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September 30, 2008

How Deranged Can Palin Bashers Get?

Pretty deranged, as this at HuffPo demonstrates.

On September 10th, Wonkette received a tip that Sarah Palin's lipliner is a tattoo.


From: C______@gmail.com>
To: tips@wonkette.com
Date: Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 2:59 PM
Subject: tip on Sarah Pallin


Notes: Sarah's sister in-law owns a beauty parlor in Wasilla...apparently Sarah's lip liner is tattooed on...not sure what to do with that one.


leak to wonkette

So although the allegation comes in a strangely cryptic email and there is no actual proof that this procedure was performed, we've been studying Sarah Palin's mouth very closely (see slideshow below), and would like to put this question to the readers. Do you think Sarah Palin's lipliner is a tattoo? Cast your vote in the poll below.

First, why does it matter?

Second, is it really your intention to set women back this far by even asking the question?

Third, who cares one way or another -- as it proves noting of substance?





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A Question For Andrew Sullivan

No, not regarding his Palin Derangement Syndrome rather one regarding his rampant anti-Catholic Homosexualist agenda.

The Pope rejects the new Sarkozy-appointed French ambassador to the Vatican because he's gay and married to a man. These facts in no way impede the man's ability to do his job, just as being gay does not in any way impede a seminarian's ability to be a great priest (as so many gay men have been through the centuries). But this Pope is a bigot, as we now know - and will discriminate against people just for who they are, rather than what they can professionally do.

Excuse me, Andy, but Sarkozy appointed an individual to be ambassador to the Holly See whose lifestyle he knew would be repugnant to Catholic teaching and practice. The leadership of the Vatican made a decision to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church by rejecting this intentional affront to Catholicism. To have made this appointment is no different than if he had appointed an abortionist to the position.

Id like to ask would Sarkozy have appointed this individual as ambassador to Saudi Arabia or Iran? Remember, please, that the Vatican simply refused to accept the diplomatic credentials of the individual in question in the Islamic world, they would have likely been executed for the crime of sodomy. So before you start demanding that the rest of the world start bowing down before the demands of your Homosexualist agenda, consider that there is no requirement that the rest of the world follow your extreme fundamentalist religious/philosophical/sexual beliefs rather than their own consciences.





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More Democrat Voter Fraud

Remember, American patriots, the Democrats cant win if we dont let them cheat.

A Milwaukee woman is charged in what appears to be the states first election fraud case of the season. 21-year-old Endalyn Adams is accused of submitting dozens of false voter registration applications to the city. It was her job to sign up potential voters for the Community Voters Project and she could have been fired if she didnt submit 15 registrations per day, according to prosecutors. Authorities said it amounts to a quota. The same thing happened in the 2004 presidential contest and the state responded by banning payments for each registration an outside group submits. It was supposed to remove the incentive for submitting false names. Milwaukee prosecutors said Adams is now one of 49 people being investigated as a part of two groups the Voters Project, and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Prosecutors allege she submitted well over 50 false names and the city was able to remove them all from its voter list.

Weve seen ACORN do this again and again and then seen them get rewarded by grateful Democrats with tons of government loot. They even tried to load up the bailout bill to funnel some of the dollars to Barack Obamas fellow community organizers. I want to know when RICO is going to be applied to the organization and its leaders duly punished for the organizations innumerable criminal activities.





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Nancy Pelosi Failed Leader

All she needed to do was get another dozen Democrats to support her bailout bill and it would have passed.

But considering that only a dozen votes needed to switch in order to provide a different outcome, and 95 Democrats in the House voted against it, critics are now wondering why couldn't House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have assured a different outcome considering how important she said its passage was?

Pelosi, whose insults directed at Republicans before the vote were a proximate cause of the legislations defeat, failed to exercise enough party discipline to get her people to pass a bill that she considered critical to the US economy. Why didnt she act like she was the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives and use her clout to get her people in line before driving the opposition party away from the bill by her intemperate language? Could it be that she has no leadership clout, or leadership ability?

By the way, Id like to suggest that any legislation introduced in the future include a clause removing Pelosi as the Speaker of the House. She clearly lacks the skills, qualifications and temperament to be next in line for the presidency after the Vice President.





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An Offensive Painting In Chicago

Some two decades ago, police and aldermen in the city of Chicago seized the painting Mirth and Girth from the walls of the Art Institute of Chicago over its offensively satirical treatment of the late Mayor Harold Washington. Many in the city took offense at the suggestion that the recently deceased mayor, a rumored cross-dresser, was disrespectfully treated.

I wonder will any of them go after this offensive work that insults and degrades a living politician? Or will the fact that she is on the ticket opposing Chicagos favorite son (and a healthy respect for the First Amendment) lead them to leave this one alone?

There's been no shortage of takeoffs on Sarah Palin lately, from television skits to action figures, but Bruce Elliott has gone one step further than most. He's taken off her clothes.

Elliott, whose wife, Tobin Mitchen, owns the Old Town Ale House on Chicago's North Side, painted a nude portrait of the Republican vice presidential nominee and hung it above the bar, where it's now a prime attraction among his display of more than 200 celebrity portraits and other racy art.

* * *

Despite their political differences, Elliott admits to a bit of a crush on the Alaska governor. He began painting her smile and trademark glasses, he said, before filling in the details: a gun, red high heels, polar bear rug, rugged Alaska landscape and a scared moose. His daughter, who looks a little like Palin and does a great impression of her, served as model for the governor's body.

Interestingly enough, the Chicago Tribune was more than willing to show the disgusting picture by a sick freak prominently in both print and electronic editions. Contrast this with their refusal to reprint the Muhammad cartoons for fear of offending Muslims. And I somehow doubt that such an insult directed at the very juniour senator from Illinois would be tolerated for long -- or so prominently distributed by the Chicago media. Could it be that the only folks allowed to be degraded in the city of Chicago are white Christian conservative women?





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September 29, 2008

A Reminder About The Nature Of Islam

Once again, we see a bit of barbarism by the Muhammadans when others dare to exercise their inalienable human rights.

Three men arrested in north London on suspicion of terrorism continue to be questioned by police.

They are suspected of attempting to set fire to a publisher's office in Lonsdale Square, Islington.

The publisher, Gibson House, is due to release a controversial novel about the Prophet Muhammad and his child bride, entitled The Jewel of the Medina.
The three men were arrested by armed officers from the Metropolitan Police in a planned operation.

The men, aged 40, 22 and 30, were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 and are being held at Paddington Green police station.

Two were arrested outside the property in Lonsdale Square, and the third following an armed vehicle stop near Angel Tube station on Upper Street at 0225 GMT on Saturday.

A small fire was put out at the property, which is used as a home and office by publisher Martin Rynja, who is due to publish the controversial book.

All of which raises the question if a religious group is continually involved in the wholesale violent violation of the human rights of non-believers, does it cease to be religion and instead become a criminal conspiracy to violate the rights of others? And if the answer is yes, does the preservation of human rights require that Islam be identified as such and suppressed in the name of preserving the rights of rest of humanity? I dont know where the balance is but given the continued threats coming from Muslim sources, we need to ask the question and consider the very real need to stamp out the very real threat to liberty that Islam apparently constitutes, and which we in the West should have been recognizing for at least the last twenty years (since the Rushdie fatwa).





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Not That The Obama Campaign Is Sleazy Or Anything

But seeking out rape victims for political commercials is slimy, even when you play by Chi-town rules.

Barack Obama's campaign earlier this month sought to find a rape victim to appear in a campaign commercial, according to an email obtained by Politico.

Kiersten Steward, director of public policy at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, served as a conduit between the campaign and victims and women's advocates.

"Obviously, this is a big ask and I havent seen a script but presumably it will be a brief this is what happened to me, we need someone who will fight for women like me, these are the guys to do it," Steward wrote in a September 15th email. "Again, thats just my assumption given how these things
usually go."

Steward, a former top aide to Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), said the Obama campaign would have a crew in Washington and was hoping to film that week.

The topic of the ad? Abortion, apparently. Seems that Senator Obama and his staff consider the difference between he and McCain to be a matter of full civil rights. In other words, while they would never support the execution of a rapist even after a trial with due process, they fully support the execution of the innocent child to be appropriate without any due process at all.





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In The Aftermath Of Ike The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Some observations after the storm has passed:

THE GOOD: As Ive mentioned once or twice, Ive switched schools this year. My new school is located in a poor area of town, with most of my students being socio-economically disadvantaged by any measure. And yet when one of the Points of Distribution for water, ice, and MREs was established in the community by FEMA but no personnel were supplied to staff it, a couple of folks associated with my school were able to start making phone calls and turn out 130 students over the course of 3 days to help distribute the needed supplies. That is out of a total student body of about 1700 not a bad percentage.

THE BAD: You know, we were all told that FEMA had learned lessons after Hurricane Katrina. Maybe they did but only in regards to dealing with New Orleans. Theyve been no help with us, despite our having applied for aid early in the disaster indeed, I have not received any of the paperwork they have supposedly sent to me, nor have I been able to get any assistance regarding finding a place to live.

THE UGLY: Heres one that just makes me sick and I believe I may have met this person at some point in the past, as the name sounds familiar. For that matter, I am friends with several administrators from this persons school, and nearly ended up working there a couple of years ago. The behavior recounted here, though, is simply too repugnant for words.

Jacki Steinhauer is one of the lucky ones. She has no damage at her Deer Park home, she has power and she doesn't have to work since her school is closed.

"Life is great after a hurricane when nothing really happened to your house!" Steinhauer says in her blog, "The Secret Life of an Uninteresting Teacher."
The most recent entries brag about all of the free MREs she's been eating -- MREs that are meant for hurricane victims who have no food because they have no power. Some of those victims have no homes.

The teacher has it down to a science, according to her blog: "I got Schlotsky's today for lunch and went again to the courthouse in Baytown to get my water, ice, and food. This time, there were different meals, but hopefully as good as the others. Then, i came home, emptied my trunk and then headed off for the Deer Park POD (Point of Delivery)."

"I think that I am falling in love with MREs. They are pretty darn good. I went around 5:30 to go get more MREs and actually got another box of real MREs, water, and ice," Steinhauer wrote on Wednesday. "Right now, I have five cases of water, two 20 pound bags of ice, four 10 pound bags of ice, and four boxes of MREs."

While stocking her pantry and frig with taxpayer-funded freebies, Steinhauer has become quite the MRE connoisseur.

"Yesterday I ate meatballs with marinara sauce, almonds, wheat bread with cheese sauce, pretzels, and the orange punch. Today's meal was chili mac, applesauce, a pop-tart, wheat bread with cheese sauce, fruit punch, and apple cider," she wrote. "It is so cool that you put a little bit of water in the bag with the food and in about a minute, there is hot food. This is great. I don't have school and getting free food!"

The good news? Her district has suspended her pending an investigation of whether or not her conduct constitutes a violation of the ethical standards set by the state and district for teachers but once again she is getting a freebie off the taxpayers, since it is a suspension with pay. Too bad they couldnt tell her that she didnt need a taxpayer check since she has all those taxpayer-financed MREs to eat. In the mean time Im living in a church hall, and have paid for every meal Ive eaten since the storm by going to one of the many open grocery stores in the area despite having had my home rendered unlivable for the next few months.

And to the pair of Bubbas I heard bragging about scoring MREs for hunting season -- may you not get your deer, may the birds fly elsewhere, and may you end up down-range of Dick Cheney on your next hunting trip.





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September 23, 2008

Hurricane Ike -- The Aftermath

Well, the storm has passed, but the devastation continues.

The house is uninhabitable, and so my Darling Democrat, the Apolitical Pooch, and I are living at our church for the time being.


I will be headed back to school Friday after 2 weeks off, and the kids return Monday. It should be interesting to see how folks survived and how this changes school life for us all.

I'm going to try to start blogging soon. In the mean time, please click one of the two buttons in the side column if you feel the urge.





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September 18, 2008

Hurricane Ike -- Going "Home"

As I've mentioned, things are pretty grim at the house back in Seabrook. Unfortunately, the commute from Austin is 200 miles, with just me and a friend helping doing the work of cleaning out an overly-cluttered home that had lots of stuff washed from where it belonged.

That is about to change.

This morning we return "home" from Austin, after deciding that it is better to be close than comfortable.

But we will not be in the house, which remains unlivable -- and will for the foreseeable future.

Instead, we will be taking over the "youth room" in the church fellowship hall about 2 1/2 miles inland from our house. It has the necessities of life, including a big kitchen -- and an offer to stay until we can make more permanent arrangements. That means no more long drives, and the ability to go back to school when it resumes (Monday, tentatively, but with 60% of the area without power I have doubts about that).

Besides, eventually we will probably be able to get an apartment or a trailer for us to live in until the house is repaired and we start filling it with new furniture.

So homeward bound -- with a very heavy heart but a spirit that is not (yet) broken.

And I'll again point to the PayPal and Amazon buttons on the side if you feel moved to help with our recovery.





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September 17, 2008

Grim -- A Hurricane Ike Update

Monday was a day of waiting for permission to get back into my neighborhood. Permission was given late that day -- too late to get back and check it out.

Yesterday was my first opportunity to see the place.

At first I was quite hopeful -- the back fence was down and the first pane of a couple of double-pane windows were broken.

And then I noticed the debris piled against the fence in the by the side of the house -- and my buddy Rick spotted the water line two feet high on the side of the house.

It appears the storm sewer backed up and sent water up from the street and into the houses on my side of the street (I don't know about the other side).

We took 2-2 1/2 feet in the garage, and 1 1/2 to 2 feet in the rest of the house. It is, dare I say it, a serious mess, and is going to require a serious rehab.

Thank God for flood insurance.

In the mean time, my district has canceled school until next week, and I'll have to see about finding more permanent quarters closer to home. Paula will remain in Austin for the time being, and I'll be in Houston with a friend trying to work on the house.

Prayer and moral support is always welcome -- as is a click on either the PayPal or Amazon boxes in the right column.





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Blaze Media Pro

We just lost most of our computer equipment in the flood of our house during Huricane Ike. I put it up, but not high enough, and I could see yesterday that the water reached my hard disk drive, so it is toast. That means a new computer will be coming my way to supplement this laptop, and with it new applications.

It also means I will try some new things. One will be a new multi-media software package, since I wasnt really happy with the various programs I had been using. Why do I need a separate MOV converter , video encoder, and audio converter? Blaze Media Pro does everything a half-dozen programs on my old computer were needed for -- conversion, ripping, editing, recording, burning, playback, and much more. It supports CD/DVD, VCD, SVCD, and DVD burning. Plus it works with every audio and video format I could possibly want. So I expect it will be finding a home on my new computer whenever the insurance cuts the check.





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September 14, 2008

Watcher's Council Results

First place in the Council category was Wolf Howling with Standing At The Crossroads - Identity Politics, Multiculturalism & The Melting Pot.

First place in the non-Council category was Beldar Blog with Dont Confuse Republicans thrill over the Palin nomination with the Dems worship of Obama: A reply to Paul Mirengoff.

The full tally of this week's vote can be found here.





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Unsecured Loan Services

Unsecured Loan Services offers you unsecured loans online. Their site will help you get an unsecured personal line of credit or unsecured signature loans that you need. They have a great staff that will help you to solve your financial problem with an unsecured loan. They can even help with business loans, too!





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About That "Jesus Was A Community Organizer" Quip

It may be cute, but it is both wrong AND offensive. I don't care if it is uttered by a Democrat strategist, a Jewish Congressman, or a supposedly objective journalist.

The point of the comment is to equate Obama and the Democrats with Christ and Palin and the Republicans with Pilate.

Why is it wrong?

First of all, because Jesus was the Son of God who came to die for our sins and redeem the world, after a career preaching the importance of bringing man's ways into conformity with the ways of God.

Second, because Pilate was, first and foremost, the agent of the world's largest welfare state (bread and circuses, anyone), one that wanted its religious leaders subordinate to the power of the state as a condition of holding their offices and receiving the benefits thereof.

Now tell me -- which of these two sounds like he'd be at home among the Republicans, and which one would fit best among the Democrats?





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Just A Reminder On Barack Obama And William Ayers

His connection to the unrepentant terrorist is closer than he wants Americans to realize -- and than the "In-The-Tank" Media are willing to report.

Am I calling Barack Obama a terrorist? No, I'm not -- and I'll even go so far as to accept that he deplores the attacks on law enforcement, US military, and the legislative branch of the federal government with which Ayers was personally connected. What's more, I'll concede that Barack Obama would never have condoned the intended attack on a dance at a military installation that was averted only by the premature detonation of the home-made anti-personnel device that killed Ayers' Weather Underground colleagues. Obama isn't a terrorist.

However, his willingness to go to work for one ought to raise serious questions in the eyes of each and every patriotic American. It is a matter of judgment -- and Obama has said that we should elect him because of his judgment, right?





|| Greg, 09:18 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hurricane Ike -- The Pissed Off Post

Well, the folks with the city of Seabrook still won't tell us when we can come home.

Not only are they not answering the number they told us to call for information, but it has been over 24 hours since they have bothered to update their website.

But not to worry -- they do have the manpower to block anyone from coming home to actually check on their property.

Sunday morning, residents of the tiny community of Seabrook near Johnson Space Center began trying to return home. They were met by a roadblock, and three Seabrook police officers standing in the rain, turning folks away. At times the line was six to 12 cars deep.

"It's gonna be a while," an officer shouted to one man as he made a U-turn. "Just listen to the news."

"Seabrook is a disaster area: no sewer, no infrastructure. It really isn't safe," said officer Charlie Skinner. "It's making residents pretty upset. I understand, but ... There's an order signed by the mayor. We can't let anybody in."

That's right -- the law-abiding folks who followed the mandatory evacuation order are not permitted home and are getting no information. The folks who flaunted it and stayed behind are being allowed to remain.

Seems to me that the approach being taken by the city officials in Seabrook is exactly what should not be done -- and the mismanagement of Mayor Renola, the City Council, the city manager, and the rest of the employees of Seabrook has been so bad that many people will refuse to evacuate in the future for fear of again being denied access to their homes by badge-and-gun wielding cops acting on orders from an unresponsive and unprepared city government.

Seabrook was once known as Recall City USA because of its frequent use of that tactic to get rid of unresponsive politicians. Expect it to happen again with the entire crew currently in charge.

UPDATE: Shortly after 11:00 PM, the city put out phone calls, emails, and updated its website to inform residents that those on the west side of town can return home after 6:00 AM on Monday -- but that the rest of us still cannot. Better late than never -- but it would have been nice for those impacted by this move to get a little bit of extra notice.





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Personal Loans

Personal Loans can really help you out in a variety of situations. After all, there are many reasons you might need to borrow money - travel, tuition, the arrival of a baby, major emergencies, paying for a wedding and many more. That's why AfsLoansOnline.com exists -- to help you get the cash you need!

Here are some of the great things about their services. One, there are no application fees for your loan. and not only are there no hidden charges, you get your approval the same day you applied in most cases -- and you are guaranteed approval in most cases.

What would I need a personal loan for? Well, considering the eye of a hurricane just passed through my living room with a storm surge in front of it, I suspect I'll have a lo0t of unexpected expenses in the next few weeks. I hope I don'nt need to take out any loans, but it is good to know there are folks who can help if I need them.





|| Greg, 11:42 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike News-- It Doesn't Look Good For Us

We got a bit of Houston news on MSNBC -- folks are not being allowed into Seabrook due to flooding, and we are being instructed to wait for the city website to announce we are allowed back. Oh, and the city website is off-line.

This may explain why.

ikeseabrook6.jpg
Two blocks from city hall, two feet off Highway 146.
And 2 1/2 miles from my house.

ikeseabrook7.jpg
About 1/3 mile down Highway 146 from the above picture,
near the bridge to Kemah.

So we remain in Austin.





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September 12, 2008

Ike Update

080912-ike-surge-c-02[1].jpg

The storm surge from Hurricane Ike and debris covers a street, Friday, Sept 12, 2008 in Seabrook Texas.
Incredibly, Ike's center was still some 200 miles away when this photo was taken. AP Photo/Kim Christensen

This shot was taken about 12 hours before the storm is scheduled to make landfall -- about 1-2 miles from my house. This is a major reason why I am certain that my Darling Democrat, the Apolitical Pooch and I are hiding out in a hotel in Austin.

Word is that there will be a storm surge of 18-22 feet in our area -- and what you see there is at perhaps 8 feet.

I don't want to imagine what we will be going home to -- and can imagine that we might not have a home to go home to.

UPDATE: Additional photos from Seabrook, Texas -- H/T Houston Chronicle

ikeseabrook1.jpg
Local resident walking dog -- about 2-3 blocks from picture at top of this post.

ikeseabrook2.jpg
See that picture at the top? This would be the same spot, facing the other direction.

ikeseabrook3.jpg
See that white house in the center at the very top of the picture?
That is in front of the location with the debris.

ikeseabrook4.jpg
Resident wading about 1/2 mile from the debris picture, on a side street.
This would be in the extreme upper left of the photo just above.

Our house would be another 1 1/2 miles past this, at about the same point on a side street -- but with a bit more land (1/4-1/3 mile) between us and the water. Needless to say, I'm not taking much comfort in what I'm seeing here.





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September 11, 2008

Regarding Hurricane Ike

If you've been following the news about Hurricane Ike, you will know that it is headed for the Texas coast. And its latest wobble has set it on a path to make landfall only 60 miles south of my home.

Unfortunately, that is going to push a great deal of wind and rain this direction, as well as a storm surge.

It also means that there will likely be a storm surge up Galveston Bay that will flood low-lying areas. That means our house, which in 30 years has never taken so much as a drop of flood water from any storm. I have every reason to expect that run of good luck to end between now and Saturday.

I'm asking for prayers, good wishes and positive vibrations, according to your inclination and tradition -- not just for me, the Darling Democrat and the Apolitical Pooch, but also for my fellow Gulf Coast residents. Pray that this storm is directed so that it hits when, where, and how it will do the least damage to the lives of the least people.

I'll try to get back online tonight and update you on the evacuation. May it not be the sort of fiasco we experienced three years ago during Hurricane Rita.

UPDATE: WE ARE UNDER MANDATORY EVACUATION AS OF NOON TODAY.





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In Memoriam -- 9/11/2001

Originally Posted on September 11, 2004 -- As is my custom, I repost it today.

So many died that horrible day.

One was my classmate at Washington and Lee University, Commander Robert Allan Schlegel.

I would love to tell you he and I were close. That would be a lie.

I would love to share stories of great times together. I don't have any.

What I can tell you is that I remember Rob Schlegel as a good guy, a friend of some friends. I remember him as being a bright guy, sitting a couple rows over and a couple seats back in a US History class. One of those classmates you later wish you had gotten to know when you had the chance.

Rest in Peace.

May all the victims of September 11 and the many men and women of our armed forces who have died fighting terrorism since that day rest in peace.

And let us not forget those heroes who still live.





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September 10, 2008

Rangel: Well, I'll Pay Those Taxes Since I Got Caught

Interesting, isn't it, that another senior Democrat with a sweetheart mortgage deal has come to light -- and the media again issues a pass.

As House GOP leaders called for his removal from the powerful chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) announced yesterday that he will repay an unspecified amount in back federal, state and local taxes on unreported income from a Dominican Republic vacation property.

The Harlem Democrat will file amended federal, state and local tax returns to reflect $75,000 in income from the beachfront villa that he previously failed to list on tax and congressional financial disclosure forms, said his attorney Lanny Davis.

If this were a senior Republican -- say Mitch McConnell -- we would be seing lead stories on every network, demands for prosecution, and endless claims of a Republican culture of corruption. Yet somehow, the press just can't muster the outrage over this story, any more than it could over earlier mortgage deals -- or Obama's shady deal with Tony Rezko to get property at below market value.





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If Obama'sSuch A Great Speaker

Why did he make such a poor choice of words?

Obama poked fun of McCain and Palin's new "change" mantra.

"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said as the crowd cheered. "It's still a pig."

"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink."

"We've had enough of the same old thing."

Now let's consider a couple of things.

Yes, as the Obama campaign notes, the phrase is a not uncommon idiom. However, when you are running against a woman whose signature line is that she is a pit bull with lipstick, ANY reference to lipstick will be viewed as a reference to her. That crowd certainly took it that way -- and if Obama is even half as smart as he and his followers claim he is, then he knew it.

Oh, yeah, and for Obama and his supporters to claim that such an interpretation is unfair is rather disingenuous. After all, any criticism directed at Barry Hussein by his opponents has been deemed as "racist" by either him, his staff, or their surrogates in the media.

"Arrogant"? Racist!

"Elitist"? Racist!

"Inexperienced"? Racist!

"Community Organizer"? Racist!

So Democrats saying that the firestorm around the comment is unfair certainly strikes me as nothing more than whining.

Heck, I'm surprised that his syncophantic followers aren't claiming that Republican objections to the poor turn of phrase are racist.





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An America Replies

Well, now we have it -- a columnist from the Britain's socialist rag, the Guardian, is warning America of the dire consequences if we Americans don't fall in line with world opinion and vote for Barack Obama like the world wants us to.

If Americans choose McCain, they will be turning their back on the rest of the world, choosing to show us four more years of the Bush-Cheney finger. And I predict a deeply unpleasant shift.

Until now, anti-Americanism has been exaggerated and much misunderstood: outside a leftist hardcore, it has mostly been anti-Bushism, opposition to this specific administration. But if McCain wins in November, that might well change. Suddenly Europeans and others will conclude that their dispute is with not only one ruling clique, but Americans themselves. For it will have been the American people, not the politicians, who will have passed up a once-in-a-generation chance for a fresh start - a fresh start the world is yearning for.

And the manner of that decision will matter, too. If it is deemed to have been about race - that Obama was rejected because of his colour - the world's verdict will be harsh. In that circumstance, Slate's Jacob Weisberg wrote recently, international opinion would conclude that "the United States had its day, but in the end couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race".

Even if it's not ethnic prejudice, but some other aspect of the culture wars, that proves decisive, the point still holds. For America to make a decision as grave as this one - while the planet boils and with the US fighting two wars - on the trivial basis that a hockey mom is likable and seems down to earth, would be to convey a lack of seriousness, a fleeing from reality, that does indeed suggest a nation in, to quote Weisberg, "historical decline". Let's not forget, McCain's campaign manager boasts that this election is "not about the issues."

Of course I know that even to mention Obama's support around the world is to hurt him. Incredibly, that large Berlin crowd damaged Obama at home, branding him the "candidate of Europe" and making him seem less of a patriotic American. But what does that say about today's America, that the world's esteem is now unwanted? If Americans reject Obama, they will be sending the clearest possible message to the rest of us - and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.

Well, I've got a message for Jonathan Freedland and the world he claims to speak for -- BUGGER OFF! Because you are, on one level, correct -- I, and many other Americans, don't give a damn about your "esteem". Having seen our nation pull Europe (and much of the rest of the world) out of the cauldron of militarism and dictatorship twice in the twentieth century by intervening in two world wars -- and then standing as a bulwark between freedom and communist tyranny for half a century -- we Americans feel like we have more than earned the right to make our decisions for ourselves on who will lead our nation. We don't want, much less need, your approval.

besides, I think back to the last time that the rest of the world had such a serious concern about the wisdom of allowing Americans to pick their own leaders. It was my senior year of high school, and the choice that was so objectionable was Ronald Reagan. I seem to recall that Americans rather intuitively made the right choice on that one -- and that our choice turned out to have loads of benefits for a world that objected to our choosing "that cowboy". And while we had to listen to a great deal of anti-American whining from the Euro-trash, history has judged that choice to have been correct.

I've no choice that, for the third straight election, the choice of a Republican president will again be the correct one. Regardless of what "the world community" thinks of the voice of the American people.





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

A Note On Ike

You may have noticed that the forecast map and tacking models have wobbled a couple of times over the last 24-36 hours. As a result, that means that we could be seeing the dirty side of the storm bringing us a surge that would literally cover my house (a 20 ft surge towards a home at 10 ft above sea level 1/4 mile from the water qualifies as a "bad thing"). So seeing stories like this one makes my heart quiver a bit -- while also fills it with hope that an evacuation won't be the pre-Rita mess we had 3 years ago.

The pressure of staring down Hurricane Ike is on as the storm moves across the Gulf of Mexico on an uncertain path that has officials along the Texas coast waiting to decide which communities need to evacuate and when.

As of late Tuesday, Ike seemed set on coming to Texas, but it remained too early to know whether it would make landfall this weekend somewhere between Corpus Christi and Palacios, drop down into the Rio Grande Valley, or even make a hard turn that would bring it closer to Houston.

"When they get in the Gulf, they tend to do weird things, so we're going to keep watching it," said Francisco Sanchez, of Harris County's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. "We do have a bit of a sigh of relief."

Even if the storm doesn't head directly to Houston, its winds and rains still could be dangerous, said officials, who cautioned residents not to let their guards down.

"We are still in the monitoring stage now," Houston Emergency Center spokesman Joe Laud said. "There is always that chance it could turn back east."

So right now it looks like (probably) no evacuation for me -- but I'm not canceling that hotel room in Austin quite yet, either.





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

Take A City Break In Amsterdam

Ive always wanted to visit Amsterdam, with its wonderful history. There is just so much to do and so much to see in this beautiful city if you brook one of the many amsterdam city breaks available online. Youll find friendly people bicycling down small, picturesque streets filled with interesting bits of period architecture. Like the tulips that the Netherlands are known for, great things just seem to bloom in Amsterdam!

Now for someone history-minded like me, there is a great deal. Interested in more modern history? You can see Anne Franks House, which today is a museum of major historical importance dedicated to the remembrance of the evils perpetrated during the Holocaust. Im told it is well worth the time. There are so many other great museums of history and art, as well as historical sites available throughout the city. It is possible to take in a few of these during Amsterdam short breaks.

And then there is another unique feature of the city the canal. If you do the canal tour, your guide will impart a lot about Amsterdam and its history. And the canal is a great convenience in terms of transportation as well -- you can usually hop on and off of these tours at spots that are of particular interest.

Amsterdam is also noted for the many small coffee shops, restaurants and bars that dot the city An hour or two in one of them will allow you to see what the city is really like, and to see what modern Dutch culture is really like.

Looking for deals on city breaks in Amsterdam? Well, check out the many available packages city break packages for the city and then make your break for Amsterdam. After all, these trips are reasonably prices and short enough to fit into any schedule. Just look, book, and see what you want to see!





|| Greg, 01:37 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 09, 2008

A Most Outrageous Charge

Richard Cohen argues that there has been some swiftboating going on since Sarah Palin was picked by John McCain.

Only she isn't the victim -- Barack Obama is.

What Obama does not understand is that he is being Swift-boated. The term does not apply to a mere smear. It is bolder, more outrageous than that. It means going straight at your opponent's strength and maligning it.

Yep -- questioning whether being a community organizer is really experience we can believe in is swiftboating -- because that constitutes the strength of Obama's candidacy. I don't know about you, but that looks like a concession as to how weak a candidate Barack Obama really is.

But somehow Cohen can't find it in him to comment on the scores of false attacks against Sarah Palin and her family.

It is almost as if he lives in an alternate reality.

But then again, he does -- the rarified air of the MSM enclave.





|| Greg, 04:36 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

It Took Research To Discover This?

You could have gotten the same results anecdotally from any teacher.

Over four winters, Harvard researchers matched hacking adults' visits to Boston-area emergency rooms with Census data for 55 zip codes. Flu-like symptoms struck first and worst in the zip codes that were home to the most kids.

Every 1 percent increase in the child population brought a 4 percent increase in adult ER visits, researchers reported this summer in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

"The impact of kids and the flu is clear," says study co-author John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Children's Hospital Boston. "It doesn't mean the areas without kids are protected from flu. It just means they experience flu later and at lower rates."

Any parent can attest that youngsters are germ factories. It takes years of nagging before they cover coughs and sneezes. Little ones tend to pick their noses. Even teenagers aren't great hand-washers. Crowded schools, preschools and day-care centers act as incubators.

It's why we have little mini-epidemics at school every year -- and why teachers are eitehr decimated by something new or are gloriously immune after having been exposed to so much crap over the years. We all remember that first year of teaching when we got every byug that walked into our classroom.

And I suspect it is also not just that kids are less sanitary than adults, but also that adults let them inside our personal space more readily than other adults. Think about it -- we'll gladly pass around a baby or hug a sniffly toddler.





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

September 08, 2008

WaPo Objects On Measure Limiting DC Gun Laws

I'd normally agree with the Washington Post on this one. The representatives of the people of the District of Columbia should ordinarily have relatively free reign in legislating for the District, Congress' constitutional powers to oversee the city government notwithstanding.

That said, in this case the Congress must act as it is prepared to do in order to safeguard the rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

H.R. 6691 is the latest effort by the National Rifle Association to wrest jurisdiction over local gun legislation from the District's elected officials. It comes as city officials are in the midst of formulating permanent legislation to comply with the landmark Supreme Court ruling overturning the city's long-standing ban on handguns. Sponsors of the measure, 47 conservative Democrats and five Republicans, say that D.C. officials can't be trusted and so they are acting to ensure Second Amendment rights for city residents. It's a maddening argument considering that none of those who signed on to the bill would ever stomach letting Congress dictate local law to their constituents.

Equally troubling is that the bill goes beyond the scope of the ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller authorizing gun possession for self-defense in the home. The majority opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia specified that a range of gun regulations are "presumptively lawful." But, if sponsors of H.R. 6691 have their way, the District would be barred from passing any law that would "prohibit, constructively prohibit, or unduly burden" gun ownership by anyone not barred by existing (and weak) federal gun laws. That would mean that the District couldn't require a vision test or shooting proficiency or education about gun safety for children. Gun registration would be abolished, as would the ban on carrying weapons -- even military-style rifles -- in public. It's a scary scenario in a city where political protests, presidential motorcades and visits by foreign dignitaries are routine.

The problem, of course, is that the city has for decades violated the civil liberties of its residents, and after being told so has imposed regulations nearly as burdensome and likely as unconstitutional as those struck down by the Supreme Court this past summer. As such, it is Congress' duty to step in and stop such violations of the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment in the one place where it has the clearest constitutional ability to do so -- the District of Columbia.

I'm curious -- would the Post's editors be quite so upset if the legislation in question were designed to protect the press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment from a city government that showed them no respect? No, I didn't think so either.





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

Kennedy Returning To Senate In January

Looks like the Massachusetts Senator is making a good recovery following his treatment for cancer. He is even planning his return to the Senate.

The office of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) announced yesterday that he will not return to the Capitol this month and will remain in Massachusetts recuperating from brain surgery.

The announcement marked a change in plans for Kennedy; his aides and colleagues had said throughout the summer that he would return this week as Congress reconvened after a five-week recess and headed into a final legislative sprint before the November elections.

Kennedy aides said that the radiation and chemotherapy treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are progressing but that doctors recommended he delay returning to Washington.

And frankly, this Republican is happy to hear the news. As I have said several times since the Senator took ill, my feelings towards the Senator as a politician and as a human being diverge -- and that this political news seems to indicate good news about his health makes me quite happy.

And maybe, just maybe, it signals that we will also have Bob Novak around a while longer, too.





|| Greg, 04:32 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Yes She Can

Even the New York Times admits that Sarah Palin is more than capable of giving her family and her job ample attention -- just like millions of other working moms.

Many high-powered parents separate work and children; Ms. Palin takes a wholly different approach. Shes the mom and the governor, and theyre not separate, Ms. Cole said. Around the governors offices, it was not uncommon to get on the elevator and discover Piper, smothering her puppy with kisses.

Shell be with Piper or Trig, then shes got a press conference or negotiations about the natural gas pipeline or a bill to sign, and its all business, Ms. Burney, who works across the hall, said. She just says, Mommys got to do this press conference.

Ms. Palin installed a travel crib in her Anchorage office and a baby swing in her Juneau one. For much of the summer, she carried Trig in a sling as she signed bills and sat through hearings, even nursing him unseen during conference calls.

In other words, she has found a way of doing things that works for her and her family. Isn't that what feminists have told us women ought to be able to do?

But beyond that, there are a couple of other details that show up in the article that go a long way towards driving the final nails in the coffin of Trig Trutherism.

On her trip to an from Texas, which occurred a full month before the baby's expected due date.:

Around 4 a.m. on the day of her presentation, Ms. Palin stirred in her hotel room to an unusual sensation. According to The Anchorage Daily News, she was leaking amniotic fluid. She woke her husband and called her doctor back home. Go ahead and give the speech, said the doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who declined to comment for this article.

* * *

In fact, Ms. Palin was not in labor, and her doctor thought she had time. So the governor flew to Seattle, continued to Anchorage and then drove to a small hospital near her hometown, Wasilla a journey of at least 10 hours.

She wanted to get back to Alaska to have that baby, said a friend, Curtis Menard. Man, that is one tough lady.

A woman with symptoms like Ms. Palins should be examined to determine her condition, said Dr. Laura Riley of Massachusetts General Hospital. The long trip home could have posed a risk, but the odds were still in her favor that everything would be O.K.," said Dr. Susan E. Gerber of Northwestern University.

When Ms. Palin arrived at the hospital, she was still not in labor, so her doctor induced it, Ms. Bruce said. Trig was born early the next morning, weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces.

In other words, there was no undue risk posed by the trip either way, though some amateur OB/GYNs online tried to argue differently for partisan advantage.

Parents in the delivery rooms surrounding Palin's also note that Bristol Palin and her sisters were coming and going during the birthing process, so no chance remains that Bristol could be Trig's mother folks. Another Trig Truter rumor bites the dust.

Oh, and about the three-day turnaround time between Trig's birth and Sarah Palin's return to work? With daughter Piper, she had gone back to work the next day. Seems to me that there is a pattern there that makes the short maternity leave with Trig understandable.

My only surprise? That this article appeared in the New York Times.





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

September 07, 2008

Can This Bounce Be Sustained?

It would be great if it could be -- and would mean that Obama is in for a major drubbing if it does.

The Republican National Convention has given John McCain and his party a significant boost, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an "enthusiasm gap" that has dogged the GOP all year.

McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 50%-46% among registered voters, the Republican's biggest advantage since January and a turnaround from the USA TODAY poll taken just before the convention opened in St. Paul. Then, he lagged by 7 percentage points.

And that is among all registered voters. Look at the likely voters and the bounce looks even more significant, but buried much firther down in the article.

In the new poll, taken Friday through Sunday, McCain leads Obama by 54%-44% among those seen as most likely to vote. The survey of 1,022 adults, including 959 registered voters, has a margin of error of +/ 3 points for both samples.

So when you get to those who are most likely to vote, that lead jumps from 4% to 10%. That would put Obama in a big hole right now.

Now I will concede that the analysis of Professor Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia is correct -- in the last half-century, these post-convention polls have only predicted the results correctly half the time. But when you consider where McCain and Obama were relative to one another at the start of the summer, the erosion of support for the Democrat and gain in support for the Republican is something that needs to be taken as a serious sign by both sides.





|| Greg, 08:26 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Other Drudge Scoop

No, I'm not talking the NYT story on Trig Palin that everyone is talking about.

I'm talking this blurb:

MSNBC drops Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from anchor chair... David Gregory will anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night.... Developing...

You mean that utter lack of professionalism might actually have consequences at that discredited network? Granted, David Gregory isn't much of an improvement, but it is something.

Will the various NBC brands ever recover from the untimely death of Tim Russert this summer?

Hot Air is also blogging this one.

UPDATE: NYT has the story -- and here is the money quote:

In interviews, 10 current and former staff members said that long-simmering tensions between MSNBC and NBC reached a boiling point during the conventions. MSNBC is behaving like a heroin addict, one senior staff member observed. Theyre living from fix to fix and swearing theyll go into rehab the next week.

UPDATE 2: The NYT story on Trig Palin I mentioned above is up -- and it is a reasonably sensitive piece that talks about the pregnancy and how she has dealt with motherhood. And it pretty effectively slaps down the "Trig Trutherism" of Andrew Sullivan, Daily Kos, and the rest of the deranged left.





|| Greg, 08:03 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Still Doesn't Get it On Human Life

Well, he does get that he gave a very stupid answer on the topic at Rick Warren's event at Saddleback, but that's about it.

Now, Obama tells ABCs George Stephanopoulos in an interview taped for This Week: What I intended to say is that, as a Christian, I have a lot of humility about understanding when does the soul enter into It's a pretty tough question. And so, all I meant to communicate was that I don't presume to be able to answer these kinds of theological questions.

To try to turn it into a question of ensoulment (which is a theological question that has NO RELEVANCE to the issue as a matter of law) is to profoundly confuse the issue. The question is a legal one of when a human being gets rights, not when a human being gets a soul.

Which proves, of course, that Obama does not get the real issue (or is intentionally trying to obscure it)l. It really all comes back to when you have human life -- and scientifically that one is a no-brainer. It is conception. That is a settled question of biology. Theology does not enter into the picture.

Now, having established that you have a living human being based upon science, answering Rick Warren's question about when human rights begin should also be easy enough -- with that answer again being conception. If it isn't, you then allow for all sorts of legal and moral obscenities, with certain members of the species homo sapiens sapiens being considered somehow sub-human. Chattel slavery and the Holocaust spring to mind as the logical outcome of such exclusions, and I can't imagine there are many who wish to go down either of those roads again.

The question that Obama needs to answer -- and which really needs to be put to him in a public forum -- is whether or not he believes that some human beings are less worthy of human rights than others. And then demand that he tell us which ones.

UPDATE: Well, Biden got it half right:

In the interview Sunday, Mr. Biden tried to walk the line between the staunch abortion-rights advocates in his party and his own religious beliefs. While he said he did not often talk about his faith, he said of those who disagree with him: They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life Im prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.

Unfortunately, he is unwilling to accept it as a matter of science -- or the implications of his pro-abortion political philosophy as supporting the wholesale violation of human rights.





|| Greg, 06:58 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Well, now that there is a brand new Watcher, we also have a he brand new Watcher's site up and running. And we now have our first announcement of a new week's winners.

1st place Council: Palin in Comparison by Wolf Howling.

1st place non-Council: Obama, McCain, Palin & Generosity by The Anchoress.

The full results can be seen here.





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

MyUS.com Mailing Addresses

I'm an American, living in America. As such, i'm blessed to be able to order pretty much anything I want from any American company I want, with it being delivered straight to my home. After all, I've got a US address.

But what about folks who live abroad -- Americans and non-Americans alike? Is there any way for them to gain access to those American shopping websites and the products available through them? Yes, there is -- they can establish their own personal US mailing address from which they can have their purchases forwarded to them abroad.

How do you accomplish this? With MyUS.com international package forwarding service! Using their services, any non-US resident can order the products they want from any US shopping site. The ordered products vitamins, electronics, or whatever -- get delivered to a personal US address. Once it is there, it is easy to arrange to have the merchandise shipped on to their home anywhere in the world, as they direct. What this service does is open up more shopping options for people around the world who are interested in availing themselves of the wide variety of great consumer products available through the internet to folks with a US mailing address. So if you live abroad, check out the MyUS.com website for the way for you to start placing your orders with no hassles.

Sponsored by MyUS





|| Greg, 05:48 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 06, 2008

What Changed?

These are your words, Senator.

What happened since then that led you to change your mind on this point?

What did you accomplish that you would cite as an actual qualification for the office which you said you were not qualified for?

And does running for President really count as experience that qualifies you for being president?

H/T STACLU





|| Greg, 07:05 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Read It And Weep

Bob Novak writes about his tumor and its impact on his life.

More importantly, he writes about the response he has received from the many good people out there.

This detail brought a tear to my eye -- and made me thank God I had written what I did about Senator Ted Kennedy since his diagnosis with the same cancer.

After reviewing my case, [Allan H.] Friedman[, chief of neurosurgery at the Duke University Medical Center,] said a resection -- that is, a removal of the tumor -- was possible by surgery. He performed a similar operation this summer on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

In today's world, it is up to the "informed patient" to make many decisions affecting treatment. My dear friend Bob Shrum, the Democratic political operative, asked Sen. Kennedy's wife, Vicki, to call me. I barely know Mrs. Kennedy, but I have found her to be a warm and gracious person. I have had few good things to say about Teddy Kennedy since I first met him at the 1960 Democratic National Convention, but he and his wife have treated me like a close friend. She was enthusiastic about Dr. Friedman and urged me to opt for surgery at Duke.

The Kennedys were not concerned by political and ideological differences when someone's life was at stake, recalling at least the myth of milder days in Washington. My long conversation with Vicki Kennedy filled me with hope.

I'm with Novak on this point -- we can have heated and intense political disagreements with an individual, whether they are a private person or public figure, and still respect their dignity as a human being. Going through what is surely an intensely difficult time, it would have been easy and understandable for the Kennedys to take a pass on talking to an adversary of nearly half a century. They didn't, and that speaks well of them.

And it provides a pointed reminder of how we as Americans should act towards our fellow citizens, including the ones we disagree with. We can attack their ideas and their actions, but we should never overlook their humanity.





|| Greg, 11:54 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Weird News

My wife, a wheelchair user herself, forwarded this story on to me.

Dallas police on Friday searched for a man who robbed a 7-Eleven convenience store in his wheelchair, stealing 10 boxes of condoms and an energy drink before rolling himself out the door, authorities said.

That would qualify as seriously weird.

But then you get this at the end of the article.

Cpl. Janse said he couldn't recall another robbery involving a person in a wheelchair. He believes the culprit was probably intoxicated at the time.

Well, maybe.

Condoms and energy drinks? I'd conclude he was looking for a bit of fun and some "staying power."





|| Greg, 08:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

NY Times Asks Texas Governor To Violate State Constitution

I realize, of course, that the New York Times doesn't have any respect for any provision of any Constitution other than one clause of the First Amendment, but in this case it also betrays such a fundamental ignorance of the law and the constitution of the State of Texas as to be laughable.

Texas is infamous for the cavalier way that it applies the death penalty. Still, the case of Charles Hood, who is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday is especially appalling. Mr. Hoods lawyers have presented evidence that during his trial, the judge was having an affair with the prosecutor. Gov. Rick Perry should grant Mr. Hood a temporary reprieve, and if the reports of the affair are correct, Mr. Hood must be given a new trial.

Only one minor problem there, NY Times editors -- Rick Perry cannot do that in the way you want him to.

You see, the governor does not have that sort of power here in Texas. Call it a remnant of the days of Reconstruction where the power to grant pardons, reprieves, and commutations was so abused by one of the incumbents that the 1876 state constitution effectively removed that power from the governor. For Perry to grand more than a 30-day reprieve, it would require an affirmative vote of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. At best, Perry can grant Hood a single 30-day reprieve -- after which the execution proceeds with no further gubernatorial intervention possible, absent a recommendation from the Board.

But there is one other minor detail -- the romance issue was apparently raised before, and not seen as grounds for overturning the conviction due to the lack of evidence of any inappropriate conduct or rulings that prejudiced Hood's right to a fair trial. That was the ruling of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which this week dismissed an attempt by Hood to raise the issue again (Oh, yeah -- NYT doesn't mention the fair trial issue has already been adjudicated against Hood). I guess that in this case the folks in New York don't really care about that whole separation of powers thing.

Oh, and by the way -- want the best example of how little respect the folks at the Times have for the unambiguous language of the Constitution? It is right here.

We believe the death penalty is, in all cases, unconstitutional and wrong.

However, the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution explicitly permits capital punishment. Unless we are to accept the argument that a part of the Bill of Rights itself is unconstitutional, their entire stance against the death penalty is based upon the belief that the opinions of the Editorial Staff, not the text of the Constitution, is (or ought to be) the Supreme Law of the Land.





|| Greg, 08:15 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

How About A Good Round-Up Of Palin Rumors

Debunking almost all of them -- and putting a few others in context in a way that makes things appear not only not scandalous, but downright reasonable.
Here are a couple of examples from this excellent blog post.

17. yes, she did fire the public safety guy but he said in the Anchorage paper that, for the record, she never, and no one else in her administration ever, tried to make him fire her ex-brother-in-law 18. and yes, the state trooper (her sisters ex-husband) she was worried about did: tase her 10 year old nephew; drive his state patrol car while drinking or drunk; did threaten to bring her down; and did threaten to murder her father and sister if they dared to get an attorney to help with the divorce. 19. yes, the state trooper was suspended when he was put under a court protective order 20. no, the trooper wasnt fired 21. yes, she did fire the Wasilla Chief of Police as Mayor; yes, it was because he was lying to the City Council.

* * *

26. yes, she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive; no, they couldnt; yes she did threaten to fire the librarian a month later; no, that wasnt over the books thing but instead over administrative issues; no, the librarian wasnt fired either; yes, the librarian was a big supporter of one of her political opponents; yes, the librarian was also the girlfriend of the Chief of police mentioned above; no, this is not the first time in the history of civilization that someone has been threatened with being fired over a political dispute

The list is really comprehensive, folks, and doesn't spare her Palin where there is truth to the rumor -- but the ones where there is truth are generally either so trivial as to be irrelevant to the campaign or proof that she may be -- the horrors -- a human being like the rest of us.

My one suggestion for Charlie, though, is that he provide the links he says he has to back his information. he isn't consistent about hit -- but what he has written jibes generally with the press accounts I've read.





|| Greg, 07:38 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 05, 2008

Biden Lied, His Family Died -- UPDATED

More to the point, he lied about how his wife and daughter died.

Since his vice presidential nomination, Joe Biden's 2007 statement that a "guy who allegedly ... drank his lunch" and drove the truck that struck and killed his first wife and daughter has gained national media traction.

Alcohol didn't play a role in the 1972 crash, investigators found. But as recently as last week, the syndicated TV show Inside Edition aired a clip from 2001 of Biden describing the accident to an audience at the University of Delaware and saying the truck driver "stopped to drink instead of drive."

The senator's statements don't jibe with news and law enforcement reports from the time, which cleared driver Curtis C. Dunn, who died in 1999, of wrongdoing.

So what we have here is a bald-faced lie in an attempt to drum up sympathy and votes -- and perhaps obscure the fact that investigators indicated that the accident may well have been caused by Neilia Biden's own negligent driving. One of the things that the official reports reject is the notion that Dunn was driving drunk.

What's more, Joe Biden knows it. He has for at least seven years, and likely for 36 years. How do we know he knows? Because the family raised this issue with him the last time he made this false statement in public, back in 2001.

After reading a News Journal account of Biden's 2001 speech at UD, Hamill sent Biden a letter on behalf of her father. The newspaper story included Biden's description of getting the call that his wife and daughter had died, but not his comments about Dunn.

Hamill said her note to the senator described how Dunn was affected by the accident.

Printed on the senator's letter head and dated Oct. 11, 2001, the response from Biden reads:

"I apologize for taking so long to acknowledge your thoughtful and heartfelt note," Biden wrote. "All that I can say is I am sorry for all of us and please know that neither I nor my sons feel any animosity whatsoever."

One could argue that the failure to dispute the Dunn family's claims indicates his implicit acceptance of their validity. Even if one does not want to go that far, it is clear that Biden should have known that there was serious question about his account of the incident, and that he ought to more fully research the issue before making the claim again.

And besides, there is plenty of documentary evidence that Mr. Dunn was cleared of any wrong-doing in the accident.

Apparently Biden lacked the decency to do so. But then again, we've all known that Biden is "integrity challenged" for a couple of decades now. But that the Obama campaign did not catch this matter earlier raises serious questions into the opposition research and vice presidential vetting conducted on Joe Biden. For that matter, it also raises questions about the willingness of the press to look into family issues that Biden has referred to on the campaign trail and used to solicit votes. After all, doesn't this relapse into dishonesty and cynical abuse of his family call for the same sort of hard-hitting coverage as Bristol Palin's pregnancy? Where the hell is Andrew Sullivan on this one?

How much longer can this dishonest man continue as the Democrat's candidate for Vice President? And what does his selection say about the judgment of Barack Obama?

H/T Malkin

UPDATE: Reading through the comments at the N-J, I came across this one that is striking.

I remember the 1972 accident well.I knew the Bidens then as they shopped in the butcher shop where I worked at that time. Let me make something very clear here. The accident happened at Tim's Corner & Limestone Road. Mrs Biden had a stop sign. Mr Dunn, traveling on Limestone Road, did NOT have any stop sign or any other traffic signal. He had the right of way. The speed limit on Limestone Road was 50 MPH. Mrs Biden either ran the stop sign or pulled away from the stop sign without looking or seeing the oncoming truck.

Those involved with altering the facts of this tragic event should be ashamed. My heart goes out to Mr Dunn's family that something like this is reported as "news". I'm sure there wasn't a day in his life (may he rest in peace) that he did not think of the accident. A car pulled directly in front of him and there was nothing he could have done to prevent what happened.

In other words, not only would this have been a situation in which Mr. Dunn was not at fault, the conclusion has to be that Mrs. Biden either didn't look, didn't see, or didn't care that the truck was coming and had right-of-way. Which means, of course, that the accident was most likely due to her own negligence or error. I understand that this may be an uncomfortable reality for the Senator to acknowledge, but for him to peddle the lie that Dunn was drunk -- especially after being told it was untrue -- is reprehensible and inexcusable.

And remember that the investigation, which was headed by an official who was a friend and neighbor of the Bidens, concluded there was no evidence that Dunn "was speeding, drinking or driving a truck with faulty brakes." Under the circumstances (a politically connected associate of a newly-elected senator investigating the death of the senator's wife), it is safe to conclude that no evidence against Dunn would have been overlooked, and that any evidence of wrong-doing on his part would have been used as grounds to file charges against him in a wreck that killed the wife and child of a senior elected official.

Also, while some may argue that this is an unfair attack on Senator Biden's family, I'd argue that it is a reasonable examination of Senator Biden's integrity. Regardless of the cause of the accident, I still feel an aching compassion for the man over the loss of two precious lives. But his pain is no excuse for bending the truth to the breaking point in his public statements -- while he is welcome to believe what he wants in the privacy of his own heart to deal with the anguish over a tragedy that must always be with him, he has no right to make public accusations that inflict pain today upon the family of a man who was cleared of wrongdoing and can no longer defend himself from such charges.

UPDATE 9/9/2008: MVRC is commenting on the story now. Her questions:

1. If Sarah Palin had this kind of memory lapse or told this kind of whopper, how likely would it be that she would get away with it?

2. Bidens sons were in the vehicle. They were in the hospital for weeks. He took his oath of office at their hospital bed. From then until they got out, he left them alone at the hospital to go to DC to do the senator thing. How is Palins bringing her family to DC any worse?

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|| Greg, 07:26 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bell Seeks To Limit Voter Choice

Voters around Texas have consistently said that they don't want Chris Bell serving in any public office. His response? Take a page from the Barack Obama handbook and seek to kick the only other Democrat candidate off the ballot in his state senate race so that the district's Democrats don't have any other choice!

Democrat Chris Bell filed suit in state district court Thursday, seeking to remove an opponent from the ballot in the Nov. 4 special election for the District 17 state Senate seat.

Bell's campaign contends that Stephanie E. Simmons, an attorney from Missouri City who filed as a Democrat just before the filing period ended on Friday, is a "phantom" candidate planted by Republicans seeking to siphon Democratic votes from Bell.

Bell's best chance of winning the seat, previously held by Republican Kyle Janek, is to win outright on Nov. 4. Until Simmons filed, he was the only Democrat in the race.

And he need Simmons off the ballot, because his only real chance of winning is to somehow eke out 50% of the vote on election day. Otherwise he is in a runoff with a Republican, and ANY Republican will beat him in such a runoff. After all, he currently has only 34% of the vote according to polling data his campaign cites -- and removing Simmons will boost him a few points. Add in a high turnout on election day (which he hopes will favor Obama and the Democrats), and he might be able to scratch his way to 50% plus 1, but only if Democrats have no other alternative. In a runoff, though, united Republicans will get a solid 60% in this district, given that Bell's presumed flood of Obama voters won't turn out for a squirrelly white guy already rejected by Democrat primary voters for Congress and the general populace of the state of Texas in the 2006 gubernatorial race.

I've got a great idea for a bumper sticker for the Bell campaign:

Chris Bell
Pro-Choice On Abortion
No Choice On Election Day





|| Greg, 04:45 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

After The Bounce Is Gone

It must suck to be Barack Obama, and see your lead go up in smoke.

A poll released today by CBS News reports that Barack Obama's post-Democratic convention bounce has been erased and that for the first time, John McCain has drawn even with his Democratic opponent in the network's poll.

Only hours before McCain accepts his party's nomination in what will likely be the most-viewed moment thus far of his presidential bid, the race is knotted at 42 percent apiece, with 12 percent of voters stating that they are undecided, according to CBS. Obama was ahead 48 percent to 40 percent by CBS measure following the Democratic convention.

Other polls have failed to show the same tightening of the race found by CBS. Neither the Gallup or Rasmussen daily tracking polls have registered a significant drop in Obamas support from his post-convention bounce numbers. The Gallup tracking poll, for example, still has Obama ahead of McCain 49 percent to 42 percent.

CBSs findings from Monday to Wednesday covering the early days of the Republican convention is particularly noteworthy because generally Obama runs stronger in the CBS poll than in other surveys.

That last paragraphy is why I bothered with this story. This poll is the one he usually does best in, and it now shows the race knotted. Is it an outlier? Or a harbinger of where the rest will go in the next few days?





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

Go To Jail, Go Directly To Jail

Looks like two American political figures gut cut-rate sentences yesterday for offenses which deserved more jail time.

First, in Detroit.

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to felony charges here on Thursday and agreed to resign from office and serve 120 days in jail, ending eight months of political turmoil but also opening a new era of uncertainty for the city.

Uncertainty? Yeah -- the city's two top officials can't contain their personal animosity in public, and many of the members of the city council are under federal investigation for offenses even more serious than those against Kilpatrick. That city clearly needs a wholesale leadership change.

Too bad, though, that Kilpatrick wll escape the full penalty for all his offenses -- and will be able to run for office in a few years when his five years of probation ends.

On the other hand, an old acquaintance of mine from my college days is getting a cut-rate sentence for cooperating with the feds -- something I am not happy about.

Jack Abramoff, the powerhouse Washington lobbyist who admitted running a wide-ranging corruption scheme that ensnared lawmakers, Capitol Hill aides and government officials, yesterday received a reduced sentence of four years in prison because of his cooperation with federal investigators.

Again, and as I've said in the past, I object. Public corruption cases deserve full punishment, not "get out of jail early" cards.

And yes, it looks like a problem may be about to arise here in Houston.

Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole said Thursday that he expects to be forced from office by an FBI investigation into corruption allegations that appears to be centering on the design of his home by a prominent retired architect.

The Precinct 4 commissioner said FBI agents have interviewed many of his friends, some as recently as this week. He said he expects to be called in for questioning soon and would not be surprised to be indicted, though he insists he is innocent.

"I guarantee they can take that information that they've got and the friends that they've talked to and they can make a case on me," said Eversole, who volunteered the update regarding the investigation when asked about recommended ethics changes at the county. "That's why I say my days are numbered. There's no doubt about it."

And while that isn't quite an admission of guilt, I think it is sufficient grounds for me to make this Harris County Republican precinct chair to make the following demand of the Republican county commissioner -- RESIGN NOW, JERRY! I'll reserve judgment, though, on the matter of jail time.





|| Greg, 04:20 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Good News On Publishing Front UPDATED AND BUMPED

Im a voracious reader, but am very picky on what I add to my personal library. Usually Ill pick up a particularly interesting history book, a work of political science (not current politics political science), or some escapist science fiction that earned a place in my heart on first read.

But I am committed to buy one book, as soon as it is published, even without reading it or looking at the reviews.

Its title? "The Jewel of Medina."

A historical novel about the prophet Muhammad and his child bride that was pulled by Random House over concerns it would anger Muslims has been sold to another publisher, the author said Wednesday.

"We do have a U.S. publisher," Sherry Jones, of Spokane, told The Associated Press in an e-mail Wednesday. "We can announce that, but not the name until they announce it."

Jones' agent, Natasha Kern, said a publisher for "The Jewel of Medina" in the United States and the United Kingdom will be announced later Wednesday.
Jones said her debut novel will be published in October, two months after it was to have been published by Random House Publishing Group.

Random House caved in after pressure was brought to bear by a feminist Middle Eastern Studdies professer from University of Texas orchestrated a campaign against the work, leading Random House to conclude that the threat of violence was too great to justify the books publication. That act of cowardice was a disgrace to the publishing world, and to the notion that there should be a free exchange of ideas in the world. Instead, fear of the fanatical knuckle-draggers who murdered Theo van Gogh, hounded Salman Rushdie into endless exile, and rioted over a bunch of cartoons from Denmark was grounds for silencing the authors voice.

I dont know if Ill like the book. I dont know if Ill read it all. But I will buy it.

After all, it is important to stand up to the forces of darkness that would impose the mores of seventh-century Arabia on the civilized world.

UPDATE: And the British publisher is -- Gibson Square, a small British publisher. They say the first run will be only 20K. I hope they are ready for a second run, given the interest the book has generated among friends of freedom in the English-speaking world. The US Publisher will be announced next week.





|| Greg, 02:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 04, 2008

A Bad Political Dad From History?

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I think many Americans were touched last night by an image from the Republican convention. It is one that was frighteningly all-American -- but also controversial, with some saying the reality it represents being reason enough for Palin being rejected as Vice President, and why she should not be on it at all. I refer, of course, to the fact that Sarah Palin is the mother five not-entirely-perfect children, and that she is somehow a bad parent for seeking this office -- or even for being the Governor of Alaska.

I've held the image above in my heart even as I've struggled with how to refute that charge, with where I could look for an example from history to either disprove it or demonstrate its inherent sexism. And as I did so, a disturbing image popped into my head -- one that could only have sprung into the mind of a student of history.

rfk-death[1].jpg

Now some of you may not see the connection, and others may mistake what I mean by connecting last night's events with an American tragedy four decades ago. But consider the picture that the tragic event shown above deprived us of -- Senator Robert Francis Kennedy accepting the nomination of the 1968 convention in Chicago (either for president or vice president -- contrary to popular history he had not locked up the former and may have had to settle for the latter on a ticket with Hubert Humphrey), his arm around his visibly pregnant wife as the couple was surrounded by their TEN beautiful children under the age of 18 (as well as his niece and nephew, the children of his murdered brother).

Think about it -- rather than the stark shades of black and gray and white that depict the end of what many Democrats would describe as the Golden Age of American liberalism, we would have had an amazing technicolor celebration of what was seen as the model American Catholic family (though we now know that was merely a facade).

And no one would have dreamed of asking any form of the Sarah Palin question about Bobby Kennedy:

  1. Was he selfish to seek this office?
  2. Would he short change his brood to serve America?
  3. Would he fall short as president because of his obligations as a parent?
  4. Was he just plain a bad father because he didn't wait until they were older to run -- say 1984 or 1988?

I say again, those questions would not have been asked in 1968, not even by his Republican opponents. Nor do I believe anyone would seriously ask them in 2008, even with full knowledge of the sad stories of drug abuse, child abuse, suicide, and other pathologies and bad choices we have seen among RFK's eleven offspring.

That leads me to ask the obvious question -- why not? There are only two honest answers, either partisan bias or naked sexism. After all, the major difference in circumstance here is that Kennedy was a male liberal Democrat, and Palin is a female conservative Republican.

Personally, I'd argue that it is a lot of both, with sexism being the larger component. Consider the attempts to find nude Sarah Palin photos or pictures of Sarah Palin in a bikini. Has there been a comparable search for similar photos of Barack Obama or Joe Biden in order to discredit them-- and would anyone seriously argue that this picture of Obama on his recent vacation somehow makes him morally unfit for office?

artobama3[1].jpg

Of course, given that there has been no serious effort to discredit Senator McCain with similar photos, we must be led to the conclusion that much of the opposition to Palin is based upon her gender.

And that my friends, is something we as Americans need to firmly and forthrightly reject. Too bad that the icons of feminism and so-called leaders on behalf of women's rights cannot be bothered to speak out against a return to the most egregious of sexual double standards at the same time they shrilly denounce Palin as unfit for office on the basis of ideology. Why can't they take the time to demand that their side hold a woman to the same standard they would hold a man of their own party?

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|| Greg, 07:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Yep, It Is Sexism

And that isn't just the GOP talking -- it is the take of academics and Democrat political pros.

Sarah Palin found some unlikely allies Wednesday as leading academics and even former top aides to Hillary Rodham Clinton endorsed the Republican charge that John McCains running mate has been subject to a sexist double standard by the news media and Democrats.

Georgetown University professor Deborah Tannen, who has written best-selling books on gender differences, said she agrees with complaints that Palin skeptics including prominent voices in the news media have crossed a line by speculating about whether the Alaska governor is neglecting her family in pursuit of national office.

What were dealing with now, theres nothing subtle about it, said Tannen. Were dealing with the assumption that child-rearing is the job of women and not men. Is it sexist? Yes.

Theres no way those questions would be asked of a male candidate, said Howard Wolfson a former top strategist for Clintons presidential campaign.

After all, have we heard that Barack is a bad dad for running for office with two small (and adorable) little girls back at home -- especially given Michelle Obama's presence out on the campaign trail with him? That isn't an issue for anyone -- but suddenly is when the candidate in question is a woman. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to draw the obvious conclusion.





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

Another Sexist Jab

I'm going to be the exception on the conservative side of the blogosphere. I'm not going to analyze the speech given last night by Sarah Palin. Let's just say that virtually everybody but the hyper-partisans on the other side agrees she did a phenomenal job.

Which is why the criticism that Michell Malkin reports is so galling.

Right on cue, the Beltway snobs dumped on Gov. Sarah Palins brilliantly crafted and delivered speech tonight by immediately pointing out that the speech was written for her.

What officeholder from mayors to the President doesnt have speeches written for them?

First, how dare anyone criticize the use of speechwriters as long as Barack "Deval Patrick" Obama and Joe "Neil Kinnock/John Kennedy/Robert Kennedy/Hubert Humphrey" Biden are running on the Democrat ticket.

Second, the use of speechwriters is standard practice. Even such signature words as "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" were, in part, the product of the speechwriter's pen. Why, now that a woman is using one, is it suddenly a problem? Could it be one more example of the double standard raising its head again when a qualified, competent woman raises her head above the crowd?

UPDATE: Just found this interesting take on speechwriters. I can't say I agree with the comparison -- especially since, like ghostwriters for books, their use is broadly accepted and widely disclosed.

And it looks like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow (which my spellchecker keeps appropriately trying to change to "Madcow") objects to the standard practice of including phonetic spellings in teleprompter texts. Heck, when I preach (every now ant then) I use phonetic spellings in my text for words that I might trip over or misread. It isn't a sign of stupidity -- it is a common tool to prevent mistakes.





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

September 03, 2008

Let's Consider The Double Standard

The press really is in the tank for Obama. How else can one characterize this request?

Sen. John McCain's top campaign strategist accused the news media Tuesday of being "on a mission to destroy" Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by displaying "a level of viciousness and scurrilousness" in pursuing questions about her personal life.

In an extraordinary and emotional interview, Steve Schmidt said his campaign feels "under siege" by wave after wave of news inquiries that have questioned whether Palin is really the mother of a 4-month-old baby, whether her amniotic fluid had been tested and whether she would submit to a DNA test to establish the child's parentage.

Of all the audacity! Could you imagine the outrage if folks started asking for DNA tests to prove that Barack is the father of the children Michelle Obama claims are his? Or perhaps an exhumation of the infant killed with Joe Biden's first wife in 1972, just to make sure that she was really the Senator's child and put to rest the speculation that the entire accident was a set-up to get rid of an unfaithful wife and her love-child?

Of course, there is no actual question as to the parentage of the Obama children, or of the faithfulness and paternity of the two Bidens who died so tragically in 1972. But then again, there was and is no legitimate reason to believe that Trig Palin is not the child of Sarah and Todd Palin -- and all three requests ought to be considered beyond the realm of decency. Any so-called journalist who would make such requests, and any media outlet that employs them, have sunk from objectivity into baseless scandal-mongering. That it was presumed appropriate to seek such information from the Palins is a sign of how partisan our "objective media" has become.

But it isn't the first time we've hat such a situation this year, with the press being so partisan that it failed in its proper role. After all, there were serious questions raised about Barack Obama's citizenship this year, including the filing of a federal lawsuit on the matter. For some reason the media never bothered to seriously pursue questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate -- and that had a direct bearing on his eligibility for the office he seeks. Seems to me we still have not seen the ORIGINAL document signed by the physicians in 1961 -- will the press get cracking on that story?

After all, if they have time for something so outlandish and irrelevant as a request for DNA tests, wouldn't it be reasonable for them to obtain a public record that is relevant to the constitutional qualifications of one of the candidates for the job?

[NOTE: For the record, I'm not questioning Obama's citizenship -- I've written on that matter before. I'm just pointing out the clear double standard at work in the media.]





|| Greg, 06:23 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Praise For Whoopi Goldberg

Lets be honest here Im not a particular fan of the woman, and I hate The View.

That said, she gets it on the Bristol Palin pregnancy.

God bless this woman for sticking with her kid. Because there are a lot of kids out there who get tossed out, thrown away, who are on their own. And so I tip my hat, and Im a pro-choice person. I tip my hat. My kid made her decision to have her baby. Wasnt the choice that I would have liked her to make at 15, maybe not. But, you know, it worked out. Thank you God.

Now Ill be real here Goldberg isnt going to cast a vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. But she sees what so many of us see there is a right way and a wrong way for parents to handle a teenage pregnancy, and the Palins are doing it the right way.

I work with teenagers every day. Every year I have a bunch of pregnant girls in my classes, and also fathers-to-be. I dont condone the actions that got them there, but I do my best to give them all the love and support I can. Ive done the same with students who have aborted some of whom think they were correct, and some of whom come to realize they were tragically wrong. And as an aside to Goldbergs colleague Joy Behar my students are have been 80-90% minority, and the proportion of those pregnant has reflected those numbers. It is called compassion. It is called love.

Good people, including those raised with conservative moral values, make bad choices and find themselves living with unintended consequences of those choices (not punishment, Barack). It is the obligation of the rest of the good people in the world to lend them our support when that happens. And the first line of support has to be the family even when those teens went against the values which their parents tried to teach them and which they failed to live up to.

Interestingly enough, we know from her own lifes story that Whoopi didnt do a particularly good job of dealing with just such a situation in her family. Maybe that makes her better equipped to comment than some of the perfect people in the media, the liberal blogosphere, and in public office who consider these two young people fair game in an effort to get Bristols mother.

But in the end, it isnt about politics. It is about meeting our fellow human beings where they are when they are dealing with the difficulties that are a part of the human condition dating back to the Garden of Eden (be it a literal or metaphorical place). Sadly, large chunks of our society havent done a good job with that in the last week and has then had the audacity to sit in judgment of those who have.





|| Greg, 03:50 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

An Insight Into McCain

After being greeted by his running mate and her family upon his arrival in the Twin Cities, who did John McCain spend the most time talking to?

McCain flew into the Twin Cities, arriving about noon at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He was met on the tarmac by among others his wife, Cindy, and Palin and her family.

That included Palin's pregnant teenage daughter, Bristol, and father-to-be Levi Johnston. McCain gave Bristol numerous hugs, patted Johnston on the arm and spoke with the couple longer than any of the others in the greeting line.

Having grown up in a Navy family, knowing men like John McCain (including one of his fellow POWs), I can guess that the conversation was one of fatherly/grandfatherly advice to the young couple and his offer of support to the two of them in what is an unimaginably difficult time when they have found themselves attacked in an unconscionable way by the indecent liberal and media hordes. He's been on the receiving end of such attacks many times before, and he knows that things will get better.

Call it an act of compassion by a man who could have just as easily dispensed with it and garnered neither notice nor criticism.





|| Greg, 03:48 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Love Them NorKs!

Looks like the little pissant from Pyongyang is at it again.

North Korea, after halting the disassembly of a key nuclear center, is now putting the facility back together in violation of the United States' conditions for improved diplomatic relations between the countries, U.S. officials told FOX News on Tuesday.

The motive isn't clear but sources say North Koreans likely are reassembling nuclear facilities at Yongbyon partly to protest the United States' delay in taking the country off its list of terror-sponsoring nations.

"They've been threatening this move for some time," one U.S. official told FOX News, adding that until now the threats were seen as merely a way for North Korean officials "to express their anger."

Ive got to wonder what they are going to want this time and if they will again be rewarded.






|| Greg, 03:45 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Ive Gotta Laugh

There are few people in the media I despise as much as Dr. Laura Schlessinger. My wife and I will sometimes listen to the harpy in the car and ask in stunned amazement why anyone would ever be willing to put the answer to any significant life decision in her hands. Often times I feel a need to shower after discovering I agree with her on some point or another.

And Im especially struck that this mother who has worked in private practice or on the air during virtually every moment of her childs life would take this position.

I am extremely disappointed in the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party.

* * *

Im stunned - couldnt the Republican Party find one competent female with adult children to run for Vice President with McCain? I realize his advisors probably didnt want a mature woman, as the Democrats keep harping on his age. But really, what kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down Syndrome, and then goes back to the job of Governor within days of the birth?

She then goes on, at the end of the column, to darkly hint that Palin is a neglectful parent.

Schlessinger represents the worst sort of double-standard moralizing tradition in America. You know, just like the liberals who claim a woman can achieve anything right up until the moment one actually appears on the verge of actually doing it. They make a great pair.

Especially since they despise each other even as they take the same position for the same hypocritical reasons.





|| Greg, 03:36 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Job Well Done

Im always pleased to see stories like this one.

A homeowner who saw his wife threatened at gunpoint by an intruder wrested the gun from the man, killed him and wounded another intruder, police said.

The incident happened early today after two men kicked open the front door of the couple's home in this Fort Worth suburb.

Keith and Kellie Hoehn told police the men burst into their house and one of them pointed a shotgun at Mrs. Hoehn's head. She brushed the barrel aside, and a struggle ensued.

The husband got control of the gun and shot both men. The man who survived is being treated at a Fort Worth hospital.

Ill be honest the only problem I see here is that one of them is still breathing, and likely being treated in that hospital at taxpayer expense.

Heres hoping that the story is widely publicized and has a salutary effect.





|| Greg, 03:33 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Smaller Increase = Cut

Im curious if you increase funding for a program three-fold million, how can any honest person call it a cut?

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.

Interestingly enough, the money cut was part of what appears to be a block grant for all Covenant House programs, no anything specific to teen mothers. But more to the point, it left intact close to 80% of the funding as she cut the overall spending in the bill by $268 million. And this was not a cut in operating funds this was a cut in a grant for capital improvements as Covenant House moved its facilities to another location. And what had Covenant House received in the 2006 and 2007 budgets? It was given $1.2 million and $1.3 million dollar by the state. So Palins cut meant that the 2008 funding was MERELY TRIPLED INSTEAD OF QUADRUPLED.

How bloated was this particular budget bill? Well, one of the Democrats in the legislature complained at the time that Palin didnt cut enough.

But Anchorage Democratic Rep. Mike Doogan said legislators were in "sort of your classic feeding frenzy" in putting the capital budget together. "It's smaller now that she's done some vetoing, but I still think it's too big," Doogan said.

Yeah, you saw that one right those were the words of a Democrat.
In other words, what we are seeing here is a cheap shot with extra spin following a responsible action by an executive charged with overseeing state spending. And we can be sure that there will be no such criticism of either candidate on the Democrat ticket after all, neither of them has any experience as an executive, while both of them are known for their success at bringing home the pork.

Or maybe it is just bad math -- you know, becausethey think 1.3*3 is subtraction because the answer is less than 5.

H/T NRO, Malkin, Hot Air





|| Greg, 03:29 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Was Chelsea Knocked Up In The White House?

Was Amy Carter preggers while her born-again daddy was in the Oval Office? Will one or both of the Obama girls get knocked up while their dad is president, if he serves two terms?

Statistically, one or more of those scenarios seems likely, followed by a quiet abortion, according to this piece.

Is Sarah Palin the first nominee on a major-party presidential ticket whose daughter got pregnant out of wedlock? Or is she just the first whose daughter didn't get an abortion?

The reason you're reading about Bristol Palin's pregnancy is that she's taking it to term. If she had aborted it, you'd never have known. Which raises the question: How many other daughters of nominees have gotten knocked up without your knowledge?

The article in question then goes on to do a bunch of statistical calculations that raises just such questions as I've posed above.

It points out that the only reason we even know about Bristo Palinl's pregnancy is that she has chosen to carry the baby to term.

But still avoids the major issue in the entire furor surrounding Bristol's pregnancy -- that it is a private family matter, and really not the public's business.

And the other question as well -- why hasn't Bristol Palin been shown the sort of respect for presidential children that was expected of the press during the Clinton and Carter Administrations?





|| Greg, 04:57 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Spouse's Politics As A Disqualifier?

Well, over the weekend there were claims that Sarah Palin was the member of a fringe third party in Alaska, the Alaska Independence Party.

Unfortunately for those out to destroy Palin by any means necessary, the records demonstrate that to have been false.

So the new angle on the story is that her husband, Todd, was a member.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, twice registered as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a fierce states' rights group that wants to turn all federal lands in Alaska back to the state. Sarah Palin herself was never a member of the party, according to state officials.

Which leads to the following question -- who cares?

Last time I checked, Todd Palin wasn't going to be on the ballot. Whats more, last time I checked, the right to associate politically is not limited to being a Democrat or a Republican, but extends to a whole host of peaceful political activity.

Indeed, this one reeks of something akin to what the Left would call McCarthyism -- with the significant difference that the Communist threat was real, while the Alaska Independence Party seems like a pretty harmless group advocating smaller government and more local control.

And as a life-long Republican married to a registered Democrat, I'm the first to tell you that it is simply impossible for anyone in a marriage of equals to control their spouses political behavior.

Besides -- given a choice between a candidate married to a political crank and a candidate who is long-time buddies with a unrepentant terrorist, I'll take the former.

UPDATE": Will the media retract the story?

Probably not even though the source of the original claim admits error and documentary evidence disproves the initial claim.

The chairwoman of an Alaskan political party that advocates a vote on the states secession from the union said Tuesday that she had been mistaken when she said Gov. Sarah Palin was a member of the group.
* * *

On Tuesday night, Ms. Clark said that her initial statement was incorrect and had been based on erroneous information provided by another member of the party whom she declined to identify.

Want to bet we dont see front page retractions to correct the mistake, despite the fact that the story was highlighted by many in the media? And want to be that many on the Left ignore the correction, and continue to propagate the false claim about her membership?





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

September 02, 2008

Sex Deviant Linked To Gay Whores Says Bristol Palin Fair Game

Yep, Barney Frank has hit a new low, even for a guy who put his gay hooker on his congressional payroll and got away with allowing the boy toy to run other gay hookers out of his Capitol Hill home.

Now he says that Bristol Palin's pregnancy is fair game -- because Sarah Palin has mentioned she has children.

Rep. Barney Frank is among the first Democrats to publicly say Alaska Gov. Sarah Palins family background, including the pregnancy of her unwed teenage daughter, should be fair game for campaign discussion.

"Theyre the ones that made an issue of her family," Frank, D-Mass., said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Well, this proves two things.

1) When Democrats insist that children of candidates are off limits, that only means the children of Democrats. Children of Republicans are always fair game.

2) Barack Obama is such an ineffectual leader that his own call to leave Bristol Palin alone is ignored even by the leadership of his own party. If he can't lead the Democrats, how can he lead the nation?

More At Gateway Pundit





|| Greg, 06:25 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Source Of Palin Smears Revealed By AP

Want to take one guess where the AP places the blame for the Palin smears? In part on the Obama campaign -- and they name names.

Obama advisers and surrogates have also linked Palin to conservative former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. An Associated Press story from Alaska, dated July 17, 1999, states that Palin, then the mayor of the small town of Wasilla, was wearing a Buchanan button during a Buchanan visit to Alaska.

The Miami Herald this week quoted an e-mail from Obama Florida spokesman Mark Bubriski that stated: Palin was a supporter of Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer.

The McCain campaign says Palin supported Steve Forbes campaign in 1999.

So, what will Obama do about the spreading of false stories by one of his own spokespeople. Will he do the honorable thing and get rid of him? Or will he keep the guy on -- cause that's how they do things in Chicago.

Oh, and about that last snippy line in the story which notes "the McCain campaign says" Palin supported Forbes? As I pointed out Saturday, SO DOES AN ASSOCIATED PRESS STORY FROM THE TIME. Are the AP reporters implying that the AP is not a reliable source?





|| Greg, 05:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

What The Left Finds Offensive About Palin

She's a conservative woman.

She's a believing Christian.

And she prays in public -- horrendous, outrageous prayers like this:

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

I guess praying for the troops and our nation's leaders makes one unqualified for high office in this country. I guess believing that God blesses America and has a special plan for our nation is seen as outside the mainstream by liberals.

This, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable:
center>>

H/T STACLU

UPDATE: Looks like Newsweek is into the act, subjecting Palin's church membership to the type of scrutiny that they were loathe to impose upon Obama's -- despite the fact that the beliefs of the churches she has attended are significantly less controversial (and significantly more orthodox) that those preached at Trinity UCC. It would appear that they even want to make baptismal theology an issue.





|| Greg, 05:32 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Much delayed due to my lack of diligence, here are the results of the most recent vote of the Watcher's Council.

The Council winner was The Razor with "Russia - The New Cold War."

The Non-Council winner was Michael Totten/Middle East Journal with "The Truth About Russia In Georgia."

The full results can be seen here.

Congratulations to the winners, and hearty thanks to all participants.





|| Greg, 03:44 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Did Obama Vet This?

Since we are going to ask about family issues, this seems much more serious than a pregnant teenager.

A son and a brother of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) are accused in two lawsuits of defrauding a former business partner and an investor of millions of dollars in a hedge fund deal that went sour, court records show.

Where is the wall-to-wall coverage of this story? After all, can we have a VP with family connections to a couple of fraudsters? You know, especially after Biden voted to help his son's employer, MBNA, rather than abstaining due to the conflict of interest. Yet it was buried on page 9 of the Washington Post, which had six major stories about Palin.

H/T Darleen's Place

UPDATE: Blogs for Victory raises some other issues in Obama's vetting of Biden -- since the vetting process is now the the issue for the press and the Democrats.





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

Did Bristol Palin Tell Sarah To Say Yes?

That is the conclusion that at least one blogger is drawing from Sarah Palin's past history, when she decided against running for US Senate in 2004 because one of her children objected.

BeldarBlog shares this tidbit from Kaylene Johnson's biography of the VP nominee, Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down:

In 2004, friends and supporters urged Sarah to challenge Lisa Murkowski. [By then,] Sarah had made a name for herself as a reformer, and supporters thought she had a good chance of winning. So, Sarah approached her family to discuss the possibility. Like all of her decisions, the decision had to be unanimous.

"People don't believe me, but it's true. It had to be a family decision," she said. Todd was up for a move to Washington, D.C. and the girls were on board as well. But son Track, in his early teens, was becoming aware of the contentiousness of a political battle. He valued his privacy, and felt uncomfortable in the limelight. "Track did not want me to run, and he was adamant about it. He had to bless me," Sarah said. "If he had said at the time 'This is great,' I would have done it."

Hmmmmm -- the kids were given a voice in that decision in 2004, and one actually vetoed a run that would have put her in the Senate at the same time as Barack Obama. In 2006, the whole family was on board with the gubernatorial run. This would certainly lead to speculation about the acceptance of McCain's offer to be his running might -- was the subject broached at some point early in the process? It seems likely, based upon Palin family history.

But that aside, I can't help but note the sexism of those who question Sarah Palin's decision to accept John McCain's invitation to join him on the ticket. After all, would we even be having a discussion of "is the candidate a good parent" if McCain had selected a man with a special needs child and a pregnant teen? I don't think so.

Indeed, one of the most admirable things I find in the biography ofDemocrat VP candidate Senator Joe Biden (and i do find some admirable things) was his decision to assume his Senate seat after the death of his wife and daughter and serious injury of his sons following that tragic accident after his victory in 1972. He made a valid choice to serve teh people of his state while bearing the burden of single father. I would never stand by and let anyone question that choice -- just as I will continue to defend Sarah Palin's choice today.

After all, I hold her to the same standard as a male candidate, not a higher one. Too bad the mouth-frothing left won't do the same.





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

Google's New Browser

It's called Chrome, and is available for Windows machines starting today.

Google Inc. is releasing its own Web browser in a long-anticipated move aimed at countering the dominance of Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer and ensuring easy access to its market-leading search engine.

The Mountain View-based company took the unusual step of announcing its latest product on the Labor Day holiday after it prematurely sent out a comic book drawn up to herald the new browser's arrival.

The free browser, called "Chrome," is supposed to be available for downloading Tuesday in more than 100 countries for computers running on Microsoft's Windows operating system. Google said it's still working on versions compatible with Apple Inc.'s Mac computer and the Linux operating system.

Sounds interesting, though I still love my Firefox. But I wonder -- will Google's new offering be able to shake IE's status as teh most commonly used web browser?





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

September 01, 2008

Outrage Over Taliban Being Held In Dog Pens By Aussies

It's hard out there for an Islamist terrorist.

SUSPECTED Taliban militants arrested by Australian special forces in Afghanistan have been detained in "dog pens" in actions that have left Australian Muslim groups outraged and prompted a protest from the Afghan ambassador in Canberra.

The empty dog pens were used to hold overnight four suspected Taliban insurgents who were arrested in a raid by special forces soldiers on April 29.

The raid - in response to the fatal shooting two days earlier of Sydney-based commando Lance Corporal Jason Marks - resulted in allegations of mistreatment of Afghan prisoners.

An army inquiry last week rejected those claims, saying they were not supported by medical evidence.

But Colonel David Connery, appointed by the deputy chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley, to examine the charges, found evidence of "cultural misunderstandings" and noted "the use of the former dog pens".

You know, I'm disturbed by their having done this. It just isn't right. It is positively inhumane.

I mean, they might need to use those pens for dogs at some future point. And your average dog is much more clean, better smelling, and better behaved than your average Islamist terrorist scum.

Oh, and those protesting Muslims? Screw 'em.

H/T RightPulse





|| Greg, 03:07 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Terrorist Attack On Convention Bus!

Breaking News, reported by Gateway Pundit.

The bus I was riding was hit with cement bags that the anarchists were throwing off the overpasses onto the interstate. The anarchists missed the bus in front of us and nailed our bus with a direct hit.

The police had us slow down and then sent us under the interstate overpass when we were attacked.

No deaths, no injuries -- but this sort of activity could have easily resulted in multiple injuries and deaths. It constitutes nothing less than attempted murder.

I'm sure more will follow.

UPDATE: More has -- an attack on a delegation entering the convention site. And a riot broke out near the convention. Too bad the delegates are deprived of their Second Amendment rights while these terrorists abuse the First Amendment.

UPDATE 2: They apparently attacked a group of Cub Scouts, too.





|| Greg, 02:17 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Top Clinton Supporter Backs McCain-Palin Ticket

Let the floodgates open.

John Coale, a prominent Washington lawyer, husband of Fox TV host Greta Van Susteren and a supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, announced today that he was supporting John McCain for president. Coale, who traveled with Sen. Clinton, President Clinton and her family through out the primary season, complained of sexism, and said the Democratic Party is "being taken over by the moveon.org types" in an exclusive interview with Newsweek.com's Tammy Haddad.

There is also a tidbit about Hillary's borther meeting with McCain campaign surrogates. Could it be that there is something brewing in that direction?

Look out, Barry, the PUMAs are going to doom your sorry butt!





|| Greg, 01:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Houston Chronicle Covers Up Outrageous Wright Statement

Proof once again that the Houston Chronicle isn't a real newspaper doing real reporting.

Compare the article from the Chronicle to the article from the New York Post.

Interestingly enough, the Chronicle reporters managed to leave out this little tidbit from Irreverend Wright.

This ordinary boy [Obama] just might be the first president in the history of the United States to have a black woman sleeping at 1600 Pennsylvania legally, Wright said, referring to Michelle Obama, in a sermon at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston.

Nah, nothing controversial about that. Nothing outrageous there. Let's leave it out of the article -- it doesn't reflect at all on Wright's message or the iconic black congregation that hosted him.

H/T Malkin





|| Greg, 10:46 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Well, Folks, Looks Like She Was Pregnant After All -- UPDATED: Bristol Palin Is Pregnant Now

One of the most disgusting attacks on Sarah Palin and her family was the accusation that she is not really the mother of little Trig, but that she is actually his grandmother and she (her family, her staff, her doctors, the hospital personnel, news media, and who knows who else) were covering up the pregnancy of her oldest daughter.

It wasn't just the KOSsacks and DUmmies who were involved -- allegedly respectable folks like Andrew Sullivan were repeating the story, to the point it got picked up by the Times of London. Not only that, but reliably "pro-choice" commentators like Sullivan and Alan Colmes even decided it was within their purview to question her choices regarding pre-natal care, intruding in what they always claim is a supposedly sacred space between a woman and her doctor.

Well, let's settle the pregnancy question for you right now.

pregnantpalin.jpg

Fits pretty well with this entry from a non-political blog site, dated last April.

So, can we now start getting retractions from all the liberals making such scurrilous charges? Will The Atlantic fire Andy Sullivan and FoxNews can Alan Colmes? After all, there was NO ACTUAL EVIDENCE to support the claims that came from the sewers of the left-wing blogosphere.

Funny -- wasn't it just a few weeks ago that we were told we couldn't "attack" the family members of the candidates, not even for the words they said in stump speeches they were giving as a surrogate for the candidate himself. Does that rule only apply to Michelle Obama -- but not Bristol Palin, whose only "misdeed" here was being her mother's daughter?

And remember -- this claim involved libeling a young woman who is not a public figure. I'm hoping to see some lawsuits fly here.

UPDATE 1: Someone at Daily Kos tries to debunk the fake story -- KOSsacks want that story deleted, but not the original libel of Sarah and Bristol Palin.

UPDATE 2: Some folks will note that the stamp on the original flickr photo is March 19, 2005, and that this means the photo is a fraud. There are some problems with this argument:
1. Palin was not pregnant in 2005.
2. Palin was not in office in 2005, and so would not have been interviewed in that location in 2005.
3. The camera in question was not released to the public until July, 2005 -- and its year setting defaults to 2005.

Best explanation -- the photo was taken March 19, 2008 (or thereabouts), and the year had not been properly reset by the user.

Lots of coverage around the net on the hateful anti-woman tactics of the deranged left of the blogosphere.

UPDATE 3: Well, one story ends, another begins -- Trig can't be Bristol's baby because she is five months pregnant now.

"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us," the Palins' statement said.

"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said.

The Palins asked the news media to respect the young couple's privacy.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates," the statement concluded.

Want to bet that this doesn't satisfy the liberals, who will now demand a Taliban-style stoning of young Bristol for getting pregnant -- while those of us who are Christians will accept that the couple made a series of poor choices and are taking responsibility for them.

UPDATE 4: Bravo to the folks at Jawa Report for this gem:

Obama Camp Of Course Will Respect Bristol Palin

Lets see how "progressive" the liberals actually are. They can't condemn Bristol or the lovely Sarah when the great Barach has proudly and repeatedly described his mother "as a teenage mother, a single mother, a mother who worked, went to school and raised children at the same time."

It would be the height of hypocrisy for the leftards to make an issue of Bristol's pregnancy.

After all, Obama's parents got married after his mother was pregnant with Barack.

But given that the Left already attacked Bristol Palin and her mother with a completely unsupported (and now indusputably false) rumor already, I wouldn't be holding my breath for restraint now. Certainly the KOSsack commenters aren't showing much -- they are already playing the "litle slut" and "unfit mother" cards, as well as the "ignorant fundie" card. And Andrew Sullivan is still peddling the Trig is Bristol's kid story (no link -- he's lost his credibility).

UPDATE 5: How have conservative bloggers handled this story? Supportive of the Palins, especially Bristol. The most touching comes from Ed Morrissey of Hot Air:

Allahpundit has a great thread on the announcement from the Palins that their eldest daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant.  Coincidentally, my daughter-in-law is at about the same point in her second pregnancy, and our second granddaughter will join our family at the end of the year.  When our first granddaughter, the Little Admiral, joined us, it was in a similar situation that Bristol and her fianc now face.

The rest is quite moving -- you really do have to read it all. Morrissey touched me for two reasons:

Now will you tell me which side is tolerant and which is intolerant?

UPDATE 6: Gee, a sensible piece on the subject in Time.

UPDATE 7: I guess the Democrat faithful aren't listening to Barack Obama on this one -- John Cobarruvias, president of Houston's Bay Area New Democrats, KOSsack and NASA employee recently suspended for 180 days for illegal campaign and fundraising activity on behalf of Democrat state representative candidate Sherrie Matula, has decided to post this little gem on his site. Apparently even Democrat elected officials like John don't care that Obama says the kids are off limits.





|| Greg, 10:06 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Just In Time For Ramadan

We get to see another example of the civilized customs of the Religion of Peace.

A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by northwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of Parliament to spare him their outrage.

"These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them," Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, told The Associated Press Saturday.

"Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid."

The women, three of whom were teenagers, were first shot and then thrown into a ditch.

They were still breathing as mud was shoveled over their bodies, according to media reports, which said their only "crime" was that they wished to marry men of their own choosing.

Such honor killings are common in all Islamic societies -- and regularly take place in western countries (including the US) in order to uphold Islamic teachings on the submissiveness of women.

Of course, it isn't just women they want to submit to be submissive. We non-Muslims are supposed to submit to Islam, too.

Councillors have been ordered not to eat during town hall meetings while Muslim colleagues fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

All elected members at Left-wing Tower Hamlets Council in East London have been sent an email asking them to follow strict Islamic fasting during September no matter what their faith.

As well as restricting food and drink until after sunset, the authority's leaders have decided to reduce the number of meetings throughout the month so they do not clash with the requirements of Ramadan.

Here's hoping that the non-Muslim councilors show up with ham and bacon sandwiches as a pointed reminder that non-Muslims are not bound by the requirements of Islam.





|| Greg, 09:12 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

SHOCKER: Palin Pastors Hold Views Common In Christianity For 2000 Years!

Now these are the same folks who argue that Obama's preacher screaming "God damn America" doesn't matter, and that the publication of terrorist propaganda in his church's newsletter shouldn't reflect poorly on him. But somehow they want to make these statements into something that should cause someone to look askance at Sarah Palin.

Mike Rose, senior pastor at Juneau Christian Center
  • From an April 27, 2008 sermon: If you really want to know where you came from and happen to believe the word of God that you are not a descendant of a chimpanzee, this is what the word of God says. I believe this version.
  • From a July 8, 2007 sermon: Those that die without Christ have a horrible, horrible surprise.
  • From a July 28, 2007 sermon: Do you believe were in the last days? After listening to Newt Gingrich and the prime minister of Israel and a number of others at our gathering, I became convinced, and I have been convinced for some time. We are living in the last days. These are incredible times to live in.

Now let's consider Pastor Rose's statements.

The first, on evolution, isn't one that troubles me even though I think it is wrong. Within Christianity, there is a healthy range of opinion on the issue of human origins, from out-and-out creationism to various forms of Intelligent Design to unquestioning acceptance of evolution with the Genesis accounts being seen as an allegory. Indeed, Pastor Rose's position is what Christians generally have accepted for most of the history of Christianity, and so I'm not terribly troubled -- even though I consider him to be wrong. And especially since Palin has clearly stated her support for teaching evolution, this does not reflect upon her in any significant way.

The second shouldn't surprise anyone. This is a pretty standard interpretation of the words of Christ himself -- "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. And while theological debate exists on what (if any) provisions God makes for those who have never heard the Gospel preached, I'm not familiar with any orthodox Christian body that denies this essential truth of Christianity. Why this would be seen as scandalous by the writers is beyond me.

The third? We Christians are called to always be prepared for the return of Christ. The Bible offers clues as to what that will look like -- but also tells us that no one knows the day or the hour. I don't find the kind of speculation Rose engages in to be theologically or spiritually fruitful -- but I fail to see how such a belief would disqualify someone from holding public office.

David Pepper, senior pastor at Church on the Rock:
  • From an November 25, 2007 sermon: The purpose for the United States is to glorify God. This nation is a Christian nation.
  • From an October 28, 2007 sermon: God will not be mocked. I dont care what the ACLU says. God will not be mocked. I dont care what atheists say. God will not be mocked. I dont care whats going on in the nation today with so much horrific rebellion and sin and things that take place. God will not be mocked. Judgment Day is coming. Where do you stand?
  • From an October 28, 2007 sermon: Just giving in a little bit is a disastrous thingYou cant serve both man and God. It is one or the other.

Okay, let's look at the highlighted quotes from Pastor Pepper.

I'll break the first one in half. After all, Scripture clearly tells us that the purpose of all creation is to glorify God, so no one should find that part troubling. The second part, about America as a Christian nation, again should not be terribly troubling -- it recognizes the reality that from the very founding of the earliest Spanish, French, British colonies upon this continent, America has been a nation with an over-whelmingly Christian heritage, made up overwhelmingly of Christians. Our heritage is springs from the Judeo-Christian tradition contained in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Our heritage is not Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, or atheist -- America is historically,culturally and religiously, if not constitutionally, a Christian nation.

The second one should not even raise an eyebrow. "God will not be mocked." Judgment Day is coming." You call that controversial and extreme? You would have to be an absolute ninny with no knowledge of Christian theology to be taken aback by a preacher saying such things.

The third should be even less surprising. For a Christian, God comes first. Duh.

So I have to ask a question. Why highlight these quotes as in any way controversial? What is the agenda here?





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