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September 30, 2006

Colorado Dem Gubernatorial Candidate Allows Aliens To Plea Bargain Out Of Deportation

I mean after all, just because they are charged with drug offenses doesn't mean that they shoud be kicked out of the country, does it -- even if they entered illegally?

The Denver district attorney's office under gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter approved plea bargains that prevented the deportation of illegal and legal immigrants charged with drug, assault and other crimes.

The office allowed defendants to plead guilty to trespassing on agricultural land instead of the crimes they actually were accused of 152 times from 1998 through 2004. Other counties - Jefferson, Adams and Arapahoe - had only 75 convictions combined for the crime, according to court records.

Former Denver District Attorney Norm Early, who was Ritter's predecessor, laughed when he heard about the farm charges in urban Denver.

"I reviewed all my case dispositions, and I never remember that coming up," he said.

A review of 15 of the agricultural trespass cases in Denver showed that heroin and cocaine charges, theft of motor vehicles and domestic violence crimes - miles away from any farm or open land - were transformed into agricultural trespass.

"This plea agreement was reached with the the specific purpose of not pleading guilty to an offense that would subject (the defendant) to deportation proceedings," wrote a defense attorney in a motion filed in a Denver court Oct. 11, 2000.

The defendant, Ernesto Leon Reyes, was a resident alien who was initially charged with five drug counts related to his possession and intention to distribute 2,000 grams of methamphetamine.

If convicted of the drug charge, Reyes could have been deported after serving time. Instead, after pleading guilty to the trespass on agricultural land charge, Reyes received probation and stayed in the United States.

Did you folks get that one -- drug dealers remained in this country because the DA's office didn't want to subject them to the "hardship" of going back where they came from. Sounds like prosecutorial malfeasance to me.

And now Bill Ritter and the Democrats want him to be Governor of Colorado.

Vote Republican in Colorado and the rest of the country for every office -- public safety and America's borders depend on it.





|| Greg, 03:51 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Judge Dismisses Frivolous Suit By Serial Border-Jumper

There was clearly no merit to this suit -- the law is clear that illegal immigrant parents of American citizens have no right to stay in this country simply because they managed to breed while breaking this country's laws. And there is no legitimate counstitutional claim here, either.

A federal judge struck a blow Friday to the hopes of an immigration activist who has taken refuge in a Chicago church to avoid deportation, dismissing her lawsuit against the government.

Elvira Arellano, 31, a Mexican national, had hoped that U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve would rule that deporting her would violate the constitutional rights of her 7-year-old son, Saul, an American citizen.

But St. Eve ruled that no one's rights would be violated by deporting Arellano back to Mexico. She did say, however, the child would suffer a hardship.

"The question before the court is whether that hardship is of constitutional magnitude -- under any construction of the alleged facts, it is not," St. Eve said in her order.

St. Eve concluded that the pending removal order does not prevent Saul from exercising his rights of citizenship.

"Saul will not suffer any injury to his constitutional right to remain in the United States," she said.

Indeed, I'm struck by this observation that the Constitution is not violated just because all options available to a person have negative aspects to them.

"In fact, the injury Saul alleges is not the same as the injury his mother will suffer. Her injury is compelled removal; his is the unenviable fork in the road [i.e., whether to uproot or to live apart from his mother] that arises as a result of his mother's compelled removal," the judge said.

Yes, the boy can stay in the United States -- whether under the guardianship of someone designated by his mother or as a ward of the state. Or Saul's mother may elect to take her son back to Mexico, which in no way impairs his citizenship rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The choice is entirely in the hands of Elvira Arellano.

But then again, this all comes down to choices made by the mother.

Arellano was supposed to surrender for deportation to Mexico on Aug. 15.

Instead, she and her son moved into a cramped room in the storefront church sandwiched between a bank and a beauty parlor in Chicago's heavily Puerto Rican Humboldt Park neighborhood.

She has frequently told reporters visiting the church she wants to stay in the United States to provide a better life for herself and her son.

"I'm not going to leave. This is a place where God has put me, this is God's will and I'm going to stay here," Arellano has said.

Arellano first was deported from the United States shortly after illegally crossing the border in 1997, according to immigration enforcement. She says she returned within days, went on to live in Oregon for three years and moved to Chicago in 2000.

She was arrested in 2002 at O'Hare International Airport, where she was employed as a cleaning woman, and subsequently convicted of working under a false Social Security number.

So you see, this woman has broken American law multiple times, twice sneaking into this country like a thief in the night, working illegally in this country and fraudulently using false documentation. Violating her deportation order and hiding out in a church in an attempt to avoid the workings of American law (gee -- where are the church-state separationists on this one?) Oh, yeah -- and choosing to have a child.

The time has come for a SWAT team to enter the church to arrest Elvira Arellano.

Cuff her.

Stuff her.

Send her back.

Oh, yes -- and indict Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church for harboring a fugitive.

And by the way -- this story presents the best available argument for amending the Constituion to do away with birthright citizenship for the children of border-jumping immigration criminals.

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|| Greg, 03:40 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (320) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A German Who Gets It

Here is a politician with a little bit of moral clarity on the issue of terrorism and Islam.

A top German politician and close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday Islam was one of the main factors in religiously motivated violence, and urged Germany's Muslims to reject all forms of brutality.

But Ronald Pofalla, general-secretary of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, also acknowledged that many Muslims would find it painful that their religion was being abused for violent ends.

"Certainly it is painful for many Muslims that their religion is misused for violence," Pofalla wrote in a guest column for Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"But ... the problem of religiously motivated violence is today almost exclusively a problem of Islam. In addition, many of the victims are Muslims themselves," he said, according to extracts released in advance on Saturday.

Pofalla also noted that Muslims need to be prepared to accept criticism of their faith, as well as teh right of Christians to defend theirs.

The observation is quite accurate -- most of the victims of violence by Muslims are other Muslims. Now I could argue that Pofalla is wrong in stating that Islam is being misused, given the long and consistently bloody history of the followers of teh false prophet Muhammad, but I'm willing to concede that in many parts of the world we find a plurality of Muslims who object to terrorism in the name of their faith. The problem, of course, is that they are afraid to speak out or act against the violent faction among them.

I cannot help but be struck, however, by the response to a statement that implicitly rejects the notion that Islam is a violent faith and that notes that the violence takes a heavier toll on Muslims than on anyone else.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany criticized Pofalla's comments, saying generalizations such as he made only reinforced stereotypes and prejudices.

"I get the impression that some CDU people want to take one step forward and two steps back," Aiman Mazyek, the Council's general-secretary, told Sunday's Tagesspiegel newspaper.

In other words, "How dare you criticize Islam, you infidel dog! You should be killed for insulting our religion."

Look for such statemetns to begin appearing from the jihadis any time now -- and for the Muslims who claim to oppose violence and oppression carried out in the name of their religion.





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

September 29, 2006

Rep. Foley Resigns

I'm glad to see it happen. Trolling the House pages for sex -- cyber or real -- is unacceptable.

Frankly, though, the emails initially seemed pretty tame to me.

The Democratic opponent of Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) is calling for an investigation into an e-mail exchange that Foley conducted last year with a 16-year-old boy who had worked as a congressional page.

Foley, 52, has served in the House for six terms and is seeking reelection. He said that the five e-mails he wrote to the boy were harmless and that their publication is part of an attempt by Democrats to smear him.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) said the five messages he sent to a former congressional page were harmless.
Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) said the five messages he sent to a former congressional page were harmless. (Ray Lustig - Ray Lustig -- The Washington Post)

"The e-mails in question were a response to a handwritten thank-you letter from a former page," said Jason Kello, Foley's spokesman. "There have not been any allegations made by anyone except by Tim Mahoney and the Democrats who are attempting to misrepresent a series of innocent communications to prop up a failing political campaign."

Jessica Santillo, a spokeswoman for Mahoney, a Venus, Fla., rancher and business executive who is running against Foley, said in a written statement: "This is a matter for the appropriate authorities to investigate."

In the brief but chatty e-mails, which were first reported by ABC News, Foley asked how old the boy was, inquired what he wanted for his birthday, requested a picture of the young man and told him that he had just finished a long bike ride and was going to the gym.

According to ABC, the boy forwarded the e-mail that requested his picture to an unidentified congressional staffer and wrote that the e-mail was "sick sick sick sick sick." In another e-mail to a staffer, ABC reported, the boy wrote: "Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out."

But it seems there was something more to this -- in the form of IMs to pages.

But, according to several former congressional pages, the congressman used the Internet to engage in sexually explicit exchanges.

They say he used the screen name Maf54 on these messages provided to ABC News.

Maf54: You in your boxers, too?
Teen: Nope, just got home. I had a college interview that went late.
Maf54: Well, strip down and get relaxed.

Another message:

Maf54: What ya wearing?
Teen: tshirt and shorts
Maf54: Love to slip them off of you.

And this one:

Maf54: Do I make you a little horny?
Teen: A little.
Maf54: Cool.

The language gets much more graphic, too graphic to be broadcast, and at one point the congressman appears to be describing Internet sex.

And those are the ones that I'm willing to put up here at RWR -- there is definitely worse.

As a result, Foley submitted his resignation.

Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., resigned from Congress on Friday, effective immediately, in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former teenage male page.

"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent," he said in a statement issued by his office.

The two-sentence statement did not refer to the e-mails and gave no reason for Foley's abrupt decision to abandon a flourishing career in Congress.

Too bad he didn't come clean -- but then again, he is likely facing punishment under laws he helped write.

Foley's name will remain on the ballot, but all votes for him will go to a replacement candidate to be named next week. I'm pulling for either Jeb Bush or George P. Bush Both would make excellent candidates.

I'm asure that some partisan Democrats will try to make hay over this -- but I want to point out that Republicans caught in such shennanigans routinely leave public life. On the other hand, Democrats continued to support and elect Congressman Gerry Studds of Massachusetts for over a decade after he was censured for having sexually abused a 17-year-old male page.

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

Democrat Culture Of Corruption Rears Its Ugly Head

Looks like more trouble for Menendez as Tom Kean Jr. prepares to take his seat away. I wonder if we'll see an indictment, even as he fires one of his oldest friends.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) severed ties with a longtime campaign associate who was taped seeking a political favor on his behalf, the latest of several ethics-related incidents to shadow Menendez as he seeks a full Senate term in November.

According to yesterday's editions of the Newark Star-Ledger and the Philadelphia Inquirer, the associate, Donald Scarinci, was a Menendez childhood friend who became the senator's closest political adviser and a top fundraiser. In a transcript of the recording reviewed by the newspapers, Scarinci asked a client, a Hudson County psychiatrist who held lucrative local contracts, to hire another physician as a favor to Menendez. The psychiatrist, Oscar Sandoval, secretly taped the conversation, which took place in 1999, when Menendez was a House member.

Do you want to bet that the Democrats try to do again in New Jersey what they went to court to stop here in Texas in CD22?





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And This Is How American Politics Is Supposed To Work

Not the McCain-Feingold style restriction of speech or the silencing of the voices of the faithful, but a competition between those who hold different values, seeking to inform voters about principles to consider in the voting booth.

A new group called Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good said yesterday that it will distribute at least 1 million voter guides before the Nov. 7 elections, emphasizing church teachings on war, poverty and social justice as well as on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.

The 12-page booklet, called "Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics," is part of a broader effort by liberal and moderate religious groups to challenge the Christian right on moral values, said Alexia Kelley, the group's executive director and a former employee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Secular groups such as the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club have long published election-year guides to issues and candidates' positions. Since the conservative Christian Coalition began distributing voter guides in 1992, however, it has faced little or no competition from liberal or moderate religious organizations.

In Roman Catholic parishes, the group Catholic Answers, based in California, had the field largely to itself in 2004, when it distributed 10 million copies of its "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics." This year, as in the past, the Catholic Answers guide urges Catholics to base their votes on five "non-negotiable" issues: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and same-sex marriage.

"No one endorsing the wrong side of these issues can be said to act in accord with the Church's moral norms," it says.

Religious faith is supposed to permeate every aspect of the life of a believer. Offering guidance on how to apply religious values on election day is fully consistent with that -- and should be seen as part and parcel of good citizenship.





|| Greg, 04:24 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 28, 2006

Sekula-Gibbs Supports Public Safety – Pro-Wetback Council Members Play Politics

UPDATE: I seem to have struck a nerve with some local Democrats over this post. They claim the use of a certain term in the title, a term that I have always understood as referring to immigration status, is racially/ethnically insensitive. If such is the case, I apologize, though I maintain that such offense is not and was not my intent. I won't change the word on my site, though, because I do not go back and hide my mistakes or bury evidence of my own errors.

On the other hand, I in no way retract my comment about a certain city councilwoman whose description of the comments of another member prompted my estension of her metaphor to cover her own behavior.

As I pointed out recently, the city of Houston lost a veteran police officer at the hands of a child-molesting border-jumper who had returned to this country after being deported several years ago. I note that Houston’s sanctuary city policy likely helped contribute to the death by attracting immigration criminals to the city.

Only one member of Houston’s city council has had the integrity and courage to raise the issue – Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who is the GOP nominee for Tom DeLay’s old congressional seat. And she did so yesterday, hours after the funeral for Officer Rodney Johnson.

When it was Sekula-Gibbs' turn to speak, she said Mayor Bill White now had the chance to repeal what she calls the department's "sanctuary" policy.

"I hope that you will use this opportunity to make this change that has been needed for many, many years," she said.

In response, a number of pro-criminal city council members walked out on the grounds that it was “disrespectful� to raise a serious public safety issue on the day that a victim of the policy was buried.

"It's disrespectful that she has used this tragic event to make a political statement," said Councilwoman Carol Alvarado, one of the nine members who walked out.

Yeah, maybe Sekula-Gibbs should have instead taken the time to comment on incompetent city officials who lack the managerial skills to run their offices, allowing their staff-members to steal tens of thousands of dollars from Houston taxpayers. Did you enjoy your time before the grand jury, Carol? Were you more honest with them about this than you were about your academic credentials? But at least you didn’t break out into expletives directed at Dr. Sekula-Gibbs, like you have during at least one city council meeting.

And at least one commented in a manner that shows the complete lack of class and decency that permeates the pro-wetback side.

"I apologize to the Johnson family today for one of our colleagues attempted to pimp the death and tragedy of Officer Johnson for their political career," said Councilmember Ada Edwards.

Edwards, of course, was whoring herself out to those who support the violation of American law and American sovereignty – scrambling for a few more Hispanic votes like they were crack rocks, just to advance her own career. It’s clear that she doesn’t give a damn about the circumstances of Officer Johnson’s death or the safety of Houstonians, or else she would speak out herself on this serious public safety issue.

And then there is the Republican whose statement yesterday is the basis for my decision to guarantee that she is not reelected.

"I was embarrassed to be in the room with somebody talking like that," said Councilwoman Toni Lawrence, a Republican and one of the first to leave.

"There's a lot of things I disagree with, maybe the way immigration is handled, federally, and this is not the time to make a comparison."

I’m embarrassed to be in the same party with someone who talks like you do, Ms. Lawrence. If someone can’t talk about the flaws of a city policy that create a public safety issue when someone has died because of that policy, then when exactly can you talk about it? There is no more appropriate time than now! And I'd suggest that faux Republicans Pam Holmes and M. J. Khan might also want to get with the GOP platform or get out of office.

And remember, this has been a signature issue of Shelley's congressional campaign for months now, so Dr. Sekula-Gibbs is not playing games with the immigration issue like her colleagues are – she is continuing to address an issue she has been passionate about for some time. Why should she be silent on it now?

Remember – on November 7, 2006, vote twice for Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs for Congress in CD22.

voteTwiceWriteInOfficialLogo.JPG

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|| Greg, 05:45 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Now An Anthrax Scare In My Senator’s Office

Gee, they went after my state senator on 9/11. Now they are hoaxing my favorite US senator.

An anthrax hoax at Sen. John Cornyn’s office left aides stuck in their offices for about 45 minutes at lunchtime Thursday, after an intern opened an envelope containing a small amount of powder.

Tests quickly determined that it wasn’t dangerous.

“There was a small amount of powder. It was nothing hazardous. Hazmat has given the all clear,” said Capitol police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. “There was also a note indicating that there was anthrax.”

“It had gone through our mail system. It had been irradiated,” she said. That procedure was implemented after unsolved attacks on two Senate offices in fall 2001.

False alarms and scares are not uncommon at the Capitol. No one was evacuated, though everyone in the vicinity was asked to remain in place, presumably to avoid the spread of any potential contaminant. Access to part of Mr. Cornyn’s office suite was blocked pending the outcome of the tests.
“One of our interns opened a suspicious envelope. Capitol police responded.

Everyone is working as usual. I’m not evacuated. Sitting at my desk,” said Cornyn press secretary Brian Walsh before the all-clear was issued. “The system for screening mail, since the anthrax, is very vigorous.”

Such jokes are sick.





|| Greg, 05:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

And When Will They Sponsor Christian Pride Day?

Just an idle thought after reading this from the Catholic League.

SUNY SPONSORS SATANISM

On September 30, Adirondack Community College (ACC) will sponsor Pagan Pride Day. ACC, located outside Lake George in Queensbury, New York, is part of the State University of New York (SUNY).

Here’s what Catholic League president Bill Donohue had to say:

“ACC Student Association, which is hosting Pagan Pride Day, says the event is free to the public and is designed to be ‘a celebration of religious diversity.’ But nothing is free—New York taxpayers are paying for this event—and a panel on religious diversity that was initially considered will not occur. However, Patricia Telesco will be there, author of How to be a Wicked Witch, and so will John Allee, a Satanic priest and founder of the First Church of Satan.

“According to an ACC news release, ‘The purpose of Pagan Pride Day is to support religious tolerance, eliminate prejudice based on religious beliefs,’ and other noble goals. But it is a lie. On the website of the First Church of Satan, Christians are instructed that they can ‘deprogram’ themselves by ‘making fun of religious dogma.’ But before one gets to the FAQ part of the website, a short video pops up on the home page to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s song, ‘I Will Survive’; a bearded man posing as Jesus dressed in a white robe starts mimicking the words. He then disrobes and struts down a street in a diaper before being hit by a bus.

“Other videos include ‘Gideon Bible Rant,’ a diatribe that shows a picture of the Bible with a sticker on it, ‘Warning! Literal belief in this book may endanger your health and life.’ Then there is ‘Satanic Sexual Vision,’ which features a woman dressed as a nun in a black veil wearing a black bra, black slip and black panties; she is shown masturbating. ‘Do You Take It Up the A--?’ depicts simulated anal sex, but ‘Keep Your Jesus Off My Penis’ is no longer available. This isn’t higher education—it’s an obscene assault on Christianity.”

Contact John J. O’Connor, vice chancellor,john.o'connor@suny.edu, and Thomas F. Egan, chairman of SUNY’s board of trustees, thomas.f.egan@citigroup.com.

Where is the ACLU on this clear violation of separation of church and state?





|| Greg, 05:27 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dean’s Delusion

Howard Dean is a doctor – maybe he can prescribe himself something to bring himself into closer contact with reality.

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean came to Austin Tuesday to rally Democrats.

"We are going to take back Texas. And we're going to do it before we take back other states we've lost the last 15-20 years," Dean said during the rally.

Given that the polls show the GOP holding on to both houses of Congress and the president’s approval level rising, it is clear that Howard needs to be on drugs.





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

Dow Tops Record – Who Says Economy Is Bad?

We have at last completely recovered from the stock slump that was cause by the Clinton Recession and the 9/11 attacks.

The Dow Jones industrial average topped its record-high close this morning, reaching a milestone in Wall Street's recovery from nearly seven years of corporate upheaval, economic recession and the impact of terrorism.

The high close was 11,722.98 set on Jan. 14, 2000. Shortly after the index of 30 blue chip stocks surpassed its record, stocks fell back to trade little changed amid a dearth of news that could motivate investors.

"These numbers sometimes tend to act as magnets and the market it sometimes pulled up toward it," said Russ Koesterich, senior portfolio manager at Barclays Global Investments in San Francisco.

In late morning, the Dow was up just 1.92, or 0.02 percent, at 11,691.16. It has yet to reach its all-time trading high of 11,750.28, also reached Jan. 14, 2000.

So remember, folks, the performance of the Dow is all George Bush’s fault – just like the falling gas prices.





|| Greg, 04:18 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Oh, Dear -- Air America Did Participate In Criminal Activity

Stolen from the taxpayers and the poor kids of New York.

A Bronx charity will pay the city back $625,000 that had been intended for children and the elderly but was improperly lent to Air America Radio, a network known for its liberal programming and hosts like Al Franken. The settlement, announced yesterday by the city’s Department of Investigation, is the latest but probably not the final chapter in an investigation that began last year.

The state attorney general’s office is continuing to look into the misuse of the funds, and the case has been transferred from its charities bureau to the criminal prosecutions bureau, two people close to the investigation said yesterday.

City investigators found that the charity, based in Co-op City and formerly known as the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, lent $875,000 to Air America Radio. At the city’s request, the network put the money into an escrow account while the investigation continued.

Now, $625,000 will be returned to the city and $250,000 will be turned over to the charity for its operations. The $625,000 recouped by the city includes $250,000 from the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Department for the Aging that the charity misused from 2001 to 2004 and $375,000 in overpayments from the Department of Education to a nursery and kindergarten run by the charity from 1997 to 2006.

Want to bet the moonbats won’t denounce this corporate misconduct – after all, it was serving the “higher purpose” of spreading socialism.

Maybe we can get a few indictments here. Paging Al Franken!

H/T Malkin





|| Greg, 04:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The History Of Cut-And-Run Democrats

Thanks to Jeffrey Lord for documenting that the Democrat Party over the last four decades hasn’t met a war it isn’t willing to lose.

FOLLOW THE THREAD OF word and deed from leading Democrats since 1968. It isn't hard to see a philosophy of appeasement at work. They would easily fit Churchill's definition of "acts of submission, not merely in pride and sentiment, but in material matters."

* 1968 -- Minority Plank defeated at Democratic Convention calls for withdrawal from Vietnam.

* 1971 -- A young John Kerry testifies to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "we cannot fight Communism all over the world, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now." He goes on to accuse his fellow soldiers of a long list of "war crimes."

* 1972 -- Senator George McGovern proposes unilateral withdrawal from Vietnam.

* 1975 -- Democratic Congress ends funding of Vietnam War, American troops leave Southeast Asia. Years later Yale University's Cambodian Genocide Program reports that between 1975-1979 1.7 million people were murdered, 21% of the Cambodian population. A Senate Committee headed by Democrat Frank Church of Idaho investigates the CIA, an investigation described by then-President Gerald Ford as "sensational and irresponsible." Others charge Church with crippling the agency.

* 1977 -- President Jimmy Carter, safely elected after campaigning as an Annapolis graduate/Navy officer, tells America it has an "inordinate fear of communism." While the Cambodian genocide proceeds, the Soviets invade Afghanistan and set up a puppet regime in Nicaragua. American hostages are held in Iran for over a year. Carter cuts the defense budget so badly that Reagan's incoming Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger recalled not being "entirely over [the] shock at the weaknesses in our own military capability" Carter had left behind.

*1983 -- New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro joins the Democratic chorus opposing President Ronald Reagan's decision to send troops to Grenada. In spite of Reagan's rescue of American medical students and halting a Communist takeover, she charges, according to the New York Times, that it was "an inappropriate and precipitous use of military force." A year later Ms. Ferraro becomes the Democratic nominee for Vice-President. Her chief foreign policy adviser, according to the Times, is future Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

* 1983 -- Senator Edward Kennedy leads Democrats in disparaging Reagan's idea of shooting down nuclear tipped missiles from space as "Star Wars" -- fighting a system that only this year was invoked as a way to save the West Coast of the United States from a North Korean missile attack.

*1984 -- Walter Mondale campaigns for president on the idea that America should have a "nuclear freeze" with the Soviets. He vows to stop the "illegal war" in Nicaragua "in my first hundred days," accuses Reagan of wanting to "turn the heavens into a battleground," and ginning up an "arms race" with the Soviets. Dismissing Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, Central America and Communist treatment of Jewish dissidents, Mondale pleads for arms control. The concept of victory and ending the Cold War is never discussed.

* 1985 -- Reykjavik Summit: When Reagan walks away from a bad deal he is sharply criticized by Democratic Congressman Ed Markey for giving up "a chance to cash in on Star Wars" by refusing to trade away the entire SDI program. Later, it is this refusal that is credited with winning the Cold War.

*1988 -- Michael Dukakis runs for president opposing efforts to defeat the Communist government of Nicaragua, saying his election would not be about "overthrowing governments in Central America."

* 1991 -- By a five-vote margin the Democratic-controlled Senate votes to force Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait after he invaded the country. The majority of Democrats vote no. This includes now-Senator John Kerry, who said the U.S. was "once again willing to risk people dying from a mistake."

From Vietnam and the Cold War to Iraq and the War on Terror, the Democrats are ever-ready to capitulate to the enemies of our nation. We must not allow them to achieve significant power in this country ever again – the safety and security of our nation depend on it.

UPDATE: And now Investor's Busines Daily offers 97 Reasons Democrats Are Weak On Defense And Can't Be Trusted To Govern In Wartime





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Moonbat Ned Lamont Crashing, Burning In Connecticut

I guess that the leftist nutroots can only take you so far when you step outside the narrow confines of the Democrat party and offer yourself to the great mass of common people (note, please, that the unwashed already voted for Lamont in the primary).

Sen. Joe Lieberman has a 10-point advantage over Democrat Ned Lamont among likely Connecticut voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Lieberman, a three-term Democrat running as an independent after losing the party nomination in a primary, is favored by 49 percent to 39 percent over Lamont in the three-way race. Republican Alan Schlesinger trails with 5 percent.
The race has tightened slightly since an Aug. 17 poll that showed Lieberman leading 53 percent to 41 percent.

"Ned Lamont has lost momentum," said poll director Douglas Schwartz said. "He's gained only two points in six weeks. He's going to have to do something different in the next six weeks or ... Lieberman stays in for another six years."

The race is seen as many as a referendum on President Bush's handling of the Iraq war. Lamont, a political newcomer and multimillionaire, ran on an anti-war platform to upset Lieberman in the Aug. 8 primary.

Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, is a staunch supporter of the war.

And the polling results are a bit surprising – if you think that George Bush had the CIA and FBI blow up the World Trade Center, shoot the Pentagon with a cruise missile, and kidnap and execute several hundred Americans flying on airplanes around the country.

The Quinnipiac poll showed that Lieberman has higher favorability ratings among likely voters, 51 percent to Lamont's 31 percent. While Lamont has slightly higher favorability numbers among Democrats (47 percent to 43 percent), Lieberman far outdistances his challenger among likely Republican and unaffiliated voters. Seventy percent of Republicans view Lieberman favorably compared to 12 percent for Lamont, and 48 percent of independent voters view Lieberman favorably compared to 30 percent for Lamont.

Unaffiliated voters outnumber Democrats and Republicans in the state.

"Lamont wins among those who say Iraq is the most important issue to their vote, but that is only 35 percent of the electorate," Schwartz said. "Lieberman wins on all the other issues voters say matter most to them, including terrorism and the economy."

The telephone poll was conducted between Sept. 21-25. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,181 likely

The moral of the story, folks, is quite clear – the American people have a lot more sense than the un-American Left.





|| Greg, 04:12 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Beware Of Squirrels!

They are hungry – and they won’t take no for an answer.

A fierce squirrel attacked a 4-year-old boy at Mountain View's Cuesta Park last week as the rodent tried to wrestle a muffin out of the boy's hands, leaving him with scratch and bite marks that prompted a series of precautionary rabies shots.

The skirmish wasn't the first time the park's numerous tree squirrels targeted picnickers.

Mountain View Community Services Director David Muela said today that as many as six people have been bitten or scratched by squirrels since May, and that the attacks have become more ferocious in the last month. One squirrel even went so far as to jump into a child's stroller.

So while the city says “Do Not Feed The Animals”, I’d recommend that you put down the sandwich and step away carefully in the that no one gets hurt by these furry felons.





|| Greg, 04:08 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

European Court Of No Human Rights – Children Are Property Of The State

And so the natural right of parents to direct and oversee the education of their children in a fashion consistent with their religious and moral beliefs has been abrogated by the European Union.

A German family filed a complaint alleging that their freedoms were violated by a German law requiring attendance in public or state-sanctioned private schools. The family's religious beliefs are opposed to some topics addressed in state-sponsored education, including sex education and mythological fairy tales.

Instead, the parents attempted to educate their children at home using a Christian syllabus developed by the "Philadelphia school," a Siegen, Germany, institution that is not recognized by the German government as a legitimate private school.

But the ECHR ruled that the objectives of a state-sanctioned education "cannot be equally met by home education" and that the law didn't violate the family's religious freedoms.

The court wrote that it was in the "general interest of society to avoid the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions and the importance of integrating minorities into society."

It ruled that the parents were allowed to educate their children from a religious perspective "after school and at weekends. Therefore, the parent's right to education in conformity with their religious convictions is not restricted in a disproportionate manner."

Oh, and about the law that was upheld – it isn’t a new one. It was one of the progressive educational reforms by an earlier Socialist government – the National Socialist regime of Adolf Hitler. So even today, it is Hitler who controls what and when German parents can teach their children.





|| Greg, 04:05 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Middle School Footbal Player Collapses, Dies -- Third Houston-Area Death In Ten Days

And it is very possible that the young man is related to at least one of my students student, as he attended one of our feeder schools.

A 12-year-old football player from North Shore Middle School died Wednesday afternoon after collapsing while his football coach gave a speech on the importance of academics.

The unidentified seventh grader was the third local football player to die within 10 days.

The team had held a "light football practice and conditioning drills" before the talk, according to Galena Park Independent School District spokesman Craig Eichhorn.

Eichhorn said that attempts to revive the student by two coaches were unsuccessful. EMS personnel also tried to revive the youth with a defribillator, Eichhorn said.

The student was transported to the East Houston Regional Medical Center, where he was worked on for "several hours. At one point, they did get a slight pulse from him, but despite their best efforts, they were unable to save him," Eichhorn said.

Earlier this week, a player from Rice University died after practice. And last week a student from a school in HISD (a cousin of one of my students) died of a previously unknown heart condition while walking around the school track after school.

I'm really expecting this to be a rough day today. Ours is a close-knit community, if a large one, and I expect this to be taken hard by students and teachers alike.

Please pray for this young man, his family and friends, his classmates and teachers, and my entire school district.





|| Greg, 05:14 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Citgo No-Go

I won't stop for the cheapest gas in my town -- and not just because I can find cheaper gass on my way to school in the morning or on my way to my night class in the evening. Since every gallon I pump here in town would be money in the pocket of Hugo Chavez, I'm willing to spend a little more to register my distaste.

And Seven-Eleven (which does not, unfortunately, operate in the Houston area -- I need a Slurpee fix) has joined the boycott.

The devil might wear Prada, but will his fellow citizens fill up their tanks with Citgo?

One retail chain won't find out. Faced with a barrage of calls from customers and bloggers calling for a boycott of Citgo gasoline stations, 7-Eleven Inc. said yesterday that the Citgo signs are going to start coming down from its convenience stores.

The boycott calls were the result of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's fiery speech at the United Nations last week in which he called President Bush "the devil." 7-Eleven said that the end of its 20-year supply agreement with Citgo Petroleum Corp., owned by the Venezuelan state oil company, was not the result of that speech but rather that it had decided in the spring to launch its own gasoline brand and switch to three new U.S. suppliers.

But the chain moved up the announcement of those plans in response to the outcry over the Chavez speech. "We sympathize with many Americans' concern over derogatory comments about our country and its leadership recently made by Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez," 7-Eleven public relations director Margaret Chabris said in a statement that waded into the political fray. In an interview, she added: "Customers started calling last week and saying that they didn't like what Chavez said. And they wanted to know what we were going to do."

I'm glad to see a little corporate responsibility -- nd patriotism -- here. Wll done!





|| Greg, 04:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Here's An Unusual Blogger

Sean O'Malley -- Cardinal Archbishop of Boston!

He has spiced his entries with "lol," Internet slang for "laughing out loud," posted snapshots of himself pointing at a roadside pizza stand and written about the warm soda in a cheap Italian restaurant.

Launching his blog on a trip to Rome, Cardinal Sean O'Malley sounds at times more like a college student making his first trip to Europe than a prince of the church. Jokey and informal, the Boston archbishop is trying his best to reach out to a generation of Catholics hooked on instant messaging and MySpace.

On Saturday, he teased his readers with tales of his days as a young seminarian in Germany in the 1960s. "I and everyone else were wearing lederhosen in those days," O'Malley wrote on cardinalseansblog.org.

" ... But, do not try to find those pictures because I assure you that the negatives have been destroyed. ... LOL!"

Catholics and blog specialists praise the blog as surprisingly readable. Since O'Malley launched the Web site last week, he has received 65,585 page views and scores of comments.

It is an interesting place. I hope this is a project that continues, because he brings a different perspective to life, faith, and the blogosphere. Look in on his site if you get the chance.





|| Greg, 04:26 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Leopard Can't Change His Spots

And it seems that some criminals can't give up a life of fraud, either.

This case is just stunning, given why "she" was even on the streets to begin with.

A transgendered inmate freed from prison last year because she was dying of AIDS has been charged with using a forged Maryland death certificate to get new criminal charges dismissed.

Dee Deirdre Farmer, 41, was charged Wednesday with forging a Baltimore Circuit Court order to change the death certificate of a man named Charles Smith to reflect that Farmer was the person who had died. Charging documents showed that Farmer got criminal charges in Virginia dismissed using a forged Maryland death certificate.

In a landmark case, Farmer sued federal prison officials over a 1989 rape that occurred about a week after Farmer entered a federal maximum-security prison for men in Terre Haute, Ind. Farmer had arrived with male sex organs and breast implants, after undergoing estrogen therapy.

The lawsuit claimed the government had violated Farmer's constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment by ignoring the risk that a feminine-appearing inmate would be raped by other prisoners. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1994 that prison officials can sometimes be held liable for inmate assaults revived Farmer's lawsuit, which had been dismissed by lower courts. After the Supreme Court decision, however, she lost the case at trial.

Farmer was serving a 20-year federal sentence for credit-card fraud, followed by a 30-year sentence for credit-card fraud in Maryland.

In February 2005, Chief Judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr. of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals freed Farmer from a state prison near Hagerstown, saying the inmate, then described as blind, bedridden and dying of AIDS, was no longer a threat to society.

''When I cut him loose, my recollection is that it was on the basis of documentary evidence that he was HIV-positive and that his life expectancy was very, very short,'' Murphy told The (Baltimore) Sun on Wednesday. Murphy said he decided to release Farmer on probation ''in the hopes that that might encourage him to remain crime-free while he was out with what little time he had left.''

Well, we see how well that worked.

Lock this messed up individual away, and dispose of the key.





|| Greg, 04:20 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 27, 2006

Terrorist-Backing Muslims Of CAIR Demand Retraction Of Offensive Language

I guess you cannot speak ill of Muslim terrorists who claim to be engaged in jihad. It isn’t politically correct.

The U.S. Council on Amnerican-Islamic Relations has accused a Michigan congressman of using 'polarizing' language.

CAIR's Michigan chapter said Tuesday its representatives wanted to meet with Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-MI, over what it called his use of "polarizing language" on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

CAIR said that McCotter had used the term "jihadist-fascist" while discussing U.S. policy in Iraq in a House debate. CAIR quoted the congressman as saying, "The crushing weight of putting Iraq back into the terrorist and the jihadist-fascist camp will have enormous ramifications. . ."

"Representative McCotter should use his time on the House floor to foster dialogue and mutual understanding, not to introduce hot-button terms that will further damage our nation's image in the Islamic world," said CAIR's Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid.

Walid said President George W. Bush had stopped using the term "Islamic fascist" after Muslims in America and around the world had protested that it was ill-defined and counterproductive in persuading people in the global conflict against terror.

Fine – you don’t like the term “jihadi-fascist? How about some other suggestions?

“Islamo-Nazis.”

“Homicidal camel-jockeys”

“Murderous pig-raping followers of the false prophet Muhammad.”

Or maybe just “Typical Muslims” -- because you come out in their defense at every opportunity.





|| Greg, 06:54 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Pro-Choice – If It’s Abortion

More examples of the face of “pro-choice” America.

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Police have arrested the mother and two cousins of a pregnant 16-year-old who are accused of forcing the teen to drink turpentine in an attempt to induce an abortion.

Rozelletta B. Blackshire, 44, was charged with criminal abortion and first-degree cruelty to children, Columbus Police Sgt. Debra Bohannon said. The teen's cousins, Shonda Y. Blackshire, 26, of Columbus, and Monica M. Johnson, 28, of Eufaula, Ala., also were arrested Friday and charged with criminal abortion.
Investigators haven't determined whether the turpentine harmed the teen, who is three months pregnant, or the fetus.

"There's no medical evidence that would support you could induce an abortion by giving her turpentine," Bohannon said. "Still, it's not made to ingest. It's not good to ingest."

Bohannon said the girl's mother and cousins twice forced her to drink turpentine between Sept. 12 and Sept. 20.

The women might have wanted the teen to have an abortion because her pregnancy could have exacerbated an unrelated health problem, Bohannon said. The girl is in protective custody.

Police were notified after the girl told her school counselor that her mother made her drink turpentine.

Bohannon said they already were investigating a sexual assault case involving the pregnant teen. Investigators believe the girl conceived during that assault.

I guess that some folks are “pro-choice” as long as the “choice” is abortion.





|| Greg, 06:43 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Time To Neuter the Terrorstinian Anarchy?

If this is the sentiment at work in the West Bank and Gaza, it might be time to admit that the Israeli policy of permitting Palestinian self-rule is a favor, and that the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs (a policy implemented by virtually every Arab country towards their Jews in 1948) is the only moral and rational option.

Following the recent Israeli-Hizballah war in Lebanon, a majority of Palestinians say they should follow Hizballah's example and launch rockets into Israeli cities, a new poll showed.

Hizballah launched more than 4,000 rockets into Israel killing dozens of Israelis and causing extensive damage throughout northern Israel during the 34-day war in July and August.

According to the results of a survey conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), 63 percent of the Palestinians surveyed agreed that they should emulate Hizballah's methods by launching rockets at Israeli cities while 35 percent of Palestinians disagreed.

A majority of Palestinians also supported Hizballah in July 2000 following Israel's unilateral troop withdrawal from southern Lebanon. At the time, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah boasted that his group had done what no Arab nation in the last 50 years had done: defeat Israel. He encouraged the Palestinians to follow in his footsteps.

Five months after Israel's troop withdrawal from Lebanon, the Palestinians launched their intifadah uprising, which has turned into a five-year terror campaign targeting Israeli cities as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The new poll showed that about 57 percent of Palestinians support the idea of using suicide bombings and shooting attacks against Israelis.

There may, however, be a glimmer of hope.

But at the same time, about three-quarters of Palestinians supported the call for an Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire, and 74 percent said they believe that Palestinians cannot depend on violent actions only but must reach a political agreement with Israel.

So a majority wants a political settlement with Israel – but there remains the problem that many of them want it achieved through terror attacks on the Jewish state. That is not acceptable. It also will not succeed.





|| Greg, 06:42 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Something We Should See More Of

I know of few who advocate sending local police on immigration raids. On the other hand, many of us do insist that police should check the status of those arrested or cited in traffic stops. This is something that is happening more and more often around the country as police treat immigration violations like other illegal activity.

CHARLOTTE -- Police here operated for years under what amounts to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward illegal immigrants.

As elsewhere in the United States, law enforcement officers did not check the immigration status of people they came into contact with, and in the vast majority of cases, a run-in with the law carried little threat of deportation.

But that accommodation for the burgeoning illegal population ended abruptly in April, when the Mecklenburg County sheriff's office began to enforce immigration law, placing more than 100 people a month into deportation proceedings. Some of them had been charged with violent crimes, others with traffic infractions.

The program takes one of the most aggressive stances in the United States toward illegal immigrants, and officials in scores of communities, including Herndon and Loudoun County, have been considering adopting their own version. The House earlier this month was weighing a measure "reaffirming" the authority of local law enforcement agencies to arrest people on suspicion of violating immigration laws.

Some Latino leaders say the program here is contributing to a discriminatory climate in which Hispanic drivers feel as if they are being "hunted" by police. And some law enforcement agencies elsewhere have shied away from enforcing immigration laws, saying that doing so would rupture any trust they have developed in Latino neighborhoods.

But advocates see it as a way to catch illegal immigrants who slip through porous federal enforcement measures and then run afoul of state or local police.

Perhaps the best way of explaining the goal of the program is found here, in the words of an immigration attorney.

"They're putting the pressure on these people. They're scaring them. People say we can't deport 10 million. But you don't have to. If you deport enough of them, others will go back voluntarily because they don't want to live in these conditions."

You deter behavior by giving it a negative consequence. While there will always be some illegal immigrants, we can deter folks from coming and encourage them to leave by making the conditions a bit more inhospitable.

Police check warrants and records. Checking citizenship is one more legitimate inquiry, given the plague of illegals that have come into this country in recent years. Let’s see more of it.





|| Greg, 06:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Good Reason For Uniforms

I'm tired of being the t-shirt police.

I'm tired of having to parse out meaningand weighing the relative level of suggestiveness of messages on t-shirts.

And it is a nationwide problem.

Ashli Walker rifled through a rack of designer T-shirts one recent afternoon, pondering which one she should buy and wear the next day to Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George's County. The big black one that read, "TRUST ME..I'M SINGLE"? Or the snug white T-shirt emblazoned with, "I KNOW WHAT BOYS WANT"?

They're blatantly sexual, occasionally clever and often loaded with double meanings, forcing school administrators and other students to read provocations stripped across the chest, such as "yes, but not with u!," "Your Boyfriend Is a Good Kisser" and "two boys for every girl." Such T-shirts also are emblematic of the kind of sleazy-chic culture some teenagers now inhabit, in which status can be defined by images of sexual promiscuity that previous generations might have considered unhip.

The T-shirts, which school officials say are racier than ever, are posing dress-code dilemmas on Washington area campuses. School systems typically ban clothing that expresses vulgarity, obscenity or lewdness or that promotes cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or weapons. For instance, T-shirts advertising Budweiser or the movie "Scarface," with Al Pacino holding a tommy gun, are taboo.

But sexually suggestive T-shirts often fall into a gray area that requires officials to evaluate one shirt at a time. Some messages are considered harmless -- "Single and Ready to Mingle" or "My Boyfriend Is a Good Kisser." Others are not.

"We try not to make a huge deal out of it, but we also want to be protecting the school environment," said Rick Mondloch, an associate principal at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County, who recently ordered a "Pimps" shirt turned inside out. "These shirts are more risque than they were even five years ago and probably a little more blunt, so you have to be attuned to it."

I still recall a struggle we had over a t-shirt several years ago. Several girls had bought shirts that looked like old-style ads depicting a couple of soft-serve ice cream cones.. The slogan? "Tasty Cones -- Give One A Lick!" , with the little twirl at the top of each dessert placed strategically over the nipples? Dirty messages on the shirts? Or dirty-old men oggling innocent teenage girls (one parent's argument)? You decide.

Personally, I'm for uniforms for all students -- just to get the inapprorpaite messages off the shirts and the pants up to the waist.





|| Greg, 04:35 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Permit No Profit For Illegal Immigrants

I wonder -- would the Houston Chronicle come out in favor of allowing bank robbers to keep any interest they earn or investment income derived from the money they stole?? I doubt it -- they would rightly argue that it is a case of permitting criminals to profit from their crime.

Why, then, should they allow border-jumping immigration criminals to profit from their violations of the law by making their children citizens if they are born in this country? Why should we permit "anchor babies"? I see no reason -- but the Houston Chronicle wants to allow lawbreaking foreigners to profit in this way.

They start by arguing against the scenario that has pregnant women coming north to have babies.

The evidence is anecdotal, but plausible. A growing number of undocumented immigrants, border health officials say, are bearing children in U.S. hospitals. The resulting cost is immense. It's believable, because although immigrant women have fewer children than they did 20 years ago, the number of immigrant women in this country is higher.

That's a far different scenario from the more sensational one peddled by some immigration-control activists. Droves of pregnant Latin American women, they suggest, are marching here across desert, mountain and river expressly to bear American children. Their so-called "anchor babies" ostensibly are part of the parents' plans to reduce their chances of deportation from the United States.

The distinction between these two accounts is an important one. In response to the so-called anchor baby trend, some lawmakers are proposing amending the U.S. Constitution to deny the citizenship now conferred on all infants born in the United States.

I'm willing to accept that argument -- though the statistics in some border counties would appear to confirm the thesis dismissed by the Chronicle.

But that does not logically lead to this conclusion.

A coherent immigration system would effectively police the borders, while creating sane laws for visiting or guest workers. Part of that law should include required payment into a bare-bones insurance pool. Obviously, such insurance would include prenatal and delivery care.

The way to ease the financial anchor around border hospitals' necks is not to kill the hopes of children starting life there. Stripping these infants of their chance to strive, invest and sacrifice on behalf of the land where they're born could cost this society infinitely more than the price of a hospital stay.

Except, of course, that granting citiZenship to such children encourages illegal immigrants to stay, to return after deportation, and allws for eventual line-jumping privileges as family members of US citizens when teh children are older. Let's not give any benefit to those who break our nation's laws by their mere presence int he country -- let's clarify the Constitution to make it crystal clear that the Fourteenth Amendment does not (and, if one considers the legislative history, was never meant to apply) to the children of those who are in the US in violation of our laws.





|| Greg, 04:23 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 26, 2006

NAACP’s Anti-Semitic Discrimination Complaint

A group of Jewish doctors close their medical clinic on Saturday in accordance with their religious faith. Sounds like a legitimate choice to me, and one certainly protected by the First Amendment.

But not according to the NAACP. They want to impose a little bit of involuntary servitude and religious oppression upon those who own and operate the clinic.

The village chapter of the NAACP has filed a complaint accusing the Ben Gilman Medical and Dental Clinic of religious discrimination for closing on Saturdays.

The complaint, filed Sept. 6 with the state's Division of Human Rights, alleges that the clinic's practice of remaining closed Saturdays in observance of operators' Jewish Sabbath, unlawfully imposes their religious beliefs on others.
Complainants say the practice is an unlawful violation of people's civil rights, particularly since the clinic's operator, Monsey-based Community Medical and Dental Care Inc., has received millions of dollars in federal funding.

In addition to the Gilman clinic, Community Medical and Dental Care operates Monsey Medical and Dental Center.

Sharon Milner, executive director of Community Medical and Dental Care, declined to comment on the complaint but said the organization had retained attorney Robert Lewis to handle the matter.

Lewis, who has an office in Nyack, also declined to comment.

Willie Trotman, president of the Spring Valley branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the purpose of the complaint was to have the clinic open on Saturdays.

Those who work — more than 80 percent of the clinic's clientele are Hispanic or black, according to a letter the clinic sent to the Human Rights Commission earlier this year — would find it convenient to visit their doctors on a Saturday when they had the day off, Trotman said yesterday.

Yeah – but it would also be convenient for them to see their doctors on Sundays. How many Christian doctors has the NAACP filed complaints over closing their offices on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath? I’d be willing to bet that it is a non-negative number smaller than 1.

But I guess when you are a perpetual victim class, the rights of others are irrelevant.





|| Greg, 03:01 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

An Absurd Firing

From the stupid school board file.

An award-winning Texas art teacher who was reprimanded after one of her fifth-grade students saw a nude sculpture during a trip to a museum has lost her job.

The school board in Frisco has voted not to renew Sydney McGee's contract after 28 years. She has been on administrative leave.

The teacher took her students on an approved field trip to a Dallas museum, and now some parents are upset.

The Fisher Elementary School art teacher came under fire last April when she took 89 fifth-graders on a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art. Parents raised concerns over the field trip after their children reported seeing a nude sculpture at the art museum.

The parents had signed permission slips allowing their children to take part in the field trip.

McGee's lawyer said the principal at Fisher Elementary School admonished her after a parent complained that a student had seen nude art.

McGee said the principal had urged her to take the students to the museum.

Now, McGee, who was honored with a Star Teacher Award two years ago, is on paid administrative leave until her contract with the school district expires in March.

So let me get this straight – the teacher was disciplined because there was art at the art museum? Like nobody knew that there might be a non-pornographic nude sculpture or painting somewhere in the building? What sort of morons are we talking about here?

But some parents are fighting back.

Other parents are worried about the future of the art program at the school, which they cite as a reason for moving into the neighborhood.

"Our main concern right now is what's going to happen to the children and what's going to happen to the art program at Fisher Elementary. It is the best art program. That's the reason we moved to this neighborhood. It's because of the teachers," said Shannon Allen, a parent. "It was a principal-approved trip. What's the big deal?”

I agree. It is not like the teacher brought a Penthouse into the classroom or stood the kids in front of an erotic sculpture. They passed by something in the museum – a public place – and caught a glimpse of a work of art.

Sometimes I’m sort of ashamed to be an educator in Texas.





|| Greg, 03:00 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Blame Israel First

You’ve just got to love the rationalization for why the victim of aggression is the bad actor.

After 33 days of blowing up all major roads, bridges and airports in southern Lebanon, Israeli soldier Gil Ovadia's commander told his troops to be prepared to come back soon and fight again.

The Israeli public still criticizes Olmert's government for not doing enough damage. Uri Avnery, a Jewish writer stated, "If one wants to become prime minister of Israel, one has to walk over dead bodies."

Last month, Rabbi Dov Lior of the Yesha Council of Rabbis announced, "There are no innocent parties in a time of war. Rather, one must battle a bellicose city until it is captured." It gives us a clear picture of who is the warmonger here.

Certainly this mind set of disregarding the lives and property of one's neighbors is Israel's real problem and not that of the people of Lebanon and Palestine.
"We did not think that there was a 1 percent chance that the capturing would lead to a war of this scale and magnitude," admitted Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah.

So what we have here is an argument that when Israel faces attack from terrorists across international borders, it may not respond to the violation of international law and is immoral if it does so. Lebanon’s failure to control its territory, its borders, and the terrorists that operate within it (and which are part of its government) is irrelevant to this apologist for terrorism. All that matters is that Israel responded to the provocations of Hezbollah – the Party of (false) God.

Which leads us, of course, to this astounding assertion.

What makes a nation successful is not its power to kill and bring misery to the world, but its ability to bring comfort to our fellow human beings. Israel should realize its aggression and arrogance only fuel more hate, isolation and resistance. People won't forget that they are living under military occupation or that they have been living in refugee camps for six decades.

After six decades of failing to engage in civil discourse with its neighbors, it's time for Israelis to think of a new strategy for survival.

If the Israelis want to live in that neighborhood in peace and security, they better humble themselves and make some courageous changes in the Zionist political culture.

For six decades, Israel has sought peace with its neighbors. It has been the victim of repeated acts of aggression by those neighbors during that time. Israel is willing to negotiate with those who seek peace, but will defend itself vigorously from those who seek its destruction and those who provide them save haven. It is not Israel that needs to change, but rather it is the Arab/Muslim mindset that demands more Jewish blood be spilled.

Oh, yes, and one other thing, commented upon by Golda Meir decades ago – for the enemies of Israel to decide they love their children more than they hate the Jews.





|| Greg, 02:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Weak Case

I cannot see any basis for punishing people/organizations today for actions that took place a century-and-a-half ago – and which were legal at the time.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are among 18 corporate defendants named in a slave-reparations case to be heard tomorrow in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

The case is a consolidation of nine cases filed by African-Americans across America in 2002. Among the other defendants are Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Aetna Inc., New York Life Insurance Co., and Lloyds TSB Group.
Prior to 1865, when slavery was abolished, predecessor companies of J.P.Morgan, Bank of America, and of other banks extended loans to slave-owners using slaves as collateral for the loans, the consolidated lawsuit alleges.

The predecessor companies of major insurance companies, such as Aetna and Lloyds of London, wrote life-insurance policies on the lives of slaves with slaveowners as the beneficiaries, it says.

"Our goal is to secure restitution of ill-gotten gains to create a trust fund to benefit the descendants of slaves," the lead plaintiff in the case, Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, said. The lawsuit was dismissed last year, but she's confident that it will get through on appeals. The case, according to Mrs. Farmer-Paellmann, is similar to the one brought by relatives of Holocaust victims, leading to a $1.25 billion settlement from Swiss banks.

"Slavery is a crime against humanity under international law," she added. "There's no statute of limitation."

Ah – but even accepting that last comment, was slavery recognized as a crime against humanity at the time, or did that designation come later? And what of the question of the legal status of slavery under the domestic laws of the United States? Do we not have a problem with the ex post facto imposition of law?

Throw the suit out – and the plaintiff’s and their attorneys with it.





|| Greg, 02:57 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hate Crime?

The FBI is involved in an investigation of THIS?

FBI agents have joined a Gilbert police investigation into a possible hate crime in which a Black Barbie doll was found hanging by its neck in the car of an African-American woman.

The 24-year-old woman found the doll July 8 after leaving the vehicle unlocked overnight at her apartment complex in the 1300 block of West Juniper Avenue, according to police.

The act potentially specifically targeted the victim, which could warrant federal charges should investigators determine it was motivated by the victim's race, said Special Agent Deborah McCarley, an FBI spokeswoman.

OK – I get the hate part. Could someone explain the underlying CRIME here? And I am being very serious here.





|| Greg, 02:55 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Little Fun

Rusty & Ace have both posted this little bit of fun to their sites -- fake "motivational posters", a parody of the crap they put up around workplaces internationally.

Here's mine.

Baconnotforbreakfast.jpg

Should make the right folks very unhappy.





|| Greg, 04:31 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Exploring Mars

Well over two years later, the two robot explorers of Mars continue their work, succeeding beyond the wildest dreams of NASA scientists.

When the Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit reached their distant destination in early 2004, NASA scientists hoped the vehicles would probe the planet's frigid landscape for 90 days before they pooped out or were undone by the harsh Martian environment.

More than 900 days later, however, both robotic explorers are going strong -- and Opportunity is literally on the cusp of what is likely to be its greatest accomplishment.

After enduring an 18-month trek through rugged terrain, dust devils and daily temperature swings approaching 200 degrees, the rover is scheduled to arrive today within easy lens view of a deep and geologically revealing crater. By tomorrow, if all goes well, the little robot that could will be right at Victoria Crater's edge and in position to peer inside and send back images like none seen before.

"Exploring Victoria is something we joked and fantasized about but never really thought we could realistically get to it," said Steven Squyres of Cornell University, principal investigator for the rovers' science instruments. "This is the absolutely highest-priority destination we could have reached."

The reason is that Victoria is an impact crater about 200 feet deep and half a mile wide, with sheer cliffs and layers upon layers of exposed rock. Before Victoria, the deepest crater the rover visited was Endurance, which is a mere 23 feet deep.

This mission could tell us much about the geology of the Red Planet. Well done, NASA!

* * *

On the other hand, a private space flight program was less successful in its attempt to launch yesterday.

The first rocket launched from New Mexico's spaceport failed to reach suborbital space Monday, wobbling and dropping back to Earth barely a tenth of the way into its intended journey.

The unmanned, 20-foot SpaceLoft XL rocket, among the first to be launched from any commercial U.S. spaceport, was carrying experiments and other payloads for its planned journey 70 miles above Earth.

The rocket took off at 2:14 p.m. and was supposed to drop back to Earth about 13 minutes later at White Sands Missile Range, just north of the launch site. But three miles from the launch site, witnesses saw the rocket wobble, then go into a corkscrew motion before disappearing in the clear sky.

Something went wrong shortly after takeoff. Officials with UP Aerospace, the Connecticut-based company that funded the launch, said the rocket reached only about 40,000 feet.

It was not immediately clear where the craft landed or what condition it was in. Launch logistical coordinator Tracey Larson said it was possible that the rocket and its payload could have survived the crash.

However, having seen the film of early NASA efforts, with rockets tipping over or crumbling on the pad, I still maintain hope for the private sector efforts.





|| Greg, 04:18 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

The winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are ‘You'll Never Know What We Did’ by Done With Mirrors, and Just Outside Westminster Cathedral Today... by Joee Blogs -- A Catholic Londoner.  Here are the full results of the vote.





|| Greg, 04:00 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 25, 2006

The Making Of A Man

I don't even know how to categorize this story. It isn't a news story in the sense I usually think of it. Neither is it exactly an education story. It certainly doesn't qualify as entertainment, where I usually put sports stories. And it is something more than a religion or race peace. It is all of those -- and something more.

It is a story that moves the human heart, if one's soul has not been completely deadened.

It is a story to make one weep with joy, with sadness, and with hope.

It is the story of how one life can be changed, and how the acts of love and kindness that do so change all involved.

It is the story of Michael Oher.

When the file on Michael Oher from the Memphis City Schools hit his desk in the summer of 2002, Steve Simpson, the principal of Briarcrest Christian School, was frankly incredulous. The boy, now 16, had a measured I.Q. of 80, which put him in mankind’s ninth percentile. An aptitude test he took in eighth grade measured his “ability to learn� and placed him in the sixth percentile. The numbers looked like misprints: in a rich white private school like Briarcrest, you never saw single-digit numbers under the column marked “percentile.� Of course, logically, you knew such people must exist; for someone to be in the 99th percentile, someone else had to be in the first. But you didn’t expect to meet them at the Briarcrest Christian School. Academically, Briarcrest might not be the most ambitious school. It spent more time and energy directing its students to Jesus Christ than to Harvard. But the students all went on to college. And they all had at least an average I.Q.

In his first nine years of school, Michael Oher was enrolled in 11 different institutions, and that included a gap of 18 months, around age 10, when he apparently did not attend school at all. Either that or the public schools were so indifferent to his presence that they neglected to register it formally. Not that Oher actually showed up at the schools where he was enrolled. Even when he received credit for attending, he was sensationally absent: 46 days of a single term of his first-grade year, for instance. His first first-grade year, that is; Michael Oher repeated first grade. He repeated second grade, too. And yet the school system presented these early years as the most accomplished of his academic career. They claimed that right through the fourth grade he was performing at “grade level.� How could they know when, according to these transcripts, he hadn’t even attended the third grade?

Simpson, who had spent 30-plus years in area public schools, including 29 in Memphis, knew what everyone who had even a brief brush with the Memphis public schools knew: they passed kids up to the next grade because they found it too much trouble to flunk them. They functioned as an assembly line churning out products never meant to be market-tested. At several schools, Michael Oher had been given F’s in reading his first term and C’s the second term, which allowed him to finish the school year with D’s — they were giving him grades just to get rid of him. And get rid of him they did: seldom did the child return to the school that passed him. The year before Simpson got his file, Michael Oher passed ninth grade at a high school called Westwood. According to his transcripts, he missed 50 days of school that year. Fifty days! At Briarcrest, the rule was that if a student misses 15 days of any class, he has to repeat the class no matter his grade. And yet Westwood had given Michael Oher just enough D’s to move him along. Even when you threw in the B in world geography, clearly a gift from the Westwood basketball coach who taught the class, the grade-point average the student would bring with him to Briarcrest began with a zero: 0.6.

If there was a less promising academic record, Simpson hadn’t seen it. Simpson guessed, rightly, that the Briarcrest Christian School hadn’t seen anything like Michael Oher either. Simpson and others in the Briarcrest community would eventually learn that Michael’s father had been shot and killed and tossed off a bridge, that his mother was addicted to crack cocaine and that his life experience was so narrow that he might as well have spent his first 16 years inside a closet. And yet here was his application, in the summer of 2002, courtesy of the Briarcrest football coach, Hugh Freeze, who offered with it this wildly implausible story: Big Mike, as he was called, was essentially homeless and so had made an art of sleeping on whatever floor the ghetto would provide for him. He crashed for a stretch on the floor of an inner-city character named Tony Henderson, who at nearly 400 pounds himself was known simply as Big Tony. Big Tony’s mom had died and as her dying wish asked Tony to enroll his son Steven Payne at a “Christian school.� Big Tony had figured that as long as he was taking Steven, he might as well take Big Mike, too.

A school took this boy in. So did a family. And with a lot of hard work and determination, they helped this young man overcome a bad start and make it to college.

And, incidentally, become an All-American football player.

I hope that one day we get this young man on our team down here in Houston. Not just because I believe he will help the Texans out with his talent.

But because I believe he will be an asset to our community, and an inspiration to my students.





|| Greg, 06:59 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Teddy Bear Kills 2500 -- Film A 11

This is just too weird!

A teddy bear has been implicated in 2,500 deaths. Of trout, that is. State officials say a teddy bear dropped into a pool at a Fish and Game Department hatchery earlier this month clogged a drain. The clog blocked the flow of oxygen to the pool and suffocated the fish.

Hatcheries supervisor Robert Fawcett said the bear -- who was dressed in yellow raincoat and hat -- is believed to be the first stuffed bear to cause fatalities at the facility.

"We've had pipes get clogged, but it's usually with more naturally occurring things like a frog or even a dead muskrat," he said. "This one turned out to be a teddy bear and we don't know how it got there."

The deaths prompted Fawcett to release a written warning: "RELEASE OF ANY TEDDY BEARS into the fish hatchery water IS NOT PERMITTED."

He said it's not known who dropped the bear, but urged anyone whose bear ends up in a hatchery pool to find a worker to remove it. "They might save your teddy bear, and keep it from becoming a killer," he said.

"It's kind of a cute little teddy bear and people wouldn't think that a cute little teddy bear would be able to kill fish."

But are teddy bears an endangered species?





|| Greg, 06:47 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bravo Aznar

Somebody had to say it.

Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar on Friday defended Pope Benedict XVI’s comments about Islam, saying the pontiff had no need to apologise and asking why Muslims never did, according to newspaper reports published on Saturday.

“Why do we always have to say sorry and they never do?” Mr Aznar told a conference in the United States.

“It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the pope to apologise for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries.”

He was referring to the Muslim conquest of much of the Iberian peninsula, which lasted from the eighth to the 15th century.

And might we add to that the Muslim conquest of other Christian territory, such as the Holy Land, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, North Africa, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia. . . .





|| Greg, 04:51 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Romney Blogging

Another great piece on my preferred candidate for President in 2008, Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, looking at the reception from the social conservative base at this weekend’s Family Research Council convention.

But another potential candidate benefited greatly from showing up. Surprisingly, it was Massachusetts' Gov. Mitt Romney, a Mormon with a Harvard M.B.A who governs the nation's most liberal state. The 1,800 delegates applauded him frequently during his Friday speech and gave him a standing ovation afterward. Mr. Romney detailed his efforts to block court-imposed same-sex marriage in the Bay State and noted that the liberal Legislature has failed to place a citizen-initiated referendum on the ballot. He excoriated liberals for supporting democracy only when they think that the outcome is a foregone conclusion that favors their views. He certainly picked up fans at the summit. "I believe Mitt Romney may be the only hope social conservatives have in 2008," says Maggie Gallagher, author of a book defending traditional marriage.

The tall barrier many see as blocking his acceptance by evangelical voters--the fact that many Americans view Mormonism with suspicion or worse--may prove to be a mirage. "Everyone I talked to said they didn't have a problem with it," one attendee told me. "If enough people say that to each other, Romney creates a virtuous circle in which evangelical activists decide he's acceptable." Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition, notes that something similar has happened in recent years as devout Catholic and evangelical Protestants have increasingly focused on areas of agreement. "Romney won't be the ideal choice for evangelicals, but against a McCain in the primary or a Hillary Clinton in the general election there's no doubt where most would go," he says.

I am a conservative who is a Christian, but not a Christian Conservative. I like Romney on the issues, and firmly believe that he is a candidate who can win. Pair him with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or Senator John Cornyn of Texas and you have a ticket that will appeal across the board.





|| Greg, 04:49 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Persona Non Grata

After the undiplomatic bile spewed from the putrid mouth of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, why should we be surprised by this garbage emanating from one of his toadies?

Venezuela's foreign minister said he was illegally detained for 90 minutes by officials at a New York airport and accused them of treating him abusively by trying to frisk and handcuff him.

U.S. officials called Saturday's incident regrettable and said they had apologized to Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro. Maduro called that insufficient and said Venezuela would seek a legal challenge through the U.N. to what he called a "flagrant violation of international law" and his diplomatic immunity.

"We were detained for an hour and a half, threatened by police with being beaten," Maduro told reporters at Venezuela's mission to the U.N. "We hold the U.S. government responsible."

A U.N. diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said Maduro's trip was delayed because he had showed up late without a ticket, prompting extra screening.

Maduro and Chavez want the UN to investigate and punish the US for this event.

The solution is simple – place Chavez, Maduro, and all other Venezuelan government officials on the “persona non grata” list and prohibit their return to the US. If the corrupt officials of the UN object, suggest that they relocate to another country – and inform the morally-backrupt organization that the US will cut its dues payments in half once the organization ceases to pollute our shores.





|| Greg, 04:48 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Cost Of Illegal Immigration

Let’s ignore the impact on wages and crime statistics. Let’s just look at the impact at local hospitals.

Rising numbers of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America are streaming into Texas to give birth, straining hospitals and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, health officials say.

Doctors and health officials say they are overwhelmed by both the new arrivals and those immigrant mothers who already are in the state. Even Houston's feeling the pinch. An estimated 70 percent to 80 percent of the 10,587 births at Ben Taub General Hospital and Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital last year were to undocumented immigrants, administrators say.

Also feeling the strain is Starr County, an already poor South Texas county that has the region's only taxpayer-supported hospital district.

Immigrants "want a U.S.-born baby" and know that emergency room staffers don't collect any money up front, said Dr. Mario Rodriguez, an obstetrician in Starr County.

"The word is out: Come to Starr County and get delivered for free. Why pay $1,000 in Mexico when you can get it for free?" Rodriguez said.

''When we are separated only by the distance of the river, it's easy to do," Starr County hospital administrator Thalia Muñoz said. "It's gotten worse, and it's because the economy in Mexico is not good and because we provide all these benefits."

Yep – you and I, dear taxpayers, are providing “free delivery” for Mexican children who then have all the rights of American citizenship because of their parents’ wrong-doing. And all while we are expected to pay our own medical bills.

What does it cost?

Starr County Memorial Hospital had $3.6 million in uncollected medical bills in 2005, up from $1.5 million in 2002. The total when fiscal 2006 ends on Sept. 30 is expected to hit $3.9 million, chief financial officer Rafael Olivarez said. Unpaid bills for the past five years will reach nearly $13 million, he said.

To make up for the shortfall, Starr County's hospital district is proposing a 25 percent tax hike.

Already, the U.S. government is pitching in, setting aside $1 billion in Medicaid funds to pay for emergency care received by undocumented migrants over the next four years.

But Olivarez said getting the reimbursements isn't easy. Federal officials ''told us at a meeting they would pay us about 20 cents on the dollar," he said. "But it's better than nothing."

And here in Houston, the cost is staggering.

In all, 57,072 patients visited the district's hospitals, clinics and health centers last year, and nearly a fifth were undocumented, Rasp said. The cost of their treatment was $97.3 million, up from $55 million in 2002.

One county spending nearly $100,000,000 care for criminal aliens who violate our laws by their very presence.

It is time to stop.

Ask their status. Refuse them all but life-saving medical care.

Round ‘em up.

Ship ‘em back.

Rawhide!





|| Greg, 04:47 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Hero Returns

Private Francis Lupo was listed as "Missing, Presumed Dead" at the end of World War I. Now, nearly nine decades later, he is coming home.

Missing in action, presumed dead.

And eventually he faded from living memory. His generation passed away, with everyone who loved him, everyone who mourned him. Time rendered him faceless. He was just a name, one of hundreds chiseled in limestone in a cemetery chapel 4,000 miles from home.

LUPO FRANCIS PVT 18TH INF

1ST DIV JULY 21 1918 OHIO

A lost doughboy.

But now he is found.

Discovered by chance, unearthed in 2003 by archaeologists looking for ancient remains, Pvt. Francis Lupo of Cincinnati has returned from the front at last, nearly 90 years after boarding a troop ship for France. Tomorrow, the Army will bury him again, this time with honors at Arlington National Cemetery, laying to rest possibly the longest-missing U.S. soldier ever recovered and identified: a ghost of World War I.

Lupo, killed at 23, most likely on his first day in heavy fighting, will get a fine Arlington send-off, with all the Army's Old Guard solemn pomp: a horse-drawn caisson; a bugler; rifle volleys; a tri-folded American flag for his next of kin, a niece born 15 years after the armistice.

May the day come when there are no more American soldiers listed as "Missing, Presumed Dead".





|| Greg, 04:11 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 24, 2006

Chris Simms In Hospital -- NBC Reports Condition Critical

But Simms' team denies that this is the case.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms was taken by ambulance to a Tampa hospital Sunday afternoon.

Several news sources say Simms is in critical condition, although a top official with the Buccaneers is denying that report.

Officials at St. Joseph's Hospital, where Simms was taken, are not commenting on the quarterback's condition.

Buccaneers' general manager Bruce Allen this evening vehemently denied to NBC Sports that Simms is in critical condition. However, Allen confirmed that members of Simms' family, including his father, former NFL quarterback Phil Simms, had been contacted.

Simms was hospitalized a short time after the Buccaneers' last-minute 26-24 NFL loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Simms appeared to experience medical problems during the game. He was hit hard several times by Panthers defensive players and was taken out of the game in the third quarter. Announcers said Simms had suffered from dehydration in the 90-degree-plus heat and high humidity in Tampa.

Regardless of the case, let us offer prayers for his recovery -- after all, football is only a game.

UPDATE: Simms has had his spleen removed.

Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms had his spleen removed after taking several hard hits in Sunday's 26-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers and was resting in a hospital, the Buccaneers confirmed in a statement.

"Chris Simms suffered an injury to his spleen during today's game and was taken to the hospital," said Buccaneers team doctor Joe Diaco. "He underwent a spleenectomy (removal of the spleen) this evening and is in stable condition. Chris is doing well and we anticipate a full recovery."

After taking several hard hits to the rib area during the game, Simms missed only two plays due to what was believed to be dehydration. He also experienced what was beleived to be cramping, but now appears likely to be the effects of the injury which required this surger.

I'm guessing the Tampa Bay QB will be out for a while





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Pope's Message To The West

Lost in the sound and fury over the Pope's use of the seven century old words of a Byzantine emperor to critique Islam has been Benedict's critique of the decline of the notion of objective truth in the West.

The pope's third point — which has been almost entirely ignored — was directed to the West. If the West's high culture keeps playing in the sandbox of postmodern irrationalism — in which there is "your truth" and "my truth" but nothing such as "the truth" — the West will be unable to defend itself. Why? Because the West won't be able to give reasons why its commitments to civility, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law are worth defending.

A Western world stripped of convictions about the truths that make Western civilization possible cannot make a useful contribution to a genuine dialogue of civilizations, for any such dialogue must be based on a shared understanding that human beings can, however imperfectly, come to know the truth of things.

The abandonment of the notion of objective truths that can be know through rational inquiry will be the death of Western Civilization -- either through internal decay or external attack. The Pope's challenge to the West is to recover a precious nugget that underlies the Western tradition -- indeed, that is fundamental to the notion that there are unalienable rights that each of us has based upon our humanity. Will we in the West accept that challenge, even as we challenge the Islamic world to balance faith with rationality in an effort to bring respect for every human person into a religion that has been tinged with barbarism for far too long?





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

September 23, 2006

Pray For Muslims

Only through prayer can the evil that is jihadi Islam be overcome. This is a spiritual war, not just a military one.

As such, I'd like to encourage folks to participate in this effort.

When Muslims begin the holy month of Ramadan this weekend, Christians worldwide will be praying along with them. But Muslims may not welcome the support. In a campaign called the “30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus,” Christians will be asking God to help Muslims accept Jesus.

The project is organized by a loose association of evangelical groups that include Youth With A Mission, which works in about 150 countries. In the U.S., the National Association of Evangelicals is asking the thousands of churches and ministries it represents to participate.

Lynn Green, international chairman of Youth With A Mission, said organizers chose Ramadan because it is a time when Muslims pray for God’s acceptance and guidance and “we add our prayers to theirs,” Green said. “We are praying they really know God.”

And for them to know God, it is clear that they must reject the false teachings of Mohammad that are contained in the Quran.

To learn more about 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, click here. Their prayer booklet may be viewed and downloaded by clicking here. And you can subscribe to their prayer email list, click here.

Let's do our best as Christians to bring Muslims to the True Living Word of God -- Jesus. It is the best way to break the power of jihadi islam.





|| Greg, 01:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Child Molesting Wetback Murders Houston Cop

UPDATE: I seem to have used a certain term in this post, a term that I have always understood as referring to immigration status, but which i am now informed is racially/ethnically insensitive. I apologize. I won't change the word on my site, though, because I do not go back and hide my mistakes or bury evidence of my own errors.

After all, they are all just here looking for a better life and honest work. They certainly don't contribute to the crime problem.

Yeah, right.

I'd suggest you ask Officer Rodney Johnson, a 12 year veteran of the Houston police Department. Unfortunately, you can't.

A simple traffic stop — as routine for Rodney Johnson as putting on his uniform or waving to the residents of the southside neighborhoods he often patrolled — turned suddenly tragic Thursday evening when the veteran Houston police officer was shot and killed as he sat in the front seat of his patrol car near Hobby Airport.

When other officers arrived minutes later at the scene in the 9300 block of Randolph, a handcuffed man remained in the back seat of the squad car along with a pistol thought to have been used in the shooting.

Just after 5 p.m., Johnson had stopped a pickup with two people inside. It was unclear why he detained or handcuffed the driver, though an officer familiar with the incident said he had no identification on him. At least one female passenger left, possibly with Johnson's permission, but Police Chief Harold Hurtt said he thought officers had found the woman and were bringing her to headquarters for questioning.

A source familiar with the scene said Johnson was shot four times through the plastic shield separating the front and rear seats. Johnson managed to push his emergency button before collapsing. The 12-year veteran of the department was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A tragedy, beyond all question. Houston mourns for a hero who died in a senseless shooting.

But why the shooting over the traffic stop? Because the shooter was going to face deportation -- again.

[Homicide Capt. Dale] Brown said the suspect did not tell investigators why he fired.

"Nothing definitive ... ," Brown said. "My personal belief is that he was upset about being arrested rather than being written a ticket. And I believe he was upset, because he knew he was going to be discovered as a deported alien, and that he was going to spend several years in a federal prison before being deported."

[Juan Leonardo] Quintero was deported as an illegal felon in 1999, following a charge of indecency with a child, Brown said.

Court records show Quintero was given deferred adjudication in that case. Brown said Quintero's previous criminal record included an arrest for driving while intoxicated, for driving with a suspended license and for failing to stop and give information after an automobile accident.

I guess he hoped that he could get away and avoid being sent back where he came from -- twice -- in violation of American laws. After all, what is the blood of a single American cop when compared to the right of a wetback child molester to stay in the US in violation of American laws?

Houston's ineffective and incompetent Chief of Police, Harold Hurtt, blames the feds for the shooting, and feels that the murder of one of his officers is no reason for Houston cops to start helping to enforce our nation's immigration laws, even though the first thing every wetback does upon entering the United States is to break the law.

After a capital-murder charge was filed against an illegal immigrant in connection with the death of Officer Rodney Johnson, Chief Harold Hurtt firmly defended the Houston Police Department's policy of not enforcing immigration laws.

"If the government would fulfill their responsibility of protecting the border," he told reporters Friday afternoon, "we probably would not be standing here today."

* * *

Hurtt called a provision sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, that would cut federal funding to police departments that did not enforce immigration laws "misguided and wrong" and said the measure would detract officers from dealing with more serious crimes.

I'll agree that the federal government needs to do more, but banning the enforcement of immigration violations by HPD is no more sensible than banning the arrest of those sought for other federal crimes.

I support the Culberson bill.

I support closing the border and fencing it off to keep these immigration criminals out of my country.

And I support the state of Texas quickly sending Juan Leonardo Quintero to Hell, where he belongs -- and billing Mexico for all expenses incurred in trying, housing, and executing him.

And to those of you offended by my use of the word "wetback", might I suggest that you can go set up the "Welcome Home" party for Quintero in his future infernal abode. a murdering, child-molesting border-jumping sumbag like him deserves no respect from any American.





|| Greg, 08:43 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 22, 2006

Students Object To Plagiarism Detection

What next -- a prohibition on checking references from the bibliography?

When McLean High School students write this year about Othello or immigration policy, their teachers won't be the only ones examining the papers. So will a California company that specializes in catching cheaters.

The for-profit service known as Turnitin checks student work against a database of more than 22 million papers written by students around the world, as well as online sources and electronic archives of journals. School administrators said the service, which they will start using next week, is meant to deter plagiarism at a time when the Internet makes it easy to copy someone else's words.

But some McLean High students are rebelling. Members of the new Committee for Students' Rights said they do not cheat or condone cheating. But they object to Turnitin's automatically adding their essays to the massive database, calling it an infringement of intellectual property rights. And they contend that the school's action will tar students at one of Fairfax County's academic powerhouses.

"It irked a lot of people because there's an implication of assumed guilt," said Ben Donovan, 18, a senior who helped collect 1,190 student signatures on a petition against mandatory use of the service. "It's like if you searched every car in the parking lot or drug-tested every student."

But the school can search every car in the parking lot without a warrant -- that is part of the agreement you make with the school when you get your parking sticker. And they can search your locker without a warrant as well.

And speaking as a teacher, I've seen how rampant plagiarism really is. Several years ago, one of my students submitted a research paper in which he told of sittin on a hillside overlooking Nagasaki, mentally tracing the path of the falling atomic bomb. The paper was lfed in its entirety from a website ("but I didn't copy anything -- my uncle wrote the paper for me"). In my college-level night class, I recently received a paper which was cut and pasted from multiple sources without even anything to connect the parts -- and included the claim that the NAACP had given the author their photo archive for cataloging and preservation (a direct copy from the Library of Congress website) without a single citation.

Either our students need more to develop greater personal honesty, or they need to accept that being checked for plagiarism is part of the implied contract between teacher and students.





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September 21, 2006

A Happy Accident

Trying to eliminate some of the comment spam, several non-spam comments were unintentionally deleted.

However, since they are from foul-mouthed leftist trool MYOB (aka Bubba) and Holocaust-denying troll KKKen Hoop, I don't feel they are worth losing any sleep over.





|| Greg, 05:33 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Political Rights Restricted In Thailand

I was challenged yesterday when I asserted that the coup in Thailand was a threat to liberty, not just democracy.

Well, the authoritarian nature of the military has asserted itself already.

Thailand's new ruling junta on Thursday announced a ban on meetings of political parties and barred the establishment of new parties.

The announcement, made on all Thai television stations, said the action was taken to maintain peace and order.

The bans are the latest moves by the junta to maintain control, even though no open opposition have surfaced to its Tuesday night takeover. Other moves include limitations on public meetings and restrictions on the media.

Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the right to petition the government, the right to associate for political purposes -- all gone by government decree. I stand by my assertion.

And i wish the Bush Administration would do and say more on behalf of the democratic institutions of Thailand.





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NY Times Comes Out For Dirty Elections

In opposing laws to require voters to prove their identity, that's the result they are seeking. Oh, they say they are simply against laws that keep eligible voters from voting, but we know what their real motive is -- making sure that their preferred political party can continue to engage in the voter fraud that has allowed it to hold on to power in parts of this country.

Think I'm being unfair with that assessment? If i am, i am being no more unfair than the NY Times itself in today's editorial opposing photo ID for voting.

One of the cornerstones of the Republican Party’s strategy for winning elections these days is voter suppression, intentionally putting up barriers between eligible voters and the ballot box. The House of Representatives took a shameful step in this direction yesterday, voting largely along party lines for onerous new voter ID requirements. Laws of this kind are unconstitutional, as an array of courts have already held, and profoundly undemocratic. The Senate should not go along with this cynical, un-American electoral strategy.

The bill the House passed yesterday would require people to show photo ID to vote in 2008. Starting in 2010, that photo ID would have to be something like a passport, or an enhanced kind of driver’s license or non-driver’s identification, containing proof of citizenship. This is a level of identification that many Americans simply do not have.

The bill was sold as a means of deterring vote fraud, but that is a phony argument. There is no evidence that a significant number of people are showing up at the polls pretending to be other people, or that a significant number of noncitizens are voting.

Noncitizens, particularly undocumented ones, are so wary of getting into trouble with the law that it is hard to imagine them showing up in any numbers and trying to vote. The real threat of voter fraud on a large scale lies with electronic voting, a threat Congress has refused to do anything about.

Now, if th times wants to make the argument that the law is unnecessary or unwise, more power to them. If they want to argue that the standard places un unreasonable burden, I've got no problem with that. If they want to argue that the documented cases of voter fraud and non-citizen voting are insignificant, feel free to do so.

But this argument is simply dsgusting, and without foundation.

The actual reason for this bill is the political calculus that certain kinds of people — the poor, minorities, disabled people and the elderly — are less likely to have valid ID. They are less likely to have cars, and therefore to have drivers’ licenses. There are ways for nondrivers to get special ID cards, but the bill’s supporters know that many people will not go to the effort if they don’t need them to drive.

If this bill passed the Senate and became law, the electorate would likely become more middle-aged, whiter and richer — and, its sponsors are anticipating, more Republican.

No evidence to support the charge -- simply an assertion. And an utterly shameful one at that.

I'm the local election judge. I run the polling places here in my precinct. I remembeer when folks could walk in with virtually anything to vote -- and remember one guy who had to check the name on the phone bill before signing the voter registry. I remember how much better things got after Texas tightened it voter identification requirements. Now I 'll concede that I think the current bill before Congress is problematic -- because of its potential for establishing a national ID card and database -- but I think that meeting the same requirement for voting that is required to buy groceries witha check at Krogers four blocks away is not an unreasonable step.





|| Greg, 04:28 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 20, 2006

Irresponsible Thoughtlessness

HIV, AIDS and other blood-borne pathogens have only been a serious concern in this country for a quarter-century – how could anyone dealing with medicine or science possibly be so cavalier about the health of others?

A science teacher was suspended for allowing students to use the same instrument to draw blood from their fingers as part of a class project, district officials said Tuesday.

About 50 students in two science classes at Salina High School South used the same lancet, or small pin, to prick their fingers on Monday, said Carol Pitts, spokeswoman for the Salina school district.

The science teacher, who was not identified, was suspended with pay during an investigation, Pitts said.

Pitts said there was additional concern that some of the students may have come in contact with blood when they washed the science experiment slides. She said it was unclear what experiment the classes were doing, but they may have been checking blood glucose levels.

She said the district was taking steps to ensure that the students were tested for diseases such as HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — and hepatitis, both of which can be spread by using a shared instrument to draw blood. The district was working with Saline County Health Department to establish testing procedures for the students.

"This is minimal risk," said Yvonne Gibbons, director of the health department. "I don't think there is any reason to panic, but we're cautioning the school to take the best possible course they can, and that would be to have the kids tested."

I’m a recently diagnosed diabetic, married to another diabetic. We each do glucose tests a couple of times a day – and we are scrupulous about ensuring that we dispose of the used lancets and test strips in a save manner for the sake of others. If this teacher was allowing lancets to be reused, he or she deserves to be fired. If it was just the lancing device, I’m less concerned but still troubled. Safety when dealing with body fluids should always be the rule in a classroom.





|| Greg, 05:27 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Intolerant Atheists Demand Irreligious Tolerance

And that means that all of us believers aren’t allowed to express ourselves where they might possibly be exposed to ideas and concepts that they reject. And that especially goes for politicians.

An atheist civil rights organization on Tuesday charged that a partisan campaign ad filmed in a Tennessee Baptist church sends a “divisive” message and is “religionizing” important public policy issues.

The television commercial was filmed on behalf of Democratic candidate Harold Ford, Jr. who is running against Republican Bob Corker.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time a partisan political ad has been produced using the backdrop of a church,” said Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists. “It’s part of a larger and disturbing trend where candidates are invoking religion in order to woo constituencies and win elections.”

Ms. Johnson added that by “playing the religion card,” candidates like Mr. Ford were marginalizing and excluding millions of Atheists, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and other nonbelievers.

Dave Silverman, communications director for American Atheists, said that Mr. Ford’s ad "is more than a simple statement of personal beliefs. It’s pandering, and it raises serious questions about a candidate who does something like this would represent all of the people in his state if elected, or uphold the separation of church and state.”

So it is really simple – the overwhelming majority of Americans just need to shut up so as not to offend an obnoxious and intolerant minority that is too insecure in its non-belief to risk being exposed to contrary views. If they don’t believe it, we aren’t allowed to talk about it publicly.

But we will not be silent, because they are not the only Americans with civil rights.





|| Greg, 05:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Not That It Is A Blood-Thirsty, Barbaric Religion That Kills Non-Believers

Will all the “good Muslims” who follow “true Islam” condemn this cold-blooded murder as incompatible with the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad?

Somali Christian sources report that Ali Mustaf Maka'il, a 22-year-old college student and cloth merchant, who converted from Islam to Christianity eleven months ago, was shot and killed in the Manabolyo quarter of Mogadishu on September 7.

According to a report from The Barnabas Fund, quoting a Christian source inside Somalia, the gunman was loyal to the Union of Islamic Courts (ICU), the Islamist organization that took power in Mogadishu in early June 2006 and now controls much of southern Somalia.

The report states: "The gunman shot Ali in the back after he refused to join a crowd chanting Qur'an verses in honor of the lunar eclipse. (Solar and lunar eclipses are significant in Islam and are accompanied by special congregational prayers.) The ICU confiscated his body for 24 hours before delivering it to the grieving family."

The Barnabas Fund says: "It seems that under the new Islamist rulers, who include hard-line jihadi elements, the tragic history of persecution and martyrdom for Somalia's tiny Christian community is set to continue and most likely to worsen."

The group reports that in July 2006 there were unconfirmed reports that three Christians had been shot and killed by Islamists as they returned home from a prayer meeting.

It adds: "In October 2005 an evangelist and house church leader, Osman Sheik Ahmed, was shot dead by Islamist radicals. Children of Christian Somali refugees in Kenya have been kidnapped by Muslim relatives and taken to Islamic institutions in Somalia for 'rehabilitation.' "

The Barnabas Fund explains that the leader of the ICU, Hassan Dahir Aweys, promised to implement shari'a in all areas he controls.

"According to shari'a, apostates (those who leave Islam for another religion), must be killed. ICU leaders have even threatened to kill as apostates Muslims who are lax in their prayers, claiming this is commanded by shari'a. Several Muslims have been publicly flogged for drug related offences since the ICU took control."

I’m not asking for anything outrageous, am I? Merely a statement by prominent Islamic leaders that Islam respects the free conscience of every man, woman, and child, and that each person has the right to follow their conscience in religious matters, even if that means they reject Islam and take up another faith.

H/T Jawa Report





|| Greg, 05:19 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

If They Broadcast Her, Will Christians Riot?

Of course not, even though Madonna’s blasphemous show is at least as insulting towards Christianity as any of the Danish cartoons or papal quotes were towards Islam.

The NBC television network is still making up its mind about whether it will allow pop star Madonna to stage a mock crucifixion on its airwaves as part of her upcoming prime-time concert special.

The 48-year-old entertainer has made the crucifixion stunt, in which she performs while suspended on a giant cross wearing a crown of thorns, a centerpiece of her global "Confessions" tour.

Her stage act drew storms of protest from the Roman Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church during recent performances in Rome and Moscow, with church leaders condemning the mock crucifixion as blasphemy.

But executives at NBC, owned by the General Electric Co. will wait for makers of her concert special to submit the production for review before deciding whether to allow the mock crucifixion to air.

If this were something offensive to Muslims, would the network even consider broadcasting it? We already know the answer, based on NBC’s failure to show the Danish cartoons earlier this year out of “sensitivity” to Islamic dogma. That there would be a question in this case is outrageous.

On the other hand, maybe the problem is that they know that Christians aren’t going to blow up their television stations or behead their employees – Muslims will.





|| Greg, 05:18 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Panda Bites Man/Man Bites Panda

Some folks do really stupid things when they drink.

A drunken Chinese migrant worker jumped into a panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo, was bitten by the bear and retaliated by chomping down on the animal's back, state media said Wednesday.

Zhang Xinyan, from the central province of Henan, drank four jugs of beer at a restaurant near the zoo before visiting Gu Gu the panda on Tuesday, the Beijing Morning Post said.

"He felt a sudden urge to touch the panda with his hand," and jumped into the enclosure, the newspaper said.

The panda, who was asleep, was startled and bit Zhang, 35, on the right leg, it said. Zhang got angry and kicked the panda, who then bit his other leg. A tussle ensued, the paper said.

"I bit the fellow in the back," Zhang was quoted as saying in the newspaper. "Its skin was quite thick."

Other tourists yelled for a zookeeper, who got the panda under control by spraying it with water, reports said. Zhang was hospitalized.

Newspaper photographs showed Zhang lying on a hospital bed with blood-soaked bandages and a seam of stitches running down his leg.

The Beijing Youth Daily quoted Zhang as saying that he had seen pandas on television and "they seemed to get along well with people."

"No one ever said they would bite people," Zhang said. "I just wanted to touch it. I was so dizzy from the beer. I don't remember much."

Almost had ourselves a Darwin Award winner here – he’s certainly entitled to an honorable mention.

By the way, I think this story contains a line that can be used as a really great euphemism -- "touch the panda with his hand."





|| Greg, 05:17 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

If You Want To Pledge To Its Flag, Start Driving South

This is outrageous.

Some parents in Freeport were livid after they said a Velasco Elementary School assembly last week included a requirement that children say the pledge of allegiance to the Mexican flag.

One mother, who has a daughter enrolled at the school, told KTRH News she couldn’t believe a school assembly would include children holding small Mexican flags and reciting a pledge in Spanish. “Where is the sensitivity to the men and women who have fought and died for this country?” the mother asked.

Several parents have complained to the Brazosport Independent School District administration, school officials confirmed, but claims that students were required to recite a pledge to the Mexican flag were simply false, a school spokesman said.

Brazosport District Spokesman Stuart Dornburg said, “A group of parents, who are volunteers, did get up on stage and recite the pledge to the Mexican flag … the students did not recite the pledge.”

If you are so enamored of Mexico, it isn’t all that far. And please make it a one-way trip.





|| Greg, 05:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

About a diference that makes all the difference.

jesusmohammad.jpg

It seems pretty clear which is the true religion of peace.





|| Greg, 04:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Thai Coup

Military coups are a good thing only under the most rare of circumstances. The events of the last 24 hours in Thailand don't meet that standard by even the most generous assessment.

Thai army leaders deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a longtime ally of President Bush, using tanks and soldiers to seize the capital Tuesday night without firing a shot. The coup was the first in 15 years in a country where many people believed that military seizures of power were a thing of the past.

Thaksin was in New York, attending the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, when soldiers surrounded Government House, his office, at about 10:30 p.m. He declared a state of emergency by telephone, but his announcement, carried on television, was cut off midway and had no discernible effect as army units seized key facilities in a light rain.

Thaksin cancelled a scheduled address to the UN, a move which I am sorry to see. It would have been instructive for him to speak to the body in order to call upon the nations of the world to reject this assault on democratic institution and to refuse recognition to the illegitimate regime which now holds power in Bangkok.

Why the coup?

Thaksin, a former senior police official who built a fortune in the telecommunications industry, has faced street protests for much of the year over allegations of corruption, abuse of power and a bungling response to a Muslim insurgency. Many military officers contended that he was trying to interfere with promotions and postings in the armed forces.

When it comes right down to it, I believe the last reason was probably the most pressing. Someone's son-in-law or protege probably didn't get the promotion or posting that they were expecting, and that may well have touched matters off. After all, civilian control of the military is a must in a free society, but it seems like the Thai army prefers military control of the civilians.

It also appears taht Thailand's king may be backing the coup -- a sign that the Thai monarchy may need to be abolished or restricted. If he was involved, it would be appropriate for King Bhumibol Adulyadej to face the same punishment -- whether prison or execution -- as the leaders of the coup.

Does any of this mean that I think Thaksin was or is a great leader? hardly, for liberty in Thailand has not been strongly supported. However, elections were coming before this coup -- now there will be none, with a military dictatorship taking the place of an admittedly flawed democratic system. The Houston Chonicle put it well today (in an editorial shocking in its timeliness).

Prime Minister Thaksin makes a poor example of elected government. He has endured charges of corruption and abuse of power. He does not recognize freedom of speech or of the press and refuses to resign.

However, the people elected Thaksin and soon will have a chance to replace him, if the army allows. Thailand would be better off with a deeply flawed leader ultimately accountable to the electorate than what it has now: a military dictator who has revoked the constitution.

Indeed, liberty is even more deeply endangered by this coup than by the short-comings of the Thaksin government.





|| Greg, 04:15 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 19, 2006

Turnabout Is Fair Play – But Not The Liberal Way

All the moonbats are upset that Joe Lieberman has stayed in the Connecticut Senate race rather than supporting and endorsing moonbat nominee Ned Lamont. They claim that the three-term senator is somehow obligated to back the primary winner.

But the moonbat who opposed Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination refuses to endorse her.

The anti-Iraq war activist who was crushed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in last week's Democratic Senate primary said Tuesday he would not support her re-election bid and called on his supporters to vote against her.

"I urge my supporters and the people who voted for me to vote their conscience," said Jonathan Tasini. "Every vote that is not cast for the incumbent is a clear repudiation of an immoral war."

The reaction from the Clinton camp was curt: "Who cares?" said Howard Wolfson.

Tasini, a former president of the National Writers' Union, did not endorse any specific candidate in the Senate race, which many see as a prelude to a 2008 White House run by the former first lady.

I guess that the “party loyalty” argument only goes one way – in favor of the latte-sipping surrender-chimps of the Bush-bashing hate-America Left. When the finge-oids are rejected by the party of the Left, they won’t give what they demand of others.





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Is Islam Crazy?

Is Islam the religious face of Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Raymond Kraft looks at the DSM-IV definition of that personality disorder and notes that common Islamic behavior fits precisely point for point with the definition of that disorder.

Muslims feel free to call Jews "apes and pigs," they feel free to march in the streets calling for "Death to America," the Great Satan, they feel free to riot across France, burning thousands of cars and homes and businesses, for weeks. They feel free to execute homosexuals for their homosexuality, and send women to prison for the crime, or sin, of having been raped, or stone them for actual or suspected adultery. But at the slightest suggestion that they, or Islam, or the Prophet, are any less perfect than they claim to be, they erupt in fury and violence, the behavior of a culture fixated at the emotional level of a narcissistic four-year-old who throws a screaming tantrum every time he does not get precisely what his childish little heart desires.


With this thought in mind I turned to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association, to the section on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And now I am going to offend Islam, again. For the tantrums of Islam that we see in every day's news match precisely all of the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder:


"Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:


(1) Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).


The Islamic world of today has precisely this grandiose and delusional sense of self-importance, as it declares Islam to be the cure for all the world's ills, despite the rather obvious fact that where militant Islam is dominant, as with the Taliban in Afghanistan, society regresses into barbarity. Each day I open the paper to see that the Religion of Peace has slaughtered another hundred Iraqis in Iraq, or that, having failed to develop anything even vaguely resembling a self-sustaining economy and destroying most of what was left to the Palestinians by the Israelis when they withdrew, Hamas in Gaza cannot even pay the salaries of its own employees and must go about panhandling the "international community" for enough money to feed its people, dependant on the charity of its enemies. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rattling his nuclear saber, threatening the annihilation of Israel and proclaiming that Iran is better suited than America to "lead the world," blithely avoids the fact that the prosperity of Iran, and the populist largesse it allows him to shower on the Iranian people, and his own derivative sense of power and purpose, largely depend on the sale of Iran's petroleum to the Western countries he despises.


The Islam of today does not export science, or literature, or music, or art, or charity, or humanitarianism, or freedom. Islam has produced no Einsteins, no Da Vincis, no Beethovens, no Churchills or Franklin D. Roosevelts, no Declarations of Human Rights, no Mother Theresas. Islam today exports oil, and terror.


Yet Islam wallows in the self-inflicted delusion that it is the center of the world and the quintessence of civilization.


(2) Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success.


The Islamic Jihad of today is rather publicly preoccupied with the fantasy that it will destroy Israel and the rest of Western Civilization, and usher in an eternal Fourth Reich of Theocratic Islamic Totalitarianism, fulfilling the word of the Prophet at Koran 9:33 - "He it is who hath sent His Apostle with the Guidance and a religion of truth, that he may make it victorious over every other religion..."


(3) Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).


Islam from its inception has taught that it is "Special," and that Muslims should associate insofar as possible only with other Muslims. As the Prophet said in Koran 5:60, 76: "O you who believe! Take not Jews and Christians as friends. They are but one another's friends. If any one of you taketh them for his friends, he surely is one of them! God will not guide the evil doers...Infidels now are they who say, 'God is the Messiah, the Son of Mary;' for the Messiah said, 'O children of Israel! worship God, my Lord and your Lord.' Whosoever shall join other gods with God, God shall forbid him the Garden, and his abode shall be the Fire; and the wicked shall have no helpers..."


Indeed, "Specialness," the instant and effortless "Specialness" that does not come from achievement or accomplishment, or from humanitarian service, but merely from the act of belief in the Prophet and in Islam, is the great and terrible seduction of fundamentalist Islam, and those who become martyrs, who commit suicide and murder, killing Infidels (who are not "Special," because they are not Believers), achieve the greatest of all possible "Specialness" in the eyes of Allah and in the annals of Islam and are greatly rewarded in Paradise.


Islam, unique among the world's religions, is the only religion which confers its highest accolade of "Specialness" upon those who murder others and themselves, acts which other religions call "sins." Christianity and Judaism honor those who minister to others. Islam honors those who kill. In the world of militant Islam, only Muslims are Special, and among Muslims, the most Special people of all are its mass murderers, who in any other culture would be condemned to prison or death or ignominy as mass murderers.


(4) Requires excessive admiration.

This is a corollary of Islam's pathological obsession with its "Specialness" and the inferiority of those who are Unbelievers, those who follow any other religious faith, or no faith at all. When Islam is insufficiently admired (or, God forbid, critiqued) by those it is attempting to kill, enslave, dominate, and subjugate, Muslims around the world riot and protest that they have been offended and demand apologies. The stance of Islam toward the West is, We can slaughter you, but you cannot criticize us. We can call you pigs and apes and infidels worthy only of death and hell, but you must admire us.


(5) Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or compliance with his or her expectations.


Throughout Europe, and in other non-Muslim countries, Islamic immigrants and communities expect special treatment. They expect respect for their demands to be governed by Sharia, rather than by the laws of the countries to which they have immigrated. They do not want to assimilate into the cultures and societies into which they have come, rather, they demand that France, Denmark, Germany, England, and all other Western nations that now have large Muslim communities, accommodate them. Islam sees itself as the defining force of every community and culture and country into which it spreads. It is intolerant of all others, and it intends, in time, to displace and then replace all others. Islam dreams of a world in which there is no East and West, no Judaism, no Christianity, no Hinduism, no Buddhism, no Agnostics and no Atheists, only Islam. This is what the Prophet has promised, and to this it is entitled.


Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday" "[Muslim nations] should have tanks, warplanes, warships, guns and missiles...Yes, they need to have nuclear weapons too, because only with the possession of such would their enemies be deterred from attacking them...Well, if you allow Israel to have them, why should the others not have them too?"


He ignores, of course, the fact that Islam has enemies only because it has declared war on everyone else. If Islam were in truth a religion of peace, it would have no enemies, and it would need no weapons.


But they are Special. They are entitled.


(6) Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.


Islam has been, for years or decades now, taking advantage of the immigration policies and public generosity of Europe, America, Canada, Australia, in order to achieve its own ambitions of global domination, as explicitly explained in The Management of Savagery by Abu Bakr Naji. Islam and Muslims, as a cultural trait, take every possible advantage they can of everyone they can, including other Muslims. As a Muslim client once explained to me, "We are different from you Americans. When you make a deal, you make a contract, that's it. You make a contract, then you do it. With us Muslims, a contract is just for today, and tomorrow it is the place to begin negotiating again." Another, an Iranian with a PhD in pharmacology, came to California to escape the purges of the Khomeini revolution in Iran after the Shah was deposed. Speaking no English, he went to work in a restaurant owned by two of his nephews, doing whatever needed to be done, prep, cooking, cleaning, bussing. They paid him minimum wage for forty hours a week, although they never actually paid him in full, and required him to work from opening to closing every day, seven days a week, more than a hundred hours a week. He was allowed to sleep on the floor in the store room, and he was not allowed to leave. In other words, they made their uncle their slave. He escaped, and with an Iranian acquaintance to translate went to the Labor Commission to file a complaint for unpaid wages, and after he returned his nephews beat him nearly to death. He wanted to know if he could sue them. I replied that he could, but asked what they would do to him if he did. He answered, "They will kill me."


(7) Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.


Lack of empathy - indifference to the emotions and feelings, the pain and suffering, of others, is also a defining trait of psychopaths, "...predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt." (Hare, Robert D., Psychopaths: New Trends in Research, The Harvard Mental Health Letter, September 1995).


This narcissistic psychopathy is amply on display in the embrace of terrorism by militant Islam. Those who have empathy for the emotions, feelings, grief, pain and suffering, for the lives of others, do not blow up nightclubs filled with vacationers in Egypt or Bali, wedding parties in Jordan, schools full of children in Beslan, Russia, trains filled with commuters in India and Spain and England, buses, synagogues, banks, and consulates in Turkey, police recruits and shoppers in Iraq, cafes in Israel, and they do not plot for years to fly airliners full of innocent passengers into the World Trade Center in New York, killing thousands of people from dozens of countries, Muslim and Infidel alike. They do not decapitate Daniel Pearl and Nicholas Berg on TV.


If Islamic terror were not hiding behind the Mosque and the Koran, and if America and Europe were not intellectually blinded by its camouflage of religion, and its outspoken protestations of "offense" at every criticism, and by our own uncritical and indiscriminating Liberalism, which is a sort of inverted Nihilism (while the Nihilist approves of nothing, the Progressive Liberal approves of everything except rational discrimination between good and bad), America and Europe would not hesitate to call these terrorists and their allies what they are, pre-meditated mass murderers, and the Jihad, the Global Intifada, what it is - a world-wide conspiracy to commit mass murder, serial murder, in the relentless narcissistic pursuit of religio-political power.


(8) Is often envious of others, or believes that others are envious of him or her.


It is probable that one of the driving forces underlying the Jihad, the Global Intifada, perhaps the most powerful and dangerous one, is jealousy, or envy, the unspoken, perhaps unrecognized, inarticulate envy of many Muslims who resent Israel and the West for their success, which contrasts badly with the failures of much of the Islamic world. The Islamic world should (according to Islam) be most greatly blessed by Allah, it should dominate the globe, and the greater achievements and prosperity of the West presents a stark challenge, a desperate cognitive dissonance, to the ideology of Islamic perfection, supremacy, Specialness. To the narcissist who seeks Specialness above all else, to compensate for his lack of real accomplishment, those who achieve what he has not, or will not, or cannot, are hateful. He despises them, because they become a mirror in which he sees himself for what he is, or what he is not, but cannot admit to being or not being.


A mirror which must be broken.


(9) Shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes.


The Islam of Jihad, the Islam of the Global Intifada, displays absolute arrogance. This Islam assumes that it is privileged to attack every continent, and any nation, killing people all over the world, burning churches and synagogues and temples, killing Christians and Jews and Hindus merely because they are not Muslims, without remorse, without apology, killing Muslims by the thousands to destabilize Iraq to prevent Iraq from becoming a peaceful and prosperous democracy friendly to the West. Then in the next moment Islam takes extreme offense at any criticism or disparagement of Islam, demonstrating, rioting, calling for retractions and apologies, disdaining all other political traditions and religious faiths as illegitimate. Its arrogance knows no limitations. It is infinite.


Islam is in desperate need of soul-searching, of self-reflection, of reality. Islam needs a long hard look in the mirror. Islam needs to see itself as others see it, not merely as it sees itself.

I won’t go so far as to argue that you have to be crazy to follow Islam, but it seems pretty clear that Islam itself displays serious elements of psychopathology. Can it regain (if not gain for the first time) its sanity and become a healthy part of human culture and the world of spirituality?

* * *

And as if to prove the point made above, there is this little gem coming out of Libya.

The elder son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has called on Pope Benedict XVI to convert to Islam immediately, dismissing last week's apology from the pontiff for offending Muslims.

"If this person were really someone reasonable, he would not agree to remain at his post one minute, but would convert to Islam immediately," Mohammed Gaddafi told an awards ceremony on Monday evening for an international competition to memorise the Qur'an.

"We say to the pope - whether you apologise or not is irrelevant, as apologies make no difference to us."

Gaddafi junior also hit out at "those Muslims who look for comfort in the words of a non-Muslim".

He said Muslims "should not look for charity from the infidel... but should fight Islam's enemies who attack the faith and the Prophet Muhammad".

Yeah – like that’s gonna happen.





|| Greg, 03:22 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Defend Free Speech

Anne Applebaum says it better than I could in her column in Slate & the Washington Post.

But we can all unite in our support for freedom of speech—surely the pope is allowed to quote medieval texts—and of the press. And we can also unite—loudly—in our condemnation of violent, unprovoked attacks on churches, embassies, and elderly nuns. By "we" I mean here the White House, the Vatican, the German Greens, the French Foreign Ministry, NATO, Greenpeace, Le Monde, and Fox News. Western institutions of the left, the right, and everything in between. True, these principles sound pretty elementary—"we're pro-free speech and anti-gratuitous violence"—but in the days since the pope's sermon, I don't feel that I've heard them defended in anything like a unanimous chorus. A lot more time has been spent analyzing what the pontiff meant to say, or should have said, or ought to have said if he had been given better advice.

All of which is simply beside the point, since nothing the pope has ever said comes even close to matching the vitriol, extremism, and hatred that pours out of the mouths of radical imams and fanatical clerics every day of the week all across Europe and the Muslim world, almost none of which ever provokes any Western response at all. And maybe it's time that it should: When Saudi Arabia publishes textbooks commanding good Wahhabi Muslims to "hate" Christians, Jews, and non-Wahhabi Muslims, for example, why shouldn't the Vatican, the Southern Baptists, Britain's chief rabbi, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations all condemn them—simultaneously. Equally, I see no reason why Swedish social democrats, British conservatives, and Dutch liberals couldn't occasionally forget their admittedly deep differences and agree unanimously that the practices of female circumcision and forced child marriage are totally unacceptable, whether in Somalia or Stockholm. Surely on this issue they all agree.

Maybe it's a pipe dream: The day when the White House and Greenpeace can issue a joint statement is distant indeed. But if stray comments by Western leaders—not to mention Western films, books, cartoons, traditions, ethics, and values—are going to inspire violence on a regular basis, I don't feel that it's asking too much for the West to quit saying sorry and remain united, occasionally, in its own defense. The fanatics attacking the pope already limit the right to free speech among their own followers. I don't see why we should allow them to limit our right to free speech, too.

It shouldn’t be difficult – but too many voices in the West would rather dhimmify than fight.





|| Greg, 03:19 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Lest We Forget – The Testimony Of A Survivor

Given that we have lately been infested with a Holocaust denying cockroach, I think that the passing of the last survivor of the Chelmno concentration camp, Shimon Srebnik is an appropriate time to present the testimony of an eyewitness to the industrialized slaughter of Jews by the Nazis.

"When we got to Chelmno the older people said, 'What a beautiful place,' 'We'll be happy here,' 'It's green, birds are singing,' 'A real health resort.'

I remained in the 'house kommando.' I was in a barrack with Waler Bonmeister. We sorted people's gold and possessions, things people left behind, suitcases. There was a big tent where Jews sorted things.

How did I know my mother arrived in Chelmno?

There were many handbags, a mountain of handbags. Once, I found a handbag with my mother's pictures and all her documents. I told Bonmeister: 'Look, this is my mother's.'

'Yes, she's in heaven,' he said.

'It's my mother's.' I was naive.

He said, 'Yes, but she's in heaven.'

I didn't know what he meant by 'heaven'."

- from the testimony of Shimon Srebnik in the Yad Vashem archives.

In a rural green forest area in central Poland, in the town of Chelmno, 47 miles west of Lodz, the Germans built their first extermination camp for mass murder by gas. Between December 1941 and January 1945, more than 300,000 Jews and 5,000 gypsies from Lodz and the vicinity were murdered in Chelmno. Only three people survived.

The last survivor of the Chelmno Extermination Camp, Shimon Srebnik, 76, of Ness Ziona, died last month at Tel Hashomer hospital after a long battle with cancer. Srebnik, who lost both his parents in the Holocaust, was a boy of 13 when he was deported to Chelmno from the nearby Lodz Ghetto, and was forced to bury the dead at the Nazi extermination camp.

Upon arrival in Chelmno, Srebnik was sent to join a small group of slave laborers at the rural extermination camp, whose pastoral settings deluded the people in the doomed transports into a false sense of hope, having come from the filth-ridden and disease-infested ghettos.

Like the rest of the prisoners, Srebnik had his legs immediately shackled - the length of the chain between them was about 40 centimeters - in order to prevent any possibility of escape from the secluded camp, which was manned by armed Germans.

The prisoners at the death camp were forced to wear their chains 24 hours a day. For the first two or three months, Srebnik put up tents and prepared the crematorium where his own mother would be gassed to death. Once the transports of Jews from Lodz began arriving regularly for extermination, Srebnik was assigned the job of extracting the gold from the teeth of the victims.
He was also involved in general sorting operations, before being assigned to bury the dead.

It was when he was sorting through the victims' personal possessions that he came across pictures belonging to his mother and realized that she too had been murdered in Chelmno.

WHEN THE victims arrived in Chelmno, they were gathered in the camp courtyard, and told they were being sent to a work camp and needed to wash up.

Groups of 50 were then escorted to the basement of the camp building, where they were told to remove their valuables and undress; men, women and children together.

During their walk to death, the victims were continuously reassured by signs reading "to the washroom" or "to the doctor" when in fact they were walking down a ramp into a parked gas van.

After the van was completely filled, the driver locked both the doors and turned on the motor. About 10 minutes later, the gas fumes had suffocated everybody inside.

In his vivid, bone-chilling testimony, Srebnik details how the prisoners were killed at the camp.

"There were three gas vans. The exhaust gas from the engine entered the van through a gridiron on the floor. Each van held 80 people. There was a bigger van that held 100 people. The distance from Chelmno to the forest was four kilometers. During the ride, gas entered the van.

When the doors opened, you could see that all the dead were injured.
Everyone wanted to survive, wanted to live, so they scratched each other. It was terrible. When the van reached the furnace, two people entered. The furnace was already lit.

What a fire! There was a railway gridiron in the furnace. They put a layer of wood on top of it and lit it and then a layer of people, and a layer of wood. This happened every two days. They pulled out gold teeth along with the flesh. I sat and removed the gold from the flesh.

It smelled awful. I collected the victim's teeth. It wasn't only my mother, I handled thousands of mothers. My heart ached for them and for my mother. But there were thousands like her...

Did I think about my mother? She was already in heaven. Nothing could be done."

As related on the Yad Vashem website, in January 1945, as the end of the war approached and the Soviet troops drew near, the Nazis began evacuating Chelmno, which they had begun to destroy four months earlier.

The Germans decided to liquidate the camp, and opened fire on the last 48 Jewish prisoners, shooting them in the back of the neck.

Srebnik was seriously wounded by Nazi gunfire during the liquidation, but, along with two others camp inmates, managed to escape during a last-minute fight that the dying and emaciated prisoners put up against their captors.

Srebnik was able to find refuge with a Polish farmer in the town who cut off his shackles and took care of the feverish boy. The following day, the Germans offered a large cash reward for turning Srebnik in.

But the Poles, who already feared the approaching Russians more than the Germans, did not betray him, and so he was able to reach the approaching Russian forces. After the war he immediately immigrated to Israel, meeting his future wife on a way station in Italy.

THREE AND a half decades later, in 1978, Srebnik received his shackles back from the Polish farmer who saved him when he went to the site of the extermination camp with Claude Lanzmann for the filming of the Holocaust documentary Shoah. After some hesitation, he would later donate the leg irons to Yad Vashem, where they are currently on display.

"It was not easy for him to part from the shackles," said Yehudit Inbar, director of the Museums Division at Yad Vashem who took down Srebnik's testimony several years ago.

Srebnik, who had earlier testified at the Eichmann trial, also assisted the Polish archeologist who excavated the Chelmno site over the last two decades.
Noting that the shackles are among the museum's most-visited exhibits, Inbar added: "He was a very special man, with a very special story."

Srebnik is survived by his wife, two daughters, five grand-children, and a great-grandchild.

Never Again.

And never forget, no matter how loudly the genocide deniers and Nazi-wannabes claim it never happened.





|| Greg, 03:17 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Religious Reciprocity -- Christianity And Islam

In the midst of a great analysis of Pope Benedict XVI's recent speech and the barbaric reaction of Muslims to an old quote, there comes this observation on the lack of reciprocity in the treatment of religious believers between the West and the Islamic world.

Desire for a more muscular stance, however, has been building among Catholics around the world for some time. In part, it has been driven by persecution of Christians in the Islamic world, like the murder of an Italian missionary, the Rev. Andrea Santoro, in Trabzon, Turkey, in February. A 16-year-old Turk fired two bullets into Father Santoro, shouting “God is great.” But perhaps the greatest driving force has been the frustrations over reciprocity. To take one oft-cited example, while Saudis contributed tens of millions of dollars to build Europe’s largest mosque in Rome, Christians cannot build churches in Saudi Arabia. Priests in Saudi Arabia cannot leave oil-industry compounds or embassy grounds without fear of reprisals from the mutawa, the religious police. The bishop of the region recently described the situation as “reminiscent of the catacombs.”

When will we demand religious freedom for Christians in every land, or impose islamic-style restrictions on the religious freedom of Muslims in the West?





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Another Reason School Is important -- Civic Engagement

Just goes to show what we have always known -- those with the least education tend to be least involved with the civic life of their community.

High school dropouts are significantly less likely than better-educated Americans to vote, trust government, do volunteer work, or go to church, according to a new report that reveals a widening gap in "civic health" between the nation's upper and lower classes.

The report, a portrait of civic life in the United States, finds that Americans' disengagement from their communities during the past few decades has been particularly dramatic among adults who have the least education. Among people who lack a high school diploma, the percentage who have voted plummeted from 1976 to 2004 to 31 percent -- half the 62 percent of college graduates who voted in 2004.

Now the question has to be asked -- is this due mainly to poverty, or is it due to differences in attitudes? It appears that there is a connection. So not only does lack of an education lower one's income potential, it also lowers one's engagement in the community around you.





|| Boyo, 03:57 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Thank you Greg! And now for my first trick.

The Pope must die, says Muslim

A notorious Muslim extremist told a demonstration in London yesterday that the Pope should face execution.

Anjem Choudary said those who insulted Islam would be "subject to capital punishment".

His remarks came during a protest outside Westminster Cathedral on a day that worldwide anger among Muslim hardliners towards Pope Benedict XVI appeared to deepen.

The pontiff yesterday apologised for causing offence during a lecture last week. Quoting a medieval emperor, his words were taken to mean that he called the prophet Mohammed "evil and inhuman".

He insisted he was "deeply sorry" but his humbling words did not go far enough to silence all his critics or quell the violence and anger he has triggered.

A nun was shot dead in Somalia by Islamic gunmen and churches came under attack in Palestine.

Choudary's appeal for the death of Pope Benedict was the second time he has been linked with apparent incitement to murder within a year.

The 39-year-old lawyer organised

demonstrations against the publication of cartoons of Mohammed in February in Denmark. Protesters carried placards declaring "Behead Those Who Insult Islam".

Yesterday he said: "The Muslims take their religion very seriously and non-Muslims must appreciate that and that must also understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam and the prophet.

"Whoever insults the message of Mohammed is going to be subject to capital punishment."

He added: "I am here have a peaceful demonstration. But there may be people in Italy or other parts of the world who would carry that out.

"I think that warning needs to be understood by all people who want to insult Islam and want to insult the prophet of Islam."

As well as placards attacking the Pope such as "Pope go to Hell", his followers outside the country's principal Roman Catholic church also waved slogans aimed at offending the sentiments of Christians such as "Jesus is the slave of Allah".

A Scotland Yard spokesman said of his comments: "We have had no complaints about this. There were around 100 people at the demonstration. It passed off peacefully and there were no arrests."

Larger Islamic groups in Britain said they accepted the Pope's apology. Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain said: "The Vatican has moved quickly to deal with the hurt and we accept that.

"It was something that should never have happened - words of that nature were always likely to cause dismay - and we believe some of the Pope's advisers may have been at fault over his speech."

Yesterday's sermon by the Pope was the first time a pontiff has publicly said sorry.

He said he regretted Muslim reaction to his speech and stressed that the quotation did not reflect his personal opinion. Anger and violence - including attacks on seven churches in the West Bank and Gaza - have characterised one of the biggest international crises involving the Vatican in decades.

The Pope appeared determined to move quickly to try to defuse the anger but the fury of many radicals was unabated last night and there were fears for his safety.

Iraqi jihadists issued a video of a scimitar slicing a cross in two, intercut with images of Benedict and the burning Twin Towers.

The website run in the name of the Mujahedeen Army, used by extremist groups who have claimed responsibility for attacks in Iraq, was addressed to "You dog of Rome" and threatened to "shake your thrones and break your crosses in your home".

In a reference to suicide bombing, it said: "We swear to God to send you people who adore death as much as you adore life."

The threat of violence against Catholics and Christians was emphasised by the murder of an Italian nun in Somalia. Sister Leonella, 66, was shot as she walked from the children's hospital where she worked to her house in Mogadishu, a city recently taken over by an Islamic government.

A Vatican spokesman said he feared her death was "the fruit of violence and irrationality arising from the current situation".

Father Frederico Lombardi said he hoped it was an isolated event. "We are worried about this wave of hatred and hope it doesn't have any grave consequences for the Church around the world," he said.

The murder suggested that extremists are determined to use the Pope's embarrassment as an excuse for violence.

In Turkey, state minister Mehmet Aydin said the Pope seemed to be saying he was sorry for the outrage but not necessarily for his remarks.

"You either have to say this, 'I'm sorry' in a proper way or not say it at all," he told reporters in Istanbul.

There were fierce denunciations of the pontiff from Iran. The English-language Tehran Times called his lecture in Bavaria last week "code words for a new crusade".

The powerful cleric Ahmad Khatami told theological students in the holy city of Qom: The "Pope should fall on his knees in front of a senior Muslim cleric and try to understand Islam."

But the Turkish government signalled it was content and that the Pope's visit to the country in November can go ahead.

In his sermon yesterday at the Papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo outside Rome, Benedict spoke amid strengthened security.

He said: "I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims.

"These in fact were a quotation from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought. I hope this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address."

No other Pope is thought to have made such an apology.

A faith that has millions and millions of followers, that decrees that no one who believes as they do, should be killed, as a matter of fact. And that for all intensive purposes (those "radical/extremist followers) are "not" dressed down publically, for fear that "they" (infidels) will be targeted?

We infidels need to understand that as far as these extremists are concerned, we have been, and always shall be targeted. And apologizing, appeasing and being civilized dissagree-ers with the concepts and culture of islam will get us nowhere to any peace or reduced threat, ever.

What we are doing now is not so much a "war on terror", that is just the surface of the concept.

Once we study and apply the lessons we can learn from the basic "old school" of the conflict between Isaac and Ishmael (I think thats right, if I recall correctly), I believe that will be half the battle.





|| Boyo, 03:09 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 18, 2006

Welcome Boyo!

Several months ago, I met a fellow who has become a good friend in the time that has followed. You folks have come to know him as Boyo, one of my semi-regular commenters. He and I have a compatible view of political matters -- especially state and local politics.

He'll be posting soon, to introduce himself and comment on whatever suits his fancy. Welcome aboard, friend!





|| Greg, 08:38 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

"Pro-Choice" Parents Kidnap Adult Daughter To Cross State Lines For Forced Abortion

Once again, we see that "pro-choice" is really "no-choice" on abortion. But unlike most pro-aborts, who simply don't want women to hear about or consider non-abortion options (adoption, keeping the child), this pair is willing to be downright militant about denying a woman the right to make fully informed decisions about her pregnancy.

A Maine couple upset that their 19-year-old daughter was pregnant tied her up, loaded her in their car and began driving to New York to force her to get an abortion, police said.

The daughter, Katelyn Kampf, escaped Friday at a shopping center and called police, who arrested her parents, Nicholas Kampf, 54, and Lola, 53, of North Yarmouth, Maine. They were jailed on a kidnapping charge and were being held on $100,000 bail each.

The parents were scheduled to be arraigned in Salem District Court. A call to attorney Mark Sisti was not immediately returned.

"Her parents chased her out into the yard, grabbed and tied her hands and feet together," Salem Police Officer Sean Marino wrote in a court affidavit. "Katelyn states that her father then carried her to their car and they headed toward New Hampshire."

Investigators said rope, duct tape, scissors and a .22-caliber rifle were found in the Kampfs' Lexus and Nicholas Kampf had a loaded .22-caliber magazine clip in his pants pocket.

The Kampfs were upset that their daughter was pregnant by a man who is now in jail, police said, and before leaving Maine on Friday they had an argument at the parents' home.

"Katelyn stated to me that upon her parents finding out that she was pregnant, they told her she had no choice but to get an abortion," Marino wrote in his court affidavit.

And what's more, it appears likely that these folks were planning to force the daughter to have an abortion after the child was viable.

Authorities in Maine said the parents apparently thought that, in light of their daughter's stage of pregnancy and the different abortion laws in each state, the abortion should be performed in New York. Fili said she did not know how many weeks pregnant she was.

Maine law prohibits abortions once a fetus is able to live outside the uterus unless the mother's life or health is at stake. The law does not specify when that is, but it generally is 20 to 27 weeks, said Dr. Dora Ann Mills, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. New York law prohibits abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy unless the woman's life is at stake.

faceofprochoiceamerica.jpg

Dare we call them what they are? The new faces of "pro-choice" America!





|| Greg, 07:24 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Healing The Great Schism

Could this be a sign of an end to the mother of all divisions within Christianity -- the split between Eastern and Western Christianity that began as much over such non-issues as whether priests should have beards and whether the bread for communion should be leavened or not as it did over the great theological issues of the day.

Top Roman Catholic and Orthodox dignitaries declared Monday that the time has come to close the ages-old rifts between the ancient branches of Christianity and bring East and West closer together.

Representing the world's 1.1 billion Catholics and more than 250 million Christian Orthodox, sixty bishops, metropolitans and cardinals — 30 from each side — convened in the Serbian capital Belgrade for a renewed "theological" dialogue while acknowledging that much wider issues are involved.

"East and West have been estranged from each other since the 11th century," said Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas, referring to the historic schism in 1054 when the spiritual leaders in the Vatican and in Constantinople — now Istanbul, Turkey — severed ties over the rising influence of the papacy.

That split was sealed then with an exchange of anathemas — spiritual repudiations, which were lifted in the 20th century but only with halting progress toward restoring bonds.

"We experience in our time that European nations unite and create one family," he said. "It is time to recover the ancient unity. ... East and West meet now not only on the theological level, but also on the political level."

As Christians around the world face the common threat of jihadi Islam, it is time for us unite and put such disunity firmly in the past. May God grant that it be so!





|| Greg, 07:01 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A BLAST FROM THE PAST: Jihad Vs. Crusade -- Which Came First?

We've heard a lot lately, in response to the words of Pope Benedict XVI in quoteing a long-dead Byzantine emperor, that jihad is not about holy war, that it is only defensive warfare, and that Islam was not spread by force. In light of these claims, I think it is important to repost this piece from November 2005. Thanks to Teresa from NoisyRoom for reminding of it and linking to it.

We always hear about the evil of the Crusades and the righteous indignation of Muslims over a series of wars that provide a poor witness to the Gospel. However, was Islam an innocent victim, or were the crusades a response to a long series of Muslim religious conquest of Christian lands and oppression of Christian believers?

Take a look at the timeline and decide. I'll put Muslim jihad against Christian lands in bold, and Christian assaults on Islamic lands in italics.

630 Two years before Muhammad’s death of a fever, he launches the Tabuk Crusades, in which he led 30,000 jihadists against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a report that a huge army had amassed to attack Arabia, but the report turned out to be a false rumor. The Byzantine army never materialized. He turned around and went home, but not before extracting “agreements” from northern tribes. They could enjoy the “privilege” of living under Islamic “protection” (read: not be attacked by Islam), if they paid a tax (jizya).

This tax sets the stage for Muhammad’s and the later Caliphs’ policies. If the attacked city or region did not want to convert to Islam, then they paid a jizya tax. If they converted, then they paid a zakat tax. Either way, money flowed back to the Islamic treasury in Arabia or to the local Muslim governor.

632-634 Under the Caliphate of Abu Bakr the Muslim Crusaders reconquer and sometimes conquer for the first time the polytheists of Arabia. These Arab polytheists had to convert to Islam or die. They did not have the choice of remaining in their faith and paying a tax. Islam does not allow for religious freedom.

633 The Muslim Crusaders, led by Khalid al-Walid, a superior but bloodthirsty military commander, whom Muhammad nicknamed the Sword of Allah for his ferocity in battle (Tabari, 8:158 / 1616-17), conquer the city of Ullays along the Euphrates River (in today’s Iraq). Khalid captures and beheads so many that a nearby canal, into which the blood flowed, was called Blood Canal (Tabari 11:24 / 2034-35).

634 At the Battle of Yarmuk in Syria the Muslim Crusaders defeat the Byzantines. Today Osama bin Laden draws inspiration from the defeat, and especially from an anecdote about Khalid al-Walid. An unnamed Muslim remarks: “The Romans are so numerous and the Muslims so few.” To this Khalid retorts: “How few are the Romans, and how many the Muslims! Armies become numerous only with victory and few only with defeat, not by the number of men. By God, I would love it . . . if the enemy were twice as many” (Tabari, 11:94 / 2095). Osama bin Ladin quotes Khalid and says that his fighters love death more than we in the West love life. This philosophy of death probably comes from a verse like Sura 2:96. Muhammad assesses the Jews: “[Prophet], you are sure to find them [the Jews] clinging to life more eagerly than any other people, even polytheists” (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004; first insertion in brackets is Haleem’s; the second mine).

634-644 The Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab, who is regarded as particularly brutal.

635 Muslim Crusaders besiege and conquer of Damascus

636 Muslim Crusaders defeat Byzantines decisively at Battle of Yarmuk.

637 Muslim Crusaders conquer Iraq at the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah (some date it in 635 or 636)

638 Muslim Crusaders conquer and annex Jerusalem, taking it from the Byzantines.

638-650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Iran, except along Caspian Sea.

639-642 Muslim Crusaders conquer Egypt.

641 Muslim Crusaders control Syria and Palestine.

643-707 Muslim Crusaders conquer North Africa.

644 Caliph Umar is assassinated by a Persian prisoner of war; Uthman ibn Affan is elected third Caliph, who is regarded by many Muslims as gentler than Umar.

644-650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Cyprus, Tripoli in North Africa, and establish Islamic rule in Iran, Afghanistan, and Sind.

656 Caliph Uthman is assassinated by disgruntled Muslim soldiers; Ali ibn Abi Talib, son-in-law and cousin to Muhammad, who married the prophet’s daughter Fatima through his first wife Khadija, is set up as Caliph.

656 Battle of the Camel, in which Aisha, Muhammad’s wife, leads a rebellion against Ali for not avenging Uthman’s assassination. Ali’s partisans win.

657 Battle of Siffin between Ali and Muslim governor of Jerusalem, arbitration goes against Ali

661 Murder of Ali by an extremist; Ali’s supporters acclaim his son Hasan as next Caliph, but he comes to an agreement with Muawiyyah I and retires to Medina.

661-680 the Caliphate of Muawiyyah I. He founds Umayyid dynasty and moves capital from Medina to Damascus

673-678 Arabs besiege Constantinople, capital of Byzantine Empire

680 Massacre of Hussein (Muhammad’s grandson), his family, and his supporters in Karbala, Iraq.

691 Dome of the Rock is completed in Jerusalem, only six decades after Muhammad’s death.

705 Abd al-Malik restores Umayyad rule.

710-713 Muslim Crusaders conquer the lower Indus Valley.

711-713 Muslim Crusaders conquer Spain and impose the kingdom of Andalus. This article recounts how Muslims today still grieve over their expulsion 700 years later. They seem to believe that the land belonged to them in the first place.

719 Cordova, Spain, becomes seat of Arab governor

732 The Muslim Crusaders stopped at the Battle of Poitiers; that is, Franks (France) halt Arab advance

749 The Abbasids conquer Kufah and overthrow Umayyids

756 Foundation of Umayyid amirate in Cordova, Spain, setting up an independent kingdom from Abbasids

762 Foundation of Baghdad

785 Foundation of the Great Mosque of Cordova

789 Rise of Idrisid amirs (Muslim Crusaders) in Morocco; foundation of Fez; Christoforos, a Muslim who converted to Christianity, is executed.

800 Autonomous Aghlabid dynasty (Muslim Crusaders) in Tunisia

807 Caliph Harun al-Rashid orders the destruction of non-Muslim prayer houses and of the church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem

809 Aghlabids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Sardinia, Italy

813 Christians in Palestine are attacked; many flee the country

831 Muslim Crusaders capture Palermo, Italy; raids in Southern Italy

850 Caliph al-Matawakkil orders the destruction of non-Muslim houses of prayer

855 Revolt of the Christians of Hims (Syria)

837-901 Aghlabids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Sicily, raid Corsica, Italy, France

869-883 Revolt of black slaves in Iraq

909 Rise of the Fatimid Caliphate in Tunisia; these Muslim Crusaders occupy Sicily, Sardinia

928-969 Byzantine military revival, they retake old territories, such as Cyprus (964) and Tarsus (969)

937 The Ikhshid, a particularly harsh Muslim ruler, writes to Emperor Romanus, boasting of his control over the holy places

937 The Church of the Resurrection (known as Church of Holy Sepulcher in Latin West) is burned down by Muslims; more churches in Jerusalem are attacked

960 Conversion of Qarakhanid Turks to Islam

966 Anti-Christian riots in Jerusalem

969 Fatimids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Egypt and found Cairo

c. 970 Seljuks enter conquered Islamic territories from the East

973 Israel and southern Syria are again conquered by the Fatimids

1003 First persecutions by al-Hakim; the Church of St. Mark in Fustat, Egypt, is destroyed

1009 Destruction of the Church of the Resurrection by al-Hakim (see 937)

1012 Beginning of al-Hakim’s oppressive decrees against Jews and Christians

1015 Earthquake in Palestine; the dome of the Dome of the Rock collapses

1031 Collapse of Umayyid Caliphate and establishment of 15 minor independent dynasties throughout Muslim Andalus

1048 Reconstruction of the Church of the Resurrection completed

1050 Creation of Almoravid (Muslim Crusaders) movement in Mauretania; Almoravids (aka Murabitun) are coalition of western Saharan Berbers; followers of Islam, focusing on the Quran, the hadith, and Maliki law.

1055 Seljuk Prince Tughrul enters Baghdad, consolidation of the Seljuk Sultanate

1055 Confiscation of property of Church of the Resurrection

1071 Battle of Manzikert, Seljuk Turks (Muslim Crusaders) defeat Byzantines and occupy much of Anatolia

1071 Turks (Muslim Crusaders) invade Palestine

1073 Conquest of Jerusalem by Turks (Muslim Crusaders)

1075 Seljuks (Muslim Crusaders) capture Nicea (Iznik) and make it their capital in Anatolia

1076 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) conquer western Ghana

1085 Toledo is taken back by Christian armies

1086 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) send help to Andalus, Battle of Zallaca

1090-1091 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) occupy all of Andalus except Saragossa and Balearic Islands

1094 Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus I asks western Christendom for help against Seljuk invasions of his territory; Seljuks are Muslim Turkish family of eastern origins; see 970

1095 Pope Urban II preaches first Crusade; they capture Jerusalem in 1099

So, let's consider these simple questions. Were the Crusades an unprovoked assault by the Christian world upon Islam, or a Christian response to a long train of attacks and assaults upon Christian nations, Christian institutions, and Christian people? Is the anti-Christian rhetoric of Osama and the Islamists a response to the Crusades, or a true expression of Islam that dates back to its foundation?

I believe the above makes the answers quite obvious.





|| Greg, 06:33 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Results are in -- and a pair of excellent posts were the winners in this week's voting by the Watcher's Council.

The winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Your Chance of Dying in a Terrorist Attack by Socratic Rhythm Method, and And At Night, I Dream Of You... by Villainous Company.  All members, please be sure to link to both winning entries (and to the full results of the vote) in a post.  Thanks to everyone for all the great entries this week...  I'm eager to see next week's entries!  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
2  2/3Your Chance of Dying in a Terrorist Attack
Socratic Rhythm Method
2Three Strands Not Easily Broken
Soccer Dad
29/11 Ambiguities
ShrinkWrapped
1  1/3A Little Journalistic Arrogance
Rhymes With Right
1Pronoun Trouble
Done With Mirrors
2/3Bush Only Confessed to a Crime, if You Don’t Actually Read the Law. Or a Calendar.
The Sundries Shack
2/39/11, Five Years Later
Joshuapundit
1/3The Terrorist Attacks of 9-11: Views from the Classroom
The Education Wonks
1/3The Danish Face in the NATO Picture
Gates of Vienna
1/3America Does Diplomacy
The Glittering Eye
1/3Angel M. Pabon and the 2996
AbbaGav
1/3The Tears No Longer Come
Right Wing Nut House

VotesNon-council link
1  2/3And At Night, I Dream Of You...
Villainous Company
1  1/3Ten Reasons Why the West Will Lose the War on Terror (the pessimist’s view)
TMH's Bacon Bits
1  1/3Countdown To 9/11: My Days With the Dead
Greetings from the French Hill
1  1/3The Shadow of Our Hand
The Belmont Club
1  1/3A General Theory of Just About Everything
Cross-Currents
138 Years of Terrorism
Alpha Patriot
2/39/11 + 5, Part II
American Future
2/3One Brave Little Girl
Electric Venom
2/3Off the Net (and Off the Mark)
In From the Cold
2/39/11 and News Reporting on Jihadist Terrorism
Counterterrorism Blog
2/3The Disunited States of America
Chicago Boyz
1/3Proportional (Mis)Representation
Discriminations
1/3The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Canker





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September 17, 2006

Islamic Rage Meter -- Condition Red

But then again, isn't it always?

islamicextremistsrageometer.jpg

H/T WuzzaDem & Michelle Malkin

* * *

Also, Michelle Malkin has done a great job of keeping track of Muslim barbarism in response to the Pope's use of a 700 year old quote. Churches have been bombed and burned. A nun has been murdered by Islamists. A priest has been kidnapped. All by this supposedly peaceful religion that allegedly just wants respect.

And then you get this pack of barbarians in London, courtesy of Joee Blogs - A Catholic Londoner.

Holy Mass on a Sunday is the very source and summit of the Catholic week, so my family decided this Sunday to make the trip to Westminster Cathedral together. As we came out about 100 Islamists were chanting slogans such as "Pope Benedict go to Hell" "Pope Benedict you will pay, the Muja Hadeen are coming your way" "Pope Benedict watch your back" and other hateful things.

Below are photos from the demonstration, with my personal reaction to the signs.

westminster1.jpg
Before Islam conquers Rome, Mecca and Medina will glow in the dark!

westminster2.jpg
Wrong, bucko! Jesus is the Son of the One True God, and that sure ain't Allah.

westminster3.jpg
Trinity of Evil? Do I detect a bit of blasphemy against Christian belief?
Maybe the time has come to give you that Crusade you keep bitchin' about!

And let me clarify something for those who protested at Westminster and any Muslim who shares their sentiments: drop to your knees and pray to your false god that no harm comes to Pope Benedict XVI, for if he is harmed it will be Muslims who need to watch their backs.

PBUH

baconface.jpg

Place Bacon Upon Him





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Dem Staffer's Racist Comments Rock Maryland Politics

As it has been since before the Civil War, the Democrat Party seems to still be the comfortable home of racism and anti-Semitism. We've seen that in postings at MoveOn.org, Kos, And DU.

Now, Maryland Congressman Ben Cardin has had to fire a staffer from his Senate campaign in the wake of the discovery that she had been blogging racist and anti-Semitic comments.

Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who posted racially charged comments against his opponent on the Internet, the congressman's campaign said Saturday.

The staffer's blog includes references to Oreo cookies. Cardin's opponent, Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, has said people threw Oreos at him during a 2002 debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.

In a statement, Cardin, who is white, also condemned comments written by the female staffer on her blog that he considered derogatory to Jews.

"I am deeply offended and disgusted by the blog's racial and anti-Semitic overtones," the 10-term congressman said. "The staff person responsible was promptly dismissed and will have nothing to do with my campaign."

Melissa Sellers, a Steele spokeswoman, criticized the blog.

"It is deeply disturbing to learn that a staff member of 10-term Congressman Ben Cardin would keep a blog chronicling racial prejudices toward Lt. Gov. Steele and others," Sellers said. "This is the kind of attitude and gutter politics that Marylanders are sick of and why they are ready for change."

I will praise Cardin for getting rid of his little bigot, but will again note that we keep seing racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric spewing from the Democrat Party and its allied organizations and supporters.

While the campaign and the Washington Post won't identify the little bigot, Wizbang Politics seems to have ferretted out her identity.

According to the latest FEC filing, there was a Ursula Gruber from Chicago paid a salary of $782.46 on Aug. 15, The "Persuasionatrix" posted about moving from Chicago to Maryland on August 4. Gruber filed an expense report from the supplies store Staples, for $67.82, on Aug. 18. The "Persuasionatrix" posted about visiting Staples on Aug. 4. Given that no one else matches those details, it's pretty safe to assume that your Persuasionatrix, or rather your ex-Persuasionatrix, is Ursula Gruber.

Enjoy your unemployment, Ursula. Given your name, I'm not surprised that you have views that would have been mainstream in the National SOCIALIST Party.

MORE AT Blog-o-Fascists, Soccer Dad, Heaving Melons, The Right Angle, Alabama Liberation Front, Pajamas Media, LaShawn Barber, Mary Katharine Ham





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September 16, 2006

But It Certainly Isn't A Call For Violence In The Name of Islam!

After all, we are being assured by those Muslims demanding the Pope apologize for a seven century old quote that Islam is a religion of peace, that jihad is simply an internal struggle, and that violence committed in the name of that faith is unIslamic.

What, then, do they say about this?

Israeli Arab Islamic leader Sheikh Raed Salah told a rally in Jerusalem the "Israeli occupation" of the city will soon vanish.

"With fire and blood we shall liberate al-Aqsa," Salah told 50,000 people Friday at the Islamic Movement's 11th annual rally in Umm al-Fahm, a city in Israel's Haifa district, YNetNews reported.

The Al-Aqsa mosque is part of a complex of buildings in Jerusalem known as the Temple Mount to Jews and some Christians.

"Soon Jerusalem will be the capital of the new Muslim caliphate, and the caliph's seat will be there," Salah said. Caliph is the term or title for the Islamic leader of the Ummah, or community of Islam.

"With fire and blood...."

Nah, that certainly can't be viewed as suggesting violence in the name of Islam, can it.

Either this Muslim leader doesn't understand Islam, or those trying to reassure us that Islam is a peaceful religion are liars.





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Benedict Quotes Fourteenth Century Emperor -- Muslims Enraged

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

So spoke the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus nearly seven centuries ago, during a dialogue with a learned Persian on the nature of God, revelation, and reason.

And so quoted Pope Benedict XVI in discussing the nature of faith and the place of reaon in relation to it.

Quite frankly, as a Christian, I've gon no problem whatsoever with the original quote, or with its use by the Pope.

Anyone want to guess who does? You got it -- the prickly, easily offended Muslims.

They are demanding apologies, burning effigies, and engaging in violence -- all over the perceived insult to their religion.

But let's stop for just a moment and consider the quote itself.

For a Christian, public revelation stops with the closing of the Christian canon of Scripture. Private revelation must be consistent with Scripture to be accepted as true. That which conflicts with God's revelation to us is false, and therefore presumptively evil.

Which brings us to the question of Islam.

While Islam claims (and many others accept) that Islam worships the same God as the Christians and the Jews, there arefundamental conflicts which exist between these three faiths. Judaism follows the revealed books of the Torah, which point towards the coming of the Messiah. Christianity accepts and reveres those books and adds to them the New Testament, which we hold to reveal that the Messiah came in the form of Jesus of Nazareth, who was the Word made Flesh. Islam, on the other hand, claims that the Quran supercedes Jewish and Christian Scripture, which are labeled as corrupted. Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus and the Triune nature of God are rejected in Islam -- indeed, some Muslims consider Christians to be polytheists because of those beliefs. In short, Judaism and Christianity are, to a Muslim, false, and contain in them elements of evil. I don't hear any calls for Muslims to apologize over what their faith teaches.

Yet when a Pope dares quote a long-dead emperor who expresssed a similar sentiment about Islam, there is outrage. Why? If you are a Christian, you MUST believe that parts of Islam are false. Why shouldn't a Christian say that?

And if there are elements of Islam that go beyond mere falsehood into the realm of evil, then it is incumbent upon Christians to say so.

Which leads us back to the initial quote.

Jihad, for all the recent attempts of Muslims to deny and disguise the truth, is a part of Islam and has been since the days of Muhammad. Furhtermore, it is not merely a peaceful internal struggle for conformity with the will Allah. Jihad is and always has been the use of warfare to defend and spread Islam. If you doubt that, read the Quran and scholarly histories of the Islamic world. Indeed, jihad was the method used to wipe out the historically Christian cultures of much of what is today considered to be "the Muslim World" -- places like Israel, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and North Africa. They became Muslim through the use of the sword -- jihad.

And therein lies a difference between Chrstianity and Islam, one that the Holy Father was attempting to highlight. Christians believe that faith must spring from reason, and that coercion in religious matters is wrong. Islam does not -- whether we are talking the events of the seventh centuy or the present day, when conversion has been demanded as a condition of being permitted to live (remember the Fox News journalists). To the Christian, forced conversion denies the fundamental free will with which God endowed each of us. It is therefore, as the quote above says, evil and inhuman (in that it fundamentally contradicts what Christians believe to be the true nature of each human person).

So what, exactly, is there to apologize for? For believing it? Or for daring to speak it?

Which leads me to demand of Muslims and their dhimmified apologists (like the al-NewYorkTimes) a response to the following.

1) Is forced conversion wrong ("evil and inhuman") or not?

2) If it is, why shouldn't the Pope (or any other person) say so unapologetically?

3) If it isn't, why did you object to Ann Coulter's call to forcibly convert terrorists and their supporters following 9/11?

As for me, I echo Manuel II Paleologus, and applaud Benedict XVI for daring to use the quote.

Oh, and I wonder -- for all their outrage over words, will Muslim leaders condemn these violent actions?

UPDATE: Even if al-NewYorkTimes doesn't get it, the Times of London does.

This is, in some ways, a re-run of the hoo-ha among some Muslims over the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting Muhammad. In the frenzy that followed, with bloody riots and demonstrations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Indonesia and India, about 140 people were killed and hundreds were injured. The cartoons were implicated in religious riots in Nigeria in which 200 people — Muslims and Christians — died. Denmark was targeted, its embassies attacked and its businesses boycotted.

The clash of civilisations is not between Christianity and Islam, it is between nations that encourage religious diversity and those which practise religious intolerance. It is between those who favour open debate and those who think free speech is anathema. The Pope may or may not have known what a hornets’ nest he was stirring up. Even if he did, there was nothing inappropriate, within context, in what he said.

The Vatican has said he is very sorry his speech caused such offence to Muslims. That is fine but it should not go further than that. He should certainly not be pushed into withdrawing his remarks. As in the case of the Danish cartoons, Muslim zealots are trying to impose their restrictions of free expression on the West. Mindful as we should be of religious sensitivities, that cannot be allowed to happen.

Well said! Bravo!





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September 14, 2006

A Racial Affront

I’m disgusted by this column in the Star-Tribune in the People's Republic of Minnesota. How can this writer possibly object to identifying a candidate as a racist Kluxer?

Somewhere between a recital/rally he held at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown a month ago and Keith Ellison's Tuesday night victory in the DFL primary for the Fifth District seat, [Democrat Congressional candidate Alan]Fine changed keys. In the process, he lost any claim to moderation, thoughtfulness or originality, which were just a few of the attributes I poured on him.

Here's a sampling of what Fine had to say the day after Ellison -- who is white and a Christian -- handily won his hard-fought primary: "I'm personally offended that this person is a candidate for U.S. Congress. He is unfit to represent the voters of the Fifth District. ... He is the follower of a known racist, David Duke ... a person who believes that the black man is the anti-Christ, a person who believes that Jews are the scourge of the Earth. I'm personally offended as a Jew that we have a candidate like this running for U.S. Congress."

This new Alan Fine suddenly can't say the name "Keith Ellison" without saying the name "David Duke."

That’s right – Fine loses his claim to be a moderate, thoughtful decent man for objecting to the nomination of a member of the KKK, who organized for that racist organization ad Christian Identity groups during his student days, who brought known racists to speak on his college campus, and who continuously lied during the campaign to obscure his past memberships and association. After all, I guess that the Klan is mainstream in the Republican Party, and that holding to the hate-filled doctrines of Christian Identity constitutes acceptable religious practice for a nominee of a major political party and possible member of Congress. Objecting to such a candidate clearly makes one an extremist.

But let’s cut to the chase. No such column would ever be written or published in the MSM today – nor should it be. A column like the one quoted above is utterly reprehensible, and the author would be condemned – probably fired.
Except such a column was written. And published.

Only it was a little different from what I wrote. Take a look.

Somewhere between a recital/rally he held at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown a month ago and Keith Ellison's Tuesday night victory in the DFL primary for the Fifth District seat, [Republican Congressional candidate Alan] Fine changed keys. In the process, he lost any claim to moderation, thoughtfulness or originality, which were just a few of the attributes I poured on him.

Here's a sampling of what Fine had to say the day after Ellison -- who is black and a Muslim -- handily won his hard-fought primary: "I'm personally offended that this person is a candidate for U.S. Congress. He is unfit to represent the voters of the Fifth District. ... He is the follower of a known racist, Louis Farrakhan ... a person who believes that the white man is the anti-Christ, a person who believes that Jews are the scourge of the Earth. I'm personally offended as a Jew that we have a candidate like this running for U.S. Congress."

This new Alan Fine suddenly can't say the name "Keith Ellison" without saying the name "Louis Farrakhan."

Ellison has lied repeatedly about his past, and has been given a pass by the Star-Trib. This has been well documented over at Power Line and by Joel Mowbray. Now we are told that daring to speak out against the racist past and deceptive present of a candidate converts one from a thoughtful moderate to a hateful extremist.

The difference? Party, race, and religion.

Ellison is a Democrat, an African-American, and a Muslim. As such, the Star-Trib considers him beyond criticism – and defines any criticism of his documented history of bigotry as a sign of bigotry on the part of the critic. After all, liberals excuse racial and religious bigotry coming from minorities – if they are properly liberal.





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Novak On Armitage

I've been waiting on Robert Novak's response to Richard Armitage's revelations. I think it can be summed up this way -- Armitage is still trying to deceive America, and still lying -- but now that he has spoken out, Novak no longer feels obliged to kep silent in public.

First, Armitage did not, as he now indicates, merely pass on something he had heard and that he "thought" might be so. Rather, he identified to me the CIA division where Mrs. Wilson worked and said flatly that she recommended the mission to Niger by her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson. Second, Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear that he considered it especially suited for my column.

An accurate depiction of what Armitage actually said deepens the irony of his being my source. He was a foremost internal skeptic of the administration's war policy, and I had long opposed military intervention in Iraq. Zealous foes of George W. Bush transformed me, improbably, into the president's lapdog. But they cannot fit Armitage into the left-wing fantasy of a well-crafted White House conspiracy to destroy Joe and Valerie Wilson. The news that he, and not Karl Rove, was the leaker was devastating for the left.

But I thin Novak's most telling point about Armitage's lack of integrity is found at the end of the column -- in a point I have made since his identity as the leaker became clear.

Armitage's silence for the next 2 1/2 years caused intense pain for his colleagues in government and enabled partisan Democrats in Congress to falsely accuse Rove of being my primary source. When Armitage now says he was mute because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's request, that does not explain his silent three months between his claimed first realization that he was the source and Fitzgerald's appointment on Dec. 30, 2003. Armitage's tardy self-disclosure is tainted because it is deceptive

Indeed. Why not come clean from the beginning -- if one truly wished to preserve faith in our government and its leaders, and not simply protect one's own sorry ass.





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RIP Ann Richards

Yeah, she was from the other side of the political fence.

Yeah, I was never a supporter.

But you know, there was rarely a dull moment while Gov. Ann Richards was involved in Texas politics.

She will be missed.

Former Texas governor Ann Richards, the witty and flamboyant Democrat who went from homemaker to national political celebrity, died Sept. 13 after cancer was diagnosed this year, a family spokeswoman said. She was 73.

Ms. Richards died at home in Austin surrounded by her family, the spokeswoman said. She was found to have esophageal cancer in March and underwent chemotherapy treatments.

May she rest in peace, and may her loved ones be comforted in their time of loss.





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September 12, 2006

A Well-Intentioned, Yet Misguided, Decision By Harvard

This move will do nothing to eliminate the advantages and disadvantages inherrant in the college admissions process.

Harvard University, breaking with a major trend in college admissions, says it will eliminate its early admissions program next year, with university officials arguing that such programs put low-income and minority applicants at a distinct disadvantage in the competition to get into selective universities.

Harvard will be the first of the nation’s prestigious universities to do away completely with early admissions, in which high school seniors try to bolster their chances at competitive schools by applying in the fall and learning whether they have been admitted in December, months before other students.

Some universities now admit as much as half of their freshman class this way, and many, though not Harvard, require an ironclad commitment from students that they will attend in return for the early acceptance.

Harvard’s decision — to be announced today — is likely to put pressure on other colleges, which acknowledge the same concerns but have been reluctant to take any step that could put them at a disadvantage in the heated competition for the top students.

Except it does nothing to eliminate what is seen as being at the heart of the problem.

But at Harvard and many other universities officials have grown concerned that early admissions present a major obstacle to low-income and working-class students. Such students have also been hurt by steep tuition increases and competition with students from wealthy families who pour thousands of dollars into college consultants and tutoring.

“I think there are lots of very talented students out there from poor and moderate-income backgrounds who have been discouraged by this whole hocus-pocus of early admissions by many of the nation’s top colleges,’’ said William R. Fitzsimmons, Harvard College’s dean of admissions and financial aid.

So how is this going to stop the spending of large sums of money by wealthy students intent on getting into the right school? How is this going to make college more affordable to the students in the middle -- neither poor enough to qualify for a free ride nor wealthy enough to afford it? It is all window dressing!

Absent a system like hospitals use to award residency positions -- one with nationwide competition and a matching system that includes all applicants and schools -- you won't get away from teh identical problem.

But then again, such a system would never be accepted.

It would kill athletic programs. It would end legacy admissions. And what of the poor kid who wants to go to a local college in his or her hometown who is instead assigned to Middle-Of-Nowhere State University in Hicktown, Montana?

So while the Harvard move looks good on paper, it doesn't really address the issues at hand -- and cannot.





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The Culture Of Arabs/Muslims Is To Blame

I think the following needs to be widely circulated.

ONE ARAB'S APOLOGY

By EMILIO KARIM DABUL

WELL, here it is, five years late, but here just the same: an apology from an Arab-American for 9/11. No, I didn't help organize the killers or contribute in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing.

The only time I raised my voice in protest against these men who killed thousands of innocents in the name of Allah was behind closed doors, among the safety of friends and family. I did at one point write a very vitriolic essay condemning their actions, but fear of becoming another Salman Rushdie kept me from ever trying to publish it.

Well, I'm sick of saying the truth only in private - that Arabs around the world, including Arab-Americans like myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable for the insane, violent actions that our extremists have perpetrated on the world at large.

Yes, our extremists and our culture.

Every single 9/11 hijacker was Arab and a Muslim. The apologists (including President Bush) tried to reassure us that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam, but was a twisting of a great and noble religion. With all due respect, read the Koran, Mr. President. There's enough there for someone of extreme tendencies to find their way to a global jihad.

There's also enough there for someone of a different mindset to find a path to enlightenment and peace. Still, Rushdie had it right back in 2001: This does have to do with Islam. A Christian who bombs an abortion clinic in the name of God is still a Christian, at least in his interpretation, and saying otherwise doesn't negate the fact that he has spent a goodly amount of time figuring out his version of the one true and right thing to do.

The men who killed 3,000 of our citizens on 9/11 in all likelihood died saying prayers to Allah, and that by itself is one of the most horrific things to me about that day.

And, while my grandparents never waged a jihad, their attitudes toward Jews weren't that much different than Mohammed Atta's. No, they didn't support the Holocaust, but they did believe that Jews were trouble in many different ways, and those sorts of beliefs were passed on to me before I'd ever actually met a Jew.

I'm sorry for that, for ever believing that anything that my grandparents or other relatives had to say about Jews or Israel, for that matter, had any real resemblance to truth. It took me years to realize that I'd been conned into believing the generalizations and stereotypes that millions around the Arab world buy into: that Jews, America and Israel are our main problem.

One look at the average Arab regime should alert us to the fact that the problem, dear Achmed, lies not overseas or next door in Tel Aviv, but in the brutal, corrupt despots that we have bred from country to country in the Mideast, across the span of history. That history and its corresponding economic devastation is the main reason I reside on New York City's West Bank - New Jersey - not the one near Jerusalem. On my worst day, I'm happy about that fact. I'd rather be here than there, and experience the freedom and boundless opportunities that were mostly unknown to so many generations of my family in the Mideast.

For as long as I live, the image of those towers falling, as I watched in horror and disbelief from the corner of 40th and Fifth, will be for me my Pearl Harbor, for in that instant I recognized that not only was our city under attack - so was our freedom.

It still is. And will continue to be for years to come. And the threat is not from within, but from Islamic fascists who desperately want to destroy the freedom and opportunities that millions the world over still seek.

Five years after that awful day, it's time for all Arab-Americans, and Arabs around the world, to protest against Islamic fascism, to raise our voices - and, where necessary, our arms - against these tyrants until their plague of terror has been driven from the face of the earth forever.

Amen.





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Scuzzy Democrat's Lying Attack Must Be Rejected

After all, the statement is a flat-out lie, and everyone knows it. And for all her spinning, Claire McCaskill's lie cannot be justified in any context. Will Missouri Democrats reject it? Will national Democrats do so?

The U.S. Senate campaign of Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill has been under sharp criticism since she accused President Bush of letting poor blacks in Louisiana die during Hurricane Katrina.

Mrs. McCaskill, the state auditor, is attempting to link Republican Sen. Jim Talent with the president as she tries to unseat the incumbent.

"George Bush let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black," she told a group of Democratic state legislators last week.

The comments, made as she outlined Mr. Talent's efforts to attract minority voters, were first reported by Pub Def Weekly, a St. Louis-based blog.

McCaskill refuses to repudiate or apologize for this blood libel.

The record is clear that the state and local officials failed in their emergency planning and their obligation to safeguard their citizens -- but their party wishes to absolve them and play the race and poverty cards to smear their political opponents. Have the Democrats even one ounce of shame left?





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Why We Must Do More On Immigration

Even the paper from San Antonio, with its surfeit of illegal immigrants, is willing and able to see why we need something more done to secure the border against border-jumping immigration criminals.

Imagine the folly of passing a law without the mechanism or the will to enforce it. Imagine if there were no penalties, no fines or jail sentences, for crimes like robbery.

People might get the notion that, despite the official ban, it was all right to steal.

This analogy applies to illegal immigration.

In 1986, President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, granting amnesty to almost 3 million people who were in this country illegally.

The legislation, while showing compassion to the immigrants already here, was not intended to create an open border, and to balance the amnesty, lawmakers included several provisions to strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws:

Sanctions for employers who knowingly hired illegal immigrants.

Increased border controls.

Programs to verify the immigration status of workers applying for welfare benefits.

Except for sporadic raids of employers who hired illegal immigrants, however, little changed. The immigrants lived in the shadows, but the lack of enforcement emboldened the workers and their employers. And, as a result, the illegal immigration population has swelled to 12 million.

Either we control our borders, or those illegally crossing our borders control us. We must have an immigration bill this year, with sanctions against both employers and border-jumpers.





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Anthrax Threat At State Senator's Office

Just down the road from here, in my state senator's local office.

A white, powdery substance found in an envelope that came in the mail to state Sen. Mike Jackson's League City office was found to be a sugar derivative by federal and local investigators, who immediately responded to what they presumed to be a possible anthrax exposure.

"Obviously, with today being 9-11, we're all aware of what happened and first thing that comes to mind is that somebody sent something toxic in the mail," said Jackson, who was at his business office in LaPorte when his League City district director Lamoin Scott called him as she was sorting the mail in the early afternoon.

Scott opened the letter addressed to Jackson and only read part of it to the senator. Jackson said the beginning of letter started by saying the person had asked the senator to do something and nothing had been done. Jackson told Scott to call the police and evacuate the building.

The good news -- No Anthrax.





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September 11, 2006

William Anthony "Tony" Karnes

2996-11.jpg

Today, five years after the assault on America by jihadi Muslims, we pause to remember the 2996 people who died in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

As part of a coordinated effort to recall each and every person who died on that fateful day, I offer a few words in memory of Tony Karnes, a software trainer with Marsh & McLennan.

WilliamKarnes.jpg

Tony worked in the World Trade Center in New York, and died at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. He was 37 years old, and was survived by his partner John Winter and his sisters Brenda Vandever, Vicky Ratcliff and Gayle Barker.

The New York Times had this to say about Tony Karnes.

William Anthony Karnes made his living as a software trainer for Marsh & McLennan. But his life's passion was touting the virtues of his adopted hometown, New York, regaling his sisters with stories about the wonders of living in the city where anything is possible, a place grander than anything he imagined growing up back in tiny Corryton, Tenn.

At least twice a week, Mr. Karnes, 37, would phone home to Tennessee, as much to say "I love you" as to brag about his latest favorite restaurant, usually some Indian place. "He loved that there was so much to discover in New York," said John Winter, his domestic partner.

And he made sure to share his favorite discoveries. "It was a big kick for him to show us around his city," said his sister, Gayle Barker. "He'd take us to the Empire State Building, the top of the World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center or just walking through the streets."

The one thing Mr. Karnes couldn't find in his beloved Manhattan was true Southern cooking. His love of a good plate of pinto beans, corn bread, mashed potatoes and biscuits always managed to guide him back home to one of his sisters' dinner tables. In her mind, Mrs. Barker still imagines her brother sitting around the table. "I just keep thinking that this isn't really happening, that he's not dead. He's just on a long, long trip somewhere."

Writing three months after Tony's attack, John Winter had this to say about him.

Tony, you were my soulmate and the love of my life. After 3 months I still miss you more than anyone can realize.

The 3 years we had together were blissfully happy and oh how I wish we'd had longer to share our lives with each other.

I still love you so very much. HPD

In Tony's honor, the people of East Tennessee contributed $12,000 towards the purchase of the Freedom Engine -- a fire truck which operates as part of Ladder Company 14 in Harlem.

Tony's sisters offer a ray of hope in the face of the manifest evil of the September 11 attacks.

Tony, your sisters are still hurting. We are only saying goodnight but not goodbye.

To this I simply add a heart-felt "Amen!"

UPDATE 9/14/2006: I've decided to not merely shut, but also to hide, comments on this post. A liberal commenenter could not resist the urge to politicize the non-political while claiming to eschew politics. A Fascist troll began a series of hate-comments directed at me and about Tony. As such, I have taken the only appropriate course of action.





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

In Memoriam -- 9/11/2001

Originally Posted on September 11, 2004 -- As is my custom, I repost it today.

So many died that horrible day.

One was my classmate at Washington and Lee University, Commander Robert Allan Schlegel.

I would love to tell you he and I were close. That would be a lie.

I would love to share stories of great times together. I don't have any.

What I can tell you is that I remember Rob Schlegel as a good guy, a friend of some friends. I remember him as being a bright guy, sitting a couple rows over and a couple seats back in a US History class. One of those classmates you later wish you had gotten to know when you had the chance.

Rest in Peace.

May all the victims of September 11 and the many men and women of our armed forces who have died fighting terrorism since that day rest in peace.

And let us not forget those heroes who still live.





|| Greg, 11:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (284) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

"Lan Astaslem"/"Lan Is'tislimo"

notsubmit.jpg

I will not submit to the forces of jihadi Islam. I will not surrender to the Religion Of Peace My Ass.

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Rhymes With Right is a No Dhimmitude Zone.

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H/T Michelle Malkin & Jawa Report

UPDATE: One of Rusty's commenters suggests a better phoenetic translation would be "Lan is'tislimo". I have modified my title accordingly.





|| Greg, 05:50 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 10, 2006

Oderint Dum Metuint

As I read Harry Turtledove's latest book in the "Settling Accounts" Trilogy, The Grapple, I encountered the above unfamiliar Latin phrase. Attributed to the Roman poet Lucius Accius, it translates roughly as follows.

Let them hate us, so long as they fear us.

On this, the eve on the anniversary of 9/11, might I suggest that the words are the appropriate policy for the civilized nations of the world to follow regarding the jihadi Muslims who attacked the US five years ago -- and who have been permitted to conduct a campaign of terror against the civilized people's of the world for far too long.





|| Greg, 07:25 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 09, 2006

Watcher's Council Results

This just in from the Watcher's Council!

the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are It’s Not a War. It’s a Trendy Buzzword! by The Sundries Shack, and Hezbollah Probably Lost the War, But They May Never Have Been In It To Win by Mere Rhetoric.  All members, please be sure to link to both winning entries (and to the full results of the vote) in a post.  I actually had to break a three-way tie in the council category this week...  I thoroughly enjoyed Rick Moran's piece about the utter refutation of the wacko 9/11 conspiracy theories, and I also enjoyed reading Freedom Fighter's pessimistic take on the troubles Jews are having in Western Europe, but Jimmie Bise's spirited defense of Bush's "Islamic Fascism" riff ultimately won me over.  Socratic Rhythm Method was the only member unable to vote this week, and the only member affected by the 2/3 vote penalty.  Thanks to everyone for all the great entries this week...  I'm eager to see next week's entries!  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
2  2/3It’s Not a War. It’s a Trendy Buzzword!
The Sundries Shack
1  2/3It Is Time for Jews to Think About Leaving Western Europe
Joshuapundit
1  2/39/11 Tin Foil Hats Are Melting
Right Wing Nut House
1  1/3Condi's Civil War
Done With Mirrors
1  1/3Reasons for Optimism: Part V
ShrinkWrapped
1Students Swearing In Class: Tolerating The Intolerable?
The Education Wonks
2/3The Law's Power to Combat Implicit Bias
Socratic Rhythm Method
2/3Translating Khatami -- Don't Worry, He's Moderate
AbbaGav
1/3New Orleans, One Year After
The Glittering Eye

VotesNon-council link
2  2/3Hezbollah Probably Lost the War, But They May Never Have Been In It To Win
Mere Rhetoric
1  1/3Friday, September 01, 2006
Gideon's Blog
1  1/3Repeal McCainFeingold
Going to the Mat
1UN: No Right To Self-Defense In International Law
Daled Amos
1MFers Tea Party
Tom Rants
1The Smell of Death
Winds of Change
2/3Friday in Jerusalem
Izfone
2/3Discontinuities, Positive and Negative, Great and Small
Dinocrat
2/3Carleson on Welfare
Barone Blog
1/3America Online: Making a Race Issue Where There Isn't One
The Colossus of Rhodey
1/3UN Report Denies "Right" of Self Defense
Alpha Patriot

It was a great week with some great nominees, so congratulations to all who participated.

And if you want a chance o be nominated this week, take a look here for the Watcher's offer of Link Whorage.





|| Greg, 03:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 08, 2006

In Re. 'Path To 9/11'

Let me speak clearly in this regard -- I think that the ABC production regarding the responsibility for the 9/11 attacks should be broadcast, but without the particular scene that shows Sandy Berger calling off an attack in-place on Osama. It did not happen that way, and there was no such communication or refusal to grant permission to take-out a man who had committed acts of war against the United States -- at least not while he was in the sites of troops prepared to render justice upon Osama and his chief lieutenants. In that regard, I agree with the Democrats and Moonbats.

However, this is my position because of the fundamental truth that the Clinton Mal-Administration was so lax in its duty to safeguard the United States that the truth is much more damaging -- there was never such a plan of attack implemented because the Clintonistas were grossly negligent in their dealing with the threat posed by a man who repeatedly attacked America. I believe the movie scene in question lets Clinton & Co. off much too easily.

In particular, I am particularly troubled by this letter to the ABC network from leading Democrat Senators, effectively threatening to use the full power of the US government to retaliate against the broadcast of any viewpoint other than that accepted by them and their fellow-sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

September 7, 2006

SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP URGES DISNEY CEO TO CANCEL MISLEADING 9/11 MINISERIES
Washington, DC — Urging him to cancel the grossly inaccurate upcoming miniseries The Path to 9/11, the Senate Democratic Leadership today sent the following letter to Disney President and CEO Robert Iger. Disney’s subsidiary ABC erroneously claims the misleading miniseries is based on 9/11 Commission report and is planning to air it on September 10 and 11. Shockingly, the network is also planning to use the program as a teaching tool through Scholastic, potentially misinforming thousands of children about the most important event in recent American history.

The text of the letter, signed by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, and Senators Debbie Stabenow, Charles Schumer, and Byron Dorgan, is below.

September 7, 2006

Mr. Robert A. Iger

President and CEO

The Walt Disney Company

500 South Buena Vista Street

Burbank CA 91521

Dear Mr. Iger,

We write with serious concerns about the planned upcoming broadcast of The Path to 9/11 mini-series on September 10 and 11. Countless reports from experts on 9/11 who have viewed the program indicate numerous and serious inaccuracies that will undoubtedly serve to misinform the American people about the tragic events surrounding the terrible attacks of that day. Furthermore, the manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well respected news organization like ABC. We therefore urge you to cancel this broadcast to cease Disney’s plans to use it as a teaching tool in schools across America through Scholastic. Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events.

Disney and ABC claim this program to be based on the 9/11 Commission Report and are using that assertion as part of the promotional campaign for it. The 9/11 Commission is the most respected American authority on the 9/11 attacks, and association with it carries a special responsibility. Indeed, the very events themselves on 9/11, so tragic as they were, demand extreme care by any who attempt to use those events as part of an entertainment or educational program. To quote Steve McPhereson, president of ABC Entertainment, “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”

Unfortunately, it appears Disney and ABC got it totally wrong.

Despite claims by your network’s representatives that The Path to 9/11 is based on the report of the 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Commissioners themselves, as well as other experts on the issues, disagree.

Richard Ben-Veniste, speaking for himself and fellow 9/11 Commissioners who recently viewed the program, said, “As we were watching, we were trying to think how they could have misinterpreted the 9/11 Commission’s findings the way that they had.” [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism czar, and a national security advisor to ABC has described the program as “deeply flawed” and said of the program’s depiction of a Clinton official hanging up on an intelligence agent, “It’s 180 degrees from what happened.” [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

Reports suggest that an FBI agent who worked on 9/11 and served as a consultant to ABC on this program quit halfway through because, “he thought they were making things up.” [MSNBC, September 7, 2006]

Even Thomas Kean, who serves as a paid consultant to the miniseries, has admitted that scenes in the film are fictionalized. [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]
That Disney would seek to broadcast an admittedly and proven false recounting of the events of 9/11 raises serious questions about the motivations of its creators and those who approved the deeply flawed program. Finally, that Disney plans to air commercial-free a program that reportedly cost it $40 million to produce serves to add fuel to these concerns.

These concerns are made all the more pressing by the political leaning of and the public statements made by the writer/producer of this miniseries, Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, in promoting this miniseries across conservative blogs and talk shows.

Frankly, that ABC and Disney would consider airing a program that could be construed as right-wing political propaganda on such a grave and important event involving the security of our nation is a discredit both to the Disney brand and to the legacy of honesty built at ABC by honorable individuals from David Brinkley to Peter Jennings. Furthermore, that Disney would seek to use Scholastic to promote this misguided programming to American children as a substitute for factual information is a disgrace.

As 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick said, “It is critically important to the safety of our nation that our citizens, and particularly our school children, understand what actually happened and why – so that we can proceed from a common understanding of what went wrong and act with unity to make our country safer.”

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Sincerely,

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid

Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Senator Charles Schumer

Senator Byron Dorgan

Remember those names -- each of them is a threat to American liberty and freedom of speech, and has abused their office shamefully by signing this letter. I question their fitness for office, their devotion to the principles of the Constitution, and their patriotism. I take that back -- I DENY THEIR FITNESS FOR OFFICE, THEIR DEVOTION TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION, AND THEIR PATRIOTISM, and that of any elected Democrat who does not immediately condemn this letter and those who signed it.

Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee, one of my brother Munuvians and a stand-up guy, speaks my thoughts on the matter much better than I can at this time.

The Disney Corporation and ABC has a decision to make today, on whether the American people get to decide what they will watch on television, or if they will defer that decision to operatives of the Democratic Party.

The Path to 9/11, a mini-series based in part upon individual interviews and the 9/11 Commission Report, is being fought tooth-and-nail by grassroots liberal activists and top Democratic Party politicians in an effort to stifle free speech. The Democratic Party has gone so far as to threaten to attempt to challenge ABC's broadcasting license in a clear challenge to this nation's First Amendment. If ABC allows the Democratic Party to set a precedent of censorship through intimidation, then all Americans will have lost a part of their freedom.

Some elements of this mini-series are expected to be critical of the Bush and Clinton Administrations, and it does reputedly dramaticize some minor elements in the interests of accurately portraying the overall truth. that said, the overall treatment of the failings of the American government leading up to the horrific terrorist of September 11, 2001, must be shown. We must learn from our past mistakes to keep from repeating them in the future, and any attempt to prevent The Path to 9/11 from airing is an affront to the 2,973 people who died in lower Manhattan, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. as a result of Islamic terrorism.

I strongly urge you to contact ABC, let them know that you support their right to provide the programming of their choice to the American people.

For 230 years we have been a nation of free men and women with the right to debate, dissent, and disagree. We should not forfeit that right to the whims of any political party.

Debate the merits and accuracy of The Path to 9/11 after the American people have had a chance to view it and form their own opinions about its content. That is the American way.

Censorship dictated by political operatives is not.

Amen, my brother. And let me note that this is one more reason that the Democrat party can never be allowed to acheive significant political power ever again.





|| Greg, 06:35 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (21) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Armitage Defends The Indefensible

And he's upset by those who look upon his three-year silence as a betrayal of President Bush and the American people.

Mr. Armitage, who has been criticized for keeping his silence for nearly three years, said he had wanted to disclose his role as soon as he realized that he was the main source for Robert D. Novak’s column on July 14, 2003, which identified Ms. Wilson. But he held back at the request of Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor. “He requested that I remain silent,” Mr. Armitage said.

He expressed irritation over assertions in some editorials and blogs that, by his silence, he had been disloyal to the Bush administration, saying he had followed President Bush’s repeated instruction that administration officials cooperate with the Fitzgerald inquiry. “I felt like I was doing exactly what he wanted,” he said.

Mr. Armitage testified three times before the grand jury, the last time in December 2005. “I was never subpoenaed,” he said. “I was a cooperating witness from the beginning.”

He never hired a lawyer and did not believe he needed one. “I had made an inadvertent mistake, but a mistake in any event,” he said. “I deserved whatever was coming to me. And I didn’t need an attorney to tell the truth.”

Only two problems with that apologia. It requires us to accept the notion that his failure to resign from office in October or November 2003 -- before there even was a special prosecutor -- was not not in and of itself an act of disloyalty to the President and the American people. The President had promised to fire the leaker -- and Armitage hid out and covered his ass for two full months. Furthermore, his compliance with Fitzgerald's request resulted in the undermining of the nation's confidence in the Commander-in-Chief while the nation was (and is) at war. The American people had a right to know the truth -- especially as the 2004 election rolled around. There was a higher obligation than cooperation with the Fitzgerald investigation -- it was to preserve the faith of the American people in the American government. Fitzgerald had no right, morally or legally, to undermine something so fundamental by swearing the guilty party to silence.

And by the way -- Armitage admits giving inaccurate information regarding his conversation with Bob Woodward, yet walked away scot-free from the entire affair despite being the individual guilty of the leak. Yet Scooter Libby was indicted for essentially the same offense. Why the disparity?





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

Everyone? Really?

Well, celebrity doofus Brad Pitt has made one of the most inane public statements of all time regarding his relationship with Angelina Jolie, who has been involved with most every sort of strange sexual kink.

"Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine's October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19.

Everyone? Really?

Does this just a pathetic way of saying/not saying that they support homosexual marriage? Or do they include incestuous unions in there, too? How about polygamy/polyandry/polyamory?

Knowing Angie, it could be all of the above -- that way she could have Brad, her brother, and her lesbuian ex-lover all tied up in her dominatrix lair. As noted above, she's done it all!

I won't speculate about the couple's position on the rights of the perverts who advocate Man/Boy love -- or whether he thinks freaks like John Mark Karr ought to be able to marry their pre-pubescent obsessions, just like Muhammad did.





|| Greg, 05:29 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Armitage Speaks

Admits he did it.

When will the Plamegate morons admit they are wrong?

In an exclusive interview with CBS News national security correspondent David Martin, Richard Armitage, once the No. 2 diplomat at the State Department, couldn't be any blunter.

"Oh I feel terrible. Every day, I think I let down the president. I let down the Secretary of State. I let down my department, my family and I also let down Mr. and Mrs. Wilson," he says.

When asked if he feels he owes the Wilsons an apology, he says, "I think I've just done it."

In July 2003, Armitage told columnist Robert Novak that Ambassador Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, and Novak mentioned it in a column. It's a crime to knowingly reveal the identity of an undercover CIA officer. But Armitage didn't yet realize what he had done.

So, what exactly did he tell Novak?

"At the end of a wide-ranging interview he asked me, 'Why did the CIA send Ambassador (Wilson) to Africa?' I said I didn't know, but that she worked out at the agency," Armitage says.

Armitage says he told Novak because it was "just an offhand question." "I didn't put any big import on it and I just answered and it was the last question we had," he says.

Armitage adds that while the document was classified, "it doesn't mean that every sentence in the document is classified.

Now, will John McCain drop this man as a policy advisor? And will Patrick Fitzgerald end his rogue investigation? And will someone start disbarment proceedings against Fitzgerald?





|| Greg, 04:38 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

About Damn Time -- Slade Out Of Classroom

Well, TSU has taken their crooked ex-prexy out of the classroom, removing her from her position as an accounting profafter she was indicted on financial fraud charges.

Texas Southern University has relieved former President Priscilla Slade of her teaching duties and started the process to revoke her tenure, campus officials said Thursday.

The university's acting president, Bobby Wilson, notified Slade of the decision this week, saying her presence in the classroom poses "an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process."

The move comes just days after Slade, who faces felony charges related to her spending of university money for personal expenses as president, requested and received teaching assignments this semester.

In June, the university's governing board fired Slade for using school funds to buy furniture, landscaping and a security system for her house, but did not take away her tenured faculty position. Her return last week provoked immediate controversy.

"There were a lot of people who were upset that the ex-president was allowed to teach," said board Chairman J. Paul Johnson. "It has been disruptive."

Slade has no place in the classroom -- and is one more example of what is wrong with tenure.





|| Greg, 04:35 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Al-Qaeda Again Admits 9/11 Guilt

The terrorist shills at al-Jizzbag al-Jazeera have released another propaganda tape from al-Qaeda proclaiming their guilt for the 9/11 attacks.

Al-Jazeera broadcast Thursday what it called a previously unshown video in which al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden is seen meeting with some of the Sept. 11 hijackers. The station did not say how it obtained the video, which was produced by As-Sahab, al-Qaida's media branch.

The video showed bin Laden sitting with his former lieutenant Mohammed Atef and Ramzi Binalshibh, another suspected planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings.

Atef, also known as Abu Hafs al-Masri, was killed by a U.S. airstrike in
Afghanistan in 2001. Binalshibh was captured four years ago in Pakistan and is in U.S. custody, and this week President Bush announced plans to put him on military trial.

In the video, bin Laden was wearing a dark robe and white headgear walking in a mountainous area. He smiled as he greeted several men, which the tape said were Sept. 11 hijackers.

Hopefully that will shut up the folks who claim that the WTC as brought down by a government plot -- including the Democrat candidate for Congress in Florida's 15th Congressional District, Bob Bowman, who claims that Dick Cheney did it.





|| Greg, 04:32 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Fry 'Em

Here are a couple of low-lifes who just need killing.

Two Baytown men have been charged with capital murder in the death of Barney Goodman, a disabled Vietnam veteran who was robbed and beaten with a baseball bat.

Kenneth Dollery, 22, and Hollis B. Buckley, 21, both unemployed, were arrested at a mobile home park in Baytown Thursday.

Both have given statements admitting their involvement in Goodman's death, said Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur.

Goodman, 57, who had served a stint in Vietnam in the U.S. Marines, lost both his legs last year to diabetes, said his brother, Richard Ford.

"My brother had just learned to walk again with artificial legs," Ford said. Goodman also recently survived cancer.

Before his health deteriorated, Goodman had been striving to become a country music singer.

As for the two suspects charged in the killing, Ford said, "They didn't have to do it. He had no legs. They just didn't want a witness left behind."

Arthur said the two suspects, who are cousins, told authorities they were angry with Goodman and "wanted to teach him a lesson" because he owed Buckley's mother a month's rent. Goodman and the suspects were living in the same mobile home with Buckley's mother, said Liberty County Sheriff's Capt. Chip Fairchild.

Goodman died Saturday at a Houston hospital from internal injuries after being beaten on Friday. According to investigators, Goodman agreed to go with the suspects in their car without realizing their intent.

Investigators say the suspects drove Goodman from Baytown to a bridge on FM 2090 just over the Liberty County line. Arthur said they beat him underneath the bridge, threw his artificial legs into the San Jacinto River, and left him there.

Goodman took several hours to claw his way up a 40-foot riverbank and waited until a motorist stopped to render aid. Taken to the hospital, he identified himself and gave a vague account of an attack by two men before passing out. He was unable to be interviewed by investigators before he died.

A capital murder conviction carries a possible death sentence. Goodman was buried Thursday in Baytown.

To the prosecutors -- No plea deal; no mercy.





|| Greg, 04:22 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 07, 2006

Update On Pipe Attack Victim

Remember this story about the brutal attack on a Houston-area teen last spring? Well, the victim has returned to school on his own two feet.

A youth savagely beaten and assaulted with a pipe five months ago in Spring has recovered well enough to take classes at Klein Collins High School, his mother said Wednesday.

The 17-year-old has come a long way since he nearly died after being beaten April 22, she said.

He relies on a cane, but his recovery has been quicker than relatives anticipated.

"He was supposed to use a walker, but he thinks it makes him look old," she said.

David Tuck, 18, and Keith Turner, 17, both of Spring, were indicted on a charge of aggravated sexual assault in the beating and torture of the student.

Turner put a plastic pipe used to hold a patio umbrella in the teen's rectum, and Tuck, a skinhead, kicked it up inside him, damaging his internal organs, authorities have said. At least one of the two yelled ethnic insults during the beating, authorities have said. The student is Hispanic.

The youth, whose name is being withheld because he was sexually assaulted, spent three months and eight days in Memorial Hermann Hospital's intensive care unit.

He was released and sent home in late July, his mother said.

He has undergone operations on his internal organs and will undergo others later.

And the victim, a former football player, has not been abandoned by his old teammates. They are escorting him to class and ensuring that he has any help he needs during the day. It is good to see kids react with class and compassion.





|| Greg, 04:35 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Shuttle Delay

Maybe they will launch on Friday -- or have to wait until next month.

NASA hopes to figure out what caused the latest problem keeping Atlantis earthbound: an electrical short in a 30-year-old motor.

If the agency determines by Thursday night that the cause of the short is not serious, NASA can try to launch the shuttle Friday morning.

If it doesn't launch Friday, the space agency may have to wait until late October _ or relax daylight launching rules instituted after the 2003 Columbia accident and try again at the end of September. Once the Russian Soyuz comes back, NASA may attempt a launch as early as Sept. 28 or 29 even though the launch would be in darkness, spokesman Allard Beutel said.

NASA rules say shuttles have to be launched in daylight so that the big external fuel tank can be photographed for evidence of any broken-off pieces of foam of the sort that doomed Columbia.

There is a slight chance of a Saturday launch, but NASA would have to shorten its construction mission on the international space station, something Wayne Hale, space shuttle program manager, has said he would not like to do.

Here's hoping that all can be resolved in time for a Friday launch.





|| Greg, 04:29 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why The Problem With Eating Horse?

Will someone explain to me why certain busy-bodies have a problem with the butchering-up of horses for sale as food abroad? I guess I don't see the problem -- except that it gives ranting liberals one more stupid "cause" to whine about.

Imagine if 100,000 dogs and cats were slaughtered each year in this county for meat to be sold for human consumption overseas. Imagine if the animals were purchased at dark auctions, transported to foreign-owned and tax-subsidized slaughterhouses in deplorable conditions, stunned with a metal bolt into their heads, and then sliced while alive into body parts.

Now, imagine there is a congressional effort to ban this barbaric treatment. But instead of becoming the political no-brainer of this or any other election year, it comes to the floor of the House of Representatives with its passage in doubt. Why? Because the slaughterers and their hacks in government scare people into thinking that stopping the slaughter actually is bad for the cats and dogs.

Actually, given the number of dogs and cats euthanized each year as unwanted, I would have no objection to some good coming of their deaths in the form of feeding the hungry -- or even sating gourmet palates in places like France. And I say that as a dog lover whose own canine companion is spoiled beyond belief.

The article I quoted from above is long on emotion and short on facts. Here's hoping that Congress ignores the liberal hysteria and gives the legislation it advocates teh deep-sixing it truly deserves.





|| Greg, 04:25 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Kinky Plan For Border Security

And its a damn site better than anything being done by leaders on the state and national level -- especially since Congress has abandoned the issue for this year.

Texas should deploy 10,000 state National Guard troops to the border and issue special worker cards for immigrants, gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman said Wednesday as part of his "Keep It Simple, Stupid Politician" plan.

* * *

Friedman said Texas should immediately deploy 10,000 National Guard troops to the border to reinforce several hundred who are there now.

"We've been waiting for 153 years for Washington to help us with the border. They're not going to do it," he said.

Friedman said he would require immigrants to buy "taxpayer I.D. cards" that would allow them to work legally in Texas, and proposed fines of up to $50,000 against employers who hire illegal immigrants without the card.

Now I don't know that Texas can issue its own immigration documents, but we at least have someone proposing a common sense plan.

For that matter, I suspect Kinky has scored points with some Houstonians with frank words about our other immigration problem -- Katrina evacuees whose presence has lowered our quality of life.

In a Houston campaign appearance, the maverick independent also expressed a dim view of Hurricane Katrina evacuees still in town.

"The musicians and artists have mostly moved back to New Orleans now," he said, according to KHOU (Channel 11). "The crackheads and the thugs have decided to stay here. They want to stay here. I think they got their hustle on, and we need to get ours."

He wants the state to give Houston $100 million for more police officers to deal with a spike in street crime related to the evacuees.

And yes, he does generalize a bit too broadly. But given the spike in crime associated with the low-lifes shipped here from New Orleans, the failure of many of the evacuees to take any part in supporting themselves, and the constant whining for hand-outs from those peole (we've got kids still using their evacuee status as an excuse for not bringing pens and paper to school -- a year after the storm), many Houstonians are ready to load them back onto the buses and send them back across the Louisiana state line.





|| Greg, 04:16 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Editor Killed -- Offended Islamo-Fascists

If this were the work of fundamentalist Christians of neo-conservatives, it would be front-page news around the globe. Instead, it gets buried on page A23 of the Washington Post -- and not given any significant play elsewhere.

But then again, we are so used to the barbarism of the jihadi Islam that this barely causes a ripple in the cosmic force of the universe.

A Sudanese newspaper editor who infuriated Muslim fundamentalists last year by printing an article that concerned questions about the parentage of the prophet Muhammad was found dead Wednesday in Khartoum, the capital.

Masked gunmen abducted Mohamed Taha, editor in chief of Al-Wifaq, from his home Tuesday. His decapitated body was found Wednesday in another section of the city. His head was beside the body, and his hands and feet had been bound, the Reuters news service reported.

Groups of tearful Sudanese reporters gathered outside a mosque in Khartoum on Wednesday night, according to news reports.

Reporters Without Borders, a group that promotes press freedoms worldwide, condemned the killing.

"We express our solidarity with our colleagues in Khartoum, for whom this cowardly murder is a harsh ordeal," the organization said in a statement. "The Sudanese authorities must do their utmost to see that light is shed on this tragedy, so that both the perpetrators and those who instigated it are brought to trial."

Last year, Taha published an article that referred to a centuries-old text by a Muslim historian that raised questions about the prophet's lineage. Religious leaders in Khartoum denounced Taha's work, and scores of protesters called for his death.

That one would be convicted of a crime for offending the religious sensibilities of one's readers is atrocious -- especially when the offense is something so trivial as raising genealogical issues. That one would be murdered for it is intolerable -- but we go right on tolerating it out of sensitivity to the followers of jihadi Islam. At what point will we recognize that jihadi Islam is noting but a gigantic conspiracy to violate basic human rights?





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September 06, 2006

A Little Journalistic Arrogance

Let’s make something clear – the First Amendment confers no special rights on journalists that are not granted to other Americans. Journalists are not a priesthood set apart from the rest of the citizenry, permitted to engage in activities that the rest of us are not. And there is no exemption from the law granted to the press that does not otherwise exist for the people in general. And that is why this whining column by sportswriter John Canzano grates on me so – it claims a privilege for reporters that is not recognized under the Constitution or statutes of the United States of America.

T he reporters working the story broke no rules. They violated no laws. They did their jobs, and like a lot of journalists, they probably believed that a free press protected under our Constitution was not only a good thing, but an integral part of a democracy.

It all sounds great.

Until you consider they're facing prison time.

Sounds dire – until you consider why they face prison time. They have been subpoenaed to provide evidence in a criminal investigation – in particular, evidence regarding who leaked secret grand jury testimony contrary to the laws of the United States. Indeed, these reporters were the recipients of that information, presumably from the criminal or criminals who did the leaking. They have evidence of criminal activity, and like any other citizen have been called to supply evidence in the course of a criminal investigation.

Except they have refused to testify. If this were you or I, we would be hauled off to jail on charges of contempt of court until such time as we testified. These two reporters, on the other hand, remain at liberty while defying the subpoena power of a court and a grand jury while they appeal their contempt citations to a higher court. They want a declaration that reporters, among all the professionals in the United States, have a constitutional right to defy a subpoena on the basis of freedom of the press. They want the Bill of Rights to grant them a special right, granted to no one else. What arrogance!

John Canzano wants to make this a matter of life or death for the First Amendment.

Journalism sometimes depends upon sources being able to share relevant information without fear of exposure and retribution. Reporters need to remain independent. There are times when the use of an anonymous source can have significant benefits.

Reporters are not above the law. And editors go to great lengths to restrict the use of anonymous sources, including weighing the public's need to know. In this case, the reporters reported relevant information that was presented to them. And for that, they've become the focus of prosecutors.

T his isn't a matter of national security. A child's life is not in danger. We're talking about stories relating to a performance-enhancing drug scandal -- important coverage that resulted in sweeping changes in sport. Federal prosecutors, frustrated and at a dead end in trying to root out the leak, decided the best way to proceed is to lock up the messengers.

The only thing being stifled here is a free press, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment. If reporters are compelled to identify confidential sources, you might as well declare it dead.

As a matter of principle, most reporters will choose jail over revealing a confidential source. But time behind bars shouldn't ever be a consequence for those who have followed the rules.

There is a grand jury involved in this case, now. And it's in the hands of a court of appeals now. And lawyers have argued. And subpoenas have been issued. And the defendants are two reporters who haven't broken a law anywhere on the books.

Land of the free, we're told.

But journalists have no right to make such a promise. They are not privileged with the ability to defy laws of general applicability because they believe that “the people’s right to know” trumps the laws of the United States in cases that they consider to be relatively less important than giving protection to the illegal activity of their sources. And that this case goes to the very heart of our legal system – the ability of a grand jury to gather evidence and conduct deliberations related to the bringing of criminal charges without the content of those investigations and deliberations being made public – is certainly a matter of grave importance for the administration of justice.

For Canzano to declare that applying laws to reporters in precisely the same manner which they apply to other citizens constitutes the death knell for the First Amendment is simply absurd hyperbole. Furthermore, it indicates that John Canzano has an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

And it shows that he is a liar as well – for reporters in question have broken the law by their refusal to follow the dictates of the subpoena.

Liberty isn’t license, Mr. Canzano, and the rule of law is a bitch. Deal with it.





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Chris Bell – Theocrat

After all, that is how Democrats have told us to define those who link their faith and their politics and claim the two cannot be separated.

Or maybe they mean that the term only applies to those whose faith isn’t in the Democrat Platform first and the Good Book second.

How else can you explain this speech by the Texas Donks’ candidate for governor, Chris Bell.

Over the past decade, few issues have divided American voters more than the role that religion should play in our political discussion. And I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of faith being wielded as a source of division rather than a source of strength and unity.

At the same time, I disagree with those that think the solution to this empty cynicism is to banish any talk of religion or faith from the public sphere. Personally, I could no more separate my personal faith from my public service than you could separate the Lone Star from the Texas flag. My faith is a fundamental part of who I am, and it informs every aspect of my politics.

And then he goes on to wield faith issues as a source of division by accusing his opponents of being immoral and unChristian. I believe the proper word for that is “hypocrisy”.

H/T Lone Star Times, Voice in the Wilderness





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Artery-Cloggers Top Fair Food Awardees

I’m serious as a heart-attack – which is precisely what you may get with these innovations in carnival cuisine.

This year’s Big Tex Choice Awards, given to the top two State Fair vendors for creative food ideas, may have proven that anything fried and dusted with powdered sugar is delicious.

The second annual contest is a preview of the many foods that patrons will see at this year’s State Fair of Texas, which kicks off Sept. 29 and runs though Oct. 22.

Winning this year’s contest was the battered Fried Praline Perfection for best taste, and the cup of dough-rolled Fried Coke was named most creative. Each winner received a trophy.
* * *
The six finalists

Deep Fried Cosmopolitan — A fried pastry filled with cheesecake and topped with a cranberry glaze and a lime wedge. Served on a stick.

Donkey Tails — Large all-beef franks, slit on one side and generously stuffed with sharp Cheddar cheese, wrapped in a large flour tortilla and fried until golden brown. Served with mustard chili sauce or Ruth’s salsa.

Fernie’s Fried Choco-rito — A flour tortilla stuffed with marshmallows, coconut, candy bar pieces, caramel morsels and cinnamon then dipped in pancake batter and deep-fried to a crispy, crunchy outside and sweet, gooey inside. Drizzled with honey and topped with whipped cream.

Fernie’s Fried Mac-n-cheese — Texas-sized bites of macaroni and cheese, covered with a layer of garlic- and herb-flavored bread crumbs and deep fried until crispy outside and hot and cheesy inside. Served on a stick with a side of dipping sauces.

Fried Coke — Smooth spheres of Coca-Cola-flavored batter that are deep fried, drizzled with pure Coke fountain syrup, topped with whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and a cherry. Served in souvenir contoured glasses.

Fried Praline Perfection — Plump coconut and pecan pralines, battered and fried to a rich golden crust. Served warm with powdered sugar.

I think I’m going to be sick – and I haven’t even been on the Tilt-A-Whirl yet!

H/T Lone Star Times





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Whom The Gods Would Destroy, They First Make Mad

That quote from Euripides certainly ran through my mind when I read this description of the new documentary about the Ditzy Slits Dixie Chicks.

Filmmakers have created a nonchronological story to emphasize the Greek tragedy behind the Dixie Chicks' spiral into country music's public enemy No. 1. The Chicks vs. President Bush, the Chicks vs. Toby Keith, the Chicks vs. country radio -- every antagonistic angle is covered, and yet Maines, Emily Robison and Martie McGuire persevere, with their chroniclers providing a sympathetic tone to their every struggle.

And their actions following Natalie Maines’ stupid comment about President Bush while on stage in England certainly appear insane to me.

Maines is seen backstage at Shepherds Bush Empire asking for an update on the just-launched war in Iraq; within hours -- with cameras rolling -- she offhandedly says, "We're ashamed the president is from Texas," the home state of both Bush and the Chicks. She makes the statement, turns to a bandmate and laughs.

The press makes hay of her comment, and the Chicks and management go into damage-control mode, which will last nearly three years. There's the famous nude Entertainment Weekly magazine cover shoot, the Diane Sawyer interview and the protests at concerts.

Yes. But there is something that gets out. Rather than apologize for offending their fans (which would have been sufficient for me, who was prepared to buy tickets for their 2003 concert in Houston), they sounded a defiant note. Rather than acknowledge that those who were offended had a right to disagree, the band instead painted themselves as the victims of some McCarthyistic furor. Not only that, but they and their supporters acted as if the band was entitled to airplay and album sales – an insane proposition that placed the band’s freedom of speech above the rights of the rest of the American public.

The Left likes to tell us the Ditzy Slits Dixie Chicks were censored for their political speech. There is some truth to that claim – but not the way that the advocates for the band would have the public believe. Millions of Americans did censor band by turning them off and refusing to buy their albums and tickets. Hundreds of radio stations, reacting to listener pressure, censored them by dropping the band from playlists. All of this censorship, though, was of a sort that the Constitution permits – and at no time did the government act against the band, which is prohibited under the First Amendment. The rights of the band were respected, but so were the rights of millions of Americans to express their disapproval with their wallets.

After all, while the girls have every right to speak and sing, they have no right to an audience or a paycheck





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Just Kidding?

This is a new and different excuse for speeding

A Swiss driver caught speeding in Canada explained that he had been taking advantage of the ability to drive fast without hitting a goat, police said on Wednesday.

The driver was caught traveling 161 km/hr (100 mph) in a 100 km/hr zone in eastern Ontario Sunday.

"A motorist from Switzerland, used to driving around hills and mountains, takes advantage of the ability to go faster without risking hitting a goat," read the traffic officer's notes of the incident.

Local police said it was the first time they had ever heard of such an excuse.
"I've never been to Switzerland but obviously they must have a problem with that there," said police spokesman Joel Doiron, adding that in his 20 years of service he had never found a goat on the highways of eastern Ontario.

In a related story, a Texas A&M alum was cited for moving too fast in a local singles bar. He claimed he was taking advantage of the ability pick up girls without hitting on a goat.





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Fisking The NY Times “Time for Answers”

Does the NY Times exist in an alternate universe? That is my conclusion after reading today’s editorial.

For three years, Washington has been periodically consumed with the question of who unmasked a covert C.I.A. agent to the columnist Robert Novak.

Or, at the risk of being accurate, who told Robert Novak the name of a non-covert CIA employee, the disclosure of whose identity has been conclusively shown not to be a violation of any law.

It has been a huge distraction for the White House, resulted in the unjustified jailing of one reporter, and led to perjury charges against the vice president’s chief of staff.

Or, to the contrary, it has led to the justified jailing of a reporter who refused to obey a lawfully issued subpoena that was upheld by every court that reviewed it – in other words, she was held to the same standard as every other American. What is unjustified are the charges against Scooter Libby, whose alleged misdeeds appear to be less a question of deception than a matter of faulty memory that caused him to fall into a perjury trap set by a prosecutor who had long since ceased investigating an alleged crime and had instead set him self up as the Grand Inquisitor.

Last week, it was reported that Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state, was the first to mention Valerie Wilson to Mr. Novak, and that the federal prosecutor knew this more than two and a half years ago.

And why didn’t we know until last week? Because the prosecutor insisted that the leaker not publicly acknowledge his wrong-doing – to the point of preventing Armitage from resigning his position in a timely fashion for fear of inadvertently leading people to the accurate conclusion that he was the leaker. Thus the source of the cover-up was – Patrick Fitzgerald himself!

The revelation tells us something important. But, unfortunately, it is not the answer to the central question in the investigation — whether there was an organized attempt by the White House to use Mrs. Wilson to discredit or punish her husband, Joseph Wilson. A former diplomat, Mr. Wilson debunked the claim that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger to make nuclear weapons.

HELLO!!!!!!! Since when is it a crime to for the executive branch to seek to discredit the views of its critics? It isn’t – and in a prior age was known as “setting the record straight” or “getting the message out”. And since no less than the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has determined that Wilson publicly lied to the press and public about his findings, for the NY Times to claim that he debunked the claim of Iran’s attempt to buy uranium is completely wrong and constitutes proof that the editors live in some bizarre clintonian universe where black is white, up is down, and true is false.

Mr. Armitage, a White House outsider, would be an odd participant in such a plot. He is said to have learned from a State Department memo that Mrs. Wilson had recommended sending her husband to check the Niger story since he had worked there as a diplomat. The memo was prepared for Mr. Cheney, who was eager to prove that there was an Iraqi nuclear weapons program and to silence critics.

All of which is irrelevant – because the attempt to “silence critics” was based upon proving them be wrong on the facts and therefore not credible. This is not a case of the rights of a dissenter being violated – because Mr. Wilson had no reasonable expectation that his false statements would go unchallenged or that those he criticized would not seek to rebut his position.

It’s conceivable that Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, has evidence that suggests the information in the memo was used in some illegal manner. Or his investigators may have learned something troubling about the second, unknown, source cited in Mr. Novak’s column, or about some other illegal activity. But whatever it is needs to be made public. The Armitage story is mainly a reminder that this investigation has gone on too long.

Yes, it has gone on too long. Since Fitzgerald had a mandate to determine who the leaker was and if a crime was committed, he had his answer within 24 hours of his appointment and should have wrapped up his investigation by Christmas of 2003.

While this page opposed calls for reviving the special prosecutor law for this case, we did say that someone outside the White House orbit should be in charge, rather than Attorney General John Ashcroft. Like most others, we saw Mr. Fitzgerald as a good choice. Now we fear he has succumbed to the prosecutor’s foot-dragging disease. He kept the case open after I. Lewis Libby, Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, was indicted. At the time he hinted that he would have more to say on the original crime he was investigating. That was last October.

Or, having discovered that he was a prosecutor without a crime to prosecute, he has found it necessary to manufacture one – the ultimate abuse of prosecutorial power.

It’s time for Mr. Fitzgerald to provide answers or admit that this investigation has run its course. Otherwise, he risks being lumped in with the special prosecutor who spent a decade investigating the former Clinton cabinet member Henry Cisneros, and wound up with nothing more than his conviction that he had yet to get to the bottom of things.

I can almost agree with this view – except that in this case there has always been less than meets the eye.





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Film Highlights "Saint Of 9/11"

Of all the victims of 9/11, one of the most intriguing is Fr. Mychal Judge, who lost his life providing last rights to the dead and dying at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Fatharmychaljudge.jpg
Greater love hath no man than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

A new film looks at the complicated life and work of the man who some call the Saint of 9/11.

“Saint of 9/11” is a touching elegy for the Rev. Mychal Judge, the much-loved New York City Fire Department chaplain who was one of the first to die at the World Trade Center when debris fell on his head as he was following firefighters into the lobby of the north tower. Although the film makes tentative gestures toward being a full-blown biographical portrait, it isn’t that. Directed by Glenn Holsten and narrated by Ian McKellen in a stately, funereal voice, it is a tender memorial to a complicated man who devoted his life to service.

Its hushed, reverential tone is established early on with an image of Father Judge’s body being carried from the rubble while a talking head compares the picture to a Pietà. As the stories of his good deeds accumulate, he is remembered as a charismatic, down-to-earth man of the people who lived selflessly and joyously.

Father Judge didn’t achieve his state of grace without struggle. The movie delicately approaches his twin demons — alcoholism and homosexuality — but offers no stories of carousing or of sexual misadventure. If the film doesn’t state outright that he was celibate, it strongly implies that he was. By the time of his death, at 68, Father Judge had been sober for 23 years and had saved countless lives by taking people to Alcoholics Anonymous. One man remembers living in a box on the street until Father Judge found and rescued him.

His sexual orientation, which he acknowledged to friends but kept largely hidden from his colleagues at the Fire Department, led him to work closely with the gay Catholic organization Dignity and brought him into conflict with the conservative Catholic establishment. He marched in a St. Patrick’s Day parade organized by the gay activist Brendan Fay, a prominent talking head in the film and one of its producers.

In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when even medical personnel were fearful of physical contact with quarantined patients, Father Judge ministered to dying young men at St. Vincent’s Hospital and physically embraced them. Even when he encountered hostility from patients who wanted nothing to do with religion, he discovered that rubbing their feet with holy oil before talking with them would usually break down their resistance.

If anything, this portrait of a man who repeatedly put his life at risk for love of his fellow man, and who died in doing so, proves the old adage that Christians are not perfect, just forgiven. It also reminds us that we each have our burdens to share as we walk the road to Calvary with our Saviour, carrying our own cross in imitation of him.





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