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March 31, 2006

My Wife Remains Hospitalized -- Open Trackbacking

Come sit with me a while while my wife is in the hospital. Link your favorite posts here.

No porn or ads please, but otherwise I will not limit topics or numbers.

This is my all-weekend open linkfest.

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|| Greg, 05:50 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Borders & Waldenbooks -- Fear Leads To Self-Censorship

The Muhammad Cartoon Controversey has led one company to refuse to sell a magazine at its stores -- two of America's largest retailers of books and magazines.

Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries.

"For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said Wednesday.

The magazine, published by the Council for Secular Humanism in suburban Amherst, includes four of the drawings that originally appeared in a Danish newspaper in September, including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lit fuse.

Islamic tradition bars depiction of Muhammad to prevent idol worship, which is strictly prohibited.

The spokesman for the chain couches the decision -- taken before the magazine even arrived in the stores, in terms of corporate choice -- but in doing so deny any number of Americans the choice to read the magazine.

Bingham said the decision was made before the magazine arrived at the company's stores. Borders Group, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., operates more than 475 Borders and 650 Waldenbooks stores in the United States, though not all regularly carry the magazine.

"We absolutely respect our customers' right to choose what they wish to read and buy and we support the First Amendment," Bingham said. "And we absolutely support the rights of Free Inquiry to publish the cartoons. We've just chosen not to carry this particular issue in our stores."

This isn't the first act of dhimmitude by borders that I have encountered recently. They've been tracking a different aspect of knuckling under to Muslim sentiment in other areas as well, according to the guys over at Colossus of Rhodey. They have discovered that there seems to be a practice at Borders of shelving the Koran out of order in the religious books section, so that it is placed above the scriptures of all other faiths. This is done lest Muslims be offended that their book is being placed in a subordinate position to any other book. The responses they got from the company avoid answering the question of whether or not this is a policy in the chain -- to paraphrase, the response was sort of "well, its what the stores all do, but I don't think its written policy -- and we'll make sure that any store that has them shelved differently gets those Korans back on the top shelf where they belong."

I think that the spokesman for Free Inquiry says it well.

"What is at stake is the precious right of freedom of expression," said Paul Kurtz, editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry. "Cartoons often provide an important form of political satire ... To refuse to distribute a publication because of fear of vigilante violence is to undermine freedom of press _ so vital for our democracy."

From where I stand, I think the stores should carry the magazine. If the concern is that Islamofascists are going to cause trouble, Muslims should be banned from the stores. After all, they are the source of the threat, not the cartoons.

And I wonder -- how will the chains mark Banned Book Week in the future -- or will they?

PBUH

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Place Bacon Upon Him

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|| Greg, 05:40 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 30, 2006

Time To Cuff Her, Stuff Her, And Rough Her Up

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is an arrogant nutjob. That seems to be a plus for her Georgia constituents, who seem to find those qualities to be a plus. As a member of Congress -- more to the point, a female African-American Democrat member of Congress -- she manages to get away with a certain amount of misconduct that most of us would never be permitted.

But this woman went well over the line yesterday.

Why she was allowed to walk away is beyond me -- and why there have been no sharges filed and no arrest made is absolutely beyond me.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney and a police officer scuffled Wednesday after the Georgia Democrat entered a House office building unrecognized and refused to stop when asked, according to U.S. Capitol Police.

McKinney, a sixth-term congresswoman who represents suburban Atlanta, struck the officer according to one account, a police official said, adding there were conflicting accounts. The officer, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident, spoke only on condition of anonymity.

No charges were filed, police said.

McKinney issued a statement Wednesday night saying she regretted the confrontation.

"I know that Capitol Hill Police are securing our safety, and I appreciate the work that they do. I have demonstrated my support for them in the past and I continue to support them now," she said.

Oh bullshit, bitch! If you really supported the Capitol Hill Police, you would have complied with a reasonable request that could have been made of any American citizen -- and of any member of Congress. You would not have "scuffled" with the cop, which is a violation of criminal law right there -- a law you and your colleagues passed. And you certainly would not have hit the officer, which would have earned most Americans a ride in a squad car and a huge legal bill, along with jail time.

And you certainly would not have forgotten that one of these guys died to protect you and your colleagues a few years ago, so that is why the security has been ramped-up for several years.

Members of Congress do not have to walk through metal detectors as they enter buildings on the Capitol complex. They wear lapel pins identifying them as members.

McKinney routinely doesn't wear her pin and is recognized by many officers, the police official said, adding that she wasn't wearing it when she entered a House office building early Wednesday.

By one police account, she walked around a metal detector and an officer asked her several times to stop. When she did not, the officer tried to stop her, and she then struck the officer, according to that account.

So she doesn't wear her identification, and tries to go around the security. One would damn well hope she would be stopped!

In her statement, McKinney said most members of Congress expect Capitol police to recognize them. "I was urgently trying to get to an important meeting on time to fulfill my obligations to my constituents. Unfortunately, the police officer did not recognize me as a member of Congress and a confrontation ensued," she said. "I did not have on my congressional pin but showed the police officer my congressional ID."

Yeah -- and if they do not recognize you, they are going to stop you and they are going to demand identification. Who are you to object, you arrogant moron? And more to the point, who are you to lay hands on an officer?

Not that this is the first time that Her Majesty The Congresswoman has objected that she is not immediately recognized by everyone, and that they have not genuflected in the presence of her sublime personage.

Not being recognized is apparently something of an issue for Rep. Cynthia McKinney , as a Capitol Police officer discovered yesterday.

In 1998, the outspoken Georgia Democrat wrote a scathing letter to President Bill Clinton accusing White House guards of racism after they failed to recognize her when she arrived for an event. For years, the Hill newspaper reported in 2002, Capitol Police kept a photo of her posted in a basement office to warn security officers against committing any other such embarrassment.

Maybe it's time to change the photo. The police department is investigating a bizarre scuffle yesterday morning between McKinney and an officer who tried to stop her at a congressional office building checkpoint after apparently failing to realize she was a member of Congress.

McKinney allegedly "stabbed" the officer with her cellphone when he grabbed her, said a police source who requested anonymity because the investigation had just begun; the officer, whom the source did not identify, is considering whether to file criminal charges. The source said the officer was not seriously injured.

* * *

How on earth did this all come to pass? Could it be the officer didn't recognize her after her recent makeover? The 51-year-old recently ditched her trademark braids for a softer, full-bodied do that started turning heads around her suburban Georgia district in January.

So apparently she doesn't even look much like her photos since she had the makeover.

This woman needs to be treated like every other American. Capitol Hill Police need to appear in her office. They need to cuff her. They need to get her out to a police car and stuff her. And in the process, they need to rough her up, just as would happen to anyone else who assaults a cop.

And then her colleagues need to expel her from the House of Representatives for conduct unbecoming a member.

Though I doubt that such a course of action would keep her constituents from reelecting her in a district designed to keep her coming back.

And for any liberal who objects to my words -- what would be your response if this were my congressman, Tom DeLay? My response would not change -- but I also believe that he would not do anything like this.

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|| Greg, 05:58 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 29, 2006

Another Update

About an hour ago (0215, local time regardless of what the time-stamp on this post says) , the hospital called.

My Darling Democrat has been moved to ICU for observation due to a test result that concerns the doctors.

Hopefully this is just a precaution. We'll see what happens.

I may post some stuff to burn off nervous energy until I can go into school and set things up for my substitute, but I don't know when you will hear from me after that.





|| Greg, 11:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Immigration Protests By High School Students

A post in three parts relating to the high school immigration walkouts -- including a glimpse into my own classroom.

* * *

Michelle Malkin has photos from one of the many high school demonstrations regarding the immigration bill.

Be prepared to be outraged. The kids purposely insulted the American flag and flew it subordinate to the flag of Mexico.

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My students and i had a bit of a discussion on these demonstrations during last period yesterday. Rumor is that they are going to do a walkout sometime today, and 2since I overheard discussion, I thought I should address it.

I may be accused of going a little bit Jay Bennish, but I think you will see where what I did differed.

My comments went something like this -- though I am condensing a bit.

"All right, guys, I'm not going to pretend that I haven't heard some of the chatter about the plans some of you have for tomorrow.

{confused comments from some students, and disingenuous denials from the ring leaders}

You know, I'm the last guy in the world to tell someone not to express their oipinion, but I think this whole walkout thing we've been seeing on Channel One and I've heard you kids talking about here is a bad idea. If you kids walk out, you can expect ISS, Suspensions, or even tickets -- and since I keep the gradebook, I know that some of you really don't need to be out of class any more this grading period.

Besides, do you know how these walkouts are being received by your average middle aged, middle class Anglo like me? Do you? You know, the folks who represent a majority of Americans nationwide? I'll be glad to tell you.

{the ringleaders are enthusiastic, and the rest of the class would like a chance to stop working}

I was listening to one of the talk radio stations over the last couple of days -- I don't remember which one, with all that's been going on in my life -- and you had a guy saying "I see all these folks waving Mexican flags and chanting "Mexico! Mexico! Mexico!' I want to go down there and start shouting 'Go back to! Go back to!'

{one of the ring leaders responds "Mister, I think somebody wants to get his ass jumped doing that."}

Jose, you're missing my point. My point is this -- has waving a Mexican flag and chanting "Mexico!" done anything to get this guy on your side? Do you think it is doing anything to get your average middle aged, middle class Anglo on your side?

{"uhhh... No"}

Why not?

{"Cuz this isn't Mexico."}

Yeah -- and what are you supposedly protesting for.

{"To let Mexicans who are here stay here and become citizens."}

And if you wave Mexican flags and chant "Mexico!", what does it sound like you are more interested in being?

{"Mexican. What's wrong with being proud of being Mexican?"}

Nothing -- but I think you are missing the point. If you want to be proud Mexicans and wave the Mexican flag, that's great. But a lot of Americans are going to look at that and think there is a great place for you if you want to do that -- Mexico. If you want to show us that you want to be American citizens and work and live here and follow our laws, what might be a better thing for you to do?

{various kids respond -- "Carry American flags." "Shout 'USA'." "Don't disrupt school."}

Yeah, those are all good. Besides, who are the folks you most need to influence?

{Again, various kids -- "The president" "Congress" "The governor" "Mayor Bill White"}

Well, maybe not the governor or the mayor, but the first two are exactly right. What can you do to influence them? And I'm not just talking about on this issue, but I mean on anything.

{one jaded kid -- "What? You want us to write them letters? Ain't no on e gonna read letters from us."}

Yeah, they will. Maybe not the President, and maybe not Congressman Gene Green or either Senator from Texas, but someone who works for them will. They record what folks are wrting about, and pass the information on to their bosses.

{time for the challenge -- "Yeah, right. They don't care. They won't even write back."

You would be surprised. Whenever I write, I get a letter back. It may be a few weeks, but they at least acknowledge the letter. And it can change people's minds. Heck, you can even call their offices and talk to a real live person.

{"I don't know who or where to call or write."}

Do you really want the addresses and phone numbers? I'll get them for you before you leave this room -- they aren't hard to find. You can call or write them instead, and make a responsible protest -- show that you know how to be a good American, whether you are here legally, illegally, or are an American citizen. Show that you know how to work within the system.. I'll even make you a deal -- if you feel like writing a letter to the President or the Senators, or the Congressman, I'll even proofread and edit it for you before it goes in the mail. I don't care if I agree with you or not -- I'll be proud of you doing things the right way. I'll even mail it if you bring it in an addressed envelope with a stamp on it."

We talked about the immigration issue for a while -- I used examples of line-jumping in the cafeteria, and whether they would rather have someone who followed the rules or who "backstroked across the river" as a neighbor. the funny thing is, even the kids who I believe to be here illegally (or the children of illegals) said they would prefer those who follow the law.

Where it got down to a real awkward discussion was when someone asked about dealing with the illegals who are already here.

"I guess the problem is this -- we've got maybe 15-20 million illegal aliens in this country. That is somewhere between 5 and 8 perscent of the American population. What are we going to do with them? A lot of folks, myself included, can't see reqarding them by waving a magic wand and giveng them citizenship -- how is that fair to the folks who have waited for years to get their green card legally? On the other hand, rounding them all up and sending everybody back would be pretty near impossible -- and would be a real hardship when you have families where some are American citizens and some are not. So it sounds good, until you think it through. So there has to be some middle ground -- and that is what the bill the Senate is dealing with is trying to do. Read the paper, go ont he internet, do something to find out what exactly the bill does. Do it for yourself -- and then write or call if you feel like it. Do the thing that a responsible citizen does when he or she feels strongly about something.

I eventually got the addresses and phone numbers and put them on the board while they did their assigned work.

And a few were quickly jotting them down, like maybe they were thinking about writing or calling.

Maybe they learned something a damn sight more important to them than the politics and economics of Europe between the two World Wars. And maybe I found a way to teach on some of those "politics and government" standards that are easy to overlook as we spring towards the TAKS test next month.

* * *

As I was leaving school to go to the hospital to sit with my wife, I saw a group of kids (around 200 -- about 8-10 % of our students) leaving campus shortly before the bell for first period rang. They were headed towards the Senior High School (Grades 11 & 12) campus. I wondered what would happen next, and prayed it would not involve school bus transportation.

Later in the day, I got filled in by one of our French teachers when she came to visit at the hospital.

By the time the kids reached the other campus, there were about 20-30 police cars there to meet them. They were parked so that the kids could not go anyplace except into the district football stadium. A couple of them circled behind to make sure the kids didn't go back.

Herded into the stands, their parents were called to pick them up. Those whose parents couldn't come had to stay in the stadium until the end of the day -- though they could take shelter on th interior of the stadium once the wind and the rain started. All got unexcused absences, and will not be permitted to make up work. I suspect that additional sanctions will be forthcoming.

My district doesn't play -- and I am proud of that fact.

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|| Greg, 10:11 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (2) ||

Abdul Rahman -- Freed, Missing, Going To Italy?

Abdul Rahman has been freed from his cell, but has not been seen since his release. He is, one would presume, in hiding from the mob seeking his blood for the "crime" of choosing to reject the falsehood of Islam for the Truth of Christianity.

Now it appears that at least one country is prepared to offer him asylum. That nation is Italy.

The whereabouts of an Afghan man who had been threatened with the death penalty for converting to Christianity was unknown Wednesday, as at least one nation began considering granting him asylum status.

Italy is considering granting asylum to Abdul Rahman, The Associated Press reported.

Italy's Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini on Wednesday will press for Rahman to be granted asylum there, the government said in a statement, according to the AP.

Rahman was released Monday after being held by Afghan authorities for his conversion from Islam to Christianity, punishable by death in Afghanistan, which follows Islamic law.

Many Muslim clerics in the country called for his death, and said even if he were freed his life would be in danger.

Muslim clerics condemned Rahman's release, saying it was a "betrayal of Islam" and threatened to incite violent protests.

Rahman had requested asylum in a Western country ahead of his release, according to the United Nations. He has previously lived in Europe.

"Mr. Abdul Rahman has asked for asylum outside Afghanistan," a statement from the office of U.N. Special Representative to Afghanistan said Monday. "We expect that this will be provided by one of the countries interested in a peaceful solution to this case."

Abdul Rahman should be airlifted to the United States, where he can live in freedom. That this has not already been done is shameful -- and a betrayal of our heritage as a land of religious freedom.

But then again, maybe Rahman would not have been any safer in this country.





|| Greg, 04:34 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

New Orleans Finds A Use For Its School Buses

Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco didn't bother to try to use the school buses of New Orleans to to save residents from the oncoming Hurricane Katrina -- but now a use has been found for these flooded-out hulks.

Sell them on eBay to raise money for the under-funded, sub-standard New Orleans schools that remain open.

Starved for cash, the New Orleans school district is taking a long shot and hoping to sell its flooded, unsalvageable school buses on eBay.

Some submerged to their roofs in the black flood waters, the yellow school buses were widely photographed in the days after Hurricane Katrina and have become an icon of the city's devastated school system.

School officials acknowledge the sale of the buses on the Internet auction site may puzzle some people used to more traditional school fundraisers like bake sales.

"There's no shame in it. Not one bit," said school board president Phyllis Landrieu. "This is a new mechanism for selling things. I think it's very upbeat what we're doing."

Only 23 of 117 Orleans Parish public schools have reopened. They face a $111 million shortfall - about a quarter of the district's $430 million annual operating budget. The district also has $264 million in outstanding debt, carried over from before Hurricane Katrina.

A total of 85 schools flooded, and wind damaged many more. It took three months for the first public school to reopen. Now, the schools that are holding classes have around 9,500 students, about 15 percent of the 60,000 enrolled before the storm.

The school district plans to put one bus up for sale on eBay this week. If it succeeds, more of the 259 ruined buses will be offered.

"It's an example of how bad the situation is that we would have to come up with this idea," said Richard White, schools spokesman.

The district plans to contract out its student transportation.

I wonder whose brother-in-law or cousin will get that contract -- and whether the corrupt political system of Louisiana will allow the eBay cash to go towards education, or towards graft.

Oh, by the way -- here is the link to the auction.





|| Greg, 04:07 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 28, 2006

Update On My Darling Democrat

She remains in the hospital, still fighting pneumonia.

I've been in twice today, for about four hours total, but had to teach today.

She then sent me home at dinner time to take care of the Apolitical Pooch, with directions to scratch her belly and rub her behind her ears (the dog, not my wife).

The prognosis for my beloved spouse is good, but includes more time in the hospital.

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|| Greg, 11:59 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will Democrats Act On McDermott's Illegal Activity

Left-wing loon Jim McDermott is know for going to foreign countries to make treasonous statements in support of our nation's enemies. Democrats, of course, call this "dissent" and label it "the highest form of patriotism".

Fine. I won't get into that political question with them.

But will they at least act against their law-breaking colleague after he has been slapped down twice by courts for breaking federal law on wiretapping?

federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Rep. Jim McDermott violated federal law by turning over an illegally taped telephone call to reporters nearly a decade ago.

In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court ruling that McDermott violated the rights of Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, who was heard on the 1996 call involving then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.

The court ordered McDermott to pay Boehner more than $700,000 for leaking the taped conversation. The figure includes $60,000 in damages and at least $600,000 in legal costs.

McDermott, D-Wash., has acknowledged leaking a tape of a 1996 cell phone call involving Gingrich to The New York Times and other news organizations.

The call included discussion by Gingrich and other House GOP leaders about a House ethics committee investigation of Gingrich. Boehner was a Gingrich lieutenant at the time and is now House majority leader.

* * *

McDermott was never charged with a criminal offense, but Boehner later filed a lawsuit accusing McDermott of violating state and federal wiretapping laws. A federal judge ruled in Boehner's favor in 2004, a ruling that was upheld Tuesday by the appeals court.

"Because there was no genuine dispute that Representative McDermott knew the Martins had illegally intercepted the conversation, he did not lawfully obtain the tape from them," Judge A. Raymond Randolph wrote in an opinion shared by Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg.

In other words, the Clinton "Justice" Department (a misnomer if there ever was one) refused to prosecute a clear violation of the law against one of their important partisan allies. It took one of the victims filing a civil suit against McDermott to get any justice -- and this unethical little weasel still does not admit his own wrong-doing.

I'll just ask one question -- would Democrats be so passive on this matter if the law-breaker in this case had been Tom Delay, and the illegal recording had been of Democrats? I think we all know the answer.

Oh, and what does this say about Democrat opposition to undeniably illegal domestic spying?

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|| Greg, 08:32 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Uhhhhhh… No. Make that "Hell No!"

Sharon Stone clearly needs to be drug tested.


Stone, 48, who appears naked in a soon-to-be-released sequel to the provocative 1992 sex thriller Basic Instinct, said Senator Clinton had an intimidating sexuality that would cost her votes.

"I think Hillary Clinton is fantastic, but I think it is too soon for her to run (for president)," Stone said in the latest edition of Hollywood Life magazine.

"A woman should be past her sexuality when she runs. Hillary still has sexual power and I don't think people will accept that. It's too threatening."

But while Stone wants the 58-year-old Senator Clinton to wait until her sexuality subsides, singer Madonna is urging her to "go for it" in 2008, even though the timing might not be right for Americans to put their trust in a woman president.

Seems my wife’s old classmate has a bit of a “fatal attraction” going on here.

And for the record, I have no problem with a sexy female presidential candidate. I’d vote for Condi in a heartbeat.

MORE AT Michelle Malkin





|| Greg, 07:49 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Alec Baldwin – Elitist Liberal

You’ve got to love it when the rich liberal elite show their contempt for the working man.

Consider this insult directed at Sean Hannity.

Hannity, furious that Baldwin allegedly broke a promise to appear on his show before Whitman's, wasted no time ripping into the liberal activist.

"Welcome to WABC, considering you were supposed to come on my program last week and you didn't show. What happened?" Hannity demanded.

"Why would I want to come on with a no-talent, former-construction-worker hack like you?" Baldwin answered.

Notice the insult – “former-construction-worker�. What’s the deal here, Alec? Do you really think you are better than those who work with their hands – or those who have raised themselves above their blue-collar roots?

Or is it that you are still pissed-off that you lost the plum-role of Jack Ryan to the much-more-talented Harrison Ford – who was working construction before he got his break into the acting biz?


MIRE AT Michelle Malkin





|| Greg, 07:47 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

What Kelo Hath Wrought

If you think that the theft of private property for private development under the guise of eminent domain was outrageous, wait until you see this one. A city in New York is looking to steal an exclusive private golf club with members from around the country – to turn it into an exclusive, publicly-owned private golf club for city residents only.

[T]he mayor of North Hills wants to use the power of government to condemn Deepdale--whose members are a diverse group of people from all over the country and around the world--to make it an exclusive high-end golf course restricted to people who live in his small village and would be willing to pay thousands of dollars in yearly membership fees. The model is said to be the nearby Village Club of Sands Point, which is owned by that village. There you not only have to pay village taxes but membership dues to join. A full family membership at the Sands Point club costs $18,000 a year. If this is indeed the model for Deepdale, the club would become "public" in name only but in truth would be every bit as exclusive as any private club.

The mayor even went on television twice recently to brag about his plan. He told WNBC reporter Greg Cergol that turning Deepdale into "a village golf course exclusively for the village residents" would be a nice "amenity" for them. According to the reporter, the mayor explained that "his goal" is "to turn Deepdale into a private club for his village's 5,000 residents." And he told Channel 12's Bill Mooney that his plan would "increase property values"--private property values--in North Hills.

It is time to rein-in the expansive power of government to take property, lest private property ownership becomes nothing more than a legal fiction.





|| Greg, 07:43 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

San Fran Chron Gets It Right

It seems that even the notoriously liberal San Francisco Chronicle finds the condemnation of teenagers based upon their religious beliefs to be out of bounds.

THE IRONY was obviously lost on the clueless San Francisco supervisors when they passed a resolution warning that a Christian youth gathering could "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."

Spare us the doomsday hyperbole, supervisors.

We can safely report that the politics of San Francisco suffered no discernible shift in ideological alignment from the convergence of 25,000 Christian teenagers listening to rock 'n' roll music and words of inspiration. There was no evidence of any surge in support for the Iraq war, affection for President Bush or oil drilling off the California coast. The medical-marijuana clubs were still doing business as usual, public dancing was still legal, the petition gatherers were still working Market Street for the latest save-the-planet cause.

The supervisors' reaction to the evangelical Christians was so boorishly over the top that only one word could describe it:

Intolerant.

Not, mind you, that the quoted politicians are particularly contrite.

Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, was quoted telling counterprotesters Friday that the gathering Christians were "loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting and they should get out of San Francisco." On Monday, however, Leno struck a more reasoned tone, acknowledging that his rally cry was "not one of my prouder moments." He said the youth group was "welcome in San Francisco," even though he does worry that its religious rhetoric could "under a cloak of love" feed a "fearful world's appetite for hate."

No, nothing this group of kids did fed hate – that was your job, Mr. Assemblyman, and the job of the idiots on the Board of Supervisors who engaged in nothing short of hate-speech under the guise of promoting “tolerance.”

But the best part of this is the conclusion of the Chronicle editorial.

The gathering was not an "act of provocation," as the supervisors claimed. It was a get-together of young evangelicals whose lifestyles and religious views just happen to be in the minority here -- apparently making them open season for politicians to chastise.

The young people who came to San Francisco to affirm their faith and enjoy a day of rock music deserved better. They deserved to be welcomed by a city that was as tolerant and progressive as its sanctimonious supervisors like to profess.

I wholeheartedly agree with the Chronicle on this one. In fact, I can think of only one thing more that these young people deserved – and that would have been for the San Francisco Chronicle to have printed this editorial while Battle Cry was still in session, rather than a couple of days after the event was over.

And by the way -- too bad the paper could not find its way clear to condemn the other act of religious intolerance by the Board of Supervisors. I guess that anti-Catholicism is still an acceptable, even fashionable, prejudice in Sodom-by -the-Bay





|| Greg, 07:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Arrogant Judge Over-Reaches On Felon Votes

This moron does not care what the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution says on the matter – he’s simply going to strike down the law limiting the voting rights of felons because he wants to.

A King County Superior Court judge Monday ruled that thousands of Washington felons should be able to vote even though they have yet to pay off court-ordered fines.

"It is well recognized that there is simply no rational relationship between the ability to pay and the exercise of constitutional rights," Judge Michael Spearman wrote in a ruling backing the challenge of three indigent felons.

Spearman said the state law requiring payment of all court-ordered fines and fees before a felon can vote again violates the equal-protection clause in the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution. He said "discrimination on the basis of wealth and property has long been disfavored.

Under state law, felons can petition the state to have their voting rights restored, but only after they have completed their sentences — including any probation or community service — and have paid all of their court-related costs.

State lawyers argued that the judge shouldn't make a distinction between court-ordered payments and other parts of a felon's sentence, such as jail time.

"It's rational for the Legislature to say we want you to complete everything, as opposed to start separating out sentence elements," said deputy solicitor general Jeff Even.

What’s more, the very amendment that contains the Equal Protection Clause countenances the restriction of voting rights for felons. Go here and read Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment. It is makes it clear that a state may restrict the franchise “for participation in rebellion, or other crime”. The law in question restricts the franchise until ALL other parts of the sentence for a crime are completed, and therefore needs no additional justification. The judge has therefore engaged in a wanton act of arrogant judicial activism.

Probably the only positive point I can make is that this ninny didn't try to rule that this constituted a poll tax -- at least not from what I can tell in this article.

The state of Washington needs to engage in three separate actions. First, it must appeal the decision. Second, it must impeach the judge. Third, it must remove him from the bench. Otherwise, rule of law is dead in Washington state.





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Farrakhan Calls For Regime Change While In Cuba

Unfortunately, he wasn’t seeking freedom for Cubans – he was calling for the overthrow of the American government. The oppressive Castro regime is just fine with him.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan called for "regime change" in the United States on Monday and denounced "wicked" U.S. policies for turning the world against America.

"We need a new government, we need regime change in America," he said at the end of a visit to Communist Cuba.

Farrakhan, who led the Million Man March on the Washington Mall in 1995 to promote black self-reliance, said the Bush administration's domestic policies were "sucking the blood of the poor and the weak."

I’ve got a suggestion on what you can suck, Louie.

The controversial African American leader defended Iran's right to develop a nuclear energy program to reduce dependence on oil and said Washington's opposition was a pretext for a war.

"The Muslim world should unite against America's desire for a preemptive strike against Iran and Syria," he said at a news conference.

Farrakhan said a similar pretext was used by Washington to invade Iraq "to rape the treasuries of the United States of hundreds of billions of dollars to be doled out to the friends of President Bush, Halliburton and Bechtel and associates."

I’d suggest Bush Derangement Syndrome, but he was making similar comments decades before anyone head of George W. Bush.

He thanked President Fidel Castro and blasted the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba as a "wicked blockade." The U.S. government has no moral grounds to criticize Cuba, where education and health care are free, he added.

Education is provided by the government in this country, you moron, and health care is denied to no one due to generous government programs.

I’ve got an idea, though – since Calypso Louie, who murdered Malcolm X, thinks Cuba is such a fine place, why don’t we arrest him and throw him into a jail for criticizing the government once he returns. After all, that is what his hero, Fidel, would do to a Cuban who spoke so disrespectfully of him. But then again, that is why this ignorant fool makes such statements about our country – there is no personal cost to doing so.





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Does The Hildebeast Have An Opinion On This?

Where, exactly, does Mrs. Clinton stand on illegal immigration? What about penalties for their employers? Does that include members of her own family?

NEWARK, N.J., March 27 (UPI) -- An embarrassing hole in security surrounding former U.S. President Bill Clinton turned up when one of his chauffeurs was found to be a wanted man.


Shahzad Qureshi, 42, was in one of three cars awaiting Clinton at Newark Airport last week when a Port Authority policeman happened to check license plate numbers.

The computer came back showing the Pakistani national had skipped a residency-status hearing in 2000, and a deportation order had been issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the New York Post reported.

Qureshi was still in jail Monday awaiting immigration processing, the report said.

Could it be that the Clintons, much like certain other liberal elitists, believe that the law does not apply to them?





|| Greg, 06:58 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Every week, Watcher of Weasels sponsors a contest among posts from around the blogosphere. The winning entries are determined by The Watchers Council.

The Council cast their votes for< last week's nominees.

Council Member Entries: The Education Wonks, won for the excellent post Autum Ashante: Child Prodigy Or Something Else?

Non-Council Entries: Florida Cracker received the most votes forWhat Did You Do in the Great Gulf War II, Grandpa?

Congratulations to both excellent winners!





|| Greg, 05:41 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 27, 2006

Blogging May Be Sporadic

My favorite Democrat entered the hospital a short time ago, with what is probably "only" pneumonia.

Until I get to bring her home, I will likely spend a lot of my free time by her side at the hospital.

If she throws me out of the hospital, though, I may get to post something these next few days.

We'll wait and see.





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March 26, 2006

A Note Of Condolence

There are times when mere politics need to be set aside. This is one of them.

Erma Ora James Byrd, 88, the wife of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) died March 25 at their home in McLean. The cause of death was not immediately available, but the Associated Press said she had been ill for five years.

The senator's Web site said she grew up in the West Virginia coal fields and met the future senator when both were students in grade school in Raleigh County, W.Va.

They were married May 29, 1937, when both were 19, according to the site.

At the time of their 65th wedding anniversary in 2002, the senator said that "in my life, Erma Ora Byrd is the diamond. She is a priceless treasure, a multifaceted woman of great insight and wisdom, of quiet humor and common sense."

She once said in a newspaper interview that she left politics to her husband. "The people elected him, not me," she said.

The account on the Web site described a couple who "came up the hard way."

It said that their first refrigerator was part of an orange crate nailed to the side of their home and that in their early years, "they spent many hours at square dances and community events, where Robert would play his fiddle and Erma would dance."

In addition to her husband, survivors include two daughters, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Senator Byrd, I have opposed you on many things over the years, but in this one I stand by your side. The loss of a loved one, especially of a companion of so many years, is a a deep and difficult pain to the heart of even the most sprit-filled of individuals. I would like to offer my condolences in this time.

Please know that you and your family are in my prayers as you face this loss, and that it is my profound hope and faith that the Lord will pour out his healing graces upon you all.

Lord, eternal rest grant unto your servant, Erma Ora Byrd, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.





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Rahman Freed -- But Not Free

I think that Time gets it right here, and others may be jumping the gun in celebrating the release of Christian convert Abdul Rahman from jail.

The dismissal of a case against an Afghan citizen for converting from Islam to Christianity has saved Afghanistan's government a damaging showdown with its primary patron, the United States. Under mounting pressure from Washington and other Western backers, President Hamid Karzai is reported to have intervened personally to have the case of Abdul Rahman, 41, who converted to Christianity 16 years ago, dismissed. But the grounds on which the case was thrown out — insufficient evidence and other technicalities, as well as questions over the sanity of the accused — do not change the basic problem that had put both Karzai and his Western backers in a tight spot.

Abdul Rahman and others like him still face the possibility of being charged with apostasy for converting out of Islam, an offense that carries a penalty of death unless they renounce their new faith. While Afghanistan's constitution embraces international human rights conventions that guarantee freedom of worship, it also codifies the role of Islamic Sharia law — under which Abdul Rahman was charged. And even while Washington and NATO governments whose troops help provide security for Karzai's government had urged Kabul to drop the charges, public opinion on the streets of Afghanistan — recently inflamed by episodes such as the furor over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad — showed strong support for legal action against the convert. But Karzai, whose government's security position remains as precarious as ever, was in no position to resist Washington's demands. As President Bush put it, "We have got influence in Afghanistan, and we are going to use it to remind them that there are universal values."

But it was not in recognition of "universal values" that Abdul Rahman was released. Instead, authorities cited insufficient evidence, insinuations about his mental state and even questions raised by the authorities over his citizenship. The legal basis for charging someone for converting from Islam to Christianity has not, thus far, been altered — the political confict that from having U.S. troops trying to protect a government that can't guarantee the right of its citizens to choose the same faith as the President of the United States has simply been kicked down the road. Not only that, the Abdul Rahman case has alerted the Evangelical Christian base of the Republican Party to the need to press the Bush Administration on the issue, and at the same time mobilized the conservative Muslim clerical establishment and the powerful Islamist politicians in Afghanistan's coalition government to defend their Sharia code. Not surprisingly, there is speculation that Abdul Rahman may leave Afghanistan once he's out of jail.

Now ignoring all the biased, loaded language in this report, what it comes down to is this -- Rahman is to be freed based not upon a human rights violation, not upon the principle that every person has the right to choose his or her own religion free of state ceoercion, but based upon technical questions about the evidence and insinuations about his sanity. This is therefore NOT a victory for human rights or religious freedom -- it is a strategic retreat on the part of the Afghan government.

Even the ruling in this case makes it clear that Rahman could be back in prison the day after tomorrow.

An official closely involved with the case told The Associated Press that it had been returned to the prosecutors for more investigation, but that in the meantime, Rahman would be released.

"The court dismissed today the case against Abdul Rahman for a lack of information and a lot of legal gaps in the case," the official said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

"The decision about his release will be taken possibly tomorrow," the official added. "They don't have to keep him in jail while the attorney general is looking into the case."

So see -- there is still every chance of Abdul Rahman being prosecuted. Or what we might see is forbearance in this case, but the eventual execution of some other convert.

We will hear over the next few days about howinternational pressure saved Abdul Rahman, and that this is a victory for human rights. Such rhetoric will be especially common from internatioanl leaders who spoke against the possibility that Abdul Rahman would be martyred for his faith. But I think the point that many folks missed, especially world leaders (including our own President), is that it didn't take an execution for there to be a violation of human rights.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss this case.

"Upon the conclusion of the call, (Karzai) assured me that respect for human and religious rights will be fully upheld in this case," said Harper in a statement.

With all due respect to both men, human and religious rights have already been violated by the trial itself, never mind the potential death sentence.

I'll take it a step further -- the arrest itself constituted a violation of human rights.The bringing of charges constituted a violation of human rights. After all, the human right in question is not Abdul Rahman's right to life -- it is his right to choose and practice his religion freely, without government coercion or interference. I therefore remain dissatisfied with the outcome here, and fearful that the response to this bit of good news will obscure the fact that arrest, trial, and execution are the potential faith for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan who accept the REAL Good News.

But for this small victory I give thanks to God.

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NJ Dems Dump Terror-Backing Arab Candidate

But only after endorsing him, despite knowing of his support for terrorism against Israel.

Democrats pulled an Arab-American candidate from their election ticket on Saturday amid a furor over comments he made four years ago that some interpreted as sympathetic to Palestinian suicide bombers.

At the urging of state party leaders, including Gov. Jon S. Corzine and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Passaic County Democrats withdrew its endorsement of Sami Merhi for freeholder, a member of the county's legislative body. They chose a school board member to run in his place.

"I'm in shock, feeling betrayed," Merhi said. "They should be ashamed of themselves."

The Lebanese-born Merhi made the comments at a September 2002 Democratic fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, where he condemned the Sept. 11 terrorists "as cold-blooded murders" and "crazy fanatics."

When asked whether he would apply the same label to Palestinian suicide bombers who target Israelis, Merhi said, "I can't see the comparison."

From what I can tell, the real reason Merhi opposed the 9/11 attack was that his godson, who worked at the World Trade Center, died at Ground Zero. I feel reasonably confident he would be a part of the "you have to understand the grievances" crowd had he not lost family that day.

What is shocking is that this terror-backer feels he is the one who has been victimized here.

Mehri indicates he may run in the primary without an endorsement, or he may sek theRepublican nomination for the position. Speaking as a Republican, I'd like to say that he is not welcome in my party, any more than David Duke was welcome. I don't doubt that national party leaders will show up in Jersey to campaign against him if he does attempt to befoul our party by seeking our noimination.





|| Greg, 12:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Of Dangerous, Incompetent Presidents

This letter is certainly a damning one, coming as it does from a historian and former service secretary. Should we take it seriously, and abandon our support for the President?

I recently ran across the text of a letter, penned by liberal historian and former Secretary of the U.S. Navy George Bancroft, about the president of the U.S.

In it, he wrote: "How can we reach our president with advice? He is ignorant, self-willed, and is surrounded by men, some of whom are almost as ignorant as himself.

"So we have the dilemma put to us. What to do when his power must continue for two years longer and when the existence of our country may be endangered before he can be replaced by a man of sense. How hard, in order to save the country, to sustain a man who is incompetent."

If your response is that even his allies should abandon him, given his incompetence, you would certainly change history.

After all, the "man who is incompetent" is not George W. Bush -- it is Abraham Lincoln.

Reviled by enemies -- and even by allies -- in his lifetime, Lincoln is generally remembered as one of the greatest leaders this nation has ever had, regardless of his flaws and errors. I can point to other presidents similarly reviled -- Jefferson, Truman, Reagan -- who are seen today as men of vision and (if not greatness) high achievement.

So remember -- George W. Bush is in good company.





|| Greg, 12:14 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Michael Steele Profile

The New York Times does an interesting profile of the next United States Senator from Maryland, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. The personal biographical information on the man is compelling.

Open and personable, Steele had a prominent speaking role at the Republican convention in 2004, and by the following spring the Republican hierarchy was trying to coax him into the Senate race. The field was kept clear. Money was promised. It didn't matter that Steele lacked some of the attributes typical of a candidate running for high office. He was not a proven vote-getter, having ridden to victory as the running mate of Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a popular congressman from outside Baltimore who became the state's first Republican governor elected in 36 years. Steele, who is 47, had no personal fortune to offer up to the cause, no campaign war chest. He had been an associate in a law firm, then left that job to open a consulting firm that struggled.

What Steele had to offer, as a candidate, was personal biography, his inspiring life story: childhood in a poor section of Washington; college at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore; then three years studying for the priesthood at a monastery, where he wore the long white tunic of the Augustinian order before deciding that his call to service lay elsewhere. His mother had worked in a laundry, making the minimum wage; his stepfather drove a limo. His parents weren't educated themselves, but they valued learning and made sure the homework in their household got done. Steele's only sibling is Monica Turner, a Georgetown-educated pediatrician (as well as an ex-wife of Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champ).

The thing is, the article never seems to realize that it answers the question found in its title, "Why is Michael Steele a Republican Candidate?" It talks about a philosophy of self-reliance, pro-live policies, a focus on family, on faith, and on exonomic opportunity, but never wants to accept that these are, in fact, the reason for Steele's finding a home in the Republican party. It talks about his outreach to Democrats (especially black Democrats) as if that is somehow a negative, when it is the ultimate positive.

I'd have to say that the article is worth the read, and reasonably fair -- especially given the source.





|| Greg, 12:05 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Questions For Muslims

Ted Byfield of the Calgary Sun asks some pertinent questions of Canadian Muslims in light of the Abdul Rahman case. I believe that, with a little bit of tweaking, they are equally pertinent for Muslims in America.

Certain questions arise here. Is it true that Islamic law makes the conversion of a Muslim to Christianity, or any other religion, a capital offence?

Is it true the Qur'an requires his execution?

Is it true, as has been frequently reported, that it is illegal to preach the Christian gospel in a country under Islamic law?

Is this also punishable by death?

Is it true the goal of the Islamic faith is to bring all the countries of the world under Islamic law?

In short, is one objective of the Muslim faith purely political?

Is it the aim of Canadian Muslims to bring such a "perfect constitution" to Canada?

And if they succeeded, and Canada became an Islamic country, would the Christians be allowed to continue preaching the Gospel, including to Muslims?

If all these things are true, then would it not follow that Muslims are opposed to freedom of religion?

Obviously, if you cannot preach a religion, then this is a central prohibition against its practice.

How therefore can a Muslim contend that he supports the Charter of Rights and Freedom?

In the western world, Muslims are certainly free to preach and practise Islam. They are not arrested.

If a Christian converts to their faith, the Christian is not put in jail and brought to trial.

Christians would certainly pray for his soul, but I know of nothing in the Christian Bible that requires his execution.

Do Muslims perhaps regard this reaction as a weakness in Christianity?

How do Muslims reconcile these Qura'nic requirements with their portrayal of Islam as a religion devoted to peace, goodwill and mutual understanding?

Or, in the view of their faith, is such benevolence confined to relations among Muslims, not to their dealings with "infidels."

And if this proscription exists, ought they not to include it in their portrayal of their faith.

The rule would be: "Love your neighbour as yourself, provided he is a Muslim."

Harsh questions, to be sure -- but questions that need to be asked in light of recent goings-on in the Muslim world. Whether we are talking about the arrest of Christian converts, the execution of homosexuals, the uproar over the Muhammad cartoons, or the refusal to allow American troops in the Middle East to openly practice their faith out of "sensitivity" to Islam, there appears to be a pattern of barbaric intolerance at work. Is this part and parcel of Islam? If it is, why won't Muslims admit to this.

And more to the point, how do we safeguard civil liberties and human rights in the face of a growing movement that seems to seek to strip all others of their rights?





|| Greg, 11:49 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 25, 2006

New Orleans Elections

We've heard it from Rev. Jesse Jackass Jackson and others -- holding an election in New Orleans today would disenfranchise thousands, and result in a white electorate deciding the direction of a black city. The election must be delayed.

Here is one example.

From the very top, let's get something straight.

I think that Ray Nagin, the black mayor of New Orleans, did a terrible job of planning right before Hurricane Katrina hit the city. His leadership during the storm, when people were stranded and dying, was abysmal. And his leadership hasn't gotten any better in that tragedy's aftermath.

That said, I'm appalled that the U.S. Justice Department has blessed the disenfranchisement of black voters in the Big Easy's upcoming municipal elections.

The hurricane and subsequent floodwaters forced more than two-thirds of New Orleans' population to flee that city. Indeed, officials urged and ordered many reluctant residents to leave.

Officials directed residents to get on buses and planes headed out of the Gulf Coast disaster zone. Many of the evacuees had no idea where they were being taken. Against their will, many ended up in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and other cities hundreds -- even thousands --of miles from their devastated New Orleans neighborhoods.

Now that the city is scheduled to hold elections for mayor, guess what? No special provisions are being made to accommodate voting by New Orleans residents who are involuntarily exiled outside Louisiana.

To make matters worse, the U.S. Justice Department, which is charged with making sure that minority voting rights are not being denied, has approved this totally unfair plan.

Don't forget, many of the people forced out of New Orleans were black and poor. Many who have been able to stay or to move back already are white and/or have some measure of financial wealth. Though 23 people have signed up to challenge Nagin, the real race is between Nagin and either Mitch Landrieu or Ron Forman, both of whom are white.

Yet the issue here is not race. It's fairness -- for everyone.

So while the issue ostensibly isn't race for this author (David Porter of the Orlando Sentinel), it is all about race.

But what about the reality on the ground in the New Orleans area?

Interestingly enough, here is what a demographic analysis of the city and the surrounding areas shows. according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

A substantial majority of New Orleans' registered voters still reside within the city or its suburbs, and their racial makeup closely mirrors that of all registered voters before the storm, according to new data commissioned by the secretary of state.

The new data challenges the popular notion that the out-of-state votes of displaced New Orleans residents loom large over the April 22 election, as well as the perception that in-town voters are overwhelmingly white and those out of town are overwhelmingly black, said Greg Rigamer of GCR and Associates, who produced the data as a consultant for the state.

In the first statistical portrait of registered voters, as opposed to overall population, Rigamer's company found that about 80 percent of the city's 297,053 registered voters either have not filed a change of address form or have listed a new address within the metro New Orleans area, the data show. The actual percentage of voters living locally is not that high -- not everyone who has moved informed the post office -- but the data strongly indicates that a majority of voters remain nearby, Rigamer said.

"If I was a candidate running this race, I'd really focus on the local voters," Rigamer said.

Further, the data shows the proportion of white voters to black voters living in the metro area -- although not necessarily in Orleans Parish -- remains almost the same as before the flood, about 32 percent white and 62 percent black. And the data on race is more reliable, Rigamer said, because of the massive size of the sample.

In other words, there is no raqcial or economic disenfranchisement if the vote is held today. The elections can be safely held without unduly impacting any group covered under the voting rights laws of the United States.

Isn't it a bitch when liberal talking points rund smack-dab into a pile of contradictory facts?

Anyone want to bet that it makes a difference?





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First Amendment: Void In San Francisco

I wrote earlier this week about the Board of Supervisors in Sodom-By-The-Bay seeking to cause a schism in the Catholic Church because of their belief that there was insufficient separation of church and church. I now learn that they are also passing resolutions condemning evangelical youth rallies, and that members of the board are leading rallies against religious gatherings in the city.

More than 25,000 evangelical Christian youth landed Friday in San Francisco for a two-day rally at AT&T Park against "the virtue terrorism" of popular culture, and they were greeted by an official city condemnation and a clutch of protesters who said their event amounted to a "fascist mega-pep rally." "Battle Cry for a Generation" is led by a 44-year-old Concord native, Ron Luce, who wants "God's instruction book" to guide young people away from the corrupting influence of popular culture.

Luce, whose Teen Mania organization is based in Texas, kicked off a three-city "reverse rebellion" tour Friday night intended to counter a popular culture that he says glamorizes violence and sex. The $55 advance tickets for two days of musical performances and speeches were sold out, but walk-up admission was available for $199.

After stops in Detroit and Philadelphia in the next few weeks, Luce wants to unleash a "blitz" of youth pastors into the communities to do everything from work with the homeless to find new ways to bring others to Christ. He challenged youth leaders to double the size of their groups in the next year.

And then he plans to return to San Francisco next year to chart their progress.

So what we have here is, pure and simple, First Amendment protected activity – the free exercise of religion and the exercise of freedom of speech and assembly. Such things are pretty frightening to the leaders of government in San Francisco, especially when we are talking about Christians gathering to support the historical teachings of Christianity.

That's bad news to Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who told counterprotesters at City Hall on Friday that while such fundamentalists may be small in number, "they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco."

Get that – Christians who oppose sexual immorality, violence in media, and who engage in evangelism and work with the homeless are “obnoxious. . . disgusting, and . . . should get out of San Francisco.” So let’s make that clear – Christians who believe in Christianity are not welcome in a city named for the gentlest of Christian saints. We have it from the mouth of a member of the California State Assembly.

But back to the city government.

Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the "act of provocation" by what it termed an "anti-gay," "anti-choice" organization that aimed to "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."

Gee – sounds like the rantings of the Islamofascists who wanted the heads of the Danish cartoonists. Dissent from the religio-political orthodoxy of the government of San Francisco is “an act of provocation.” Gee – I thought that it was an act of human freedom, and that (to quote the Left) “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” I guess that isn’t the case if you are a Christian.

And let’s not let this Supervisor off the hook.

"Even if it is done by a Barnum & Bailey crowd with a tent and some snake oil, I think we need to pay attention to it," said Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who authored the condemnation resolution. "We should not fall asleep at the wheel."

Sorry, Tom, the problem is not that these folks are suckers with snake-oil – it is your constituents who are d*ck-suckers getting oiled-up in the bathhouses and spreading STDs though unprotected anonymous sex. The problem is those in the homosexual and "progressive" communities who are are intolerant of any disagreement with their agendas, civil rights and civil liberties be damned. Address those issues, Mr. Supervisor, not the religious beliefs of those who dare to disagree with you. Maybe you need to pay a little more attention to the real problems run amok in your city, rather than acting as a Grand Inquisitor condemning the heresies of those who do not share your views. I hate to be so rude and graphic, sir, but you seem to be so hung up on prescribing orthodoxy that you are willing to jettison American freedoms in the name of sexual license.

And let me remind the government of San Francisco of this little quote from Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, over sixty years ago.

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

You folks have been out of line in these recent religion resolutions, for you are attempting to do precisely what Justice Jackson notes is forbidden -- you are attempting to establish what is orthodox and to prevent (or at least interfere with) the expression of views which contradict that orthodoxy. Such actions are, however, completely above your pay grade (and forbidden to every public official). Justice Jackson further noted this about individuals like you.

Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

This is what we saw in Nazi Germany, and in the old Soviet Union.

It is what we see today in Red China, Cuba, and North Korea.

This is what we see in Afghanistan today, as a Christian sits in a prison cell facing possible execution for daring to reject Islam, which is the religious orthodoxy in that country. I've suggested that we need to use military force to topple that government and ensure religious freedom.

Your actions lead me to believe we are not far from the day when we will have to use troops to topple the city government in San Francisco, lest the legitimate rights of American citizens be suppressed and their lived threatened by the enactments of the Board of Supervisors. After all, these resolutions have placed the government of the city on the same totalitarian trajectory.

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|| Greg, 03:27 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Scum Vandalize Memorial To Dead Soldier

Too cowardly to show his/her/their face and voice contemptable political opinions publicly, one or more scumbags defaced a sign dedicating a part of a recreational trail to the memory of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.

The family of a Green Beret who was one of the nation's first casualties in the war on terror in Afghanistan was outraged after discovering vandals had defaced a sign honoring the soldier with anti-war graffiti.

"I felt like I was going to vomit," said Michael Petithory, the brother of Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory.

"It was just pure rage," he told the North Adams Transcript.

Daniel Petithory was killed Dec. 5, 2001, along with two other soldiers when a U.S. bomb landed about 100 yards from their position north of Kandahar.

Michael Petithory discovered the vandalism on Thursday as he biked along the Ashuwillticook Trail.

The words "oil," "Bush" and "Christian Crusade" and other phrases were written in black marker on the brown metal sign.

Family and friends cleaned the sign, which is one of three along a stretch of the trail that honors the Cheshire native. The other two signs were not vandalized.

Daniel Petithory was a recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart. He joined the Army shortly after graduating from Hoosac Valley High School in 1987. He is buried near family members in Cheshire Cemetery.

Police in Cheshire and Lanesborough are investigating, but there had been no arrests as of Friday evening. Cheshire, a town of approximately 3,500 residents, is about 140 miles west of Boston.

Vandals are, of course, a pathetic breed to begin with. That they would desecrate a sign memorializing a member of the military who died in the service of the country makes this crime that much lower. And that they seem to have forgotten that the action in Afghanistan was directly related to the 9/11 attack indicates a level of ignorance and immorality that is almost pathological.

Daniel Petithory had made the army his career, according to his father, Lou.

"He had been in the military for 14 years, so he was one of the older guys on his team," Lou Petithory told the Boston Herald. "They made military history. They were 200 Green Berets inserted into Afghanistan, and within two weeks the Taliban was gone.

"I'm so proud of my son for being part of that," he said.

Mr. Petithory. all Americans who love this country are proud of your son for having been a part of that, and roundly condemn this disgusting act of America-hating cowards.

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March 24, 2006

This Should Piss-Off The DeLay Haters

The sound you just heard was another door being slammed in the face of leftoids seeking to destroy Tom DeLay with corruption allegations.

Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has advised friends that he has no derogatory information about former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and is not implicating him as part of his plea bargain with federal prosecutors.

Abramoff's guilty plea on fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy charges requires him to provide evidence about members of Congress. That led to speculation that this would mean trouble for DeLay, who faces money laundering and conspiracy charges in Texas.

However, Abramoff has not given a clean bill of health to any other congressman -- including Rep. Robert Ney, who has stepped down as chairman of the House Administration Committee. Ney was the only member of Congress named in court papers connected with Abramoff's guilty plea Jan. 4.

You just have to feel for these folks as they try to destroy my congressman -- every time they turn around they run into these little obstacles. Unethical prosecutorial conduct. Charges that are invalid. Lack of evidence. Why, its almost enough to make a guy want to chip in to get them some Thorazine to tame their dementia.

Almost.

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He Served Both Christ And Country

And in the course of that service performed deeds of heroism so compelling that Desmond Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Not bad for a pacifist who refused to carry a weapon out of a profound respect for the word of God and human life.

Desmond T. Doss, Sr., the only conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II, has died. He was 87 years old.

Mr. Doss never liked being called a conscientious objector. He preferred the term conscientious cooperator. Raised a Seventh-day Adventist, Mr. Doss did not believe in using a gun or killing because of the sixth commandment which states, “Thou shalt not kill� (Exodus 20:13). Doss was a patriot, however, and believed in serving his country.

During World War II, instead of accepting a deferment, Mr. Doss voluntarily joined the Army as a conscientious objector. Assigned to the 307th Infantry Division as a company medic he was harassed and ridiculed for his beliefs, yet he served with distinction and ultimately received the Congressional Medal of Honor on Oct. 12, 1945 for his fearless acts of bravery.

According to his Medal of Honor citation, time after time, Mr. Doss’ fellow soldiers witnessed how unafraid he was for his own safety. He was always willing to go after a wounded fellow, no matter how great the danger. On one occasion in Okinawa, he refused to take cover from enemy fire as he rescued approximately 75 wounded soldiers, carrying them one-by-one and lowering them over the edge of the 400-foot Maeda Escarpment. He did not stop until he had brought everyone to safety nearly 12 hours later.

When Mr. Doss received the Medal of Honor from President Truman, the President told him, “I’m proud of you, you really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being President.�

Mr. Doss’ exemplary devotion to God and his country has received nationwide attention. On July 4, 2004, a statue of Mr. Doss was placed in the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta, along with statues of Dr. Martin Luther King, President Jimmy Carter, and retired Marine Corps General Gray Davis, also a Medal of Honor recipient. Also in 2004, a feature-length documentary called “The Conscientious Objector,� telling Doss’ story of faith, heroism, and bravery was released. A feature movie describing Doss’ story is also being planned.

Mr. Doss died Thursday morning in Piedmont, Ala. He is survived by his wife, Frances; his son, Desmond T. Doss, Jr., and his brother, Harold Doss.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Heritage Funeral Home, located at 3239 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 1, at 3 p.m. at the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church located at 4829 College Drive East in Collegedale.

Burial will take place on Monday, April 3, at 11 a.m. at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the Doss family requests that donations be sent to the Desmond Doss Museum Fund at the Georgia-Cumberland Conference office (P.O. Box 12000 Calhoun, Ga., 30703).

This man, ladies and gentlemen, was a true hero. We look at today's crop of "peace activists" and find a motley crew of ne'er-do-wells and whiners who have little respect for this country or its soldiers. Contrast the actions of Desmond Doss with the refusal of the recently rescued Christian Peacemaker team hostages to offer so much as a word of gratitude for the actions of military personnel who rescued them from terrorists who kidnapped them and murdered one of their number.

I have no doubt that Mr. Doss is this day in Paradise, in the company of the One True God.

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UPDATE: The Washington Post has this obituary, which is very good. It notes that Doss was not the only conscientious objector to receive thh Congressional Medal of Honor, merely the first. The other, Cpl. Thomas W. Bennett, a medical aidman who died while serving during the Vietnam War, also received the nation's highest military honor.

I urge you to click below to read the extended entry, where I have reproduced the full text of the citation that accompanied his Medal. You will be awe-struck by the degree of bravery exhibited by this man over the course of several days. Such Christ-like devotion to his fellow man in the face of his own possible death -- including while seriously wounded himself -- brought tears to my eyes.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "He Served Both Christ And Country" »




|| Greg, 08:51 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Saad Withdraws Nomination

Democrat obstructionism has claimed another well qualified Bush judicial nominee.

Henry W. Saad, one of President Bush's appeals court nominees blocked by Senate Democrats, withdrew his name from consideration, a presidential aide said yesterday.

Democrats have accused Saad, a Michigan appeals court judge, of being hostile to employment-discrimination claims and lawsuits by consumers.

"Judge Saad asked to have his nomination withdrawn, and we intend to honor that request," Bush spokeswoman Erin Healy said.

Saad's nomination to the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit was submitted to the Senate in January 2003, and he was renominated last year. His nomination was one of 10 blocked by Democrats, who used the filibuster, which allows unlimited debate, to prevent a Senate vote.

He was not included in a bipartisan agreement by 14 senators last year to avert a Senate showdown over the use of filibusters to block judicial nominees. The agreement allowed three of the 10 nominees to go to a vote.

Saad was rated "well qualified" by a "substantial" majority of the American Bar Association's committee that rates judicial nominees. Under Senate rules, Saad's nomination cannot be withdrawn until Congress returns Monday from its recess.

Notice that – “well qualified”. The Democrats are after results they like, not a judiciary full of well qualified, impartial judges.





|| Greg, 06:37 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Neo-Nazi Sources For Anti-Semitic Harvard/Kennedy School Paper

This is interesting – and really disturbing.

A prominent Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, is alleging that the authors of a Harvard Kennedy School paper about the "Israel lobby," one of which is the Kennedy School's academic dean, culled sections of the paper from neo-Nazi and other anti-Israel hate Web sites.

"What we're discovering first of all is that the quotes that they use are not only wrenched out of context, but they are the common quotes that appear on hate sites," Mr. Dershowitz, who is identified in the paper as part of the "lobby," told The New York Sun yesterday.

"The wrenching out of context is done by the hate sites,and then [the authors] cite them to the original sources, in order to disguise the fact that they've gotten them from hate sites."

The paper, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," was written by the Kennedy School's Stephen Walt and a political science professor and the codirector of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, John Mearsheimer, and published by the Kennedy School.

In the 83-page "working paper," the professors suggest that a vast network of journalists, think tanks, lobbyists, and largely Jewish officials have seized the foreign policy debate and manipulated America to invade Iraq.

The paper has drawn sharp criticism from prominent Harvard faculty, Harvard students, and a member of Congress, with many critics alleging that the document is riddled with factual inaccuracies and suffers from bias and faulty research.

According to Mr. Dershowitz, one of the paper's most prominent critics, Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt not only demonstrated "shallowness" in their analysis,but also based that analysis on quotes and viewpoints widely available on the Web sites of hate groups.

The paper, the law professor said, was "simply a compilation of hateful paragraphs lifted from other sources and given academic imprimatur." Mr. Dershowitz said that he and his research assistants were currently working on a comparative chart showing the parallelism between parts of the Walt-Mearsheimer paper and quotes available on neo-Nazi Web sites.

I can’t wait to see the full results of the analysis, which already appears to show that Jew-hatred is at the heart of much of what passes for “scholarship” on issues related to Israel and the Middle East.





|| Greg, 06:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Cheney Requests – Outrageous, Or Merely Fodder For Perpetually Outraged?

We are getting reports of Vice President Cheney’s “demands” when he travels. Tell me, is there anything in this for folks to get worked up about?

At least that was the evidence from "Vice Presidential Downtime Requirements," the heading of a document posted Thursday on the Smoking Gun Web site and confirmed as authentic by Mr. Cheney's office.

The document listed 13 requirements. Among them were these: All televisions sets in Mr. Cheney's hotel suite should be tuned to Fox News, all lights should be on, and the thermostat set at 68 degrees. Mr. Cheney should have a queen- or king-size bed, a desk with a chair, a private bathroom, a container for ice, a microwave oven and a coffee pot, with decaf brewed before arrival.

The vice president should also have four cans of caffeine-free Diet Sprite and four to six bottles of water. He must have the hotel restaurant menu, with a copy faxed ahead to his advance office. If his wife is with him, she should have two bottles of sparkling water, either Calistoga or Perrier.

For his reading material, Mr. Cheney should have The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and the local newspaper.

Hmmm… the man wants a comfortable room in which he can work, simple amenities, and a few favorite refreshments that are consistent with his health needs. He wants to be able to plan for a heart-healthy diet at mealtime. He wants access to current mainstream news sources, including the up-to-the-minute convenience of Fox News, since his job requires he be up-to-date on domestic and world affairs. Oh, the unreasonableness of it all!

At least if you view the world through the eyes of a sufferer of “Bush Derangement Syndrome.





|| Greg, 06:09 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Houston Residents Tired Of New Orleans Evacuees

I could have told you this without spending the money on the survey.

Heck, I have told you this without spending the money on a survey.

Amid growing concern about the city's homicide rate and overburdened social services, a new poll finds Houstonians increasingly weary and wary of the 150,000 Louisiana evacuees who landed here after fleeing Hurricane Katrina.

Three-quarters of Harris County residents surveyed by Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg say the influx of Katrina evacuees, many of whom remain seven months after landfall, has put a "considerable strain" on the Houston community.

Additionally, two-thirds say evacuees bear responsibility for "a major increase in violent crime," and twice as many local residents believe Houston will be "worse off" rather than "better off" if most evacuees remain here permanently.

The preliminary results of Klineberg's annual survey, which is expected to be finalized later this month, suggest that a sizable fraction of area residents have tired of their guests from New Orleans.

"These results reflect what I'm hearing from my constituents," said U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston. "I think the percentage of people unhappy with the deadbeats from New Orleans would be larger but for the big hearts of Houstonians who want these folks to get back on their feet, as I do."

Why the shift in public opinion? Increased crime, increased violence ins chools, the strain placed upon cstate, county, and city services, the indications that the federal assistance Houston (and the entire state of Texas) was promised in September will not be forthcoming.

Oh, yeah -- we are also tired of able-bodied folks siting on stoops and curbs sipping on forties.

Culberson said the sentiment is much stronger, at least in his district (which includes west Houston, the Texas Medical Center and much of western and northwestern Harris County). He said his constituents are concerned about rising crime and no longer want to house New Orleanians who choose to rely on social services.

"If they can work, but won't work, ship 'em back," he said. "If they cause problems in the schools, if they commit crime, there ought to be a one-strike rule — ship 'em back."

Although Culberson said he has been trying to attach such a provision to pending legislation, it's unclear how such an idea could be implemented.

"Whatever we want to do, these are American citizens, and they can stay here if they want," said Eckels. "The difference is, when they're here and they get into trouble, there are consequences. They put up with a lot of things in New Orleans that we don't put up with here."

In other words, we don't liek the fact that our quality of life is being dragged down to the level that existed in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina.

Perhaps the biggest issue is this one -- we are getting indications that New orleans will welcome back the productive citizens, but not rebuild housing for the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. The result will be "urban renewal via hurricane", with the poorest of the poor dumped in our backyards permanently. We were glad to help -- and are even still willing to help -- if we don't, ultimately, have to bear the burden permanently -- and alone.





|| Greg, 05:40 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Condi Rice Engages Afghanistan On Rahman Case

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been in contact with the Afghan government to express the official concern of the United States government over the arrest and possible trial/execution of Christian convert Abdul Rahman.

In an unusual move, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned President Hamid Karzai on Thursday seeking what she called a "satisfactory outcome" of the case of Abdul Rahman. The 41-year-old former medical aid worker faces the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws for becoming a Christian.

* * *

Rice told reporters in Washington on Thursday the case was "a very deeply concerning development" and she had "raised it in the strongest possible terms" with Karzai. "There is no more fundamental issue for the United States than freedom of religion and religious conscience," she said. "This country was founded on that basis, and it is at the heart of democracy."

I'd love to know what "strongest possible terms" means when applied to a country we recently liberated and which we are currently providing with military assistance and lots of foreign aid cash. Regardless, this is better than the anemic performance by State Department officials earlier in the week. But unfortunately, this call did not include a demand to drop all charges and relase Mr. Rahman, whose only "crime" is following Jesus Christ instead of the false prophet Muhammad, in contravention of the laws of the Religion of Barbarism.

Rice spoke to reporters following her unusual direct appeal to a foreign leader.

"We look forward, hopefully, to a resolution of this in the very near future," Rice said, without elaborating.

Although she asked for what her spokesman called a "favorable resolution," Rice evidently did not demand specifically that the trial be halted and the defendant released.

"This is clearly an Afghan decision," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. "They are a sovereign country."

Nor does it appear that there is any inclination todrop the charges on the part of the Afghan government.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters she had received assurances from Karzai in a telephone call that Rahman would not be sentenced to death.

"I have the impression that he (Karzai) has a firm willingness" to abide by the human rights requirements, Merkel said going into pre-European Union summit talks. "I hope we will be able to resolve this."

So unless they ,make the unacceptable determination that Christianity is a mental illness (which is no different thant he position of their former occupiers, the Soviet Union), there is no prospect for stopping the trial.

Part of the problem, of course, are those who lead the Religion of Barbarism in Afghanistan.

Senior Muslim clerics demanded Thursday that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."

* * *

His trial has fired passions in this conservative Muslim nation and highlighted a conflict of values between Afghanistan and its Western backers.

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001.

Notice -- this is the MODERATE MUSLIM LEADER who is saying that Abdul Rahman must die for accepting the Truth of Christianity ofver the falsehood of Islam. It is the individual who was seen as not being Muslim enough by the extremist Taliban who insists death is the only proper penalty for accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God instead of the blasphemies against Christ found in the Koran. Can we really believe those who call islam a religion of peace and tolerance if such an individual is leading the lynch mob in the event that international human rights standards win out over the murderous practices espoused by Muhammad himself?

After all, leaders from Kabul's largest mosques are instigating the murder of Abdul Rahman.

"He is not crazy. He went in front of the media and confessed to being a Christian," said Hamidullah, chief cleric at Haji Yacob Mosque.

"The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed."

Raoulf, who is a member of the country's main Islamic organization, the Afghan Ulama Council, agreed. "The government is playing games. The people will not be fooled."

"Cut off his head!" he exclaimed, sitting in a courtyard outside Herati Mosque. "We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left."

He said the only way for Rahman to survive would be for him to go into exile.

But Said Mirhossain Nasri, the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul, said Rahman must not be allowed to leave the country.

"If he is allowed to live in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can too," he said. "We must set an example. ... He must be hanged."

The clerics said they were angry with the United States and other countries for pushing for Rahman's freedom.

"We are a small country and we welcome the help the outside world is giving us. But please don't interfere in this issue," Nasri said. "We are Muslims and these are our beliefs. This is much more important to us than all the aid the world has given us."

The United States must act to stop this act of barbarism -- and to prevent future ones.

Islam Delenda Est

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|| Greg, 12:00 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

"My Night Class Is Over!" Linkfest and Open Trackback Carnival

I teach a college level American Government class in the evenings -- eight weeks on, then eight weeks off. We meet three days a week, from 8-10. The school is 45 minutes away from my home, making for pretty late nights when you consider that I get up at 4:45 to be to the highschool by 6:45 AM.

Last night, my students finished their exams. I graded them and turned in final marks before heading home.

I'm free in the evenings now for about two months. Time to get reaquainted with my wife and my dog.

Sounds like a good reason to open up a post for trackbacks on any subject!

You know the drill for my linkfests -- feel free to link here with any interesting posts you have made recently. I won't limit the number of links, but I will ask you to act reasonably. No Porn, no advertising links, please.

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March 23, 2006

Ashamed Of The Name

This takes the cake. And I wonder about the reason given.

Bosses at a Stockholm hospital have asked a nurse called Jesus to change his name, after concerns that it might cause confusion among patients.

According to Jesus, an auxiliary nurse at Huddinge hospital, his superiors were worried that patients told "Jesus will be coming soon ," might get the wrong idea.

"If they thought that Jesus was coming they might believe that they were already dead," the nurse told The Local.

Jesus, who will now use his middle name Manuel, said he didn't have a problem with the change.

"I understand why they wanted me to use my middle name," he said.

But, he added, "my name never usually causes me problems."

Does anyone suspect that there might be an ulterior motive – such as concern about offending the Religion of Barbarism.





|| Greg, 06:21 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Corrupt Dems Fined

Strangely enough, I don’t hear anyone in the Democrat Party calling for resignations or imprisonment, as they do regularly with Tom DeLay. I guess it is because they are members of the right (and by that I mean Left) party.

Let's start in the state of Misery . . . uhhh. . . Missouri.

A political committee dedicated to helping Democrats win seats in the Missouri House must pay a $104,000 state fine for financial misconduct during the 2002 elections.

The fine, one of the largest ever levied by the Missouri Ethics Commission, stems from an admission by the House Democratic Campaign Committee that it mixed its money with another committee, came under the control of a candidate for office and failed to properly report donations and spending in support of candidates.

In addition to the committee, U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis and a former House member, must pay a $600 fine for his involvement with the committee's practices.

The fines are the result of an internal investigation, said Robert Connor, executive director of the Ethics Commission. Additional fines are possible, Connor said.

In addition to Carnahan and the committee, the statement of facts that accompanied the fine said former lawmaker Bill Gratz of Jefferson City and Team Missouri, a committee that commingled funds with the Democratic campaign committee, also violated campaign finance laws.

Both the Democratic committee and Team Missouri are considered continuing committees under Missouri law, which means they are not established to elect any single candidate.

And also this, from Maine (and Rhode Island).

Former Democratic Party Chairman Patrick Colwell owes Maine voters an explanation.

Colwell resigned Sunday, several months before the end of his two-year term and just weeks after news broke of a highly questionable series of transactions involving campaign funds.

On Dec. 31, Maine's Democratic Party gave $10,000 to the campaign of Matt Brown, a Democrat from Rhode Island who is running for the U.S. Senate.

Two weeks later, the Maine Democrats received $6,000 from Richard Bready, a Rhode Island businessman who supports Brown and had already given the maximum donation to him under Rhode Island law.

Bready also gave $5,000 to the Democratic Party in Massachusetts and $6,000 to the Democratic Party in Hawaii. Both organizations also gave money to Brown's campaign.

In all, Brown received $25,000 in donations from the Democratic Party state organizations in those three states -- money that has since been returned.
Federal election laws prohibit money exchanges made to avoid campaign donation limits. The flow of money from Maine to Rhode Island and back appears to be exactly that type of transaction.

Dem corruption – its all around us. But don't expect any real punishment, because honesty is optional for Donks.





|| Greg, 06:20 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

When Dems Attack

Rabid Legislator Alert!

State Police are investigating an allegation that state Sen. Ada Smith, D-Queens, assaulted a staffer Tuesday morning in the Legislative Office Building.

Lt. Glenn Miner, a State Police spokesman, confirmed "we've been made aware of the allegations" but could not comment on the specifics or say whether an arrest of the 17-year incumbent is imminent.

Law enforcement sources said the staffer alleged Smith threw coffee in her face and pulled her hair. The alleged attack, according to a person familiar with the details of the complaint, happened after Smith returned from a Weight Watchers meeting and announced she had lost about four pounds, and the staffer remarked that she thought the senator would have lost more given her active lifestyle.

The staffer went to St. Peter's Hospital, complaining of eye damage and abrasions on her neck, the source said.

Smith's office said the staffer no longer works there. It had no immediate comment.

And it isn’t like this is Smith’s first tangle with the law.

Smith was found guilty in Albany City Court and ordered to pay $200 in 2004 for failing to obey a direct order from a police officer in May 2003. She refused to hand over her government ID and drove through a security checkpoint at an Empire State Plaza parking garage. A trooper said Smith cursed and sped off, refusing his order to stop.

Last year, Douglas Greene, a former chief of staff for Smith, asked Albany County District Attorney David Soares and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to investigate her for providing no-show and semi-show jobs and having staff work on political business. The state ethics commission had cleared her of any wrongdoing within its jurisdiction.

Smith was cleared last year by the state Division of Human Rights of accusations by another ex-chief of staff, Philip Wayne Mahlke, for racist remarks and firing him because he's gay.

Smith was also charged with biting a New York City Police officer's hand during a traffic dispute in 1998. In 1996, she was accused of threatening a former staff member with a knife. In both cases, Smith denied the charges.

You know, she may have even topped Sheila Jackson-Lee.





|| Greg, 06:14 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Murtha’s Challenger

Sounds like a good, solid Republican. Can she unseat Congressman Cut-N –Run?

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey announced her bid Wednesday to challenge Democrat John P. Murtha in effort to become the next representative to the 12th Congressional District, which includes Armstrong County.

"For decades, western Pennsylvania looked to John Murtha to stand up for our values, but as the years have drifted by, Murtha has drifted further and further from the ideals that made this country great," she said in a prepared statement. Irey, a Republican, will face Murtha in November as both are running unopposed in their parties' primary elections.

"Murtha has become part of the problem in Washington and I don't believe we are receiving the representation we deserve and the time for a change is now," she said.

What a signal to the troops if she manages to pull this off. If you repudiate the mission and our fighting men, America's heartland will repudiate you.





|| Greg, 06:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Kill This Islamist Pig

I don’t even care about a trial – just hang this oath-breaking physician with a bacon-grease saturated rope and leave his putrifying corpse to be consumed by dogs. These actions violate every notion of international law and human decency. He merits no better treatment than that which he gave to the patients he murdered in the name of his foul religion

When policemen, soldiers and officials in Kirkuk who were injured in insurgent attacks arrived in the emergency room of the hospital, they hoped their chances of surviving had gone up as doctors tended their wounds.

In fact, many of the wounded were almost certain to die because one of the doctors at the Republic Hospital was a member of an insurgent cell. Pretending to treat the injured men, he killed 43 of them by secretly administering lethal injections, a police inquiry has revealed.

"He was called Dr Louay and when the terrorists had failed to kill a policeman or a soldier he would finish them off," Colonel Yadgar Shukir Abdullah Jaff, a senior Kirkuk police chief, told The Independent. "He gave them a high dosage of a medicine which increased their bleeding so they died from loss of blood."

Dr Louay carried out his murder campaign over an eight to nine-month period, say police. He appeared to be a hard working assistant doctor who selflessly made himself available for work in any part of the hospital, which is the largest in Kirkuk.

He was particularly willing to assist in the emergency room. With 272 soldiers, policemen and civilians killed and 1,220 injured in insurgent attacks in Kirkuk in 2005, the doctors were rushed off their feet and glad of any help they could get. Nobody noticed how many patients were dying soon after being tended by their enthusiastic young colleague.

Dr Louay was finally arrested only after the leader of the cell to which he belonged, named Malla Yassin, was captured and confessed. "I was really shocked that a doctor and an educated men should do such a thing," said Col Jaff.

Such behavior is beyond the bounds of what civilized people can accept. Time to send Dr. Louay on the express-train for Hell, there to join Muhammad and the Father of Lies (AKA Allah).


UPDATE: The Washington Post has an article about this sick, twisted individual today.

"I injected more than 35 policeman and soldiers, including officers and some who were slightly injured," the doctor, identified by a Kurdish security official as Luay Omar Taie, said in the taped statement. "I used to stop the breathing machines or cut the electricity in the operations room or reopen the wounds."

* * *

In Kirkuk, the arrest of the doctor, first reported by the Independent newspaper in London, followed arrests beginning two months ago of various members of a criminal gang with links to Ansar al-Sunna that had kidnapped more than 150 people and executed 18 of them, the PUK intelligence official said. Other arrests of insurgents followed.

During interrogations, the insurgents were asked who gave them medical treatment, and they identified Taie, the official said. He said the organization selected Taie because he was young and wanted money.

In the statement aired on Kurdish television, the doctor said that he was paid up to $100 for each operation in which he participated. He asserted responsibility for killing the assistant police chief in Kirkuk, Gen. Ajman Abdullah, with a fatal injection, and the general's brother, a soldier who was admitted to the hospital after being injured by a roadside bomb.

The doctor said he helped an insurgent escape from the hospital. The intelligence officials said that Taie also advised insurgents how to forge documents to claim one of their members was shot by U.S. forces, so that he could be treated at a hospital in Mosul, about 100 miles away.

This disgusting creature needs to be rendered DEAD in the fashion most repugnant to Muslims, to make it clear that such crimes against humanity will not be tolerated.





|| Greg, 06:12 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hillary Proves Even Devil Can Invoke Scripture -- Incorrectly

What Democrats don't understand is that they can't just use religious language -- they have to understand Christianity and the Bible if they want to use them to attract voters.

Case in point? The junior senator from New York.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ratcheted up her talk about religion yesterday - saying a GOP-sponsored bill making it a felony to be in the United States illegally would have "criminalized" Jesus.

Clinton, who's considered the Democratic front-runner for the 2008 White House race, made the comments at a hastily scheduled news conference about the House-passed bill aimed at illegal immigrants.

Clinton blasted Republican leadership, which "is constantly talking about values and about faith [but put] forth such a mean-spirited piece of legislation."

"It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures," she added.

"Because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself."

You know -- that interpretation will not fly with most religious voters -- and is transparant enough to offend most of them.

MORE AT GOPBloggers





|| Greg, 05:46 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

DeLay Lawyers Seek Quick Decision

Once again, Congressman Tom Delay and his lawyers seek only one thing from the Texas courts -- a speedy resolution to the politically motivated charges against him.

The arguments before the state 3rd Court of Appeals on Wednesday were about whether a felony charge of conspiracy to violate the Texas Election Code should be reinstated against former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). But the underlying issue was politics.

In a thinly veiled reference to DeLay's bid for reelection this year while under indictment on state money-laundering and conspiracy charges, the congressman's attorney asked the three-judge panel to rule quickly.

"Justice delayed is justice denied in this case," Houston lawyer Dick DeGuerin said in his opening remarks. "I ask you treat this case with dispatch and render decision forthwith."

DeGuerin later told reporters the criminal case against DeLay has clearly affected not only his reign as majority leader but also his quest to win a 12th term to Congress this year. DeLay was forced to step down from his leadership post upon being indicted in September on charges stemming from the 2002 election cycle.

I think it is reasonable for me to say that th charges DeLay is facing do trouble many folks in the Texas CD22. Republican voters would like to see the case resolved prior to the November election. As long as Ronnie Earle is permitted to drag the proceedings out, the election is being conductd under a cloud., which is exactly what the partisan hack prosecuting DeLay intends.

Personaally, I don't care if we get a dismissal of all charges or a trial -- I want Tom DeLay to have had his day in court before we vote in November.

And most importantly, so does DeLay -- which seems to be the impulse of an innocent man.





|| Greg, 05:35 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 22, 2006

Rice Says No To NFL Post

I suppose this should not surprise us at all.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a big football fan, ruled out applying for the job of NFL commissioner after Paul Tagliabue retires.

"Unfortunately, it came open at the wrong time," Rice said Wednesday, clearly amused when a reporter posed the question. "Obviously, I'm very busy as secretary of state, and I intend to continue to be secretary of state as long as the president of the United States will have me."

Well, let the Secretary of State’s decision be duly noted, and may the search committee begin its work in earnest.





|| Greg, 07:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

An Omission That Demands Correction

I am a Christian.

I reject the teachings of Wicca as false.

But I support the efforts of Wiccans to be treated in a manner equal to that of Christians and other religious believers. Situations like this should not happen.

Nevada National Guard Sgt. Patrick Stewart gave his life for his country when the Chinook helicopter he was in was shot down in Afghanistan in September.

But those wishing to honor Stewart, who should have his name on the memorial wall at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, would have a difficult time doing so.

The space reserved for Stewart is vacant. Stewart was a follower of the Wiccan religion, which is not recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Stewart's widow, Roberta, said she would wait until her family's religion — and its five-pointed star enclosed in a circle, with one point facing skyward — is recognized for use on memorials before having Stewart's plaque installed.

"It's completely blank," Roberta Stewart said, pointing to her husband's place on the memorial.

She said she had no idea the pentacle could not be used on her husband's memorial plaque until she spoke with the agency after his death.

"It's discrimination," she said. "They are discriminating against our religion."
"I had no idea that they would [refuse] our veterans this right that they go to fight for," she said. "What religion we are doesn't matter. It's like denying who my husband is."

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and its National Cemetery Administration prohibit graphics on government-furnished headstones or markers other than those they have approved as "emblems of belief." More than 30 such emblems are allowed on gravestones and markers in veterans cemeteries, from the Christian cross to the Buddhist wheel of righteousness. A symbol exists for atheists, too.

Roberta Stewart said she had decided to make the issue public because many Wiccans serving in the armed forces might want the symbol included on a headstone or memorial marker.

I therefore call on the Department of Defense to quickly remedy this situation so the beliefs of Wiccan servicemen and women may be properly honored in veterans’ cemeteries. It is the right thing to do – and consistent with the sacrifice made by Sgt. Patrick Stewart, who died an American hero.





|| Greg, 07:55 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Baby Mamahood – It Ain’t My Fault

Gregory Kane of the Baltimore Sun responds to a story in his own paper from earlier this week – and notes that instead of criticizing teens who reproduce while still in high school, we no stigmatize those who find out-of-wedlock pregnancy and birth unacceptable.

Can I be the only one who finds something wrong with this quote? "They didn't cater to pregnant girls at all. They don't have any sympathy for you. The attitude is, 'It's your fault.'"

Thus spake Alyssa Boyd, with all the wisdom accumulated from living 17 long years on this earth, in an article by Sun reporter Sara Neufeld that ran Monday.

According to Neufeld's article, Boyd was a top student at Western High School before she got pregnant and transferred to the Laurence G. Paquin Middle/High School, which has a history of giving pregnant girls the opportunity to continue their education.

Now I wouldn't presume to judge Ms. Boyd for getting pregnant. The truth is, I can't. In today's society, we judge folks who object to teen pregnancy. Heaven forbid we should judge the teens themselves.

But I'm having trouble with Boyd's line about "the attitude is, 'It's your fault.'"
Well, Ms. Boyd, aside from the young man who made you pregnant, just whose fault is your pregnancy, exactly?

I’m one who finds the quote absurd, but I’m not surprised. I’ve heard stuff along that line too many times in the past. Heck, I had one 18-year-old single mother tell me that her THIRD out-of-wedlock, in-high-school pregnancy was all the fault of the state of Texas – because Medicaid wouldn’t pay to tie her tubes after the second baby and “its not like they can expect me to stop having sex, since I live with their daddy!”

She thought I was an awful human being when I explained that unless a team of Texas Rangers knocked down her door and held her in place while then-Gov. George W. Bush personally impregnated her, it was not the fault of the state of Texas.

After all, how could I be so lacking in sympathy, or have the attitude of “It’s your fault.”

I mean, it isn’t like we can expect a little self-control.





|| Greg, 07:54 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Afghan Government Claims Rahman Is Insane

It seems that the Afghan government learned something from their Soviet oppressors – it is easie to label those who demand their human rights as mentally ill than it is to allow unfettered freedom.

An Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity may be mentally unfit to stand trial, a state prosecutor said Wednesday.

Abdul Rahman, 41, has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country's Islamic laws. His trial started last week and he confessed to becoming a Christian 16 years ago. If convicted, he could be executed.

But prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his mental fitness.

"We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person," he told The Associated Press.

Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Rahman would undergo a psychological examination.

"Doctors must examine him," he said. "If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."

It was not immediately clear when he would be examined or when the trial would resume. Authorities have barred attempts by the AP to see Rahman and he is not believed to have a lawyer.

A Western diplomat in Kabul and a human rights advocate — both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter — said the government was desperately searching for a way to drop the case because of the reaction it has caused.

So declaring Christianity to be a mental illness is the way out? I don’t think so – though I am beginning to think that anyone who believes that Islam and human rights are compatible must be nuts.

Time to use the remaining US troops in Afghanistan to impose a secular government and constitution on Afghanistan, just as we did with Japan in 1945. Do we have a latter-day MacArthur to do the job?

UPDATE: It appears that the Afghan government is digging in on this matter.

"We in Afghanistan have the prosecutor who observes the law and the court that executes it. Whatever the court orders will be executed as the court is independent," said Mahaiuddin Baluch, a religious affairs adviser to President Hamid Karzai.

The case has raised alarm overseas and the United States and three other NATO allies with troops in Afghanistan on Tuesday urged respect for religious freedom. German Chancellor Angela Merkel added her voice to those of Western leaders expressing concern.

In response, Afghan Economy Minister Amin Farhang criticized the "heated and emotional reactions of German politicians" and said proposals there to withdraw German troops in protest amounted to blackmail against Karzai's government.
"We don't interfere in Germany's internal affairs or in running court cases," he told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung.

The case is sensitive for Karzai, who depends on foreign troops to battle Taliban and al Qaeda militants and foreign aid to support the economy. But he also has to consider the views of conservative proponents of Islamic law.

Asked about the international outcry, Baluch said: "Everybody has the right to express their view."

Mr. Bush – be prepared to use American forces to not only rescue Mr. Rahman, but to bring down the Karzai regime if it allows this trial to begin. American blood was spilled to liberate Afghanistan from the backwards laws of the Religion of Barbarism, not to reinforce sharia.

UPDATE 2: President Bush speaks – at last.

"We expect them to honor the universal principle of freedom," Bush said during a visit to Wheeling to talk about the war on terrorism. "I'm troubled when I hear -- deeply troubled -- when I hear the fact that a person who has converted away from Islam may be held to account. That's not the universal application of the values that I talked about. I look forward to working with the government of that country to make sure that people are protected in their capacity to worship," Bush said.

I hope his words to the Afghans were even firmer.


MORE AT: Blogs for Bush, Michelle Malkin (taking the lead on the issue), Captain's Quarters, Church and State, Below the Beltway, Ordinary Everyday Christian, Conservative Political Rants, Macmind





|| Greg, 07:48 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Absurd Post Office Decision On Veteran Employment

Sgt. Jason R. Lyon sprained his ankle in 2004, jumping off a Humvee in Iraq.

The US Army says he can perform any duty, military or civilian.

The US Postal Service says he is physically unfit to carry the mail.

While Sgt. Jason R. Lyon was serving with the Army in Iraq, he suffered a sprained ankle when he jumped off a Humvee. He also nearly had his head blown off by a roadside bomb that killed three of his friends.

After extensive medical treatment and physical therapy, military doctors have certified the Hamburg serviceman physically fit to return to combat duty in Iraq.
But the U.S. Postal Service says he is physically unfit to deliver mail.

"To me, it really seems unfair," said the National Guardsman, who was recently turned down for a postal carrier job because of the ankle injury he suffered in Baghdad in July 2004.

"The military says I can go to combat. I can march, run, fight in a war and do anything else a soldier can do. But the Postal Service says I'm not fit to deliver letters."

A frustrated Lyon, 28, spoke about his dilemma in his home Monday, showing a Buffalo News reporter his Purple Heart for wounds suffered later and a thick stack of medical reports from the Army, declaring him fully fit for military duty.
"Currently no limitations of military or civilian activity," a National Guard medical officer wrote in a report on Lyon last month.

A doctor for the Postal Service saw it differently, ruling that Lyon's ankle injury makes him unfit to be hired as a mail carrier. A physician for the Postal Service called the injury a "physical impairment" that would make it difficult for Lyon to walk or stand for long periods of time.

I’m speechless beyond words at the absurdity of this decision by one doctor/bureaucrat who does not seem to realize that a sprained ankle is an injury that HEALS.

Not even congressional intervention has helped.

The office of Rep. Brian M. Higgins, D-Buffalo, has been trying to help Lyon in his dispute but without results. On March 11, Lyon got a letter from the Postal Service, saying a doctor for the service had refused to change her medical assessment.

Is it just me, or does this absurd and nonsensical slap at a veteran serve to reinforce the stereotype of the Post Office as an out-of-touch bureaucracy that needs to be eliminated so that private industry can do the job better and cheaper?





|| Greg, 07:45 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Doctor Urges Murder Of Animal Researchers

A California surgeon has demonstrated that he places greater value on the lives of animals than he does on the lives of human beings, calling for the murder of medical researchers and other scientists whose work includes the use of animals as test subjects.

Dr. Jerry Vlasak is a trauma surgeon who is certified by The American Board of Surgery and is also listed as a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. Vlasak is also an outspoken animal rights activist who has, in an interview published this month, repeated his view that killing animal researchers is an acceptable way to stop animal experiments.

In the March 2006 issue of Abolitionist-Online, Vlasak is quoted as saying "Killing an animal abuser, who is not an innocent bystander, is morally defensible, and if they had the power to do so, animals would do it."

Vlasak compares killing of animal researchers to stop animal experimentation to "the killing of Nazi concentration camp guards and officers to free the prisoners being taken to the gas chambers." He suggests that such actions, "most likely would have made the next crop of soldiers less likely to volunteer for duty."

"So yes, I think the threat of violence would save lives, innocent lives. I'm sorry to say its true," says Vlasak.

He proposes, researchers should be allowed to cease and desist peacefully prior to being violently forced. "All animal abusers should be politely asked to stop killing animals in their work and explain to them the scientific fraud in animal experimentation, as I was. If they refuse, they should be told to stop immediately, or suffer the consequences. If they still refuse, then they should be stopped by whatever means necessary. I would hope they would stop the torture and killing when asked, but I suspect some would not."

This man is clearly unfit to practice medicine. If he is willing to advocate for the killing of those with whom he disagrees on this philosophical point, how can we be certain that he will not show equal disregard for human life in the performance of his duties.

Contact the following to urge the suspension of Dr. Vlasak for this unprofessional conduct in violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

Medical Board of California
Central Complaint Unit
California toll-free line: 1-800-633-2322
Phone: (916) 263-2424 / Fax: (916) 263-2435
TDD: (916) 263-0935

Complaints should be mailed to:
Medical Board of California
Central Complaint Unit
1426 Howe Avenue, Suite 54
Sacramento, CA 95825-3236

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633

To send an Electronic Mail please visit:
http://www.govmail.ca.gov





|| Greg, 07:44 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

San Francisco Supervisors Demand Separation Of Church And Church

Concerned that the Catholic Church has too much influence on the Catholic Church, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has demanded that the Catholic Church disregard the teachings and doctrine of the Catholic Church, and condemned the Catholic Church for attempting to impose those teachings and doctrines upon the Catholic Church. The Board also encouraged schism within the Church, urging the Archdiocese of San Francisco to defy the ecclesiastical authority of the Pope and Curia.

San Francisco elected officials, who have tangled with the Catholic Church before, issued a blistering statement Tuesday that calls on the Vatican to overturn its edict that children waiting to be adopted should not be placed with gays and lesbians.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution that takes aim at a statement issued two weeks ago by Cardinal-elect William Levada, the former archbishop for San Francisco who now serves as second-in-command at the Vatican. Levada said Catholic agencies "should not place children for adoption in homosexual households.''

The San Francissco Board of Supervisors wasted little time chiming in, and challenged local church officials to defy the Vatican.

"It is an insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great city's existing and established customs and traditions, such as the right of same-sex couples to adopt and care for children in need,'' the resolution stated.

On Monday, Maurice Healy, spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, told The Chronicle that adoptions into gay and lesbian households "are not in sync with church teaching, and we've committed ourselves to being in sync with church teaching.''

In other words, the city government in Sodom-by-the-Bay has gone on record condemning the Catholic Church for upholding two millennia of Christian moral teaching, and demanded that the Church change its teachings and policies to suit the government of San Francisco. Would someone care to explain to me the constitutional theory that allows for such a resolution? How can such a legislative enactment be valid under the First Amendment?

What is more shocking is that the resolution hearkens back to the rhetoric of anti-Catholic nativism from the 19th century. The reference to the Vatican as a foreign country contains in it an implicit challenge to the patriotism and loyalty of American Catholics, and was common in the writings and speeches of anti-Catholic groups such as the American Protective Association, Ku Klux Klan, Protestants and Others United for the Separation of Church and State (now known as Americans United for the Separation of Church and State) and the aptly-named Know-Nothing Party. The Board of Supervisors will be known and remembered by the company in which it has placed itself by this infamous action.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Liberties had this to say:

“In a non-binding resolution, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors lashed out at the Catholic Church because it disagrees with the Church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality. The board, which has long shown its affinity for the radical gay agenda, has now demonstrated that it has nothing but contempt for the First Amendment provisions on religious liberty and the establishment of religion. If they had it their way, the government would dictate the teachings of the Catholic Church. “Because the Catholic Church supports the right of children to be raised by fathers and mothers, and not by various other combinations, the Board of Supervisors calls the Church’s teachings on adoption ‘hateful,’ ‘discriminatory,’ ‘insulting’ and ‘callous,’ adding that it ‘shows a level of insensitivity and ignorance.’ The group also said, ‘It is an insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with…this city’s existing and established customs and traditions….’ “According to this logic, any religious entity that faithfully follows the tenets of its faith risks being condemned by San Francisco officials if the Board of Supervisors disagrees with its contents. The real meddlers, obviously, are government agents who seek to smash the principle of separation of church and state by seeking to inject themselves into the internal affairs of a world religion. “The new San Francisco Archbishop, George Niederauer, has his hands full with a related matter: Catholic Charities, which has been told to stop gay adoptions, refuses to cooperate. Brian Cahill, the executive director, pledges no policy changes, and Glenn Motola, the CYO director of programs and services, is a gay adoptive father. These men worked for the former archbishop, William Levada, who is now a Cardinal-elect serving in Rome in the same post formerly held by Pope Benedict XVI.”

Well said.


RELATED ARTICLES AT: GOPBloggers, Mirror of Justice, Mere Comments, MarriageDebate.com, Voice from Eden





|| Greg, 07:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

CAIR Silent On Death Trial For Christian Convert

How is it that CAIR, a group that will screech out its opposition to even the most mild criticism of Islam and proclaims that faith to be tolerant and civilized, can remain silent in the face of the prospect of the judicial murder of a convert from Islam to Christianity? Could it be that all the protestations that Islam is compatible with human freedom are nothing but disinformation designed to obscure the true nature of that faith?

What does the Council on American-Islamic Relations have to say about the trial of an Afghan Muslim who may get the death penalty for converting to Christianity? Nothing so far, noted a conservative, pro-family group.

"Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations so far has been silent," the Family Research Council said in an email message on Tuesday.

"Hooper is usually quick to decry any anti-Muslim slight. By not speaking out against this outrageous action, CAIR is dealing with the issue," said FRC President Tony Perkins.

CAIR, in an email message of its own on Tuesday, did not mention the case of Abdul Rahman, who converted to Christianity 16 years ago. The judge hearing Rahman's case was quoted as saying that Rahman could face the death penalty if he refused to return to Islam.

Some of CAIR's leaders, along with other Muslims, met on Tuesday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes and top officials of the National Security Council. But the meetings focused on outreach efforts to the Muslim world and "how to address growing levels of Islamophobia in the West," CAIR said.

CAIR recently launched a "Not in the Name of Islam" campaign, which seeks to distance Muslims from terrorism and "correct misperceptions of Islam."

I’ll tell you how to address the growing contempt for Islam (not fear of Islam – Islamophobia) in the West – get your fellow Muslims to act like civilized human beings, including the showing of respect for fundamental human rights like freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Get “good Muslims” to start speaking out against human rights abusive, and counter things like this.

"I am a female medical student. Converting out of Islam is forbidden"

"In our law, a person who forsakes the religion should be killed and there is no freedom in this regard."

"To my secular Muslim brothers who are expressing their sympathy towards this man: these are the teachings of Islam, no negotiations in them." (H/T Big Pharaoh via Jawa Report)

Come on, CAIR – either your religion is one that allows for freedom and human rights, or it does not. Speak out and let the world know which it is – or don’t speak out, and implicitly concede which it is.


UPDATE -- Michelle Malkin provides this new link from the folks at CAIR -- and they appear to have done the right thing.

“Islamic scholars say the original rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion. Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, a position supported by verses in the Quran, Islam's revealed text, such as:

1) ‘If it had been the will of your Lord that all the people of the world should be believers, all the people of the earth would have believed! Would you then compel mankind against their will to believe?’ (10:99)
2) ‘(O Prophet) proclaim: 'This is the Truth from your Lord. Now let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.'’ (18:29)
3) ‘If they turn away from thee (O Muhammad) they should know that We have not sent you to be their keeper. Your only duty is to convey My message.’ (42:48)
4) ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion.’ (2:256)

“Religious decisions should be matters of personal choice, not a cause for state intervention. Faith imposed by force is not true belief, but coercion. Islam has no need to compel belief in its divine truth. As the Quran states: ‘Truth stands out clear from error. Therefore, whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.’ (2:256)

“We urge the government of Afghanistan to order the immediate release of Mr. Abdul Rahman.”

Before issuing its statement, CAIR consulted with members of the Fiqh Council of North America, an association of Islamic legal scholars that interprets Muslim religious law.

I'm pleased to see this statement.





|| Greg, 07:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Not More Hurricanes!

After Rita and Katrina, folks down here do not want to see any more major tropical weather systems coming to Houston.

The Texas coast from Corpus Christi to the Louisiana border is likely to be the target of higher than normal hurricane activity over the next 10 years, private forecaster AccuWeather said today.

The 2006 hurricane season will be more active than normal and could bring a devastating storm to the U.S. Northeast also, the forecast said.

The outlook comes after the most costly hurricane season on record in 2005, with storms crippling New Orleans and other parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast and briefly knocking out a quarter of domestic fuel production.

* * *

Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and the Mississippi coast last August with winds above 135 mph and a 30-foot-high storm surge, causing more than $60 billion in damage.

Katrina was followed by Hurricanes Rita in Texas and Wilma in Florida. Each wreaked more than $10 billion of insured losses, making 2005 the most expensive year for hurricanes ever.

Bastardi said this year's storm activity will be above normal, but could be less active than 2005.

Forecasters are looking for a big storm to hit the Northeast this year. I don’t like the sound of that – but please, not Houston! One evacuation is enough.





|| Greg, 07:20 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

California City Puts Border-Jumpers First

I hope the state or federal government intervenes to take control of this lawless situation.

At a time when communities across the nation are considering efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, one small city south of downtown Los Angeles is charting a different course.

In Maywood, where 96% of the residents are Latino, and more than half are foreign-born, the City Council has vowed to make the municipality a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants, and over the last few months it has set out to prove it.
First, the city eliminated the Police Department's traffic division after complaints that officers unfairly targeted illegal immigrants. Then it made it much more difficult for police to tow cars whose owners didn't have driver's licenses, a practice that affected mostly undocumented people who could not obtain licenses.

In January, the City Council passed a resolution opposing a proposed federal law that would criminalize illegal immigration and make local police departments enforce immigration law. Now, some in the community are pushing to rename one of the city's elementary schools after former Mexican President Benito Juarez and debating measures to improve the lives of illegal immigrants.

Maywood leaders say they hope their actions will serve as a counterpoint to other cities, such as Costa Mesa in Orange County, that have moved forward with crackdowns on illegal immigrants and groups like the Minutemen border patrols.

"You just couldn't keep quiet. I think we needed to amplify the debate by saying that no human being is illegal," said Councilman Felipe Aguirre, 53. "These people are here … making your clothes, shining your shoes and taking care of your kids. And now you want to develop this hypocritical policy?"

Someone needs to tell this idiot that even if we accept his logic that no human beings are illegal, the actions of human beings can be – including illegally entering, residing, and working in the United States.





|| Greg, 07:20 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Nobel Winner To Colorado U: Too Much Emphasis On Sports

I wish more folks would make this point about higher education today – athletics has come to outweigh academics and research.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman announced Monday that he is leaving the University of Colorado and blasted the school, saying it stresses athletics over academics.

Wieman will leave CU in January for the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he will head a $10.6 million science education project.

He will retain a 20 percent appointment at CU to lead the Science Education Project there, funded with $5 million during the next five years.

Wieman, 54, said at a news conference that the Canadian funding offer was the main reason for his departure from CU after 22 years.

But afterward, he said CU regents' and administrators' preoccupation with athletics contributed to his decision.

"If you want to have any sort of large-scale education initiative, where you're really focusing on education, you need people at the highest levels to put thought and attention into it," he said.

"If our Board of Regents spent half the time on discussions of how to improve the education for students that they do on athletics, it would be a very different university," Wieman said.

The recent CU football recruiting controversy was a major distraction that diverted attention from the classroom, Wieman said.

"My personal view is that there's a considerable overemphasis (on athletics) that takes time and attention away from what we could be doing to improve education."

As a high school teacher, I’ve seen the same thing happen on my level. When discussing decisions about scheduling for next year, one administrator admitted that it be difficult get rid of the block schedule because of objections from the football and basketball coaches and their associate booster clubs. Guess what? We are almost certainly keeping block scheduling. When it came to a decision on splitting our 3500 student school into two schools or keeping it as one entity, the possibility that one or both schools would become a 4A school was a serious point of discussion, as well as the relative competitive disadvantage the smaller schools would have in 5A. Never mind that the bulk of the educational research shows that the opposite decision would have been preferable in both cases – if the first consideration was the best outcome for students.

When will we go back to allowing schools to put education first?





|| Greg, 07:14 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Chef Is Back?

But who will supply his voice?

Contrary to popular assumption, "South Park" fans have not seen the Chef sling his final serving of hash.

The character, who until last week was voiced by Isaac Hayes, is back tomorrow in the first of several new episodes of Comedy Central's top-rated show.

The episode, "The Return of Chef" (10 p.m.), has the school-cafeteria cook returning after a hiatus to the bucolic town that Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman call home. According to a brief description released by the network, the gang is happy "to have their old friend back, [but] they notice that something about Chef seems different. When Chef's strange behavior starts getting him in trouble, the boys pull out all the stops to save him."

Work on the episode began last week, after news broke of Hayes' decision to quit the show because it skewered the Church of Scientology, of which he's a member.

"There is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs and others begins," Hayes, 63, said in a statement last week.

A Comedy Central spokesman would not confirm or deny that Chef's voice in tomorrow's episode is provided by Hayes, but he did reiterate that Hayes is no longer involved with the show. However, it would not be difficult to weave together existing dialogue from Hayes. And it is not unusual for Parker and Stone to deliver episodes at the last minute.

It's unclear whether tomorrow's episode involves Scientology.

But Parker and Stone's penchant for topical sacred-cow-bashing is well-known. So it would not be a stretch to assume that "Chef Returns" is the latest salvo in the battle between "South Park" and the religion that counts Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its devotees.

I cannot see the show getting rid of Chef – but I suppose there are a number of other voices who could fill the role nicely.

So tell me – whose voice do you think we will hear coming out of Chef’s mouth? Tell me in comments.





|| Greg, 07:12 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Swedish Foreign Minister Resigns Over Muhammad Cartoon Censorship

Would that we could get rid of every newspaper editor and publisher who refused to run the most newsworthy cartoons of the 21st century, and everyu politician who condemned the publication of those images of Islam's false prophet. This Swedish Censor is a good start.

Sweden's foreign minister on Tuesday stepped down because of her role in the row over the Prophet Mohammad cartoons.

Social Democrat Laila Freivalds had to admit she knew that her ministry shut down a right-wing Web site that published Mohammad cartoons, according to the Stockholm bureau of the German daily Handelsblatt.

Freivalds on Tuesday said she could no longer do "serious foreign policy," and handed in her resignation.

The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet had reported earlier that a high-ranking foreign ministry official pressured the Web site's operators to shut down the page. Freivalds had initially claimed she knew nothing of the operation but later had to admit she had been informed.

A government official in a democratic society should have shut down the censorship effort, not the website. I can only hope that the next step is the firing of every government employee who was involved in this unconscionable violation of human rights. After all, we in the West do understand the concept of human rights, even if the Religion of Barbarism does not.





|| Greg, 07:11 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Illinois Democrats Vow Not To Act Like Illinois Democrats

Illinois Democrats have been tainted with the stench of corruption back to at least the days of Stephen Douglas. One county Democrat party, though, claims to be seeking to change that.

St. Clair County Democratic leadership has distributed election packets to countywide precinct committeemen, which include an affidavit stating that money from the party will not be used to buy votes.

The unusual action follows the vote buying convictions in June of five East St. Louis politicians. They had helped distribute more than $70,000 received by city Democratic precinct committeemen two days before the 2004 election from the county Democratic organization.

While St. Clair County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Robert Sprague could not be reached for comment, a fax received Monday from his Belleville law office included these documents given to precinct committeemen countywide for today's primary election:

• A one-page letter from Sprague warning that money from the county committee should be used only to pay to help get the vote out, including paying workers to canvass the precincts, for advertisements and to provide transportation to needy voters. The letter also advised that precinct leaders should "keep a record of all expenses" and "under no circumstances" use party money to pay for votes.

• An "affidavit," with room for a notary's signature, stating that a committeeman or election worker swears that no party money will be used "in violation of any federal, state or local laws or regulations."

• A one-page photocopy titled "Election Crimes" that outlined federal voting laws.

I don’t buy this for a minute, given my experiences of working elections in St. Clair County. I remember an incident during one campaign in which a guy with our opponent’s campaign told us within 30 votes how many votes we would be up prior to the announcement of the votes from East St. Louis and down after those votes came in. As recent convictions of prominent county Democrats show, the corruption continues.

Which leads us to this further Democrat commentary.

Sprague's letter to the committeemen also refers to "recent efforts by the Republicans and their friends to suppress the vote of Democrats in St. Clair County..." No further explanation was offered as to whether this referred to last year's federal vote fraud prosecution under a U.S. attorney appointed by a Republican president, or whether local Republicans were suppressing Democratic voters.

My interpretation is that Sprague is concerned that the feds are not allowing corruption as usual to continue in St. Clair County. As a result, I’m willing to bet that the other protestations that vote buying is prohibited are not worth the paper they are printed on.

But then again, if the St. Clair County Democrats had any integrity to begin with, the memo would never have been necessary.





|| Greg, 07:09 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

He IS Equal Time

The moonbats are up in arms over the decision of washingtonpost.com (the online wing of the Washington Post) to include a blog by RedState.com founder Ben Domenech

During the recent controversy surrounding Dan Froomkin's blog at The Washington Post, editors not only decided to clearly label his column "opinion" but also to make an effort to hire a conservative blogger to balance his alleged liberal slant.

Today, the Post launched the result: A new blog called "Red America," created by Ben Domenech, co-founder of RedState, a popular community blog.

It immediately set off what Post political reporter Tom Edsall called a "firestorm" in his online chat today.

A former contributing editor to National Review Online, Domenech later became what he calls "the youngest political appointee of President George W. Bush." After a stint as chief speechwriter for Texas Senator John Cornyn, he became a book editor at Regnery Publishing, where he worked with Michelle Malkin and others.

* * *

The launch upstaged what the Post's Edsall had hoped to talk about during his online chat today. Here is a selection of the exchanges there.

So the decision to balance liberal writers at washingtonpost.com has provoked a howl of outrage from liberals, who don’t believe that equal time is warranted. What’s more, they seem to think that they are the oppressed minority at the Washington Post, and want the post to hire a liberal blogger to offset Domenech (who was hired to balance liberal Dan Froomkin). I guess it isn’t equal time for liberals until the balance is tilted to the hard Left.





|| Greg, 07:07 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

NBC News – Guilty Of Treason?

It is not an unreasonable question, given their decision to traffic with the enemy during time of war.

Our readers have reacted with outrage to our report that NBC News secretly interviewed a Taliban terrorist in Afghanistan, "Commander Ismail," who kills U.S. military personnel. We asked: What's next? Exclusive footage of American troops being massacred while NBC News and Commander Ismail look on and film it for the evening news?

One reader responded: "Just wanted to thank you for the report about NBC and their seditious and treasonous acts. There can be no doubt that the big media outlets in this country have tried their best to undermine this country and this President at every turn…The New York Times should be tried under the treason and sedition laws for their part in aiding and abetting the terrorist in revealing the NSA wiretapping program. These traitors have weakened this country's defense, [they] triumph the rights of the terrorist bastard scum and blame President Bush for everything under the sun. They will stoop to ever deepening lows as evidenced by the childish and hateful behavior towards the President and the First Lady at Mrs. King's funeral. There is no bottom to the pit these snakes come from. Keep up the great work."

Read what else Cliff Kincaid’s readers have to say on the matter – it isn’t pretty.





|| Greg, 07:04 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Archeaology Geeking – March 22 Edition

This just in from Crete, 500 BC.

A 2,500-year-old sarcophagus with vivid color illustrations from Homer's epics has been discovered in western Cyprus, archaeologists said Monday.

Construction workers found the limestone sarcophagus last week in a tomb near the village of Kouklia, in the coastal Paphos area. The tomb, which probably belonged to an ancient warrior, had been looted during antiquity.

"The style of the decoration is unique, not so much from an artistic point of view, but for the subject and the colors used," said Pavlos Flourentzos, director of the island's antiquities department.

Only two similar sarcophagi have ever been discovered in Cyprus before. One is housed in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other in the British Museum in London, but their colors are more faded, Flourentzos said.

Flourentzos said the coffin -- painted in red, black and blue on a white background -- dated to 500 B.C., when Greek cultural influence was gaining a firm hold on the eastern Mediterranean island. Pottery discovered in the tomb is expected to provide a more precise date.

Experts believe the ornate decoration features the hero Ulysses in scenes from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey -- both hugely popular throughout the Greek world.
In one large painting, Ulysses and his comrades escape from the blind Cyclops Polyphemos' cave, hidden under a flock of sheep. Another depicts a battle between Greeks and Trojans from the Iliad.

Go look at the picture.





|| Greg, 07:03 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

"Help A Brother Out" -- Wednesday Open Trackbacks And Linkfest

Before I post the details of today's linkfest, let me supply you with some contact information for those who wish to help our brother in Christ, Abdul Rahman, who is facing death at the hands of the Afghan government for this so-called "crime". (H/T Michelle Malkin)

Abdul was taken into custody and a court case has followed. The story hit public TV on Thursday, March 16. The newscaster stated that an Afghan citizen by the name of Abdul Rahman converted to the Christian religion 16 years ago.

He was questioned, "Do you confess that you have apostacized from Islam?"

He responded, "No, I am not an apostate, I believe in God."

Question: "Do you believe in the Koran?"

Response: "I believe in the Injil (New Testament) and love Jesus Christ.

Yes, that is right -- the government of Afghanistan -- created and supported with American blood and money -- is seeking to execute this man for exercising his fundamental human right (defined under international law in the UN's Universal Declarationon Human Rights over half a century ago) to choose his own religion.

Help this brother out.

Contact the following.

Ambassador Said T. Jawad
Embassy of Afghanistan
2341 Wyoming Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
info@embassyofafghanistan.org
(202)483-6410

White House Comment Line
202-456-1111.

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
202-647-4000

This trial must not be permitted to proceed, for it gives legitimacy to the notion that government has the right to dictate and punish religious choices of citizens.

MORE AT: Blogs for Bush, Michelle Malkin (taking the lead on the issue), Captain's Quarters, Church and State, Below the Beltway, Ordinary Everyday Christian, Conservative Political Rants, Macmind

* * *

You know the drill for my linkfests -- feel free to link here with any interesting posts you have made recently. I won't limit the number of links, but I will ask you to act reasonably. No Porn, no advertising links, please.


Other linkfests at Conservative Cat, Adam's Blog, Third World Country, Bacon Bits





|| Greg, 05:39 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 21, 2006

Someone Speaks Out In Abdul Rahman Conversion Case

And it was the governments of Italy and Germany that did so.

Italy has joined with Germany in protesting a death threat reportedly hanging over an Afghan who became a Christian in Germany and is now charged under Afghanistan's religious laws . The sharia laws, which rule many Muslim countries, forbid conversion to other religions on pain of death .

Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini on Tuesday said Italy would raise the case of Abdul Rahman with the Afghan ambassador in Rome, European Union diplomatic representatives in Afghanistan and EU human rights bodies .

Fini said he would voice to the ambassador "the thorough disapproval" of the Italian government if there was a "possibility" of Rahman being sentenced to death. Italy is the de facto EU diplomatic chief in Afghanistan because Austria, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, does not have a mission there .

Italy has some 2,000 troops in the 10,000-strong NATO-led International Security and Assistance force (ISAF), which began peacekeeping operations in and near Kabul a year after a US-led coalition drove out the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime in 2002 .

Rome held ISAF's six-month rotating command until last month. It is leading the reconstruction of the Afghan judicial system and has also contributed to other reconstruction projects such as roads, hospitals and schools .

Germany said Tuesday it would appeal directly to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and "do everything in its power" to save the life of Rahman, who returned home from Germany when the Taliban was overthrown.

Unfortunately, the Rahman matter was not addressed by the President at today's press conference.

And the only comment from the State Department was a weak one.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Someone Speaks Out In Abdul Rahman Conversion Case" »




|| Greg, 07:54 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

UN Makes Denmark An Example

Michelle Malkin shows us this poster, courtesy of the United Nations.

racismposter.jpg

The poster was thought-provoking.

Applying the Left's diversity hemenuetic, I am left asking a difficult
question:

Is the Lego racist for refusing to adopt the majority culture by
conforming to the puzzle, or is the puzzle an oppressor guilty of racism,
ethnocentrism, and cultural imperialism for refusing to accept the
cultural and lifestyle diversity of the minority Lego?

Enquiring minds want to know!

In the mean time, God bless Denmark, and to hell with those who would give into the followers of Islam's false prophet!

PBUH

baconface.jpg

Place Bacon Upon Him

MORE AT: Euphoric Reality, Slapstick Politics, GZ Expat, Right Voices, Blogmeister, USA, Solomonia, Mean Mr. Mustard, Jesse Richardson, Vital Perspective, Secular Blasphemy, In The Bullpen, Liberty Just In Case





|| Greg, 07:38 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Every week, Watcher of Weasels sponsors a contest seeking the most notable posts from around the Blogosphere. The winning entries are determined by The Watchers Council.

The Council has cast their votes for last week's submitted posts.

Council Member Entries:
Gates of Vienna won first place with King Solomon and the Roe-Men.

Non-Council Entries:
NHS Blog Doctor was victorious with The Crippen Diaries (Week 11).

The Watcher's Council has one vacant seat. Get additional info right here and application guidelines from the Watcher.





|| Greg, 05:09 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 20, 2006

Some Nicknames Just Fit

I’m glad they caught this guy, suspected of murder in both my city and his own. And I’m glad that this no-class gang loser has a nickname that fits him – at least until they fry him.

The hunt for a suspected gang leader linked to homicides in both Houston and New Orleans ended early today with his arrest in Kenner, La., police said.

Officers arrested Ivory "B-Stupid" Harris, 20, about 3 a.m. while serving a search warrant at a home in the New Orleans suburb.

Harris was charged with murder for the Feb. 28 shooting death of Jermaine Wise, 22, in New Orleans. Officers found the victim dead about 1:30 a.m. inside a car parked along the 5300 block of Constance Street.

Houston police said Harris is apparently connected to the Dec. 28 slaying of Steven Kennedy, 24, at 1303 La Concha.

Harris was reported to be travelling with Jerome Hampton, 24, who has been charged with Kennedy's death, which police said was a revenge killing for the 2003 murder of James "Soulja Slim" Tapp, a New Orleans rapper.

Hampton, known as "Man-Man," was arrested Mar. 12 by New Orleans police.
Harris also is linked to two other murders in Houston, one that occurred on Dec. 17 and a second on Jan. 4. Police said the slayings may have resulted from disputes over women.

To date, however, Harris has only been charged with a Dec. 18 armed robbery case at Greenspoint Mall, Houston police said.

B-Stupid – sounds about right to me.





|| Greg, 07:53 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Academics Back Klan’s Duke On Jews

While the one may have been less elegant and academic, no matter how you slice it, it comes out the same – the Kennedy School's Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago join with the former Klan leader and the virulently anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood in proclaiming that the Jews control America.

A paper recently co-authored by the academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government about the allegedly far-reaching influence of an "Israel lobby" is winning praise from white supremacist David Duke.

The Palestine Liberation Organization mission to Washington is distributing the paper, which also is being hailed by a senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization.

But the paper, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," by the Kennedy School's Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, is meeting with a more critical reception from many of those it names as part of the lobby. The 83-page "working paper" claims a network of journalists, think tanks, lobbyists, and largely Jewish officials have seized the foreign policy debate and manipulated America to invade Iraq. Included in this network, the authors say, are the editors of the New York Times, the scholars at the Brookings Institution, students at Columbia, "pro-Israel" senior officials in the executive branch, and "neoconservative gentiles" including columnist George Will.

Duke, a former Louisiana state legislator and one-time Ku Klux Klan leader, called the paper "a great step forward," but he said he was "surprised" that the Kennedy School would publish the report.

"I have read about the report and read one summary already, and I am surprised how excellent it is," he said in an e-mail. "It is quite satisfying to see a body in the premier American University essentially come out and validate every major point I have been making since even before the war even started." Duke added that "the task before us is to wrest control of America's foreign policy and critical junctures of media from the Jewish extremist Neocons that seek to lead us into what they expectantly call World War IV."

I guess that anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism really have gone mainstream on the Left.





|| Greg, 07:52 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Who Will Replace Paul Tagliabue?

She has called it her dream job in the past, and the sport is one of her passions. Could Condoleezza Rice be moving to the NFL?

Paul Tagliabue is retiring as NFL commissioner in July after more than 16 years on the job.

The 65-year-old commissioner has led the league since 1989, when he succeeded Pete Rozelle, and agreed last March to stay to complete the television and labor deals.

He finally got that done 12 days ago, finishing the most arduous labor negotiations since the league and union agreed on a free agency-salary cap deal in 1992.

"I believe that now is a positive time to make the transition to a new commissioner," Tagliabue said in a statement.

Roger Goodell, the NFL's chief operating officer, and Atlanta general manager Rich McKay are the two leading candidates to succeed Tagliabue. Baltimore Ravens president Dick Cass is considered a dark horse.

Well, it was an interesting career path suggestion.





|| Greg, 07:51 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Weekend Update

Well, my darling bride and I went to the final three days of RodeoHouston over the weekend. Saw LoneStar, Brooks & Dunn, and Gretchen Wilson in the space of less than 48 hours, along with some great rodeo. I've gotten a little behind, though, so there are a couple of stories I want to comment upon, just for the record.

And for the thirtieth straight year -- upsets are screwing with my NCAA picks!





|| Greg, 05:40 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Cheney Is Not Quitting

These rumors have been floating around for some time. Hopefully this will lay them to rest.

Vice President Dick Cheney, a lightning rod for criticism about administration policies, on Sunday rejected the notion of resigning and said he would serve out his term.

"I made sure both in 2000 and 2004 that the president had other options. I mean, I didn't ask for this job. I didn't campaign for it. I got drafted," Cheney said on CBS television's "Face The Nation."

Being part of the administration was a highlight of his career, Cheney said. "I've now been elected to a second term. I'll serve out my term," he said.

No one with any sense thought he was -- though I would have loved to see Condoleezza Rice take the job and the GOP nomination if he did.

(H/T Blogs for Bush)





|| Greg, 05:40 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Move To Limit Military Funeral Protests

I am not supportive of this.

States have been passing laws regarding funeral protests by the reprehensible blasphemers of the Lord's name from Westboro Baptist (sic) Church (sic), the family cult bred by Fred Phelps. I've not been ver supportive. But now there is a move to make the ban a federal one -- and I really have to object.

A Michigan congressman will introduce federal legislation to block protests during military funeral services in response to a Kansas church’s continued demonstrations at servicemembers’ burials.

Rep. Mike Rogers said he won’t officially submit the bill until later this month, but colleagues in Congress have already scheduled a hearing in early April and pledged their support for the measure.

The proposal would prohibit protests an hour before or after a funeral at any national cemetery, and force protesters back at least 500 feet from the grieving family. Penalties for violations still need to be worked out.

“When you go to a funeral, it’s difficult enough to show up and pay your respects to someone who died for their country without getting jeered, taunted and harassed,” said Rogers, a Republican. “There’s a difference between free speech and hateful, harassing speech.”

On Thursday, Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., introduced similar legislation in the Senate, creating a 300-foot buffer zone and making violations punishable by up to five years in prison. Bayh’s bill would apply to “all funerals for soldiers who were killed in active duty service.”

There is no reason to make this a federal issue -- such regulatiosn bvelong more properly on the state and local level, if they are to be passed at all. What, are we going to have the FBI out enforcing these bans? More to the point, why should such a ban be limited to military funerals? After all, why shouldn't it include the funerals of dead gay folks targetted by the Phelps family of primitives? Why shouldn't it include ANY funeral, if this is truly a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction and not simply legislation targetted at the message?

H/T Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, Bluto, Vince, Kerfuffles)



» Conservative Culture links with: Funeral Protests and A New Convert



|| Greg, 05:37 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Afghanistan Seeks Death Penalty For Christian Convert

We put this crew in power -- we can take them out.

An Afghan man who recently admitted he converted to Christianity faces the death penalty under the country's strict Islamic legal system. The trial is a critical test of Afghanistan's new constitution and democratic government.

The case is attracting widespread attention in Afghanistan, where local media are closely monitoring the landmark proceedings.

Abdul Rahman, 40, was arrested last month, accused of converting to Christianity. Under Afghanistan's new constitution, minority religious rights are protected but Muslims are still subject to strict Islamic laws. And so, officially, Muslim-born Rahman is charged with rejecting Islam and not for practicing Christianity.

Appearing in court earlier this week Rahman insisted he should not be considered an infidel, but admitted he is a Christian. He says he still believes in the almighty Allah, but cannot say for sure who God really is. "I am," he says, "a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ."

Rahman reportedly converted more than 16 years ago after spending time working in Germany. Officials say his family, who remain observant Muslims, turned him over to the authorities. On Thursday the prosecution told the court Rahman has rejected numerous offers to embrace Islam. Prosecuting attorney Abdul Wasi told the judge that the punishment should fit the crime.

He says Rahman is a traitor to Islam and is like a cancer inside Afghanistan. Under Islamic law and under the Afghan constitution, he says, the defendant should be executed. The court has ordered a delay in the proceedings to give Rahman time to hire an attorney. Under Afghan law, once a verdict is given, the case can be appealed twice to higher courts.

These are the folks we put in power doing this -- and our troops are still supporting them. The President must pressure the government of Afghanistan to drop this prosecution -- and this law -- and if the Afghans fail to do so, then we must act to impose a secular government that respects human rights. We'v done it once, maybe this time we can do it successfully. Also, where is the outcry from human rights activists who want rights for terrorists? Don't peaceful Christians have human rights?

H/T Jawa Report>, Michelle Malkin, Below the Beltway, Latino Issues, Church & State)

MORE AT: Blogs for Bush, Michelle Malkin (taking the lead on the issue), Captain's Quarters, Church and State, Below the Beltway, Ordinary Everyday Christian, Conservative Political Rants, Macmind





|| Greg, 05:36 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 19, 2006

Is It Time To Boycott Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?

I'm dead serious here. After SVU co-star/conspiracy nutjob/moonbat Richard Belzer made these comments on Bill Maher's show, I think it might be appropriate.

Belzer: “Okay, fine. No one questions the nobility and the honor that these men and woman who are serving and what they're doing. No one questions that. But now they're targets, they're not going out. Now they're just protecting each other and they're in the middle of a civil war. So it's really not fair to have these people who volunteered their lives to protect our nation under false pretenses to now be, to have targets-”

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, over loud applause for Belzer: “Ask them. Ask them if it's fair! Wait a minute, wait a minute. My stepson, wait a minute, my stepson-”

Belzer: “That's bullshit: ask them! They're not, they don't read twenty newspapers a day. They're under the threat of death every minute. They're not the best people to ask about the war because they're gonna die any second.

So, Mr. Belzer, those on-site are not in the position you are to evaluate the war? You know, those fignting and (sometines) dying are not capable of making an evaluationof the situation -- but some dub-ass actor/conspiracy theorist is mopre than qualified to do so because he reads the same wire-service reports out of the twenty different newspapers every day?

Not only that, Belzer and Maher indicate a certain contempt for the troops, even as tehy proclaim sympathy for them.

Ros-Lehtinen: “Wait a minute! You are talking about my stepson, my stepson who just finished last week eight months of duty-”

Belzer over Ros-Lehtenin: “God bless your stepson. Doesn't mean he's a brilliant scholar about the war because he's there. (applause) And God bless him.”

Ros-Lehtinen, quite agitated: “Oh, you are though! You are though? Okay.”

Belzer: “Well I have more time, I'm not there. My life is not under threat.”

Ros-Lehtinen: “Thank you. I'm glad.”

Maher: “I think the point he's trying to make is that a 19-year-old who is in that army because he probably couldn't find other employment-”

Ros-Lehtinen: “He's a college graduate. He's a Marine officer. He volunteered for the Marines.”

Belzer: “He's the exception for the rule.”

Ros-Lehtinen: “He's not the exception for the rule. I've been there-”

Belzer: “You think everyone over there is a college graduate? They're 19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job-”

Ros-Lehtinen: “Yeah, you know because you've been there and-”

Belzer: “What, I don't fucking read!? Don't do that!”

I love the blasphemous use of "God bless him" by Belzer. He's just indicated that he thinks this Iraq vet is an unemployable dullard who was duped into joining the military and is too stupid to know what is going on around him -- but "God bless him." But Belzer, having read the newspaper this morning, claims to be an expert on the war in Iraq.

I'll be finding something else to watch as long as Belzer remains on SVU. I encourage American patriots to do the same.

MORE AT: 24 Hour Blender Repair, Plains Feeder, Iowa Voice, Cursed by a Classical Education, Andric's Delusions, Nashville News, Diary of a Holywood Refugee, So Put Your Hand In Mine, Center for Sanity, Talk Show American, Right Winged, Protein Wisdom, Blogging Man 2007, NewsBusters, American Conservative Daily

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT: Conservative Cat, Stuck on Stupid, Adam's Blog, Samantha Burns, Third World Country, Liberal Wrong Wing, Bacon Bits, Real Ugly American, Camelot Destra Ideale, Voteswagon, Uncooperative Blogger, Blue Star, Jo's Cafe



» Sister Toldjah links with: Hollywood wacko of the week
» RightWinged.com links with: Actor Richard Belzer Hates The Troops
» Diary of A Hollywood Refugee links with: Richard Belzer - Ignorant Asshat



|| Greg, 12:30 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (3) ||

March 18, 2006

Air Anti-America Host Calls US Troops Murderers and Nazis

Proving once again that the business plan for the failing Leftist radio network includes treason and sedition, host Mike Malloy accuses American military personnel of trading "war pornography", being murderers, and likened them to Nazis.

More details at Expose the Left, Wizbang, Jawa Report, BoreAmerica, MoveOnAndShutUp.Org, Kerfuffles, Conservative Culture, Say Anything





|| Greg, 11:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Response To Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I just love this editorial from the Richmond Times Dispatch, a paper which I loved during my time in college in Virginia.

Stifling Dissent

In a recent speech on foreign soil, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said people who disagree with her are dangerous, irrational, slavery-loving, bigoted threats to the country.

Not in so many words, mind you. Ms. Ginsburg is far too nuanced for that. But she did say that she and her former colleague, Sandra Day O'Connor, had been the target of death threats (actually, a single menacing posting on an Internet chatroom) from the "irrational fringe" -- and that Republican Congressmen "fuel the irrational fringe" by opposing the growing practice of interpreting the Constitution in light of foreign law.

Many people have disputed the idea that Justices should base their rulings on cues from foreign countries rather than the American Constitution. Ms. Ginsburg noted that one of them was Roger Taney, in his infamous Dred Scott decision. (Because Taney was wrong about slavery, and he also believed that 2 + 2 = 4, we evidently must conclude that mathematical equation also is incorrect.) She pointed out that defenders of Apartheid in South Africa, where she gave her talk, resisted calls from abroad to end the segregation system. Oh, and Justice Antonin Scalia disagrees with her, too. Those people are all alike.

Ms. Ginsburg's thinly veiled attempt to establish guilt by association is a shopworn technique. It was exploited most famously by Joseph McCarthy to intimidate those who disagreed with him. Joseph Stalin also used guilt by association to send potential resisters of Soviet Communist tyranny to the gulag. Recently an Italian commission concluded that the Soviet Union was behind the attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II.

We are not, of course, in any way suggesting that people who share Ms. Ginsburg's approach are McCarthyite Communist mass-murdering anti-Catholic plotters of papicide. We wouldn't stoop to that level.

Why does she?

Bravo!

If Justice Ginsburg feels that criticism of the Judiciary by members of the co-equal Legislative Branch of government and (even lmore unacceptable) We, the People, is unacceptable and a danger to her safety, I'm sure she can find some court case or law from North Korea, Iran, Cuba, or the People's Republic of China that she and her peers can use to trump both the clear language of the First Amendment that permits such speech and Article III, which gives Congress specific power to check the Judicial Branch.

And if she finds that she cannot get a majority behind her unAmerican goal of suppressing and delegitimizing criticism of the courts on the clearly specious grounds of an epidemic of violence and threats against judges, perhaps she can safeguard her own miserable hide by resigning. I'm sure the Justice Department already has a suitable slate of possible replacements to send over to the president for his consideration.

More At: Colossus of Rhodey



» The Uncooperative Blogger links with: Justice Scalia Speaks out on the Era of the ‘Judge-Moralist’



|| Greg, 11:21 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Dems To Use Troops To Bash

This seems rather disturbing -- and potentially illegal.

Senate Democrats have mapped a political battle plan for the March congressional recess that calls on lawmakers to stage press events with active duty military personnel, veterans and emergency responders to bash President Bush on virtually every one of his national security policies.

Seems to me that they are out to undermine the civilian control of the armed forces, as well as subborning violations of the UCMJ provisions limiting the political speech and activities of members of the military.

SHAME! (But then again, the party of Teddy the Swimmer, Robert the Kleagle and Howard the Screamer has no shame.)





|| Greg, 11:08 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 17, 2006

Homosexual Marriage And Polygamy

I’ve made the argument in the past that state sanctioning of homosexual marriage will inevitably lead to state sanctioning of group marriage. Charles Krauthammer, one of the most gifted conservative columnists living today, makes that argument much more effectively than I ever have.

As Newsweek notes, these stirrings for the mainstreaming of polygamy (or, more accurately, polyamory) have their roots in the increasing legitimization of gay marriage. In an essay 10 years ago, I pointed out that it is utterly logical for polygamy rights to follow gay rights. After all, if traditional marriage is defined as the union of (1) two people of (2) opposite gender, and if, as advocates of gay marriage insist, the gender requirement is nothing but prejudice, exclusion and an arbitrary denial of one's autonomous choices in love, then the first requirement -- the number restriction (two and only two) -- is a similarly arbitrary, discriminatory and indefensible denial of individual choice.

This line of argument makes gay activists furious. I can understand why they do not want to be in the same room as polygamists. But I'm not the one who put them there. Their argument does. Blogger and author Andrew Sullivan, who had the courage to advocate gay marriage at a time when it was considered pretty crazy, has called this the "polygamy diversion," arguing that homosexuality and polygamy are categorically different because polygamy is a mere "activity" while homosexuality is an intrinsic state that "occupies a deeper level of human consciousness."

But this distinction between higher and lower orders of love is precisely what gay rights activists so vigorously protest when the general culture "privileges" (as they say in the English departments) heterosexual unions over homosexual ones. . . .

To simplify the logic, take out the complicating factor of gender mixing. Posit a union of, say, three gay women all deeply devoted to each other. On what grounds would gay activists dismiss their union as mere activity rather than authentic love and self-expression? On what grounds do they insist upon the traditional, arbitrary and exclusionary number of two?

Indeed, once the law is untethered from the definition of marriage which has dominated Western civilization (especially since the beginning of the Christian era) for at least two millennia, then there is really no legitimate basis for arbitrarily upholding any part of that traditional definition. And if, the Lawrence v. Texas holding that “[t]he State cannot demean [homosexuals’] existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime” becomes a foundation for the establishment of homosexual marriage, then it is not an unreasonable leap to conclude that the law against polygamy likewise “furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual” and is therefore equally infirm on a constitutional basis. Hence the need for marriage amendments on the state and federal levels to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.

UPDATE: Eric at The Liberty Papers takes on the issue of homosexual marriage and polygamy from a libertarian perspective.

One of the strongest arguments in favor of gay marriage that I’ve encountered is the one that says that the government has no right to intrude into the personal relationships of consenting adults and forbid them from entering into a legal status, in this case marriage, that they wish to enter into freely. This doesn’t mean that government is endorsing the relationship, any more than it endorses a producer of pornographic films who forms a corporation to run his business. It merely means that the government is allowing people to engage in consensual activities that affect nobody but themselves. The logic, if you accept it, seems to me to be unassailable and its hard for me to find an argument that says that polygamy is per se different.

As much as I would like to endorse his position, I can’t, because the legal recognition of homosexual marriage brings with it government imposed legal burdens upon those not party to that personal relationship. After all, giving legal status to homosexual couples then subjects those who have moral and/or religious objections does not just give the parties to that marriage standing and status before the government. Rather, it also gives them certain special status regarding retirement and healthcare benefits, non-discrimination in housing, and other so-called rights (legal privileges, actually, that are framed as rights) in relationship to private individuals and entities. As such, the recognition of a legal status for homosexual couples forces non-consenting individuals with moral and/or religious objections to act in a manner contrary to their sincerely held beliefs.

So long as such parties to homosexual marriage are in a position to use the power of government to force non-consenting individuals and entities to recognize and reward a relationship that is repugnant to them, then the argument that nobody is harmed by permitting homosexual marriage (or polygamy) must fail – unless we redefine the benefits conferred by the granting of legal status to those relationships. But if we do that, don’t most of the arguments in favor of granting legal recognition to those relationships evaporate?

Others writing include Andrew Sullivan, Ann Althouse, Kathleen Kersten, Susie Bright, Sister Toldjah, , Chez Diva, Icarus Fallen, Uncommon Sense, Bullwinkle Blog, Below the Beltway, Prodigal Sun, Dappled Things, Right Side of the Rainbow,

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT: Conservative Cat, Stuck on Stupid, Adam's Blog, Samantha Burns, Third World Country, Liberal Wrong Wing, Bacon Bits, Real Ugly American, Camelot Destra Ideale, Voteswagon, Uncooperative Blogger, Blue Star, Jo's Cafe





|| Greg, 04:14 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Talk About Your Long Nights!

This is too weird.

Talk about a wild night near Seguin. A cow came flying out of its trailer, sent DPS and police scrambling, and left two police cars going up in flames.

"It was almost hard to believe," said Detective Sergeant Maureen Watson. She has been in law enforcement for 15 years, and says she "never had a day like this. I mean the best way to characterize this it, is it's bizarre. It's really really strange."

It's strange because it started out with a truck towing cattle, and ended in fire.
Watson told News 4 WOAI, "We believe the gate of the cattle trailer came open, and the cow, for lack of a better phrase spilled out onto the Interstate. It was pretty chaotic for a while."

Several cars hit some of the cows. One cow died. DPS troopers called for backup.

That's when one officer was nearly run down by a speeding truck, carrying two illegal immigrants inside.

Seguin Police were out looking for those illegal immigrants. They parked their cars in the hot grass, burning two of them including that brand new 2006 Crown Victoria. Watson said, "Well, all of a sudden, another officer who'd arrived on the scene, alerted the sergeant that there was a fire."

Everything inside was destroyed, including tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment designed for the patrol cars.

"You start off with kind of a bizarre accident with these cows spilling onto the interstate. That leads to other accidents, that leads to a car chase, that leads to a foot chase," Watson recalls.

The two Mexican immigrants, ages 21 and 23, are in custody for illegally entering the country and evading arrest. Watson says they have replacement cars for now, but hope the city council will vote to get new cars soon.

Uh, yeah.





|| Greg, 04:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Good Intentions, Bad Idea, Wrong Conclusions

I don’t blame these guys for seeking to pass a law setting out specific guidelines for surveillance of foreign communications that involve an Americans. I just find the idea to be a flawed, especially because of the conclusion that some will draw from it.

The Bush administration could continue its policy of spying on targeted Americans without obtaining warrants, but only if it justifies the action to a small group of lawmakers, under legislation introduced yesterday by key Republican senators.

The four senators hope to settle the debate over National Security Agency eavesdropping on international communications involving Americans when one of the parties is suspected of terrorist ties. President Bush prompted a months-long uproar when he said that constitutional powers absolve him of the need to seek warrants in such cases, even though the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires warrants for domestic wiretaps.

The program, begun in 2001, was first publicized late last year.

The bill would allow the NSA to eavesdrop, without a warrant, for up to 45 days per case, at which point the Justice Department would have three options. It could drop the surveillance, seek a warrant from FISA's court, or convince a handful of House and Senate members that although there is insufficient evidence for a warrant, continued surveillance "is necessary to protect the United States," according to a summary the four sponsors provided yesterday.

They are Mike DeWine (Ohio), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine).

I think the motive is good – these Senators want to settle the issue once and for all. Unfortunately, this bill does not accomplish that end – in fact, it muddies the waters even further.

First, as I’ve already pointed out, Congress lacks the authority to prevent such surveillance, as the Constitution grants the President the inherent power to conduct it to protect national security. Nothing Congress does can limit that power, any more than the President can issue an executive order limiting the power of Congress to consider certain legislation.

Second, the legislation could be interpreted by partisans opposed to the President (or the security of the United States) to be a concession that the current program is illegal. I’ve already seen gleeful Leftists make exactly that assertion, despite the fact that this is clearly not the intent of the bill. Simply put, you do not give your enemies (and the enemies of the United States) ammunition to attack programs essential to protecting the national security of the United States.

No, this piece of legislation needs to be withdrawn immediately, for the good of national security and the preservation of presidential power under the Constitution.





|| Greg, 04:07 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Slaves In New York

I’m not a big fan of reparations, generations-late apologies, and ethnic guilt – but I do believe that historical wrongs need to be brought to light and remembered lest we repeat them. Thus I am very happy to hear about this program.

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. — A group of mostly white seventh and eighth graders sleepily sauntered into their school library on a recent morning, soon to get a surprise awakening about a part of their town's history they never knew existed.

"Did anybody in this room know there were 60 enslaved Africans, people, human beings, buried a mile from here?" Alan Singer, a professor at Hofstra University, asked them. "Those people have been erased from history. It is as if they never existed."

Singer and Mary Carter, a retired middle school social studies teacher, were in Oyster Bay to speak to the kids — part of a quest to develop a public school curriculum guide focusing on slavery's impact in the northern U.S., specifically New York.

Their efforts have been buoyed by state legislation enacted last year creating the Amistad Commission to examine whether the slave trade is being adequately taught in New York schools.

The commission, one of a number formed around the country in recent years, is named for the slave ship Amistad, which was commandeered by slaves who eventually won their freedom in the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Many people are surprised when you talk about slavery's existence in New York," Carter said. "They're surprised because it's taught as something that happened in the South."

Yeah, that is right – slavery was a Northern phenomenon as well as a Southern one. Let’s remember that in our discussions of race, culture, and region.





|| Greg, 04:03 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Nevermore!

Neverland Ranch is Kaput.

Michael Jackson has shut down his Neverland Ranch for good.

Employees were summoned to the ranch Thursday at 5 p.m. PST in staggered groups, given back pay for 12 weeks through today, and were told the ranch had been shut down by the California Department of Labor.

In fact, Jackson made the decision to lay off more than 60 loyal staffers after making them wait through three months with no pay. Their health insurance ran out on February 28th. Last week, the State closed the ranch because Jackson carried no workmen's compensation.

Despite misleading statements from Jackson’s spokesperson Raymone Bain, I am told that Neverland is indeed closed except to Jackson’s family members and security staff.

Some of the employees of Neverland had been there with Jackson since he bought the place in the late 80s. A few actually had worked for the previous owner. They leave without pensions or the ability to apply for COBRA health insurance. All they can do now is apply for unemployment. My sources say many of them have already done that.

I wonder – will the California legislature look into the working conditions of employees of major entertainments, and regulate that industry? Or is it only the productive sector of America that has to bear the burden of government imposed labor rules?





|| Greg, 04:02 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Frightening Trend

I've noticed a trend at school of more fights for trivial reasons. You know, someone steps on a shoe or makes a rude comment and the "victim" comes out swinging. I'd assumed it was just high spirits on the part of kids or increased awareness on my part -- but now I see it is probably part of a larger trend.

Andre Vincent Jr. was inside a Forestville carryout, joking with a neighborhood acquaintance. When the wordplay turned tense, Vincent, 19, tried to defuse the situation, waving off Wendell E. Jones and saying, "Ah, y'all a clown."

Thirty minutes later, as Vincent stepped to his car with a group of friends, Jones, 22 at the time, sneaked up behind him and fired six bullets into his head. As Jones walked away, court testimony would reveal, he snickered, "Who's the clown now?"

The 2004 murder was part of what law enforcement sees as an alarming trend in Prince George's County: low-"flash point" killings, in which attackers resort to deadly violence over trivial confrontations.

Police say the trend, in part, drove the sharp increase in the county's homicide count last year: 173, a record and a spike from the 148 that occurred in 2004. Twenty people have been killed in the county as of yesterday, compared with 33 by the same date in 2005.

Any speculation on what causes this increased tendency to resort to deadly force over trivial insults? Any suggestions over what to do about it?





|| Greg, 05:37 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Erin Go Blog -- St. Patrick's Day Weekend Linkfest And Open Trackback Party

Aye and Begorrah, it is the weekend of Leprechauns and Green Beer! It is also time for my usual weekend Linkfest and Open Trackback Party.

You know the drill -- feel free to link here with any interesting posts you have made recently. I won't limit the number of links, but I will ask you to act reasonably. No Porn, no advertising links, please.

We'll be open here all weekend!

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT: Conservative Cat, Stuck on Stupid, Adam's Blog, Samantha Burns, Third World Country, Liberal Wrong Wing, Bacon Bits, Real Ugly American, Camelot Destra Ideale, Voteswagon, Uncooperative Blogger, Blue Star, Jo's Cafe



» The Real Ugly American.com links with: Blogrolls Best 3.17.06 / Weekend Open Trackback
» TMH's Bacon Bits links with: The Wearing of the Lavender
» Random Yak links with: Happy St. Patrick's Day!
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Erin Go Braugh
» Stuck On Stupid links with: Full Moon Weekend Linkfest & Trackback Party
» Freedom Folks links with: Druggies To Senator Kyl: No Fence Please...
» The Uncooperative Blogger links with: Your Taxes are Going Up
» The Florida Masochist links with: Former WABC Anchorman Bill Beutel dead at 75
» The Florida Masochist links with: The Knuckleheads of the Day award
» Mark My Words links with: V For Vendetta
» Mark My Words links with: The NY Times is going down



|| Greg, 05:10 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (11) ||

March 16, 2006

Franklin Graham States It Like It Is

His position, when you come right down to it, is a reasonable and legitimate one for someone to hold.

The Rev. Franklin Graham, who outraged Muslims in 2001 when he said that Islam "is a very evil and wicked religion," told an interviewer for Wednesday's edition of ABC News "Nightline" that he hasn't changed his mind about the faith.

Asked by ABC correspondent John Donvan whether Muslim groups had succeeded in altering his outlook about Islam, Graham said "No."

"Do they want to indoctrinate me? Yes. I know about Islam. I don't need an education from Islam," he said. "If people think Islam is such a wonderful religion, just go to Saudi Arabia and make it your home. Just live there. If you think Islam is such a wonderful religion, I mean, go and live under the Taliban somewhere. I mean, you're free to do that."

Read the Koran. Read the Hadith. Look at the history and the present of Islam. It is hard to argue with the assessment of this Christian leader -- especially when one considers that the claims made about Christ by Islam can only be described as blasphemous.

Let's delve a little deeper into why he makes the claim.

The younger Graham angered Muslims following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when he told NBC News: "We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."

Islam is a religion that claims the Old and New Testaments are wrong and corrupted (despite the fact that evidence shows remarkable accuracy in the preservation of OT texts over the last couple of millenia, andthe evidence of the textual fidelity of the New Testament is very strong. Jesus is relegated to the status of prophet, and thee Resurrection is labeled as false. Sounds like a different God to me.

And Graham makes a crucial distinction, one I affirm with him.

In a subsequent Wall Street Journal piece, Graham wrote that he doesn't think Muslim believers "are evil people because of their faith. But I decry the evil that has been done in the name of Islam, or any other faith — including Christianity."

Good people -- evil faith.





|| Greg, 11:58 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Whining Critic Invents Insult

Alan Jackson has covered the Bocephus hit “Texas Women" for years. He changed one line up last night in Houston, and the Chronicle’s critic wants to complain about it.

He did, however, manage a cheap dig during a cover of Hank Williams Jr.'s Texas Women. Jackson inserted the line, "I'm a cowboy fan/Not a Brokeback man," which drew cheers from the crowd. It was a smudge on an otherwise shining performance.

In other words, Joey Guerra so needs to find something to criticize in a stellar performance by a talented performer that he has to stoop to whining that a man singing a song about his love for women asserting his heterosexuality in a humorous manner reminiscent of Jay Leno or David Letterman.

Get a life, dude.

And remembr -- those who can, do; those who can't become entertainment critics.





|| Greg, 06:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Democrat Political Operative To Plead Guilty In Cover-Up Of DSSC Misdeeds

Will this scandal over illegal spying on an American citizen purely for political advantage – as opposed to constitutionally valid spying on enemies of America to protect national security – be covered aggressively by the American press? Or will they continue to ignore and suppress the misdeeds of the Democrat Party.

Federal prosecutors have decided to bring charges against a Democratic researcher accused of fraudulently obtaining a credit report on Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, now a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

Lauren B. Weiner, who has since resigned from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington, will be charged with obtaining the report without authorization, according to a letter sent to Steele by the U.S. attorney's office in the District.

A copy of the March 8 letter, which notified Steele that he is considered a victim in the case, was obtained by The Washington Post yesterday.

The episode, which happened last July, came as both parties started digging into the backgrounds of opposing candidates for one of Maryland's marquee races this year, the contest to replace retiring Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D). Opposition research is typical in contested statewide races, but it is illegal under federal law to obtain a credit report under false pretenses.

Whitney C. Ellerman, an attorney for Weiner, said his client plans to plead guilty to a misdemeanor under an agreement with prosecutors that could result in the charge being dismissed in a year.

"She basically made a mistake, and she is accepting responsibility for that mistake," Ellerman said. "She wants to get on with her life."

Ellerman said Steele's credit report was destroyed and not disseminated to anyone.

That this crime has been dropped down to a misdemeanor and will be wiped from Weiner’s record is utterly unacceptable. The conduct of DSCC staff is comparable to some Watergate figures who illegally obtained personal records of individuals on Nixon’s “enemies list”.

What’s more, no one else will face charges over the matter.

Weiner and Katie Barge, then the DSCC's director of research, resigned after their superiors learned of the incident, which drew the FBI's attention. The DSCC is the arm of the national Democratic Party that works to elect U.S. senators.

William Lawler, an attorney for Barge, said it is his understanding from prosecutors that neither his client nor the DSCC will be charged.

"We're pleased to see this matter come to a conclusion," DSCC spokesman Phil Singer said last night. "Our thoughts are with Lauren. She is a fine person who made a mistake."

Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, would not comment on the case or why the office is apparently not charging Barge, who was Weiner's boss at the DSCC.

Of great concern to me is the failure to go after the DSCC and its chairman, Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Not that I am surprised – our justice system and the obsolescent mainstream media hold the Democrats to a much lower standard of conduct that that to which Republicans are held.





|| Greg, 06:33 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Imperfect Children Celebrated – If Not Slaughtered

Chuck Colson makes an interesting connection between a celebrated young man and a trend in Western society.

We’ve all been moved by the striking success of Jason McElwain, the autistic boy from upstate New York whose phenomenal basketball play won a game for his team when hope seemed gone.

But will there be more shining stars like Jason? Not if current trends continue.

While watching the news reports, I felt great for Jason and his family. As the grandfather of an autistic child, it was wonderful to see a reminder that these wonderful kids can be helped and can exceed our expectations.

But, as a Christian, I was struck by a savage irony: At the same time that Americans were touched by one disabled child, countless disabled children in the West face annihilation.

For example, in the Netherlands, medical protocols allow for the killing of disabled infants. As Wesley Smith points out, “disabled” includes Down syndrome, hemophilia, and other conditions that don’t prevent people from living happy lives. All that matters is that the child’s death “serves the interests of their families.”

Here in the United States, children with Down syndrome have been systematically “targeted for elimination.” A combination of amniocentesis, abortion, and pressure from physicians has made bearing a child with Down syndrome an heroic act.

Given this track record, can anyone seriously doubt what will happen as more disabilities can be detected through genetic screening? The pressures to abort children with possible disabilities will be immense. Just last Sunday, the New York Times Magazine had a chilling story about doctors being sued for “wrongful birth” because they have failed to warn the mother of defects in time for her to get an abortion.

It would be a shame if the sentimentality over the Jason story blinded us to the most important lessons we can learn from kids like Jason: What makes their lives worth celebrating is not what they do; it’s who they are. For me, what really mattered most was the love and respect shown to Jason by both his teammates and the crowd.

It’s a model for how all life should be treated, and anything less is missing the point altogether.

I spent a year working to provide educational and vocational services for developmentally disabled adults, and consider it to be one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. That year taught me more about what matters in life than any of the other 40+ years I have lived. As a result, I can only add a hearty “amen” to Colson’s observations.





|| Greg, 06:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Post Reflects Prophecy

Yesterday I posted about a church in Canada being sued for telling a couple over a year in advance that a homosexual could not be a part of the wedding party. It seems that my comments reflect the prophetic prediction of Mary Ann Glendon (as quoted in a different context by Jeff Jacoby).

"As much as one may wish to live and let live," Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote in 2004, during the same-sex marriage debate in Massachusetts, "the experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language of openness, tolerance, and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination.... Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don't go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to compromise their principles."

When liberal hypocrites speak of “freedom” and “diversity”, what they really mean is that you are have no choice but to believe, speak, and act precisely as they demand.

The Doors Of Perception has commentary on this issue as well.





|| Greg, 06:26 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Time To Go Nuclear

The Democrat obstruction continues – time for the GOP to go nuclear.

On May 9, 2001, President Bush nominated U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle of Edenton, N.C., to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. It took nearly four years for the Judiciary Committee to send his nomination to the Senate floor. It has languished there for more than a year with no prospect for Senate confirmation and no apparent interest by the Republican leadership.

Boyle has been on the federal bench for 22 years, and his only liability is that he is a conservative who spent a year on Sen. Jesse Helms's staff. While he is the Bush appellate court nominee who has been waiting for confirmation the longest, he is not alone. Ten other prospective appeals judges face Senate inaction, with the window of opportunity in the second Bush term already closing.

They seem unaffected by last year's avoidance of a constitutional crisis over the confirmation process and the approval of two Supreme Court justices.

Five years is enough time for deliberation – vote now on Terrence Boyle, an extraordinary jurist who is being obstructed merely as political payback.

And while you are at it, give these folks a vote as well.

-- Brett Kavanaugh, White House staff secretary. First named to the District of Columbia Circuit by Bush on July 25, 2003, Democrats blocked the routine retention of his nomination at the end of the last Congress and now demand a second hearing to delay any hopes for him. His liability is being a senior Bush aide and a former assistant to independent counsel Kenneth Starr . -- William Haynes, general counsel of the Defense Department. A former General Dynamics executive nominated to the 4th Circuit, he has been blocked by Democrats for his association with the Pentagon's enemy combatant policies as a protege of vice presidential chief of staff David Addington.

-- Michael Wallace, a Jackson, Miss. lawyer. He was named to the 5th Circuit six weeks ago to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Judge Charles Pickering. A former aide to Sen. Trent Lott, Wallace faces the same opposition from the Left that filibustered Pickering until he reached the bench on a Bush recess appointment.

There is not a single extraordinary circumstance among these nominees – just politics-as-usual by the Democrats. Use that majority or loose it, Senators.





|| Greg, 06:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

In Re: Sealed Case

If those on the Left actually believe in the rule of law and the importance of court precedent, they would be condemning Russ Feingold and other mentally-ill sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome for insisting that the President be censured for taking actions that courts have consistently ruled are within the scope of his constitutional authority.

Byron York points to the case – decided by the FISA Court of Review – that settles the question of presidential authority on the matter. No, not the Truong case, but a little matter known as In re: Sealed Case. The details of the case itself are not known, but the decision regarding presidential authority to engage in warrantless searches and surveillance is.

In its opinion, the Court of Review said the FISA Court had, in effect, attempted to unilaterally impose the old 1995 rules. "In doing so, the FISA Court erred," the ruling read. "It did not provide any constitutional basis for its action — we think there is none — and misconstrued the main statutory provision on which it relied." The FISA Court, according to the ruling, "refus[ed] to consider the legal significance of the Patriot Act's crucial amendments" and "may well have exceeded the constitutional bounds" governing the courts by asserting "authority to govern the internal organization and investigative procedures of the Department of Justice."

And then the Court of Review did one more thing, something that has repercussions in today's surveillance controversy. Not only could the FISA Court not tell the president how do to his work, the Court of Review said, but the president also had the "inherent authority" under the Constitution to conduct needed surveillance without obtaining any warrant — from the FISA Court or anyone else. Referring to an earlier case, known as Truong, which dealt with surveillance before FISA was passed, the Court of Review wrote: "The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. . . . We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power."

It was a clear and sweeping statement of executive authority. And what was most likely not known to the Court of Review at the time was that the administration had, in 2002, started a program in which it did exactly what the Court of Review said it had the power to do: order the surveillance of some international communications without a warrant.

The Left demands that FISA be followed. This decision makes it clear that the surveillance problem illegally disclosed by James Risen and the New York Times (a crime for which they can and should be prosecuted) is itself legal due to authority granted to the president by the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Court chose not to review the case, allowing the decision of the FISA Court of Review (the functional equivalent of a US Circuit Court of Appeals) to stand. It is therefore incontrovertible that George W. Bush has the same power exercised by Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Harry Truman, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and other presidents dating back to the founding of the Republic.
To use a phrase that was a mantra for the Left during the Roberts and Alito hearings, that position is Settled Law. Now let the President do his job and quit giving aid and comfort to our enemies by interfering with attempts to keep this country safe.



» Searchlight Crusade links with: Links and Minifeatures 03 17 Friday Happy St. Patrick's Day



|| Greg, 12:40 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (1) ||

Can We Call This Pig An Islamist Terrorist Yet?

Here’s more from the homicidal Muslim SOB who ran down a bunch of students at UNC a couple of weeks ago. He’s written to one of the local television stations to provide his side of the story – and they have posted his words on their website.

"Allah gives permission in the Koran for the followers of Allah to attack those who have raged war against them, with the expectation of eternal paradise in case of martyrdom and/or living one's life in obedience of all of Allah's commandments found throughout the Koran's 114 chapters..." "The U.S. government is responsible for the deaths of and the torture of countless followers of Allah, my brothers and sisters. My attack on Americans at UNC-CH on March 3rd was in retaliation for similar attacks orchestrated by the U.S. government on my fellow followers of Allah in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and other Islamic territories. I did not act out of hatred for Americans, but out of love for Allah instead. "

What we have here is a confession of guilt – terrorism on the basis of his Islamist beliefs. It is time for all major media to refer to this whoreson bastard as a terrorist. It is time for the government to treat him as such.

He says he acted out of love. We should do the same.

Because we love our country and our fellow citizens, this guy should be executed via firing squad on national television – forced to stand with his feet in a bucket of bacon grease.

Hat Tip – Michelle Malkin

More At Publius Rendevous, Ed Driscoll, Small Town Veteran, Demonrats, The Nose On Your Face, A Blog For All, Little Blue Alien, Capital Region People, IMAO





|| Greg, 12:38 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

To Mayor Richie Daley – Here’s Why My Gun Should Not Be Confiscated

Mayor Richard M. Daley, the arrogant and corrupt mayor of Chicago (just like his dad), wants the gun owners of Illinois to appear before him in person to justify allowing them to continue to exercise the rights guaranteed under this.

Amendment II A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

I won’t be coming to Chicago, Richie – I wouldn’t even come at the summons of your father, who was a bigger and more competent thief than you are. But I will gladly give you an explanation of my need to have my gun.

I need it in the event that it becomes necessary to defend myself and my family against those who would do us harm or violate our rights – including uppity politicians who decide that the inalienable right to the means of self-defense may be revoked if they feel that we, the people don’t “need” our guns.

Sic semper tyrannis, asshole.





|| Greg, 12:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 15, 2006

Assault On Religious Freedom By Pro-Sodomy Forces Continues In Canada

Advocates for homosexual “rights” continue their efforts to force Christianity back into the catacombs in their efforts to normalize and sanction immoral behavior. This case is just the latest move in the direction of forcing churches to perform homosexual “marriages”

The Observer, the local paper for Sarnia/Lambton Ontario, reports that the pastor of a local church is in hot legal water for his defence of Christian principles.


Tamara Bourgeois, 29, and Jerry Condie, 34, were to marry in June 2007 at Sovereign Grace Community Church and have told the Observer that they are considering legal action against Pastor Glenn Tomlinson when he refused to allow an active homosexual to be part of the wedding party.


Tomlinson said he believes that allowing an unrepentant homosexual in the ceremony is tantamount to sanctioning homosexuality. "I'm OK with a gay person attending in the congregation. We are all sinners," Tomlinson told The Observer. "But the key to me is that a gay man is standing up in an official capacity. If we allowed that, we'd be sanctioning something in the actual ceremony."

Sovereign Grace church bills itself on its website as a church that "believes, teaches, and rejoices in the historic doctrines of Christianity."

Allowing a gay man to stand up for the couple would send the "wrong message, "Tomlinson said. "As a Baptist church, we believe that the scripture is God's word, without error."

Bourgeois was apparently expecting the pastor of this conservative congregation to be in full agreement with the liberal doctrines of "tolerance" for sin. Bourgeois reacted with indignant astonishment when Tomlinson said yes when she asked him if having a "gay man" in the wedding party would be a problem.

"He said it is a problem. I couldn't believe it. I can't be part of a church that feels this way."


"Shouldn't the church be about tolerance?" she asked.


The "tolerance" dogma of liberalism, however, only goes in one direction. Having found another church more to her theological taste - one in agreement with her support of the homosexual political agenda - Bourgeois is vowing to use the courts to persecute Sovereign Grace church for their adherence to Christian doctrine.


I plan on taking this all the way. If I have the means for a civil suit, I'll sue for discrimination," she said, "Who attends at a wedding should have no bearing on the wedding itself. It's not like we're asking him to marry us and we're gay."

Where will it end? Will the human right of religious freedom be utterly extinguished in order to accommodate all nature of immoral activity? While I don’t necessarily agree with Pastor Tomlinson on his decision, I cannot do other than support his right to make that decision as being in line with the theological beliefs and practices of his congregation. For there to be any sanction against a church or a pastor over decisions regarding who may participate in a religious ceremony and how they may participate is outrageous – but is perfectly in keeping with the Canadian trend towards placing the right to practice sodomy above the right to practice one’s religion.

And for those who argue that such Canadian cases are irrelevant to the American experience, please realize that the tendency to American courts to apply foreign law and precedents makes this matter of intense interest to American citizens. In addition the “gay” “rights” movement (not to mention other liberals) often points to Canadian laws and social practices as models for America to follow. In addition, there is the moral obligation to speak out against the persecution of religious believers who peacefully follow their religion, regardless of what political boundaries are involved.



» The Doors of Perception links with: The Bedrooms of the Nation



|| Greg, 04:28 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

RIP -- Freedom Of The Press At Illinois

For having the courage to publish newsworthy material of international importance, the editor of the Daily Illini has been fired.

An editor who chose to publish caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in the University of Illinois' student-run newspaper last month has been fired, the paper's publisher announced Tuesday.

Acton H. Gorton was suspended, with pay, from The Daily Illini days after the Feb. 9 publication of the cartoons, which sparked Muslim protests around the world after they first appeared in a Danish newspaper.

At the time, Daily Illini publishers said the action was taken against Gorton not for publishing the cartoons, but for failing to discuss it with others in the newsroom first.

The Illini Media Co. board of directors, which comprises students and faculty, voted unanimously to fire the editor after a review "found that Gorton violated Daily Illini policies about thoughtful discussion of and preparation for the publication of inflammatory material," according to a statement.

Gorton has said he sought out advice from The Daily Illini's former editor-in-chief and others before deciding to run the cartoons. He has said that accusations he tried to hide his decision were wrong.

On Tuesday, he called his firing a blow against free speech on college campuses.
"If I can be fired, what will other students think who maybe want to challenge the status quo?" said Gorton, who had briefly addressed a board meeting the previous night. "This is a bad precedent."

Gorton said he intends to sue the publishers of The Daily Illini, citing, among other complaints, unlawful dismissal.

Board member Adam Jung said he is confident the company "has acted properly on this issue."

The paper's opinions page editor, Chuck Prochaska, also was suspended for his role in publishing the cartoons. He declined to be reinstated, the board said.

Prochaska said he and Gorton moved quickly to publish the cartoons because they were newsworthy.

"We had a news story on our hands, with violence erupting about imagery, but you can't show it because of a taboo, because of a taboo that's not a western taboo but a Muslim taboo?" he said. "That's a blow to journalism."

Decisions like this show why the major media in this country were such panty-waists when it came to publishing the Muhammad cartoons – that’s how they are trained in college. I hadn't realized that a J-Schoool degree included castration.





|| Greg, 04:17 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Real Hero

I’ve often wondered what I would do if gunfire broke out at my school. I’d like to think that I’d place myself between the shooter and my students. I’d like to think I would act in a way that would keep my kids safe. But I don’t know that I would be as cool as this lady.

A gym teacher is being hailed as a hero for risking her life to persuade a 14-year-old student to drop his gun after he allegedly wounded two eighth graders.

The teacher at Pine Middle School heard three shots just before 9 a.m. and rushed out of a room to find the alleged shooter, James Scott Newman, standing outside the school cafeteria.

"She empathized with him, tried to be understanding and de-escalated the situation. She was successful in having him place his gun on the ground which is pretty amazing," Reno police Lt. Ron Donnelly told KKOH Radio.

After he dropped the gun, the teacher "bear hugged" Newman until additional staff arrived on scene, Donnelly said. "It was an heroic job done by the school teacher," he said.

Newman was booked into the Washoe County Jail as an adult on a charge of attempted murder, Donnelly said. He also was charged with use of a deadly weapon and use of a firearm by a minor.

Two students were injured during the shootings. One boy was shot in the upper arm and chest and was treated and released from a hospital. A girl received a superficial wound to the leg from shrapnel and was treated at the scene.

Investigators were withholding the names of the victims - both eighth graders.

Steve Mulvenon, spokesman for the Washoe County School District, said the teacher who intervened had requested that her name not be released.

"She didn't want any publicity," he said.

Wow! I think I can guess who will be teacher of the year.





|| Greg, 04:08 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Rusty To Remarry Days before Andrea's New Trial

I wonder if Emily post deals with the proximity of a second wedding to the murder trial of your first spouse -- especially when the victims were your children.

Russell "Rusty" Yates will remarry this weekend, two days before his ex-wife, Andrea Yates, is retried for the 2001 murders of the couple's children.

On Saturday, Yates will marry Laura Arnold, a woman he met while attending Clear Lake Church of Christ, according to the Rev. Fairy Caroland, Yates' aunt.

"He's happy, and the family's happy," said Caroland, who added that the wedding date was set long before state District Judge Belinda Hill scheduled Andrea Yates' retrial.

Arnold has two sons, 21 and 9.

On June 20, 2001, Andrea Yates called police to her home, where they found the bodies of the five Yates children, Noah, 7; John, 5; Paul, 3; Luke, 2; and Mary, 6 months. All had been drowned in the family's bathtub. She was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Last year, the 1st Texas Court of Appeals overturned her capital murder conviction because of erroneous testimony from a forensic psychiatrist who was the state's expert witness. Two months later, on March 17, 2005, Andrea and Russell Yates' divorce was finalized, ending nearly 12 years of marriage.

Yates, 41, declined to discuss the wedding.

"It's not something I want to talk about," he said. "Just trying to keep my private life, private."

Yates and Arnold are to be married at Clear Lake Church of Christ on Saturday afternoon. Caroland said her nephew met Arnold after getting to know her 21-year-old son.

"He's simply trying to enjoy this without getting into a lot of stuff about it," Caroland said.

Yates told the Associated Press that he had informed his ex-wife of his plans to remarry.

"Andrea has been aware of it for a couple of months, and she wishes me the best, just as I wish her the best," Yates told the AP on Tuesday via e-mail.

Andrea Yates' attorney, George Parnham, said he was not certain how his client is handling the information.

"We all have to get on with our lives," he said. "This doesn't discount the things that happened on June 20th, but it saddens me that Andrea might be in any way negatively or emotionally affected by this."

A lot of folks around here still put a lot of the blame for the murders on Rusty -- this will just bring the debate forward again.

And it reminds me of why I'm so glad we didn't buy one of the houses we looked at in May of 2001 -- just a few doors down from the one where we saw the Dad playing with his four boys, and the odd looking mother holding a baby.





|| Greg, 05:34 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Wednesday Trackback Festival And Linkfest

Well, here comes this Wednesday's linkfest and trackback festival. This is an open trackback time, so link to me with your best, most interesting, or favorite post, and it will be featured here.

This will get you additional traffic, me additional traffic, and others additional traffic -- and let me determine if my trackbacking is working, as I've gotten nothing but spam trackbacks for days.

So help a brother blogger out -- trackback with one or more posts -- though be reasonable.

Enjoy!



» Blue Star Chronicles links with: It’s Wednesday - What’s Everybody Talking About?
» The Business of America is Business links with: The Road (that ought to be) Less Traveled
» Church and State links with: UN Proposes World Taxation
» Don Surber links with: Cleveland Indians, The Blogosphere's Team
» Everyman Chronicles links with: Mid-Week Open Trackbacks
» Mark My Words links with: Sometimes I shouldn't listen to the radio at work
» Carnival of the Celebrities links with: George Clooney Did Not Write This Blog Either
» The First Church of The NeoCon links with: Pretty Sweet: $165K for



|| Greg, 05:10 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (8) ||

March 14, 2006

Another Cornyn Zinger

I love my state's junior senator, John Cornyn.

His latest zinger is up on his official website.

Democrat co-sponsors of Feingold Resolution: 0

al Qaeda communications intercepted by Feingold Resolution: 0

Terror attacks prevented by Feingold Resolution: 0

I think it is time for the Senator from the not-so-great state of Wisconsin to be Murtha-ized. Will get anyone to join him in voting for his resolution? Probably not -- which is why Harry Reid is doing everything in his power to prevent a vote on the Feingold Resolution.

Hat Tip -- GOPBloggers & Blogs for Bush





|| Greg, 09:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Is This Surprising?

And more importantly, why is it controversial?

Muslims are "crazed fanatics" motivated by "demonic power" whose goal is "world domination," religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said.

Robertson's comments during Monday's "700 Club" program followed a segment about radical Muslims in Europe.

"These people are crazed fanatics and I want to say it now; I believe it's motivated by demonic power, it is satanic and it's time we recognize what we're dealing with," watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State quoted Robertson as saying.

"The goal of Islam ... is world domination," Robertson said.

I don't see anything wrong with the statement -- the position that Islam is a Satanic counterfeit of the Judeo-Christian faith is one that dates back centuries. If you doubt that, read Dante, and note the fate reserved for Muhammad. If Robertson believes this and wishes to advocate it, then there is nothing wrong with this -- in fact, I am willing to go so far as to say that I agree with him regarding the origin and nature of Islam.

And as far as the issue of world domination, I only have to point to the history of Islam from the time of its founding to make the case that it is an agressive faith that spreads itself sing violence. The Qu'ran makes it clear that Islam accepts no equality with other religious beliefs, and that those who follow such beliefs are to be subordinatate to Muslims and the dictates of Islam. If you want to see that in action, consider the response to the Muhammad cartoons from Denmark.

Is that an attack on your average Muslim? No, not any more than a critical dismissal fo Scientology as a fraud perpetrated by a hack science fiction writer is a personal attack upon Tom Cruise, John Travolta or other followers of that ersatz religion.

Has Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (which began as the virulently anti-Catholic "Protestants and Other Americans United for the Separation of Church and State") taken upon itself the role of defending Islam and censuring (and censoring) the religious expression of Christians who do not follow its PC line on religious speech?





|| Greg, 08:04 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

It Has To Be Asked

Rusty from Jawa Report offers this suggestion for dealing with the violence associated coming from the Muslim world.

Can Hookers Save Islam?

If the Germans believe that mobilizing an army of hookers will help reduce the normal amounts of violence associated with the World Cup, wouldn't logic dictate that a few thousand prostitutes are what is needed to stop the annual Haj stampede? And if that is the case, maybe we should unleash Amsterdam's Red Light district on the Sunni Triangle?

It could work........

I wonder -- is this just another way of saying "F*ck Islam"?



» Soyooz links with: Can Hookers Save Islam?



|| Greg, 07:53 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

Leftists Dislike Drudge As Source -- Will WaPo Report Bring Lib Demands For Armitage Arrest On Plame Charges?

I found this comment on my site this morning, from my liberal regular Dan. Rather than deal with the substance of the item I posted, he decided to attack the source I used (the generally accurate Drudge Report).

Right wing logic - Drudge, the least accurate source in the world, says something, and the left should react as if it's true, and if they don't, their hypocritical.

I said that doubt that the silence of the Left will stop when the article comes out.

I wonder if the Left has equal contempt for this source -- the reliably liberal Washington Post, which is engaging in spin control on behalf of senior staffer Bradlee.

Vanity Fair is reporting that former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee says it is reasonable to assume former State Department official Richard L. Armitage is likely the source who revealed CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward.

In an article to be published in the magazine today, Bradlee is quoted as saying: "That Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption." Armitage was deputy secretary of state in President Bush's first term.

In an interview yesterday, Bradlee said he does know the identity of Woodward's source and does not recall making that precise statement to a Vanity Fair reporter. He said he has no interest in unmasking the official who first told Woodward about Plame in June 2003.

"I don't think I said it," Bradlee said. "I know who his source is, and I don't want to get into it. . . . I have not told a soul who it is."

The identity of Woodward's source emerged as one of the big mysteries of the CIA case after he disclosed last year that a government official with no ax to grind had told him about Plame, an undercover operative, a month before her name was revealed by columnist Robert D. Novak. Since then, guessing Woodward's source has been a Washington parlor game.

Plame is at the center of an investigation by a special prosecutor into whether White House officials knowingly disclosed her name to the media to discredit allegations made by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, that the administration twisted intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war. The probe has resulted in charges of perjury, making false statements and obstructing justice against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff.

Beth Kseniak, spokeswoman for Vanity Fair, said the reporter who wrote the story, Marie Brenner, was traveling in India and was unavailable for comment.

Bradlee, currently Post vice president at large, said he learned the source's name from someone other than Woodward. Woodward said he did not reveal the source to his friend and former boss.

"He is not in the management loop on this," Woodward said. "Maybe he was alerted from somebody else, if he in fact did learn" the source's name.

Woodward and Bradlee refused to disclose the source's name. Armitage did not return phone calls requesting comment.

Bradlee's brief comments about the source are included in a lengthy article about the Plame case. Bradlee is the longtime Post editor who rose to prominence when his reporting team of Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story. Woodward and Bradlee refused for many years to reveal the identity of Deep Throat, a key source.

So now we wait -- will the silence continue? Will there be demands for an Armitage perp-walk? Or will the hypocritical liberal silence continue?





|| Greg, 05:19 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 13, 2006

Judges Slap Down Ronnie Earle

Rouge prosecutor Ronnie Earle had his mountain of subpoenas thrown out by a Texas court today. It seems the stay in the case that he had demanded!

A state appeals court today threw out more than 30 subpoenas requested by Travis County prosecutors building a criminal case against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, saying the investigation should have stopped in December when a district judge halted proceedings in his court.

District Attorney Ronnie Earle has been issuing the subpoenas ever since Senior District Judge Pat Priest dismissed all or part of three indictments against DeLay, R-Sugar Land. Earle appealed Priest's ruling, and the judge stayed the case pending a ruling by the Third Court of Appeals.

Most of the subpoenas involved political fund-raising controversies that have involved DeLay, some dating back to 1996.

After Earle subpoenaed records from DeLay's wife, Christine, DeLay's legal team asked Priest to quash the subpoenas. Priest told DeLay lawyer Dick DeGuerin that the case was stayed while on appeal, so he would neither halt Earle from issuing subpoenas nor would he enforce them.

DeGuerin then asked the appeals court to intervene.

"Because the state has obtained a stay in the proceedings ... we hold that subpoenas may not issue compelling witnesses to testify and produce documents at the stayed proceedings," the order by a three-judge panel said.

The panel, which is scheduled to hear Earle's appeal on March 22, said Earle may not issue any more subpoenas while the stay is in effect; ruled all the ones issued after the stay are "null and void;" and any subpoenas issued before the stay are suspended while the appeal is pending.

The unsigned order was issued by Judges Bea A. Smith, David Puryear and Alan Waldrop. Smith is a Democrat. Puryear and Waldrop are Republicans who are up for re-election this year.

What more evidence do you need that this guy is out of control and on a political fishing trip? First he attempts an ex post facto prosecution of actions in 2002 under a statute that did not go into effect until 2003. Then he ignores fundamental rules of procedure. Can we just get all charges dismissed and this Democrat demogogue disbarred?


More At Wizbang,





|| Greg, 09:32 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Did Armitage Expose Plame?

That is what Drudge is claiming.

THE WASHINGTON POST's famous Watergate editor Ben Bradlee claims that it was former State Department Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage who was the individual who leaked the identity of CIA official Valerie Plame.

In the latest issue of VANITY FAIR: "Woodward was in a tricky position. People close to him believe that he had learned about Plame from his friend Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's former deputy, who has been known to be critical of the administration and who has a blunt way of speaking. 'That Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption,' former WASHINGTON POST editor Ben Bradlee said."

'I had heard about an e-mail that was sent that had a lot of unprintable language in it.'"

Llama Butchers doubts the Left will now demand the arrest and imprisonment of their favorite Bush-trashing former State Department official.

Richard Armitage is said to have outed Valerie Plame, via Drudge. Armitage was Deputy Secretary of State and his comments critical of Administration foreign policy are thought to be Colin Powell's. Somehow I doubt we will hear cries from the antique media for Armitage to do the "perp walk" like we did when the leak was attibuted to Rove.

Politburo Diktat notes this response.

So far, the Leftie blogs are not calling for the cuffs and orange jump suits.

I won't hold my breath until I turn blue.






|| Greg, 09:12 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Debased “Art”

This is sickening!

An artist invited Germans to come and be symbolically gased with car exhaust fumes in a former synagogue. Jewish leaders and media commentators say he is belittling the Holocaust and insulting its victims. But hundreds of people have lined up for the experience.

Santiago Sierra, a Spanish performance artist, pledged on Monday to hold talks with Jewish community leaders outraged by his project to give people a sense of the Holocaust by pumping lethal car exhaust fumes into a former synagogue and letting visitors enter one by one with a breathing apparatus.

Sierra, known internationally for his controversial work, led hoses from the exhaust pipes of six parked cars into the building in the town of Pulheim-Stommeln near Cologne to create lethal levels of carbon monoxide there.

* * *

There has been damning criticism from the German media. The Kölnische Rundschau newspaper said Sierra's "art horror light" led to just the kind of trivialization Sierra claimed to be fighting. "What Santiago Sierra is doing in the Stommeln synagogue indeed takes your breath away, unless you're a visitor, in which case you get plenty of oxygen, take zero risks and are even caringly accompanied by a fireman," it wrote.

"That's quite a contrast with the countless victims of the death camps. How pretentious to seek to evoke their horror and fear of death in such a cheap way! In a cynical game which yields no insight whatsoever."

"At a time in which ever fewer authentic witnesses are alive to tell of the Nazi terror, we have to find serious and appropriate ways to give young people a sense of responsibility for the present and the future, without apportioning guilt," the paper said. "Sierra's work degrades history to a fictional spectacle and only does damage in this respect."

Thank God this is not taking place in America – your tax dollars would probably be paying for this “little synagogue of horrors” belittling of the Holocaust.





|| Greg, 08:02 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

MN Bill – Profs Must Speak English Clearly

Do students have the right to expect their professors to speak English in a manner that can be understood? One would hope so, and a piece of legislation under consideration in Minnesota would require that they do so.

Instructors who want to teach at Minnesota colleges would have to prove they can speak English clearly before appearing at the head of the classroom, if a bill at the Legislature becomes law.

The bill would require schools in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to ensure their undergraduate teachers speak plain, unaccented English. It would request the same of the University of Minnesota, which the Legislature has limited authority to regulate.

Rep. Bud Heidgerken, a former teacher and current cafe owner, said he's heard plenty from former students and employees about their struggles to understand professors with thick accents.

"I've had many students say they dropped a course or delayed graduation for a semester because they couldn't get around this one professor they couldn't understand," the Freeport Republican said. "All I'm trying to accomplish is getting the best education we have for postsecondary students."

Three states -- North Dakota, Texas and Pennsylvania -- have laws dealing with the English proficiency of college teachers.

MnSCU officials said few international students teach undergraduates at state colleges and universities. At the University of Minnesota, officials say international students already take a spoken language test before they are allowed to teach.

Peter Hudleston, associate dean for student affairs at the university's Institute of Technology, said comprehension problems sometimes crop up. But he said school officials warn students "they have to expect to be able to understand and converse with people from other parts of the English-speaking world. They have to be able to deal with different accents."

Wait just one minute – shouldn’t those who are coming here to teach be able to make themselves understood by people in this part of the English-speaking world? After all, the needs of the students who are paying to take these courses should take precedence.

Of course, there are the usual obstructors of common sense coming out to play.

Travis Reindl, director of state policy analysis with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, finds the legislation troublesome.

"If we start sending a message here that if you can't speak the king's English flawlessly, we don't want you in our classrooms, that sends a message that the U.S. is not a friendly place for them," he said. "(Besides), there are parts of this country where you would swear that English is a second language based on your own background. If you took somebody from Minnesota and plunked him in Mississippi, then you might have a question."

What a patronizing response. No one is demanding flawless English, or even unaccented English. What is being sought is comprehensible English, which is a significantly lower barrier. I can recall being in an economics class many years ago, taught by a graduate student from India. He could not be understood by nearly half of the 150 students in the lecture hall, and was finally reassigned after a sufficient quantity of complaints – but such complaints should never have been necessary.





|| Greg, 08:02 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Discovery In Kana Dates From Time Of Solomon

That’s “Cana of Galilee” to those of us of the Christian faith – though this discovery dates to centuries before the time of Christ.

In a rare find, remnants of an ancient Israelite city that dates back three thousand years have been uncovered during excavations in the Israeli Arab village of Kfar Kana in the Lower Galilee, Israel's Antiquities Authority announced Monday.

The area, located north of Nazareth, is revered by Christians as the site where Jesus is said to have performed his first miracle.

The settlement being unearthed existed at the time of the United Kingdom of King Solomon and the Kingdom of Israel following the split between Israel and Judah, in the 10-9th centuries BCE.

A section of the ancient city wall and remains of buildings were exposed during recent excavations at the site, which began three months ago, the director of the excavation at the site, Yardenna Alexander said.

She added that evidence was found there indicating the place was destroyed during the 9th century BCE, probably by an enemy forces.

In addition to the wall, an assortment of pottery vessels, large quantities of animal bones, a scarab depicting a man surrounded by two crocodiles and a ceramic seal bearing the image of a lion were also discovered at the site.

Following the destruction the ancient Israelite city, the site was abandoned until its ruins were re-inhabited by Jewish settlers in the Early Roman period in the 1st century CE, Israel's top archaeological body said.

The identity of these residents as Galilean Jews is already known from previous excavations that were carried out at the site, and from historic information that identifies the settlement as "Kana of the Galilee" which is known from the New Testament as the site where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at a Jewish wedding.

In the previous excavations at the site a few years ago, which identified the ancient Galilee settlement as Kana of the Galilee, archeologists discovered remnants of buildings, grinding stones, cooking ovens stone vessels and several Jewish ritual purification baths or mikvahs, one nearly 7 feet high with an arched roof.

Some of the ancient walls that were destroyed in the 9th century BCE were reused in the newer construction nearly one thousand years later in the 1st century CE and new floors were laid down.

The Jewish settlers built igloo-shaped pits on the ruins of the previous settlement, with the bedrock serving as the floor of the pit. A rock-hewn pit was discovered in one of the tunnels and in it were 11 complete storage jars characteristic of the second half of the 1st century CE.

Among the other antiquities discovered at the site include underground pits linked by short tunnels that were apparently built and hewn prior to the Great Revolt by the Jews against the Romans in 66 CE.

The pits are connected to each other by short tunnels which apparently were used as underground hiding places ahead of the revolt, Alexander noted.

Every day we learn more and more about the lives of the people whose day-to-day lives were inextricably tied to the historical events of Scripture.





|| Greg, 07:59 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Egyptian Archaeology News

More neat Egyptian discoveries!

An Egyptian-German archaeological team has discovered 17 statues of Sekhmet, an ancient Egyptian goddess with the head of a lioness and the body of a woman.

The statues, estimated to be about 3,000 years old, were found during restoration work on the temple of Amenhotep III, in the southern city of Luxor, Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said in a statement Sunday.

Last week, the team discovered six similar black granite statues depicting Sekhmet seated on a throne and holding the "key of life" in her left hand. Two of those statues were broken, with only the lower parts found.

The condition of the 17 statues was not revealed, though the council's chief, Zahi Hawass, said in the statement that each figure will be removed from the site for maintenance. Hosni did not say when the figures were found.

Hawass said Amenhotep III's different names and titles were delicately engraved on both sides of the statues' thrones, reflecting the advanced stage of arts during the 18th dynasty rule.

Sekhmet was considered the goddess of war and recovery, which could explain why so many similar statues were found on the same site, according to Mansour Breik, the official supervising the Luxor antiquities.

These statues are from the reign immediately prior to that of Akenaten (AKA Amenhotep IV), and so were likely carved within 50 years of the reign of King Tut.





|| Greg, 07:56 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Recruitment Up For Guard – What Will Dems Say Now?

Recruiting goals are being met and exceeded by the Army National Guard, according to the most recent monthly figures.

The Army National Guard, which has suffered a severe three-year recruiting slump, has begun to reel in soldiers in record numbers, aided in part by a new initiative that pays Guard members $2,000 for each person they enlist.

The Army Guard said Friday that it signed up more than 26,000 soldiers in the first five months of fiscal 2006, exceeding its target by 7 percent in its best performance in 13 years. At this pace, Guard leaders say they are confident they will reach their goal of boosting manpower from the current 336,000 to the congressionally authorized level of 350,000 by the end of the year.

"Will we make 350,000? The answer is: Absolutely," said Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

The rebound is striking because since 2003, the Army Guard has performed worse in annual recruiting than any other branch of the U.S. military. The Guard was shrinking while it was being asked to shoulder a big part of the burden in Iraq. Together with the Army Reserve, it supplied as many as 40 percent of the troops in Iraq while also dispatching tens of thousands of members to domestic disasters.

Why the turn-around? It seems that hearing about the Guard and it mission from Iraq veterans has been an important factor.

A driving force in this year's early success, Guard leaders say, is that thousands of Guard members have now returned from Iraq and are reaching out to friends, old classmates and co-workers -- widening the face-to-face contacts that officials say are critical to recruiting. Guard members "are staying with us and want to fill up units with their neighbors and friends," Blum said in an interview. "Now that they're back -- watch out."

The development of a more regular deployment cycle has helped as well.

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|| Greg, 07:55 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Saddam And WMDs

Gee, I wonder what the Left will make of this?

Audiotapes of Saddam Hussein and his aides underscore the Bush administration's argument that Baghdad was determined to rebuild its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction once the international community had tired of inspections and left the Iraqi dictator alone.

In addition to the captured tapes, U.S. officials are analyzing thousands of pages of newly translated Iraqi documents that tell of Saddam seeking uranium from Africa in the mid-1990s.

The documents also speak of burying prohibited missiles, according to a government official familiar with the declassification process.

But it is not clear whether Baghdad did what the documents indicate, said the U.S. official, who asked not to be named.

"The factories are present," an Iraqi aide tells Saddam on one of the tapes, made by the dictator in the mid-1990s while U.N. weapons inspectors were searching for Baghdad's remaining stocks of weapons of mass destruction.

"The factories remain, in the mind they remain. Our spirit is with us, based solely on the time period," the aide says, according to the documents. "And [inspectors] take note of the time period, they can't account for our will."

The quote is from roughly 12 hours of taped conversations that unexpectedly landed in the lap of Bill Tierney, a former Army warrant officer and Arabic speaker who was translating for the FBI tapes unearthed in Iraq after the invasion.

Mr. Tierney made a copy, which he provided to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The committee in turn gave a copy to intelligence analysts who authenticated the voice as that of Saddam.

Mr. Tierney said that the quote from the Saddam aide, and scores of others, show Saddam was rebuilding his once-ample weapons stocks.

"The tapes show that Saddam rebuilt his program and successfully prevented the U.N. from finding out about it," he said.

There also exists a quote from the dictator himself, who ordered the tapings to keep a record of his inner-sanctum discussions, that Mr. Tierney thinks shows Saddam planned to use a proxy to attack the United States.

"Terrorism is coming ... with the Americans," Saddam said. "With the Americans, two years ago, not a long while ago, with the English I believe, there was a campaign ... with one of them, that in the future there would be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction."

This does sort of upset the applecart, doesn’t it?





|| Greg, 07:44 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what we consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around the blogosphere. The most recent winning winning council post is The Bloody Borders Project by Gates of Vienna, and the most recent winning winning non-council post is Ex-Taliban at Yale: Another Changed Mind? by Neo-neocon. The full list of results for the latest vote is here, and here is the full list of all the nominees.





|| Greg, 04:50 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 12, 2006

Feingold Calls For Censure

Sen. Russ Feingrold -- who helped John McCain rape the First Amendment -- is now seeking to make an end-run around the Constitution again.

Congress should censure President George W. Bush for ordering domestic eavesdropping on U.S. citizens without a warrant, a Democratic senator said on Sunday.

Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin told ABC's "This Week" that he intends to push for a resolution that would censure the president for what he considers an unlawful wiretapping program authorized by the White House after the September 11 attacks.

Now there is no provision for the censure of the President in the Constitution, so I would hope that any attempt would be ruled out of order.

On what basis does Feingold want there to be a censure?

"The president has broken the law and, in some way, he must be held accountable," Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told The Associated Press in an interview.

* * *

The five-page resolution to be introduced on Monday contends that Bush violated the law when, on his own, he set up the eavesdropping program within the National Security Agency in the months following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush claims that his authority as commander in chief as well as a September 2001 congressional authorization to use force in the fight against terrorism gave him the power to authorize the surveillance.

The White House had no immediate response on Sunday.

The resolution says the president "repeatedly misled the public" before the disclosure of the NSA program last December when he indicated the administration was relying on court orders to wiretap terror suspects inside the U.S.

"Congress has to reassert our system of government, and the cleanest and the most efficient way to do that is to censure the president," Feingold said. "And, hopefully, he will acknowledge that he did something wrong."

The Wisconsin Democrat, considered a presidential contender for 2008, said he had not discussed censure with other senators but that, based on criticism leveled at Bush by both Democrats and Republicans, the resolution makes sense.

The president's action were "in the strike zone" in terms of being an impeachable offense, Feingold said. The senator questioned whether impeaching Bush and removing him from office would be good for the country.

Russ, if you really believe that there is something impeachable here, censure is unacceptable (it is cowardly, in addition to being extra-constitutional). Why don't you just sign on with the House Moonbat Caucus and led your prestige to this proposal.

30 US House Representatives have signed on as sponsors or co-sponsors of H. Res 635, which would create a Select Committee to look into the grounds for recommending President Bush’s impeachment, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

“There has been massive support for House Resolution 635 from a very vigorous network of grassroots activists and people committed to holding the Bush Administration accountable for its widespread abuses of power,” US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) said in a statement prepared for Atlanta Progressive News.

* * *

Over 14% of US House Democrats now support the impeachment probe; almost 7% of all US House Representatives now support the probe. In December 2005, there were 231 Republicans in the US House, 202 Democrats, 1 Independent, and 1 vacancy, a clerk for the US House of Representatives told Atlanta Progressive News.

The best represented states on H. Res 635 are California (7), New York (6), Massachusetts (3), Georgia (2), Minnesota (2), and Wisconsin (2).

The current 30 total co-sponsors are Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Rep. John Olver (D-MA), Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MN), Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

Wouldn't you be in fine company, Russ -- and it would really help you to get the support of the far-left moonbat wing of the Democrat Party -- the KOSsaks and DUmmies and all the rest of the extreme Lleft who haven't met an enemy of the United States tehy haven't embraced.

So have the courage of your convictions Russ -- and stand by the Constitution, if you really believe the President has committed High Crimes and Misdemenaors.

Or is this all a publicity stunt, designed to make you look good but accomplish nothing?

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Unfit For Public Office

Ed Rendell and his staff think this behavior is acceptable. I want to know why no criminal charges have been filed.

An angry Gov. Ed Rendell took a tape recorder away from a newspaper reporter during an impromptu interview this week, refusing to give it back for several minutes, according to the paper.

According to an article Thursday in the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, reporter Brett Lieberman asked the governor Wednesday in Washington, D.C., how Rendell had asked former U.S. Rep. Joe Hoeffel to withdraw from the race for lieutenant governor.

Rendell on Tuesday told a radio reporter that he wished Hoeffel would withdraw from the race. Hoeffel had told Rendell three weeks earlier that he planned to run against the sitting lieutenant governor, Catherine Baker Knoll. Rendell told Hoeffel that he would support Knoll but did not ask Hoeffel not to run.

Lieberman's article said Rendell "angrily denied suggestions" that his word could not be trusted. He then said, "It's all B.S. You know it's B.S. It's politics," and shortly thereafter took Lieberman's tape recorder, refusing to return it for several minutes, according to the article.

Rendell called Lieberman several hours later and apologized for his remarks, saying he was frustrated by politics and insisting that he is a "straight shooter," according to the newspaper.

Rendell, who appeared with Hoeffel on Wednesday before he spoke with Lieberman, said he changed his mind after Democratic officials in southwestern Pennsylvania warned that Knoll, a Pittsburgh-area native, would offer his re-election campaign more geographic balance than Hoeffel, who, like Rendell, is from southeastern Pennsylvania.

"The governor is clearly a passionate person, and he's spent every day for the last 20 years being hounded by members of the media and being attacked by Republicans, and the question for people who live their life like that is not how come it happened, but how come it doesn't happen more often," said Dan Fee, Rendell's campaign spokesman.

Now let me get this straight -- the governor didn't like the question, so he ripped the tape recorder from the hands of a member of the working press. Could you imagine if this were done by a Republican -- someone like President Bush, Vice President Cheney, or even Karl Rove? We'd be hearing about theft, assualt, violation of civil rights, etc. But when a left-wing hack like Ed Rendell -- a union thug with a history of coordinating and instigating violence against his opponents -- engages in such behavior, it barely makes a blip on the press radar screen.

And you have to love the response of the campaign spokesman -- "the question. . . is not how come it happened, but how come it doesn't happen more often." You must be kidding! He's trying to turn this failure by a public official to restrain himself from attacking a reporter into a virtue because it happens so rarely!

But you see, this is not the first time something like this has happened.

Rendell has been involved in other confrontations with reporters, including grabbing the neck of a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter in May 1994 when he was the city's mayor. Philadelphia Daily News columnist Gar Joseph, in a Friday item entitled "Rendell 6, reporters 0," cites five other alleged physical confrontations with reporters from the Inquirer or Daily News.

In February 1999, the Daily News also reported that Rendell grasped a reporter's notebook after becoming angry during an interview.

If you or I had a record like this, we would be doing hard time in jail. Why is Ed Rendell above the law?

Pennsylvania, your choice is clear.

Vote for Lynn Swann -- a man of honor, decency, integrity, and self-control.





|| Greg, 02:36 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

If It Wasn't Sufficient To Remove Clinton...

why should it be sufficient cause to fire a prison guard?

As if anybody needed more evidence of how difficult it is to fire a government employee, consider the case of Lovelock prison guard Amie L. Bianchini.

Ms. Bianchini was let go last November because prison authorities found out she and a fellow officer, Sean Hoferer, engaged in oral sex while on duty. The incident occurred in a bathroom at the prison while inmates were on lock-down status.

Mr. Hoferer quit his job once the incident was discovered. But Ms. Bianchini did not, so she was fired.

Had something like this taken place in the private sector, that would have been the end of the matter. But we're dealing with unionized public employees. So Ms. Bianchini fought her termination.

On March 2 a state hearing officer, Patrick Dolan, reinstated Ms. Bianchini with back pay. Under current prison regulations, Mr. Dolan found, the maximum penalty for Ms. Bianchini's actions is a 30-day suspension with pay.

Now, let's not be too quick to criticize Mr. Dolan. He is, after all, bound by state law and its various mandated parameters and procedures. But if regulations don't allow the dismissal of guards who are having sex while on duty, the state has a problem.

State prison officials say they will try to amend regulations so that guards can be fired the first time they are found having sex while at work. What a concept!

Watch the Nevada Corrections Association -- the union representing guards -- fight them tooth and nail.

You mean that sexual relations in the workplace -- even oral not-sex (after all, that was Bubba's argument with Monica) -- is not a private matter that is of no public concern?

Heck -- if we use the Clinton-Lewinsky precedent, this isn't even sufficient grounds for a suspension.

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|| Greg, 02:10 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Words Of A Soldier

I can neither add nor subtract from these words from one of our fighting men.

'What I fight for'

I'm Sgt. Matthew Spencer, and this is my story.

As many of you are aware, there are husbands, fathers, brothers and sons, mothers, sisters, daughters and wives making a daily effort to make Iraq a better place.

Is it hard being away from the ones you love? Of course it is. Nobody wants to be separated from those who love you and support you.

But as a two-time Iraq veteran, serving back-to-back rotations, I can truly say that there is a lot of good coming out of Iraq that you, the public, don't see. I would like to take a minute of your time and help you look through my eyes while I take you on a mission.

As you are traveling down an old, dusty, dirt road, the temperature is around 140 degrees, and you have 150 pounds of protective armor on you. You are driving a truck with a three-soldier crew, and you look out the thick armor windows. You see kids that are playing in the streets — with clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet.

All of a sudden, there is a big blast and a flash of light.

It is a roadside bomb. You and your crew are yelling at each other, thinking in the back of your mind, if I can hear my crew, then we are still alive.

Seconds feel like hours. You finally calm down and look back out that window and see those same kids, still playing as if nothing had happened.

They are smiling and laughing, not at us, but because they are having a good time — they finally have a school to go to, a ball to kick around and clothes to keep the hot sun off of their skin.

That is what I fight for. Being able to give something to those who did not have anything and expecting nothing in return.

I fight for my loved ones back at home because I would rather have the fight here than in my back yard.

I fight for my fellow brothers and sisters who have died, fighting for my freedom, and my way of life.

I fight because I believe things can change, and it must start sometime.

I fight so that my kids will not have to.

I fight because I am free.

I fight because I am a father, a husband, a brother and a son.

And I will fight till freedom is won.

Who is Sgt. Matthew Spencer?

A soldier's words help us remember the men and women behind war's headlines.

SGT. MATTHEW SPENCER, 26

U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division

Hometown: Montgomery (Illinois)

1998 graduate of Aurora Christian High School

Married to Yvonne; father of four children, including baby Jolene, born March 2, while her father was serving in Iraq.

May God richly bless you, your family, and those with whom you serve.





|| Greg, 02:03 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 11, 2006

Death Of A Hostage

I cannot bring myself to weep over the murder of Tom Fox by the forces of terror in Iraq. Instead, I rejoice.

Some of you might find this statement shocking. If you do, I hope you read to the end of this post for an explanation.

Tom Fox, the Virginia peace activist who was taken hostage last year in Iraq, has been found dead, a State Department spokesman said last night. The FBI verified that a body found in Baghdad on Thursday morning was that of Fox, according to the State Department. It was not immediately clear last night when he had been killed or how. Nothing was said immediately about the circumstances leading to the discovery of the body.

Concern for Fox, a 54-year-old resident of Clear Brook, Va., who was kidnapped in November, had risen this week after he was not seen in the broadcast of a video of three fellow kidnapped Christian peace activists.

On Tuesday, al-Jazeera television aired the footage of the three other activists purportedly appealing to their governments to secure their release. A January video, in which Fox had appeared, said all the captives would die unless U.S. and Iraqi authorities released all prisoners held in Iraq.

Noel Clay, a State Department spokesman, said he had no information on the three other hostages. Clay said that "additional forensics" on Fox's body "will be done in the United States."

Fox disappeared Nov. 26 in Baghdad, along with Norman Kember, 74, of Britain, and James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, both of Canada. The four worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams, a Toronto- and Chicago-based group that opposes the Iraq war and has criticized treatment of detainees in U.S. and Iraqi jails.

All four had appeared in two earlier videos released by their captors, a little-known group called the Swords of Righteousness Brigade. The group has accused the four of spying for Western governments.

In Baghdad, a U.S. military spokesman, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, said early Saturday that he had no information on the discovery.

Tom Fox was a Christian -- a Quaker who lived out the pacifism his reading of the Bible called upon him to live. He saw himself called to spread a message of peace and reconciliation. I admire that in him, even as I disagree with the belief that such radical pacifism is the proper response in the face of an implaccably violent foe. But Tom Fox was consistent with his beliefs.

Fox had recognized that his peace activities entailed possible danger. He had left instructions as to what should be done if he was kidnapped. "Under no circumstances did he want any violent efforts to rescue him," Maulden said.

Again, there is something to be admired in such a response to danger met in the service of Christ. It is similar to the Franciscan ethic in the Catholic tradition. I admire it, even as I do not believe myself called to it. I respect the commitment to non-violence that Tom Fox had, even though I reject the wishy-washy leftist view that it is the US and Britain who are responsible for the violence in Iraq, not the deposed dictator or the outside forces of terror who have flooded the country in an effort to sow murder, violence, and anarchy.

Ultimately, Tom Fox laid down his life as an example for his fellow man out of what I believe to be a profund and sincere commitment to Christ. In my book that qualifies as martyrdom, every bit as much as the deaths of those who died in the Colosseum nearly two millenia ago. And so I cannot bring myself to feel more than a passing sadness at his death, for I believe that the words of Christ to the Good Thief have also been spoken to Tom Fox -- "This day you will be with Me in Paradise."

How, then, can I do other than rejoice in the great reward that awaited Tom Fox as he passed from this world of tears into the eternal joy that is life eternal in the presence of our Heavenly Father?

It is my prayer that the martyrdom of Tom Fox speaks loudly to those who would otherwise take up the murderous false martyrdom urged on believers of Islam.

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|| Greg, 12:31 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Liberty University Arrests

There really isn't much of a story here. A group of protesters decided they wanted to enter private property to conduct their protests, despite being told they were not welcome. More to the point, they are making a specific attempt to undermine the religious teachings and practice of the religious group that owns the property. End of story.

More than 20 gay rights activists were arrested on trespassing charges Friday when they stepped onto the campus of Liberty University, the school founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Many of the activists were part of Soulforce, a Lynchburg-based group on its first stop of a nationwide "Equality Ride" tour to promote gay rights at the nation's conservative Christian universities and military academies. Most of those arrested were members of the tour, but the group also included supporters from other colleges and the community.

Invoking the memory of the civil rights movement, Soulforce member Jacob Reitan said: "We want to come to the school today to say, 'learn from history.'"

"We have a right to be here, because this school teaches that being gay is being sick and sinful," said Reitan, co-director of Equality Ride. "We have a right to question and to show how we are children of God."

You have the right to do so right until the moment you illegally set foot on the grounds of Liberty University to make your protest. At that point, you are nothing more than a common criminal.

Some 60 people, including 35 members of the Equality Ride bus tour, gathered for the late morning rally on a sidewalk outside the school's main entrance. A music group played guitars and sang 1960s peace songs.

The 20 activists who actually entered the campus were arrested immediately.

Several Liberty students spoke to the Soulforce members. But the group didn't always find support. Comparing homosexuals to drug users and adulterers, Liberty senior Tray Faulkner said the university disapproves of any alternative lifestyle. "I know you guys don't think it's a sin," he said. "We do."

Campus police charged all of those arrested with trespassing, and two faced additional charges of inciting trespassing. They were restrained in plastic handcuffs before being taken to a local magistrate.

All were released without bail later in the day, pending a court appearance April 3. The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor charge is a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Falwell, the university's chancellor, had warned the group that it would not be permitted on campus, saying he would not allow his school to be used for a media event aimed at raising money for gay rights.

"Neither will we permit them to espouse opinions or otherwise suggest beliefs or lifestyles that are in opposition to the morals and values that this institution promotes," he said in a statement issued earlier.

In other words, these folks had been warned to stay off the campus, though they had every legal right to protest off the school grounds. They were left alone until they decided to break the law.

The tour group, made up of young adults from around the country, has scheduled visits to 19 colleges and universities this month and next.

Monday, the tour plans to visit Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson's Regent University in Virginia Beach, where Reitan said the group was prepared for more arrests. The school this week withdrew its invitation to three events on campus, citing a fear that the visit would turn into a publicity stunt.

"If we get arrested, it just shows how close-minded that campus is," Reitan said.

No, Mr. Reitan -- it simply shows how lawless you and your group are. You demand the right to appropriate the property of others to make your point about your religious beliefs, while refusing to recognize the rights of others to live out their religious beliefs. You claim to be abut diversity, but when it comes right down to it, you believe that "diversity" means that everyone has to believe and act exactly the way you do.

Quite frankly, you and Soulforce are nothing but religious fascists who have a long history of criminal conduct and interference with the First Amendment rights of others (Soulforce has been known to disrupt religious services) as you attempt to impose YOUR interpretation of Scripture on others. It is my belief that you worship yourself and your genitals much more devoutly than you have ever worshipped God.

Here's hoping that they throw the book at you when you are convicted of this criminal act and the others you and your group are conspiring to commit.

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A Great Commentary on Hate-Monger Fred Phelps

Doug Patton really tears into the teachings and actions of Democrat activist and pseudo-Christian cult leader Fred Phelps in a column today.

Fred Phelps calls himself a Christian minister, but his actions resemble a self-styled hatemonger with no room in his heart for the love of God or the forgiveness taught in Christ’s Gospel.

Phelps has been a preacher (defrocked), a lawyer (disbarred) and a Democrat politician (never elected). Now, at age 76, his “church” is a congregation consisting of his 13 children and 50 grandchildren in a tiny compound in Topeka, Kansas. He is also the epitome of everything the elitist secular left would love to believe about every Christian conservative in America.

Phelps first foisted his annoying presence onto the national consciousness when Matthew Sheppard, a young homosexual, was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998. Phelps and his “followers” protested outside Sheppard’s funeral service with signs that read “God Hates Fags.” That, in a nutshell, is Phelps’ entire message. Google those words and you will be taken right to the website of Phelps so-called church, Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. That is actually the website address of the church: www.GodHatesFags.com.

On the home page of the web site, you will be treated to a tab labeled “Love Crusades,” wherein this sick soul lists the upcoming funerals he intends to picket. Over the years, the Westboro weirdoes also have found reasons (apparently somehow relating to homosexuality) to picket the funerals of Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, William Rehnquist, Coretta Scott King and Mr. Rogers. They have even protested at meetings conducted by Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson because they do not share Phelps’ hatred of homosexuals.

Phelps once wrote to Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro, praising both for their intolerance of homosexuality and even offering to travel to Baghdad and Havana in support of their tyranny on the issue. Fidel declined the offer, but Saddam accepted and must have been amused at this crazy, white-haired, Mississippi-born American preacher standing on Baghdad street corners ranting against “fags.”

Now Phelps and his ilk have stuck their picket signs into a hornets’ nest. They are protesting at the funerals of American soldiers. At the recent service for a fallen young hero killed in Iraq, these deluded individuals showed up in Lincoln, Nebraska, with signs that read “Thank God for IEDs” (a reference to improvised explosive devices being used to kill American troops in Iraq) and “Don’t Pray For America.” Why? Because in Fred Phelps’ twisted worldview, God is punishing America for tolerating homosexuality.

This kind of paranoid hatred, focused like a laser beam on a group of people whose sin is no better or worse than that of you, me or the self-righteous Mr. Phelps himself, reminds me of a story I heard once about a group of newly converted Christians in China. Because of the Chinese government’s intolerant policy toward Christianity, each of these new believers tore a single page from the only Bible they had to share among them. They meditated on that page of scripture and committed it to memory. In time, as they were scattered among the population and had no further contact with the Christian brothers and sisters who had the rest of the puzzle, they came to believe only in what their page of scripture taught them. Eventually, cults sprang up based on one page or even one passage of the Bible.

In the Chinese example, they had an excuse. They had only a small sliver of scripture to guide their faith. Fred Phelps has the entire Bible from which to discern the truth, and yet he has chosen to focus his attention on a few passages that clearly speak against the sin of homosexuality, while ignoring everything else, including the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, which scripture clearly teaches can wash away the sin of any and all believers.

Amen, Brother Patton.





|| Greg, 11:45 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Non-Sequiter From Houston Muslims

A group of Houston Muslims peacefully protested the Muhammad cartoons yesterday.

More than 100 Muslim men, women and children rallied Friday at City Hall to praise the Prophet Muhammad as a peaceful man and to criticize Danish cartoons portraying him as violent.

Organizers said they wanted Houstonians to understand who Muhammad was and what he means to Muslims.

"On the one hand (the cartoons) are an insult, like a punch in the stomach," said Hyder Ali Syed, a pharmacist and one of the organizers of Houston's Muslims for Peace and Justice, a newly formed coalition.

"On the other hand, the reverence we have for him stems from the fact that he taught us a way of life and all the positives that you can imagine," Syed said. "He reformed society and brought in so many changes for the good."

The coalition includes the Islamic Education Center, the Al-Ghadeer Education Foundation and Al-Murtaza. Participants, who included both Sunni and Shiite Muslims, chanted and marched around City Hall with signs bearing such slogans as "Islam Frees the Soul," "Please Draw Carefully — We (heart) Our Prophet" and "Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad — peace be upon them."

Good for them. They behaved like civilized human beings. I can disagree with them on the nature of their false prophet while still according them respect for having absorbed a sufficient amount of Western culture to not engage in the antics of their brothers and sisters back in the old country -- or even the radical Islamists in Europe who called for the murder of the cartoonists and those of us who published the cartoons.

However, I love the connection they try to draw here.

Protests over the cartoons swept the Islamic world in January and early February. Syed said they had discussed a local protest earlier, but were spurred into action by the Feb. 22 bombing of the Al-Askariya Mosque in Samarra, Iraq.

"We had one insult to our holy personality the prophet and now the mosque, where the descendants of the prophet are buried is destroyed," he explained.

But he told the gathering that it was not the time for animosity. Muslims need to encourage understanding between religions and be calm and open-minded, he said.

So what is the connection between Europeans drawing cartoons accurately depicting your religion's false prophet and your fellow Muslims destroying one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrine in an attempt to provoke a civil war? Is it your intent to blame America, Europe, and Israel for the barbarism of your own people? Or are you attempting to make a direct accusation without coming out and saying it?

So, Hyder Ali Syed, how about if you hold a rally next weekend protesting your fellow Muslims and their acts of violence -- like the destruction of the Al-Askariya Mosque, the beheading of hostages, or perhaps even 9/11. Maybe then I will come out and join you.





|| Greg, 11:27 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Death Of A Dictator

If the world feels a little cleaner this morning, this story could be the reason.

Former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic has died in prison in The Hague, it has been confirmed.

He was being held by the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal.

His death has robbed his opponents of the chance to see his trial completed.

He is regarded by many as the architect of the ethnic cleansing policy which characterised the conflict in the Balkans in the 1990s.

The War Crimes Tribunal has ordered an inquiry into his death.

In a statement, the Tribunal said: "Milosevic was found lifeless on his bed in his cell at the United Nations detention unit.

"The guard immediately alerted the detention unit officer in command and the medical officer. The latter confirmed that Slobodan Milosevic was dead."

Officials said he appeared to have died from natural causes.

Milosevic, 64, had been suffering from a heart condition and high blood pressure.

While it is sad that there will never be a final verdict in his case, a much higher Judge has no doubt already passed sentence on this genocidal monster, and the eternal sentence is no doub already being served..

And the next time someone accuses George W. Bush of being a war criminal or committing genocide, point them towards Milosevic as an example of what actions REALLY constitutes those crimes.

Another, more extensive, article appears in the Washington Post.





|| Greg, 10:54 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 10, 2006

Last Weekend Of Spring Break -- Open Trackback Linkfest

I'm headed back to school on Monday -- but I still have time for a couple more nights of rodeo (and four nights next week, for that matter).

In the mean time, why don't you folks link up here with some of your best? It's time for our regular all-weekend linkfest!

I won't set any limits on how many you can link back here -- I just ask that you be reasonable in terms of quantity.

No porn or ads, though.

And hopefully a few more trackbacks than Wednesday!


OTHER OPEN TRACKBACKS:
Conservative Cat -- Conservative Cat

Can You Eat an Ice Cream Bar and Blog? -- Blue Star Chronicles

Bacon Break — Dance Party Weekend -- TMH's Bacon Bits

Friday/Weekend Open Trackbacks -- The Liberal Wrong Wing

Big Bucks Extended Weekend Trackback Party & Linkfest Mar. 10-12 -- Stuck On Stupid

Friday Forum - It's All About Books -- The Median Sib

Roundup and Weekend OTA Open Trackbacks -- third world county

The Return of the Knucklehead Weekend Open Trackbacks -- Adam's Blog

Welcome Tiberius Gracchus / Weekend Open Post -- The Real Ugly American.com

Friday News Roundup -- The Uncooperative Blogger





|| Greg, 02:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 09, 2006

Townhall Thursday -- Introduction

Time to focus in on one of my favorite sites -- Townhall.com, with its many great columns by conservative (and even some not very conservative) writers on politics and culture. Over the last two days, I've noticed a number of great columns -- even though Mike Adams has been silent.

So here goes, in no particular order.





|| Greg, 11:57 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Townhall Thurdsay -- Todd Manzi On Free Speech For Teachers

Todd Manzi writes on the Jay Bennish story, and raises the issue of who should determine what is said in the classroom. Is it the teacher, the district, or the taxpayer who foots the bill?

Who determines what a teacher can and cannot say? Many teachers like Bennish think it should be the teacher. The school districts think it should be them. Lawyers and teachers unions think it is the teacher. How about the taxpayer? Isn’t there a reasonable expectation that the tax dollars funneled to government schools are not used for propaganda against the capitalist system that generated them?

* * *

On the Today Show, Bennish said, “My job as a teacher is to challenge students to think critically about issues that are affecting our world and our society.�

Many parents might think Bennish’s job is to teach their children geography.

Manzi has a point here, though I think he drops the ball at the end. He clearly does not know that teaching critical thinking skills is part of the social studies standards in most states, and that Bennish is therefore partially correct -- teaching critical thinking IS his job in a geography class. Unfortunately, Bennish isn't doing that, as I discussed earlier. But it is, ultimately, the taxpayers and their elected representatives who should set what is to be taught, as long as the school system is taxpayer funded.





|| Greg, 11:57 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Townhall Thursday -- John Stossel On Angry Teachers' Union Bosses

John Stossel notes that he has pissed off the teachers unions by shining a spotlight on what is wrong in American education. He notes that they don't refute his data, merely attack the messenger.

Instead, teachers' unions announced that Wednesday (3/8), they will hold demonstrations against me and ABC in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and elsewhere. One police permit suggests the crowd outside my office will number 750-1,000 people. It should be interesting.

"We want to make sure that ABC hears the voices of incredibly hard-working teachers," says the union website, quoting New York City's UFT President Randi Weingarten. "The network needs to hear how unfair and biased those of you in the trenches believe their broadcast to have been."

I'm sorry that union teachers are mad at me. But when it comes to the union-dominated monopoly, the facts are inescapable. Many kids are miserable in bad schools. If they are not rich enough to move, or to pay for private school, they are trapped.

It doesn't have to be that way. We know what works: choice. That's what's brought Americans better computers, phones, movies, music, supermarkets -- most everything we have. Schoolchildren deserve the joyous benefits of market competition too.

Unions say, "education of the children is too important to be left to the vagaries of the market." The opposite is true. Education is too important to be left to the calcified union/government monopoly.

Which is, of course, one reason I'm glad that I don't have to be a union member down here in Texas. Now if only he will focus in on the politicians who don't know squat about education -- they make some real stupid policy decisions that need light shed on them.

MORE AT: GOPBloggers





|| Greg, 11:57 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Townhall Thursday -- Linda Chavez On Mobbed-Up Unions In Control Of American Ports

Linda Chavez points to another problem with the ports, overlooked in the hub-bub about Dubai Ports World -- the corrupt, mobbed-up labor union that controls hiring at most of the ports in the United States.

Regardless of whether or not a Dubai-owned company manages operations at these ports -- currently the source of much hand-wringing in Washington -- many of those with the most direct access to the billions of tons of cargo that move through those ports owe their jobs to the mob.

How can that be? It all has to do with the peculiar institution of the union hiring hall. No matter who owns or operates the ports, the union, not the employer, actually assigns workers to jobs. You can't work unless you carry a union card. And on East Coast and Gulf ports, the union card belongs to the International Longshoreman's Association (ILA), one of the most mobbed-up unions in the country.

In July 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against the ILA, which targets the entire 31-member ILA executive council, including the president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president, general vice president and more than two dozen others.

* * *

Among the top recipients of ILA PAC money in the last few elections were Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, Robert Menendez, D-NJ, Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, all of whom represent states with important ports. Some of these same senators are among the chief critics of the Dubai port deal, but they are noticeably silent when it comes to mob influence in the union that actually controls who works on these ports.

Union bosses who would rob their members of pensions and health benefits, extort money to secure jobs on the docks, and use the docks to run gambling, loan sharking and other illegal enterprises could just as easily facilitate terrorists hoping to slip agents or weapons into the country, perhaps unwittingly, for the right price. But few in Washington seem to have considered the risk. The Dubai deal is not the only port issue that deserves more congressional scrutiny; ILA corruption surely deserves a close look as well.

I guess that since they give money to Democrats, we won't hear these same Democrats raising a stink about the threat to security that organized crime represents. After all, the union has already purchased the right Congressmen and Senators.





|| Greg, 11:55 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Townhall Thursday -- Marvin Olasky Gives A Reading List On Islam

Marvin Olasky presents a list of books that might help the reader understand Islam -- both the radical version and its more benign-appearing moderate cousin.

Since 9-11, I've received numerous letters like this recent one: "What can be done to help educate people on the dangers that radical Islam poses to Western civilization? I don't think this ideological conflict will go away."

No, it won't. It is likely to be for the first half of the 21st century what the Cold War was for the last half of the 20th -- a long, subtle struggle with occasional days of fire. How to educate folks? Use of all media will be needed, but here's a list of books I've read and found useful. There are many more that I haven't read.

First, to understand radical Islam, some sense of basic Islam is essential, and that starts with the Quran. Muslims insist that unless you've read it in Arabic, you haven't read it. Maybe so, but in theology as well as in horseshoes, leaners are better than nothing, so I'd recommend either reading a translation on the Internet or buying the new Quran translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem that came out last year in paperback from Oxford University Press.

The list that follows is comprehensive and accessible -- and the information the books contain should help anyone with an open mind understand why we need to fight the terrorists and promote Western values in the Islamic world.





|| Greg, 11:55 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Townhall Thursday -- Brent Bozell On Anti-Catholicism In Media

Brent Bozell raises the question of media bias -- outright anti-Catholicism, as a matter of fact -- in Katie Couric's interview with Tom Monaghan regarding his plans to form a town which is infused with Catholic values.

You'd think Katie Couric would aspire to be an anchorwoman for all the American people now that CBS appears to be wooing her for the Throne of Rather. So why did she have to be so rough on Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza, for being a Catholic?

Monaghan has an extraordinary American story. After struggling badly with his brother in a failing pizza business, he bought his brother out in 1960 and, by the 1980s, had accumulated amazing riches. He was enjoying them, too, all the gaudy trappings of success, and then he read the book "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. Reading about the great sin of pride, his life changed dramatically. He stopped concentrating on material things, instead focusing his energies, and his wealth, in pursuit of spiritual good. He poured millions upon millions of dollars into pro-life and Catholic philanthropy. Among other ventures, he founded Ave Maria University. After facing zoning problems with his first location in Michigan, Monaghan struck a deal in southern Florida, not to merely build a Catholic college, but a truly Catholic town, open to anyone aspiring to live in communion with traditional values.

That, of course, is when he earned the ire of Katie Couric. Monaghan and his developer partner Paul Marinelli appeared on the three network morning shows on March 3, but whereas ABC and CBS were calm, Couric's performance on NBC was so harsh it was jaw-dropping.

* * *

Couric betrayed her secular liberal allegiances by baldly concluding the interview: "Well, we'll probably be following this story, because I know the ACLU is, too." Then she laughed.

Even today, other religions have started up communities founded on their beliefs. In southwestern Iowa, some New Age Hindus have created the town of Maharishi Vedic City, a religious center based on the principles and teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. There's been no dire civil-liberties alert from Couric yet, even though the city has banned the sale of non-organic food and the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Stop the presses! Get Couric on the line! Civil rights at risk! Intolerance and bigotry afoot! Oh, wait ... wait. You said Hindus? Oh, never mind.

But don't you understand, Brent? Hindus are a part of the new, diverse America that left-wing moonbats and bimbos like Katie Couric are so fond of. Catholics -- at least ones who actually believe what the Catholic Church teaches -- are alien to America and never to be trusted. I'm surprised she didn't use this old Thomas Nast cartoon as a graphic.

nastganges.jpg

Who says that anti-Catholicism is dead in America?





|| Greg, 11:55 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Townhall Thursday -- Loredana Vuoto Reviews Why I Am A Reagan Conservative

Loredana Vuoto reviews Michael Deaver's new anthology, Why I Am a Reagan Conservative.

In Why I Am a Reagan Conservative, Deaver compiles personal accounts by conservative icons on how Reagan shaped their conservative beliefs. This fun, easy-to read book gives great insight into the thought of some prominent conservatives such as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Congressman Henry Hyde and Senator Rick Santorum, as well as columnist Robert Novak and film critic Michael Medved.

Many of these conservatives were drawn to the simple, pragmatic truths of conservatism. They perceived the harm of big government, which corroded individual responsibility and stifled initiative. The ever-expanding welfare state of the 1970s proved detrimental to the economy and was responsible for many social ills such as high unemployment, increased teen pregnancy and the decline of marriage. They realized that government was not the solution to society’s woes, but the overarching problem.

* * *

Reagan’s greatest contribution to modern conservatism is that he helped to redefine a movement that had become ideologically and politically bankrupt following the Great Depression and World War II. Many of the conservative leaders of that era—for example, Robert Taft and Herbert Hoover—championed isolationism, protectionism and a xenophobic nationalism that no longer resonated with the public. Reagan (along with other key figures before him such as William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater) modernized conservatism, thereby making it appealing to broad swaths of the electorate.

Today, conservatism has become the dominant political and cultural force in the country. This was shown in November 2004, when George W. Bush won re-election to a second term, making him the first two-term Republican president since Reagan. Moreover, the GOP controls both houses of Congress. Conservative thought pervades the marketplace. Think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation continue to thrive and produce ground-breaking work. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, The Weekly Standard and National Review produce some of the finest and most influential political commentary in the country. And conservative radio talk-show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Schlessinger dominate the airwaves. The same holds true for the Fox News Channel, which has leapfrogged both CNN and MSNBC in the number of television viewers and overall media clout.

Conservatism is on the march. Whether it will ultimately triumph is anyone’s guess. But one thing is for certain: Reagan’s leadership and charisma were primarily responsible for the movement’s current success. For this, he deserves the gratitude of conservatives everywhere.

One of the questions I hope is dealt with is that of the nexus between Reagan conservatism and neo-conservatism. Are they, ultimately, compatible? Given the continuing expansion of government (much of it in the name of national security), how much influence does Reagan conservatism have today, and how can it again become ascendant?





|| Greg, 11:55 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 08, 2006

"I'm Not Doing It For Casey"

Well, the Ditch Bitch finally admits it .

It seems that the protests of "Saint Cindy Sheehan, Our Lady of the Martyred Soldier" has made it clear that her protests have nothing to do with her son, Case, who was killed in Iraq.

MODERATOR: Cindy, here's a question for you... "Over the past several months you've become a lightning rod for the anti-war movement, and a polarizing figure for military families. Is this what Casey would have wanted? Or are you doing this for yourself?"...

...CINDY SHEEHAN: I'm doing this for... the troops to come home.

(applause)

CINDY SHEEHAN: And... I'm not doing this for Casey. Casey's already dead. I wish I would have done it for Casey before he was killed.(emphasis added)

Let's not forget -- Casey reenlisted knowing that he would be sent to Iraq -- and supported the mission there. He was a hero before he died, is a hero after death, and the exploitation of his good name by those who oppose his choice and the sacrifice he made is hideous.

And that Mama Sheehan stands upon the dead body of her son to use him as a pulpit to preach against what he believed is truly vile.

By the way, Cindy -- when will you buy Casey's headstone? His grave is still unmarked. But you can afford a new convertible. It is really clear that you aren't doing this for Casey -- you are doing this for you.

Your 15 minutes are up, woman -- and your allegedly unquestionable moral authority has evaporated.





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Church Arson Arrests Made

Will hate crime charges be pending against these church burners?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Two Birmingham college students have been arrested and a third is being sought in the string of church arsons that destroyed or damaged nine rural churches in Alabama last month, federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details are under court seal and the formal announcement is to be made later, said the two are being charged with conspiracy and individual counts in the arsons at five Bibb County churches and four in west Alabama.

Arson investigators scheduled an afternoon news conference at the Tuscaloosa airport to discuss the arrests.

Federal law officers said the two arrested were students at Birmingham-Southern College, and the third person being sought was described as a student at another Birmingham school.

The two in custody were brought to the federal courthouse in Birmingham for their initial appearance before a federal magistrate.

It will be interesting to see what traits these three mutts share in common. I won't speculate, but I have some suspicions.





|| Greg, 12:00 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised -- It Will Be On Talk Radio

Looks like Dan Patrick stomped his competition in SD 7.

Calling his victory the start of a revolution, radio talk-show host Dan Patrick on Tuesday won the Republican nomination to succeed state Sen. Jon Lindsay, trouncing three politically experienced opponents.

Patrick, in his first bid for elected office, used his name identification from more than 20 years as a local TV and radio personality to win the District 7 nomination without a runoff.

With most precincts reporting, Patrick had 68 percent of the vote. State Rep. Peggy Hamric claimed a distant second at 17 percent.

"The revolution started tonight," Patrick said. "The people of SD7 want their party to stand up and take action on the issues that are important to them. I hope Republicans in Austin realize this is not isolated to SD7."

Two of his opponents, Hamric and state Rep. Joe Nixon, conceded in phone calls to Patrick. The third, former Houston City Councilman Mark Ellis, said he would support Patrick as the GOP nominee.

Hamric and Nixon will give up what had been safe House seats.

The District 7 race was closely watched and became the most competitive and expensive state legislative battle. The four contenders spent a combined $1.5 million in the heated race. The district is solidly Republican, so Patrick will be the favorite in November against Democrat F. Michael Kubosh.

Patrick said he will focus on property tax relief, overall spending and immigration.

The retiring incumbent, a major league RINO, is already attacking his probable successor.

Lindsay, who endorsed Hamric as his successor, has said that Patrick will "have to change his ways" to succeed in the Senate.

For example, Patrick has argued that the Senate should do away with the rule that requires a two-thirds vote for a bill to be brought up for debate.

"That's how we keep composure on that side of the rotunda. It's a good rule. It causes everyone to think through what they are attempting to do," Lindsay said.

John -- this vote is a stunning repudiation of the "business as usual" approach that you practiced for years. The notion that the majority should act like a majority may stun you, but it is common sense to your average Texan.

The Lindsay-loving Houston Chronicle is already out to get Dan, though. Look at this column in today's paper.

It will be fascinating to watch how Patrick strives to make an impact in Austin. Will he roll up his sleeves in committee work and find all the "fat" he claims is in the budget?

Occasionally a freshman demagogue has come along who declined to do that but who made a grand stand for cutting taxes when the day for the final budget vote came.

They don't last long. Their colleagues tend to find a convenient place to cut the budget: in the demagogue's district.

At least as fascinating will be how Patrick meshes his radio station with his political career.

He has used the station brilliantly in his campaign. How would he use it to govern?

Would he offer air time to Senate colleagues to gain favor? Would he attempt to get them on the air so that listeners can press them for pet measures?

One senator already expressed concern that with Patrick as part of a caucus, now-private discussions may become talk-show fodder.

Patrick is a self-proclaimed Christian, so he is presumably aware of two types of leadership in the Church.

There are prophets and bishops.

Prophets — and false prophets — prosper on the airwaves.

But bishops do better in conclaves.

But then again, Rick Casey and the Chronicle despise all things conservative.

Too bad for them that Texans don't.

Give 'em hell, Dan!





|| Greg, 11:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

We Will Choose Our Congressman

Looks like all the folks who said support was weak for Tom DeLay didn't know what they were talking about. He won 62% of the vote in a four-way race for the GOP nomination, handily defeating his opponents.

Still facing legal battles, U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay won a pivotal political fight Tuesday by defeating three challengers in the Republican primary for his Houston-area seat.

Opponent Tom Campbell, former general counsel for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, fell short of forcing the former House majority leader into a runoff.

DeLay won 62 percent of the vote in the 22nd Congressional District, which covers parts of Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend and Galveston counties, according to the totals from 97 percent of precincts.

"I have always placed my faith in the voters, and today's vote shows they have placed their full faith in me," DeLay said in a written victory statement. "This race was about who can effectively represent the values and the priorities of the people in this district, and I'm proud to have earned, and overwhelmingly kept, that trust among Republican voters."

"Not only did they reject the politics of personal destruction, but they strongly rejected the candidates who used those Democrat tactics as their platform," he added.

In second place with 30 percent of the vote was Tom Campbell, former general counsel for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Lawyer Mike Fjetland and former teacher and oil industry credit manager Pat Baig each took less than 5 percent.

"I'm kind of shocked," Fjetland said at the Fort Bend County Republican Party's Primary Night soiree at the Ragin Cajun restaurant in Sugar Land. "I'm very concerned about the future of the Republican Party."

Yes, Tom DeLay ran behind his traditional 82-86% of the primary vote -- but he has never had three opponents before.

One political scientist has this to say.

DeLay's totals show that "nearly 40 percent of an ideologically committed (Republican) vote has decided to bail on him," said Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson. "He still has a hell of a fight in the general election."

I'm going to disagree with this assessment.

Delay has always had about 15% of the district Republicans opposing him. That is how a non-entity like Fjetland did as well as he did in his earlier races against DeLay. We also had a heavy cross-over vote this time around -- I recognized about 10% of those at my precinct as partisan Democrats. After all, when you ask someone if they are coming to vote in the Republican primary and get a response like "Never before, never again, but this time yes," you can be pretty sure that they are not a part of the GOP base.

But I do think there is 20% of the GOP base that opposed Tom DeLay because of his legal troubles, wanting a solid GOP candidate like Campbell to ensure that the seat will be held by a Republican in the event that DeLay's legal troubles continue or get worse. Most of this last group will support Tom DeLay in November.

And the remaining 62%? We don't want outsiders picking our Congressman for us. We don't care if it is Ronnie Earle, the Democrat National Committee, or these guys.

Coming to churches, bowling alleys and living rooms near you: The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress.

As former House Majority Leader DeLay readied himself Tuesday to accept his party's nomination for another congressional term in Washington, D.C., two Texas filmmakers announced plans to release a scathing documentary in DeLay's Sugar Land district, criticizing the popular politician. Tentative plans also call for a screening in Houston, they said.

Numerous liberal groups stepped up to sponsor the film's expected release in early May, including Houston's Pacifica radio station, KPFT-FM (90.1). The film will rely heavily upon releases in small venues and at a few select theaters.

Filmmakers Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck spent three years following the path of Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle's criminal investigation, which resulted in indictments against DeLay and two political associates.

And I hope every penny spent to produce and show this film is counted as a contribution to Nick Lampson and the Democrats -- making most of the expenditures illegal under federal and state campaign laws.

And, of course, i think this is exhibit #1 in Delay's case for dismissal of the charges against him AND the disbarrment proceedings against Ronnie Earle.

Let me say this -- We, the Constituents of Texas Congressional District 22, will pick our Congressman.

The rest of you can go to hell.

UPDATE: Tom DeLay has this to say, emphasizing the point I made above.

"I'm honored . . . to defend this district from the funding and activism of America's most radical Democrats," he said. "Liberal activists like Barbra Streisand, George Soros and Nancy Pelosi all have a dog in this fight, and his name is Nick Lampson."

Especially if you think back to how the Democrats aced out a popular local minority politician who actually lives in the 22nd District.


OPEN TRACKBACKS/LINKFESTS: Adam's Blog, Conservative Cat, Freedom Watch USA, Bacon Bits, Stuck on Stupid, Cao's Blog, Right Wing Nation, Basil's Blog, Jo's Cafe, Don Surber



» A Blog For All links with: DeLay's Political Death Greatly Exaggerated
» Down with Absolutes! links with: DeLay Reels 'Em In!
» Watcher of Weasels links with: Submitted for Your Approval
» The Glittering Eye links with: Eye on the Watcher’s Council



|| Greg, 11:26 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (4) ||

"I've Got A Post-Primary Hangover!" Open Trackback Party And Linkfest

Yesterday was primary day in Texas.

I was up at 0400 to get ready to be at the polling place at 0600. Shower, shave, drive to the poling place.

At 0600, I and only one of my staff arrived torunn the polling place. One was ill, and so called to let me know she couldn't come. One bopped in around 0630, in time to still be some help.

Polls opened at 0700. About 0720, my last poll worker arrives -- had to take the girls to school. It really isn't a problem, since we've only had five voters by this point, including me and my staff.

We had a slow day -- only around 135 voters -- but 50 folks early voted. I don't know what the Donks got over at their polling place, but I suspect the numbers were smaller. That's why I had time to post intermittently yesterday, since we had long stretches of no voters at all.

We shut down promply at 1900, and held the precinct convention at 1930. The participants were the usual suspects -- me, the guy who was my predecessor and his wife, and one of the local activists and his mom. All rsolutions passed, and we were out by 1957. Turned in the voting supplies and computers at 2045, and was home by 2145, having stopped to pick up dinner for my darling wife and I.

And collapsed into a sound sleep once the last bite was done.

I'll look up the results in a few minutes and post on them.

* * *

In the mean time, folks, it is time for my Wednesday Linkfest -- go ahead and link to me with anything interesting.

You know how it works -- you link to this post and send a trackback, and your post will display here. So link away -- I won't set a maximum number of items you can link with here, but I would hope that you would consider exercising prudent judgement on the matter. No porn, please, and no advertising -- just interesting stuff.

OTHER OPEN TRACKBACKS/LINKFESTS: Adam's Blog, Conservative Cat, Freedom Watch USA, Bacon Bits, Stuck on Stupid, Cao's Blog, Right Wing Nation, Basil's Blog, Jo's Cafe, Don Surber



» The First Church of The NeoCon links with: When Vanity Fair publishes the Jack Abramoff piece, Republican Heads Will Roll



|| Greg, 09:55 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

March 07, 2006

I Couldn't Make A Joke This Sick

Vic over at Darth Apathy found this little bit on an Indymedia site.

The Rachel Corrie Memorial Committee of Victoria Invites you to a pancake breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant Sunday March 12 , 2006 10 am.

The Public is invited to a memorial pancake breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant on Douglas Street near Finlayson, 10 am, Sunday March 12, 2006 to celebrate the life and untimely death of Rachel Corrie, Peace Activist with the International Solidarity Movement.

There will be a reading of selections from Ms. Corrie’s letters and diary, followed by a ceremony at Topaz Park, where a stone cairn will be erected in her honour.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their keffiahs, and to dress in black.

No weapons, drugs, or alcohol please.

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/

ISM offers many ways for you to get involved in the struggle for Palestinian freedom. Whether you’re thinking of traveling to Palestine to work with us, or you’d like to work to educate your community about the reality in Palestine, we welcome your involvement.

I'm utterly speechless.





|| Greg, 03:28 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dan Frazier -- Dead Soldier Exploiting War Profiteer

Dan Frazier is scum, exploiting dead military personnel over the objections of their family members. And he intends to keep making a profit off the dead bodies of dead soldiers, sailors, and airmen, no matter what.

That is why Yvette Burridge is fighting for legislatitonzier an to stop Frazier and other war profiteering ghouls like him.

An Acadiana mother has a message for anti-war protestors. She wants them to stop profiting from the death of her son. And, it's a fight she's hoping to take to Washington, D.C.

The mother of a Marine killed-in-action tells how she hopes to protect her son's name.

Yvette Burridge has been spending every free moment on the internet, fuming over one site in particular - carryabigsticker.com, which promotes and sells anti-war and anti-President Bush paraphernalia.

Why is she angry? Burridge's son, Marine Private First Class David Paul Burridge was killed in Iraq in 2004 when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy.

Now, his name and the names of other fallen military personnel are listed on anti-war stickers and t-shirts, all of which read, "Bush lied, they died."

Yvette Burridge says it is something she doesn't want to be associated with and knows her son doesn't want to be associated with it either.

Burridge claims she is not alone, saying the families of other fallen soldiers are disgusted over this website and other anti-war sites that profit from their loved one's deaths.

And so Burridge is seeking to protect the good name and honorable service of her son and other American heroes through legislation banning the exploitation of the names and images of war dead without the permission of their survivors. Such legislation is pending in Oklahoma.

Not that the objections of family members matter to a scumbag like Frazier, who makes money by treading on the corpses of those killed in the war on terror.

Meanwhile, the owner of the website - carryabigsticker.com says he will not remove any soldier's names from his products.

Dan Frazier says he's a firm believer in freedom of speech and feels that if soldiers are going to be listed, all of them need to be listed, and remember all of them and treat them all equally.

Dan Frazier says his intention is not to be disrespectful to any of the fallen soldiers, and he is sorry some families feel that he is.

It isn't a question of feelings, Mr. Frazier. It is a question of fact.

Contact him and let him know what you think.





|| Greg, 02:58 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Alvarado Resigns As Mayor Pro Tem

In a continuation of the scandal at Houston's city hall, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Alvarado has stepped aside from that position (but not her City Council seat).

"I intend to temporarily … step aside from the office of the mayor pro tem pending the outcome of the grand jury investigation," said Alvarado at Monday’s news conference. "I did nothing improper and I’ve accepted responsibility."

Hopefully the people of of Houston will end Alvarado's career at the first opportunity.





|| Greg, 01:08 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Casus Belli

Has Iran committed an act of war against the US by supplying the Iraqi terrorists with weapons to attack American troops -- including specially designed bombs with the ability to pierce American armor?

U.S. military and intelligence officials tell ABC News that they have caught shipments of deadly new bombs at the Iran-Iraq border.

They are a very nasty piece of business, capable of penetrating U.S. troops' strongest armor.

What the United States says links them to Iran are tell-tale manufacturing signatures — certain types of machine-shop welds and material indicating they are built by the same bomb factory.

"The signature is the same because they are exactly the same in production," says explosives expert Kevin Barry. "So it's the same make and model."

U.S. officials say roadside bomb attacks against American forces in Iraq have become much more deadly as more and more of the Iran-designed and Iran-produced bombs have been smuggled in from the country since last October.

"I think the evidence is strong that the Iranian government is making these IEDs, and the Iranian government is sending them across the border and they are killing U.S. troops once they get there," says Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief and an ABC News consultant. "I think it's very hard to escape the conclusion that, in all probability, the Iranian government is knowingly killing U.S. troops."

Screw their nuclear program -- if this is actually the case, then the Iranians are engaged in intentional acts against American military personnel. Time to take action.

MORE AT: Vince Aut Morire, Captain's Quarters, Generation Why?, Ace of Spades, Dread Pundit Bluto, Protein Wisdom, Confederate Yankee, Jawa Report





|| Greg, 12:58 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Still Won't Call It Terrorism

But what else can you call this?

A University of North Carolina graduate from Iran, accused of running down nine people on campus to avenge the treatment of Muslims, said at a hearing Monday that he was "thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah."

Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar was accused of driving a sport-utility vehicle through the Pit, a popular campus gathering spot, injuring nine people Friday. None of the victims was seriously hurt.

University Police Chief Derek Poarch said Taheri-azar told investigators he intentionally hit people to "avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world." In a 911 call after the incident, Taheri-azar said he wanted to "punish the government of the United States for their actions around the world."

Taheri-azar, 22, appeared in Orange County District Court on nine counts of attempted murder and nine counts of assault.

His bail was set at $5.5 million and he was assigned a public defender, but he said after the hearing: "The truth is my lawyer."

And the truth is that we have had a low-grade Islamic terrorist attack on an American college campus, but no one wants to call it terrorism.

Well, that isn't quite true -- no one in an official capacity wants to call it terrorism. Students at UNC are not so hesitant.

On campus, UNC students held what they called an "anti-terrorism" rally. "We don't want terrorism here, and we're not going to stand for that where we live and where we go to school," said Kris Wampler, a student at UNC and member of the College Republicans, which helped organize the rally.

About 50 students attended the rally, including several Muslim students who debated with organizers and said Taheri-azar had not been linked to any terrorist group.

One Muslim student tried to discount the connection to terrorism.

"When you think in terms of a global context, this was an isolated incident," said student Khurram Bilal Tariq, 22.

While that is true, that does not meant that we are dealing with a terrorist attack -- just that we are dealing with a terrorist attack. It simply means that we are dealing with someone who is engaging in terrorism independent of the larger groups. UNC student Stephen Mann put it well.

"If you try to hurt someone in the name of a cause, that's terrorism," he said.

While I might polish that statement just a little bit, I think he is essenially correct.

MORE AT: Captain's Quarters, Shish's Corner, Ranting Profs, Scared Monkeys, Uncorrelated, Democrat on the Redneck Riviera, Michelle Malkin, A Blog for All, Okie on the Lam, All Things Conservative, Plank's Constant, Junk Yard Blog, Church and State, HyScience, Outside the Beltway, Noisy Room, Tapscott's Copy Desk, Strata-Sphere, Unpartisan, FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog, The Stupid Shall Be Punished, RapidRecon





|| Greg, 10:23 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Girls Will Be Boys And Boys Will Be Girls

It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world except for Lola.

Hood College is reviewing its homecoming rules after a lesbian was crowned king, a college official says.

But Jennifer Jones, the 21-year-old senior who beat out three men for the honor, says her victory last month was a plus for the private liberal-arts college.

"It is cool that Hood allows people to be themselves," Jones, of Newark, Del., told The Frederick News-Post. "If people didn't want me to be king, they wouldn't have nominated me and voted for me."

Waves of discontent are still rippling through the 2,100-student campus in western Maryland more than two weeks after Jones was crowned at the Feb. 18 homecoming dance, the News-Post reported Monday.

One student sees it as a very simple question.

"She is not a man," said Singleton Newman, a 22-year-old senior who was among the queen candidates. "It is a gender issue, and she is a woman."

And I really think that is fundamental. Sometimes gender/sex does matter.





|| Greg, 09:17 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Fill InYour Punchline Here

One attendee at Sunday nights Academy of Friends AIDS fundraising gala in San Francisco made this unintentionally funny comment.

Caralee Schmitt, who attended the event with her husband, marveled at the cowboy couture on display Sunday, which she had never seen growing up in Bozeman, Mont.

"My father was a cowboy, but not at all like these kind of cowboys," said Schmitt, who lives in South San Francisco.

Must.

Not.

Go.

There.





|| Greg, 08:58 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

This Week's Winners

Each week, Watcher of Weasels seeks out the best posts from around the blogosphere. The winning entries are determined by a jury of 12 writers (and The Watcher) known as "The Watchers Council."

The Council have submitted their choices from among last week's nominated posts.

Council Member Entries: Done With Mirrors took first place with Our George.

Non-Council Entries: Michael J. Totten garnered the most votes with his post from Iraq called The Beginning of the Universe.





|| Greg, 05:36 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 06, 2006

A Win For Common Sense

A very long time ago, most folks learned that if you regularly take money from someone, they can pretty well set any condition upon its continued receipt. For most of us, that lesson came in the form of parents punishing us by not paying us our allowance.

College and university administrators, along with law professors, are so far removed from the real world that they had forgotten this lesson that most folks learn by the time they are about seven-years old. The Supreme Court had to slap them upside the head with a unanimous 2x4 to re-teach that lesson.

The Supreme Court, in a case stemming from the military's policy toward gays, unanimously upheld today a federal law forcing colleges and universities to permit military recruiting on campus over their objections.

The universities, specifically law schools, had argued that making them host military recruiters on campus or lose federal funding was a form of "compelled speech" that made it appear that they were endorsing the government's exclusion of gays in the military, thus violating their rights of free speech and expression under the First Amendment.

What these over-educated idiots failed to recognize was that nobody was compelling these schools to do anything. All they had to do was get off the federal teat, and the requirement would disappear (presumably -- but more on that later). No, they wanted that cash and the right to cut the strings that went along with it. In that, they remind me of an old episode of the Andy Griffith Show, in which Opie argued he should get his allowance without doing any chores, since an allowance is money kids are "allowed" to have.

After all, nobody requires these schools to take federal grants for research, Pell grants, guaranteed student loan money, or other federal government cash that flows into their coffers. All they need to do is spend the endowment money to provide financial aid, and get private grants for research projects, and they would be free of the requirement to allow military recruiters on campus. No cash, no chores.

Chief Justice Roberts, writing for a unanimous court, swept their arguments aside.

The law, called the Solomon Amendment, "neither limits what law schools may say nor requires them to say anything," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the court. "Law schools remain free under the statute to express whatever views they may have on the military's congressionally mandated employment policy. . . .

"Nothing about recruiting suggests that law schools agree with any speech by recruiters and nothing in the Solomon Amendment restricts what the law schools may say about the military's policies," Roberts wrote.

The law regulates conduct, not speech, the court said. And unlike flag-burning, which is protected under prior decisions, the hosting of recruiters is not "expressive" conduct that sends out a message as a form of protest.

More to the point, their argument was bound to fail for the same reason that a school that claimed that ending seregation was compelled speech and a violation of freedom of association (and implicitly, freedom from association) would be bound to fail. In fact, these arguments parallel the arguments of segregationists quite nicely. Heck, upholding their position would have undone Title IX and the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that ended segregation in higher education.

And having brought such a frivolous argument forward, they got a decision that goes well-beyond what they complained about.

The U.S. Supreme Court sharply rebuked America's far-left law professors today, ruling unanimously (that's 8-0, Justice Sam Alito having joined the court too late to participate) that Congress was within its authority to withhold federal funding from law schools that discriminate against military recruiters. In the case, Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, the court actually went further (citations omitted):
The Constitution grants Congress the power to "provide for the common Defence," "[t]o raise and support Armies," and "[t]o provide and maintain a Navy." Congress' power in this area "is broad and sweeping," and there is no dispute in this case that it includes the authority to require campus access for military recruiters. . . .

This case does not require us to determine when a condition placed on university funding goes beyond the "reasonable" choice offered in Grove City and becomes an unconstitutional condition. It is clear that a funding condition cannot be unconstitutional if it could be constitutionally imposed directly. Because the First Amendment would not prevent Congress from directly imposing the Solomon Amendment's access requirement, the statute does not place an unconstitutional condition on the receipt of federal funds.

That is, Congress could force colleges and universities, even if they receive no federal funding, to treat military recruiters equally. It's very impressive that Chief Justice John Roberts, Rumsfeld's author, was able to command unanimous support for such a sweeping decision.

In other words, Congress is within its power to require each and every college and university to allow recruiters on campus REGARDLESS OF THEIR TAKING FEDERAL MONEY. Not only did they roll snake-eyes in this crap shoot, the dice burst into flames and exploded when they came to rest on the table.

UPDATE: This gem from Chief Justice Roberts' opinion is pointed out by the proprieter of Okie on the Lam in LA

"…Nothing about recruiting suggests that law schools agree with any speech by recruiters, and nothing in the Solomon Amendment restricts what the law schools may say about the military’s policies. We have held that high school students can appreciate the difference between speech a school sponsors and speech the school permits because legally required to do so, pursuant to an equal access policy… …Surely students have not lost that ability by the time they get to law school."

Ouch!


MORE AT: Colossus of Rhodey, Blogs for Bush, GOPBloggers, Powerline, Michelle Malkin, Independent Conservative, Stop The ACLU, Iowa Voice, Publius Rendevous, Ace of Spades, Red State Rant, Yankee Sailor, Sister Toldjah, Random Thoughts Of Yet Another Military Member, Amy Proctor, Flopping Aces, Protein Wisdom, Left Wing = Hate, Small Town Veteran

OPEN TRACKBACKING: Conservative Cat, Mark My Words, Don Surber, Basil's Blog, Jo's Cafe, Third World Country



» Watcher of Weasels links with: Submitted for Your Approval
» The Glittering Eye links with: Eye on the Watcher’s Council
» Watcher of Weasels links with: The Council Has Spoken!



|| Greg, 07:56 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (3) ||

I Scooped Malkin

Don't you think that should get me a place on her blogroll?

Compare this post on Rhymes With Right with this post on Michelle Malkin's site.

Looks like I beat her to the punch by several days. Maybe it has something to do with my decision to invite Andrew to submit something about the Peace Studies controversyfor publication the day the Washington Post story came out.

I'm not making any sort of accusation -- just noting that I scooped her.





|| Greg, 03:23 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Racist Ray Nagin: "They Don't Look Like Us"

Could you imagine the outrage if a white candidate ever told a white audience that his political oponents "don't look like us"?

Well, the racist buffoon who runs New Orleans, Ray Nagin -- the guy who left school buses to flood and residents to drown -- is being much more specific about his vision for a "chocolate city".

In a speech organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People civil rights group, Nagin discussed the recovery of New Orleans and explained the complicated absentee voting procedures for those who have not returned to the city.

Nagin, who sparked controversy recently by saying New Orleans would become a "chocolate city" again, told the mostly black audience of about 50 people that the election could bring a sea change to New Orleans politics, which has been dominated by blacks for more than two decades.

"There are 23 candidates running for mayor. Very few of them look like us," he said. "There's a potential to be a major change in the political structure in New Orleans."

Nagin is trailing Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu (son of a former mayor of New Orleans and brother of a current US Senator from Louisiana) and , who is white, so he needs to flog the race card at every opportunity.

And I guess I must be deaf -- I haven't heard a single complaint from the NAACP or any major black leader about this blatantly racist appeal for votes. Surely such condemnations have been made. Haven't they? Or perhaps the words of Martin Luther King have been repudiated by the black establisment, and are we now to judge people based upon the color of their skin and not the content of their character.

MORE AT: Blogs for Bush, Sister Toldjah, The World According To Carl





|| Greg, 10:34 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Concept I Support; A Law I Don't

You see, it really comes down to a question of following the Constitution.

And this proposal doesn't.

President Bush plans to send proposed legislation to Congress on Monday that would allow him to control spending by vetoing specific items in larger bills, a Bush administration official said.

The president, who has not vetoed any legislation during five years in office, asked Congress in his State of the Union address to give him line-item veto power.

Bush plans to announce that the proposed bill is headed to Congress during his remarks at the morning swearing-in ceremony for the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made.

Both Republican and Democratic presidents have sought the power to eliminate a single item in a spending or tax bill without killing the entire measure.

And I fully support giving the line-item veto to the president. But it cannot be done via legislation.

Afte all, as this article itself points out, the SUpreme Court has spoken on the matter.

President Clinton got that wish in 1996, when the new reform-minded Republican majority in the House helped pass a line-item veto law.

Two years later, the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional because it violated the principle that Congress, and not the executive branch, holds the power of the purse.

Sorry folks, you need to do this via an amendment, not via statute. It really is that simple.

Follow the Constitution.

MORE AT: Blogs for Bush, Kip, Esq., SCOTUSBlog, Uncooperative Blogger, Jurist, Blogs for Bush (again), Hugh Hewitt, A Certain Slant Of Light, Marginal Revolution, Say Anything, World Magazine, MoxieGrrrrl, Dohiyi Mir, Middle Earth Journal, Suburban Guerrilla, The News Blog, The Next Left, The Blue Voice



» Tearing Down The Wall.com links with: I dunno if this is such a good idea…



|| Greg, 10:17 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (1) ||

March 05, 2006

Let's See More Of This

I've never denied the existance of good, decent, patriotic Muslims. I'm glad to read this story, and I hope there are many more like this in the weeks and months to come.

Holy Toledo, we have terrorists in Ohio. But here's the good news: They were caught before they could blow up anyone because the FBI got a phone tip - from someone in the Islamic community.

That's right - the same American Islamic community that has been scorched for failing to condemn terrorism now gets credit for reporting three alleged terrorists in Toledo.

The FBI indicted Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi and Wassim Mazloum on charges of plotting to use improvised explosive devices to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Amawi also was charged with threatening to kill the president. They pleaded not guilty.

* * *

Morckel said many details cannot be revealed about the investigation or the phone tip that led to the latest arrests. "But if you look at the London bombings, people in their community knew about the men who did that and didn't report anything."

Toledo is a different story. It has a large Muslim population that has been part of the city even longer than the Toledo mosque has been a landmark beside Interstate 75. So long that many think of themselves as Americans first.

Some have sons serving in Iraq, who could be killed or maimed by bombs from Toledo. "We are harming ourselves," imam Farooq Aboelzahab told the Los Angeles Times.

In that same story about Toledo Muslims, Dorothy Mehki said, "I don't want a whole yard full of flags in our yard to prove that we are Americans. That is silly. There are good Americans, and there are bad Americans."

True. And some of the best are American Muslims.

Most Muslims in this country are decent people. Most are highly moral individuals. I may have little respect for their religion, but I have great respect for them as human beings.

And I hope we see a lot more of them dropping a dime on the terrorists in their midst.





|| Greg, 11:38 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why We need Mandatory Life Sentences -- Or The Death Penalty -- For Sex Criminals

Medical professionals do not want to work with these evil freaks, and so it is impossible to fully staff "treatment" facilities for them.

The $388-million facility sprawled on the desolate outskirts of this Central Valley town was intended to answer a pressing problem: what to do with hundreds of repeat pedophiles and rapists in California who have served their prison terms but are deemed too risky for release.

This was to be a hospital dedicated primarily to such "sexually violent predators," who can be lawfully detained for mental health treatment.

It was the first state mental hospital built in more than half a century, and few amenities were spared. Shiny keyboards and drum sets now grace private music rooms. Woodworking and printing studios resemble professional shops. A Native American sweat lodge is in the works.

Treatment, however, is in short supply.

Despite vigorous recruiting efforts, not enough nurses, doctors and technicians want to work at this remote outpost. As a result, six months after the 1,500-bed hospital opened to the speeches of lawmakers, only about 170 patients have moved in. More than 400 sexually violent predators await transfer from Atascadero State Hospital near San Luis Obispo.

And hundreds of other beds, which could be filled with patients with other mental disorders, remain unoccupied in a system that otherwise is badly overcrowded.

The largely empty Coalinga State Hospital embodies twin problems of the state's mental health system: its struggle to hire licensed staffers and its difficulty accommodating sexual offenders, who some experts say don't fit conventional definitions of mental illness.

No release date -- no need for treatment/special state hospitals.

But on the bright side, I think we may have found the perfect residence for Bill Clinton if he ever becomes "First Lady". I bet they have saxophones in those music rooms.





|| Greg, 11:27 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 03, 2006

Not Enough

He should have gotten the maximum sentence for his betrayal of the public trust.

Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who collected $2.4 million in homes, yachts, antique furnishings and other bribes on a scale unparalleled in the history of Congress, was sentenced Friday to eight years and four months in prison, the longest term meted out to a congressman in decades.

Cunningham, who resigned from Congress in disgrace last year, was spared the 10-year maximum by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns but was immediately taken into custody. He also was ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution for back taxes and forfeit $1.85 million in valuables he received.

Cunningham accepted money and gifts including a Rolls-Royce and $40,000 Persian rugs from defense contractors and others in exchange for steering government contracts their way and other favors.

Federal prosecutors sought the maximum and his attorneys asked for mercy, but Cunningham, choking up as he addressed the judge, focused on accepting blame. "Your honor I have ripped my life to shreds due to my actions, my actions that I did to myself," he said.

"I made a very wrong turn. I rationalized decisions I knew were wrong. I did that, sir," Cunningham said.

I think the judge summed up my view of this individual and his crimes quite nicely.

"You weren't wet. You weren't cold. You weren't hungry and yet you did these things," Burns said. "I think what you've done is you've undermined the opportunity that honest politicians have to do a good job."

Given Cunningham's age, perhaps we will get lucky and see this be, in effect, a life sentence -- which i believe should be the minimum for such self-serving misdeeds.





|| Greg, 08:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

He Already Came!

And they even named you after his mom.

MADONNA is trying to buy a house overlooking the Sea of Galilee at the place where followers of her Kabbalist faith expect the Messiah to reappear to herald world peace.

Representatives of the 47-year-old US singer have been cold calling home-owners in the picturesque mountain retreat of Rosh Pina and offering to pay any price to secure a property on her behalf.

The star — who was raised an Italian Catholic but adopted the Hebrew name Esther several years ago — wants the house to turn it into a Kabbalah study centre where followers can pore over the mystical texts.

When she made a highly publicised trip to Israel 18 months ago she visited many sites important to Kabbalah.

Kabbalists believe that the Messiah will appear at Safed and walk to Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, travelling along the ravine that cuts through Rosh Pina.

But at least her soul is striving in the right direction.

She could have become a Scientologist.





|| Greg, 08:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Isn't The Answer Obvious?

Well, here's another fellow who has eaten the fruit of Mohammad's poisonous tree.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Authorities say 23-year-old Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar drove a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee into The Pit at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus around noon Friday, injuring five students and a visiting scholar.

Police intend tocharge Taheri-azar, who graduated from UNC in 2005, with nine counts of attempted murder and nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, said Capt. George Hare of the UNC Department of Public Safety.

The FBI joined the case because Taheri-azar, a native of Iran, "allegedly made statements that he acted to avenge the American treatment of Muslims. The ongoing investigation will work to confirm this," said Special Agent Richard Kolko, an FBI spokesman in Washington.

Six people were taken to UNC Hospitals with minor injuries, hospital spokesman Tom Hughes said. Five had been treated and released late Thursday afternoon, while one person was still undergoing treatment but was not expected to be admitted. Three other people declined treatment on the scene, according to police.

Authorities later found the vehicle on Plant Road near Franklin Street and Taheri-azar was taken into custody. Authorities said that drugs and alcohol are not believed to have been involved.

A student who witnessed the event, said that the SUV was going between 40 and 45 mph when it hit the students at the Pit, which is located in an open area surrounded by two libraries, a dining hall and the Frank Porter Graham Student Union on campus.

We have a confession from an admitted terrorist. Let's get him to a military tribunal immediately.





|| Greg, 08:27 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

"Spring Break Starts At 2:23 PM!" Open Trackbacks & Linkfest

We are counting down the seconds until it arrives -- that delisious Spring Break that we get every March! It falls right in the middle of RodeoHouston, and also gives me a day to work as Election Judge for the GOP primary on Tuesday without having to take one of my personal leave days. So we will be rodeoing and poll-working this coming week.

Just hope and pray that I survive Friday -- kids have been wild all week, and progress report grades are due before we leave.

* * *

This is, of course, my usual Weekend