Over the course of over a millennium, an uneasy truce has developed between different Christian groups regarding rights to certain spots in the building, the right to repair or decorate walls, and even the right to live on the building's roof. This conflict was both encouraged and mediated by the Ottomans and other Muslim rulers in Jerusalem.
Monday's fight broke out during a procession of hundreds of Greek Orthodox worshippers commemorating the 4th century pilgrimage by Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, to Jerusalem. Tradition says that during the trip, Helena found the cross on which Jesus had been crucified.
Church officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that at one point, the procession passed a Roman Catholic chapel, and priests from both sides started arguing over whether the door to the chapel should be open or closed.
The fight was broken up by Israeli police using clubs, and the procession continued.
There have been other conflicts in recent years.
In 2003, Israeli police threatened to limit the number of worshippers allowed to attend an Easter ceremony if the denominations did not agree on who would lead the ceremony. Police brokered a last-minute deal and the ceremony passed peacefully.
But a year earlier, the Greek patriarch and Armenian clergyman designated to enter the tomb exchanged blows after a dispute over who would be first to exit the chamber.
And how do we expect to ward off the jihadis if we cannot resolve our own disputes in fraternal love?
To quote Doug MacArthur -- I shall return!
The low pressure remains of Hurricane Ivan that wandered in the Gulf of Mexico today swelled into a tropical storm that's expected to assault the Texas and Louisiana coasts Thursday.
The storm, with sustained winds of 40 mph at 8:30 p.m., likely will make landfall between western Louisiana and Houston late today or early Friday, said Tom Bradshaw, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's southern regional office in Fort Worth.
Surf is high down along Todville Road, the main coastal road here in Precinct 333. When we reach high tide, I expect to see the road flood in spots -- though that still leaves the Loyal Opposition (and the dog) a couple of ways out if it gets too bad.
But we've ridden a couple storms out in our home, and expect to do the same with this one. The fury was expended elsewhere.
Still, keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers.
And by the way -- since it died down to a low pressure center it may get a new name.
Bradshaw said the storm, which had been called called Tropical Depression Ivan earlier today, would likely be renamed Matthew once it reached tropical storm strength. The hurricane center had not changed the name by 9 p.m.
Find the remains, coat with bacon grease, and return to the family as a warning to other terrorist scum.
You're next, al-Zarqwi!
Printing it was stupid.
There was outrage, and rightly so.
Muslim families kept their kids home from school out of fear of violence.
Apologies were made, and the author of the letter clarified that he meant mosques in Iraq, not those in the area.
And that should have been the end of it. Except for folks filing lawsuits in an attempt to gut the First Amendment. On January 13, two Muslims filed suit alleging assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Muslims.
You can express your opinion but not — especially with what's going on in the Middle East — if you put some people's lives at risk," said plaintiff Aly Elleithee, an accountant and immigrant from Egypt. "Somebody has to be accountable for what they did."
A trial judge dismissed the assault claim, but allowed the other claim to stand.
"Clearly, reasonable minds could differ in determining whether the publication of the letter rose to the level of extreme and outrageous conduct," Judge Miller wrote.
The Arizona Supreme Court is now deciding whether to overturn that decision.
It should be a no brainer. After all, no specific threat was made, nor did the publication of the letter put anyone's life or safety in immediate danger.
"If the trial court's ruling is allowed to stand, political speech that falls well short of advocating immediate violence may be subject to sanction in Arizona — making this state a uniquely risky jurisdiction in which to publish news and commentary," the Citizen's lawyers wrote in the appeal.
Without any immediate physical threat to anyone, publication of the letter is constitutionally protected, the newspaper's appeal said.
If this decision is allowed to stand as rendered by the Ninth Circuit wanna-be, then the First Amendment is trumped by the first person to say they are scared or their feelings have been hurt. And all it will take is one overly sensitive member of the minority to trump the freedom of speech of the majority.
ACLU attorney Amy Miller told Kopf that revealing the name in print would put the man's life in jeopardy.
"Lives are at stake," she said. "You might as well paint a target on the man's back."
Funny, I'm not aware of any actual attacks on anyone who has sued to have a cross or Ten Commandments monument removed from a public place. The old "Thou Shalt Not Kill" thing sort of prevents that kind of thing.
And besides, the newspaper is operating on principle here.
World-Herald attorney Michael Cox said sealed evidence presented to the court shows that "the cat is out of the bag."
"Everybody knows who it is," Cox said.
Cox said the paper had the right to publish his name and doing so would not put him at risk.
"He is not going to die because of what the World-Herald does," Cox said.
Following the hearing, Cox said he did not know when or if a story would run revealing the man's name. He said a larger investigative piece related to the case was being pursued.
Larry King, executive editor of the World-Herald, said the man thrust himself into the public eye by bringing the lawsuit.
"This is not a case in which an individual, through no fault or action of his own, found himself in the middle of a dispute," King said. "This man is trying to force a city to make a controversial change it doesn't want to make. If you want to change public policy, it should not be a surprise that you could be publicly identified."
Sounds reasonable to me. If you want to raise a claim in court, you should have to identify yourself. He filed the suit because "he has to see the monument from a street passing by the park on his way to work every day and when he attends events in the park." Why shouldn't the public, which overwhelmingly supports the monument, be allowed to know who is suing the government to remove a monument that the public overwhelmingly supports? Isn't that a part of open government and open courts?
"Teachers, it is reasonable to assume, care about education, are reasonably expert about it and possess quite a lot of information about the schools in which they teach. We can assume that no one knows the condition and quality of public schools better than teachers who work in them every day." "They know from personal experience that many of their colleagues make such a choice [for private vs. public schools], and do so for good and sufficient reasons."
Now some want to argue it is because public education is broken. While I'll concede that is true in some places, I don't think that is the answer.
As a public school teacher in an urban district, I may have some insight into the issue (though I have no kids). It is gained from working with a diverse group of colleagues who havemade a variety of choices. Some have students in our school. Others live outside the district and send the kids to the school closest to home. I know many who make the choice for a religious education (you would be surprised how many conservative Christian teachers there really are). I even know one who homeschools his daughter along with his wife. Each has made the choice to do what he or she sees as best for their own children.
And I think that is the key -- choice. So do the authors of the article.
Thanks to all who linked!
A few weeks ago, I did just that. I met with a group of Vietnamese refugees--past and present. Some were among the 1980s "Boat People," who fled the horror of Communist Vietnam on rafts, boats, and pieces of driftwood, risking their lives in the process. Others were more recent arrivals. All fled the purported utopia Vietnam was supposed to become according to Kerry and his anti-war colleagues.
Ask Quyen V. Ngo.
He was a boat person rescued by an American merchant ship after three nights at sea. Fifty-nine years old, Quyen was a schoolteacher in Vietnam and a Captain in the South Vietnamese army (ARVN).
. . .
I asked him if the Communists committed genocide after they obtained power. He said the Communists killed many people. Those who were not killed were placed in re-education camps. There they worked 12 hours a day and had little food.
Ngo never witnessed any atrocities by American soldiers, neither did he hear of any American atrocities. He said he did not believe a thing Kerry said about American troops, systematically committing war crimes. He thinks Kerry fabricated this.
He felt sorry for those who opposed the war because they did not see the truth about the war and the Communists. As far as he is concerned, they betrayed the American and Vietnamese soldiers. Testimony like Kerry's, Ngo believes, resulted in encouraging the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong Communists to kill more Vietnamese and American soldiers.
Or perhaps you could ask the survivors of the Montagnards.
Currently, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has cited several examples of atrocities by Vietnam's Communist rulers. One such was the Easter week massacre. Montagnards, protesting the lack of religious freedom, were killed. According to HRW ". . . sources in the Central Highlands confirm . . . hundreds of demonstrators were wounded and many were killed by security forces . . . ."
Remember, John Kerry is the man who said in his Senate testimony that all political groups would be represented in a Communist Vietnam. We now know that to be false, and those who believed that tragically wrong.
Do we really want to give Kerry the chance to make such a mistake again, when the fate of another people rides upon his clear thinking?
Now it appears there is a conflict of interest in the case. Wendy E. York of Albuquerque, New Mexico donated $1000 to the John Kerry campaign earlier this year. This appears to violate the state judicial ethics code, which says, in part, that
"A judge is disqualified and shall recuse himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where: (1) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party's lawyer ..."
Clearly a campaign donor to one candidate has a conflict of interest when they are given the power to knock an opposing candidate off the ballot at the request of their preferred candidate's party.
State Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, has called on York to resign by Monday. If she fails to do so, he and a multi-partisan group of other political leaders from around the state will seek to have York sanctioned and removed from the bench.
Joining Adair in Saturday's complaint were Frank Clinard, a Libertarian; Steve Cabiedes, a Green Party candidate for Bernalillo County Clerk; Arville Sullins, a Democrat from Roswell; and Elizabeth Cook, president of Concerned Citizens of Albuquerque, according to a news release from Adair.
Seems like honest government requires getting this woman off the bench.
At an August 27 event in Daly City, Calif., Kerry was introduced by a woman named Lori Guy. She said that after her employer cut her pay in 2000, she piled up huge credit card bills and was regularly charged late-payment fees. Kerry used her story to attack President Bush for not protecting the middle class. He then claimed he would prevent credit card companies from charging large fees.
Now I could point out that the pay cut came in 2000 during "the best economy in 50 years" (as touted by Democrats) during the early stages of the Clinton Recession that the Bush tax cuts in 2001 helped alleviate. But if I did, I would miss the even more important story, the one found when the San Jose Mercury News interviewed Ms. Guy.
She told the paper that she is still with the same company, and after several raises makes more money than ever before. Since all of this happened within the span of the last four years, her real story is that during the Bush administration she went from being heavily in debt to being in the best finanical shape of her life. Funny that John Kerry never mentioned that.
In other words, under the Democrats she suffered a pay cut and crushing debt. Under the Republicans she prospered. Its a pity that John Kerry had to lie again in his quest for the presidency. I guess those talks with Bill Clinton really helped.
Homosexual leaders announced their plan to challenge the ban, claiming that legislators and voters were too stupid to know what they were doing.
"The Christian Coalition did an excellent job of deceiving the legislature and the voters into believing that this amendment only dealt with the issue of marriage," said Randall Evans, an attorney for Forum For Equality, a statewide civil rights organization. "Now, 500,000 Louisianians will have to look to the courts for protection of their constitutional rights."
And the rest of the people of Louisiana will have to look to the courts to protect their right to have their vote count, and to be permitted o make social policy in their state. Folks such as Mr. Evans are Exhibit 1 in the case for a Federal Marriage Amendment.
"On the talk show that I host, or hosted, I said I felt Rather should either retire or be forced out over this," said Brian Maloney, whose weekly "The Brian Maloney Show" aired for three years on KIRO-AM Radio, a CBS affiliate here.
Maloney says he made that statement on his Sept. 12 program. He was fired Friday, he said.
Apparently he missed the "Rally 'Round Rather" memo directing him to help the network stonewall any meaningful investigation of their fraud.
Why did he speak out against Rather?
"I really felt he was taking the network's credibility down with him," Maloney said in a telephone interview.
"Talk-show hosts have generally had a lot of independence in these kinds of issues," he said. "Nobody's ever said, 'You can't criticize CBS News.'"
So if you happen to have an open slot on your talk radio station, it seems that there is an honest man looking for a position. Give him a call.
John Cobarruvias, head of Bay Area New Democrats (BAND), was there, acting as spokesman. He denounced O'Neill in a manner that is so patently absurd that it is virtually impossible to take him seriously (scratch that, I've been reading his letters in the local paper for years -- it is always impossible to take him seriously).
"Who in their right mind would attack a veteran who actually volunteered to go to Vietnam?" protester John Cobarruvias asked. "Attacking a veteran who went to war, who got shot at, is wrong."
But hold it. Isn't John O'Neill ALSO "a veteran who went to war, who got shot at"? Doesn't that give him at least equal right to speak out on matters of public concern, such as the record of the man who Cobarruvias wants to be the next president?
But Cobarruvias didn't stop there.
"They have done the most indespicable (sic) thing that a man could ever do and that is attack an American veteran," Cobarruvias said. "We are going to do whatever it takes within the law to stop this and if it means coming to this man's house and protesting him within the law, that is what we are going to do."Well maybe that answers my question -- John Kerry must be the ONLY veteran above criticism -- anyone else, including other Vietnam combat veterans who served with Kerry, may not utter a single word to impeach his actions or motives.
O'Neill, who was attending his daughter's wedding, released a statement urging protesters "to read the book and then engage in a civil debate over its contents."
"It is our experience that protests and book burnings occur not against books that are false, but against books that are true," the statement said.
It's tempting to give everyone John Cobarruvias' home address and phone in this posting. I know they are listed and easily found. But maybe it is better that I don't. After all, we conservatives don't feel a need to intimidate and harass our political opponents into silence, the way Mr. Cobarruvias and his BAND of thugs apparently need to do. After all, we have the truth on our side.
Tyler "Chase" Harper had the audacity to dissent from the "Gay is OK" message put forth by his school. When the school sponsored a "Day of Silence" to protest the alleged harassment of homosexuals and others, Chase wore one which read "Homosexuality is shameful" and "Romans 1:27." When he wore it a second day, he was suspended.
"This particular phrase is harmful and offensive to people and shouldn't be permitted," school district attorney Jack Sleeth told U.S. District Judge John Houston.
Really, Mr. Sleeth? Haven't you read Tinker v. DesMoines, which holds that students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door? DO you mean to say that religious speech and speech opposing homosexuality are not constitutionally protected? Or are you contending that Tinker, the landmark student's rights case that permitted students to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, was wrongly decided? Or do you mean to say that the precedent only applies to those who espouse a liberal message?
ironically, Sleeth goes on to justify the suspension and ban on the grounds that the district has a goal of promoting, get this, "tolerance of all viewpoints." Well, Mr. Sleeth, why does the district refuse to promote the tolerance of Chase's viewpoint? It seems to me that they are suppressing a viewpoint they don't support, rather than tolerating it. And you can't claim it was causing disruptions in the school, because not one fight or disruption can be documented on the day the shirt was permitted. All you can point to is hurt feelings and people being offended.
As a public school teacher, I hope this bunch goes down hard, and that Tinker gets reaffirmed. Maybe we'll see an end to absurdities like the one at my school, which banned a t-shirt with a "Wanted Dead or Alive" poster of Osama bin Laden, or one worn by a student who was a Civil War buff honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Or the ones at other schools where kids are suspended for wearing Pepsi shirts on Coca Cola day, or a Green Bay Packers shirt on Minnesota Vikings day.
You see it all started when David McCally saw a life-size cut-out of the president in GOP headquarters as he walked down the street. Not content to go on his way and allow those with whom he disagrees to to have political material he disagrees with in their own office, McCally (an instructor at Santa Fe Community College) entered the office and punched the cut-out in the face.
"I don't like old brother George. Truthfully, I kind of did it lightheartedly. I was just walking over there to order chicken, and I saw the cutout and I just walked in there and punched it.
That's when county GOP chairman Travis Horn stepped outside to confront McCally. Big mistake, but then again, you don't always know when you are dealing with an irrational political extrimist. They tend to blend in with the more "normal" folks in the Democrat party.
When Horn went outside, he said McCally came up to him. "He proceeded to say how he had a Ph.D., and he was smarter than me. I'm a stupid Republican," and other comments laced with obscenities, he said.
Horn said he was hit and knocked into a wall.
His lips were cut and his nose injured.
"I then proceeded to defend myself," he said. "I used the minimum force necessary to subdue him."
The police report states Horn kicked McCally because McCally was holding on to Horn's legs.
Police happened to be pulling into the area at the time, Horn said. A police report states officers saw McCally throw what they later learned was the first punch.
"Of course I'm going to have a restraining order filed against him," Horn said. "I certainly will seek his removal from the classroom. Obviously he's shown a serious lack of judgment."
College officials confirm that McCally has been temporarily suspended, pending an administrative review. As a part-time instructor, it would appear that McCally does not have tenure.
And you have to love Travis Horn's response to all of this.
"If I have to take a beating every day for George W. Bush to be president, I'll do that. My passion for my beliefs continues unabated."
We're always told that reporters, editors, and other involved in journalism shouldn't endorse candidates or give donations. Dan Rather broke that rule in Austin a few years ago, but claims it was an accident.
Well, given the current controversy caused by the use of forged and false documents by CBS News, let's see what the employees of that organization are doing politically.
CBS News-ers have donated $17,050 to federal candidates and political action committees since 1982. Of that amount, $10,800 was for Democrats and the DNC; $3,500 went to Lenora Fulani's wacky New Alliance Party; and only $2,750 went to the GOP. The biggest individual recipient was Fulani, who received $3,500 from a CBS News staffer back in the 1980s. The second highest was Sen. Hillary Clinton, who took in $2,250 from three CBS News employees. Among the CBS contributors: the late Charles Kuralt, who gave $1,000 to Harvey Gantt for Senate in 1996; David Garfinkle of "60 Minutes," who gave $1,000 to Bill Bradley's presidential campaign; and "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft, who gave $300 to Ham Fish, Jr.'s race for Congress in 1994.
Now you might argue that these are old donations, not current ones, but notice one significant fact -- the Republican party received less than the New Alliance party of left-wing crackpot Lenora Fulani! Is it that GOP employees are more scrupulous about ethics, or that they are non-existent?
". . . a person who is 12 or 13 can consent to sexual activity but only with a person who is less than 2 years older than he or she is."Can you believe that! They are actually approving kids having sex at age 12! And when little Susie gets knocked up? They go into how to get an abortion without parental knowledge or permission! There is actually a page stating that it is illegal and unethical for doctors to tell parents their kids are sexually active!
If we elect Democrats, who seem to find traditional values and sexual morality troubling, to office this fall, we will soon find stuff like this in our students' backpacks, mandated by Washington, DC.
I've got another picture for you.
A happier one.
Of Viktoria Ktsoyeva.
The girl whose hand and cross touched so many of us.
Here's the story of what she went through in the school. And since I, as a teacher, can't type anything more about Beslan without crying, I'll leave you with this excerpt about the goodness of God.
"I felt that if I had that cross in my hand and if it was still there, then everything would be fine," she said.
The only sign of her injury are three small stitches on the right side of her forehead. But X-rays show a centimetre-sized piece of shrapnel that travelled into her skull and stopped practically in the center of her brain.
Dr Maxim Vladimirov, her neurosurgeon, said the shrapnel could have hit a major artery or affected Viktoria's ability to control her movement if it had gone just 1 millimetre further in any direction. "She's very lucky," Vladimirov said.
For now, doctors are planning to leave the shrapnel inside her skull and will only operate if any future complications develop.
After days of being confined to bed on doctor's orders, Victoria took her first cautious steps again on Wednesday. She's expected to be hospitalised for about a month, and then to travel with her family to a sanatorium for further recuperation.
The cross is now back in her family's apartment in Beslan, still stained with blood.
She didn't have time to remember it when she was taken September 5 to Moscow for treatment, but her father, Sergei, and brother will bring it when they arrive later. She now wears a brown cross given her by a priest who visited the hospital. A couple small icons rest on her windowsill in front of a small menagerie of stuffed animals.
It's called "The White Book," at least informally. More formally, it is called CBS NEWS STANDARDS, and is a product of an outfit called the CBS News Division. It contains the standards and practices that the Columbia Broadcast System supposedly requires of its of those who gather and report the news for CBS Evening News and other news shows on the network. It seems relevant, given recent allegations against Dan Rather and others associated with the memo story.
Here is what the book says about anonymous sources, on page 37B:
"Anonymous sources should be used only when it is determined (1) that there is no other practicable way to obtain and report the information; (2) that the information is factual and of sufficient newsworthiness to warrant its use despite the fact that we cannot disclose its source; and (3) that the source and his information are highly reliable in the particular instance."
And it goes on.
"Where the use of an anonymous source is necessary, as much information as possible about the nature of the source should be provided to the audience, assuming, of course, that this information would not lead to disclosure of the source. Where the source may have a vested interest in the matter to be reported, it is especially important that information be provided as to the nature and/or motivation of the source."
The reporting in the memo stories and subsequent defenses of the stories seems to be in violation of these standards and practices.
Now I'll concede that Powell owns an older edition, since he left the network some years ago. But one would hope that the standards have not changed so dramatically that deception and obfuscation have become acceptable.
It was an 8 1/2-inch leather strap with small lead weights at each end. You can buy them at any number of bookstores throughout the country without a waiting period or background check.
She had carried it on several flights since the 2001 terrorist attacks, even through Tampa, but screeners had never noticed it, she said.
This time they did, and thought it resembled a weighted weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious. Airport police charged her with carrying a concealed weapon.
"It was a bookmark," Harrington, a special education teacher, told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's not a weapon. I could not understand why I was being handcuffed and put into a police car. I cried for hours."
Harrington, who also is a Sunday school teacher, faced a possible criminal trial, a $10,000 fine and the stigma of being deemed a security risk.
Glad we have taken care of the security threat posed by literate middle-age women. But we still let large groups of Middle Eastern and Muslim men fly together and wander freely about the plane, so we may have a way to go before the skies are safe.
A family friend said the vigil turned abrasive toward the family members. The friend sent an e-mail message to NBC 5 News that described the alleged treatment some vigil attendees directed at the family.
The family friend's message alleges Drake's mother was "harassed and yelled at, booed and hissed, told her son died for nothing."
Quite a way for those at a vigil to "honor the dead" to treat the family of one of those who had died. These people dishonor the troops, especially those who have died.
But they live in America, where they have the freedom to do such things. In Saddam Hussein's Iraq, they weould all be in prison or dead today.
That is why they should be thankful for men like Chad Drake -- and George W. Bush.
Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev has claimed responsibility for the deadly school hostage taking in southern Russia, according to a letter posted on a rebel website today.
Rebels commanded by Basayev have "carried out a series of successful military operations...", including "the operation in the town of Beslan", said a letter signed by the notorious warlord and posted on kavkazcenter.com.
The hostage crisis in early September killed more than 330 people, the majority of them children.
Want one more reasons for considering so many Kerry supporters to be evil? Phil Parlock decided to take his three-year-old daughter to see John Edwards at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, West Virginia -- and to engage in a little First Amendment protected speech by waving a Bush/Cheney sign. Kerry/Edwards supporters ripped the sign from the little girl and verbally abused her and her father (look at the smirking piece of excrement next to the father and daughter, mocking them).
Great class, folks -- picking on little children. This is why you will lose, because the decent people of America are going to rise up en masse against you.
By the way, Huntington is also the area where gunshots were fired into GOP headquarters as party faithful gathered to watch the president's acceptance speech during the convention. Were kerry supporters at this event questioned for involvement in that terrorist act, given their thuggish behavior today?
Daniel Avila, 25, admitted Wednesday that he handed out fliers at the city's Oktoberfest celebration stating, "President George W. Bush Deserves to Be Assassinated." The handbill also called for a sex attack on the president's twin daughters.
Avila, who didn't attend the Tuesday night council session, wouldn't discuss his motives.
"I don't want to give any clue as to whether I'm serious or whether I'm playing around," he said. "I just think people need to allow something they don't like in their society to exist. In general that's what democracy is all about."
This guy needs to be in custody. Especially since in July he passed out bumper stickers advocating the murder of the president when he came to speak at a City Council meeting -- and brought a hatchet with him. He appears to be a danger to himself or others.
The article ends with this little gem.
Asked if he has ever committed a violent act, Avila said he has not.
"But if I did, I wouldn't be honest about it," he said.
Tell it to your cellmate, Danny-Boy.
"Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids," said Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. "Water is necessary, and then generators, and then food, and then clothes."
Actually, dear, cloting is necessary.
As I see it, there are a couple of possibilities.
First, Teresa could be the sort who gets her jollies looking at naked kids. One would hope not, but you never can be too careful these days.
Second, Teresa could be flashing back to her childhood home in Mozambique, where she and her fellow members of the colonialist oppressor class lived in luxury while the common people did without. She thinks poor little black kids don't need clothes.
Third, Teresa could simply have no clue, and be shooting off her mouth like an ignorant tramp again.
I vote for number three, but wonder about number one. I mean, she is pretty anxious to get those kids naked.
Here they are, for your viewing pleasure.
Also view documents released by the White House reflecting President Bush's National Guard service:
In an unusual infusion of big money into local upstate politics, billionaire George Soros poured cash into the Albany County district attorney's race — and engineered a stunning defeat of the incumbent because the DA supports the strict Rockefeller drug laws.
He's succeeded in destabilizing foreign governments. He's succeeded in taking out a DA. He's trying to buy the presidency for Kerry. So I have to ask -- Is George Soros a threat to the American Republic?
After all, we are told that wealthy Americans pouring large amounts of money into campaigns undermines the system. But that is what Soros does. Consider this race, in which he engineered the defeat of a man whose offense was strongly supporting strong drug laws.
The Soros-founded Drug Policy Alliance Network — which favors repeal of the Rockefeller laws — contributed at least $81,500 to the Working Families Party, which turned around and supported the successful Democratic primary campaign of David Soares.
Trying to become Albany's first black DA, Soares on Tuesday unexpectedly trounced his former boss, incumbent Albany DA Paul Clyne, who has opposed changing the drug laws. The victory was overwhelming: Soares took 62 percent of the Democratic vote.
"This was more than a local race, that's what the [Soros] funding shows," said Assemblyman John McEneny, who supported the challenger's candidacy.
So I guess this means more use of shadowy groups to launder his money and make it appear like a grass-roots campaign to legalize drugs exists. Maybe Speaker Hastert is right, and there are drug groups involved in the Soros fortune.
But the part that makes me worry about our nations is later in the article.
While the Soros family has already donated more than $15 million to get rid of President Bush, it has also turned its attention to New York politics.
The Post recently reported that Soros' son, Robert, and his wife, Melissa Schiff Soros, donated $100,000 to state Senate Democrats.
I guess the folks worried about the integrity of elections don't see a need to protect us from rich Democrat partisans.
National news reports indicate that Target Corp., which operates 1,272 stores in 47 states, decided earlier this year to end a longtime agreement that allowed the Salvation Army to solicit funds at its stores.
Let's make sure Target suffers at least as serious a belt-tightening.
John and Teresa Kerry last year paid only 12% in income taxes. Apparently, Kerry, who rakes in just over $158,000 a year as a U.S. Senator, and his Heinz-heiress wife don't consider themselves "rich."
And it gets even more interesting when one looks at Kerrys state tax returns. Americans for tax Reform
also noted that "John Kerry has declined to pay a small, voluntary tax in his home state. The Massachusetts state income tax code contains a provision allowing payers to contribute an extra .6% of their income to benefit the commonwealth. Kerry has consistently failed to pay the extra money, which would have amounted to $687 dollars last year."
I guess that means that even though you don't need that tax cut, you are still greedy enough to keep it instead of giving it back to the federal government or even to the Massachusetts government. Hypocrite!
"I have a plan that I'm going to have a press conference at least once a month to talk to the nation about what I'm doing because I don't have anything to hide."Apparently that doesn't include during his time as a candidate, but only if we elect the secretive Mr. Kerry to the presidency.
What kind of things could reporters ask Kerry about? Kirsanow points to the following areas that are ripe for inquiry.
* What is his secret plan for dealing with Iraq? The senator refused to disclose it to George Stephanopolous.
* Senator Kerry still has not released Vietnam journal or authorized the release of all his military records by signing a DD-180. Why not if he wants to show he has experience to make him a strong wartime leader?
* Why won't Kerry allow the disclosure of his attendance records for classified briefings of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to show the American public how serious he has been about the intelligence failures of the last decade?
* Which foreign leaders have told Kerry they want to see him as president rather than Bush? This will tell us who is committed to join us in Iraq if we are no longer going to "go it alone" (and yes, Kirsanow and I both know we aren't).
* Will Kerry give us the details of his 1971 meeting with the Viet Cong in Paris? His involvement with Vietnam Veterans Against the War during the time assassinations and violence were contemplated?
The list goes on and on — secret tax returns, medical files, diplomatic missions, and hats. Senator Kerry is applying for the most powerful job in world. He needs to be interviewed by the media to prove that he's up to the task.
When co-announcer John Madden marveled at the seesawing of the score - "This is what you call a flip-flop," he said - Michaels retorted: "You're in the right state for that."
By which Michaels meant Massachusetts, the home state of the Democratic presidential nominee, who's constantly being accused by President Bush's campaign team of "flip-flopping" on the issues.
And apparently James Carville is upset.
"These announcers are getting to think they're some kind of political commentators or pontificators," Carville told me. "But the football fans watch football to hear about football. If Al Michaels wants to give his political opinions, tell him to come on 'Crossfire.'"
Paul Begala, on the other hand, doesn't watch.
"I hardly ever watch ['Monday Night Football'] anymore. It's the television equivalent of Sominex. And they have had all these right-wingers on: Dennis Miller, Rush Limbaugh and Al Michaels - and all it does is drive viewers away."
Fortunately, ABC has the perfect response to this non-issue driven by gossip columnist Lloyd Grove.
"We don't respond to nonsense."
"We are not going to stand by and allow another million African American votes to go uncounted in this election," the Democratic presidential nominee told the Congressional Black Caucus. "We are not going to stand by and allow acts of voter suppression, and we're hearing those things again in this election."
Kerry has a team of lawyers to examine possible voting problems to try to prevent a repeat of the 2000 election disputes. He also has said he has thousands of lawyers around the country prepared to monitor the polls on election day.
"What they did in Florida in 2000, some say they may be planning to do this year in battleground states all across this country," Kerry said. "Well, we are here to let them know that we will fight tooth and nail to make sure that this time, every vote is counted and every vote counts."
As in the past, Kerry and his campaign failed to offer any evidence to support his assertion that a million blacks were disenfranchised in 2000.
I challenge John Kerry -- any Democrat, for that matter -- to post the evidence of such voter suppression plans on the internet, and to turn over their supporting information to the Justice Department and the relevant state AGs for investigation and prosecution.
But they won't. Kerry and his cronies are acting true to form. After all, we all know that Kerry was merely repeating claims of attrocities he heard at the Winter Soldier hearings -- and that many of the participants engaged in false testimony, with none willing to cooperate with authroities to bring to justice any actual perpetrators. They would rather have an issue to flog.
According to Campenni, Bush inquired about participating in a volunteer program called Palace Alert that used Air National Guard pilots flying in the F-102 Delta Dagger interceptor jet in Vietnam.
The Air Guard advised Bush he did not have the desired 500 hours of flight time as a pilot to qualify for Palace Alert duty, and, in any event, the program was winding down and not accepting more volunteers.
Campenni also has an explanation of the gaps in the president's service time.
"[Excuses] for employment were common then and are now in the Air Guard, as pilots frequently are in career transitions, and most commanders, as I later was, are flexible in letting their charges take care of career affairs until they return or transfer to another unit near their new employment," said Campenni, who spent 33 years in the Air National Guards of three states as his career as an aerospace engineer took him around the country.
But I guess the word of a 33 year officer who served with President Bush just isn't sufficient for the partisans.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may the light of your face shine upon them.
Could they be testing their nukes?
So many died that horrible day.
One was my classmate at Washington and Lee University, Commander Robert Allan Schlegel.
I would love to tell you he and I were close. That would be a lie.
I would love to share stories of great times together. I don't have any.
What I can tell you is that I remember Rob Schlegel as a good guy, a friend of some friends. I remember him as being a bright guy, sitting a couple rows over and a couple seats back in a US History class. One of those classmates you later wish you had gotten to know when you had the chance.
Rest in Peace.
May all all the victims of September 11 and the many men and women of our armed forces who have died fighting terrorism since that day rest in peace.
The GOP only refers to God four times.
Echoing a statement of President Bush, the Republican document says freedom is "the Almighty's gift to every man, woman and child in the world" and it says leaders of faith-based groups treat people as "moral individuals created in the image of God."
The other two Republican mentions criticize federal judges for banning "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and quote from a Bush eulogy: "May God bless Ronald Reagan."
The Democrats, surprisingly enough, refer to God seven times.
As for the Democrats, they twice speak of America as "one nation, under God." They say America offers "all the possibilities your hard work and God-given talent can bring." On the environment, the platform twice describes nature's bounty as a gift from God and later says it should be protected as a heritage for "God's children."
Yet another Democratic plank says "each of us should be as equal in the eyes of the law as we are in the eyes of God."
Where are the Atheist Criminal Liberals Union condemnations of Democrat intolerance, and their complaints about Democrat pushing of Christianity on the unbelievers of America?
they don't exist.
Perhaps because their condemnations of the GOP are partisan, not philosophical -- or because they know that the Democrat invocations of God are nothing but hypocritical window-dressing designed to fool the unwary.
"It's not like I'm on a news show," Mr. Carville said, adding, "Why can't I host the most polemic talk show on television?"
Well, because JOURNALISTS and NEWS PERSONALITIES are supposed to remain formally neutral in political campaigns. You would have a fit if Joe Scarborough or Sean Hannity became advisers to the Bush campaign, made appearances for and represented them, and then claimed that it was irrelevant to their jobs. You would rightly be claiming that allowing them to keep their shows would be providing aid to the Bush camp -- as CNN does by keeping you and Begala on the air. That is our gripe here -- not that you are an active and partisan Democrat.
But Gilmore is absolutely right on one point.
"The hardest question to answer is 'show me the law, the regulation, and the rule that requires this,' and none of them could, and never have," Mr. Gilmore said.
The government maintains that there is a law prohibiting the disclosure of SSI, and administration officials have the power to prohibit the disclosure of any information that would "harm transportation security."
Get that -- the government is unwilling to disclose the law, the regulation, or rule that actually requires that identification be shown, despite admitting that showing is legally required!
It gets even more hairy in court.
The Justice Department says it will identify the law in a court case brought against it and the Homeland Security Department by Mr. Gilmore, but only if the secret reasons for its top-secret status remain under a court seal.
"The government would also file and serve a redacted, unsealed version of the brief as well. That procedure will adequately safeguard any sensitive security information [SSI] while permitting this court's independent review of the merits of plaintiffs' claim," said the request filed by the Justice Department on Sept. 3.
In other words, not only are We, The People, not allowed to know what the law, regulation, or rule is, but We, The People, are not even allowed to know why we are not allowed to know what the law, regulation, or rule is -- and they are willing to disclose such information to a court only on the condition that We, The People, are not allowed to know the arguments that support not allowing us to know why we are not allowed to know what the law, regulation or rule is.
Sorry, folks, but such a situation is the absolute betrayal of the concepts that underlie our system of government.
President Bush should have to explain newly released records that reveal his former Texas National Guard superior was asked to “sugar coat” performance records after finding Bush failed standards to be a trained pilot, Sen. John Edwards said Thursday.
“I think they are reasonable and legitimate questions the White House ought to answer.”
Excuse me, John, why don't you answer the questions about your campaign's connections to these apparent forgeries.
And while you are at it, how about explaining to the public about your deferments and your failure to serve at all before you start questioning the service of a man who fulfilled his obligation in the National Guard.
And could you also get John Kerry to answer questions about his medals, his efforts in support of the Vietnamese Communists, and the six year delay in his discharge?
But who is the fanatic here?
Barkin said this about the situation faced in the film at the Venice Film Festival.
"I am the mother of a 12-year-old girl and I can tell you unequivocally that if my daughter was pregnant, I would take her kicking and screaming to have an abortion," Barkin said at a press conference Tuesday to publicize her new movie.
Well, I thought that the rhetoric of the abortion industry was that of choice. What we are hearing here is that the actual issue is abortion -- and it doesn't matter if it is wanted or an assault upon the person of the pregnant female.
Well, they've gotten into some California classrooms, and are intent of destroying the documented historical picture of Father Serra and replacing it with a PC image that portrays him as a genocidal exploiter of the California Indians.
A priest in the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church, Serra was the driving force behind Spain’s colonization of California, and he's well remembered in the state’s grade-school textbooks.
But some elementary school teachers and activists say Serra took advantage of Native American labor, and through his leadership, the Golden State’s adored missions had devastating effects on thousands of Indians who lost their freedom and lives building and maintaining the 21 Catholic sites.
While Serra could become California’s first saint, some teachers are providing their own perspective, forsaking the mandated textbooks and letting 8-year-olds act out scenarios that portray Serra as a trickster and even, in a few extreme cases, a purveyor of genocide.
Will the state of California act to stop the miseducation of its children, and the defaming of Father Serra and the other missionaries who brought Christianity to California?
See if you can follow the math here. Guard members were required to obtain 50 drill points a year for that year to "count". That means his 6-year hitch required that he rack up 300 points. How did he do?
The future president joined the Guard in May 1968. Almost immediately, he began an extended period of training. Six weeks of basic training. Fifty-three weeks of flight training. Twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training.
That was 80 weeks to begin with, and there were other training periods thrown in as well. It was full-time work. By the time it was over, Bush had served nearly two years.
Not two years of weekends. Two years.
Now I will concede that he did agree to that in his initial contract -- but it is interesting to note that there was clearly no problem there. His 1968-69 calendar year shows him earning 253 points. The 1969-70 period is even more productive. Bush earned 340 points based upon his time training and drilling.
Now we hit two years when he was not on active duty -- 1970-1971 and 1971-72. What happened then?
He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot.In other words, by May of 1972, George W. Bush had about 140% of the points he needed to accumulate.
May 1972-May 1973 is the period folks question. What happened then? Yes, Bush stops flying (not a good thing, in my book). We've known that. But he still ekes out 56 points -- meaning he met the obligation for the year. He spent most of June and July of 1973 on duty, giving him 56 points for that year as well. In other words, for the sixth straight years he performed a creditable year of service. He requests and receives an early discharge so he can continue his education, and that request is granted in light of his completion of the mandated duty. He receives an honorable discharge, and he gets it early because of his diligence.
In contrast, John Kerry doesn't receive his discharge until the summer of 1978, six years later than scheduled. Why the delay? We don't know, because John Kerry won't allow the records to be released that would answer the question. We do know that during this time he was zipping off to Paris to consort with the enemy, and that he found time to travel the country promoting the enemy's peace plan and make speeches that defamed his fellow servicemen. Why the delay, Senator? Were you a deserter, or were you simply AWOL?
"Only an idiot wouldn't like this."
Isn't it clear? No need for debate or discussion -- conform to the platform or you are mentally defective! What next, Teresa? An involuntary psychaiatric commitment for dissenters, until they see the errors of their ways?
All paid for by the government, of course.
"These documents do not appear to have been the result of technology that was available in 1972 and 1973," said Bill Flynn, one of country's top authorities on document authentication. "The cumulative evidence that's available … indicates that these documents were produced on a computer, not a typewriter:"
Among the points Flynn and other experts noted:
* The memos were written using a proportional typeface, where letters take up variable space according to their size, rather than fixed-pitch typeface used on typewriters, where each letter is allotted the same space. Proportional typefaces are available only on computers or on very high-end typewriters that were unlikely to be used by the National Guard.
* The memos include superscript, i.e. the "th" in "187th" appears above the line in a smaller font. Superscript was not available on typewriters.
* The memos included "curly" apostrophes rather than straight apostrophes found on typewriters.
* The font used in the memos is Times Roman, which was in use for printing but not in typewriters. The Haas Atlas — the bible of fonts — does not list Times Roman as an available font for typewriters.
* The vertical spacing used in the memos, measured at 13 points, was not available in typewriters, and only became possible with the advent of computers.
Add to that the statements of the son and widow of Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, (conveniently dead since 1984) that they doubt the authenticity, and you have a real mess. CBS has called them Killian's "personal files", but offers no explanation as to how or where these were obtained. It is clear that they did not come from the family, so that leaves us asking some serious questions about the source of the documents.
Hamm, a Heritage Foundation staffer, was introduced to a former DNC staffer while out with friends. during the course of the conversation, the following exchange occurred.
“All right,” I said, “as a young person working on Capitol Hill, making a modest sum of money, what do you and the Democratic Party have to offer me? What are you gonna do to help me move from one class to another?”
Brad looked at me as if the answer were self-evident. I raised my eyebrows and waited for his answer.
“Well, you know, as a female…”
He must have noticed the wicked smile spread across my face. If I were a better actress, I would have gone for outrage, but I asked:
“As a female… what?”
He mumbled something about women’s and minorities’ rights and “leveling the playing field.” Check mate, DNC Brad. Just to make sure I understood correctly, I ran over his points. I need the Democratic Party to help me move up in life. I can’t be expected to do it all by my little lonesome. And why not? Because I’m a girl.
DNC Brad had a slightly sheepish look on his face. He had just let slip one of the most blatantly sexist things I’d ever heard in person, and before I repeated it, had apparently been secure in the fact that he occupied the moral high ground.
I explained to Brad that I simply don’t believe I need the help of men like him and the government to make it in life, nor am I up for forking over my tax dollars to cheapen my achievements with a special set of girly rules. And so our conversation ended, a polite parting of ways. I picked up my lukewarm beer and moved on.
Had the story stopped there, one might be excused for thinking that Hamm had stumbled across one of the few remaining unenlightened individuals remaining in the Democrat Party. But her examination of the contents of the 2004 Democrat Party Platform is devastating. She repeatedly shows how the Democrats view her as incapable of fending for herself because of her sex.
First, “we support affirmative action to redress discrimination.”
That must have been what DNC Brad was talking about! The DNC is going to force people to give me all kinds of goodies I may not deserve simply because I’m incapable of earning them on my own. And why can’t I do it? Because I’m a girl!
Looks like this DNC thing really is the next train out of Oppressionville. Here’s another way they’re going to help me: “We believe a day's work is worth a day's pay, and at a time when women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, we need stronger equal pay laws and stronger enforcement of them.”
Now, I can understand that because I’m just a girl, the DNC would figure I’d take this statistic from them without question, but it turns out I can Google with the best of them, men or women. This figure comes from a 2002 census survey, which compared the yearly median earnings figure of full-time working women to the median figure for men. So the census folks took two lists that include everything from burger-flippers to CEOs, stuck a pin in the middle of each list, compared them, and that’s supposed to determine equal pay for equal work? If women really do offer equal work for 23 cents less on the dollar, why does anyone bother hiring men?
The point being that there may be sexual discrimination in pay, but there are also plenty of other possible reasons for discrepancies. The DNC would force employers to ignore those other reasons and pay me a certain salary simply based on my gender.
And last, “because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand proudly for a woman's right to choose… regardless of her ability to pay.”
Clearly, I cannot be expected to protect myself from an unwanted pregnancy, and should I decide to have an abortion, I can’t be expected to take responsibility for even paying for it. Why not? You guessed it—Because I’m a girl.
No wonder all the liberal women I’ve ever known felt like someone was keeping them down. I never imagined there were so many things I can’t do because I’m a woman until I read the DNC platform. But isn’t this the party for women? I hear time and time again that I can’t be a self-respecting woman without being a Democrat.
I beg to differ. It is precisely because I’m a self-respecting woman that I don’t need Brad’s condescension cloaked in kindness. I want to earn what I get, deserve what I earn, and decide exactly what I do with my earnings instead of handing that responsibility off to a political party. I am capable of that and much more, because I’m a girl.
Bravo, Mary Katharine! And not just because you are a girl, but because you have cut to the very heart of Democrat sexism.
Well what about this? A sticker reading "Bush/Cheney - Most hated world leaders since Hitler" was distributed by Democrat Farmer Labor Party state headquarters in Minnesota. Even when they were removed from view, one GOP visitor to the office was still able to get one from office staffers.
Minnesota Republicans are outraged.
"DFL Party Chair Mike Erlandson must immediately cease the distribution of these hateful bumper stickers," GOP Chairman Ron Eibensteiner said Wednesday.
THe DFL, on the other hand, acted as typical leftist do by blaming the victims of their smear campaign.
"These kinds of shenanigans by the Republican Party only prove the point that George Bush has no record to run on, so his party will employ games to distract our attention away from the real issues facing Minnesotans," Erlandson said.
In other words, I stand by the message of the bumper sticker, and am mighty angry that the GOP caught me and decided to go public with the party's actions.
Daughter Brandi was interested in joining the military, so Navy recruiter Wendy Chunn paid a visit to the family. That got son Jamie interested. She's going as a culinary specialist, while he is headed for training in the nuclear engineering field. That led their father, Kerry McIntyre, to decide to reenlist in the Navy Reserve. He then persuaded his wife, Angela, to join with him. In a matter of weeks, the entire family enlisted in the Navy.
As I pointed out the other day, one pro-Kerry leftist in New York carried a sign advocating the murder of the president without a word of objection from his peers.
Now comes this little tidbit from West Virginia.
The Secret Service was contacted Friday to help investigate a shot fired at the Cabell County Republican headquarters in Huntington.
Supporters of President Bush had gathered at the 4th Avenue headquarters Thursday night to watch the president accept his party's nomination. About two minutes into the speech, someone fired a shot through the front window of the building.
Nobody was hurt, but there was plenty of anger in the aftermath.
"This is pretty low and shows how desperate the Democratic Party is," said Republican Amanda Beach.
Local Democrat officials claim to be shocked, shocked, that such violence might be seen as political.
Bobby Nelson of the Cabell County Democratic Executive Committee disagreed. "I hope it doesn't take on a political connotation, that this was done for politics," Nelson said. "I'd like to say it was some random thoughtless act."
Yeah, Bobby, through a sign in the window of GOP headquarters advocating traditional marriage and into a crowd of Republicans, right as the President started to speak. If the situation was reversed, we would have John Kerry demanding that George Bush account for every Republican volunteer in the US -- and his 527 and internet surrogates would be insisting that Karl Rove had ordered up a Special Forces sniper team to intimidate black voters.
The President will be in Huntington on September 10. If you are anywhere nearby, make a point of turning out to offer support.
A woman, maybe someone you love, is raped. She ends up pregnant by the rapist -- rare, but possible.
Abortion is not an option for her, for whatever reason. She chooses adoption.
But there is a hitch. The father -- the rapist -- must terminate his custodial rights. And he will not do so, unless his victim agrees not to file charges or testify against him. There would be no justice for the victim, and the rapist would be free to rape again.
That can't happen in North Carolina, thanks to Representative Sam Ellis. The legislature recently passed legislation to automatically terminate the parental rights of convicted first and second degree rapists in that state. They can be regained only if the rapist petitions a court and proves that the restoration would be in the child's best interests. A mighty high burden, don't you think?
The scary thing? It took FOUR YEARS to get it through the legislature! Four years to decide that a criminal has no right to control the life and dictate the choices available to his victim!
Contact your legislators, folks. Demand legislation like this in your home state.
And tell them they had better not take four years to pass it.
John Edwards proposed a Kerry Administration ( brrrrrrrrr!) plan for Iran to have nuclear power but not retain the material necessary for nuclear weapons. This was seen as a shift from the Bush Administration position of treating Iran as a sponsor of terrorism seeking nuclear weapons. It was a bold, radical plan.
And it has failed. Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi has rejected the nuclear non-proliferation plan. Thus we see the first John Kerry foreign policy failure -- his first foreign policy success was the undermining of US policy in Vietnam and the destruction of US-allied South Vietnam -- and it comes before the election.
Senator Edwards told the Washington Post that the proposal would represent a "great bargain" for Iran -- and that should Iran reject it, a Kerry administration would be forced to conclude that Iran actually was, as the Bush administration now contends, actively pursuing the weaponisation of nuclear materials.
In other words, Bush is right, and Kerry/Edwards lacks what it takes to form a coherent, security-focused foreign policy.
NEW YORK Sept. 6, 2004 — Former President Bill Clinton was in the operating room Monday for heart bypass surgery, a hospital source told The Associated Press.
Preparations for the surgery began at about 6:45 a.m. at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia in upper Manhattan, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The operation was expected to last until noon or 12:30 p.m. EDT.
Noting that Texas is the only state that does not allow condemned prisoners television access, ACLU prison project litigation director Yolanda Torres first raised the issue in May.
"We believe it is significant that every other death row in the country has successfully developed and implemented policies and practices that allow death row prisoners access to television, while at the same time maintaining the safety and security of their employees and institutions," Torres wrote.
Crain's response was, in my opinion, perfect.
"I appreciate the passion and energy that you bring to matters for which you advocate," Crain wrote. "But as the Board and the current Administration do not wish to entertain this issue further, dialogue between you and me on this subject is now closed."
ACLU representatives are up in arms over a government official not kowtowing to their demands to coddle murderers.
Meredith Martin Rountree, the Texas ACLU's prison project director, believes Crain's decision is based on misguided popular opinion.
"TDCJ's job is not to pander to public misunderstandings and misconceptions about criminal justice," Rountree said.
Actually, as government officials in the state of Texas, it is their job to run the prisons the way we Texans want. Until and unless there is a right to watch Oprah buried somewhere in the text of the Constitution, we don't want the killers to have televisions. And they work for us, Rountree, not the UnAmerican Criminal Liberals Union.
Heck, if we had our way these killers would get one bullet to the base of the skull immediately upon the denial of their first and only appeal.
The first thing I noticed about the two long pieces is that they are reasonably complimentary towards his skills as an officer. As Captain J.F. Kelly notes,
John Kerry and I were shipmates in the guided missile cruiser USS Gridley (CG-21) in 1967 and 1968. He served as First Lieutenant, the officer in charge of the deck division, and I was Executive Officer, or second in command. I remember him as a serious and intelligent young ensign, seemingly mature beyond his years. The skipper and I were mightily impressed with him in spite of his inexperience. . . . Drafting his fitness reports was an exercise in the use of superlatives. In fact, of the thirty or so officers, I counted him in the top half dozen, no mean feat for an ensign.
Ensign Kerry was a fine young officer. He came aboard as a boot Ensign on June 8, 1967 and quickly impressed the senior officers in his chain of command. His fitness reports were outstanding. His privileged upbringing with experience in yachting and flying a private plane gave him a leg up on the other Ensigns.
But each of these men has something more to say about Kerry, things that go to the heart of who that fine young officer became. Carter gives a long list of inaccurate assertions and stories that appear in his official biography, Brinkley's Tour of Duty.
When I read “Tour of Duty”, I became concerned because the material on Kerry’s time on GRIDLEY appeared in many instances to be exaggerations and in some cases figments of an overactive imagination. . . .
[T]hey (Kerry's false stories) seem to show a deliberate effort in his writings of the time to build a mystique for a future political career showing him as a great leader, father confessor to the ship and astute analyst of political and military happenings.
That is not to say that Kerry was not a good officer. He was and to my recollection was well liked. Did he stalk the passageways showing his future presidential timber? Absolutely not. A reporter from the Chicago Tribune actually asked me that. When I told him that he was just another goofy Ensign, he was horrified and did not use that quote.
Kelly assesses the impact of Kerry's anti-war statements very harshly, building to a damning conclusion.
While he was protesting against the war, many of us were still fighting in it. Many of us felt betrayed that one of our own, a decorated hero, would give comfort to the enemy by such actions. Think what you want about the wisdom in getting involved in that war, two presidents, both Democrats, committed the armed forces they commanded to fight it. Make no mistake; actions by the likes of Fonda and Kerry were damaging to our morale, gave aid and comfort to the forces we were fighting and altered the eventual outcome in a manner less favorable to the United States (italics mine) than if they had kept their mouths shut. The time for anti-war protests is before the war starts.
There is no question that John Kerry earned his decorations and that he put his life at risk in the service of his country. There is no doubt in my mind, moreover, that he has the intelligence to serve as president. But there is also no doubt in my mind that his anti-war activities while our troops were still fighting, dying and being tortured in filthy Vietnam prisons were despicable.
For that reason, even aside from his anti-defense voting record in the Senate, he is one ex-shipmate that I could never support as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
These are not the Swift Boat Heroes -- these are men who served with Kerry and praise his service. Their words are not contained in a book or an attack ad, but are rather found on the site maintained by the ship's association so that old crewmates can reminisce and keep in contact. Their statements do, however, raise serious issues as to the truthfulness of Senator Kerry's public accounts of his service and his fitness for office. This should be food for thought.
Funny, though, that the accusation should be made against a Republican ally, since it was Republicans who were the key target of the Klan, as documented in this 1870 grand jury testimony.
"There has existed since 1868, in many counties of the state, an organization known as the Ku Klux Klan, or Invisible Empire of the South, which embraces in its membership a large proportion of the white population of every profession and class. The Klan has a constitution and bylaws, which provides, among other things, that each member shall furnish himself with a pistol, a Ku Klux gown and a signal instrument. The operations of the Klan are executed in the night and are invariably directed against members of the Republican Party.”
You see it wasn't just blacks that these partisan Democrats were after, it was the ones who dared align themselves with the Republicans. And it wasn't just black Republicans, but also white Republicans. So, as this article in the American Thinker points out, there is a more accurate term for Zell Miller than Klansman.
the term Mr. Cavett and the Democrats were looking for to apply to Zell Miller, the historically accurate term, is “scalawag.” Scalawags is what the Klansmen called those Southerners who dared to side with the Republican Party in freeing the slaves and trying to secure them their newly won equal rights. In this usage scalawag is surely now a term of honor.
And yes, Zell Miller is a modern day scalawag. He seems to be damn proud to be one. He should be.
They have a couple of hard-hitting ads ready to go. Drop by for a look.
The first ad CLICK HERE TO VIEW (or "right click, then "save target as") will feature John Kerry’s role as a private attorney in 1982, when he secured freedom and parole for his client George Reissfelder who pled guilty to attempted murder of a police officer, bur never served his 15-year sentence because Kerry successfully secured his parole. The parole was in Florida because Mr. Kerry’s client had escaped during a furlough, just like Willie Horton. Once a free man, thanks to John Kerry, Kerry’s would-be cop killer client brazenly continued his life of crime as part of a Mafia-controlled drug ring.
The second ad, which will be aired at a later date CLICK HERE TO VIEW (or "right click, then "save target as") will feature the political alliance John Kerry has forged with Al Sharpton, focusing on Mr. Sharpton’s history, which was rarely mentioned during his 2004 run for president. Instead of the charismatic and witty Sharpton seen during his presidential bid, Americans will be educated about the real Al Sharpton, who recently blamed America for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Sharpton who called Adolph Hitler “a great man”; the Sharpton who urged college students to kill police officers; and the Sharpton leading the picketing of a white-owned store in Harlem [calling the Jewish owner a ‘white interloper”], resulting in the store being burned down by one of Sharpton’s followers, killing seven people. The ad will include footage of Sharpton in his own words, and Mr. Kerry’s hinting of Shartpon becoming part of a Kerry administration.
The Supreme Court got it right in 1943. It is the hallmark of the American system that no official, high or petty, shall prescribe what is orthodox in matters of politics. Would that our legislators would remember that.
Three hundred fifty dead in Russia. Three hundred dead in Spain. Three thousand dead in the United States. And uncounted more dead worldwide.
Clasped in the hand of one of the victims of terrorists in Russia is the reason that such folks hate us. Never forget that -- they hate us because our faith is not theirs.
This is not an indictment of Islam. Most Muslims I know condemn such evil, and I believe them to represent the bulk of the Muslims around the world. In that belief I stand with George W. Bush. But let us never forget that those who would kill us are motivated by a warped version of that faith.
Now ask yourself -- which candidate for president do you trust to keep you safe from those who perpetrate such acts of barbarism?
A Filipino woman who won $825,000 in a lawsuit claiming a Hollywood executive and his wife enslaved her said the case should be a warning to others.
Nena Ruiz, 60, is a former schoolteacher from the Philippines who worked as a domestic servant for James Jackson and his wife, Elizabeth.
Jackson is vice president of legal affairs for Sony Pictures entertainment.
Of course the guy is in the entertainment industry. That segment of the Left Coast thinks itself superior to the rest of us. Why wouldn't this couple go abroad and pick up a slave for around the house?
A jury last week awarded [Ruiz] back wages and punitive damages, finding the Jacksons liable for involuntary servitude, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, negligence and fraud. Jurors also found Elizabeth Jackson liable for assault and battery.
The Jacksons threatened to call the police and immigration authorities if Ruiz left and told her that she would be locked up and would never see her family again, said Dan Stormer, one of Ruiz's attorneys.
The Jacksons, in an attempt to insulate themselves from any damage award, filed for bankruptcy protection before the trial began. Even if that transparent abuse of the statute works, here's hoping that state and federal authorities will take legal action to put these folks in jail.
The sign also depicted a bullet hole, ringed with symbolic red blood.
Asked about the sign, the man carrying it responded, "I told the Secret Service it is for everyone to interpret exactly how they want."
When asked how he interpreted the sign, the man who refused to be identified, said, "Gosh, I don't know."
"A guy with a badge wanted to know what the sign meant. I said I really did not understand -- it's just something that popped into my head."
That this man was left free to roam the streets by the authorities is shocking. But such sentiments are standard in the Leftist toolbox.
Could you imagine if a Republican expressed such a sentiment about John Kerry? How long would we hear about it in the media, and how quickly would the president be expected to denounce the sign. How fast would the protester have been hustled off to a cell and charged with a crime?
I don't like Bill Clinton politically. I believe he irreparably damaged and diminished the presidency. But I do not want him dead, and for the sake of his wife, daughter, and otehr loved ones I wish him a swift, complete recovery and a long, healthy, active, and productive life that continues on for another couple of decades. Common decency requires no less.
Mr. President, you are in my prayers tonight.
Let's hope we don't get any of these convoluted scenarios. Just make sure you work to get George W. Bush elected in November.
This relates to potential fraudulent claims about the medals listed on his DD214. A Navy spokesman confirms that Kerry's Silver star should not have the combat V decoration listed in the (three different) citations he has for it. According to the Navy,
The Navy has never issued a Combat V at any time for the Silver Star.Whose responsibility was it to make sure the the form was correct? John Kerry's, before he signed it to attest that it was accurate at the time of his discharge. That he did not raises a question of either carelessness or deliberate fraud. Similarly, the Vietnam Service Medal listed on his DADDY should include only one campaign star, because he was not in Vietnam long enough to serve in five of the seventeen campaigns eligible for the medal and the stars listed on the form. Again, it was Kerry's responsibility to have checked the document and seek correction.
What he has done instead is posted multiple citations for the incorrect Silver Star and for his Bronze Star with Combat V (apparently accurate), and documentation claiming the inaccurate Silver Star and the inaccurate Vietnam Service Medal with four stars. Either he as negligent in doing so, or he is committing fraud. What's more, his decision to keep the documents posted in the face of questions indicates a continued pattern if deception.
When Admiral Mike Boorda committed suicide over the wearing of an improper award, Kerry is quoted as follows:
“Is it wrong? Yes, it is very wrong. Sufficient to question his leadership position? The answer is yes, which he clearly understood,” said Sen. John Kerry, a Navy combat veteran who served in Vietnam.It is therefore reasonable now for Americans to question Kerry's fitness for leadership, in light of this medal fraud. He also made a statement especially relevant to the election choice we now face, given his heavy reliance upon his Vietnam service and claims of heroism.
“The military is a rigorous culture that places a high premium on battlefield accomplishment,” said Sen. John F. Kerry, who received numerous decorations, including a Bronze Star with a "V" pin, as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam.John Kerry is seeking to be the true "chief of them all," the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces. How much more heavily should these demonstrably false awards weigh in selecting our nation's leader?
“In a sense, there's nothing that says more about your career than when you fought, where you fought and how you fought,” Kerry said.
“If you wind up being less than what you’re pretending to be, there is a major confrontation with value and self-esteem and your sense of how others view you.”
Of Boorda and his apparent violation, Kerry said: “When you are the chief of them all, it has to weigh even more heavily.”
I have no doubt that Kerry will continue to shame himself and the heroes of Vietnam (and all who served in the military) by laying claims to fraudulent and unearned decorations. They are no more than props to him, and have never been anything else. His actions in 1971, when he claimed to have "given back" his medals by throwing them over a fence is the first example. His display of these same medals in his Senatorial office and frequent reference to them in Senate speeches is a second use of them as props. Today they are props for a Presidential campaign, designed to shield all post-Vietnam actions from question or attack.
We now know that the claimed medals are, in part, a fraud. Admiral Boorda's erroneous wearing of a medal led to suicide as a method of redeeming himself from the dishonor he had brought upon himself and the Navy. But we all know that Kerry will not take such a course of action, for he has proved time and again that he is a man without honor. The American people must tell him that we recognize this character flaw in November.
"I believe it is an image of two crosses," Forbes said. "This is an unusual and inappropriate use of religious symbols in a political campaign."
< SNIP >
Forbes said the images of crosses on the wooden platform make him wonder if the Republicans are trying to cater to a specific bloc of religious voters.
As I look at the two pieces of furniture, I see some things which could be crosses. But it is really just the normal outcome when you alternate different types and tones of wood in a geometric design. And since the pieces probably belong to Madison Square Garden, I suspect this was out of the control of the GOP.
And by the way, Forbes is senior minister at the Riverside Church, a feel-good New-Agey place popular among liberals. If the name rings a bell, that is because Bill Clinton preached there during the worship service the day before the Republican Convention began, urging the liberal faithful on as they counter the GOP with an allegedly non-partisan liberal campaign. I guess that Forbes thinks Jesus is a registered Democrat.
Well guess what -- he doesn't have far to go to find out that he is wrong. After all, LaMarque, Texas is only about a 20 minute drive from our shared hometown. That's where he'll be able to meet Geraldine Sam.
"I think that the Democrats want us to come to the table to eat the crumbs, but Republicans want us to come and eat at the banquet," said Geraldine Sam of Lamarque, Texas, who is one of 20 black Republicans in the Texas delegation this year.
We've had a 70% increase in minority delegates this year, up to 17% of the delegates at the convention. Not a bad percentage, given the Democratic lock on the black vote. And while we lag behind the Democrats in the percentage of minority delegates, that might just be because we don't have affirmative action delegations with fixed percentges from each state that must be a racial minority, elderly, homosexual, or disabled.
Geraldine Sam is part of the wave of the future, an African-American woman in the GOP who has made it into the leadership of the party on her own merits, not by quotas. Other African-Americans are sure to follow, according to other observers of the trend.
"I do think Democrats have taken blacks for granted," said Cynthia Jenkins, an African-American delegate from Irving, Texas. Jenkins helps run the pro-GOP African-American Leadership Council in Dallas, which has produced eight delegates for the convention.
"There is a significant increase in participation here at the national convention — there are grassroots here," she said, though she did not estimate the number of African-American Republicans today. "In the next four years you will see another increase (of African-Americans)," she said.