Tuesday, January 31, 2006
What will we do? Oh, talk about cutting funds to Hamas and then cave in - for human rights reasons, of course!
UPDATE:http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,183525,00.html Feb 2, '06
Monday, January 30, 2006
But even after mastering the heinous evidence, the jurors' task will be harder still. They will then have to make sense of the illogically contorted, politically correct legal arguments being mounted both for and against the defendant in order to exempt the role of Islam in modern-day jihad, or holy war.
For the prosecution, David Perry says: "This is nothing more or less than preaching hatred and murder," which, he makes clear, has nothing to do with Islam.
For the defense, Edward Fitzgerald says: "It is said he was preaching murder. But he was actually preaching from the Koran itself."
Well, which is it, gentlemen? He's preaching murder that has nothing to do with Islam; or he's preaching the Koran that has nothing to do with murder. For people trying to fend off jihad in their midst, the question becomes a distracting conundrum.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
This was interesting:
"The International Council from the Social Forum has to sit down now and ask itself whether they should have let Chavez hijack this forum."
Despite some grumblings about the prominent role of President Chavez, most delegates spoke highly of his contribution to their struggle against 'neo-liberalism' and capitalism.
"Of course Chavez was bound to be a dominant figure here," said Ricardo Rojas, an Ecuadorean trade unionist.
"But he is the leader of Latin America. He is the only one who can stand up to Bush. So if we have to listen to his speeches for a few hours, that's a small price to pay."
They don't know what they want, only what they're against. Groups like this are ripe for a "leader" to take charge and wreak holy havoc.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
I have a feeling that we are going to hear more of the Bush and Blair are "war criminals". Also, I would expect Iran to refrain from inflammatory statements for a while. On the US domestic front, the left, acting on behalf of Democrats, will press the case that Bush has violated US law.
On relations with America:
“With America in such a ‘dirty man’ period I think nothing can be changed. In America there is a Christian Zionism. They believe that Jesus will return for the second 1,000 years. You heard from Bush when he said, ‘It is a new Crusade’. He is arousing a deep hatred, an historical hatred in this area.
“The F16 which destroyed my house is American. The Apache helicopters are American. The international decisions in the Security Council backing Israel are American. The pressure on you to help the Israelis and to consider Hamas terrorist is American.”
On US foreign policy:
“After the attack on Iraq they are suffering from a big hatred, a bad feeling from the Arabic and Islamic world and also the international community . . . They arrange for a very dirty policy in the Middle East. They attacked Afghanistan and put in (Hamid) Karzai, an American collaborator, and put in a corrupt Iraqi collaborator. And they dismantled the security of Egypt by arousing the protests of Christianity and Islam. They tried to interfere in Saudi Arabia. Now they destroy the integrity of Lebanon. Now they threaten the situation in Syria. What is running here is big crimes, international crimes.”
Update: I was wrong. Reported in the Jerusalem Post via Drudge: The Iranians warned the US and Britain that it would use its Shihab 3 missiles (1300 mile range). War rhetoric must be a common characteristic of the Axis of Evil.
In Gaza, Farahat is known as Um Nidal, or Mother of the Struggle -- a mother who sent three of her six sons on Hamas suicide missions against Israeli targets.
"We consider it holy duty," she told ABC News. "Our land is occupied. You take all the means to banish the occupier. I sacrificed my children for this holy, patriotic duty. I love my children, but as Muslims we pressure ourselves and sacrifice our emotions for the interest of the homeland. The greater interest takes precedence to the personal interest."
She is most famous for her presence in a Hamas video, showing her 17-year-old how to attack Israelis and telling him not to return. Shortly afterward, he killed five students in a Jewish settlement before he was killed himself.
Um Nidal's home has become a shrine to her dead sons, with admirers and other members of Hamas often dropping by.
Friday, January 27, 2006
According to this article, it is political season in Mexico and so the anti-American political rhetoric must be ratcheted up to appease the electorate. Evidently, there is quite a bit of anti-Gringo feeling coming out of Mexico these days. I heard a report a year or two back about the Numero Uno Talk Radio program in Mexico City and the callers were vehemently anti-US. I couldn't understand everything but they were saying something about Santa Ana and the Alamo. Seriously, they have some deep rooted issues with the United States that are exaserbated by the border issue. Most US citizens want it controlled. Mexicans take that as an insult although why they would think they could come and go as they please is beyond me. What disturbs me is knowing that the Hispanic person I see out in public may have a Texas size, anti-Gringo chip on his shoulder that the slightest provocation could knock off.
Most of our problems would be taken care of if we had a wall or fence and controlled the immigration. It's as simple as that and if we don't do it soon, the situation could get much worse in a hurry. These are our southern neighbors and maybe we need to pay heed to the old saying that, "Good Fences make Good Neighbors."
Thursday, January 26, 2006
One group that I help to fight this is V.O.M., Voice of the Martyrs. V.O.M. is very active in China.
V.O.M. is a support group for Christian Martyrs around the world. In our modern day we don't think of the true martyrs, the Christians who die, simply because of their belief.
All BLOGGERS, I ask you sincerely, please help.
There will be no excuses or ambiguities when Hamas fires rockets on Israel and launches suicide attacks against civilian targets. Until Tuesday, the PA could hide behind the excuse that they were not directly responsible and they could not rein in the "militants." Now the "militants" are the militia of the ruling party. They are one and the same with the Palestinian Authority. If they bomb Israel from Gaza — not under occupation anymore, and is therefore, technically, part of the Palestinian state the PLO proclaimed in Algiers in 1988, but never bothered to take responsibility for — that is an act of war, which can be responded to in kind, under the full cover of the internationally recognized right of self-defense. No more excuses that the Palestinians live under occupation, that the PA is too weak to disarm Hamas, that violence is not the policy of the PA. Hamas and the PA will be the same: What Hamas does is what the PA will stand for.Not only is this new development, a problem for the Palestinians but also the neighboring Arab countries which having been militarily defeated by Israel before, used the Palestinians as surrogates in their on-going war on the Zionists.
Much of the press is asking what these events mean to the peace process. What peace process? There was no peace process, only a patient ethnic-cleansing war of periodic aggression and retreat. How long will it take the international media to recognize and acknowledge what Jerusalem Post’s editor David Horovitz has written:
Meanwhile, Hamas will have to confront the Egyptians (and the Jordanians) and tell them what the PA under Hamas now stands for. And Egypt and Jordan will have to change course, accordingly. Egypt has an increased military presence along the Gaza border and several officers in Gaza to help "stabilize" the security situation — which so far has meant keeping the flames low enough not to bother Egypt but high enough not to let Israel off the hook completely. What will Egypt do now? Cooperate with Hamas in Gaza while it dreads Hamas’ twin, the Muslim Brotherhood, at home? Will it act more decisively to stop the ever growing flow of illegal weapons being smuggled into Gaza from the Sinai, or turn a blind eye even as the increased militancy in Gaza might embolden the Brotherhood in Egypt? No more ambiguity for Egypt either.
Some may seek comfort in the belief that an ascent to government could prompt a greater sense of responsibility, a move to moderation. But Hamas's intolerance is based on a perceived religious imperative. No believing Muslim, in the Hamas conception, can be reconciled to Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East. To deny that, for Hamas, is blasphemy. And that is the ideology to which the Palestinian people, for whatever reason and by their own free hand, have just tied their fate. That is the guiding ideology with which Israel and the West will now have to grapple.
When Sharon announced that Israel was pulling out of Gaza, I thought that was a brilliant move designed to take away the "occupation" excuse, reduce the skyrocketing anti-Israel sentiment and ultimately make Israel safer for the unavoidable war that the Islamists were plotting. It's too bad the old man isn't able to see the fruit of his labors. And kudos to George W. Bush.
Michael Petrilli has done a wonderful expose' on the concept that; perhaps the managers of educational institutions can't change the system, perhaps they're too entrenched and ill-trained.
Over my working life I've encountered business managers with the same problem. I'm sure you have too. It's one of those; "gosh, I wish I were wrong about this, but I'm not", moments.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Could it be that the Euros don't really care about the "shitty little country Israel" but it is their own nuclear annihilation they fear.
Hamas is an Islamist organization whose primary purpose is to bring jihad and sharia to Palestine. The total destruction of Israel and annihilation of all Jews is the centerpiece of the Hamas charter. For too long, the Europeans have ignored these facts and for whatever reasons (anti-semitism, multiculti dhimmitude, anti-americanism) have subsidised the terrorists with hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Perhaps now that the Iranians are threatening nuclear destruction, and the Palestinian people in democratic elections have made their intentions unequivocally clear, the world will begin to see the truth about Islam. Perhaps Europe will stop subsidizing terror and Israel will be allowed to defend itself without the universal condemnation of the UN.
It may be, now that Hamas has won the seats of power, that all pretense of negotiation and settlement will be dropped. The issues will clarified, with no prevaricating Arafat to obfuscate the real Palestinian goals. Sides will be chosen and the dogs of war will once again be let loose on the world.
Hamas is about to learn that actions have consequences, and that with power comes responsibility and accountability. Will Hamas pursue its genocidal philosophy to a very bitter end? Probably. The larger question is who in the Islamic world will join them?
We were wondering where the name came from and it suddenly hit me! The old "Davy Jones Locker" lymric mentions 86 fathoms (there are several myths about Davy Jones). That is, when you walk the plank and drown you go to Davy Jones locker, 86 fathoms below. This means death!
When I mentioned this to the girl she blanched whiter than than a "vanilla only" city in a classic Ray Nagin hallucination.
So... the question is:
R U for DEATH?
...take a look at the "title" link and see which group reminds you more of the grim reaper!
also, here's another appropriate link:
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Europe 'knew about' CIA flights, and were almost certainly aware of the CIA's secret prisoner flights via European airspace or airports.
It is not known whether the CIA used secret prisons in Europe to interrogate terror suspects.
There is "no formal, irrefutable evidence" of secret CIA detention centres in Romania and Poland.
"I believe we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations," Clinton said. "I don't believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others and standing on the sidelines."Evan Bayh:
Newsday.com, January 19.
The Indiana senator blamed the administration for allowing the situation to become a crisis. "We should never have arrived at this juncture," Bayh said in a statement. "During his State of the Union speech in 2002, President Bush famously called Iran part of the 'Axis of Evil' but then followed that up by ignoring and then largely deferring management of this crisis to the Europeans. This approach has certainly been damaging to our national security."
PRINCETON, N.J. -- A tough-talking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday suggested she would back a military strike on Iran if that country's radical Islamic government attempts to build nuclear weapons.
Clinton's speech seemed to position her somewhat to the right of the Bush administration, which has stressed diplomacy without ruling out any other option. Most experts on the region say a military strike is not feasible and therefore unlikely.
"We cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to Iran that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons," she said.
Capping off a bitter 45- minute denunciation of Bush administration policy in the Middle East, Clinton said she was optimistic that U.S. troop levels in Iraq could be reduced this year. Allying herself with Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.), the former first lady said she believes the U.S. military in the region should be reduced to a relatively small, quick-strike force to "send a message to Iran that they don't have a free hand" in the region.
She also blasted the Bush administration for allowing European countries to lead negotiations with the hard-line regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Let's see how long they can maintain their steely resolve.
Monday, January 23, 2006
This sounds like the situation in France today where nearly everyone receives a Federal subsidy. Assuming the author is correct and the United States moves toward a more socialist system how will American society be affected? A studied look at Europe and Canada could forecast some answers but can't predict with certainty. Current events often have a way of overtaking history. Also, social programs need money, which we all know doesn't grow on trees.
The left has a powerful institutional force on its side: "public choice" economics. Our system of government is highly responsive to vocal groups that lobby for subsidies, government programs, and other special favors. Since the costs are spread out among all taxpayers while the benefits are concentrated among smaller segments of the population (such as retirees, in the case of Social Security and Medicare), the taxpayers have much less of an incentive to lobby against the measure while the beneficiaries have a huge incentive to lobby for it. Whenever those subsidies are threatened, the lobbies launch their barrages of politically effective complaints.
Forces favoring the left are virtually locked in. Even with Republicans in control, big government is destined to get a lot bigger.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
While the most of the Western World watches in dread, Iran plays a deadly game of nuclear chicken with the EU3, Israel and the United States. Iran says that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, claims a "right" to nuclear power and forges ahead with its development program. How many millions world wide echo this sentiment from this BBC News sample of Global Reaction?
Meanwhile, as Der Speigel reports the rhetoric goes nuclear:
The US, Europe and other nations need to understand that nuclear development does not pose a threat to anybody. India and Pakistan are examples - since they have developed their nuclear energies they have not had a war. It is wrong for the West to want to retain its monopoly on nuclear weapons.
Ravish Vaishya, Canada
After months of unusual reticence, French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday returned to character. In a speech about France's nuclear policy, given on the atomic submarine base Ile-Longue off the coast of Brittany, he made clear that countries which support terrorism or desire weapons of mass destruction are at risk of a nuclear attack.Talking heads have said that Chirac's warning is an acknowledgement that of E3 failure. Also, they say, the stage is being set and the public prepared for UN sanctions or military action. Whether in concert with the allies or completely independantly Israel once agains rattles a saber.
Israeli Hints at Preparation to Stop Iran Jan 21, 9:00 PM (ET)So Iran asserts it postion, Chirac threatens retaliatory obliteration, Israel reiterates it's position and we wonder where this is going.
By JOSEF FEDERMAN
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's defense minister hinted Saturday that the Jewish state is preparing for military action to stop Iran's nuclear program, but said international diplomacy must be the first course of action.
"Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing," Shaul Mofaz said.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Bit by bit we are getting to the inevitable showdown with Iran. This administration, like every other Western government, has hoped against hope that it would not come to this.And now that the Europeans have "given up" talking to the Iranians, everyone resorts to bluster and threat:
We now hear cries for violent action from those once aptly characterized by Senator Henry Jackson as "born-again hawks," Democrats and Republicans suddenly willing to talk tough about sanctions and military strikes against Iran. This is only to be expected. Having failed to pursue serious policies in the past, we are left with distasteful options today, and the pundits' and solons' chest pounding shows it. They do not expect the "hard options" to be embraced; this is posturing to the crowd, this is political positioning of the most cynical sort.About the threats of economic sanction or bombing the nuclear facilities, Ledeen writes:
You want sanctions? When have sanctions ever "worked" against hostile countries? Did they bring Saddam to heel? ...they have only altered the behavior of regimes that wanted to be part of our world, countries like South Africa and Chile. For the rest, sanctions cut primarily against the oppressed peoples of our tyrannical enemies, and the tyrants could care less. Sanctions..would do more harm than good. We should want to help the Iranian people, who are overwhelmingly pro-American, and bring down the mullahcracy, which is our outspoken, fanatical, and bloodthirsty enemy. No sanctions.
You want to bomb the nuclear facilities? Do you really believe that our intelligence community is capable of identifying them? ...And even if you believe that we have good information about the nuclear sites, are you prepared to deal with the political consequences, in Iran and throughout the region? Do we even know, with any degree of reliability, what those are? Look at the problems we now face in Pakistan, after a handful of innocents were killed in an assault against a presumed terrorist gathering. Then imagine, if you can, the problems following hundreds, or thousands of innocents killed in raids inside Iran. Are you prepared for that?
According to Ledeen, our best option at this point is what we should have been doing all along but failed to do. Support the revolutionary forces in Iran that would sweep the Mullahs from power.
Our failure to support revolution in Iran is already a terrible embarrassment, and risks becoming an enormous catastrophe. Almost everyone who writes about the chances for revolution takes it for granted that it would take a long time to come to fruition. Why must that be so? The revolutions in countries like Georgia and the Ukraine seem to have erupted in an historical nanosecond. Nobody foresaw them, everyone was surprised. Who imagined the overnight success of the Lebanese people? How long did that take? The entire region is awash with revolutionary sentiment, and nowhere more than Iran. Why assume — because no one can possibly "know" such things — that it would take a long time?For years now, Ledeen has been calling for the US to support the Iranian dissidents in overthrowing the Mullahs. Now it looks as though that is about our only option. We stood in the wings while The EU3 (Germany, France and Great Britain) attempted to reason with the Mullahs. Now, we are at an apparent impasse. Iran will develop nuclear energy and according to the Army War College will develop a bomb.
And even if you believe that revolution cannot possibly succeed before the successful completion of the mullahs' nuclear project, is that a reason to abandon the policy altogether? On the contrary, it seems self-evident that it would be even more urgent to support revolution in a nuclear Iran than earlier, doesn't it? So why not start now? The Iranian people may be ready. We won't know until we try.
On the other hand, we do know what will happen if we continue to dither, if we continue to act as if the United Nations could possibly have a decisive effect, and if we continue to put up with the sly appeasement of Iran that is practiced by the spent forces of Europe. Terror against our troops and our friends will increase; nuclear blackmail will become a commonplace in the Middle East; the fanatics of Tehran may very well fulfill their promise to wipe Israel from the map.
Charles Krauthammer chimes in on sanctions:
The only sanctions that might conceivably have any effect would be a boycott of Iranian oil. No one is even talking about that, because no one can bear the thought of the oil shock that would follow, taking 4.2 million barrels a day off the market, from a total output of about 84 million barrels.As if all this weren't gloomy enough, Kenneth Timmerman writes about one very unsavory Iranian revolutionary group that we want no part of.
The threat works in reverse. It is the Iranians who have the world over a barrel. On Jan. 15, Iran's economy minister warned that Iran would retaliate for any sanctions by cutting its exports to "raise oil prices beyond levels the West expects." A full cutoff could bring $100 oil and plunge the world into economic crisis.
Absent a revolution, we're screwed. With a revolution, we could get more than we bargained for. At this point, all we have is more "wishful thinking." Someday, in the not too distant future, we may look back wistfully on the "good old days" when our biggest worries were about partisan politics with liberals and a biased mainstream media.
We are screwed.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
ABC's 20/20 did a great show last week. They actually told the truth about public education. Read the link and you'll see what I mean!
Who will help me plant it?"
"Not I," said the cow."Not I," said the duck."Not I," said the pig."Not I," said the goose."Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen. And so she did.
The wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain."Who will help me reap my wheat?" asked the little red hen."Not I," said the duck."Out of my classification," said the pig."I'd lose my seniority," said the cow."I'd lose my unemployment compensation," said the goose."Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen, and so she did.
At last it came time to bake the bread."Who will help me bake the bread! ?" asked the little red hen."That would be overtime for me," said the cow."I'd lose my welfare benefits," said the duck."I'm a dropout and never learned how," said the pig."If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination," said the goose."Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen. She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to see.
They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, "No, I shall eat all five loaves."
"Excess profits!" cried the cow.
"Capitalist leech!" screamed the duck.
"I demand equal rights!" yelled the goose.
The pig just grunted in disdain.
And they all painted "Unfair!" picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.
Then a government agent came, he said to the little red hen, "You must not be so greedy.""But I earned the bread," said the little red hen."Exactly," said the agent. "That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants.
But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are lazy and idle,
... "And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, "I am grateful, for now I truly understand,
... "But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again baked bread because she joined the "party" and got her bread free.
And all the Democrats smiled. 'Fairness' had been established.Individual initiative had died, but nobody noticed; perhaps no one cared.....as long as there was free bread that "the rich" were paying for.
Bill Clinton is getting $12 million for his memoirs.Hillary got $8 million for hers.That's $20 million for memories from two people, who for eight years, repeatedly testified, under oath, that they couldn't remember anything.
IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY, OR WHAT?
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
A vagabond investigator of some of the world’s most troubled regions, he has written a host of books on places like the Balkans, the Middle East, and North Africa. Reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan during the 1980s, he was one of the first journalists to profile contemporary Islamic radicals. His latest book, Imperial Grunts, is a ground-level portrait of American infantrymen serving around the globe.
In light of Congressman Murtha's charges that the Army is wornout and demoralised this was reassuring:
TAE: We hear much in the establishment media about morale problems in U.S. military ranks, and reporters often seek out disenchanted troops to put in front of microphones. Have you encountered widespread morale problems among American fighters in Iraq?The entire interview is well worth reading but I found this particularly interesting:
Kaplan: Absolutely not. I’ve only met two kinds of soldiers in the combat arms community: Those who have served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, and those who are pulling every bureaucratic string to get deployed there.
I spent the summer of 2004 with a group of marines in Niger and sub-Saharan Africa, and every marine in that platoon was trying to get to Iraq. A few months later, one of them got lucky and ended up leading Iraqi forces into combat in the second battle of Fallujah. He was a sergeant from Georgia, and after the battle, he sent me a long e-mail flush with pride. And that’s not just a cutesy-pie story—that’s basically what I encounter all the time.
The only disenchantment is found in the Reserves and the National Guard, mainly because they signed up for a short time and end up serving many months. That’s a system that needs reform. But generally speaking, morale is better than it’s been in a very long time.
Keep in mind there is very little combat going on now. Most deployments feature more humanitarian missions than combat. Even in Iraq, the troops really have to searchfar and wide to find combat activities.
TAE: You argue in your new book that evangelical Christianity has played an important role in making the U.S. military more moral, more disciplined, and more discerning. Explain that for our readers.
Kaplan: After Vietnam, one of the many motors that helped transform our military into a disciplined organization capable of complex exercises was the resurgence of religion. Perhaps most importantly, religious Christianity cut down on drinking and misbehavior. That in turn weakened the lure of the officers’ clubs, which narrowed the barrier between officers and enlisted and non-coms. I attended quite a number of religious services during my reporting for Imperial Grunts, and I never found them intimidating, proselytizing, or coercive. And the religion bucked up morale during difficult moments.
“God has worked through His creatures. And so, it is not just the word of God, it’s the word of Isaiah, not just the word of God, but the word of Mark. He’s used His human creatures, and inspired them to speak His word to the world.” Jews and Christians “can take what’s good” in their traditions and mold it. There is, in other words, “an inner logic to the Christian Bible, which permits it and requires it to be adapted and applied to new situations.”
Whereas the Bible is, for Benedict, the “word of God that comes through a human community,” he understands the Koran as “something dropped out of Heaven, which cannot be adapted or applied.” This immutability has vast consequences: it means “Islam is stuck. It’s stuck with a text that cannot be adapted.”
Mr. Pipes respectfully disagrees and then makes the argument that Islam can reform.
The Koran indeed can be interpreted. Indeed, Muslims interpret the Koran no less than Jews and Christians interpret the Bible, and those interpretations have changed no less over time. The Koran, like the Bible, has a history.
For one indication of this, note the original thinking of the Sudanese theologian, Mahmud Muhammad Taha (1909-85). Taha built his interpretation on the conventional division of the Koran into two. The initial verses came down when Muhammad was a powerless prophet living in Mecca, and tend to be cosmological. Later verses came down when Muhammad was the ruler of Medina, and include many specific rulings. These commands eventually served as the basis for Shari‘a, or Islamic law.
Taha argued that specific Koranic rulings applied only to Medina, not to other times and places. He hoped modern-day Muslims would set these aside and live by the general principles delivered at Mecca. Were Taha’s ideas accepted, most of Shari‘a would disappear, including outdated provisions concerning warfare, theft, and women. Muslims could then more readily modernize.
Even without accepting a grand schema such as Taha proposed, Muslims are already making small moves in the same direction. Islamic courts in reactionary Iran, for example, have broken with Islamic tradition and now permit women the right to sue for divorce and grant a murdered Christian equal recompense with that of a murdered Muslim.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Nowadays, Al Gore's primary role in American politics is to give a mainstream Democratic voice to the George Soros and Moveon.org left. Well, Mr. Gore has done it again. In the same "He betrayed this country" manner, Al Gore uncorked a scorching speech that few others would dare to give. This is a very irresponsible, former Vice-President of the United States. It is very easy for him, from the cheap seats, to prejudge the President's post 9/11 actions regarding electronic surveillance to prevent terror attacks. He was never the President and had more US citizens died in domestic terror atttacks, no blood would have been on his hands.
Some people on the left and the right have Fourth Amendment (Privacy) concerns about wiretapping a US citizen without a court order. Bob Barr, former Congressman from Georgia and staunch gun rights advocate had lent his name to the Gore speech. One assumes Barr will also be heard from in the coming days. Gore attempts to make the case that this is not a partisan attack:
So, many of us have come here to Constitution Hall to sound an alarm and call upon our fellow citizens to put aside partisan differences and join with us in demanding that our Constitution be defended and preserved.I wonder how many conservatives will be willing to lend their names and efforts to this attack, knowing that the ultimate goal is to impeach President Bush as a reward for his post 9/11 service to the country and drive him out of office.
It's ironic on a holiday formerly recognised as President's Day that a ranting Al Gore maliciously attacks President George Bush with little more than innuendo.
As we begin this new year, the Executive Branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress to prevent such abuses.Obviously, he suffers from the same mysterious illness that infects leftists with a bitterness detached from reality and separated in time from September 11, 2001.
...contending that Bush failed to convince Congress to support a domestic spying program, so he "secretly assumed that power anyway, as if congressional authorization was a useless bother."
"What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the president of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and insistently," the Democrat maintained.
He said the spying program must be considered along with other administration actions as a constitutional power grab by the president. Gore cited imprisoning American citizens without charges in terrorism cases, mistreatment of prisoners including torture and seizure of individuals in foreign countries and delivering them to autocratic regimes "infamous for the cruelty of their techniques."The latest leftist smear against the President is this "power grab" charge. It surfaced in the Alito Hearings when Democrat Senators questioned Sam Alito on his views regarding the "Unitary Executive." Leftists have alleged that Alito's nomination is an attempt by Bush to "pack the court" to insure himself a court majority against future legal proceedings. Now, I wonder if the Democrat's 'Unitary Executive' angle in the Alito Hearings was actually to promote the larger power grab charge in advance of the Gore speech.
So, on Martin Luther King Day, Al Gore loosely ties his speech to the occasion and accuses the President of a ruthless power grab, being a murderous torturer and bringing a Constitutional crisis to our social fabric. Al Gore is a very complex man, he presents himself as an intellectual but lately his public speaking has taken more of an angry, populist style. It's a style reminiscient of Huey Long or Fidel Castro. Thank God, this man is not the President of the United States.
It could well be that in a post 9/11 world, our national laws were inadequate and the President's Administration had to push the envelope on domestic spying. In spite of what a deranged Al Gore alleges, we do not know that the President willfully and callously spied on "huge" numbers of Americans. We know that there has been a huge debate on what constitutes torture and when it is appropriate to use it. We know that issues such as Abu Graib have been used by the left in the unrelenting assault on the Bush Administration and the Military.
The President maintains that he has done nothing wrong and that his administration was acting only in the interest of protecting the American people. The question is, if there are constitutional problems with our laws regarding electronic surveillance, why has Congress not acted to correct them? Why have we come to another Al Gore rant from a national stage and was George Soros standing in the wings?
Drudge has a complete transcript of the speech.
Update: Byron York at National Review Online attended the speech and has some interesting observations of Gore's contradictions such as:
"The threat of additional terror strikes is all too real and their concerted efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction does create a real imperative to exercise the powers of the executive branch with swiftness and agility," Gore told the audience at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall. "Moreover, there is in fact an inherent power that is conferred by the Constitution to the president to take unilateral action to protect the nation from a sudden and immediate threat, but it is simply not possible to precisely define in legalistic terms exactly when that power is appropriate and when it is not."Ben Johnson writing at Frontpagemag.com did an excellent analysis and dismantled Gore as thoroughly as anyone could.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Professor Dennett, more than 120 million Americans believe that God created Adam our of mud some 10,000 years ago and made Eve from his rib. Do you personally know any of these 120 million?I question the number of Americans who believe in the 10,000 year time frame. I don't know where they got these numbers. I'm sure its a guestimate based on an assumption of the number of "Fundamentalist" Christians in America.
One interesting aspect of the interview is that this Dr. Dennett ridicules the idea of a creator but his advocacy of Darwinism becomes his theology.
Dennett just espoused The nonsense of "nothing times time equals life." I guess it's not a Darwinian idea because no self-respecting scientist could embrace this kind of atheistic lunacy.
Dennett: I would give Darwin the gold medal for the best idea anybody ever had. It unifies the world of meaning and purpose and goals and freedom with the world of science, with the world of the physical sciences. I mean, we talk about the great gap between social science and natural science. What closes that gap? Darwin -- by showing us how purpose and design, meaning, can arise out of purposelessness, out of just brute matter.
SPIEGEL: Is Darwinism at work every time something new is created? Even at the creation of the universe for example?
Dennett: It's at least interesting to see that quasi- or pseudo-Darwinian ideas are also popular in physics. They postulate a huge diversity from which there has, in a certain sense, been a selection. The result is that here we are and this is the only part of this huge diversity that we witness. That's not the Darwinian idea, but it's a relative. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had the idea -- I would guess perhaps inspired by Darwin -- of eternal recurrence: The idea that all the possibilities are played out and if the time is infinite and matter is infinite then every permutation will be tried, not once, but a trillion times.
SPIEGEL: Another idea of Nietzsche's was that God is dead. Is that also a logical conclusion reached by Darwinism?Did Dennett just give the game away? We "trade in God for evolution." Then, "we don't need God, the law giver..."
Dennett: It is a very clear consequence. The argument for design, I think, has always been the best argument for the existence of God and when Darwin comes along, he pulls the rug out from under that.
SPIEGEL: Evolution, in other words, leaves no room for God?
Dennett: One has to understand that God's role has been diminished over the eons. First we had God, as you said, making Adam and making every creature with his hands, plucking the rib from Adam and making Eve from that rib. Then we trade that God in for the God who sets evolution in motion. And then you say you don't even need that God -- the law giver -- because if we take these ideas from cosmology seriously then there are other places and other laws and life evolves where it can. So now we no longer have God the law finder or the law giver, but just God the master of ceremonies. When God is the master of ceremonies and doesn't actually play any role any more in the universe, he's sort of diminished and no longer intervenes in any way.
Finally, Dennett gives us insight into his political leanings:
This is an often made and gross mis-representation of Christians that I find that "to be socially irresponsible on the highest order. It's scary.. "
SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for why the belief in Intelligent Design is nowhere so widespread as in the United States?
Dennett: No, unfortunately I don't. But I can say, the alliance between fundamentalists or evangelical religion and right wing politics is a very troubling phenomenon and this is certainly one of the most potent reasons for it. What's really scary is that a lot of them seem to think that the second coming is around the corner -- the idea that we're going to have Armageddon anyway so it doesn't make much difference. I find that to be socially irresponsible on the highest order. It's scary.
But I shouldn't worry because obviously, Dr. Dennett is so learned, so brilliant, so wise. He's got all the answers.
This is the best explanation for this kind of thinking:
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
update: a timely link regarding Professor Dennett.
A U.S. appeals court today upheld the decision of a lower court in allowing the inclusion of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse display, hammering the American Civil Liberties Union and declaring, "The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state."
Attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice successfully argued the case on behalf of Mercer County, Ky., and a display of historical documents placed in the county courthouse. The panel voted 3-0 to reject the ACLU's contention the display violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
The county display the ACLU sued over included the Ten Commandments, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Star Spangled Banner, the national motto, the preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, the Bill of Rights to the U. S. Constitution and a picture of Lady Justice.
Writing for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Richard Suhrheinrich said the ACLU's "repeated reference 'to the separation of church and state' ... has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state."
Suhrheinrich wrote: "The ACLU, an organization whose mission is 'to ensure that ... the government [is kept] out of the religion business,' does not embody the reasonable person."
The court said a reasonable observer of Mercer County's display appreciates "the role religion has played in our governmental institutions, and finds it historically appropriate and traditionally acceptable for a state to include religious influences, even in the form of sacred texts, in honoring American traditions."
Francis J. Manion, counsel for the ACLJ, argued the case before both the 6th Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
"This is a big victory for the people of Mercer County and Kentucky generally," Manion said. "For too long they have been lectured like children by those in the ACLU and elsewhere who claim to know what the people's Constitution really means. What the 6th Circuit has said is that the people have a better grasp on the real meaning of the Constitution; the court recognizes that the Constitution does not require that we strip the public square of all vestiges of our religious heritage and traditions."
It will be interesting to see if the ACLU appeals this ruling or lets it stand. I suspect they'll walk away from this one.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Should Iran develop nuclear energy?
Is Iran right to develop nuclear energy?
Iran's agreement to suspend all nuclear research -negotiated with Britain, France and Germany - will be broken today as work resumes at one facility.
Tehran maintains that all research is to provide peaceful nuclear energy, yet Western countries fear that such research could also be used to develop atomic weapons. Iran could face sanctions, should it be referred to the UN.
Should Iran be allowed to pursue nuclear energy? Are you an Iranian and, if so, what do you think? Should Iran be referred to the UN for sanctions? What are the implications for other countries capable of developing nuclear energy?
We'll be discussing these issues in our phone-in programme Have your Say on Sunday 15 January at 1406 GMT. If you would like to take part please include your telephone number or Skype ID with your comments.
Published: Tuesday, 10 January, 2006, 09:03 GMT 09:03 UK
LONDON — A radical cleric encouraged his followers to kill Jews and other non-Muslims in taped sermons found in his home after his arrest, prosecutors said Wednesday at the start of his trial on charges of encouraging murder and fomenting racial hatred.
The story about Abu Hamza al-Masri reminded me of an interview in Der Spiegel "There is a Real Fear of Radical Imams" with Jytte Klausen, a Danish-American academic who spent the past two years exploring the issues surrounding the integration of Muslims in Europe.
Klausen: There is a real fear of radical imams. I spoke to a lot of people who were worried their children would fall into the hands of the radical imams because they are already alienated -- one woman told me her son had come home and said to her, "They all think I am a Muslim, they all expect the worst from me, that I am a radical, so I might as well do it."
The danger is when Muslim youth fall under the sway of "Koran believing, Koran teaching" fundamentalist Imams. Hal Lindsey, author of The Everlasting Hatred - The Roots of Jihad has stated that the great majority of Muslims are like Christians; they don't know what their Holy Book says. The trouble, according to Lindsey, is that the Koran and the Hadith have over one hundred calls to violence and jihad. For Christians, the Bible is a call to repentance and the peace of a loving Savior. For Muslims, the Koran is a call to Holy war. For too many others at the BBC Have Your Say website, there's no difference between the two:
If a Christian fundamentalist like George Bush is allowed to have nuclear weapons, why not Iran ? And, don't forget, the most extreme fundamentalist to have his finger on a nuclear button was Ronald Reagan, who believed that the end of the world (which a nuclear war could bring about) would lead to himself and the 'true believers' being lifted up to heaven in rapture. After those two, anyone would be less extreme and more trustworthy with a nuclear stockpile !
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
The world of Islam eagerly awaits the arrival of the Mahdi, the Muslum version of the Messiah. "His" arrival, in Muslum eyes, means that the world will become Muslum and we will live in peace and harmony, under Islamic law, of course.
Christianity also teaches the arrival of the Messiah, but says "one" will come before the true Messiah. This "first messiah" will seem to be perfect and powerful, almost the perfection of the trinity of perfect numbers of biblical times; 777 .
Instead, "he" will be less than perfect; perhaps, 666 ?
Monday, January 09, 2006
This Abramoff scandal is a Congressional scandal, not a Democrat OR Republican scandal. Alas, the Democrats go into their "lie" mode as if it's second nature. The video shows Dean lying to Wolf Blitzer (CNN) and the article shows the facts.
Many thanks to Pat Campbell of am540WFLA. Pat was one of the firsts to point this out!
... proof of "lying" Dean follows,
Rep. Patrick Kennedy, R.I., $42,500
Sen. Patty Murray, Wash., $40,980
Rep. Charles Rangel, N.Y., $36,000
Sen. Harry Reid, Nev., $30,500
Sen. Byron Dorgan, N.D., $28,000*
Tom Daschle, former senator, S.D., $26,500
Brad Carson, former congressman, Okla., $20,600
Rep. Dale Kildee, Mich., $19,000
Rep. Steny Hoyer, Md., $17,500
Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa, $15,500
* - Returned at least some of the contributions or donated them to charity
Harry Belafonte, possibly suffering bird fever, called President Bush, "The greatest terrorist in the world." Just recently, AARP, the American Association of Retired People named Belafonte one of their "2005 Persons of the Year" citing Belafonte's work with UNICEF.
Maybe Belafonte can get AARP an interview with Chavez. I'm sure America's seniors would appreciate that. Apparently, AARP believes a large number of them have been afficinados de socialism since the heady revolutionary days of the 1950's. After the revolution, in the sixties and seventies it was en vogue to demonstrate solidarity by helping in Cuba's sugar cane harvest. Fidel has always been a favorite with the Hollywood crowd. Then came the Daniel Ortega syncophants. Of course, Che Guevara is a classic icon of the left and now that enough years have passed for some historical revisionism, Che's image is being refurbished to portray a more romantic and enlightened progressive rather than the murderous thug of reality.
It's going to be very interesting to see how Hugo Chavez plays out on the world stage. He will be embraced by a diverse rainbow assortment of Amerika-haters. Unfortunately, some of them, such as Iran are dangerous.
Interesting too, will be the parade of assorted leftist "birds" who flock to South America in order show solidarity with the new darlings of socialism.
The left lives for photo-ops with two-bit, left-wing Latin dictators. They decorate their dens with the graphed proofs of the pilgrimages. The days, months and years ahead will be rich for watching synchophant celebs fawn over Chavez and Castro (and if he plays his cards right, Senior Evo Morales.) Can you imagine what it will be like when Castro dies? A veritable bird watchers bonanza.
Health officials are warning about a possible outbreak of bird fever in the United States by summer. Sufferers are said to be "Koo koo for coca puffs."
The CIA and FBI should be very busy organizations about now.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Earth is too crowded for Utopia
Chris Rapley, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, says solving environmental problems such as climate change is going to be impossible without tackling the issue of population overcrowding.
As usual, the article is "all opinion" with little fact. Only this time, the opinion gets over into the "population must be controlled" realm.
Steps to Utopia
Although reducing human emissions to the atmosphere is undoubtedly of critical importance, as are any and all measures to reduce the human environmental "footprint", the truth is that the contribution of each individual cannot be reduced to zero.
Only the lack of the individual can bring it down to nothing.
The Montreal climate talks: Did they have the issue right?
So if we believe that the size of the human "footprint" is a serious problem (and there is much evidence for this) then a rational view would be that along with a raft of measures to reduce the footprint per person, the issue of population management must be addressed.
Let us assume (reasonably) that an optimum human population level exists, which would provide the physical and intellectual capacity to ensure a rich and fulfilling life for all, but would represent a call upon the services of the planet which would be benign and hence sustainable over the long term.
A scientific analysis can tell us what that optimum number is (perhaps 2-3 billion?).
With that number and a timescale as targets, a path to reach "Utopia" from where we are now is, in principle, a straightforward matter of identifying options, choosing the approach and then planning and navigating the route from source to destination.
Mr. Rapley can take a long walk off a short iceberg. This kind of alarmism started in the 1960's and 1970's and led to such low birth rates in the Western World that many countries are projected to suffer population declines. In other words, the enlightened, advanced, concerned west commits cultural suicide in the name of saving the planet and creating Utopia. At the same time, the unenlightened, concerned with personal survival, uneducated third world keeps on breeding. I suppose this is the natural progression of Evolution. Let bright, young science teachers repeat this eugenicist mantra to more generations of kids across the western world and it's a safe bet that we'll get a reduced population. For Utopia, I'm sorry but you'll have to wait for the space craft. It's in orbit behind the moon. Have your sneakers ready. Or go talk to Planned Parenthood or some Raelian.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
It was all about the drugs then and it's all about the drugs now.;)
BTW - Grace is now 66 years old and the combined ages of the Rolling Stones is 246 years with the youngest Stone being a tender 58.
But there is now a growing appreciation of the depth of the malaise in Palestinian society
Hafiz Barghouti, the editor of the newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeed, has written: "It appears we are neither prepared to change, nor admit that we have failed in running our own affairs. Everyone is busy calculating how to make the biggest possible gains at the homeland's expense.
"While most Palestinians find it easy to blame the occupation for all our ills, it is a fact that the occupation was not as bad as the lawlessness and corruption that we are now facing."
Oh really? Imagine that.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Seriously, this candidate for Palestinian Legislative Council has lost three sons to martydom operations, believes that there are no innocent Jews in occupied Palestinian territory, and according to Islamic law, all Jews in Israel and Palestine deserve death.
What a role model for civic responsibility.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Phyllis Schaflyhas some interesting observations regarding the intelligent design/Dover school board ruling:
Contrary to most media coverage, the Dover case was not about whether Darwin's theory of evolution, as set forth in "The Origin of the Species," or the theory of "intelligent design" is correct or should be taught. The Dover school board did not propose to say intelligent design is scientific or valid, or even to decrease its teaching of evolution.
Students were merely to be read a brief statement asserting that "gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence," and that intelligent design provides an explanation for the origin of life that could be further explored by consulting a book in the school library. While not denying that those statements may be true (it is undeniable that evolution has gaps), the judge nevertheless permanently enjoined the school board "from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution" and from saying that the theory has gaps.
This was the statement:
The state standards require students to learn about Darwin's Theory of Evolution and to eventually take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students to see if they would like to explore this view in an effort to gain an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves. As is true with any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind.The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life up to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses on the standards and preparing students to be successful on standards-based assessments.Time Magazine reported:
Intelligent design is a religious idea and a Pennsylvania school board may not introduce it into the classroom, a federal judge ruled today. Judge John E. Jones III ruled that the Dover Area School Board improperly introduced religion into the classroom when it required science teachers to read a brief statement during the 9th grade biology class telling students that evolution was “Just a theory” and inviting them to consider alternatives.
The National Center for Science Education (a "clearinghouse for information and advice to keep evolution in the science classroom and "scientific creationism" out") reported that the ACLU and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State had been following the issue closely and brought legal action against the School Board.
Why are the ACLU and Americans United so vigilant in protecting America's youth from hearing anything that challenges the gospel according to Darwin? How is the Dover statement an introduction of religion into a classroom? What does the First Amendment really mean?
It's time for a serious debate in this county. A real debate over the First Amendment. A debate over politically correct censorship in public education. It's time for the Supreme Court to stop ducking First Amendment Cases and to give some clear, unequivocal opinions regarding the Federal Government's role in First Amendment issues.