

Auchi's General Mediterranean Holdings company was also the largest private shareholder in Banque Nationale de Paris which later merged with Paribas to become BNP Paribas. At Saddam's insistence, billions of dollars of Oil for Food transactions passed through BNP from its 1995 inception until 2001.

In January 2004, Iraqi newspaper Al-Mada published a list of 270 Oil for Food beneficiaries. The list was translated and published on line by The Middle East Media Research Institute. Hundreds of millions of dollars of Oil for Food money was illegally diverted to buy Saddam favor from the United Nations, possibly reaching as high as Secretary general Kofi Annan's son. Also receiving million's from Saddam's slush fund were heads of state and their associates from Russia, France, China, and numerous Islamic countries.

The Auchi-Obama links go beyond the mansion deal. The Times of London February 1 reports uncovering, "state documents in Illinois recording that Fintrade Services, a Panamanian company, lent money to (an) Obama fundraiser in May 2005. Fintrade's directors include Ibtisam Auchi, the name of Mr. Auchi's wife."

Auchi, a Chaldean Christian, was later pardoned by Qasim. As Saddam's Baath party took power, Auchi prospered. He went to work for the Iraqi Ministry of Oil in 1967. He rose to be Oil Ministry Director of Planning and Development before leaving Iraq in 1979. His brother was apparently killed by Saddam's regime as were family of many high-ranking Baathists. But there are also claims that Auchi continued secretly working for Saddam's intelligence services, a kind of dual reality not uncommon in the twisted world of Saddam's upper echelons.

What is certain is that Auchi prospered mightily collecting "commissions" on sale of weapons and other goods to Iraq in the 1980s and 1990s. Living in the UK, he is now listed as Britain's 18th-richest man. The Times of London reports, "On the 20th anniversary of his business in 1999, Mr. Auchi received a greeting card signed by 130 politicians, including (Prime Minister) Tony Blair, (Conservative Party leader) William Hague and (Liberal-Democratic Party leader) Charles Kennedy...."

In spite of his British connections and an earlier 2004 US visit, Auchi was denied entry into the US in 2005. It is believed that he was attempting in 2005 to win a US visa with the help of Rezko several as-yet-unnamed Illinois political figures. Among Auchi's many international awards is a 2005 election as an "Honorary Member in the International College of Surgeons in Chicago, Illinois." Obama has denied trying to help Auchi.

Auchi has played a role in BNP since the late 1970s. When BNP was privatized by the French government in 1993, Auchi acquired stock in the banking giant through his Luxembourg-based company, General Mediterranean Holdings. Auchi played a key role in BNP's 2000 merger with Paribas. According to the New York Times, "As recently as 2001, General Mediterranean Holdings described itself in an annual report as one of largest single shareholders in BNP Paribas." Saddam used Oil for Food fraud to channel millions of dollars to heads of state, activists, terrorists, and journalists--many of whom returned the favor by backing Saddam in 2003 when the US finally invaded.

In 2003 Auchi was convicted in France for receiving about $100 million in illegal commissions as part of a scandal involving the French oil giant Elf Aquitane. The UK Guardian wrote:

"(Elf was) the biggest fraud inquiry in Europe since the Second World War. Elf became a private bank for its executives who spent £200 million on political favours, mistresses, jewellery, fine art, villas and apartments."

Auchi's General Mediterranean Holdings also has connections to the new Iraq-connections which lead right back to Tony Rezko. Auchi's company helped finance a 250 megawatt power plant in the Kurdish town of Chamchamal, Iraq, teaming up with Rezko and Iraq's former Minister of Electricity, Aiham Alsamarrae. Alsamarrae, a Chicago resident with dual US-Iraqi citizenship is accused of graft involving Iraq reconstruction projects-an embarrassing connection for the war critic Obama.

Returning in 2003 to post-Saddam Iraq, Alsamarrae had been made Minister of Electricity under the occupation government of Paul Bremer. Alsamarrae escaped in what he called "the Chicago way" from the Green Zone in December, 2006 after being held for four months in relation to a $2 billion Iraqi reconstruction corruption case. He is now living in his Chicago mansion.

Writing in Human Events, March 3, 2008, John Batchelor reports on an Alsammarae-Obama-Rezko connection:

" April 2005, one month before Mr. Alsammarae left his post, his Ministry of Electricity signed a contract for $50 million with Companion Security to provide training to Iraqis to guard electrical plants by flying them to Illinois for classes.

"Companion Security was headed by a former Chicago policeman with a troubled history, Daniel T. Frawley, in partnership with Mr. Rezko and in association with Daniel Mahru, the lawyer for the original contract and Mr. Rezko's former business partner. In April 2006, Mr. Frawley entered negotiations with Governor Rod Blagojevich's staff to lease a military facility in Illinois to be a training camp. In August 2006, Mr. Frawley started negotiations with Mr. Obama's U.S. Senate staff to complete the contract....

"The timeline of Companion discussions in 2006 is important to note: April 2006 Frawley speaks to governor's office; August 2006 Frawley speaks to senator's office; October 2006 indictment of Rezko revealed; October 2006 Rezko arrested upon return from Syria; October 2006 Alsammarae convicted in Baghdad and makes his first escape attempt; December 2006 Alsammarae escapes from Baghdad. ...

"(In 2004) Mr. Auchi traveled by private aircraft to Midway Airport in Chicago and then to a fete at the Four Season Hotel, where he met with his business partner in Chicago real estate, Mr. Rezko, as well as with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Also present that night, according to a fresh report by James Bone and Dominic Kennedy of the London Times, was State Senator Barack Obama, who had recently won the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat...."

Most politicians try to keep their financial backers out of trouble until after the election. But Rezko, is already indicted by a federal grand jury. And now his trial has begun in a Chicago federal court.

Rezko, along with Ali Ata and Abdelhamid Chaib, face federal grand jury charges presented in October 2006 by U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald. The case revolves around allegations of fraud between 2000 and 2004 in the sale of 17 Papa Johns' Pizza parlors in Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee. The case may begin with pizza but it could easily lead back to Europe, Syria, Iraq, and the UN Oil for Food program.

Fitzgerald is the prosecutor who won perjury convictions against Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, in March, 2007. Chaib is an officer of several of Rezko's restaurant chains including Chicagoland Panda Express franchises. Ata was appointed Executive Director of the Illinois Finance Authority by Governor Blagojevich. Ata was also a former president of the Chicago Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and had a financial interest in Rezko's restaurants. Ata reportedly donated as much as $60,000 to Blagojevich and $5,000 to Obama. Rezko reportedly raised as much as $500,000 for Blagojevich and at least $70,000 for Obama's various campaigns. Obama has redirected as much as $150,000 in donations "bundled" by Rezko.

Rezko has other unsavory financial ties. Arab American Media Services reports:

"In 1997, Panda Express won the right to open a lucrative concession at O'Hare International Airport under the city's Minority Set-Aside program which directs large contracts to companies owned by Women, African Americans or Hispanics. The city awarded a 10-year contract for O'Hare Airport to Crucial Inc. in 1999, which the city believed was owned by an African American, Jabir Herbert Muhammad, the son of the late Elijah Mohammad."

Elijah Mohammad led the Nation of Islam until his death in 1975. Jabir Herbert Muhammad was sued in 1999 by boxer Muhammad Ali for unauthorized use of his name in connection with the so-called Muhammad Ali Foundation. Rezko served as Executive Director of the Foundation.

Jay Stewart of the Better Government Assn. in Chicago told the LA Times:

"Everybody in this town knew that Tony Rezko was headed for trouble. When he got indicted, there wasn't a single insider who was surprised. It was viewed as a long time coming. . . . Why would you be having anything to do with Tony Rezko, particularly if you're planning to run for president?"

At a March 3 news conference in San Antonio, Texas, Chicago-based reporters peppered Obama with some of the questions the national news corps has avoided for over a year. Obama claims he had already answered the questions in the Chicago media. He said: "These requests, I think, could just go on forever. At some point, what we need to try to do is respond to what's pertinent."

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote:

"Reporters, however, had a different idea of what was pertinent, and the questions about Rezko, NAFTA and other unpleasant subjects continued to come. An aide called out ‘last question,' and Obama made his move for the exit -- only for reporters to shout after him in protest. ‘C'mon, guys,' he pleaded. ‘I just answered, like, eight questions.'"

Obama has refused to sit down at length with the Chicago reporters who have worked this story for years. But as Milbank pointed out, "The questioning...has only just begun." With old-time Chicago corruption now going international-and Presidential--finding those answers is more urgent than ever.


  1. Barack's Immaculate Deception
    In which Barry Credits the March in Selma '65 with his very existence, his conception.
    Problem is Barry was born August 4, 1961!
    Similar to the Sir Edmund Hillary tale in Chronological Contradiction.

  2. trish said...
    You know, there's something very similar about the civil rights movement and the war on terror.

    No matter how far we've come, it's never enough.

    Doug said...
    Just ask Michelle Obama.
    Life in the USA Sucks,
    Unless of Course, I become first lady.
    But, you could not empathize, never having had to make do on $400k/year.

  3. "Obama has refused to sit down at length with the Chicago reporters who have worked this story for years."
    Jeeze, he answered 8 questions, what's the big deal?
    REZKOWATCH Follow the Money: Rezko under investigation and deep in debt buys lot

    According to a "previously sealed court transcript," Rezko, who is in debt by $50 million, now "relies on 'family' handouts of $7,500 a month to pay monthly costs." ABC News wrote that "Rezko's bleak financial picture raises the question of how the Rezkos were able to buy a vacant lot adjoining the home of Sen. Barack Obama in 2005, at a time Rezko says he was already in deep debt."

    Follow the Money: Auchi's money, Rezko's lot, Obama's house
    Follow the Money: Auchi: Indicted Blagojevich fundraiser got loan from Iraqi billionaire

    The Unthinkables

  4. Michelle:
    "You know, a black man can get shot just going to the gas station."
    ...and Barack favors instantly legalizing those most likely to shoot or knife Black men for being Black.
    ...or for living in their 'hood.

  5. Barack Obama and Me

    Though it didn't make national news, Obama inflamed many residents in his old state Senate district last March when he endorsed controversial Chicago alderman Dorothy Tillman in a runoff election.

    Flamboyant and unpredictable, Tillman is perhaps best known for once pulling a pistol from her purse and brandishing it around at a city council meeting. The ward she represented for 22 years, which included historic Bronzeville, comprised the city's largest concentration of vacant lots.

    Just three months before Obama made his endorsement, the Lakefront Outlook community newspaper ran a three-part investigative series exposing flagrant crony­ism and possible tax-law violations that centered on Tillman and her biggest pet project, a taxpayer-funded cultural center built across the street from her ward office that had been hemorrhaging money since its inception.

    The series won a national George Polk Award, among the most coveted prizes in journalism. Not bad for a 12-page rag with a circulation of 12,000 and no Web site. I had already left the Outlook and had nothing to do with the project.

    In the end, Tillman lost the election despite Obama's endorsement, which critics said countered his calls for clean government. Obama told the Chicago Tribune that he had backed Tillman because she was an early supporter of his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.

  6. Over the Top

    "I end with a deadly, deadpan prediction from Christopher Hitchens.
    Hillary is the next president, he told radio's Hugh Hewitt, because, "there's something horrible and undefeatable about people who have no life except the worship of power . . . people who don't want the meeting to end, the people who just are unstoppable, who only have one focus, no humanity, no character, nothing but the worship of money and power.
    They win in the end."

    It was like Claude Rains summing up the meaning of everything in the film "Lawrence of Arabia":
    "One of them's mad and the other is wholly unscrupulous."

    It's the moment when you realize you just heard the truth, the meaning underlying all the drama.
    "They win in the end."
    Gave me a shudder.

    -Peggy Noonan

  7. Definition of "Bean Counting"
    From a House hearing yesterday with DHS secretary Michael Chertoff, according to the Wash Post :

    Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) asked all the Chertoff aides sitting behind him at the hearing to stand up. Men in ties and jackets, all of whom appeared to be Caucasian, stood up. Without comment, Scott moved on to ask Chertoff about another issue.

    But Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.) returned to the diversity question. "You brought 10 staff people with you," he said, "all white males. . . . But I hope you've got more diversity in your staff than is reflected here. Please reassure me that is the case."

    "I think that is definitely the case," Chertoff said.

    "Okay," Watt said, and appeared to begin moving to another question.

    But Chertoff continued: "I wouldn't assume that the ethnic background of everybody behind me is self-evident."

    Watt replied: "I wouldn't assume the ethnic background of everybody behind you is self-evident, but I think I know an African American when I see one. . . . If anyone wants to stand up and volunteer and tell me they are an African American, I hope they will do that right now."

    No one stood. Some in the audience began laughing.

    "If anybody is a female that's sitting back there and wants to stand up and volunteer to tell me that," Watt continued, "I hope they will do that right now. And I want the record to show clearly that nobody stood up to volunteer in either one of those categories.

    "So if you want to make that point and be cute about it," Watt said, "let me be explicit about it. . . . If we are going to do law enforcement in this country . . . we need to understand that there is an element of diversity in our country that is not represented here."

    There is more than one or two kinds of diversity:

    As it turns out, there was indeed diversity in the group, a DHS spokesman said yesterday.
    One of the men was of Peruvian heritage, he said, another was born in Russia of Jewish heritage and a third was a lawyer originally from Iran.

  8. The Great Non Sequitur
    By Charles Krauthammer
    WASHINGTON -- She threw the kitchen sink at him. Accused Barack Obama of plagiarism. Mocked his eloquence. Questioned his truthfulness about NAFTA.

    Wasn't enough. Hillary Clinton still faced extinction in Ohio and Texas. So what do you do when you have thrown the kitchen sink? Drop the atomic bomb.

    Hence that brilliant "phone call at the White House at 3 a.m." commercial. In the great tradition of Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy" ad, it was not subtle -- though in 2008 you don't actually show the nuclear explosion. It's enough just to suggest an apocalyptic crisis.

    Ostensibly the ad was about experience. It wasn't. It was about familiarity. After all, as Obama pointed out, what exactly is the experience that prepares Hillary to answer the red phone at 3 a.m.?

    She was raising a deeper question: Do you really know who this guy is? After a whirlwind courtship with this elegant man who rode into town just yesterday, are you really prepared to entrust him with your children, the major props in the ad?

    After months of fruitlessly shadowboxing an ethereal opponent made up of equal parts hope, rhetoric and enthusiasm, Clinton had finally made contact with the enemy. The doubts she raised created just enough buyer's remorse to convince Democrats on Tuesday to not yet close the sale on the mysterious stranger.

    The only way either Clinton or John McCain can defeat an opponent as dazzlingly new and fresh as Obama is to ask: Do you really know this guy?

    Or the corollary: Is he really who he says he is? I'm not talking about scurrilous innuendo about his origins, religion or upbringing. I'm talking about the full-fledged man who presents himself to the country in remarkably grandiose terms as a healer, a conciliator, a uniter.

    This, after all, is his major appeal. What makes him different from the other candidates, from the "old politics" he disdains, is the promise to rise above party, to take us beyond ideology and other archaic divisions, and bring us together as "one nation."

    It's worked. When Americans are asked who can unite us, 67 percent say Obama versus 34 percent for Clinton, with McCain at 51.

    How did Obama pull that off? By riding one of the great non sequiturs of modern American politics.

    It goes like this. Because Obama transcends race, it is therefore assumed that he will transcend everything else -- divisions of region, class, party, generation and ideology.

    The premise here is true -- Obama does transcend race; he has not run as a candidate of minority grievance; his vision of America is unmistakably post-racial -- but the conclusion does not necessarily follow. It is merely suggested in Obama's rhetorically brilliant celebration of American unity: "young and old, rich and poor, black and white, Latino and Asian -- who are tired of a politics that divides us." Hence "the choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white. It's about the past versus the future."

    The effect of such sweeping invocations of unity is electric, particularly because race is the deepest and most tragic of all American divisions, and this invocation is being delivered by a man who takes us powerfully beyond it. The implication is that he is therefore uniquely qualified to transcend all our other divisions.

    It is not an idle suggestion. It could be true. The problem is that Obama's own history suggests that, in his case at least, it is not. Indeed, his Senate record quite belies the implication.

    The Obama campaign has sent journalists eight pages of examples of his reaching across the aisle in the Senate. But these are small-bore items of almost no controversy -- more help for war veterans, reducing loose nukes in the former Soviet Union and the like. Bipartisan support for apple pie is hardly a profile in courage.

    On the difficult compromises that required the political courage to challenge one's own political constituency, Obama flinched: the "gang of 14" compromise on judicial appointments, the immigration compromise to which Obama tried to append union-backed killer amendments, and, just last month, the compromise on warrantless eavesdropping that garnered 68 votes in the Senate. But not Obama's.

    Who, in fact, supported all of these bipartisan deals, was a central player in two of them, and brokered the even more notorious McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform? John McCain, of course.

    Yes, John McCain -- intemperate and rough-edged, of sharp elbows and even sharper tongue. Turns out that uniting is not a matter of rhetoric or manner, but of character and courage.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Jay Rockefeller (!) yesterday again took a stand for sanity by describing the insanity of blinding ourselves to mortal threats.
    (telecom immunity)
    ...only Pelosi and Ash disagree.

  11. The Defense Department might survive the sermon on the mount, it's doubtful if it would survive Barach Hussein Obama.

  12. Doug,

    How do you reconcile your love of constitutional protections for possessing guns with your disdain for constitutional protections against government surveillance? In other words, you rant about how the constitution protects your right (and everyone else's right) to have a gun but if someone objects to the Bush administration conducting warrant less wiretaps, giant fishing expeditions, you call him a "commie A-hole"?

  13. Ash,
    Explain to us why Jay Rockefeller, DEMOCRAT Head of national security committee, has come out against Pelosi's corrupt stand for trial lawyers twice. answer:
    Jay does not want another 9-11 to be caused by a crazy, corrupt democrat.
    What's yours?

  14. Trial lawyers seeking billion dollar payoffs are more credible than Jay Rockefeller, DEMOCRAT?

    I think not.

  15. The French have a system, so I've read, where they separate evidence found in a terror investigation from evidence found in a run of the mill criminal investigation. If the evidence is found in a terror investigation it can only be used for a terror charge, not an ordinary criminal charge. We ought to take a look at that. After all, it sounds reasonable, and France is the country of reason, they even had a Goddess of Reason there, for awhile.:)

  16. Still do.
    Bridget Bardot.
    ...just not much of a sex-kitten no more.

  17. Just don't believe your cell phone company when they tell you, "your records are safe with us."

    It's a hard problem, security vs privacy. On the other hand, no one has gone missing from my neighborhood. I'm for building some safeguards in, things always getting fudged out at the edges as they do.

    What would Hayduke do? Blow up the cell tower!

  18. SLUTS
    That ought to get their attention:)

  19. The Feds Moniter the EB.
    be afraid,
    be VERY afraid.

  20. One of the more surprising findings was that one-in-five French men aged between 18 and 24 "manifests no interest in sexuality", while abstinence rates for men under 35 was twice as high as for women.

  21. At the same time, she reinforced old stereotypes that link status and virility, by reportedly declaring: "I want a man with nuclear power."

    And bob wants you, honey buns.

  22. What do you expect from a woman in France, a country that has the good sense to run off of nuclear energy? Rationality and promiscuous sex, a winning combo.

  23. "Just ask Michelle Obama.
    Life in the USA Sucks"

    She could always hop a flight to La Paz or Quito (or Brussels for that matter) and meet some of the most determinedly bigoted people on the face of the earth.

    Liberals REALLY ought to get out more.

  24. The patron saint of soldiers, BTW, is Eugene. Unfortunate name, that.

    The patron saint of diplomats is, unsurprisingly, Gabriel.

  25. Samantha Power gone from the Obama campaign.

    She WILL be back, though.

  26. A Saint For Everyone If you can't find a Saint to your choosing, you're not trying very hard.

    Is there a Saint for sleezy politicians? A crying need shouldn't go unmet.

  27. They too infrequently require intercession, bob.

  28. There was a bill in Congress back in, oh I think it was 94, to effectively shut down the home school movement. Jammed their phone lines, home schoolers did. And good on 'em. (We weren't yet home schooling. And when we did, it was the effing Belgians who tried to stop us - after we withdrew our son from the local school.)

    There's a wonderful organization, The Home School Legal Defense Association. Good cause, great work.

  29. Defense contracors' theme song, courtesy Simon and Garfunkel:

    Gee but its great to be back home
    Home is where I want to be.
    I've been on the road so long my friend,
    And if you came along
    I know you couldn't disagree.

    Its the same old story
    Everywhere I go,
    I get slandered,
    I hear words I never heard
    In the bible
    And I'm one step ahead of the shoe shine
    Two steps away from the county line
    Just trying to keep my customers satisfied,

    Deputy sheriff said to me
    Tell me what you come here for, boy.
    You better get your bags and flee.
    Youre in trouble boy,
    And youre heading into more.


  30. That Calif gal and judge were both ignorant of the law.
    I wrote Kevin James last nite about what I found. copied here:
    Home Schooling No More -- Perhaps Not Jonah Goldberg
    Ace of Spades offers an important correction to that LAT story from yesterday:

    The ruling as described would effectively end homeschooling in California, and I agree that it would be an outrageous result. Fortunately, the LA Times misunderstood the case and that misunderstanding was carried over into the discussions of the bloggers listed above, who appear to have discovered the issue because they read the LA Times article or each other. (I am amused to discover that Memeorandum has aided the dissemination of an untrue meme.)

    We luckily were told how to read the Calif law as it stood 20 years ago by another Homeschooler.(It looked impossible, but turned out to be easy)

    Ace quotes the law, the pertinent part for us was - 48222 "Attendance in private school..."

    Which turned out to be a pretty easy standard to meet.

    Under California law, attendance at a full-time day public school is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 18. Parents wanting to take their kids out of the public schools must do so under one of the exceptions provided by the California Education Code. For the purposes of home schooling they are: § 48222 Attendance in private school or § 48224 Instruction by credentialed tutor. (There are other exceptions for short-term child actors, the mentally gifted, or leaves of absence, but they are not appropriate for homeschoolers.)
    So, generally, parents have three options for educating their kids in California: (1) public school; (2) private school; or (3) credentialed tutor. This is not as bad for homeschoolers as it looks.

    To be a private school in California, all the parent has to do is be "capable of teaching" the required subjects in the English language and offer instruction in the same "branches of study" required to be taught in the public schools.
    They also have to keep a register of enrollment at their "school" and a record of attendance. Once a year they have to file an affidavit with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction with things like their names and address, the names of the students and their addresses, a criminal background check (since we don't want unsupervised felons teaching kids), and their attendance register.

    That's it.

  31. So we just had to say we were a school, and file yearly reports.

  32. The lady tried to claim she was a CHARTER SCHOOL, or some such, judge says it's a constitutionally protected right, which legally is wrong.
    Should be protected permanently by law.

  33. Couple things.

    1. That was on Ace of Spades, but it wasn't Ace, it was Gabriel Malor.

    Important, because Gabriel's in law school and a bit of a statist himself.

    Insofar as I could tell, the thing about the ruling, and this is what Gabe predictably had no problem with, wasn't that the judge made it difficult to homeschool, but that he specifically said there was no fundamental right to homeschool your own children. California, therefore, just has to change the law. Then the school system owns them.

    There's a worthwhile squabble over the 10th and 14th ammendments in the comment section.

  34. Course, I'm not an expert on homeschooling.

  35. "The juvenile court held that even though the mothers' teaching was “lousy,” “meager,” and “bad,” there is a constitutional right to homeschooling (that right either belonging to the parents or to the child; it's not clear at this point). Before we go any further we should be clear that California has never recognized a constitutional right to homeschool children and no federal court has recognized a right to homeschool children.

    In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the right of states to regulate child education because it is so crucial to the maintenance of "ordered liberty." So the juvenile court is out in left field on this point."
    But the law makes it easy, in CA and HI, at least, because as Trish says, the homeschoolers raised holy hell.
    We knew some folks here that put years of effort into it, traveling to Honolulu, the whole 9 yards.

  36. As Mark Steyn declared on the program yesterday :

    "It’s a bit like some psycho version of Driving Miss Daisy, this primary race."

  37. TGIF for Rezko - No session in the Rezko case today, the trial will resume on Monday.

    The Chicago Tribune is running "gavel-to-gavel" coverage, and from their handy summation of yesterday's testimony we learned that...

    Political Spyglass

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Arnold, ready to Climate Change Tax CA to death, takes a
    flying to Sacramento and back to his Hollywomb.

  40. From the TGIF link:
    "What does all this mean for Obama, who is obviously connected to Rezko but hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing?
    Not much, yet.
    The standard boilerplate line we hear over and over, of course Duke is in jail for taking gifts, and Barry obviously benefitted from a LARGE Gift in the real-estate deal, but once again, the MSM and GOP will let another Dem crook run free.
    As Hewitt points out, the law is you can't take a quarter as a gift.
    ...unless you're a Dem w/a freezerfull of greenbacks, and black to boot.
    (Jet rides excluded)

  41. But the law makes it easy, in CA and HI, at least, because as Trish says, the homeschoolers raised holy hell.
    We knew some folks here that put years of effort into it, traveling to Honolulu, the whole 9 yards.

    - Doug

    But not you.

  42. "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
    It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.

    The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

    M. Simon ·
    As noted at NRO, the two Obama advisors that got in trouble for their mouths are Austin and Powers.

  43. So I am to be damned for giving them credit and admitting I benefitted from it?

    Will Saint Trish have me beheaded?

    If I never admitted sloth or error, I might approach your exhaulted position.
    Sucks not to be perfect like some.

  44. I state the facts, you provide the moral judgement from on high.
    ...a great benefit to dialog.

  45. Meanwhile, you support "libertarian" postions that are depriving the vast majority of students of a decent education by flooding schools with illiterate, unpatriotic, illegals.

    Sucks not to be perfectly REASONABLE.

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Har de har.
    Now you Hallucinate.

  48. trish (and doug),

    From what I've read here at the bar, both you and doug are bedfellows in homeschooling - two peas in a pod; an example of why I think homeschooling is bad. Not because I think you both don't have the RIGHT to do it, but rather, the folly in isolating ones offspring from the reality of the 'real' world. The desire to only allow them to experience what you, in your narrow opinionated idiosyncratic conception of the world; what you define as 'right'.

    Your children deserve better; a plurality of opinion.

    Too late, though, in your cases.

  49. the maintenance of "ordered liberty." If that's not an oxymoron it's close to it.

    Depriving one's kids of the drugs, the guns, the sex, the profanity, the coarseness, the peer pressures, what a bummer.

  50. That's hillarious, Ash, not just for albob's reasons, but that he was exposed to hundreds of times more people than my wife or I were in Public Schools, AND people of all ages, esp Adults.
    When we first came over here, I managed a condo complex that the owners used as vacation homes.
    He was about 9 and had the run of the place, meeting all the owners and all their guests.
    When we lived in town, he played w/kids from about 7 ethnic backgrounds and god knows how many economic classes.
    ...then there was his Homeschool Group, Scouts, workmates, and etc.
    I would be a zillionaire or politician if I had his people skills, he's got better things to do.
    I don't really see Trish's son living in a Cloister either..
    ...altho he DOES have to put up w/her!

  51. What was the point of your verbal fart, Trish?

  52. It's a complex issue, I'm sure some 'home schoolers' aren't competent to teach anybody anything. Others however definitely do a better job than the schools. Then there's the in between situation. Like Christ Church in Moscow, a charter school I quess it's called. They're crazy, but they have the kids in uniform, keep control, everybody seems happy, and they outperformed the regular schools in the tests last year. Just because they are patriarchal, old testiment type folk, believe slavery was a happy time, want to stone homos, want to take over the community, are fighting an undeclared war, disbelieve in evolution, disbelieve in global warming, are good with know, it's a complex issue.(I always laugh, one local wag wrote in to the paper, I've mentioned this before,--"I too can be a deacon in Christ Church, I'm illiterate and male":) )

    What a country!

  53. Crap, Albob, you've given Ammo to Ash's
    "Christians are no different than Whahabbists MeMe."
    They're really that bad?
    (I said almost as much about some of the mindless followers of St. W, and St. Huckster in the next thread.)

  54. At least they're more down to Earth wrt Global Warming than you!

    ...and all the Rick Warren type Evangelicals that are going green, to further distance themselves from reality.

  55. Doug, these guys aren't really Christians, at least not in my book. Look at their program. They are an embarrassment to the whole community, and the community, believe me, has made their feelings well known.

  56. No candidate is perfect. But the lies and distortions about Obama here are just awful.

    You'd rather elect a reckless, power-hungry maniac like McCain? McCain "buried" his fellow POWs left behind in Vietnam. Fully documented here:

    McCain and the POW Cover-up

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