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May 31, 2008

I Agree With MoveOn.org

Former White house Press Secretary Scott McClellan should not profit from his book.

The liberal anti-war group MoveOn.org today launched a petition drive calling on former White House official Scott McClellan to donate the proceeds of his book to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The petition drive, intended to create pressure for Mr. McClellan to be asked about it on the morning news-interview shows Sunday, is the latest signal of a backlash by Democrats and Republicans alike against the former press secretary for turning on his ex-boss, President Bush.

MoveOn's petition e-mail, sent out to its supporters Saturday morning, said that Mr. McClellan's "coming clean is admirable.

"But McClellan shouldn't profit off the role he played in our nation's largest foreign policy blunder, the release reads.

"After spending years defending the Bush administration and perpetuating the lies that led our country into war, Scott McClellan is poised to make bank his tell-all book is a bestseller and he may make hundreds of thousands or millions, MoveOn says. "Meanwhile, our troops are still dying in Iraq.

It really is very simple. If we are to believe Scott McClellan, he stood up and lied to the press on a daily basis for years, and he did nothing to stop what he knew was a contrived effort to take America into an unnecessary and unjustifiable war. As such, he is part of a great criminal conspiracy -- and he should no more be permitted to profit than would any spree killer or child molester would with a book about his crimes.

On the other hand, if Scott McClellan is lying in the book itself there is no justification for his profiting by what would be a fraud committed against the American people in the interest of undermining the government.

Either way, I'm going to disregard everything in the book -- after all, much like David Brock, his entire argument is "Trust me -- I'm a liar!"





|| Greg, 07:33 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 30, 2008

School's Out

This has been a rough school year for me, so I have to admit that I've been looking forward to the last day of school for a while now. There were some wonderful high points, but also a number of negative events that just made this year harder than any in the past. And given the reconfiguration of my school and the resultant reassignment of faculty, I was having problems with my enthusiasm for returning to my school next year -- but planned to do so anyway.

Until last week -- when a wonderful opportunity fell into my lap that I think is a change for the better. So next fall I'll be teaching something different in a different school -- and believe I will be refreshed by the change.

I'll be picking up my last three boxes tomorrow, turning in my keys, and preparing to begin a whole new adventure.





|| Greg, 06:04 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

What's Right, Or What's In The Rules?

I always love it when students are able to figure out how to handle a situation better than the adults in charge -- and hope the adults in charge make the right choice here.

The state's governing body for high-school sports again finds itself stuck between its rules and what many consider common sense.

This time, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association faces a protest from Nicole Cochran, a senior at Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma. Cochran finished more than three seconds faster than her competition in the girls 3,200-meter run at the Class 4A state track and field meet in Pasco, but she was disqualified after an official flagged her for running on the inside lane line.

One problem: a video shows she didn't do it.

"I'm still in a little bit of shock," Cochran said Thursday afternoon. "That's pretty much all everyone can talk about."

The video which shows that a Bellarmine Prep teammate, not Cochran, stepped on the inside lane line was shot by flotrack.com, a track Web site. Since the event's controversial finish late Friday night, the video has circulated throughout the state's track community, triggering many to call for the WIAA to reverse the disqualification and name Cochran the winner.

That, WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese said, isn't likely to happen.

He said the WIAA must follow the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations, which prohibits the use of unauthorized video for reviews. In addition, the race official's ruling is considered a judgment call, which Colbrese said is non-reviewable.

Fortunately, there may be a couple of factors that let them overturn the erroneous judgment call.

Cochran and Ellis list several problems with the disqualification ruling, including that the disqualification form indicates the infraction occurred on Lap 7, even though the video shows the official raised his yellow flag on the final turn of Lap 6.

At the same turn on the seventh lap, Cochran moves outside to take the lead.

"Even without looking at the video, you have a disqualification form with the wrong information," Ellis said.

Also, Ellis said the WIAA should consider that one of the two race officials watching that turn refused to sign off on the disqualification.

Sounds to me like the disqualification itself ought to be disqualified here based upon the obvious inaccuracies in it.

But even if it isn't, this shows that our kids do, in fact, know that what is right ought to trump the rules in such a case -- and those involved handled the situation themselves at the meet.

Andrea Nelson, a sophomore from Shadle Park of Spokane, was named the official winner, but she walked off the podium and hung her gold medal over Cochran's neck.

"It kind of gave me chills," Cochran said. "It was really emotional."

Then the rest of the top eight finishers passed their medals down to the person who crossed the finish line ahead of them.

As hard as these kids have worked to get to this level of competition, I can only imagine how hard it was for those eight kids to take a step down the ladder voluntarily -- especially that poor young lady with the eight-place medal who went home empty-handed as a result. I wish they had included her name in the article, because I'd argue that her sacrifice was every bit as heroic as Andrea Nelson's in giving up the gold to the girl she knew had won the race.

Now, can the adults straighten out this mess?





|| Greg, 05:14 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

More Outrageousness At Trinity UCC -- UPDATED

And this time, I've even met the perp!

Let's look at the hate speech being spewed in the sanctuary this time -- with an introduction from Barack Obama's NEW pastor, not Jeremiah "I didn't know he was that extreme" Wright.

Pastor Otis Moss: He needs no introduction. Hes a friend of Trinity, hes a brother beloved. Hes a preacher par excellence. Hes a prophetic, powerful pulpiteer. He is our friend. He is our brother. He is none other than Father Michael Pfleger. (Crowd on its feet, standing ovation, loud applause). We welcome him once again

Pfleger: [Unintelligible] to address the one who says, Well, dont hold me responsible (gesticulating) for what my ancestors did. But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did and unless you are ready to give up the benefits (voice rising), throw away your 401 fund, throw away your trust fund, throw away all the money you put into the company you WALKED INTO BECAUSE YO DADDY AND YO GRANDDADDY AND YO GREATGRANDDADDY(screaming at the top of his lungs)UNLESS YOURE WILLING TO GIVE UP THE BENEFITS, THEN YOU MUST BE REPSONSIBLE FOR WHAT WAS DONE IN YOUR GENERATION CUZ YOU ARE THE BENEFICIARY OF THIS INSURANCE POLICY! (Wild gestures, wild applause).

We must be honest enough to expose white entitlement and supremacy wherever it raises its head.

I said before I dont want this to be political because, you know, Im very unpolitical (mocking tone, huge laughter).

When Hillary was crying (gesturing tears, uproarious laughter from audience)and people said that was put onI really dont believe it was put on.

I really believe that she just always thought This is mine (laughter, hoots). Im Bills wife. Im WHITE. And this is mine. And I jus gotta get up. And step into the plate. And then out of nowhere came, Hey, Im Barack Obama. And she said: Oh, damn! WHERE DID YOU COME FROM!?!?! (Crowd going nuts, Pfleger screaming). IM WHITE! IM ENTITLED! THERES A BLACK MAN STEALING MY SHOW. (SOBS!) SHE WASNT THE ONLY ONE CRYING! THERE WAS A WHOLE LOTTA WHITE PEOPLE CRYING!

Im sorry. I dont wanna get you in any mo trouble. The livestreaming just went out again

Let's look at the matter closely.

1) If Michael Pfleger were black and were to make such venomous comments about blacks from the pulpit of a white church, he would likely be called, with some justification, a self-hating Uncle Tom by the black community.

2) Michael Pfleger is well known for this sort of crap in Chicago. Anyone who invites him to preach knows exactly what they are going to get.

3) This is the new pastor of Trinity UCC, Otis Moss, doing the introduction-- not Jeremiah Wright. He is the one who invited Michael Pfleger, and allowed him to rant on like this. So much for a new tone at Trinity.

4) Given the pervasive nature of the partisan politics preached from the pulpit at Trinity UCC, is it time to yank their tax exempt status yet?

When I was a seminarian in the Chicago area back in the early 1990s, I went to St. Sabina several times and heard what goes on there -- this is not atypical. I knew priests who had worked with Michael Pfleger, and was even taught by some of them. I heard the stories from the Chicago seminarians, and the Chicago priests. Their assessment, and mine, was that Pfleger was more consumed by his own ego and agenda than by the teachings of Scripture or the Church. Some have even argued that Pfleger's position at St. Sabina is akin to that of Jim Jones or David Koresh.

And let's not forget that this is the same Michael Pfleger who defied the authority of his own Archbishop, Francis Cardinal George, to make personnel assignments as is his right under canon law -- and went so far as to threaten schism if his demands were not met. Already weakened by the pedophilia scandal that had wracked the archdiocese for several years, George backed down rather than suspend Pfleger's priestly faculties over his failure to live up to his priestly commitment to obey his bishop, much less excommunicate Pfleger over his threatened schism.

Obama, of course, has issued another mealy-mouthed statement distancing himself from Pfleger, who was another one of his close spiritual advisers according to early versions of his campaign website.

As I have traveled this country, I've been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that that unites us. That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause," Obama said in a statement.

Sorry, doesn't cut it, Barry. You are still a member of a congregation that regularly allows, encourages, and revels in such hate mongering -- and you have been there for two decades, been married there and raised your children there. That you refuse to address that in a substantive way is proof that you lack the moral resoluteness to confront and reject evil when it might carry a personal cost for you. That is a trait that is unacceptable in a president -- and given the documented history of John McCain's willingness to do the right thing even in the face of certain torture, it is clear that only one of you has what it takes to serve in the highest elected office in the United States.

Oh, yeah, and an even more weaselly statement oozed from the mouth of Michael Pfleger.

"I regret the words I chose on Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Senator Obama's life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Senator Clinton or anyone else who saw them."

Bullcrap, Mikey -- you are sorry that you got caught. Why don't you butch up and admit it -- and admit that you still stand by every vile word that dripped from your mouth in that video, just like did when you threatened the life of a gun dealer. And after this, do you think you have the stroke to fight a transfer directive now that your FOURTH six-year term as pastor of St. Sabina is up?

This is just one more in a chain of extremist associations that Obama has to explain away -- Wright, Rezko, Ayers, Pfleger -- of the sort that would kill any white candidate. When will Barack Obama be held to that standard? And what will he say when and if that rumored tape of Michelle Obama speaking at Trinity ever surfaces? As Hillary Clinton discovered earlier this year, it is rather difficult to disassociate yourself from your spouse.

st-obama-of-assisi.jpg

UPDATE: Guess what -- Barack Obama has made sure that $100,000 of your tax dollars go to support Michael Pfleger and St. Sabina. That means that he is clese enough friends to subsidize make you subsidize Pfleger, but not close enough to know what he really stands for. Can we really afford to have to have a guy like this as president?

UPDATE 2: Obama quits Trinity.

H/T Michelle Malkin, Hot Air, Gateway Pundit

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|| Greg, 05:50 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Chronicle Of A Stupid Controversy

I'm sorry -- those who made a big deal out of Rachel Ray's scarf in a Dunkin Donuts commercial were simply nutty.

A few months after doughnuts became a presidential campaign issue, they stood at the center of a storm created by right-leaning bloggers. This was a story about donuts and dumb celebrities who were mainstreaming terrorism to make a buck, asserted Little Green Footballs and Michele Malkin. And Atlas Shrugs revised a bell-ringing catchphrase thusly: TIME TO MAKE THE JIHAD!

Suddenly, Dunkin Donuts was accused of promoting terrorism, thanks to the wardrobe choices of Rachael Ray, its celebrity spokesman, during an online advertisement. According to the bloggers, she had decided to embrace hate couture by wearing a keffiyeh, a scarf popular in the Arab world and preferred by Yasir Arafat and other Palestinian militants during their rise in the West Bank and Gaza.

The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad, Michele Malkin wrote in her nationally syndicated column. The Keffiyeh Kerfuffle, as she called it, might warrant a boycott. Other bloggers agreed.

On Tuesday, Dunkin Donuts announced that it was dropping the advertisement. But they also made clear that this was all a big misunderstanding. Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design, the company said in a statement, according to The Boston Globe. Absolutely no symbolism was intended.

Moreover, Rachael Rays role was minimized the controversial scarf was selected by her stylist.

The upshot is that the scarf probably wasn't a keffiyeh. This was a tempest in a teapot, fueled by several folks who I like, respect, and in at least one case have a good personal relationship with via email. It was simply silly, in my opinion.

But what it does do is show the power of the blogosphere -- and the potential power of those of us on the right if we embrace efforts to harness that power in the way that the left has done.





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

Girl Scout Cookie Money Thief Sentenced

Remember these thieving bitches?

bitches.jpg

One of them just got three years in the slammer!

Saying she is "an out-of-control drug user," a juvenile court judge on Wednesday ordered Girl Scout cookie-money thief Stefanie Woods confined to a high-security facility for up to three years in order to address substance-abuse and mental-health problems.

* * *

Baker convicted Woods on May 13 of petty theft and two counts of violating probation after a nonjury trial for her role in the stealing of $168 from 9-year-old Girl Scout Gracie Smith outside a Winn-Dixie in suburban Boynton Beach. In a letter to the judge, Gracie urged him to sentence Woods to community service in the form of cleaning up a Girl Scout camp.

Woods was a juvenile at the time of the misdemeanor offense. A girlfriend, also a juvenile, took an envelope containing the cookie sales money and got into a car that sped off with Woods at the wheel. The next day, Woods and her friend boasted and showed off for television camera crews and found themselves making national news.

Woods will remain in a secure juvenile detention facility locally until there is a bed available at a state-run facility at the second-highest security level, as ordered by Baker. That could be a month or two, a Juvenile Justice worker told the judge.

She eventually will be in a prison-like setting where she will undergo a psychological assessment - she's been diagnosed at least once as bipolar - and individual and group therapy. "It is the hope that once and for all, she will address her substance abuse issues," Baker said.

Based on reports he receives, the judge will decide whether Woods remains confined for three years or is released earlier.

She may get out of juvenile detention briefly next week. That's when she's due back in adult court to be sentenced for a "dine-and-dash" incident for skipping out on a Denny's without paying a $25.84 check she incurred with the same friend from the cookie-money theft.

You have to read the string of outrageous claims made by Baker and her lawyer to try to get her leniency -- something which backfired in a big way. Here's hoping that her next court appearance -- on that charge from Denny's -- nets her some additional time.

What a pair of scummy, scuzzy wenches!





|| Greg, 04:42 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Stonehenge A Cemetery

But is that all it was? And why did it become the astrological/astronomical observatory that it undeniably is? This discovery doesn't answer those questions.

New radiocarbon dates from human cremation burials among and around the brooding stones on Salisbury Plain in England indicate that the site was used as a cemetery from 3000 B.C. until after the monuments were erected around 2500 B.C., British archaeologists reported Thursday.

What appeared to be the head of a stone mace, a symbol of authority, was found in one grave, the archaeologists said, indicating that this was probably a cemetery for the ruling dynasty responsible for erecting Stonehenge.

Its now clear that burials were a major component of Stonehenge in all its main stages, said Mike Parker Pearson, an archaeologist at the University of Sheffield in England.

In other words, we still have some serious questions that need to be answered -- but it is exciting to have one more bit of history to add into the mix.





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

May 29, 2008

Obama Campaign Chooses Memorial To Slain Cops For Latrine Site

I know any complaints about this are merely a distraction from the Obamessiah and they dont help out Michelle Obamas children (not that Im mocking her Obamessiah says she is off limits).

Portland police officers have asked for an apology after they said organizers of a Barack Obama rally set up Porta-Potties on a memorial honoring fallen officers.

Earlier this month, 75,000 people gathered in Waterfront Park in downtown Portland to hear Obama speak at a pre-primary rally.

And how, exactly, would organizers have known that this was sacred ground dedicated to the memory of fallen police officers (many of whom were no doubt at the rally that day Obamessiah sees dead people)?

Brennan, who controlled the crowd near the Portland Police Memorial, noticed several Porta Potties set up in the middle of the memorial. Brennan had been at the site five days earlier for an annual memorial service and a flag was still set at half mast on the day of the rally.

When Portland cop Thomas Brennan contacted the Obamessiah campaign about the blatant act of disrespect, the complaint was ignored. But hey, hes Obama!

st-obama-of-assisi.jpg





|| Greg, 06:19 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Stupid Journalist Tricks

Clearly, some folks have no concept of what a right is and its place in our system.

Thats clear in this column by Tom Eblen of the Lexington Herald-Ledger.

As society becomes more diverse, we must regain the lost art of compromise. Otherwise, we'll never be able to deal with complex problems in ways that protect everyone's rights. Polarization may be good for special-interest groups and political parties, but it's bad for America.

If Second Amendment absolutists keep standing up and daring others to pry their guns from their "cold, dead fingers," eventually somebody's going to do it.

Now I wonder how Eblen would respond to the same call for compromise in the case of freedom of the press. After all, the same helping law enforcement for the sake of public safety can be used to argue in favor of allowing police unfettered access to the notes and work product of reporters. We know, however, that Eblen would blow a gasket defending his First Amendment rights in the event that someone were to seriously propose such a thing. Heck, his employer has waxed eloquent in the past against requiring reporters to submit to subpoenas on the same basis as ordinary citizens. I guess that maybe he and his journalistic confreres consider some rights to be more precious than others.

But let me remind Eblen of one thing when they come to pry his keyboard from his cold dead fingers, it will be many of those same special-interest Second Amendment absolutists who will be standing there trying to defend him from the stormtroopers in jackboots provided that Eblen hasnt managed to compromise away their ability to do so.





|| Greg, 05:21 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Barack Obama Nothing Burger

This is an interesting assessment of Barack Obamas policy proposals more of the same old Democrat tripe. So much for change.

Obama has not emphasized any signature domestic issue, or signaled that he would take his party in a specific direction on policy, as Bill Clinton did with his "New Democrat" proposals in 1992 that emphasized welfare reform or as George W. Bush did with his "compassionate conservatism" in 2000, when he called on Republicans to focus more on issues such as education.

Obama's campaign is "clearly politically transformative, it's clearly from a policy standpoint been cautious," said James K. Galbraith, a liberal activist and economist at the University of Texas at Austin who had backed former senator John Edwards in the early primaries.

"The change that Senator Obama has promised is one of tone and leadership style," said William A. Galston, who was a domestic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton and is backing Sen. Clinton but who said he would enthusiastically support Obama if he is the party's nominee. "He has not dissented from party orthodoxy in the way Bill Clinton did on the way to the presidency in 1992," Galston added.

In other words, the only change we have to hope for is in terms of packaging the contents will all remain the same, with the same old failed Democrat strategies of the past. Consider him to be John Kerry without the experience and military service or Michael Dukakis with charisma.





|| Greg, 04:23 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Is This Really The Washington Post?

I was stunned when I read these words this morning.

Protecting employees from retaliation makes sense, but it is not the province of judges to create such protections on the basis of their own beliefs of what is right or wrong, or even on the basis of their intuitive sense of what Congress meant to do or should have done. And those who today praise the outcome shouldn't be upset if in the future justices read into the law new principles that lead to results they may find less acceptable.

There is a term for what the Washington Post is criticizing judicial activism. In the past, the paper has been loath to criticize it. Did I miss some major earthshaking event that allowed this editorial to make it into print or is their editorial page going conservative?

What next -- a call for strict constructionalism and the jurisprudence of original intent?





|| Greg, 03:25 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Coincidence? I Think Not!

After all, it is just too odd for these two headlines to appear on Drudge at the same time.

Monkeys control a robot arm with thoughts

and

NASA begins releasing robotic arm of Mars lander

Is Matt Drudge trying to subliminally communicate secret information to the public at large?

Are telekinetic space monkeys the descendants of the original suborbital test subjects in the early days of the space program controlling space vehicles sent to other planets?





|| Greg, 02:37 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

WaPo Defends McCain On GI Bill

Imagine that -- there are flaws in the bill that the Democrats have tried to turn into a litmus test on supporting the troops, and good ideas in the bill sponsored by John McCain.

The proposal, by Sen. James Webb (D-Va.), would expand the current GI Bill to ensure full college scholarships for veterans who spend three years or more in the armed forces. As we have said, the current system has not kept pace with rising college costs and has shortchanged veterans who have endured the rigors of wartime service.

That does not mean that the measure is perfect or that the concerns expressed by the Pentagon and other critics, including Mr. McCain, should be brushed off as illegitimate or insensitive to veterans. The Pentagon argues that the measure would harm the military by providing too large an incentive for people to leave. The projected increase in departures would be offset by an increase in recruitment among those attracted by the new, improved benefit; however, that does not account for the loss of experience and added training costs. Mr. McCain and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) have proposed an alternative that concentrates on giving those who remain in the service added educational benefits, including the ability to transfer their benefits to family members; the measure would also boost benefits for veterans, although far less than the Webb bill would.

The fact that Mr. Webb's bill was co-sponsored by Republicans such as Sens. John W. Warner (Va.), the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, and Chuck Hagel (Neb.), a former deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration, adds to its credibility. But as Mr. McCain pointed out, "It would be easier, much easier, politically for me to have joined Sen. Webb in offering his legislation." Tempting as it may be, his decision not to do so should not, as Mr. Obama suggests, be the occasion for partisan posturing.

Obama, of course, did engage in just such political posturing when he attacked McCain's position as insufficiently supportive of veterans. it is also the stock-in-trade of other dishonorable candidates for office, including Texas Democrat Rick Noriega, who chose to politicize Memorial Day by denouncing Senator John Cornyn for supporting the McCain/Graham bill in a column in the Houston Chronicle -- and the following Memorial Day email blast:

Dear Greg,

In today's Houston Chronicle, Rick Noriega has authored an Op-Ed entitled "Texas needs two senators who will back our veterans."

COLUMN EXCERPT DELETED

To read the entire piece, please click here. Once you've read the Op-Ed, be sure to forward the link to all of your friends and family.

Have a safe and happy holiday.

Sincerely,

Mark Bell
Campaign Manager
Rick Noriega for Texas

Not a single mention of those who have fought and died for our country -- just a cheap politial shot on behalf of flawed legislation.

There are ways to improve the GI Bill -- but the Webb bill is not it and fails to incorporate the good ideas mentioned in the Post editorial. It seeme to me that rather than attacking those who dare to see a need for something different, the supporters of the Webb bill might consider actually taking into consideration the views of their critics to create a bill that is good for all veterans and the US military as a whole -- rather than a blunt instrument for the Democrats to club their opponents with.





|| Greg, 04:30 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Federalism Isn't The Answer To The Gay Marriage Issues

I am generally supportive of allowing states great latitude in how they approach various issues. That's federalism, after all, and is one of the great principles underlying our system of government.

That said, here is an example of why the gay marriage issue cannot be left to the states -- the problem of the recognition of such marriages in states which prohibit them under their own laws.

Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.

In a directive issued on May 14, the governors legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.

The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses.

In a videotaped message given to gay community leaders at a dinner on May 17, Mr. Paterson described the move as a strong step toward marriage equality. And people on both sides of the issue said it moved the state closer to fully legalizing same-sex unions in this state.

Yeah, all it takes is one official issuing a directive and gay marriages are recognized -- even if the legislature has explicitly declined to permit them to be performed within the state. The public policy decisions of one state -- whether made by the elected branches of government or a rogue court -- can effectively drive the policy of the other 49.

The Defense of Marriage Act, passed with great support over a decade ago, may not be sufficient to protect the right of those states that reject gay marriage to set their own policy on the matter. All it will take is one federal judge to declare the law unconstitutional to open the floodgates. As the Constitution stands now, federalism is not the answer.

That is why there needs to be some sort of amendment to the US Constitution on the matter. And I'm not necessarily arguing for an amendment to ban gay marriages nationwide. Rather, I'd like to propose a compromise which sets the Defense of Marriage Act into the Constitution itself as a tool for protecting federalism. Don't define marriage per se, but simply state that noting in the US constitution requires a state (or the federal government) to recognize marriage as anything other than one man and one woman. Then the decision of California's courts will truly be California's problem -- not one for all 50 states.

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|| Greg, 04:14 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Horrific Teacher Misconduct

Speaking as a teacher, I can understand some students make you want to "vote them off the island". There are a few every year. But we don't do it, as much as we might fantasize about it.

But one teacher apparently lacked the common sense decency to keep such things in the realm of fantasy -- and led her students in the abuse and ostracism of a special needs student in her kindergarten class!

A Port St. Lucie, Fla., mother is outraged and considering legal action after her son's kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.

Melissa Barton says Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo had her son's classmates say what they didn't like about 5-year-old Alex. She says the teacher then had the students vote, and voted Alex, who is being evaluated for Asperger's syndrome -- an autism spectrum disorder -- out of the class by a 14-2 margin.

What is frightening to me is that the local DA has already determined that this doesn't meet the definition of emotional abuse of a student. That may be the case, but I'd like to think the determination might take a bit longer, with the teacher left twisting in the wind.

Here's hoping that we'll at least see her teaching credentials revoked.





|| Greg, 03:56 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Congratulations, Graduates -- And Thank You, Houston Chronicle

I've often got a lot of criticism of the Houston Chronicle, but one thing I have always appreciated about the paper is its annual feature on the top graduates at every local high school in the Houston area -- along with a database of every kid scheduled for graduation at those schools. This is something that a lot of big city newspapers stopped doing years ago due to the number of schools and students involved, but it is still a priority to the Chronicle. I just want to voice my appreciation.

And yes, offer my congratulations to all the graduating seniors in the Houston area.





|| Greg, 03:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bad Music Video

My wife was flipping channels a few minutes ago and came across a live performance of this song by the artist below.

Yeah -- David Hasselhoff doing grave damage to one of the great songs of my childhood. If there is one thing that Democrats and Republicans ought to be able to get together on, it is the necessity of legislation banning David Hasselhoff from coming within 100 feet of a recording studio.

And yeah -- the live performance was just as awful.

Hooga Hooga Ooga Chaka indeed.





|| Greg, 03:40 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 28, 2008

RWR Is Back On The Web

You know, it sucks to exceed bandwidth and go offline for six hours in the middle of the day.

But it is also a nice problem to have -- it means that for th third straight month my traffic has increased beyond the previous month's traffic. And since I have had the bandwidth bumped every time, that means I'm seeing a real increase.

A change is coming very soon, though, that will take care of this problem permanently -- stay tuned!





|| Greg, 06:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

When Ineptitude Meets High Explosives

Dont you hate it when this happens?

Six pro-Taliban militants were killed on Wednesday when their vehicle packed with explosives blew up in a northwestern Pakistani region on the Afghan border, a militant and officials said.

The explosion was caused by a hand grenade that went off accidently when their comrades were travelling through the Bajaur region, where Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants operate, a militant said.

"The hand grenade blast blew up the ammunition and explosives in the vehicle killing six militants and wounding two," said a Taliban member who declined to be identified.

I know Im rather disappointed that there was only a 75% kill-rate.

But at least there is the happy ending that sees these guys heading to Hell with their false prophet and his false god.





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

Off The Wall

While I have great compassion for the mentally ill, this lady is just plain nuts!

A woman with a bizarre fetish for inanimate objects has revealed she has been married to the Berlin Wall for 29 years.

Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer, 54, whose surname means Berlin Wall in German, wed the concrete structure in 1979 after being diagnosed with a condition called Objectum-Sexuality.

Mrs Berliner-Mauer, whose fetish is said to have its roots in childhood, claimed she fell in love with the structure when she first saw it on television when she was seven.

She began collecting "his" pictures and saving up for visits. On her sixth trip in 1979 they tied the knot before a handful of guests.

What she found folks as nutty as her to attend the wedding? Im speechless.

But this may be the money quote for the entire article.

While she remains a virgin with humans, she insists she has a full, loving relationship with the wall.

Mrs Berliner-Mauer, who lives in Liden, northern Sweden, said: "I find long, slim things with horizontal lines very sexy.

"The Great Wall of China's attractive, but hes too thick my husband is sexier."

But not to worry about Mrs. Berliner-Mauer she seems to have found substitute companionship. The article reports that she is currently in a fulfilling relationship with a local garden fence.





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

Dem Lawyers Insist Upon Disenfranchisement Of Florida And Michigan

Not only that, but the only way to seat them all requires that it be done by the Credentials Committee in Denver on the first day of the convention.

A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers. ADVERTISEMENT

Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party's legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo.

The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday at a Washington hotel. The committee is considering ways to include the two important general election battlegrounds at the nominating convention in August, and the staff analysis says seating half the delegates is "as far as it legally can" go.

So, the party of "Count Every Vote" is not the party of "Disenfranchise Every Voter" -- apparently as a matter of law (I'd love to see this memo -- wouldn't you?).

But that Credentials Committee challenge is important -- it gives Hillary Clinton a plausible reason to stay in the race through the Convention itself, and to wage a Kennedyesque floor fight to seat the remaining delegates. Could be really ugly -- if you are a Democrat.





|| Greg, 05:00 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Don't Know Much About History -- The Barack Obama Story

I realize that with his scant resume, all Barack Obama really has to run on is empty rhetoric and Bush Derangement Syndrome. But since we've been talking about the historical ignorance of the presumptive Democrat nominee, let's take on another example of where he has tried to reshape the past to fit with the needs of his political present as he grasps for future power.

Last week, Obama said this.

Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples' lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region.

No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum. His predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian government, and checkbook diplomacy offers the same false promise as the tried and failed ideologies of the past. But the United States is so alienated from the rest of the Americas that this stale vision has gone unchallenged, and has even made inroads from Bolivia to Nicaragua.

Tom Bevan points out the problem with this assessment of responsibility for the rise of the Venezuelan strongman -- he came to power in 1998, during the middle of the second Clinton Administration.

Chavez was elected in December 1998 - two years before President Bush took office - running as a Marxist demagogue, and it was clear from the outset what kind of leader he would be. By July 1999 he had forced through a rewriting of the Venezuelan Constitution that restructured the government, vastly expanded his authority, and increased his ability to pack the court system.

I remember this period fairly well, because at the time I lived in Miami and worked with a young woman from a well to do family from Venezuela. Her parents, along with the rest of the business class in Venezuela, were petrified by Chavez and were scrambling to try and find ways of sheltering and/or protecting their assets before Chavez seized them - as he'd promised to do.

Again, all of this took place during the Clinton administration in the year and a half preceding George W. Bush's election, and a full four years before the Iraq campaign began. Though Obama would like to argue Chavez is somehow a monster of George Bush's making, the truth is that he was a bad actor from the beginning, and would have remained so regardless of who was occupying the White House.

Now I realize that it is popular among Democrats to blame everything on George W. Bush -- but there is no way that you can blame the then-governor of Texas for the rise of the dictator. For Obama to try do so is indicative of either cluelessness or dishonesty -- each of which he has displayed often in recent weeks.

Wanna bet that the MSM again ignores the Obamessiah's feet of clay?

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|| Greg, 04:40 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 27, 2008

Barack Obama -- Pimp My Holocaust!

If the words of the Obamessiah are true, then he must have been.

Obama also spoke about his uncle, who was part of the American brigade that helped to liberate Auschwitz.

As I see it, this can only lead us to one of four different conclusions:

  • Obamas uncle (who may not have existed at all) served in the Soviet Red Army, since they liberated Auschwitz.
  • Obama is generally ignorant of the history of WWII.
  • Obama is delusional.
  • Obama is lying.

    My guess? Number four because he has made historically implausible claims about the his familys connection with the liberation of concentration camps in the past (Treblinka was also liberated by the Russians), unless his grandfather served in the Soviet Red Army, too.

    Oh, yeah and Obama doesnt have an uncle on the American side of his family, because his mother was an only child.

    Can we finally get the media to cover Barack Obamas daily falsehoods, misstatements, and errors like they would any other candidate? After all, he aint nothin special.

    UPDATE: The inevitable "clarification" from the Obama campaign (what you make when the media likes you -- otherwise it is an "apology" or "confession"):

    "Senator Obama's family is proud of the service of his grandfather and uncles in World War II - especially the fact that his great uncle was a part of liberating one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald," spokesman Bill Burton said. "Yesterday he mistakenly referred to Auschwitz instead of Buchenwald in telling of his personal experience of a soldier in his family who served heroically."

    So it appears that the correct option above was number 2. Interestingly enough, Obama's camp didn't tell us who the great uncle was so that the information can be verified.

    H/T Malkin, Sister Toldjah





  • || Greg, 04:53 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Carter National Security Advisor Offers Policy Advice On Iran

    Because, as we all remember, the Carter years were the high point of US-Iranian relations.

    Ahmadinejad_alleged[1].JPG

    Yeah, I thought you did.

    Koppel-thumb[1].jpg

    Current U.S. policy toward the regime in Tehran will almost certainly result in an Iran with nuclear weapons. The seemingly clever combination of the use of "sticks" and "carrots," including the frequent official hints of an American military option "remaining on the table," simply intensifies Iran's desire to have its own nuclear arsenal. Alas, such a heavy-handed "sticks" and "carrots" policy may work with donkeys but not with serious countries. The United States would have a better chance of success if the White House abandoned its threats of military action and its calls for regime change.

    Tell me would you buy a Middle East policy from this man?

    zpig.gif





    || Greg, 04:50 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    "A Matter Of Serious Concern"

    Maybe that Iranian nuclear program hasn't been ended after all.

    At least that is the opinion of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency, in an unusually blunt and detailed report, said Monday that Irans suspected research into the development of nuclear weapons remained a matter of serious concern and that Iran continued to owe the agency substantial explanations.

    The nine-page report accused the Iranians of a willful lack of cooperation, particularly in answering allegations that its nuclear program may be intended more for military use than for energy generation.

    Part of the agencys case hinges on 18 documents listed in the report and presented to Iran that, according to Western intelligence agencies, indicate the Iranians have ventured into explosives, uranium processing and a missile warhead design activities that could be associated with constructing nuclear weapons.

    There are certain parts of their nuclear program where the military seems to have played a role, said one senior official close to the agency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under normal diplomatic constraints. He added, We want to understand why.

    The atomic energy agencys report highlights the amount of work still to be done before definitive conclusions about the nature of the program can be made, a task that the official associated with the agency said would require months.

    So once again it would appear that Iran is flouting the will of the international community by engaging in research that is pointed towards military, not civilian, applications of nuclear technology. It has been the policy of the United States -- and the United Nations -- to stand against such research by the rogue state in an effort to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Such an effort needs to continue in the interest of preventing the unstable Iranian regime -- and its unstable leader, Mahmoud the Mad -- from possessing and using nukes.

    I wonder -- will this report change the mind of a certain foreign affairs neophyte running for president who has repeatedly said he will meet Mahmoud the Mad without preconditions, even though it will give him immense prestige and strengthen his grip on power in Iran?





    || Greg, 04:36 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Marines Kicking Taliban Butt In Afghanistan

    I don't know about you, but this impresses me.

    For two years British troops staked out a presence in this small district center in southern Afghanistan and fended off attacks from the Taliban. The constant firefights left it a ghost town, its bazaar broken and empty but for one baker, its houses and orchards reduced to rubble and weeds.

    But it took the Marines, specifically the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, about 96 hours to clear out the Taliban in a fierce battle in the past month and push them back about 6 miles.

    Most importantly, civilians are returning to the areas that have been cleared of the Islamist scum -- hopeful that their lives can return to normal due to the work of these American military heroes.

    Hurrah for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit!





    || Greg, 04:25 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Barack Obama: I See Dead People

    After all, Memorial Day is about honoring American fighting men and women who gave their lives in battle for our country. Oughtn't we be worried about a candidate for president who claims to be seeing them among the crowd at one of his speeches?

    On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.

    Yes, I recognize that it is simply another one of Barack Obama's stupid comments made off the cuff -- but tell me seriously that we would not be hearing questions about John McCain's age and mental health if he had made such a statement. And for that matter, tell me that an identical statement by George W. Bush would not be taken as another sign of his alleged lack of mental prowess -- which Obama-supporting left-wingers have been claiming for years based upon verbal missteps.

    By the way -- why isn't the press giving this gaffe the sort of coverage it gave Hillary Clinton's reference to a historical event last week? Could it be that the MSM is in the tank for the Obamessiah?

    st-obama-of-assisi.jpg





    || Greg, 04:14 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Palin's Polar Bear Suit Defends More Than Alaska

    For all the hysteria about global warming, there really is no proof that human beings are making a significant contribution to climate change -- or that it is anything more than a normal cyclical process that is utterly beyond human control. But that didn't stop the Bush Administration from declaring polar bears to be endangered by global warming -- despite the fact that the population of polar bears is on the rise, and may be reaching record highs. That is one reason why the lawsuit filed by Alaska Gov. Sarha Palin is a good thing.

    But there is an additional reason why this designation is dangerous -- the near limitless authority that the Environmental Protection act will now give the EPA -- and unelected federal judges -- over economic activity.

    The act, for one, requires the department to ensure that "all actions authorized, funded or carried out" by all federal agencies aren't likely to "result in the . . . adverse modification of habitat" of listed species.

    This was odious enough when the presence of a few worthless snail darters was sufficient to derail massive public-works projects.

    But because polar bears are now imperiled by global warming (officially, anyway), any carbon emissions anywhere in the country could conceivably be judged an illegal threat to their habitat.

    And far-left green outfits like the Center for Biological Diversity - the group that led the charge to get the polar bear listed in the first place - are already licking their lips at the prospect.

    So be aware -- restrictions upon your lifestyle and economic well-being may becoming, even if there has not been a polar bear in your neighborhood since the last ice age (and even if the glaciers never reached your neck of the woods) on the theory that YOU may do the polar bears harm via carbon emissions in Illinois, Virginia, or New Mexico. The speculative harms done to the polar bears will be deemed to outweigh the actual harms done to you and your children in their name.





    || Greg, 04:00 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 26, 2008

    The First Proclamation of Memorial Day

    remembering[1].jpg

    HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
    General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

    1. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

    We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

    If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

    Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

    2. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

    3. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

    By order of

    JOHN A. LOGAN,
    Commander-in-Chief

    N.P. CHIPMAN,
    Adjutant General

    Official:
    WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

    397px-John_A._Logan_(general)[1].jpg
    Major General John A. Logan





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

    NY School Falsely Reports Parent As Child Abuser For Missing A Meeting

    I've had parents call me on the phone to schedule meetings, and then blow me off. Indeed, at least twice a year I get a message from the front office telling me that a parent has demanded a meeting with all his/her child's teachers -- only to find myself sitting around a conference table with seven other teachers and an assistant principal twiddling our thumbs when the parent doesn't bother to show up.

    I'd never think of reporting such an inconsiderate parent to CPS for child abuse. That would obviously be a false report.

    But in New York City, that's what they did in the case of a parent of an honor student who couldn't make a meeting that the school asked for.

    Bronx HS of Science senior Michel Dussack has a "B" average, an 1890 SAT score and an almost full college scholarship for the fall.

    But Dussack's mother was accused of "educational neglect" two weeks ago and was reported to the city's child-services agency - because she missed a scheduled meeting to discuss her son possibly failing gym.

    Karen Dussack, 40, is now under investigation by the Administration for Children's Services, the city's welfare agency that protects kids from neglect and abuse.

    Two caseworkers from the ACS showed up at Dussack's door in Bayside, Queens, on May 14. The ACS interviewed Karen and her husband, also named Michel, as well as their two children, Michel and his sister, Deborah, 11. They checked the home for smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and examined the contents of the refrigerator.

    The visit lasted two hours. Afterward, someone from the agency interviewed a representative from Deborah's school, MS 158 in Queens, and the family pediatrician over the phone.

    "It was humiliating," Karen said.

    What's the problem? It seems that Michel has missed 8 days of school this semester and has not been participating in gym class because of his asthma -- and Mrs. Dussack missed a meeting with school officials because she had to take her other child to the doctor due to an injury to her foot.

    So a school guidance counselor decided that the best way to handle the situation was to report Mom as a child abuser -- an action justified by the school's principal as an effort to force her to attend to her child's education.

    Oh, and interestingly enough, in doing so, the counselor violated school district policy, because Michel's eight absences fell below the district standard of 10 for making such a report.

    There seems to me to be a perfectly appropriate way of handling this -- charge both the counselor and the principal with making a false report of child abuse or neglect, and have the district make a generous financial offer to the Dussack family that will more than cover the college tuition of both Dussack children in the hopes that the Dussack family does not file a multi-million dollar civil suit over this bad-faith action by employees of the district.

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    || Greg, 08:42 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    A Humiliating Trade

    Surely a ballplayer is worth more than a box of bats!

    During three years in the low minors, John Odom never really made a name for himself.

    That sure changed this weekhes the guy who was traded for a bunch of bats.

    I dont really care, he said Friday. Itll make a better story if I make it to the big leagues.

    For now, Odom is headed to the Laredo Broncos of the United League. They got him Tuesday from the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League for a most unlikely price: 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black, 34-inch, C243 style.

    They just wanted some bats, good batsmaple bats, Broncos general manager Jose Melendez said.

    According to the Prairie Sticks Web site, their maple bats retail for $69 each, discounted to $65.50 for purchases of six to 11 bats.

    It will be interesting to see what 10 bats gets us, Melendez said.

    So let's see -- that would make Odom worth precisely $655.00 to his new team. hardly a vote of confidence, in my book.

    But then again, this is the minor leagues.





    || Greg, 08:27 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Time to Revoke Jimmy Carter's Security Clearance

    After all, he's spilling the beans on classified US intelligence about the military capabilities of our allies -- in an effort to help our mutual enemies get a handle on their strength.

    Israel has 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, former President Jimmy Carter said yesterday, while arguing that the US should talk directly to Iran to persuade it to drop its nuclear ambitions.

    His remark, made at the Hay-on-Wye festival which promotes current affairs books and literature, is startling because Israel has never admitted having nuclear weapons, let alone how many, although the world assumes their existence. Nor do US officials deviate in public from that Israeli line. Carter, who has immersed himself since his presidency in Israeli-Palestinian relations, was highly critical of Israeli settlers on the West Bank, and of Israel's refusal to talk to elected officials of the Islamic party Hamas, although he said that Israel's security was his prime concern.

    All former presidents receive classified briefings about world affairs. It is one of the perks of having held the highest elected office in the land. But with that comes the responsibility not to disclose that information, and not to endanger our relationship with our allies by undermining their security.

    Jimmy Carter has violated that obligation, in the service of his anti-Semitic agenda of supporting terrorists and rogue nations seeking to destroy America's closest ally in the Middle East.

    Revoke Carter's security clearance now!

    H/T Gateway Pundit

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    || Greg, 08:01 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    The Phoenix Has Landed

    Congratulations NASA on another job well done.

    NASAs Phoenix spacecraft made a safe, flawless landing Sunday on Mars.

    During the final, tense minutes of the descent, long stretches of quiet in the mission support room were punctuated by cheers and clapping as confirmation of crucial events like the deployment of the parachute were confirmed.

    Then, at 7:53 p.m. Eastern time, Richard Kornfeld, the lead communications officer for entry, descent and landing, announced: Touchdown signal detected.

    The mission controllers, wearing identical blue polo shirts made for the occasion, erupted in cheers and began hugging one another in congratulations.

    It was better than we could have possibly wished for, said Barry Goldstein, the project manager for the mission. We rehearsed over and over again. We rehearsed all of the problems, and none of them occurred. It was perfect, just the way we designed it.

    Two hours later, the first video transmissions came in from Mars -- indicating that the craft has arrived relatively undamaged after the voyage across the void between the two planets. And while there are additional tests to complete, it would appear that the craft is ready and able to perform all planned functions.

    The articles above also explain why the mission is named the Phoenix -- the mission is making use of recycled equipment from earlier missions that were scrapped following catastrophic failures. Learning the lessons of the earlier missions, the team created a mission that "rose from the ashes" of those earlier misfortunes to bring about yesterday's success.

    UPDATE: Why do we get better coverage -- and pictures -- from a foreign news source like the BBC than we do from the American media?





    || Greg, 06:58 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    An Honest Assesment Of The MSM's Problem

    The best description I've yet seen of why the media went bat-shit crazy over Hillary Clinton's reference to the tragic end of the 1968 California Primary.

    This weekends uproar over Hillary Rodham Clinton invoking the assassination of Robert Kennedy as rationale for continuing her presidential campaign is an especially vivid example of modern journalism as hyperkinetic child overstimulated by speed and hunger for a head-turning angle that will draw an audience.

    The truth about what Clinton said and any fair-minded appraisal of what she meant was entirely beside the point.

    Her comment was news by any standard. But it was only big news when wrested from context and set aflame by a news media more concerned with being interesting and provocative than with being relevant or serious. Thus, the story made the front page of The New York Times, was the lead story of The Washington Post and got prominent treatment on the evening news on ABC, CBS and NBC.

    Did you catch that?

    "The truth. . . was entirely beside the point."

    Yeah, that's right -- as far as our "objective journalists" and their editors are concerned, the truth of what they report is not particularly relevant. Rather, what matters is is the spin they can put on it to attract viewers and readers, regardless of whether or not their reporting and commentary is fair or accurate.

    As this piece later notes, Clinton said nothing outrageous.

    But it was also clear that Clintons error was not in saying something beyond the pale but in saying something that pulled from context would sound as if it were beyond the pale.

    It would be a big story if Clinton said something like this: Hey, I know it looks bad for me now. But, think about it. Obama could get shot and Id get to be the nominee after all.

    It is a small story if Clinton said something like this: Everyone talks like May is incredibly late, but by historical standards it is not. Think of all the famous milestones in presidential races that have taken place during June.

    And indeed, the latter is what Hillary was saying -- and at most, the recalling of the most horrific of June presidential campaign memories was an unfortunate reference, barely worth the ink (or electrons) it would take to get the story out to the public.

    What we have, then, is an irresponsible and out of control media that no longer has an interest (if it ever did) of providing us with a serious look at the nation and the world. I guess that's what we bloggers are for.

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    May 25, 2008

    Scum-Sucking America-Hating KOSsacks For Obama

    Just in time for Memorial Day, a little bit of "patriotic fervor" from the fine folks who want to see America lose in Iraq.

    If you refuse to vote for Obama, why are you asking others to sacrifice for your decision?

    If you're going to help McCain get elected, you need to take responsibility for your actions. This election is bigger than you. It's bigger than Barack Obama. It's bigger than Hillary Clinton. Lives will be saved or lost depending on who is elected in November, and if you're going to willfully help prolong the war, it's time to do the honorable thing and enlist.

    Click here to locate a U.S. Army recruiter in your area.

    Don't worry, you'll still be able to get election results from Baghdad, and you'll still be able to "sit this one out" under the comfort of a mortar attack. And yes, I'm sure hearing about an Obama defeat will seem all the more sweet when you're laying in the choking aftermath of an IED explosion with a piece of half-melted plastic burning a hole into your intestines. I'm sure you'll be comforted by the knowledge that history had no place for President Obama when you're staring at the empty space where your leg used to be. And certainly, I'm sure the crippling terror of post-traumatic stress disorder will be nowhere as severe as the disingenuous "concern" you'll suffer over debunked Rezko conspiracy theories and the excited ramblings of a liberation theologian. Of course, those already serving will not get the same perverse comfort from their sacrifice, so there's no excuse for not taking on this burden yourself. If you truly believe that Obama should not be president, if you truly believe there is no greater pain than seeing a primary opponent win the general election, then this sacrifice can only be considered a modest price for your convictions.

    In other words, refusing to vote for Barack Obama means that you merit death or serious bodily injury -- and military service is a punishment for political crimes against the Obamessiah, not an honorable choice by those who love America.

    On the other hand, these scumbags believe that the greatest service you can do for America is vote for an inexperienced, short-tempered, historically ignorant liberal candidate who will give our troops the order to retreat in dishonor and surrender to the enemy so that they can impose an obscurantist seventh-century theology in Iraq and -- eventually -- around the world.

    H/T LGF

    UPDATE 5/26/2008: Having had a little sunlight shed on them, these cockroaches have scattered for darkness -- and the piece quoted above has been taken down by the KOSsacks.

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    || Greg, 11:58 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Leaving Out An Option

    I realize that as a British journalist, there are some things that Rod Liddle just can't say in print. But still, I'm struck by what he left out in the name of political correctness in the words that follow.

    You would think that by now Allahs message might be getting through. Time after time Muslim fanatics attempt to wreak devastation in Britain and succeed only in blowing themselves up, or setting themselves on fire, or their explosives refuse to do the decent thing and explode while we infidel cockroaches look on in bemusement, quite unharmed.

    If you were a devout believer, you might put two and two together and begin to suspect that Allah doesnt entirely approve of blowing British people to bits. He would much rather his jihadis stayed at home and watched the Eurovision Song Contest, or did a spot of gardening, or took the dog for a walk.

    It is presumptuous of me to second-guess Allahs thought processes, of course. But then quite a few incendiary Muslim clerics insisted that the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami was down to Allah being a bit peeved at the state of the world and unleashing his righteous watery vengeance upon it. To which you might reply that it was very odd of Him, then, to single out a devoutly Muslim country, Indonesia, for the brunt of the carnage. Maybe He just missed.

    * * *

    I suppose that many years hence the terrible destruction of the twin towers will still be lodged in our minds, the image of the buildings crumpling, the video of Osama Bin Laden sniggering in his cave. But a similarly iconic image would be of the moron Richard Reid trying desperately to set his training shoe on fire on a plane, having forgotten to bring a lighter. They are either extraordinarily useless or Allah has got it in for them.

    What is missing? How about the possibility that Allah is a malevolent false god who is having his butt kicked by the ever-righteous Yahweh? That would explain why the followers of Muhammad's malignant message have been able to carry off so few significant terrorist attack against non-Muslims since 9/11.





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

    Support This Common Sense Legislation

    Get this legislation out of conference committee and sent on to the President for his signature immediately. After all, it is the least we can do to help foreign-born US troops receive the American citizenship they have earned.

    Ms. Mikulski also introduced the Kendell Frederick Citizenship Assistance Act, which was sponsored in the House by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.). The bill allows the DHS to use fingerprints taken by the Defense Department of every new service member in the citizenship process; previously, service members were not allowed to use their military fingerprints for that purpose. Ms. Mikulski's bill, among other things, also requires that the necessary background check for citizenship be completed within 180 days after an application is filed by a service member. An application must be filed within two years after a non-U.S. citizen enters military service.

    The House passed the Citizenship Assistance Act last fall, and it sailed through the Senate in March; the bill is now tied up in conference. Lawmakers should quickly sign off on the bill and send it along to President Bush, who should sign it. It would be a fitting tribute to Kendell Frederick and a well-deserved reward to the thousands of others like him who don the uniform of their adopted country.

    These soldiers are men and women who have served America proudly -- we should show our pride in them by making the process to citizenship as smooth as possible for them.





    || Greg, 07:41 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Is Your Pension Fund Causing the Gas Price Run-Up?

    It is a rather interesting question raised by this article in the Houston Chronicle.

    With American motorists struggling to pay record-high gasoline prices, a debate rages in the halls of Congress and across the Oil Patch over the role speculators may be playing in driving up oil prices.

    Crude prices have rocketed nearly $70 a barrel in the past year. Some energy experts suggest speculation could account for $20 to $30 of that run-up.

    Desperate to help angry constituents, lawmakers have been scrambling to find solutions. They have voted to close the so-called Enron loophole by regulating electronic trading, and they've given the Federal Trade Commission more authority to guard against market manipulation.

    Now some energy and trading experts are calling on lawmakers to focus on the pension funds, endowments and other institutional investors including the University of Texas and the state's teacher retirement system that have poured billions of dollars into the commodities futures market in the last few years. The trend has exacerbated the crude price run-up, these analysts say.

    Institutional investors' interest in oil "is accelerating and emboldening the price rise," said Mark Lapolla of Sixth Man Research, an Atlanta-based financial research firm. "We just can't quantify it."

    I'll be honest -- according to the article, my pension fund has $4.4 billion dollars invested in commodities -- and the limits placed on speculators under federal law don't apply to it or other institutional investors. And with Pension funds buying almost as much oil on the market as China does, that has to have an impact on prices.





    || Greg, 07:27 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

    NY Times Comes Out For Treason

    In 1943, an American company that distributed Nazi and Japanese propaganda on behalf of supporters of the enemy regimes would not have been politely asked by a US Senator to reconsider -- it would have been summarily shuttered by the government and its owners prosecuted under statutes that banned aiding the enemy. I may be wrong, but I suspect that the New York Times would have wholeheartedly supported such a move.

    My how things change. Today it has condemned the last pro-American Democrat in Washington as a "would-be censor" for seeking to prevent an American company -- YouTube (which regularly pulls down anti-jihadi videos because of complaints by Muslim groups) -- from hosting and distributing pro-terrorist Islamist videos while our troops are engaged in combat against these forces who would impose Muhammad's malignant message upon the world by force.

    The Internet is simply a means of communication, like the telephone, but that has not prevented attempts to demonize it the latest being the ludicrous claim that the Internet promotes terrorism.

    Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut is trying to pressure YouTube to pull down videos he does not like, and a recent Senate report and a bill pending in Congress also raise the specter of censorship. It is important for online speech to be protected against these assaults.

    Mr. Lieberman recently demanded that YouTube take down hundreds of videos produced by Islamist terrorist organizations or their supporters. YouTube reviewed the videos to determine whether they violated its guidelines, which prohibit hate speech and graphic or gratuitous violence. It took down 80 videos, but left others up. Mr. Lieberman said that was not enough, and demanded that more come down.

    Earlier this month, the Senate homeland security committee, which is led by Mr. Lieberman, issued a report titled Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat. The report identified the Internet as one of the primary drivers of the terrorist threat to the United States.

    All of this comes against the backdrop of a troubling Congressional antiterrorism bill that also focuses on the Internet. The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, which passed the House last year by a 404-to-6 vote, would establish a commission to study the terrorist threat and propose legislation. The bill, which the Senate has not acted on, has a finding that the Internet promotes radicalization and terrorism.

    In other words, it is now official -- the New York Times has come out in favor of putting seditions, even treasonous, speech ahead of national security in time of war. Those who oppose treason are the enemy; traitors, enemies abroad, and those who distribute their words in America and around the world are latter-day heroes working to preserve free speech -- despite the fact that free speech is one of the very things that the Islamists are committed to destroying (along with Jews like the Sulzbergers, who own the NY Times). Unbelievable!

    Closing question -- has this editorial finally crossed the line that will allow the government to make the NY Times register as an agent of al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups?

    More At Right Wing News





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

    May 24, 2008

    Will Barack Obama Undermine The UN?

    Personally, I believe in withdrawing from membership in the UN and expelling every last vestige of the corrupt organization from the United States -- and converting the headquarters building to a crackhouse, where it will serve a higher purpose than it does now as a haven for dictators, tyrants and kleptocrats to proclaim their moral superiority over the free nations of the world.

    That said, though, Barack Obama has talked a great deal about not "going it alone" in his foreign policy and supporting "multilateralism". But he has enunciated a policy on Iran that violates no fewer than THREE resolutions passed by the UN Security Council!

    Before starting his unconditional talks with Ahmadinejad, would Obama present a new resolution at the Security Council to cancel the three that he Islamic Republic president does not like? Or, would Obama act in defiance of the UN, thus further weakening the authority of the Security Council?

    The preconditions that Ahmadinejad does not like and Obama promises to ignore were not set by President George W Bush.

    They were decided after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported the Islamic Republic to be in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and, acting in accordance with its charter, referred the issue to the Security Council.

    Dismissing the preconditions as irrelevant would mean snubbing America's European allies plus Russia and China, all of whom participated in drafting and approving the resolutions that Ahmadinejad does not like.

    In other words, Barack Obama's proposed policies towards Iran would be "go it alone" foreign policy out of sync with world opinion -- and therefore out of sync with the foreign policy proposals of Barack Obama himself! Indeed, the policy of the current administration towards Iran is the one which has been achieved through multilateral diplomacy and international consensus.

    I guess that sort of proves -- for the umpteenth time -- that Barack Obama doesn't know what he is talking about, and is unfit for any the Presidency.

    H/T Gateway Pundit





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

    Terrorstinians Use School Playground As Weapons Depot

    And you wonder why the IDF ends up killing civilians when they retaliate against terrorist attacks? Do you think stuff like this could have something to do with it?

    IDF soldiers uncovered missiles and anti-tank rocket launchers in a Gaza schoolyard in late Thursday. The anti-tank missile launcher and a stack of missiles were found at a school in Sajaiya, in northern Gaza, during routine counter-terrorism operations.

    Want proof? Here it is.


    Soldiers display some of the anti-tank missiles and launcher.
    (Israel News Photo: IDF)

    Soldiers near the school's basketball court examine the rocket launcher during the operation.
    (Israel News Photo: IDF)

    Closeup of anti-tank rockets
    (Israel News Photo: IDF)

    The cowards of Hamas and Fatah -- like most terrorists -- like to hide behind innocents to protect their own sorry hides. Then they squeal like stuck pigs when one of their human shields is killed.





    || Greg, 03:59 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Much Ado About History

    When I was five-years-old, America the Democrats were locked in a brutal three-way fight for the presidential nomination during the first week of June, at the time of the California primary.

    Bobby Kennedy won that primary -- and only minutes after his victory speech to a crowd of cheering supporters, was gunned down by a Palestinian gunman over American policy towards Israel.

    Like it or not, that victory and the murder of the charismatic young Senator are forever intertwined in the memories of those who lived at that time -- including those of us who were young children. We cannot conceive of the one without referencing the other.

    And so I understand precisely what came out of the mouth of Senator Hillary Clinton yesterday -- and am truly angry at the attempts of many on the Left and the Right to make more of it than it really is.

    Hillary Clinton today brought up the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy while defending her decision to stay in the race against Barack Obama.

    "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said, dismissing calls to drop out.

    Obama's camp immediately fired back.

    "Sen. Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign," Obama campaign spokesman said in a statement.

    Clinton made her comments at a meeting with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader's editorial board while campaigning in South Dakota, where she complained that, "People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa."

    She didn't call for Obama's assassination, she didn't predict Obama's assassination -- she made a very pointed historical reference to a specific historical event. Not only that, she made a reference that Barack Obama, as a member of my generation, should have immediately understood and identified with from his childhood -- except, of course, that he was being raised outside of the country and (as has been repeatedly documented and is attested to in his own autobiography) educated as a Muslim at foreign schools.

    I'm sorry she bothered to apologize for it -- there was nothing there to apologize for. I wish she would have come back and made it quite clear that this is one more example of a hysterical response from a candidate who takes offense at anything that even begins to smack of criticism. It is simply one more example of how Barack Obama is unfit for the presidency.
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    || Greg, 01:04 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Dirty Dems -- Part II

    I've stayed out of the discussion of Congresswoman Laura Richardson, who abandoned her half-million dollar second home to foreclosure so she could use her tax-free state legislative per-diem to fund her congressional campaign rather than her mortgage. But hey, at least she skipped out on her property taxes and utility bills as well, so she wasn't just ripping off her mortgage lender -- she was stealing from every utility user and taxpayer in Sacramento as well, which makes her an equal opportunity crook.

    Now she is whining that the bank screwed her by foreclosing!

    California Rep. Laura Richardson claimed Friday that her Sacramento home was sold into foreclosure without her knowledge and contrary to an agreement with her lender.

    She said she is like any other American suffering in the mortgage crisis and wants to testify to Congress about her experience as lawmakers craft a foreclosure-prevention bill.

    In a lengthy interview Friday night with The Associated Press, the Southern California Democrat struck back against several days of negative publicity over reports she defaulted on her mortgage, allowing the house to be sold at auction.

    What is particularly galling is this line of argument.

    "I'm Laura Richardson. I'm an American, I'm a single woman who had four employment changes in less than four months," Richardson said. "I had to figure out just like every other American how I could restructure the obligations that I had with the income I had."

    Excuse me, that is a bunch of bullshit! "Four employment changes in four months"? Yeah, by choice so you could run for Congress, which included the choice to stiff everyone except your campaign committee, and then cast a vote in favor of legislation giving irresponsible (and in your case, fraud-inclined) borrowers to renege on the terms of their mortgages so as to get more favorable treatment than those of us who didn't borrow more than we could afford to pay back.

    Frankly, I'm appalled by the ethical ugliness of her voting on legislation which would materially impact her financial obligations -- even if it doesn't technically violate House rules, it stinks to high heavens.

    This dirty Dem needs to be run out of Congress by her constituents -- too bad she doesn't even have a Republican opponent in the fall.

    UPDATE: Holy crap! This dirty Dem defaulted on THREE properties, not just one, so that she could loan her campaign money that was supposed to go to pay her mortgages. Her response when confronted about the fact that she has defaulted on three homes when she makes so much more than the average American?

    "The average American is not responsible for maintaining several households."

    It really is urgent that the voters of her district arrange for her to need to maintain only one household -- especially since she complains that Congress offers no per diem for living expenses in Washington DC, nor does it pay for moving expenses.

    H/T Patterico, LA Land





    || Greg, 12:40 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Dirty Dems -- Part I

    Seems to me that even the staffers of some Democrats can't keep their hands out of the petty cash -- and their elected official bosses can't be bothered to run their office in a transparent enough manner to make catching the crooks easy.

    Authorities are investigating whether a former executive assistant in the U.S. House misappropriated thousands of dollars to finance a vacation and personal items, as part of a widening effort to determine whether congressional accounts are inadequately monitored, according to two sources familiar with the inquiry.

    At issue in the ongoing probe by the House inspector general is the role of a former assistant to Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is not yet complete. The aide, whom Sanchez says was dismissed, reimbursed the lawmaker by nearly $10,000 around the same time that her work for Sanchez ended, according to congressional records.

    Caroline Valdez made a series of four unusual payments to her boss's office at the end of 2006, according to disbursement books maintained by the clerk of the House. Two of those transactions were labeled "reimb: payment error." Valdez did not respond to several cellphone messages seeking comment.

    The reimbursements to Sanchez came during a financial quarter when the lawmaker placed three staffers -- including her scheduler and legislative director -- temporarily on the House payroll of her sister, fellow California Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D), records show.

    Now what is really interesting is the little payroll game being played by the Sanchez sisters. It looks pretty dirty to me, just on the face of it. I sure hope the House is looking closely at that series of financial transactions as well -- but they probably aren't, because the Democrats have decided that only Republicans are corrupt and deserving of Ethics Committee action being taken against them. After all, William Jefferson is still sitting there as an honored member of the House, close to Nancy Pelosi and supported by the Congressional Black Racists Caucus.

    Oh, by the way -- did you catch the media attention to the bookkeeping scandal involving a staffer for Democrats Harman and Abercrombie, in which a staffer for the pair pleaded guilty to federal crimes AND agreed to cooperate in an investigation of Congressional staffers and payrolls (of Democrats, no doubt) being used to do campaign work on behalf of members? Probably not -- since it involved Democrat Corruption, the press doesn't consider it to be particularly newsworthy and gave it little coverage -- after all, it isn't like we are less than six months from an election in which we the people need to know if our (Democrat) representatives are behaving in an honest, honorable, and ethical fashion.





    || Greg, 08:37 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Watcher's Council Results

    The winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Republicans Ponder The Abyss by Wolf Howling, and Blog For Human Rights -- May 15th, 2008 by The Whited Sepulchre.  Here is where you can find the full results of the vote and the full tallies of all votes cast:

    VotesCouncil link
    2Republicans Ponder The Abyss
    Wolf Howling
    1  2/3George Bush Isolationist
    Soccer Dad
    1  2/3Seattle Times Writer Defends Hitler's Aggression!
    Rhymes With Right
    1  1/3Renaming the Paradigm *UPDATED*
    Bookworm Room
    1  1/3No One Will Solve Our Energy Problems For Us
    Hillbilly White Trash
    1Would You Buy An ObamaMobile From Tom Friedman?
    Joshuapundit
    2/3Is Human Moral Progress Inevitable?
    The Colossus of Rhodey
    2/3Death Toll Continues to Mount
    The Glittering Eye
    1/3Time To Remember The "Global" In The War On Terror
    Cheat Seeking Missiles
    1/3Net Loss
    Done With Mirrors

    VotesNon-council link
    2Blog For Human Rights -- May 15th, 2008
    The Whited Sepulchre
    1  1/3The William Ayers Plan To Turn America's Schoolchildren Into Maoists and How Barack Obama Helped Him
    Pundita
    1  1/3Dow Jones: Israel Means Business
    The Elder of Ziyon
    1The Lord of Perpetual Victimhood
    Pondering Penguin
    1Vanderboegh: Loophole
    Western Rifle Shooters Association
    2/3Turning Down the Volume?
    Classical Values
    2/3The Love That Dare Not Speak His Name
    Intellectual Conservative
    2/3Is Gasoline Really That Expensive?
    Lone Star Times
    2/3Judges Can't Judge
    Atlas Shrugs
    2/3More Whining From Obama
    Right Wing Nut House
    2/3Bush Begs Saudis (Again)
    Middle East Strategy at Harvard
    1/3Human Progress
    The Speculist

    Well, I tied for second this week, and can't say that I'm too upset. After all, the winning entry from my lupine pal was pretty insightful, and I'm always impressed by the writings of Soccer Dad. It is an honor just to be among them.





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

    May 23, 2008

    The Soup Spoofs Indiana Jones

    I'm not a big fan of "the Soup", but my wife watches it and so I will often join her.

    Tonight, though, they outdid themselves on this little parody.

    Make that Two!

    TWO!

    Two spoofs in one!





    || Greg, 09:15 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Maxine Waters -- Communist!

    I can't think of any other way of viewing it when she sits in committee and begins openly suggesting a government takeover of an entire industry that doesn't produce the results the way she wants.

    Interesting, isn't it, that the ignorant witch doesn't even know the proper term for what violation of the US Constitution that she is proposing. She just knows that her dictator buddy Hugo Chavez did it in Venezuela, and that we should follow his lead into the glorious world of socialism pioneered by Castro and the USSR!

    What she was intent upon ignoring, though, was the essential point being made right before she launched into her stuttering Marxist tirade -- that the problem we are facing comes, in part, from policies that she and her fellow politicians have set that discourage and prohibit the production of domestic oil that we know exists. She'd rather destroy the capitalist decision than see real energy independence in this country -- seeking to repeal the law of supply and demand rather than the laws that hobble domestic oil production.

    Let's just say that if she and her cronies attempt to seize the means of production from the hands of private owners, it will be time for the American people to "alter or abolish" the government that tries to do so. And I know just what treatment that those government officials who seek to act in such an outrageously unconstitutional and unAmerican manner will deserve.

    mussolinibody.jpg
    Mussolini
    saddamhanging.jpg
    Saddam
    ceaucescuexecution.jpg
    Ceausescu

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    Thomas Jefferson

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    || Greg, 04:44 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Dem Congressman Admits -- We Lied To You!

    In other word, there is a word for all those folks who voted for Democrats in 2006 -- SUCKERS!

    Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) has been a fairly undistinguished member of the House of Representatives for nearly a quarter of a century. He is a career member of the Financial Services Committee who has made little or no name for himself since his first electoral victory, and has maintained incumbency through the funneling of pork back to his district. Even his Wikipedia entry says that Kanjorski "usually plays behind-the-scenes roles in the advocacy or defeat of legislation and steers appropriations money toward improving the infrastructure and economic needs of his district."

    Never one to stand out in a crowd outside of his own district if he could help it up until now, Rep. Kanjorski's public life may be about to change in a major way very, very quickly, and for a very big reason.

    You see, Paul Kanjorski has an honesty problem.

    More specifically, Paul Kanjorski's problem is that he was publicly honest about the intentional dishonesty of Congressional Democrats (and Democrat candidates) in the run-up to the 2006 election -- particularly with regard to the War in Iraq.

    Watch the video below (a transcript follows):

    Here's the transcript:

    "I'll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we...the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn't say it, but we implied it. That if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody was a good student of Government would know that wasn't true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts...and people ate it up."

    In other words, we lied to you and had no intention of actually stopping the war. You folks are a bunch of ignorant rubes if you believed us -- and we'll screw you again if we get the chance. We'd rather have the war as an issue than solve what we claim is a problem.





    || Greg, 04:25 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Are Anonymous Sources Enough?

    Perhaps sometimes -- but in this case, where it could endanger American troops, I wonder if a higher degree of sourcing might be morally necessary.

    Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad.

    The edicts, or fatwas, by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani suggest he seeks to sharpen his long-held opposition to American troops and counter the populist appeal of his main rivals, firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.

    But unlike al-Sadr's anti-American broadsides the Iranian-born al-Sistani has displayed extreme caution with anything that could imperil the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    The two met Thursday at the elderly cleric's base in the city of Najaf south of Baghdad.

    So far, al-Sistani's fatwas have been limited to a handful of people. They also were issued verbally and in private rather than a blanket proclamation to the general Shiite population according to three prominent Shiite officials in regular contact with al-Sistani as well as two followers who received the edicts in Najaf.

    All spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

    Now let's look at this. There have been no public statements from al-Sistani. We don't REALLY know what the content of these verbal statements has been. And no one is willing to talk on the record. What we have, then , is anonymous hearsay with an AP reporter telling us "Trust me -- it's all true!" I'm sorry, but that strikes me as insufficient when we are talking about a story that could put the lives of American troops in danger by spreading claims that religious authorities are authorizing armed resistance against American forces in Iraq -- and in the midst of an election year in which the war is an issue.





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

    Are 5-4 Decisions Coming From SCOTUS Soon?

    So far, there has been only one, something that contrasts with the early pattern of the Roberts Court. But with only half the cases decided and many high-profile cases yet to come, will there be more? Or has the addition of two more top-flight legal minds helped to swing more liberal justices to conservative opinions?

    Something is happening, clearly. The question is what. The caveats against drawing any hard conclusions at this stage are obvious. For one thing, the term is functionally only half over, with 35 cases down and 32 to come. And it is common for the hardest-fought decisions to come at the very end. The District of Columbia gun control case, the latest case on the rights of the Guantnamo detainees and a case on whether the death penalty is a constitutional punishment for raping a child are yet to be decided.

    Still, there is a clear pattern in the cases the court has already decided this term. The court upheld Kentuckys method of execution by lethal injection by a vote of 7 to 2. It upheld Indianas law requiring photo identification at the polls by a vote of 6 to 3. The justices voted 7 to 2 on Monday to uphold the latest federal effort to curb trade in child pornography.

    All were major cases, all plausible candidates for 5-to-4 outcomes. All were government victories, hardly surprising coming from a conservative court. But even Justice John Paul Stevens, the leader of the courts beleaguered liberal bloc, voted with the majority in all three cases. The surprise was that the government side won each so handily.

    It would be too simplistic an explanation to say that the liberal justices, at least some of them, have simply given up. Something deeper seems to be at work. Each of those three cases might have received a harder-edged, more conclusively conservative treatment at the hands of the same five-member majority that controlled the last term.

    Instead, the lethal injection and voter ID decisions hewed closely to the facts of each case. Kentuckys lethal injection protocol passed muster, but the court left open the possibility that another states practice might not. The voter ID challenge reached the court on a nonexistent record, so perhaps a stronger case could be made at a later time. Justice Antonin Scalias majority opinion in the child pornography case construed the statute so narrowly as to allay the First Amendment concerns of Justices Stevens and Breyer and win their full concurrence.

    So perhaps there was a bit of movement on both sides not simple liberal capitulation, but liberals using their limited leverage to exact some modest concessions as the price of helping the conservatives avoid another parade of 5-to-4 decisions.

    I'd argue there is some truth to the last point. That said, though, the justices have produced opinions that are undeniably conservative, but well-grounded in precedent. And it is the stability of the law (consistent with the dictates of the Constitution, of course) that has been a point of importance for both sides in their recent discussion of the role of the court. If the justices have found a way to accomplish that end, it bodes well for the nation.





    || Greg, 04:09 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 22, 2008

    Parsley Comments Much Ado About Nothing

    I carry no brief for Rod Parsley I have some major theological disagreements with him over a variety of issues. But he is not particularly wrong in his assessment of Islam and he is not John McCains spiritual adviser, long-term or otherwise.

    Despite his call for the U.S. to win the "hearts and minds of the Islamic world," Sen. John McCain recruited the support of an evangelical minister who describes Islam as "anti-Christ" and Mohammed as "the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil."

    McCain sought the support of Pastor Rod Parsley of the World Harvest Church of Columbus, Ohio at a critical time in his campaign in February, when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was continuing to draw substantial support from the Christian right.

    Lets just take those two statements quoted above -- bearing in mind that Islam, unlike the other major world religions, began centuries AFTER Christianity and in clear rebuttal/rejection of Christianity..

    Anti-Christ. Id argue that the statement is accurate. After all, Islam explicitly rejects the claim of Christianity that Jesus is the eternally pre-existent second person of the Trinity. The Jesus of Islam is not divine, and is instead merely a prophet in other words, NOT the Messiah (Hebrew) or Christ (Greek). If you reject that tenet of Christianity you are anti-Christ, no matter how much respect you claim to respect and honor Jesus. Indeed, by Christian standards you have committed blasphemy.

    And if Islam does hold this blasphemous, heretical teaching regarding Jesus as an essential and central , there is ample ground for arguing that Islam is a religion based upon a spiritually evil premise and that as its original exponent, Muhammad is the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil. After all, by Christian standards Muhammad is a false prophet and for a Christian to make a claim like Parsleys should not be shocking at all. Frankly, I believe we should hear it spoken more frequently from the pulpits of Christian churches.

    Now there are other Parsley quotes that appear in the article. I wont analyze or defend them all I think my point is made above. This is a tempest in a teapot and quite different from that created by Jeremiah Wright and his comments that stray well-beyond the bounds of Christian teaching and which are often grounded in outright lies.

    And yes, I know that McCain today dumped John Hagee -- another fundamentalist preacher whose theology I find disturbing -- over outlandish statements that appear outlandish at first blush. I won't go into an analysis of them here other than to note that there is Old Testament precedent for God making use of the deeds of the wicked (Nebuchadnezzar, for example) in order to carry out his greater purpose. Instead, I will just point to my friend over at JoshuaPundit for a truly inspired defense of Hagee's statements from the perspective of an Israeli Jew a Jewish blogger on the West Coast (I don't know why I thought he was Israeli).





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

    Bad Educational Policy

    I can accept that an organization giving a grant for research can control when and if the research is published.

    But grant money controlling the speech of the entire university -- including over the terms of the agreement itself? That goes too far.

    On campuses nationwide, professors and administrators have passionately debated whether their universities should accept money for research from tobacco companies. But not at Virginia Commonwealth University, a public institution in Richmond, Va.

    That is largely because hardly any faculty members or students there know that there is something to debate a contract with extremely restrictive terms that the university signed in 2006 to do research for Philip Morris USA, the nations largest tobacco company and a unit of Altria Group.

    The contract bars professors from publishing the results of their studies, or even talking about them, without Philip Morriss permission. If a third party, including news organizations, asks about the agreement, university officials have to decline to comment and tell the company. Nearly all patent and other intellectual property rights go to the company, not the university or its professors.

    There is restrictive language in here, said Francis L. Macrina, Virginia Commonwealths vice president for research, who acknowledged that many of the provisions violated the universitys guidelines for industry-sponsored research. In the end, it was language we thought we could agree to. Its a balancing act.

    Excuse me, but the public has a right to know about agreements made by a public university. It has a right to expect -- indeed demand -- candor and disclosure from the officials of the school. And to allow for a complete gag on all researchers is intolerable.

    And most frightening is the contention by Phillip Morris that the company has similar contracts with other universities. The company will not, however, disclose how many or which ones. If they are public institutions, that is simply unacceptable.





    || Greg, 04:19 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Three For McCain?

    It looks like three potential vice presidential candidates are meeting with John McCain to informally make their case. All are "names", and all offer some interesting potential benefits.

    Senator John McCain is planning to meet this weekend with at least three potential Republican running mates at a gathering at his ranch in Arizona, suggesting that he is stepping up his search for a vice president now that the Democratic contest appears basically decided, according to Republicans familiar with Mr. McCains plans.

    Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a one-time rival for the Republican nomination, have all accepted invitations to visit with Mr. McCain at his ranch in Sedona, these Republicans said.

    After a week of campaigning, Mr. McCain is heading home on Friday for three days without a public schedule. His campaign described this as a social weekend that would include a number of couples, and as has been its policy it declined to discuss any aspect of the vice presidential search.

    We dont talk about the V.P. selection process, said Steve Schmidt a senior adviser.

    In addition to Mr. Crist, Mr. Jindal and Mr. Romney, Mr. McCains guest list includes some of top his political counselors, among them Charlie Black, a senior strategist, and Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, his frequent traveling companion and probably his closest colleague in the Senate.

    If the gathering does not involve actual interviews, as some of Mr. McCains associates said Wednesday, it will provide Mr. McCain with a chance to know some potential running mates in a social context. Mr. McCain is known as a social and gregarious candidate and senator, and his associates said personal chemistry would be a key consideration in his choice.

    As I look at the threesome, I find myself ready to reject one out of hand. Bobby Jindal, for all my high regard for him, doesn't strike me as the right choice in 2008. At 38, his youth might be a negative for some voters. In addition, he has been governor for less than a year, and still has many promises to keep in Louisiana -- promises which will leap-frog him to the head of the pack in a future election year if he is successful in carrying them out.

    That leaves Crist and Romney. Of the two, I think that Romney is the obvious choice. Crist doesn't help McCain win Florida (I think he has it locked up after the way Democrats have treated the state's voters this year) , so he doesn't have that to support him. Romney, on the other hand, has a national base and the ability to help with fundraising in a way that Crist does not. The only problem with him is that he may have another race to run -- he could conceivably take on John Kerry this fall for US Senate, or take a run for the Kennedy senate seat in a special election if the ailing senator resigns sooner rather than later. Where does he do the GOP the most good.

    Two other interesting notes -- it is significant that Mike Huckabee is not at this little gathering. Does this signify he is out of the veepstakes? In addition, the presence of Lindsay Graham is ominous. I don't doubt that he is going to be the go-to person in terms of vetting the eventual selection. Could he be this year's Dick Cheney -- recommending himself for the position? if that happens, it would be a disaster. Graham has seen his stock drop among conservatives in the last couple of years, and his selection would be a poison pill that many could not swallow





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

    The Courts McCains Vision Or Obamas?

    The question of judges is one of the biggest reasons I back John McCain this year, despite my strong criticism in the past. A lot of other conservatives are doing so on the same basis.

    Prominent conservatives and activists are indicating they will put aside their differences with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and rally their supporters to his side because of one issue: federal judgeships.

    In big gatherings and small, in e-mails and one-on-one conversations, conservative opinion leaders fear a Democratic president, especially Sen. Barack Obama, will use the presidential power to appoint federal judges who will remove references to God and religious symbols from public places.

    They predict the incoming president likely will fill more vacancies on the federal bench over the next four years than at any time in recent memory, giving a Democratic administration the power to shape the courts to reflect a liberal worldview.

    * * *

    ACLU general counsel Peter J. Ferrara, a former Reagan White House aide, said, "McCain said he'd appoint people like [Supreme Court Chief Justice John] Roberts and [Justice Samuel] Alito. Obama is saying he'd name people like [Justices Ruth Bader] Ginsberg and [David] Souter."

    So as you can see, there are some seriously different views out there on Supreme Court nominees. Which would you prefer Justice Janice Rogers Brown, or this?

    It's likely that the next president will face at least one Supreme Court vacancy. Obama should promise Hillary Clinton, now, that if he wins in November, the vacancy will be hers, making her first on a list of one.

    Obama and Clinton have wound up agreeing on nearly every major issue during the campaign; at the end of the day, they share many orthodoxies. Unless the Supreme Court were to get mired in minuscule details of what constitutes universal health care, Obama could assume that he'd be pleased with most Clinton votes, certainly on major issues such as abortion.

    Obama could also appreciate Clinton's undeniably keen mind. Even Clinton detractors have noted her remarkable mental skills; she would be equal to any legal or intellectual challenge she would face as a justice. The fact that she hasn't served on a bench before would be inconsequential, considering her experience in law and in government.

    If Obama were to promise Clinton the first court vacancy, her supporters would actually have a stronger incentive to support him for president than they would if she were going to be vice president. Given the Supreme Court's delicate liberal-conservative balance, she would play a major role in charting the country's future; there is no guarantee that a Clinton vice presidency would achieve such importance.

    Think about it, friends Hillary Rodham Clinton on the US Supreme Court for the next couple of decades. Doesnt that notion leave your stomach churning? After all, she clearly has no interest in upholding precedent or exercising any interest in judicial restraint if she doesnt like the ideological outcome of a case and like Earl Warren, this natural-born politician would be a phenomenal arm-twister in pursuit of a majority. Would you like to bet that 5-4 decisions would peachy to all the liberals when she cobbled together a majority?





    || Greg, 03:25 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 21, 2008

    Now Pat Buchanan Defends Hitler

    I'm not a fan of Pat Buchanan. I flip the channel or change the station when I hear his voice or see his face. And I certainly don't read his column unless someone directs me to it because of specific content.

    This is one of those cases -- and ought to be sufficient grounds for my fellow conservatives to excommunicate him from the movement.

    "As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared, 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement. ..."

    Again, Bush has made a hash of history.

    Appeasement is the name given to what Neville Chamberlain did at Munich in September 1938. Rather than fight Germany in another great war -- to keep 3.5 million Germans under a Czech rule they despised -- he agreed to their peaceful transfer to German rule. With these Germans went the lands their ancestors had lived upon for centuries, German Bohemia, or the Sudetenland.

    Chamberlain's negotiated deal with Hitler averted a European war -- at the expense of the Czech nation. That was appeasement.

    German tanks, however, did not roll into Poland until a year later, Sept. 1, 1939. Why did the tanks roll? Because Poland refused to negotiate over Danzig, a Baltic port of 350,000 that was 95 percent German and had been taken from Germany at the Paris peace conference of 1919, in violation of Wilson's 14 Points and his principle of self-determination.

    Hitler had not wanted war with Poland. He had wanted an alliance with Poland in his anti-Comintern pact against Joseph Stalin.

    But the Poles refused to negotiate. Why? Because they were a proud, defiant, heroic people and because Neville Chamberlain had insanely given an unsolicited war guarantee to Poland. If Hitler invaded, Chamberlain told the Poles, Britain would declare war on Germany.

    From March to August 1939, Hitler tried to negotiate Danzig. But the Poles, confident in their British war guarantee, refused. So, Hitler cut his deal with Stalin, and the two invaded and divided Poland.

    The cost of the war that came of a refusal to negotiate Danzig was millions of Polish dead, the Katyn massacre, Treblinka, Sobibor, Auschwitz, the annihilation of the Home Army in the Warsaw uprising of 1944, and 50 years of Nazi and Stalinist occupation, barbarism and terror.

    Pat Buchanan is clearly more than an idiot in this column -- he is one who is deluded in his thinking. It is quite clear from Mein Kampf and Nazi campaign rhetoric that Hitler had a plan for expansion that went well-beyond the "recovery" of land that was inhabited by ethnic Germans. It was undeniable that the evils of the Final Solution have their roots not in the intransigence of Poland in the face of militaristic threats by Germany, but in a deeper seated hatred of the Jews. After all, the Nuremberg laws and other restrictions of Jews predated the invasion of Poland by years, and are clearly presaged in Hitler's earlier writing. For that matter, the spring of 1939 had seen the blitzkrieg into parts of Czechoslovakia which Hitler had promised to leave unmolested only a few months before. One has to at a minimum be ignorant of the historical record to make the claims that Buchanan does in his column.

    But we all know that Buchanan is not ignorant of History.

    No, for Buchanan to praise the appeasement of Hitler and condemn those who stood up to him is clearly based in something else -- either an antipathy to the Jews (a charge we've heard against him before) or an anti-Communism run so deep that even Hitler can be rehabilitated in the name of that cause. Indeed, i find myself looking for a proposal that the British and French would have done better to ally with Hitler to attack Stalin in 1938 & 1939, despite the fact that the most acute threat to European security was the Nazi regime and not the Red Menace.

    So let me make it clear -- Pat Buchanan has clearly moved beyond the pale of conservatism, into that shadowy realm of right-wing authoritarianism which circles around to meet its left-wing siblings of socialism, communism, and fascism. He has therefore earned a place of shame with Bruce Ramsey of the Seattle Times

    H/T Gateway Pundit, One Jerusalem, Below the Beltway, Soccer Dad





    || Greg, 04:10 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    The Free Speech Hypocrisy Of The New York Times

    In today's paper, the New York Times laments a Supreme Court ruling that in its opinion criminalizes speech that ought to be protected by the First Amendment. In doing so, the editors would give safe harbor to pedophiles and others who sexually prey upon children.

    The Supreme Court upheld a law on Monday that sweeps too broadly in its attempt to ban child pornography, which is repellent and illegal. Those who traffic in it must be punished, but this law is drawn in a way that also criminalizes speech that should be protected by the First Amendment.

    * * *

    This time, the court upheld the law by a 7-to-2 vote. That creates a bizarre contradiction. Fake child pornography is protected, but marketing fake child pornography is not. As Justice David Souter noted in dissent, it makes no sense to criminalize proposing to sell items that are themselves constitutionally protected.

    It may seem hard to muster much concern about the speech at issue here. But the implications go beyond child pornography. As Justice Souter reminds us, it is an important principle in the courts political speech and sedition cases that speech cannot be banned based on bad intent, only on a realistic, factual assessment of harm.

    If the court had struck down the offensive parts of the law, the damage to child-pornography prosecutions would be minimal. The harm of weakening the protections of free speech is far more substantial.

    As I noted the when commenting on the decision, what it actually does is take the common-sense position that the attempted sale of child pornography (even if the claim by the seller is fraudulent) is within the bounds of the Constitution -- just as it would be reasonable to punish a guy working a street corner selling crack even if he was in fact lying to his buyers and selling a product made entirely of such legal products as baby powder and corn starch.

    And oddly enough, despite its deference to Souter's citation of precedent in political speech cases, it is interesting to note that the new York Times is no friend to freedom of speech in that area. Its editorial pages regularly seek to regulate political discourse to an ever greater degree in the interest of rooting out what it considers to be speech with a bad motive or bad impact, despite the historical fact that the Founders intended to give political speech (not pornography that exploits children) the highest level of First Amendment protection.

    So to summarize the position of the New York Times-- speech falsely promoting kiddie porn should have full protection under the Constitution, but that directed at influencing the political process ought to be reined in or gagged. It seems pretty clear where their priorities lie.





    || Greg, 03:41 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Saudi Dissident Again Jailed

    According to Matrouk al-Faleh, a professor of political science at King Saud University in Riyadh, the Saudi government regularly violates its own laws regarding arrest and imprisonment of its citizens without charges and permitting them access to legal counsel.

    On Monday, al-Faleh was arrested without charge and held without access to either his family or a lawyer.

    An outspoken critic of the Saudi government who was previously jailed for calling for greater democracy has been arrested, his wife said Tuesday.

    Matrouk al-Faleh, a professor of political science at King Saud University in Riyadh, the capital, was detained Monday after he left for work, said his wife, Jamila al-Ukla. Over the past year, Faleh has accused the Interior Ministry of disregarding laws that ban arrests without charge and guarantee the right to counsel.

    An Interior Ministry spokesman was unavailable for comment on Faleh's arrest.

    This is not the first time he has run afoul of the Saudi government -- he served 18 months for criticizing the political structure of the kingdom and encouraging reforms back in 2004. Even after a royal pardon, al-Faleh remains forbidden to leave the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This arrest amply demonstrates the reason for that prohibition -- it makes it easy to continue the campaign of repression against him. And indeed, the arrest follows his posting of a strong critique of the Saudi government on Sunday, making it quite clear what the arrest is truly about.





    || Greg, 03:14 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Utterly Ineffective Symbolic Measure Passed To Avoid Dealing With Gas Prices

    I fully expect to see the first suit under this legislation laughed out of court by the judge who hears it -- and the nations sued to give the US the proverbial bird if it isn't. After all, the sovereignty of OPEC members would certainly trump the ability of an American judge to claim jurisdiction over the decisions of the oil ministers of foreign countries.

    The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure.

    The bill would subject OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow.

    The measure passed in a 324-84 vote, a big enough margin to override a presidential veto.

    The legislation also creates a Justice Department task force to aggressively investigate gasoline price gouging and energy market manipulation.

    "This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities," said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

    The lawmaker said Americans "are at the mercy" of OPEC for how much they pay for gasoline, which this week hit a record average of $3.79 a gallon.

    Frankly, a judgment requiring various OPEC members to increase production is likely to have as much impact upon the policies of those nations as judgments from their courts requiring America to increase its foreign aid budget or reduce defense spending. In other words, it is worthless, even as the Pelosi Petroleum Premium goes higher by the day -- $80 a barrel since Nancy Pelosi assumed the Speaker's chair.

    Similarly, the "anti-gouging" measures will be ineffective as well -- after all, we found after the 2005 gas price spike that the Democrats insisted needed investigating was based upon supply and production factors, NOT illegal activity. I expect that any such investigation now will have the same result -- unless the deck is stacked in an effort to produce a sufficient number of scalps, regardless of actual guilt.

    But what is also notable is what this bill does not contain -- any measures to actually secure energy independence or boost American production. We are the world's third-largest oil producer -- and we are sitting on untapped reserves in the ANWR and off-shore near California, Florida, and Virginia. Not only were no incentives offered to drill in those areas, but they remain off-limits by federal law, even as the Pelosi Petroleum Premium increases. No end to the ethanol mandate or boutique fuel requirements, either, which means that gas prices will continue to move higher due to Congressional and regulatory mandates. Nor are there other measures designed to wean us off of foreign oil -- or to move to alternative fuel sources.

    So what am I saying? This bill is a farce, and th promised relief from high gas prices is a sham. I guess the Democrats think Americans are fools if they believe that such an absurd piece of legislation will placate us.





    || Greg, 03:02 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Teddy Kennedy Brain Tumor

    This is not good medical news at all -- especially as I hear suggestions that this sort of tumor often has a survival rate of only 1-5 years, depending upon location, stage, and the exact form of cancer in question. Having watched my uncle successfully battle cancer over this past year, and waiting with our church family as one of our younger men is in the final stages of a fast-growing malignancy, I cannot feel anything but the deepest compassion for Senator Kennedy, even as I reject his politics.

    Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor Tuesday in what could be the grim final chapter in a life marked by exhilarating triumph and shattering tragedy. Some experts gave the liberal lion less than a year to live.

    Doctors discovered the tumor after the 76-year-old senator and sole surviving son of America's most storied political family suffered a seizure over the weekend. The diagnosis cast a pall over Capitol Hill, where the Massachusetts Democrat has served since 1962, and came as a shock to a family all too accustomed to sudden, calamitous news.

    This news calls into question the Senator's political future as well -- the tumor is in a part of the brain that controls motor skills and language. And while this is not the time for political speculation, it is difficult to see how Kennedy can remain an effective force in the Senate for much longer if the prospect are as grim as reported.

    Again, I return to my theme from over the weekend -- politics do not even rise to the level of the secondary at this moment. All that any decent individual can do is offer their heart-felt prayers and best wishes to Senator Kennedy and his family at this time, and hope that he is indeed one of those who beats the odds that are facing him.





    || Greg, 02:44 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 20, 2008

    Biggio To Coach HS Ball

    Well, these are some young men who will have a great teacher.

    Craig Biggio found it difficult to peel off his uniform after the final game of a 20-year career with the Astros last fall. Now he will have the opportunity to wear another uniform.

    Biggio, perhaps the most popular player in Astros history, will be named today as baseball coach at St. Thomas High School, said several people close to the situation.

    Biggio's oldest son, Conor, is a football and baseball player for the Eagles, who won a state title in baseball this month. Biggio helped coach the Eagles in football and baseball after his playing career ended.

    St. Thomas, a private school on Memorial Drive, will introduce Biggio as its baseball coach and former Rice University quarterback Donald Hollas as its football coach to the students at an afternoon assembly.

    Neither Mike Netzel, who will be introduced as the new athletic director at St. Thomas, nor Biggio could be reached for comment.

    Biggio was always a class act while here in Houston, and is revered in a way that few athletes ever experience. That he has chosen to give back to the community in this way is a model that I hope we see more athletes take to heart.





    || Greg, 04:37 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Court Affirms Kiddie Porn Not A Right

    In a decision that appears to be rooted in common sense, common decency, and decades of historical precedent, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that made it clear that promoting child pornography is not constitutionally protected speech.

    And while some offer slippery-slope arguments about classic literature and artistic movies, the reality is that both the law and the opinions make it clear that attempts to ban non-pornographic works of artistic merit will not fly.

    The Supreme Court yesterday upheld an expansive federal law that punishes people who peddle or seek child pornography, saying Congress's remedy for a growing problem on the Internet does not violate free-speech guarantees.

    In its 7 to 2 vote, the court also concluded that the law that criminalized "pandering" of real or purported child pornography online or through the mail is not unconstitutionally vague.

    The majority dismissed what it called "fanciful hypotheticals" that the law might make movie reviewers or even unsuspecting grandparents subject to its standards.

    "We hold that offers to provide or requests to obtain child pornography are categorically excluded from the First Amendment," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote.

    He said that "child pornography harms and debases the most defenseless of our citizens," and that the law was "carefully crafted" to respond to child pornography "proliferating through the new medium of the Internet."

    I don't see where most Americans with a moral compass would have any objection to this ruling, given that it simply criminalizes speech that is directed at engaging in illegal conduct. Change "child pornography" to "heroin" and see if you would find the logic of the ruling offensive.

    But what I found striking in the coverage is the way in which some MSM sources were more interested in offering the pro-kiddie porn view before actually delving into the court's ruling.





    || Greg, 04:26 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Obama Again Seeks To Limit Political Speech

    Proving once again that he is unfit for any office, Barack Obama yesterday declared another area of discussion off-limits in this presidential election. In this case it is the outlandish comments made by his wife on the campaign trail while acting as his surrogate.

    Democrat Barack Obama has a message for Tennessee's Republican Party: "Lay off my wife."

    Obama, his party's presidential front-runner, and his wife, Michelle, were asked in an interview aired Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America" about an online video last week by the state's GOP taking her to task for a comment some considered unpatriotic.

    "The GOP, should I be the nominee, can say whatever they want to say about me, my track record," Obama said. "If they think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful because that I find unacceptable, the notion that you start attacking my wife or my family."

    He called the strategy "low class."

    Well, Barack, you and your trashy-ass America-hating wife would certainly know low class.

    And as my friend Robbie pointed out on his website, you seem to have spent a lot of time putting topics off-limits for discussion during this campaign in addition to your Michelle.

  • Were not allowed to call him Hussein even though its his Allah-given name.
  • Were not allowed to talk about his father.
  • Were not allowed to talk about his mother, or his grandmother either.
  • Were not allowed to talk about his Kenyan cousin.
  • Were not allowed to talk about his terrorist friends.
  • Were not allowed to talk about his shady real-estate dealings.
  • Were not allowed to talk about his ties to the Nation of Islam.
  • Were not allowed to talk about his (lack of) patriotism.
  • Were not allowed to talk about his prior drug use.

  • Were not allowed to talk about his Muslim upbringing in Indonesia.

  • Were not allowed to talk about the radical Islamic terrorists who support his candidacy.

  • Were not allowed to talk about his white-folk and America hatin reverend.
  • And since Michelle has declared off-limits anything that "doesn't help my children" (read that "anything that doesn't show Senator Obama in the purest Obamessiah light), it seems like there is a lot that the Obamas are afraid to let the American people talk about.

    st-obama-of-assisi.jpg





    || Greg, 04:16 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 19, 2008

    A Story Of Two Heroes

    In Sundays Seattle Times, Bill Knudson wrote a wonderful piece about two heroes. One of these heroes was his father whose grave he recently visited in the American Cemetery at Normandy.

    But last March, I had an experience that literally took my breath away and brought uncontrollable tears to my eyes. After 64 years, four months and 14 days, I finally got to meet my birth dad, Bill Cuthbert, whose final resting place is Plot D, Row 14, Grave 42 at the American Cemetery at Normandy, just above Omaha Beach, in Colleville-sur-Mer, France.

    A dear friend, Dave Iverson, , and I made a long pilgrimage through the French countryside to a spot that the word "beautiful" does not even begin to describe the American Cemetery at Normandy. In its 172.5 acres are 9,387 headstones, including 9,238 Latin crosses, 149 Stars of David, three Medal of Honor crosses, 38 sets of brothers, the grave of Teddy Roosevelt Jr. and a cross with my dad's name on it:

    William B. Cuthbert,
    Second Lieutenant,
    U.S. Army Air Forces,
    Service # 0-687930
    713th Bomber Squadron,
    448th Bomber Group,
    Awards: Air Medal /
    Purple Heart
    Died April 20, 1944

    The cemetery grounds, given to America by the French government, include a white marble reception building, several statues, a small chapel and a reflecting pool that flows into the grounds. The grass and shrubs are so well manicured, you would have thought the head groundskeeper at The Masters had cared for them. The white marble crosses that stretch across the grounds are placed so that from any angle north, south, east or west they form perfect lines, as if the brave fighting men who reside there will be in formation forever.

    The tribute to Knudsons father is quite moving, and I encourage you to read it. I really cannot do justice to the experience that Knudson describes.

    But you may wonder where is the second hero? Interestingly enough, he is found at the beginning of the piece. We never learn his name, but Knudson reveals his heroism early in the article.

    "Bill, your dad is not your real dad; he is your stepdad. Your real dad's name is Bill Cuthbert. You are named after him; he was killed in the Second World War. He was a navigator on a B-24 bomber and his plane was shot down over France on April 20, 1944, when you were just about 6 months old. He is buried in the American Cemetery in Normandy, France. Then your stepdad and I met in late 1945 and we were married in 1946. That is also the same year that he adopted you and we made a commitment to raise you as our son together."

    Suffice to say, this hit me like a ton of bricks. Initially, I was sort of mad that she would keep this from me all these years. But then, as I began to reflect on it all, I started to realize what an amazing thing my stepdad had done.

    In so many different situations, men take on the task of raising another mans child. Most, as did Knudsons stepfather, make no distinction between these children and any other children they might have. And while their heroism and sacrifice is of a different order and magnitude than that of those who give their very lives for their country, it is still a particular sort of heroism that we ought to recognize and honor.





    || Greg, 05:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    But Didnt They Tell Us There Would Be More?

    I guess that the reality is that scientists studying global warming just dont know what they are talking about. After all, it wasnt that long ago that they told us to expect more and bigger hurricanes due to global warming but now they are telling us to expect fewer, with only a moderate increase in intensity.

    Hurricanes and tropical storms will become less frequent by the end of the century as a result of climate change, US researchers have suggested.

    But the scientists added their data also showed that there would be a "modest increase" in the intensity of these extreme weather events.

    The findings are at odds with some other studies, which forecast a greater number of hurricanes in a warmer world.

    The researchers' results appear in the journal Nature Geoscience.

    That is precisely the problem with the high priests of global warming. They dont know what they are talking about any outcome to any question is proof of global warming to them.





    || Greg, 05:52 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Hybrids Not As Good For Environment As Advertised

    I guess when you are trying to cash in on fraudulent scientific claims, making some fraudulent claims yourself isnt that big a deal.

    Cars promoted as eco-friendly were criticised yesterday for pumping out up to 56 per cent more carbon dioxide than the manufacturers claim.

    Three models, including the Honda Civic hybrid, performed so badly in tests that their environmental claims were dismissed as a gimmick.

    A further five vehicles, including Volkswagens Polo BlueMotion, hailed as Britains greenest car when it was claimed that it emitted less than 100 grams of CO2 per km (g/km), failed to match the claims made by their makers.

    Road tests were carried out by Auto Express magazine, which accused manufacturers of attempting to cash in on concerns about global warming.

    In other words, your carbon footprint is bigger than you think when you drive the hybrids so I guess youll have to buy some of Al Gores carbon indulgences anyway.





    || Greg, 05:51 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Does Anyone Else Find This Troubling?

    Could you imagine the same thing being done if the offense had been the desecration of a Bible?

    The commander of United States troops in Baghdad asked local leaders and tribal sheiks this weekend for their forgiveness after the discovery that a soldier had used a Koran for target practice at a shooting range.

    Responding to an episode ripe with the potential to stoke unrest, the commander, Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, held a meeting Saturday with Iraqi leaders.

    I come before you here seeking your forgiveness, General Hammond said at the meeting, in remarks carried by CNN. In the most humble manner, I look in your eyes today and I say, please forgive me and my soldiers.

    General Hammond also read a letter of apology from the soldier, who was not identified. I sincerely hope that my actions have not diminished the partnership that our two nations have developed together, the general read from the letter.

    Another American officer kissed a Koran and gave it to the tribal leaders, according to news agency reports.

    So now we've got American military personnel kissing the Koran as a part of their duties? Where's the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State? Where are all those mutts who have been complaining that Christians in the military are just too Christian? What is their opinion of this Koran kissing -- and is it the same as it would be if we were talking about a Bible?

    UPDATE: 5/19/2008, 18:34 -- Interestingly enough, not one of them has offered a word on the issue, whether to support or condemn this action. Interesting, isn't it, that they just can't muster their standard hostility to official government endorsement of religion.





    || Greg, 04:42 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Watcher's Council Results -- And An Announcement

    The winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are "Evolution" = "Growth" by Soccer Dad, and Numb by Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal. Here is your link to the full results of the vote:

    VotesCouncil link
    2  1/3"Evolution" = "Growth"
    Soccer Dad
    2Lebanon Becomes Hezbollahstan
    Joshuapundit
    2The Audacity of Newsweek
    Wolf Howling
    1Where we went wrong
    Hillbilly White Trash
    1And Tango Makes 420
    Cheat Seeking Missiles
    2/3BUMPED: McCain Ahead In Electoral Vote Race?
    Rhymes With Right
    2/3Making Capitalists
    Bookworm Room
    2/3Curiouser and Curiouser
    The Glittering Eye
    1/3And People think George W. Bush Is a Moron
    The Colossus of Rhodey

    VotesNon-council link
    4Numb
    Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal
    3POLITICS: Yes, Experience Matters
    Baseball Crank
    1  1/3Is the Criminal-Justice System Racist?
    City Journal
    1Holding Things Accountable for What Men Do With Them
    Classical Values
    2/3Minn: Muslim Students Force Out Disabled Teacher With Dog
    Atlas Shrugs
    2/3Obama on Lebanon: Cognitive Egocentric Porridge
    Augean Stables
    2/3Lebanon's "300" Heroes
    Ya Libnan
    1/3Heroes and Villains
    Dr. Sanity
    1/3"We Are All Jews Now!"
    All Things Beautiful

    By the way -- Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House is leaving the Council, so if you are interested in membership be sure to contact the Watcher after reading this post.





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

    May 18, 2008

    Tom Harkin Pisses On Four Generations of McCain Family Military Service

    In 2004, Tom Harkin was one of those condemning Navy veterans who served in the same unit as John Kerry for daring to raise questions about his details of his military service, his seditious conduct after his return to the US, and his fitness to be President. And yet in 2008, this same Tom Harkin (who has been shown to have embellished his own military record) has taken it upon himself to call into question the fitness of John NcCain to serve as president BECAUSE OF his military service and that of his father, grandfather, and sons!

    Republican presidential candidate John McCain's family background as the son and grandson of admirals has given him a worldview shaped by the military, "and he has a hard time thinking beyond that," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., said Friday.

    "I think he's trapped in that," Harkin said in a conference call with Iowa reporters. "Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous."

    Harkin said that "it's one thing to have been drafted and served, but another thing when you come from generations of military people and that's just how you're steeped, how you've learned, how you've grown up."

    Now let's get really clear what Senator Harkin is saying -- too much military service is a disqualifying factor for the presidency, especially if there is a family tradition of such service! In other words, Obama is more qualified for the presidency because he hasn't served anyone or anything except himself! Community organizing now trumps time as a POW.

    Utterly disgusting, Senator -- you should be ashamed of yourself. But you aren't, of course, because you are a Democrat -- and you all loathe the military, though most do a better job of hiding it. So run your never-served candidate against a true American patriot, and try to disqualify that patriot because he devoted much of his life to the defense of the United States -- the American people will see through you and your party.

    MORE AT Iowa Independent, Right Wing News, Gateway Pundit, Flopping Aces, Red State, Hot Air, McCain Blogs, Commentary's Contentions, Ace of Spades, Blogs 4 McCain, Big Dogs, Say Anything





    || Greg, 08:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    A BLAST FROM THE PAST: Let's Kill Us Some Saudis For Jesus!

    In light of the outrage over this incident, in which one soldier disobeyed orders and was duly punished and apologies issued, I think it is only appropriate that we consider what sort of respect is shown to the Christian faith, symbols and scriptures in the Islamic world. So let's look to this satirical piece from 2005 as a reminder of what is viewed as proper treatment of the Bible in at least one Muslim country -- and the difference in the reactions of Christians and Muslims to such things.

    * * *

    Well, since there seems to be a consensus among the press that the riots over reported Koran desecration were understandable and the fault of the US, I think it is important that we apply the principle to the holy texts of all faiths when they are abused or disrespected as a matter of official government policy.

    As such, I am starting the "Slay a Saudi for the Savior" campaign, and expect the support of every liberal and Muslim out there. This is simply a proportional response to this report.

    Bibles found in the possession of visitors to Saudi Arabia are routinely confiscated by customs officials, and in some cases copies allegedly have been put through a paper shredder, according to religious rights campaigners.

    Reports from the Islamic world of the abuse of Bibles and other items important to Christians emerge from time to time, but generally have little impact - in contrast to the wave of Muslim anger sparked by a Newsweek report, since retracted, of Koran desecration by the U.S. military.

    "The Muslims respect the Koran far more than Christians respect the Bible," says Danny Nalliah, a Sri Lankan-born evangelical pastor now based in Australia.

    During the 1990s, Nalliah spent two years in Saudi Arabia, where he was deeply involved with the underground church.

    "It's a very well-known fact that if you have a Bible at customs when you enter the airport, and if they find the Bible, that the Bible is taken and put in the shredder," he said in an interview this week.

    "If you have more than one Bible you will be taken into custody, and if you have a quantity of Bibles you will be given 70 lashes for sure - you could even be executed."

    And since there are constant complaints about the abuse of Muslim women, how about this Saudi abuse of a nun?

    A friend of his, a fellow Christian in Saudi Arabia, told him of witnessing a particularly unpleasant incident involving a Catholic nun.

    The man had been in the transit lounge at the airport in Jeddah - the gateway to Mecca, used by millions of Hajj pilgrims each year - when a nun arrived at the customs desk.

    "Some fool [travel agent] had put her on a transit flight in Jeddah. You don't do that to a Catholic nun, because she's going to be tormented."

    "They opened her bag, went through her prayer book, put the prayer book through the shredder ... took the crucifix off her neck and smashed it, tormented her for many minutes."

    Eventually another Muslim official objected to their conduct, came across and "rescued" her, pointing out to the customs officials that she was not entering the country but only in transit and would be leaving on the next plane.

    I demand that the Muslim pigs involved suffer death by beheading for their abuse of this woman of God – right in the middle of Saint Peter’s Square.

    I declare a Crusade against the infidels who would dare defile crucifix or shred a prayer book or Bible. We must avenge these insults to the Christian faith.

    Death to the Islam!

    Death to Mecca!

    Death to Saudi Arabia!

    ***

    Uh -- anyway, now that I've recovered my sense of proportion, I hope folks realize that this is not my actual belief. The above is a satirical piece. Unfortunately, the outrages committed by the Saudis are not something I've made up out of whole cloth. They are real.

    That is why I urge the State Department to impose serious sanctions against Saudi Arabia and any other Muslim country that violates the rights of Christians. After all -- Christianity deserves at least as much respect as Islam.

    And to the Islamist fifth-columnists working at CAIR --you'll get my support for your resolution when you get Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world to apply the same standard to Christian practices and beliefs.

    UPDATE -- 5/20/05: Just in case folks didn't like my sources, here is a piece from today's Wall Street Journal on the same Saudi policy regarding the Bible -- including this anecdote.

    The Bible in Saudi Arabia may get a person killed, arrested, or deported. In September 1993, Sadeq Mallallah, 23, was beheaded in Qateef on a charge of apostasy for owning a Bible.

    I wonder what Ms. Azza Basarudin (from the post below) feels about such cases?

    More at GOPBloggers.

    UPDATE -- 5/23/05 -- More on Saudi Bible desecration here.

    UPDATE -- 5/26/05 -- Don't look now, but it isn't just Bibles that the Islamist Horde wants to ban and destroy -- now they want to confiscate Webster's Dictionary for defining anti-Semitism in a way that they don't like.

    The latest edition of the dictionary "Webster" identified "anti- Semitism" as opposing Zionism and sympathizing with Israel's enemies, which showed "the racial trend and scientific distortion," officials of the Office of the Arab Boycott of Israel (OABI) were quoted as saying.

    Ignorant cretins!





    || Greg, 06:24 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Seattle Times' Hitler Fan Bruce Ramsey Re-Writes History

    The Seattle Times should have fired Bruce Ramsey on Friday for whitewashing Hitler's evil in order to attack our president and give support to Barack Obama. But now his stunning dishonesty is exposed for the world to see, and that should be grounds for his dismissal.

    Here's what appeared on Friday.

    What Hitler was demanding was not unreasonable. He wanted the German-speaking areas of Europe under German authority. He had just annexed Austria, which was German-speaking, without bloodshed. There were two more small pieces of Germanic territory: the free city of Danzig and the Sudetenland, a border area of what is now the Czech Republic.

    We live in an era when you do not change national borders for these sorts of reasons. But in 1938 it was different. Germanys eastern and western borders had been redrawn 19 years beforeand not to its benefit. In the democracies there was some sense of guilt with how Germany had been treated after World War I. Certainly there was a memory of the Great War. In 2008, we have entirely forgotten World War I, and how utterly unlike any conception of The Good War it was. When the British let Hitler have a slice of Czechoslovakia, they were following their historical wisdom: avoid war. War produces results far more horrible than you expected. War is a bad investment. It is not glorious. Dont give anyone an excuse to start one.

    In a few months, in early 1939, Hitler ordered the invasion of what is now the Czech Republicthat is, territory that was not German. Then it was obvious that a deal with him was worthless. And so when Bush recalls the unnamed senator who, in September 1939, lamented that he had not been able to talk to Hitler, he hits an easy target. But the moment of September 1939 is nothing like today.

    And here's what appears today in the same space.

    The narrative we're given about Munich is entirely in hindsight. We know what kind of man Hitler was, and that he started World War II in Europe. But in 1938 people knew a lot less. What Hitler was demanding at Munich was not unreasonable as a national claim (though he was making it in a last-minute, unreasonable way.) Germany's claim was that the areas of Europe that spoke German and thought of themselves as German be under German authority. In September 1938 the principal remaining area was the Sudetenland.

    So the British and French let him have it. Their thought was: "Now you have your Greater Germany." They didn't want a war. They were not superpowers like the United States is now. They remembered the 1914-1918 war and how they almost lost it.

    In a few months, in early 1939, Hitler ordered the invasion of what is now the Czech Republicthat is, territory that was not German. Then it was obvious that a deal with him was worthless--and the British and French did not appease Hitler any more. Thus the lesson of Munich: don't appease Hitlers.

    But who else is a Hitler? If you paste that label on somebody it means they are cast out. You can't talk to them any more. And it has gotten pasted on quite a few national leaders over the years: Milosevic, Hussein, Ahmadinejad, et. al. In particular, to apply that label to the elected leaders of the Palestinians is to say that you aren't going to listen to their claims to a homeland. I think they do have a claim. So do the Israelis. In order to get anywhere, each side has to listen to the other. To continually bring up Hitler, the Nazis, the Munich Conference and appeasement, is to try to prolong the stalemate.

    Notice -- a total re-write of what was there. A total whitewashing of his defense of Hitler and his praise of appeasement. The changes made are not minor editorial fixes like spelling, grammar and coherence -- they are a wholesale effort to obscure the defense of evil and the praise for its accommodation that had appeared in that space only a short time before.

    Sorry, Mr. Ramsey -- this isn't 1984 and you don't get to send such stuff down the memory hole. You were caught -- and your response was to cover it up. And as you folks in the press like to remind us, the cover-up is worse than the initial offense.

    H/T Ace, STACLU





    || Greg, 08:19 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    And The Left Still Calls Them Freedom Fighters

    And the equivalent of George Washington and the rest of the Founding Fathers.

    However, I guess I missed the part about Washington doing anything like this back when I was earning my degree in history.

    Military sources say a bomb that wounded two Canadian soldiers near Kandahar on Friday was carried by an 11-year-old boy and was detonated by remote control, killing the boy.

    The two Canadian soldiers were not badly hurt, but the blast also struck two Afghan soldiers patrolling with them, one of whom later died.

    The four soldiers were airlifted back to Kandahar Airfield for treatment after being attacked in the village of Nalgham, west of the city of Kandahar in southeastern Afghanistan.

    Remote detonation of bombs strapped to children -- this new form of cowardice is a new low for the Qu'ran-inspired followers of the debased faith of the Islamists. Shameful -- utterly shameful.

    Here's hoping that the Canadians and the Americans can quickly identify those responsible for this atrocity and dispatch them to the infernal reward reserved for them and their fellow jihadis.





    || Greg, 07:50 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 17, 2008

    Kennedy Hospitalized

    Everyone who reads this site with any regularity knows my opinion of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

    However, I take the position of the great Senator Thomas Hart Benton at this moment -- "When God Almighty lays his hand upon a man, sir, I take mine off, sir."

    Such is my approach at this moment.

    U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, a leading Democrat, was rushed to the hospital Saturday, according to multiple media reports.

    CNN said Kennedy had the symptoms of a stroke, according to Reuters, but local affiliate WHDH said his illness was not disclosed.

    Kennedy, 76, was taken to the hospital by medical air transport. Kennedy is the senates second senior member.

    The latest word I'm getting off of the television is that Kennedy has had some sort of seizure.

    Political considerations and animosities go out the window right now.

    The only thing that I have to offer is prayers for his recovery and his family.

    Others commenting include Sister Toldjah, Ace, Gateway Pundit, Blogs for Victory





    || Greg, 11:45 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    NYTimes Shows More Hostility To Political Speech

    Since the Democrats have rendered the FEC unable to act, they now argue that it is up to the candidates to suppress the free speech of American citizens.

    Recently, Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain appealed to their donors to withhold money from these groups, saying they wanted to lift the tone of the fall campaign. They also want that money for themselves; its a matter of simple self-interest for any candidate to corner all available donations. However, reining in the smear artists is the only truly convincing way to deliver on the endless vows for a cleaner, more uplifting campaign being heard from all the surviving candidates.

    * * *

    Since the Federal Election Commission has been rendered defunct by Congress, the hope for something better can be delivered only by the nominees themselves. Surely, a candidate for chief executive of the United States can be expected to show enough executive talent to confront and stifle his or her most out-of-control supporters.

    Now wait just a minute here -- is it the position of the new York Times that only speech controlled by candidates or government agencies is uplifting or clean? What does that say of, for example, newspaper editorials or smear stories published by mainstream journaistic entities -- like, or instance, the New York Times. Is it possible that the logic of the editorial could require that there be regulation of the press by government and/or control of the press by presidential candidates?

    Or might it be better seen as Exhibit A in the case against efforts to limit Americans exercising their rights under the First Amendment?





    || Greg, 08:52 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 16, 2008

    Seattle Times Writer Defends Hitler's Aggression!

    Could you imagine the outrage if FOXNews or some conservative pundit wrote this column about how Hitler's demands and actions prior to the spring of 1939 were not outrageous?

    Will the Left denounce this post by editorialist Bruce Ramsey? Will the writer be fired?

    Democrats are rebuking President Bush for saying in his speech to the Knesset, here, that to negotiate with terrorists and radicals is appeasement. The Democrats took it as a slap at Barack Obama. What bothers me is the continual reference to Hitler and his National Socialists, particularly the British and French accommodation at the Munich Conference of 1938.

    What Hitler was demanding was not unreasonable. He wanted the German-speaking areas of Europe under German authority. He had just annexed Austria, which was German-speaking, without bloodshed. There were two more small pieces of Germanic territory: the free city of Danzig and the Sudetenland, a border area of what is now the Czech Republic.

    We live in an era when you do not change national borders for these sorts of reasons. But in 1938 it was different. Germanys eastern and western borders had been redrawn 19 years beforeand not to its benefit. In the democracies there was some sense of guilt with how Germany had been treated after World War I. Certainly there was a memory of the Great War. In 2008, we have entirely forgotten World War I, and how utterly unlike any conception of The Good War it was. When the British let Hitler have a slice of Czechoslovakia, they were following their historical wisdom: avoid war. War produces results far more horrible than you expected. War is a bad investment. It is not glorious. Dont give anyone an excuse to start one.

    In a few months, in early 1939, Hitler ordered the invasion of what is now the Czech Republicthat is, territory that was not German. Then it was obvious that a deal with him was worthless. And so when Bush recalls the unnamed senator who, in September 1939, lamented that he had not been able to talk to Hitler, he hits an easy target. But the moment of September 1939 is nothing like today.

    And it is clear here that the writer has not learned the lessons of that era. It was precisely because the British and French gave in to his demands and violations of the Versailles Treaty that Hitler recognized that his further acts of aggression would go unpunished (Ed Morrissey offers a great analysis). As one of my students said recently as we studied these events -- "Why were those people so stupid, mister -- didn't they know that when you let a thug get what he wants he'll just come back for more?"

    Which brings us back to the situation in Israel, and the fatuous argument that the editorialist uses to argue in favor of more negotiations for peace with the terrorists of the Palestinian Authority. From Day One, Israel was prepared to accept a two-state solution. It was the Arabs who rejected that arrangement and attempted to finish the job that Hitler started -- not just in 1948, but again in 1956, 1967, 1973, and in multiple terrorist attacks before and after each of those conflicts. Israel has gone so far as to offer the Palestinians 95% or more of the land that they have sought, only to have that offer thrown back in their faces. They have unilaterally withdrawn from Gaza -- uprooting every Jew from the region -- to give the terrorists a statelet of their own. The response has been ongoing terrorist attacks from within Gaza, directed at civilians. Where has talking with these terrorists -- seeking peace at any cost -- made any difference in the level of violence against Israel or improved peace and security in the region?

    And just to remind the deranged author of this demented posting of the true situation in the Middle East, let me include a map for his consideration.

    MideastMap[1].jpg

    The only just claims that remain belong exclusively to Israel -- which must refuse demands from the rest of the world to continue to appease those who will not be satisfied until every Jew in the region is dead or expelled from the Promised Land.

    H/T LGF, Sound Politics

    OPEN TRACKBACKING AT The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary's Thoughts, Right Truth, Kodera's Korner, Oblogatory Anecdotes, Cao's Blog, Democrat=Socialist, Conservative Cat, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Faultline USA, third world county, Nuke Gingrich, Woman Honor Thyself, McCain Blogs, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, , Right Voices, OTB Sports, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.





    || Greg, 06:34 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (316) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    More Assaults On Christian Institutions In Gaza

    Once again, the followers of the so-called Religion of Peace show their respect for the Religion of the Prince of Peace.

    Unknown assailants detonated a bomb outside a Christian school in Gaza City before dawn Friday, causing no injuries.

    The explosion was heard in surrounding neighborhoods at around 4 a.m. Damage was visible at the entrance to the Zahwa Rosary School, which is run by Catholic nuns but caters mainly to Muslim students.

    Two nuns were in their convent adjacent to the school when the bomb went off, a school official said, and were shaken but unharmed. The official declined to be named, saying she was frightened by the incident and concerned for her safety.

    The incident appeared to be the work of a poorly trained individual or group, she said - police told school officials that the bomb had been set incorrectly, and it caused little damage.

    The bombing was the latest in a string of attacks on Christian institutions in the overwhelmingly Muslim territory. In the most serious attack, a local Christian activist was murdered in October. His killers have not been found.

    Friday's bombing was not the first attack on the school run by the Rosary Sisters. The school was ransacked in June, 2007, along with the nuns' adjacent convent, during a week of intense fighting that ended with Hamas' seizure of power.

    But not to worry the boys from the Hamas security force are on the case and are just as likely to catch and punish the perpetrators of this incident as they are those in the previous cases.

    Oh, yeah not one arrest has been made of one of the jihadis who has attacked kaffir institutions. I wonder why that is?





    || Greg, 05:55 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Housing Starts Rebound

    Some recession were in, dont you think? I wonder if George W. Bush gets credit for the economic recovery that is now happening on his watch?

    Construction of new homes posted the biggest increase in more than two years in April. While it was a rare spot of good news for the housing market, analysts said it's far too soon to declare an end to the prolonged slump.

    The Commerce Department reported Friday that housing construction rose by 8.2 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million units. Building of single-family homes continued to weaken, however. The growth came from a big jump in apartment construction.

    Analysts predicted the surprising rebound in April would be temporary given the headwinds builders are still confronting, from slumping sales to soaring home foreclosures.

    Of course, the press doesnt want to let the good news go unanswered.

    A second report Friday showed that consumer confidence as measured by the University of Michigan/Reuters survey fell to a 28-year low of 59.5 in early May, down from 62.6 in April. The drop was blamed in part on rising concerns about higher gas and food prices.

    And after all, if you keep being told by the press how bad things really are, you will soon really start to lose confidence in the economy so they have to make sure that they do their best to minimize the economic good news and highlight the bad. Somehow I dont remember that approach during the Clinton recession of 2000 where every bit of bad news was bolstered with something good or somehow minimized, even though we werent on our way out of it. Not that Im claiming media bias or anything.





    || Greg, 05:51 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    How Much Per Gallon?

    Matt at LoneStarTimes notes these per gallon costs of various products something which puts current gas prices in perspective.


    • Houston Municipal Water: 1,000 gallons for $2.95 = 0.3 cents per gallon.

    • Coca-Cola Classic: 24 16.9-ounce bottles for $11.12 = $3.51 per gallon.

    • Regular Unleaded Gasoline: $3.60 per gallon.

    • Pine-Sol: 1.36-gallon jug for $7.49 = $5.51 per gallon.

    • Olde English 800 Malt Liquor: 12 40-ounce bottles for $24.19 = $6.45 per gallon.

    • Frenchs Classic Yellow Mustard: Two 30-ounce bottles for $3.87 = $8.26 per gallon.

    • Rotella 15W-40 Motor Oil: 55-gallon drum for $467 = $8.49 per gallon.

    • Jalapeno Nacho Cheese: Four 140-ounce bags for $42.33 = $9.68 per gallon.

    • Mazola Corn Oil: 2.5-gallon jug for $26.88 = $10.75 per gallon.

    • Red Bull Energy Drink: 24 8.3-ounce cans for $31.18 = $20.04 per gallon.

    • Jagermeister Herbal Liqueur: Six 1.75-liter bottles for $230.23 = $83.00 per gallon.

    • Glade Plug-In Scented Oil Refills: 3.55 ounces for $8.88 = $320.18 per gallon.

    • Chanel No. 5 Eau de Parfum: 3.5 ounces for $95.00. = $3,474.29 per gallon.

    So, my friends, as you are standing there pumping your gas drinking that Red Bull, ask yourselves why you are more outraged at pump price than the price of your drink at the vending machine.





    || Greg, 05:36 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    More Proof Barack Obama Is A Lying Sack

    Lets look at this statement from the words of the false messiah, Barack Obama.

    And back during his No Surrender tour, John McCain said anyone who wants to end the war in Iraq responsibly wants to surrender; he even said later on that he would be ok keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years, but yesterday he said our troops could be home by 2013. He offered the promise that America will win a victory, with no understanding that Iraq is fighting a civil war.

    Lets take this one apart it bit by bit.

    1. John McCain said anyone who wants to end the war in Iraq responsibly wants to surrender Well, not really. What he said is that anyone who wants to follow a cut-and-run strategy like has been proposed by most of the Democrats wants to surrender a perfectly reasonable statement, because following such a policy would have the effect of granting our enemy all of their military aims.

    2. he even said later on that he would be ok keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years Well, Obama is sort of telling the truth there. John McCain did outline a scenario in which he could envision US troops being based in Iraq for a century much like they have been based in Japan and Germany for the last six decades, and under similar circumstances. In other words, while he stated something factual, he presented it in a manner that constitutes a dishonest and deceptive falsehood.

    3. but yesterday he said our troops could be home by 2013. Not exactly. He said most of them would be home from Iraq a statement precisely in line with the actual meaning of the statement that Obama just got done criticizing. In other words, another lie by the extremely junior senator from Illinois.

    4. He offered the promise that America will win a victory, True, just as it is true that you have repeatedly offered a promise of defeat and disgrace.

    5. with no understanding that Iraq is fighting a civil war. Senator, John McCain has forgotten more about war than you have ever known. And you seem not to have noticed that Americas allies are doing quite well and that we are seeing day by day that this is not really a civil war, but rather a proxy war being waged against the US and the Iraqi government by the government of Iran. You know, the same Iran that you want to talk to without preconditions, such as an end to their supplying weapons to those who are killing American troops.

    Frankly, this speech makes it really clear that Barack Obama has no hesitation about lying to achieve any goal, about libeling an American hero to increase his own chances of political victory, and about surrendering to our nations enemies. That should make it clear that he is unfit for any public office, much less the highest elected position in the United States.


    By the way -- NRO's Andrew McCarthy asks a great question (H/T Hube>.

    Can Somebody Explain to Me ... ... how Obama sat in Wright's church for 20 years and managed never to hear anything, but hears 20 seconds of a Bush speech that doesn't mention him and perceives a shameful personal attack?

    Especially since the description does, in fact, fit Jimmy Carter so much better.

    OPEN TRACKBACKING AT The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary's Thoughts, Right Truth, Kodera's Korner, Oblogatory Anecdotes, Cao's Blog, Democrat=Socialist, Conservative Cat, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Faultline USA, third world county, Nuke Gingrich, Woman Honor Thyself, McCain Blogs, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, , Right Voices, OTB Sports, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.





    || Greg, 04:46 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Mugabe Adopts ACLU Policy On Religion And Politics

    And I'm sure that the church/state separationists in this country are cheering his efforts on as he seeks to intimidate religious leaders and believers in his effort to continue his left-wing dictatorship in Zimbabwe.

    The parishioners were lined up for Holy Communion on Sunday when the riot police stormed the stately St. Francis Anglican Church in Harare, Zimbabwes capital. Helmeted, black-booted officers banged on the pews with their batons as terrified members of the congregation stampeded for the doors, witnesses said.

    A policeman swung his stick in vicious arcs, striking matrons, a girl and a grandmother who had bent over to pick up a Bible dropped in the melee. A lone housewife began singing from a hymn in Shona, We will keep worshiping no matter the trials! Hundreds of women, many dressed in the Anglican Mothers Union uniform of black skirt, white shirt and blue headdress, lifted their voices to join hers.

    Beneath their defiance, though, lay raw fear as the countrys ruling party stepped up its campaign of intimidation ahead of a presidential runoff. In a conflict that has penetrated ever deeper into Zimbabwes social fabric, the party has focused on a growing roster of groups that elude its direct control a list that includes the Anglican diocese of Harare, as well as charitable and civic organizations, trade unions, teachers, independent election monitors and the political opposition.

    Anglican leaders and parishioners said in interviews that the church was not concerned with politics and that it counted people from both the ruling party and the opposition in its congregations. Yet the ruling party appears to have decided that only Anglicans who follow Nolbert Kunonga a renegade bishop in Harare who is a staunch ally of President Robert Mugabe are allowed to hold services.

    Over the past three Sundays, the police have interrogated Anglican priests and lay leaders, arrested and beaten parishioners and locked thousands of worshipers out of dozens of churches.

    We who follow Christ need to pray for these persecuted brothers and sister.

    Just remember -- standing for the truth of Christ in this day and age in many parts of the world is a dangerous today as in the first century. And there are those today who want to make that as true in America and the rest of the Western world as it is in Zimbabwe -- or Saudi Arabia. Just look at Canada if you want an example.





    || Greg, 04:52 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Sabotage!

    Michelle Malkin and others note this act of treasonous sabotage on two military aircraft.

    Two military helicopters were vandalized on the production line at a Boeing factory near Philadelphia, the Defense Department said Thursday as it offered a reward.

    Federal officials handed out fliers to workers at the Boeing Rotorcraft Systems plant listing a $5,000 reward for information leading to whomever damaged the two H-47 Chinook helicopters.

    "We have determined that this was a deliberate act and not an accident," said Ken Maupin, an agent with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, at a news conference outside the plant.

    He said 10 agents were investigating, but he would not comment on specifics or what led to the determination that it was vandalism.

    The Chinook is the Army's workhorse aircraft and is used to move troops and supplies. Boeing is producing new Chinooks for the Army, as well as updating older models. The military has not grounded any helicopters now in use.

    A production line at the plant has not been fully functional since Tuesday, when two workers found what the company called irregularities in the helicopters.

    There are no surveillance cameras on the production line, said Jack Satterfield, a company spokesman.

    U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak has said he was told that broken or severed wires were found in one helicopter and that a suspicious washer was found in a second. Maupin described the washer as being in a place it shouldn't.

    "You have a large number of workers here at this point and one or more that was the problem," Maupin said. "The majority of the people here are hardworking, loyal Americans, and many of them are veterans. They want to find (those responsible) as much as we do."

    U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan said he was comfortable with the conclusion the damage was done deliberately.

    These are things that could kill our men and women in uniform -- and which impair their readiness for combat by delaying the arrival no needed weapons into combat zones. I'm sure that this is one of the folks who thinks they are "supporting the troops" by interfering with their getting what they need to kill the enemy -- and I hope that the bastard(s) involved find themselves spending a great deal of time in prison when they are caught.





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

    Rocket Man!

    No, not that Rocket Man.

    This Rocket Man!

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    Some people go fishing on their day off. Yves Rossy likes to jump out of a small plane with a pair of jet-powered wings and perform figure eights above the Swiss Alps.

    Rossy, 48, made his first public flight with his self-made flying contraption in front of the world press Wednesday, after five years of training and many more years of dreaming.

    "This flight was absolutely excellent," the former fighter pilot and extreme sports enthusiast said after touching down on an airfield near the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

    Reports indicate that Rossy got up to 186 MPH. I don't know about you, but that sure impresses the hell out of me.

    He also note that his safety secret is "altitude". And I'd have to agree -- at 186 MPH there is no room for error.





    || Greg, 04:43 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (279) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Oldest Depiction Of Caesar Found

    It dates to 46 BC, making it the oldest depiction of the Roman Consul that we have.

    capt.f10a2be8584f49c7a341c39dffcc19fd.france_cesar_par801[1].qlE1OG2mbG4Rg--

    The life-sized bust showing the Roman ruler with wrinkles and hollows in his face is tentatively dated to 46 B.C. Divers uncovered the Caesar bust and a collection of other finds in the Rhone near the town of Arles founded by Caesar.

    Among other items in the treasure trove of ancient objects is a 5.9 foot marble statue of Neptune, dated to the first decade of the third century after Christ.

    Two smaller statues, both in bronze and measuring 27.5 inches each also were found, one of them, a satyr with his hands tied behind his back, "doubtless" originated in Hellenic Greece, the ministry said.

    "Some (of the discoveries) are unique in Europe," Culture Minister Christine Albanel said. The bust of Caesar is in a class by itself.

    "This marble bust of the founder of the Roman city of Arles constitutes the most ancient representation known today of Caesar," the ministry statement said, adding that it "undoubtedly" dates to the creation of Arles in 46 B.C.

    No other depiction of the Roman leader is known to date from his lifetime -- making this potentially the only depiction of him w have made by someone who actually saw him in life. That means that this face is potentially the most accurate view of how he actually appeared -- allowing us to put a face with the name we have heard since our childhood.





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

    Will The Democrats Denounce This Crap?

    After all, Howard Dean has said that McCain's age is not an issue for the Democrats. Will he demand that Obama's campaign surrogates stop trying to make it one?

    "McAncient" was produced by the Organizing Group, a Democratic consulting firm run by longtime AFL-CIO political operative Steve Rosenthal. It's the same group that produced a video earlier this year on McCain's age and maintains a website called "Younger Than McCain". (Boston-based playwright John J. King is the lyricist and vocalist for the song.)

    McCain's campaign has been vigilant about seeking to keep discussion of the candidate's age outside of the sphere of acceptable campaign discourse; when Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) recently said that McCain had "lost his bearings" during an interview with CNN, the Arizona senator's campaign immediately released a tart rebuke from senior adviser Mark Salter -- is there any other kind? -- that accused Obama of purposely injecting age into the race.

    While Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has said his party will not make McCain's age an issue in the campaign, groups like Rosenthal's seem set on doing so.

    We want to hear from you. Is McCain's age fair game in the fall campaign? Why or why not?

    And here is the reprehensible video seeking to undermine an American hero who has made a lifetime of serving the United States in favor of an unqualified, inexperienced candidate who has spent more time serving himself.

    Seem pretty sad that they have to try to make McCain's age an issue because Barack Obama has no accomplishments to trumpet.





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

    A Tribute To TxDOT

    The folks at the Texas Department of Transportation are well known for their ability to waste as much money as they spend on their legislative mandates -- building Roads.

    The fine folks at EmpowerTexans.org offer up this tribute to bureaucrats at their best(?).





    || Greg, 04:13 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 15, 2008

    Anybody Else Wondering

    If there is a 60-inch plasma screen television just beyond the edge of this picture?

    polarbearsrelax.jpg

    H/T Lucianne.com





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    Race To The Moon

    Who will make it first, now that the Russians and Europeans are looking at a joint venture?

    Russia and Europe are teaming up to build a spaceship which will fly astronauts to the moon, Russia said on Wednesday, although the European Space Agency struck a more cautious note.

    The first test flight is set for 2015 and the first manned flight is planned for 2018, Russian space agency Roskosmos said.

    "The European Space Agency (ESA) and Roskosmos both have the technologies and unique experience in designing various space systems to be able to create jointly a hi-tech vehicle," Roskosmos said on its website (www.roscosmos.ru).
    "(This would) enable us to carry crews of up to six people to near-earth and lunar orbits." Roskosmos said the craft would allow "expeditions to the moon" but did not say whether landings were envisaged.

    This would, of course, mean that there are multiple lunar programs the planned US return to the moon, this Russian/European venture, the Red Chinese, the Indians and we will have an honest-to-God space race on our hands. Anyone want to see about getting the private sector involved to beat the all?





    || Greg, 05:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Bush Reminds Of Lessons Of History Obama Takes Personal Offense

    We recently studied WWII in my world history classes, and even the least gifted of my students understood the fact that the policy of appeasement adopted by Great Britain and France prior to the war served only to embolden Hitler.

    President Bush made that point in a speech before the Knesset thought I wish he and the State Department would remember it when insisting that Israel negotiate with the leaders of the Terrorstinian Anarchy.

    ABC News' Ed O'Keefe Reports: The Obama campaign is taking issue with a comment President Bush made while speaking to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's statehood.

    "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," the President said to the country's legislative body, "We have heard this foolish delusion before.

    As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

    And true to his thin-skinned nature, Barack Obama and his campaign went ballistic.

    Responding with a statement, the Obama campaign seized on Bush's remarks even as it was unclear to whom Bush was referring.

    "It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack," Obama said in the statement. "George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel."

    The White House said Bush's comment wasn't a reference to Obama.

    "It is not," press secretary Dana Perino told reporters in Israel. "I would think that all of you who cover these issues and have for a long time have known that there are many who have suggested these types of negotiations with people that the president, President Bush, thinks that we should not talk to. I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you. That is not always true. And it is not true in this case."

    Message for Obama: THE UNIVERSE DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND URANUS!

    And showing themselves equally unfit for leadership, several other Democrat unworthies teed off as well.

    First, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Rahm Emmanuel.

    Democratic House leaders are calling out President Bush for a speech in Israel in which he seemed to suggest that Sen. Barack Obama wants the United States to "negotiate with terrorists."

    In his speech,~Bush said: Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."

    The White House insists that Bush was "referring to a wide range of people, not any single person." But Obama's campaign says it appeared to be a swipe at him, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Bush's remarks were "beneath the dignity of the office of the president and unworthy of our representation" at the celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary.

    Referring to Sen. John McCain, Pelosi said: "I would hope that any serious person that aspires to lead the country, would disassociate themselves from those comments.

    As Pelosi was speaking, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel issued a statement in which he said: "The tradition has always been that when a U.S. president is overseas, partisan politics stops at the water's edge. President Bush has now taken that principle and turned it on its head: for this White House, partisan politics now begins at the waters edge, no matter the seriousness and gravity of the occasion. Does the president have no shame?

    Interesting, isnt it, that anyone as associated with Bill Clinton as Rahm Emmanuel was would ever talk about someone having no shame.

    And then there is the eloquent response from Joe Biden.

    Sen. Joe Biden, piling on to Democratic complaints about President Bushs speech in Israel today:

    This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset . . . and make this kind of ridiculous statement.

    So much for lifting the level of our national political dialogue. And I certainly hope that this statement ends any discussion we hear about the temper and language of John McCain.

    John Kerry also had some silly, comments about the issue -- but he hasn't had anything to say that merited serious consideration since he confessed to committing war crimes during Vietnam.

    And interestingly enough, none of them wishes to consider the fundamental truth of the statement that President made there are some enemies with whom we should not and cannot talk to make matters all better. There are those to whom only military force can make the point.

    And the Democrats with the exception of Joe Lieberman apparently wish to ignore that point. that George W. Bush was making. It is pretty clear, then, that Barack Obama and the rest of the Democrats are doomed to repeat it.

    H/T Gateway Pundit





    || Greg, 05:26 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    A Vision Of The Future I Like

    And John McCain has spelled it out in todays speech on the issue.

    By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs, but it is spasmodic and much reduced. Civil war has been prevented; militias disbanded; the Iraqi Security Force is professional and competent; al-Qaeda in Iraq has been defeated; and the Government of Iraq is capable of imposing its authority in every province of Iraq and defending the integrity of its borders. The United States maintains a military presence there, but a much smaller one, and it does not play a direct combat role.

    The threat from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan has been greatly reduced but not eliminated. U.S. and NATO forces remain there to help finish the job, and continue operations against the remnants of al Qaeda. The Government of Pakistan has cooperated with the U.S. in successfully adapting the counterinsurgency tactics that worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan to its lawless tribal areas where al Qaeda fighters are based. The increase in actionable intelligence that the counterinsurgency produced led to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden, and his chief lieutenants. There is no longer any place in the world al Qaeda can consider a safe haven. Increased cooperation between the United States and its allies in the concerted use of military,
    diplomatic, and economic power and reforms in the intelligence capabilities of the United States has disrupted terrorist networks and exposed plots around the world. There still has not been a major terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001.

    The United States and its allies have made great progress in advancing nuclear security. Concerted action by the great democracies of the world has persuaded a reluctant Russia and China to cooperate in pressuring Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, and North Korea to discontinue its own. The single greatest threat facing the West the prospect of nuclear materials in the hands of terrorists has been vastly diminished.

    The size of the Army and Marine Corps has been significantly increased, and are now better equipped and trained to defend us. Long overdue reforms to the way we acquire weapons programs, including fixed price contracts, have created sufficient savings to pay for a larger military. A substantial increase in veterans educational benefits and improvements in their health care has aided recruitment and retention. The strain on the National Guard and reserve forces has been relieved.

    After efforts to pressure the Government in Sudan over Darfur failed again in the U.N. Security Council, the United States, acting in concert with a newly formed League of Democracies, applied stiff diplomatic and economic pressure that caused the government of Sudan to agree to a multinational peacekeeping force, with NATO countries providing logistical and air support, to stop the genocide that had made a mockery of the worlds repeated declaration that we would never again tolerant such inhumanity. Encouraged by the success, the League is now occupied with using the economic power and prestige of its member states to end other gross abuses of human rights such as the despicable crime of human trafficking.

    The United States has experienced several years of robust economic growth, and Americans again have confidence in their economic future. A reduction in the corporate tax rate from the second highest in the world to one on par with our trading partners; the low rate on capital gains; allowing business to deduct in a single year investments in equipment and technology, while eliminating tax loopholes and ending corporate welfare, have spurred innovation and productivity, and encouraged companies to keep their operations and jobs in the United States. The Alternate Minimum Tax is being phased out, with relief provided first to middle income families. Doubling the size of the child exemption has put more disposable income in the hands of taxpayers, further stimulating growth.

    Congress has just passed by a single up or down vote a tax reform proposal that offers Americans a choice of continuing to file under the rules of the current complicated and burdensome tax code or use a new, simpler, fairer and flatter tax, with two rates and a generous deduction. Millions of taxpayers are expected to file under the flat tax, and save billions in the cost of preparing their returns.
    After exercising my veto several times in my first year in office, Congress has not sent me an appropriations bill containing earmarks for the last three years. A top to bottom review of every federal bureaucracy has yielded great reductions in government spending by identifying programs that serve no important purpose; and instigating far reaching reforms of procurement and operating policies that have for too long extravagantly wasted money for no better purpose than to increase federal payrolls.

    New free trade agreements have been ratified and led to substantial increases in both exports and imports. The resulting growth in prosperity in countries from South America to Asia to Africa has greatly strengthened Americas security and the global progress of our political ideals. U.S. tariffs on agricultural imports have been eliminated and unneeded farm subsidies are being phased out. The world food crisis has ended, inflation is low, and the quality of life not only in our country, but in some of the most impoverished countries around the world is much improved.

    Americans, who through no fault of their own, lost jobs in the global economy they once believed were theirs for life, are assisted by reformed unemployment insurance and worker retraining programs. Older workers who accept lower paying jobs while they acquire new skills are provided assistance to make up a good part of the income they have lost. Community colleges and technical schools all over the country have developed worker retraining programs suited to the specific economic opportunities available in their communities and are helping millions of workers who have lost a job that wont come back find a new one that wont go away.

    Public education in the United States is much improved thanks to the competition provided by charter and private schools; the increase of quality teachers through incentives like merit pay and terrific programs that attract to the classroom enthusiastic and innovative teachers from many disciplines, like Teach for America and Troops to Teachers. Educational software and online teaching programs endorsed by qualified non profits are much more widely in use, bringing to the smallest classrooms in America some of the greatest math, English, and science teachers in the country. This revolution in teaching methods has especially benefited rural America. Test scores and graduation rates are rising everywhere in the country.

    Health care has become more accessible to more Americans than at any other time in history. Reforms of the insurance market; putting the choice of health care into the hands of American families rather than exclusively with the government or employers; walk in clinics as alternatives to emergency room care; paying for outcome in the treatment of disease rather than individual procedures; and competition in the prescription drug market have begun to wring out the runaway inflation once endemic in our health care system. More small businesses offer their employees health plans. Schools have greatly improved their emphasis on physical education and nutritional content of meals offered in school cafeterias. Obesity rates among the young and the disease
    they engender are stabilized and beginning to decline. The federal government and states have cooperated in establishing backstop insurance pools that provide coverage to people hard pressed to find insurance elsewhere because of pre-existing illness.

    The reduction in the growth of health care costs has begun to relieve some of the pressure on Medicare; encouraging Congress to act in a bipartisan way to extend its solvency for twenty-five years without increasing taxes and raising premiums only for upper income seniors. Their success encouraged a group of congressional leaders from both parties to work with my administration to fix Social Security as well, without reducing benefits to those near retirement. The reforms include some form of personal retirement accounts in safe and reliable index funds, such as have been available to government employees since their retirement plans were made solvent a quarter century ago.

    The United States is well on the way to independence from foreign sources of oil; progress that has not only begun to alleviate the environmental threat posed from climate change, but has greatly improved our security as well. A cap and trade system has been implemented, spurring great innovation in the development of green technologies and alternative energy sources. Clean coal technology has advanced considerably with federal assistance. Construction has begun on twenty new nuclear reactors thanks to improved incentives and a streamlined regulatory process.

    Scores of judges have been confirmed to the federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, who understand that they were not sent there to write our laws but to enforce them and make sure they are consistent with the Constitution. They are judges of exceptional character and quality, who enforce and do not make laws, and who respect the values of the people whose rights, laws and property they are sworn to defend.

    Border state governors have certified and the American people recognize that after tremendous improvements to border security infrastructure and increases in the border patrol, and vigorous prosecution of companies that employ illegal aliens, our southern border is now secure. Illegal immigrants who broke our laws after they came here have been arrested and deported. Illegal immigration has been finally brought under control, and the American people accepted the practical necessity to institute a temporary worker program and deal humanely with the millions of immigrants who have been in this country illegally.

    Voluntary national service has grown in popularity in part because of the educational benefits used as incentives, as well as frequent appeals from the bully pulpit of the White House, but mostly because the young Americans, no less than earlier generations, understand that true happiness is much greater than the pursuit of pleasure, and can only be found by serving causes greater than self-interest. Scores of accomplished private sector leaders have joined the ranks of my administration for a dollar a year and have instituted some of the most innovative reforms of government programs ever known, often in partnership with willing private sector partners. A sense of community, a kinship of ideals, has invigorated public service again.

    Is it perfect? Is it everything I want? No, it isnt but it is the best Im likely to see after the current electoral cycle. Thats why Im backing John McCain.

    H/T MVRWC





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

    California Hands GOP A Campaign Issue

    I suspect this one will end up helping John McCain in a number of states in the fall after all, we know that Barack Obama will select judges who will follow the California reasoning if elected.

    Gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry in California, the state Supreme Court said today in a historic ruling that could be repudiated by the voters in November.

    In a 4-3 decision, the justices said the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the "fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship." The ruling is likely to flood county courthouses with applications from couples newly eligible to marry when the decision takes effect in 30 days.

    The ruling set off a celebration at San Francisco City Hall. As the decision came down, out-of-breath staff members ran into the mayor's office where Gavin Newsom read the decision.

    I find it rather shocking that, given the pending vote on a state constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriage, the justices (and I use that term loosely) didn't stay the decision until the people had the opportunity to speak on the issue in November.

    But even more worrisome in my book is that there is some real slippery language in this opinion that fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship could just as easily morph into the reasoning that supports overturning laws defining marriage as a monogamous institution. After all, there is no logical basis for denying such marriages if such a fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship exists and given that there is significantly more precedent for it in Western society AND at least one major world religion that still practices polygamy today, there is even less of a rational basis to allow that limitation under the Constitution.





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

    What We Need

    080515-gop-20-2[1].jpg

    Sadly, our party leaders have moved away from its values over the last few years. And I agree with Doug Ross that the time has come for us to remind them that we, the grassroots, are the GOP -- and to push for the reestablishment of the party based upon our principles.

    The tenets:

    STRENGTHEN NATIONAL DEFENSE - increase the size, capability and efficiency of our Armed Forces, bringing back our defense spending to historical levels as percentage of GDP.

    GAIN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE - open up ANWR and the OCS to exploration; aggressively pursue nuclear energy and green technologies; and incent private industry to aggressively pursue clean, renewable energy sources.

    SECURE THE BORDERS - build physical barriers immediately as a precursor to an overarching, sensible immigration policy. If the boat's sinking, you plug the holes first.

    DEATH TO EARMARKS - zero tolerance for earmarks.

    DEATH TO CORRUPTION - zero tolerance for corruption.

    ENGLISH AS NATIONAL LANGUAGE - national unity requires a national language. That language is English.

    IMPLEMENT FLAT TAX OR FAIR TAX - simplify the tax system by eradicating a tax code gone mad.

    REDUCE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT - provide "whistleblower-style" awards for reducing the size of government and task the IRS (which will no longer have to worry about enforcing the tax code) with achieving the reduction goals on an annual basis

    SPUR HEALTHCARE COMPETITION - Address health-care deficiencies - with competitive, free-market solutions, not Government largesse.

    ADDRESS ENTITLEMENTS - engage a bipartisan consortium to create a multi-million dollar competition to incent teams from private industry and academia to create solutions for our social security and Medicare liabilities.

    This should not be a platform. It should be a promise -- an ironclad commitment -- to voters.

    Now we can argue and dispute over how best to implement some of these points. And we can even disagree among ourselves about the relative importance of some of them. And yes, some of us may disagree on a point or two, while holding to the overall thrust of this plan of governance. But it is important that we have a clear platform and policy commitment within our party -- much as we did 14 years ago with the Contract With America. That is the recipe for success.





    || Greg, 04:56 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (274) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Academic Integrity Trumps PC Leftism At Washington University

    I have to tell you -- I am not a particular fan of Phyllis Schlafly, even when I agree with her on the issues. I think her rhetoric is often too extreme, and some of the positions she takes wrong. But love her or hate her, she has been one of the most influential women in American political life for the last half century -- and it is appropriate that her alma mater honor her with an honorary degree, even if some whiny political opponents disagree.

    Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton sent an e-mail to the university community this afternoon in which he apologized for the anguish that the university's decision to honor Phyllis Schlafly has caused for many people.

    But he said that after consulting with the Board of Trustees, the university has decided to fulfill its commitment to award her the honorary degree. Wrighton noted that the school's long-standing process for awarding honorary degrees was followed. Schlafly was nominated by a community member. Her nomination was reviewed by the board's honorary degree committee, which includes faculty, students, trustees and administrators. Schlafly, along with the other nominees, were then unanimously recommended to the board. The board voted to award her the degree at its May 2007 meeting.

    I'm glad that the University decided not to give in to the anguish-mongers. After all, anyone "anguished" over the decision to give an honorary degree to a political activist has to be pretty weak mentally and emotionally -- and I'd suggest is probably unfit to be either a student or faculty member in a university setting due to their inability to tolerate views that differ from their own. After all, what about the concept of diversity, and of the free exchange and discussion of divergent ideas and points of view?

    But I think the most important part of this article comes at the end -- and involves someone whose politics I've not always agreed with but whom I have admired since I met her 20 years ago when I was doing a brief internship with the ACLU in St. Louis as a part of a graduate program (it is a long story -- and let it suffice for now to say that i requested the placement).

    He said that at Friday's commencement, trustee emeritus Margaret Bush Wilson has volunteered to read the citation to award the degree to Schlalfy. "As the first woman of color to serve as the national chair of the NAACP, the second woman of color admitted to practice law in Missouri, and as a prominent St. Louis civil rights attorney for more than 40 years, she provides a strong voice for the importance of tolerance and discourse as hallmarks of the Washington University community," Wrighton said.

    Bravo for Margaret Bush Wilson, who is teaching a valuable lesson by her decision to read the degree citation. An unabashed opponent of much of what Schlafly stands for, she is recognizes that suppression of one side of the debate and closing it off from discussion and recognition is a betrayal of the University's mission -- and of American values.

    And to the anguish-mongers who tried to revoke this honorary degree, I offer this point for consideration -- we conservatives have been offended for decades by the honorary degrees offered to your fellow left-wingers and to undistinguished entertainers and trendoids who mouth liberal platitudes. We have, however, respected the process and not demanded a political litmus test be imposed to meet our objections. Why don't you grow up and do the same?





    || Greg, 04:45 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Baby-Killer's Trade Group Endorses Obama

    But then again, this is no surprise. Barack Obama couldn't even support legislation requiring that victims of a failed abortion receive medical treatment if they are born alive. He believes that when a woman pays for a dead baby, she is entitled to a dead baby -- even if that means letting it die through what would constitute criminal abuse and neglect in any other situation. Why wouldn't the modern-day priests and priestesses of Moloch support him?

    Democrat Barack Obama has won the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading abortion rights advocacy organization that has supported rival Hillary Rodham Clinton throughout her political career.

    The organization announced the endorsement of its political action committee on Wednesday.

    "Pro-choice Americans have been fortunate to have two strong pro-choice candidates in Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, both of whom have inspired millions of new voters to participate in this historic presidential race," NARAL president Nancy Keenan said in a statement. "Today, we are proud to put our organization's grass-roots and political support behind the pro-choice candidate whom we believe will secure the Democratic nomination and advance to the general election. That candidate is Senator Obama."

    So just remember -- Obama considers those of us who hold fast to our religion, the Second Amendment, and border security to be bad people who are not good Americans -- but those who rip the unborn from the womb as welcome supporters.





    || Greg, 04:29 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Like This Endorsement Is A Surprise

    Face it -- we Americans have always known that John Edwards is an opportunistic little weasel. He lacked the testicular fortitude to make an endorsement early on -- because he wanted to play both sides for the biggest payoff possible in terms of a position in the administration.

    Now, as Obama has things nearly wrapped up but has hit a stumbling block, in rides the Breck Girl with his coveted endorsement to save the day!

    Democrat John Edwards endorsed former rival Barack Obama on Wednesday, a move designed to help solidify support for the party's likely presidential nominee even as Hillary Rodham Clinton refuses to give up her long-shot candidacy.

    Edwards made a surprise appearance with Obama in Grand Rapids, Mich., as the Illinois senator campaigns in a critical general election battleground state.

    The endorsement came a day after Clinton defeated Obama by more than 2-to-1 in the West Virginia primary. The loss highlighted Obama's challenge in winning over the "Hillary Democrats" white, working-class voters who also supported Edwards in significant numbers before he exited the race in late January.

    Edwards, who received a thunderous ovation when Obama introduced him to a crowd of several thousand, said, "brothers and sisters, we must come together as Democrats" to defeat McCain. "We are here tonight because the Democratic voters have made their choice, and so have I."

    I wonder what Edwards gets out of this. Will he be Attorney General? Or Obama's VP? Or will he be the first ambulance chasing trial lawyer to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, despite his lack of judicial experience or a record of substantive legal scholarship? Here's hoping we never find out.





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

    May 14, 2008

    Third Party Hillary?

    Talk about the potential for a real partisan realignment Don Surber notes this post from Washington Times political reporter Christina Bellantoni.

    A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows that 29 percent of Democrats would support Sen. Hillary Clinton running as an independent in the fall:

    Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Democratic voters nationwide now believe that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race for the White House. That's up slightly from 34% in late April, 32% earlier in April and 22% in late March.

    p>However, if Clinton does not win the Democratic Party nomination, 29% of Democrats say she should run an Independent campaign for the White House. Sixty-one percent (61%) of Democrats disagree. Clinton supporters are evenly divided on the question.

    Surber takes it a bit further with the following analysis.

    The main reason she took West Virginia by 41 points is that it is the oldest state in the nation (average age 38.9). You toss in Florida (38.7) and Pennsylvania (38), add her home states of Arkansas and New York, and she starts with 90 Electoral College votes.

    She beat Obama by 8 in California, by 9 in Ohio, and by 10 in New Jersey. Thats another 90 Electoral College votes.

    Clinton would be trouble for McCain in Texas, especially if the Bushes continue to cold-shoulder McCain. That could bring her up to 214.

    Without Texas and Florida, McCain is dead.

    Without California, Obama is dead.

    And with 214 Electoral College votes at the starting gate, an independent run by Clinton is viable.

    Running mate? Joe Lieberman.

    Lets be honest this is a formidable ticket if it were to happen. Given her growth on the campaign trail, some of us on the Right have come to appreciate if not agree with Hillary Clinton. And the addition of Joe Lieberman to such a ticket would mollify a great many folks in the Center and on the Right. That could create a situation where we would have a WINNING independent candidate and a true realignment of Americas politics.





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

    Another Gaza Rocket Attack On A Vital Israeli Military Target

    Because we know that the local shopping mall is critical to the defense of the country.

    A rocket fired from Gaza exploded in a shopping center in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Wednesday, wounding at least 14 people, rescue officials said.

    At least two women and one girl were seriously wounded and several other people were slightly hurt, said Leah Malul, an official at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

    The Magen David Adom rescue service said 14 people were wounded three seriously and all the casualties had been evacuated from the site of the attack.

    Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its Web site.

    Got that, US State Department? Who claimed responsibility? ISLAMIC JIHAD. Two of the words on your index of forbidden words in the war on terror. I suppose we could call them [DELETED] [DELETED], but it would make it difficult to distinguish it from all the other [DELETED] terrorist groups that claim to be waging [DELETED] against the US and Israel in the name of [DELETED].





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

    But It Wouldnt Do To Call Them Terrorists

    Some jihadis are simply too cowardly to blow themselves up. They have to strap a bomb to a little girl and detonate her remotely to demonstrate their commitment to the false Allah of the false prophet Muhammad.

    An eight-year-old girl strapped with explosives has blown up and killed an Iraqi army captain.

    The bomb was detonated by remote control, injuring four soldiers in addition to the one who died, an Iraqi Army spokesman said.

    And these are the folks that so many of our patriotic leftists compare favorably to our troops and our elected leaders. I guess that shows what sort of human beings what sort of patriots they really are.

    But I suppose I can understand the decision to use a little girl as the vehicle for their bomb. I understand that it is the custom of the jihadis to send the one with the biggest penis to do the job.





    || Greg, 03:15 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Preventing Polling Place Disruptions

    Im going to side with South Dakota on this one. Ensuring that entry to and exit from polling places is not interfered with is a legitimate state interest and subjecting pollsters to the same distance restrictions as campaign workers is a legitimate way of doing so.

    The three major networks, CNN, Fox News and the Associated Press filed a lawsuit yesterday asking a federal judge to strike down a South Dakota law that prevents exit polling within 100 feet of a voting place.

    The law violates the First Amendment because it restricts the news organizations speech and commentary about the political process and limits their opportunities to gather information about that process, according to the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Sioux Falls, asks that the case be handled quickly because South Dakotas primary election is June 3, just three weeks away. It seeks a preliminary ruling before the primary to prevent South Dakota officials from barring exit polling within 100 feet of polling places.

    Now lets consider the practical impact of undoing this rule. Pollsters could come up to the door of the polling place, asking questions and soliciting answers to polling questions leading to voters hearing the answers and, effectively, being subject to electioneering conversations. The distance regulation imposes a minimal restriction upon them, and one that does not burden the exercise of their rights any more than it does the rights of those engaged in political speech to campaign for the candidate of their choice.

    As such, the lawsuit should fail.





    || Greg, 03:14 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    A Note On Burma

    Ive received a couple of emails from folks wondering why I havent commented upon the humanitarian crisis in Burma. Let me offer a response publicly about why I have been unable to muster the public outrage to comment upon the inhumanity shown by the Burmese government towards the Burmese people.

    What we have in Burma (and I refuse to call it by the name imposed by the military dictators) is the natural outcome of any totalitarian dictatorship. The lives of the people are not of interest to the leadership of such regimes control is. That is why the junta will not allow significant amounts of foreign aid and /or emergency personnel to enter the country such aid and people would undermine the fragile control they maintain over nation.

    And besides these are the same rulers who have kept their nations legitimate elected leader under house arrest for two decades. Why would we expect them to give a tinkers damn about the people, any more than Stalin cared about the millions who starved under his artificially created food shortages?

    Of course, I am concerned by the next humanitarian crisis to face the nation a second cyclone.

    Another powerful storm headed toward Myanmar's cyclone-devastated delta, where so little aid has reached that the U.N. warned on Wednesday of a "second wave of deaths" among an estimated 2 million survivors.

    The U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center said there is a good chance that "a significant tropical cyclone" will form within the next 24 hours and head across the Irrawaddy delta area.

    The area was pulverized by Cyclone Nargis on May 3, leaving at least 34,273 dead and 27,838 missing, according to the government. The U.N. says the death toll could exceed 100,000. An estimated 2 million survivors of the storm are still in need of emergency aid. But U.N. agencies and other groups have been able to reach only 270,000 people so far.

    In other words, there will soon be more dead and injured and more blood on the hands of the generals who control the nation. And I will continue to weep over them -- filled with sadness that those who misrule their nation do not give a tinker's damn about their lives.

    But maybe another such tragedy will lead the people to rise up, and the military to support them.





    || Greg, 03:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    ET, Phone Vatican!

    They've decide that believing in you doesn't constitute a theological problem.

    Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.

    The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

    "How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said. "Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation."

    In the interview by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures. Ruling out the existence of aliens would be like "putting limits" on God's creative freedom, he said.

    Now this opens up all sorts of interesting areas for theological speculation.


    Just a few little theological musings for you.





    || Greg, 04:53 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Another Municipal Wi-Fi Service Fails

    Just as all eventually will without a serious reimagining of the "business model".

    EarthLink Inc. is pulling the plug on its troubled wireless high-speed Internet network in Philadelphia, once touted as a national model.

    EarthLink, which pinned its future on municipal Wi-Fi networks following rapid declines in its dial-up Internet access business, said Tuesday that it could not find a buyer for the $17 million network.

    It also said talks to give the network to the city or a nonprofit organization had failed, even after offering to pay $1 million in cash and donate the Wi-Fi equipment.

    City officials have said it would cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year to operate the network, which will shut down after June 12.

    Also Tuesday, the company sued the city in U.S. District Court seeking to remove its Wi-Fi equipment from streetlights and cap its liability at $1 million.

    Quite frankly, there is no profit in free wi-fi. Cities simply will not pay enough for private firms to profit, and cities are unwilling (or unable) to sustain it financially. Free wi-fi, therefore will likely remain the province of businesses that offer it as a "value-added" amenity for customers -- or places like public libraries where it is practical to crate a small wireless bubble.





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

    Hagee Apologizes -- Sort Of

    And in a way that I think points out the fundamental difference between his situation and those of Jeremiah Wright.

    The Rev. John C. Hagee, whose anti-Catholic remarks created a controversy when Senator John McCain received his endorsement for the Republican presidential nomination with fanfare, has issued a letter expressing regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.

    The letter was issued after weeks of conversations between Mr. Hagee and Roman Catholic Republicans about repairing the damage to Mr. McCains campaign and the alliance built over many years between conservative Catholics and evangelicals.

    Mr. McCain said Tuesday that he had not been involved in brokering the apology letter from Mr. Hagee, a megachurch pastor in San Antonio who broadcasts to 200 countries, but that he found it "a laudable thing."

    Mr. McCains pursuit of Mr. Hagees endorsement came under renewed scrutiny recently as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, was embroiled in controversy over incendiary remarks by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

    Set aside, of course, that the relationship between McCain and hagee was completely different than that between Obama and Wright. Set aside the fact that the duration of those relationships was completely different. When it comes right down to it, the statements attributed to Hagee -- which were somewhat more nuanced than the media and the Catholic League presented them -- were not all that outrageous when considered in the light of five centuries of post-Reformation Protestant theology. Indeed, they were mainstream theological views only a generation ago among large swathes of American Protestants. Contrast that to the hate-mongering anti-Americanism and outright lies promulgated by Jeremiah Wright.

    Does that mean that I think Hagee had nothing to apologize for? Hardly -- even though I left the Catholic Church over some theological differences, I still hold that institution in high esteem and believe that the Hagee's earlier comments were wrong. But then again, anyone who has read this blog already knew that.

    But I am struck by another difference between Hagee and Jeremiah Wright in this whole thing -- one is willing to take th time to educate himself, to reconsider his views, and to publicly repudiate statements that were wrong or which could be misconstrued. Wright, on the other hand, simply continued to reaffirm his outrageous comments. In other words, only one of the two men displays any sort of open-mindedness -- and it is not Obama's spritual mentor.





    || Greg, 04:41 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Hillary Kicks Butt In WV

    However, it may not be enough, given that she won by only 41 points, and the media had written off a Clinton victory in the state even before the first vote was cast.

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton won a lopsided victory on Tuesday over Senator Barack Obama in the West Virginia primary, where racial considerations emerged as an unusually salient factor. Mrs. Clinton drew strong support from white, working-class voters, who have spurned Mr. Obama in recent contests.

    The number of white Democratic voters who said race had influenced their choices on Tuesday was among the highest recorded in voter surveys in the nomination fight. Two in 10 white West Virginia voters said race was an important factor in their votes. More than 8 in 10 who said it factored in their votes backed Mrs. Clinton, according to exit polls.

    I guess I'm struck by the double standard on race that exists in this country. COnsider the much-cited statistics on white voters and race. I'd love to see polling data on the percentage of black voters who said that race was an important factor in their votes -- and the percentage of those black voters who cast a ballot for Barack Obama. I suppose, though, that my asking the question (or even thinking about it) makes me a sheet-wearing Kluxer in the eyes of the Obama campaign, which has gone from being "not about race" to being "all about race" in the last two months -- and in the eyes of the media that has decreed whites who don't vote for or who question Barack Obama as being irredeemably racist.

    Then again, this is West Virginia -- consider who the past of their senior senator.

    But the Times does note the potential difficulty that Obama's weakness among blue-collar white voters creates for the Democrats.

    With Mr. Obama solidly ahead of Mrs. Clinton in the delegate fight, the West Virginia results are unlikely to hurt Mr. Obamas chances of winning the nomination. A strong Clinton victory in another general election battleground state like her victories in Ohio and Pennsylvania could raise fresh questions about Mr. Obamas ability to carry swing states in a contest against Senator John McCain.

    In other words, the election may be much closer than those proclaiming Obama's election a lock are willing to recognize.





    || Greg, 04:25 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    May 13, 2008

    What Do You Expect Theyre Democrats

    And the Democrat Party has always been the home of racism in America.

    For all the hope and excitement Obama's candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed -- and unreported -- this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces.

    They've been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they've endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can't fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.

    The contrast between the large, adoring crowds Obama draws at public events and the gritty street-level work to win votes is stark. The candidate is largely insulated from the mean-spiritedness that some of his foot soldiers deal with away from the media spotlight.

    Now please remember these folks are not visiting or calling random citizens. Campaigns today have gotten sophisticated enough that they try are only going to call or knock on the door of registered members of their party to do otherwise is a waste of time. So when we hear about the encounters with racism, this is what you are getting from Democrats ideas akin to what you would have heard when Senator Robert Byrd was still recruiting for the Klan. Maybe Obama can pick him for Vice President that will wrap up both West Virginia and the DemoKluxer vote!

    On the other hand, if they were calling Republican voters, they would have not gotten such a response. After all, the GOP was founded upon and has always supported the equality of all Americans, regardless of race. That commitment hasnt changed.

    UPDATE: Looks like Ed Morrissey drew the same conclusion I did.

    Who were these volunteers contacting? Fellow Democrats. They wanted to mobilize the registered Democrats to get them to vote in the closed primary, and received very ugly responses for their trouble.




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

    An Endorsement That Says It All

    After all, who is more of an expert in competence and leadership than Ray Nagin?

    New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin endorsed Barack Obama for president today, giving the Illinois Democrat another superdelegate in his battle for the Democratic nomination.

    "Since the immediate days following the storm, I have been traveling to our nation's capitol to advocate for policies that aid our rebuilding effort," Nagin said in a statement released by the Obama campaign. "I know first hand, we desperately need the leadership of someone committed to changing the system in Washington that can hold us back from moving forward."

    Obama said he shares Nagin's commitment to "renewing the great city of New Orleans." He also called the restoration of the city "one of the great national challenges of our time."

    "I look forward to working with him and all New Orleanians to prepare for the storms that may come while advancing opportunity and prosperity for the people of the great American city," Obama said.

    Given his superb handling of his city during Hurricane Katrina, Im certain that we now know what we have to look forward to under an Obama Administration.

    Gun-grabbing from the law-abiding.

    Sky-rocketing homicide rate.

    Utter incompetence from a political neophyte.

    After all, look what Nagin has given to Chocolate City!





    || Greg, 03:44 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    An Interesting Double Standard

    Apparently, the liberals tell us, it is a bad thing to compare a politician to a monkey from a childrens book.

    Marietta tavern owner Mike Norman says the T-shirts he's peddling, featuring cartoon chimp Curious George peeling a banana, with "Obama in '08" scrolled underneath, are "cute." But to a coalition of critics, the shirts are an insulting exploitation of racial stereotypes from generations past.

    "It's time to put an end to this," said Rich Pellegrino, a Mableton resident and director of the Cobb-Cherokee Immigrant Alliance. It was among the organizations planning to gather outside Mulligan's Bar and Grill Tuesday afternoon to protest the "racist and highly offensive" shirts.

    "There's no place for these views, not in this day and age," he said.

    image_7049147[1].jpg

    "No place for these views in this day and age?" I wonder where they were when these images were produced by various and sundry liberals -- images I find a whole hell of a lot more offensive than the t-shirt design above.

    Oh, I get it now it is only a bad thing to compare the Obamessiah to a monkey. I keep forgetting the double standard that applies to the Anointed One.

    st-obama-of-assisi.jpg

    UPDATE: I guess some liberals don't have a problem with Curious George commentary -- but only if it is directed at the President. Hypocrites! H/T Protein Wisdom





    || Greg, 03:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    West Virginia Dreaming

    Today is the day that Hillary Clinton may be able to crush Obama and salvage her campaign.

    The outcome of West Virginia's primary Tuesday may best be foretold by where Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama plan to spend the day.

    Clinton is expected to be in Charleston, West Virginia, to celebrate what should be her large victory.

    Obama has no plans Tuesday night, but he is spending the late afternoon at a campaign event in Missouri. That state has already voted this primary season but is considered a swing state that Democrats and Republicans have in their sights this November.

    Clinton, it seems, is concentrating on the present; Obama is looking to the future.

    Polling places in West Virginia opened at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

    Clinton, from New York, is ahead in West Virginia by an average of 40 points in the most recent public opinion polls.

    Now let's be honest here -- a challenger's 40 point spread over a near-certain nominee is telling of that nominee's weakness. But some Clintonoids are suggesting an even a bigger gap.

    Political campaigns usually look to lower expectations but one of Hillary Clintons supporters took the opposite tack Monday, setting the bar for a West Virginia primary win at an unprecedented high at an enthusiastic campaign event.

    You think this crowds noisy? said West Virginia Senate Majority Leader Harry Truman Chafin. Just wait til we win like 80-20.

    Weve got to give her a vote tomorrow of 80-20 or 90-10, he added moments later.

    A campaign spokesman quickly tried to downplay Chafins remaks, saying We appreciate his exuberance, but we're pretty sure this race is going to be much closer than that.

    Yeah, that's a case of campaign train hyperbole. But what if Clinton can pull out a win of greater than 40 points -- perhaps as many as 50? Does that change the calculus of who the Dem nominee ought to be? Does it change the VP calculus?

    We'll know later tonight if those are just idle questions, or if they are issues that the Demccrats need to deal with for real.





    || Greg, 04:42 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

    StylishWebDesign

    I recently came across a really good site about the Internet, Web Design, Programming and other related technical stuff. It is really great for someone like me who struggles with the technical end of blogging, because it offers custom designed web sites for individuals and small business owners.

    StylishWebDesign is a great site that is rich in information regarding web design. It presents its material in detail, but in a way that is accessible for the layman. You will find many fantastic articles that teach you how to design blog templates and other useful information. It also contains information about areas such as finance, programming technology, internet tools and the use of video on your site. Best of all, it is organized into clear categories that provide useful information to the reader.

    For example, if you want to learn about user accounts, you can find plenty of information about the topic.. You can also find out about the spyware community and what the latest tricks are. There is, as Ive said, a great deal of useful information on these and other categories. So visit http://www.stylishwebdesign.us/directory. Youll find it quite educational, whether you are new to the world of web design or already familiar with the field.





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

    Huckabee The Top Choice For Veep?

    I most certainly hope not!

    Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and defeated contender for the GOP presidential nomination, is currently at the top of John McCain's short list for a running mate. At least that's the word from a top McCain fundraiser and longtime Republican moneyman who has spoken to McCain's inner circle. The fundraiser is less than thrilled with the idea of Huckabee as the vice presidential nominee, and many economic conservativesturned off by the populist tone of Huckabee's campaign and his tax record as governorare likely to share that marked lack of enthusiasm.

    I am definitely among the naysayers, for some of the same reasons as the economic conservatives. But beyond that, I don't want to play into the stereotype of the GOP as beholden to conservative religious voters -- and selecting pastor Huckabee would do precisely that.

    Indeed, i don't think that either Huckabee or Romney is the best choice at this point -- McCain needs to pick someone other than those two former rivals to vill the VP slot on the ticket. A governor, yes -- but one that will help him carry a state in play, something that neither of these two men do.





    || Greg, 04:32 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Military Meets Recruiting Goals

    And the Marines beat theirs to a bloody pulp!

    The Marine Corps far surpassed its recruiting goal last month and could eventually be more than a year ahead of schedule in its plan to grow the force to 202,000 members.

    All military services met or exceeded their monthly recruiting goals in April, with the Marine Corps signing 142 percent of the number it was looking for, the Pentagon said.

    The Army signed 101 percent of its goal, recruiting 5,681 against a goal of 5,650. The Navy and Air Force met their goals 2,905 sailors and 2,435 airmen.

    The Marine Corps enlisted 2,233 recruits against a goal of 1,577.

    "The Marine Corps, if they continue to achieve the kind of success they have had, could meet their growth figures more than a year early," Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters. That would mean by around the end of 2009.

    This should chap the behinds of your average anti-war leftist. Patriotic Americans in service to their country acting. Maybe they can try blockading a few more recruiting stations -- or try to blow some more up.





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

    May 12, 2008

    BUMPED: McCain Ahead In Electoral Vote Race?

    National polls get big play in the media, but really don't matter.

    After all, the Constitution doesn't count the national totals for anything. It is the Electoral College totals that determine the outcome of the election -- and polls show something very interesting there, according to the analysis by this blogger.

    Click the map to get the supporting data that this is based upon the latest polling data. McCain leads Obama in a whole lot of states -- mirroring the red state/blue state dichotomy we have seen over the two elections. Even where there is not enough polling data, we can infer which way certain states are trending -- some for McCain, some for Obama.

    The result of these projections rather strikingly place McCain ahead 249-237 electoral votes, with the states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Mexico being toss-ups. Victories in any two of the Midwestern states would give John McCain the electoral victory, while Obama would have to win do one of the following:

    That's it. Nothing else does it if the other states remain static, which is unlikely to happen over the next 25 weeks.

    Questions that need to be asked at this point are as follows:

    There is a lot of calculus that needs to go on between now and the conventions -- and the conventions and election day. My guess is that it will likely swirl around how to win in Ohio -- the critical prize this fall.

    There also remains one other possibility. All other things remaining equal, we could end up with an electoral vote tie if McCain wins Ohio and Obama wins the other three states. Quite frankly, I don't dare predict what would happen in that case without knowing the exact composition of the House of Representatives at the start of the new Congress in January -- and the political implications of the election going to the House of Representatives so soon after the craziness of the 2000 election absolutely boggles the mind.

    I know I'm going to check back at Brian's Electoral Projection website regularly to see how the numbers crunch. I suggest that you do, too, since this election will probably be a squeaker!

    UPDATE: Allahpundit discusses the same topic at Hot Air, looking at Marc Ambinder's projections at The Atlantic. They've got it pegged at 245-221, with 72 electoral votes in play. And they do raise the 269-269 scenario.





    || Greg, 05:28 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (244) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Unions: The Scourge Of Worker Freedom

    I am not, on the most basic level, anti-union. I believe that any worker who wants to join a union has that right under the First Amendment. Whats more, Im even tolerant of the notion that a majority vote by secret ballot can make a union the sole bargaining agent for employees in a particular business.

    That said, Im opposed to any law that will take away that secret ballot.

    Whats the Employee Free Choice Act? If you arent a lobbyist in Washington, a union worker, or an employer nervously trying to prevent your staff from organizing, you might not have followed the twisty history of the latest attempt to increase private-sector unionization. Card check, as it is usually known, would allow employees at a company to bypass secret-ballot elections and declare their intent to unionize by simply signing cards. If adopted, it could portend the most revolutionary change to labor law since the 1940s.

    Unfortunately, as anyone who has followed the union movement for any length of time knows, the card check is subject to serious abuse. Indeed, there is plenty of evidence of union thugs (I wont dignify them with the title of organizers) harassing employees until they give up their resistance sometimes using implicit (or explicit) threats against the employees and their families. Only the secret ballot has enabled such workers to truly vote their conscience free from fear and now Democrats in Congress are prepared to take that protection away in order to curry favor with union bosses who direct large sums of money to aid Democrats seeking election and reelection to office.

    But as bad as that is, there is the possibility that certain public sector employees will have even less freedom when Congress gets done.

    Unions keep losing membership as a share of the national workforce, which explains why organized labor's main political focus is changing the rules to force more workers into unions. Witness a bill that Senate Democrats are pushing this week to require that hundreds of thousands of local police and firemen submit to collective bargaining.

    Under current law, every state has the ability to set policies that govern its public workforce. In some states, police, firefighters and paramedics belong to unions that collectively bargain for their contracts. In others, unions representing public-security workers can bargain over pay, but not over benefits or work rules. And in some others, these workers can choose not to belong to a union.

    Democrats want to change this for the entire country. A bill that passed the House last year would make the top officials at local unions the exclusive bargaining agents for public safety officers in every town or city with more than 5,000 people. They would also have the authority to bargain for everything -- pay, benefits and work rules. The goal is to give labor the whip hand with local governments, and further coerce nonunion members to join the dues-paying ranks.

    Set aside the fact that 16 states have voted down such legislation in the last 12 years. Set aside the fact that the legislation would effectively strip these public safety employees those doing the most dangerous jobs outside the military of the protection of right-to-work laws on the books in many states. This legislation would deny them the right to reject such representation as not in their best interest, giving them fewer rights than private sector employees. While many raise the 10th Amendment question of Congress exceeding its authority by trampling the rights of the state, I want to raise the First Amendment question that exists in forcing public employees into association with these corrupt organizations!

    There is, of course, only one legitimate position for Americans to take on unions, especially those that purport to represent the interests of public employees. That position is that they must be voluntary not only in terms of membership, but also in terms of paying union bargaining fees for services that employees do not want. After all, unions are private organizations, and government has no more legitimate interest in forcing employees into the union fold than it does in requiring all public school students to join the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.

    But then again, does government have any legitimate interest in making it easier for unions to coerce the membership of any employee public or private sector?

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    || Greg, 03:27 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    The Ghost Of Clinton Scandals Past?

    Does it seem to you that Bill and Hillary are the gift that keeps on giving?

    Hillary Rodham Clinton's Rose Law Firm billing records, found in the White House residence in January 1996 two years after they had been subpoenaed by government regulators, disappeared shortly after the first lady was warned that the firm's billing problems were "very serious" and the then-ongoing Whitewater investigation could result in criminal charges, newly obtained records show.

    More than 1,100 pages of grand jury testimony, investigative reports, memos, charging documents, chronologies, narratives and draft indictments, previously undisclosed but now being "processed" at the Library of Congress, say Mrs. Clinton knew considerably more about the firm's billing problems and their potential ramifications than she publicly acknowledged at the time.

    According to the documents, given to the Library of Congress by the estate of Sam Dash, former ethics adviser to Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr, Mrs. Clinton also knew that her former Rose partner Webster L. Hubbell was both the focus of the firm's billing concerns and a federal conflict-of-interest investigation, in which he was suspected of lying in a sworn statement to regulators about the firm's representation of a failed Arkansas savings and loan.

    While Mrs. Clinton told the public at the time that Mr. Hubbell's March 14, 1994, resignation as associate attorney general involved an "internal billing dispute" with his Rose partners that "likely would be resolved," three months earlier she had been advised by another Rose partner, Allen Bird, that the "billing problems were very serious," according to the newly disclosed records.

    A Clinton spokescritter calls it a baseless accusation which was looked into over a decade ago in an investigation that took $71.5 million and eight years to determine there was no case but do the contemporaneous documents of what went on within the Special Prosecutors office lie? Could it be that the deal that kept Bill Clinton from facing criminal charges also shielded Hillary from charges and set up this years bruising nomination fight?





    || Greg, 03:22 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Can You Imagine The Outrage

    If I were to tweak this quote by the Democrat governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear and use it in some other post?

    "When I mention that Democrats are problem solvers, I can think of only one Republican who can be a problem solver -- that is Vice President Dick Cheney if he would just take George on a hunting trip," Beshear said. Cheney accidentally shot fellow quail hunter Harry Whittington in Texas in 2006.

    Mind you, this is one of the much-vaunted Democrat superdelegates, so he has a big influence on the outcome of the nomination battle.

    But suppose I had written something similar in some other context you know, like this:

    I can think of one Republican who can be a problem solver -- that is Vice President Dick Cheney if he would just take Barack on a hunting trip.

    Or this:

    I can think of one Republican who can be a problem solver -- that is Vice President Dick Cheney if he would just take Hillary on a hunting trip.

    The local Democrats would rev up into high gear and restart their effort to get my school district to fire me for being a Republican. Theyd demand that I be dumped or resign from my position as a precinct chair, and insist that the Harris County GOP censure me at their next available opportunity. They would also likely be insisting that I should be arrested or at least brought in for questioning by the Secret Service.

    But then again, I guess the quote and the relative lack of outrage would be par for the course after all, it is just another liberal fantasizing about the killing of a Republican president.

    H/T Malkin





    || Greg, 03:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Like I Need One More Backyard Pest To Worry About

    Ive already got fire ants, and they tell us every year that killer bees are headed our way in Texas. But do I really have to contend with the possibility of these?

    LuckyLarge[1].jpg

    As if killer bees and kudzu weren't enough, the southern United States may soon have another invasive species to contend with giant Burmese pythons capable of swallowing deer and alligators whole.

    Approximately 30,000 of the big snakes, which can reach 30 feet and 200 pounds, already live wild in Florida's Everglades, thanks to thick-headed pet owners who've released them into the swamps when they've grown too large to keep at home.

    But now the U.S. Geological Survey says Florida is not the only place the Burmese python can thrive.

    In fact, the big beasts, which are not poisonous and rarely attack humans, could live happily in the entire southern third of the country, from Southern California to Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley and up the Eastern Seaboard to Chesapeake Bay.

    They say that a mere 50 snakes released in an area can create a viable breeding population. And since gators show up in our area on a regular basis (we are 5 or 6 miles from a nature preserve), I would imagine that the climate would support the big snakes.

    Which would certainly discourage me from letting the dog run loose in the yard for any length of time.





    || Greg, 03:08 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

    Suspension/Termination Of Administrator Raises First Amendment Issues

    I was initially hesitant to comment on this story. After all, I presumed that the University of Toledo was a private school, and therefore entitled to impose any sort of fascistic speech code it chose on its students and employees. Indeed, such a school might even legitimately subordinate notions of academic freedom to a greater mission of promulgating a world-view, however wrong-headed a notion that might be.

    But then I found out that the University of Toledo is a taxpayer-supported public university and that makes all the difference in the Crystal Dixon case

    The University of Toledo has suspended with pay one of its administrators for writing a newspaper op-ed that questions whether homosexuality is a civil rights issue. The school said the administrator was suspended precisely because her views on homosexuality do not comport with those of the university, a state institution.

    Crystal Dixon, associate vice president of human resources at the Ohio-based university, sparked controversy Apr. 18 when she wrote in the Toledo Free Press that she did not agree with comments by the newspaper's editor that portrayed homosexuals as civil rights victims.

    In the column, "Gay rights and wrongs: another perspective," Dixon said she was not speaking on behalf of the university, but was writing privately as "a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and a business owner."

    Please note that Dixon took great pains in her commentary to indicate that her stance on homosexuality is a personal one, not the official position of her employer. And note as well that her column was in response to a column that appeared in two weeks earlier by its editor-in-chief of the paper. As such, Dixon was acting as an American citizen, participating in the general dialogue on important matters of public concern.

    However, the exercise of such freedom seems to scare the top level officials at this public university and they will not tolerate it. Not only did the schools president see fit to officially denounce Dixon, he has instituted personnel action against Dixon in retaliation for her exercise of her constitutional rights action that now appears to include her termination. Apparently in the great scheme of things, the rights of gay people to go about unoffended trump the civil rights of an Afr