Tuesday, January 31
Appeals Court Rules "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban" Unconstitutional
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court declared the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional Tuesday, saying the measure is vague and lacks an exception for cases in which a
woman's health is at stake.
The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals became the second federal appeals court in the country to hold the law to be unconstitutional.
Federal judges in New York and Nebraska also have ruled the ban unconstitutional. The Nebraska ruling was upheld in July by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
I wonder how long it will take before this case is heard by the Supreme Court.
Death to Moby Dick, Part II
Watching the so-called senate confirmation hearings, which as always was like watching a pack of cranky miniature poodles fight over a funky sock, I almost had the feeling that I might have been wrong about something. It is my thesis that Roe V. Wade has poisoned constitutional law, damaged the Supreme Court, and completely destroyed the process of senate judicial confirmation. It must therefore be destroyed: chased around perdition’s flames and harpooned until it spouts black blood and rolls fin out.
But things were going to be a little different this time, the scuttlebutt went. The real issue of the Alito confirmation, scuttlebutt said, would be executive authority. And indeed there was much hue and cry and Biden-blither on this subject. But every single word of it was meaningless, with no more lasting relevance than an episode of General Hospital. And with no more credibility than the usual Democratic attempt to equate judicial conservatism (or even suspected judicial conservatism) with racism. After all, any grownup knows that Democrats have no problem with executive authority, especially when it must be employed against such dire existential threats as Brent Bozell or Elizabeth Ward Gracen. Show me a five year-old who would abolish chocolate cake just because somebody else got a bigger piece.
No, all the bluff and bluster about executive authority was just the usual Democratic habit of venting their current frustrations on an individual who must sit still and take it. If you talk back, they accuse you of lacking “judicial temperament”. There is, by the way, no such thing as “senatorial temperament” – at least, not among the higher vertebrate species.
Now that the fight is over and the fur is settling, Planned Parenthood rushes to assure me that I was right all along:
“Today's vote is a crushing blow to the protections for women's health and safety that American women and families have relied on for more than 33 years … the American public should be outraged that a majority of the Senate was willing to jeopardize our basic reproductive rights by voting for Judge Alito.”You’d think Alito had shaken his fist in Kennedy’s square face and vowed: “The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents' beds, unerringly I rush! Naught's an obstacle, naught's an angle to the iron way! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Roe to its death!” That’s what I would have said.
"The liberals in the party are marching like lemmings into the sea again," laments a veteran Democratic activist. "Sometimes I think the left wing is turning into a cult. It just doesn't allow for disagreement. If you disagree, you're a traitor."
Found this on LGF today. Says it all, doesn't it. [hattip to JammieWearingFool]
Monday, January 30
I'm not naming names. The list is up for all to see. And each one on that list has just made my life more difficult. Because every time I walk a precinct or call somebody for a financial contribution this election year, I'm going to run into a lot more "Screw the Democrats. They don't stand up for me." And my only reply will have to be a sheepish, we have to elect more Democrats so those unwilling to stand up for you don't weigh as heavily on the party.
No matter what the odds, and no matter how few of our elected representatives we can count on to stand with us on this matter, and a hundred others, we have to keep up the fight. The war against Big Brotherization is as crucial as that for abolition, for women's suffrage, for civil rights.
In every case, the warriors in those wars suffered immense setbacks, repeatedly so, and found it hard to get the politicians to speak up and stand up for them. Eventually, however, because they refused to surrender, and because they took the fight beyond the electoral arena, they won.
We will, too.
What is our little Kos Kid talking about? Are they going to the mat to defeat the enemies of this nation, throw back the Islamofascist threat, and save Western Civilization?
Hardly. The next battle for the Kos Kidz is Terrorists' Rights:
Because the Alito nomination is all over but the final vote, and we need to invest the next week into making something useful out of next Monday's Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on "Wartime Executive Power and the NSA's Surveillance Authority."
You can't make this shit up. And they wonder why they can't win elections? Here's a clue, dude: unless or until the Democrats decide to grow up and hate al Qaeda more than they hate the Republicans you are going to lose. Until you are more frightened by Muslim fundamentalists than you are Christian Fundamentalists, you are going to lose. Until Terrorist control becomes more important to the Democratic Party than Gun Control, you are going to lose.
Bill Clinton killed more Branch Davidians than he killed Al Qaeda. And that was his choice. He treated American citizens who had harmed no one as a greater threat than Osama bin Laden, while al Qaeda blew up embassies. He treated Elian Gonzales as a greater priority while al Qaeda attacked US warships. He did this precisely because that is where the base of his Party is. Even as late as today Clinton was more worried about Muslims feelings being hurt than he was doing anything substantive about Muslim terrorism.
And the American people took notice. Most Americans aren't Berzerkley Democrats, but the Party is completely beholden to them. As a Republican, I should be pleased. When Harold Ford put himself forward as Minority leader, I was concerned. While I disagree with Mr. Ford on most substantive issues, he is an intelligent, charismatic leader. Well spoken, and moderate in tone if not always policy. He would have been a formidable Minority leader, and that might well have been a platform from which he would have become a formidable Presidential Candidate. But he was, and remains pro-war, and pro-US Defense. More recently, he came out as being for an up-or-down vote on Alito. He is, in short, a Moderate Democrat.
So the Democratic Party told him to go sit at the back of the bus, and put the California Moonbat Pelosi in place.
They don't call for victory in Iraq, but surrender. Their leaders call our troops Nazis and terrorists, and call for practical relations with real terrorists.
The Mafia Princess is right in that we do need two political parties in this country. That doesn't mean we need what the Democratic Party has become. It is time for the Zell Miller wing of the Democratic Party to do what Lincoln did to the Whigs.
And let the anti-American, radical Left nutjob wing go it's own way.
And if Berkely decides to seceede, good riddance. And not a penny of foreign aid.
In my view (as a Democrat and former chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee), Senator Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., has disgraced himself and our party by misusing his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to achieve self-serving partisan ends.
Jerry takes the senator to task for his changing stance on fillabusters, his hypocracy on women's rights, and for his long history of talking out of both sides of his mouth.
I wonder how long it will be before Mr. Zeifman receives the same treatment other in the Democratic party received when they dared to speak against the actions of their own party's elite. Seems like there are more Zell Miller democrats out there than we realized.
Jack Abramoff's lobbying and "gifting" stretched across party lines, but from what we know now, he was clearly dealing more with the Republicans.
Democrats have their own set of problems right now that dwarf the corruption scandals occuring in their ranks. Their party is split into three factions: the radical and vocal Left-wing, socialist, anarchist, extremist fring; the middle of the road moderates; and the conservative Baptist or Catholic democrats. By allowing the radical fring to run the party, they are so far out of touch with the rest of their party and the heartland of this great country, that it is doubtful they will succeed in recapturing power in Congress or the Whitehouse.
The republicans can cede the ground they've gained and the power to effect change to the Democrats if they don't clean house in a big fat hurry. I don't know if Tom Delay, Bill Frist, or any of the others splashed across the headlines are guilty of wrong-doing or just really bad judgement in the company they keep. The expression, "if you dress like a hooker, people are gonna think you are a hooker" comes to mind. Or maybe they are or have become corrupted by the power and money that freely flows in Washington. I don't know and I'm going to wait for the appropriate officials to investigate and release their findings before I make up my mind one way or the other.
But, regardless of the outcome of these various scandals, the health and survivability of our current two party system is in doubt if things don't change. Personally, I don't want to see a one party State emerge. We NEED a vibrant and healthy two party system if America is to continue to grow and thrive, and be a good example of a constitutional republic to the rest of the world, and in particular to Afghanistan and Iraq.
If things continue the way the are going, we'll be the source of our own undoing and go the way of so many evolved civilizations that rose to prominence only to fall from within because of their own corruption and decadence. I hope for better for America.
Time to step up America. Demand better from your elected officials.
[UPDATE] John Fund's recent article on OpinionJournal.com addresses much the same point. The Republicans seem to have lost their way.
Sunday, January 29
But as they say, life happens, and I ended up doing high school. It's frustrating for me to be in this situation, because I although I do love to teach and am pretty good at it, teaching is the least of what I do these days. What really frosts me about my job is how much time I spend doing two things: one, going to meetings and inservices to 'improve' my teaching skills, and two, dealing with the lack of respect I get from so many of my students and their parents.
As anyone with kids knows, indeed anyone who even reads the paper, standards are in and standardized testing is the way to go. On one hand I don't mind, because I do think that we need to know that a) we're teaching well, and that b) students are learning. By no means do I think we should let students out of HS without mastering some basic skills, for example. But on the other hand, it's getting out of hand...so to speak. At the high school level, if you haven't mastered most of those basic skills you probably won't. We don't have time in the 4 years of HS to remediate at the level that some kids need--too much subject-area content to cover. Yet we are constantly required to improve, improve, improve and to somehow perform the miracle of getting kids whipped into shape academically regardless of what they did the previous 9 years.
Test scores and rankings are published in the newspaper and on the Internet for all to see (click on the title to see the scores of the district that employs me). Again, this in and of itself doesn't bother me. What does bother me is the school district's response to these pressures--on the teachers. We are subjected to all sorts of stupid things that supposedly will improve our teaching skills and therefore improve student learning (which in eduspeak means our test scores). It's all garbage, because most teachers are pretty good. A kid will learn if s/he wants to regardless of how flash and dance the teacher is, and that's the truth. But we constantly have to defend every little thing we do in the classroom from goals to lesson plans to assessments, blah, blah, blah to prove that we are doing our darndest to reach every single Sally and Bobby. It's a monumental waste of time because most of us are doing all that already, always have, and those don't have never and never will. It's just a fact of education.
The pressure isn't applied where it truly needs to be...on the parents and the students. I managed by the grace of God to get 4 kids and a younger sister through public schools without expecting the teachers to be the main motivating factor in my kids' learning--I considered that my job. Not all my kids were great students in HS, and if standardized tests were all the rage then that they are now I wouldn't be surprised that they didn't do as well as they could on them. But was that the school's fault? Heck no. My kids had a lot of very good teachers and any lack in the achievement area was due to the choices that my kids made, not the failure of the school to 'meet their needs.'
Parents of elementary school children need to be bluntly told by their children's 1st grade teachers...if your child doesn't master 1st grade skills by the end of 1st grade, s/he will be retained until s/he does. The same needs to go for every grade, so that when they get to HS, we can teach them what they need to know to go on with their lives as adults (whatever they want to do even if it's digging ditches). As my son says, the free education the state of California provides ought to be a privilege, not a right.
And lack of respect? I'll continue that another day...
HEALTH CARE IN THE USA
Early this afternoon, on LGF, the state of health care in the USA was being discussed and I'm copying and pasting my response thereto:
I personally have had the displesure of dealing with trying to save my life through modern medicine without insurance and without being physically able to earn a living. Forget about it. One must humble oneself to asking friends for assistance and that once in a lifetime doctor who'll "forget" to bill me for many of my visits. And yes a LARGE part of it is beauracracy. Here's how my highly respected internist of 30 years described things at for profit hospitals. Once, at least, a year, the hospital admin people (MBS types, not an MD among them) discuss their gross income goal, subtract from that goal what the insurance companies and better off people can afford and that's how they reach the dollar amount per day for hospitalization (not including surgery,radiology, medication or doctors charges). I spent 8 days last July in a for profit hospital -NOT including CAT Scans, MRI's and IV administrated drugs, NOR doctors visits, the hospital charged me $48,000 dollars. Two years ago, when I broke six ribs etc., again, without surgery of any kind, and not including radiology or doctor's bills, the hospital charged me, for 6 weeks, $255,000. Bankruptcy lawyers have told me that nearly 80% of individuals who file for bankruptcy had to do so because of medical/hospital bills AND THEY HAD INSURANCE but couldn't cover the co-pays (If Ihad had the medical insurance, my copay on the rib situation would have been $61,000). There is indeed someting drastically wrong with our health care system in this country EVEN if you have health insurance.
Saturday, January 28
Warriors, Wusses, and Worse: Why The Los Angeles Times Should Be Placed Under Martial Law
And I've got no problem with other people — the ones who believe in free speech and stuff like that — supporting the right of The Los Angeles Times to publish their goofy paper. If you think they have a right to do that, by all means object when we kick in their doors, defenestrate their office equipment, and water-board Joel Stein until he passes cerebrospinal fluid through his nose. Cerebrospinal fluid which — I am convinced — will prove to be composed of Orange Jell-O with banana slices and miniature marshmallows.
But I don’t like the God-forsaken worthless-ass Los Angeles Times. And being against The Los Angeles Times while claiming to believe in the nonviolent tolerance of free speech is — I now realize and freely admit — a position which is unbecoming to a serious-minded adult manperson. To put it into the Junior High School Locker Room prose to which readers of The LA Times are accustomed: It’s wussy. Since I do not want the low-carb version of Peking Man to snap me with his jockstrap, I forswear all such hypocrisy from this day forth.
To blindly allow The Los Angeles Times to exist unmolested, I fear, may give them an opportunity to annoy me further in the future. Plus, I would be giving soft acquiescence to the use of “impact” as a verb.
And skimpy little say-nothing paragraphs.
Having realized my mistake, I don’t want to blame the exploited homeless people who deliver the paper in exchange for methadone. Nor even the LA Times editorial staff, gravel-sucking plecostomi though they be. And I’m certainly not going to blame myself, an innocent victim misled by the “free speech” lies of Voltaire and John Stuart Mill.
And blaming LA Times publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson for disgracing all carbon-based life with his very existence is just too easy. Not easy enough for Arnold Schwarzenegger to do it, but almost that easy. The truth is, if it weren’t for so-called journalists there would be no so-called journalism, and therefore no Los Angeles Times. Journalists are the pathogens and journalism is the disease — The Los Angeles Times is merely the pus-bloated symptom.
I do sympathize with any person who passed out while playing with a Fisher-Price Spell Toy and woke up at the Columbia School of Journalism, if any such person exists. But when you decide to become a journalist, you pretty much know that you’re not going to be saving the country from Richard Nixon. 67% of Journalism majors know that Richard Nixon is dead. So you are willingly signing up to serve the pathetic cultural ambitions of white middle-class liberals. After 20 years of this you write a 250-page book (with no footnotes!) to entomb your ego. Future journalists inherit your skimpy little book like genetic damage.
I know all of this is easy for me to say. I’m a blogger, not a journalist. I wouldn’t walk across the street to talk to a United States Senator. (What for? Seriously, what the hell for?) I don’t chase Clinton’s girlfriends through high-speed traffic. Such truth as I may possess is not for sale, nor is it used to extort leaks from Beltway scum. I don’t get Pulitzer Prizes for running circles around fact-checkers and brain-damaged assistant editors. I don’t pretend to be objective while plagiarizing DNC press releases. In fact, I don’t pretend to be objective ever.
Journalists tell us that they perform a necessary informative role — even when dead wrong — that is vital to the functioning of a free society. Even if this is so, I see no reason why I should be grateful for it. Those at The Los Angeles Times who are requesting this consideration display no gratitude for all the stuff other people have done for them. Like their imperialist ancestors who helpfully colonized Oakland Hills and the beaches of Malibu, or the Armed Forces who prevented the same from becoming possessions of the Emperor of Japan, or the LAPD which keeps the crack-heads and gang-bangers out of their unisex restrooms.
Besides, if there is one thing my elders have taught me — those solons whose wisdom was distilled in the intemperate Sixties, then mellowed for decades in the oaken casks of capitalist affluence — it’s this: Screw Everything. Especially everything that doesn’t affect me. But also a lot of stuff that would affect me, if somebody wasn’t taking care of it for me while I stand around and bitch. Above, screw all the stuff that I can get paid to make fun of in print by people who are even more witless and depraved than I am.
Another thing I've learned from these hoary cultural icons (and The Los Angeles Times is only a small part of their intellectual legacy) is that if I find some person or thing to be politically disagreeable, it's probably because that person or thing is PURE EVIL. Not in some figurative sense, but evil like something right out of Paradise Lost or Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World. So Christian charity must step aside for righteous zeal.
Now, I'm not advocating that we herd the staff of The Los Angeles Times into a cage, to be raped by amphetamine-crazed circus animals while we film the grisly spectacle for Pay Per View. On the other hand, what do I care? I don't write for their stupid paper.
Saints in Armor
By Ben Stein
Published 1/27/2006 10:15:30 AM
I see that my fellow Stein, fellow journalist, and fellow troublemaker Joel Stein is at it again. He has written a piece for the L.A. Times in which he says he does not support the troops in Iraq. He mocks those who sport yellow ribbons, as many do, but he goes much further. He says the American soldier in Iraq is largely responsible for the war and for his own risks, injuries, and death. He does not like the war in Iraq, and he says if American soldiers would simply refuse to go fight or would quit and come home, the war would be over. If they don't do that, he does not support them and it's their own fault if they die. (This is my understanding of his piece. I may be wrong and I hope I am.)
So, here is another Stein's view:
The most heroic, ethically courageous, morally resolute men and women in the world today are the Americans, British, and other forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are fighting the most evil men and women currently on the world scene. The American Army soldier, Marine, Navy sailor, Air Force warrior, and Coast Guardsman fighting in Ramadi or Mosul is fighting men and women who kill children and old people for sport. The men and women of the United States military are fighting the remnants of a regime so evil that it pioneered the use of torture against children -- just for the amusement of Saddam and his family. The men and women whom Joel despises rid the world of a dictator so twisted and murderous that he openly admired Stalin and Hitler and sought to match their level of atrocities. The men and women who wear the uniform fought, bled, and died to rid the world of the most dangerous man on the planet in the most flammable place on the planet. They died to save a slave people from the genocidal control of a mad killer who thought nothing of gassing his own people, of wiping out entire regions, of setting up special rape rooms to allow his henchmen and his sons to rape women at will, who amused himself by pouring gasoline down the throats of totally innocent people and setting them on fire.
Counting his war against Iran and the murders of his own people, Saddam killed millions. He tortured many thousands more. Now his minions and holdouts are doing the same with bombs and sniper rifles to stop progress towards a humane society and to turn back the clock to a Hitlerite Iraq, despite the clear truth that 99 percent of the Iraqis want a free, lawful, democratic Iraq. (I guess Joel Stein thinks somehow it's those poor saps' fault, too.)
The man from Iowa or South Carolina, the woman from Mississippi or Idaho or Oregon or New York or California or Washington, D.C. or anywhere in America who leaves the comfort of home to fight against an evil as monstrous as what did happen and what is happening in Iraq are great warriors. But they are something more. They are saints in body armor, men and women of staggering moral virtue in a time and place when those words mean very little in the modern world. Their lives have the most meaning of any lives being lived on this earth right this moment.
Do I support men and women who are fighting Nazis who call themselves insurgents or Islamic militants? Do I support men and women who offer up their lives to fight the very same terrorists who killed three thousand totally guiltless Americans on 9/11? Do I support the troops who have more moral decency in their toes than I do or anyone I know does in our whole bodies? I support them, pray for them, am humbled just to be on the same planet with them. With every morning I wake up, every meal I eat, every walk I take in freedom, every night I sleep in peace, I ask God to look after the men and women who guard the ramparts of this blessed island of peace and decency called America. Without them, we would be nothing. Without them, Joel Stein would have his head sawed off. Saints in armor is what I call them and what they are. They are God's gifts to a wayward world.
Well said, Mr. Stein.
The Next President of the United States?
G-d, let's hope not, but I suspect he'll get the nod from the Democrats in 2008. Time to start our opposition research now, Guys and Dolls. As painful as it may be, read Earth In Balence and get ready to crush this SOB once and for all.
He is truly a crazy. He's not playing to the base. He just held it in when he was a Senator. Time to expose him for what he is.
Friday, January 27
Thursday, January 26
I received this in an e-mail today:
He had just saved her from a fire in her house, rescuing her by carrying her out of the house into her front yard, while he continued to fight the fire.
She is pregnant.
When he finally got done putting the fire out, he sat down to catch his breath and rest.
A photographer from the Charlotte , North Carolina newspaper, "The Observer," noticed her in the distance looking at the fireman.
He saw her walking straight toward the fireman and wondered what she was going to do.
As he raised his camera, she came up to the tired man who had saved her life and the lives of her babies, and kissed him, just as the photographer snapped this photograph.
What a lovely story. Only problem is, the firefighter had not carried her out of the fire. Click the title for the real story.
Dogs are such wonderful creatures when they are raised with love, tenderness, appropriate discipline, and proper care.
Lovely picture all the same. And the true story isn't bad either.
"Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming," Sada told the Sun. "They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians.”
The former Iraqi general said Special Republican Guard brigades loaded WMDs onto two converted Iraqi Airways planes.
He said he was told of the operation by two pilots that helped transport the materials. Sada says 56 flights were made, and were accompanied by a ground convoy of trucks carrying similar materials.
The Sun reports that the flights attracted scant international attention because they occurred at the same time that Iraq was sending relief to Syria for a dam collapse.
It is no surprise to me. We advertised for so long that we were coming, that he would have been a complete idiot to have kept them inside the country. I believe even James Spade (actor and comic) commented on this several years ago. His comments were to the effect of, [paraphrase] "If your mom tells you she's coming in your room in 6 days to search for drugs, and she tells you each day that she's coming in, you'd make sure your room was clean and cleared of any banned substances. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out."
Makes perfect sense.
And it is no wonder that the Bush-haters and leftist can't grasp the concept. They are too busy spouting their virtirolic epitaths "Bush Lied" et al, to let any thing that makes sense interfere with their psudo-religious mantras.
In any case, I doubt we'll be able to do anything about it now. Much the pity.
[UPDATE:] Here's the original article in the NY Sun.
Wednesday, January 25
What is a Haggis?
In the olden days the preparation of a Haggis went something like this :-Take the liver, lungs & heart of a sheep and boil them. Mince the meats and mix with chopped onions, toasted oatmeal, salt, pepper, and spices. Take one properly cleaned sheep's stomach. Stuff the cleaned stomach with the prepared contents. Sew up the stomach (leaving enough room for expansion to avoid a large messy explosion) and boil. Serve and eat. Lovely !
Now that you are back from the bathrooom - It's really very good. And the drinking and dancing are about to commence.
I'm a Lamborghini Murcielago!
You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
Sunday, January 22
Mr. Peters say some things that others should stop and think about - A couple of extracts?? How about:
All that nonsense about a "broken Army"? What I heard was the conviction that we're not only doing the right thing in Iraq, but doing it far better than the media tell the American people.
I only wish my fellow citizens were given an honest view of our troops, their morale and their accomplishments — along with a fuller sense of our military's complexity.
At a time when we're bombarded with so much doom-and-gloom nonsense from those who'd like to abandon the world to terrorists, it's a shame we don't hear more about the men and women who stay in uniform, who do our nation's toughest work and receive so little credit from the know-it-alls safe at home.
A "broken military"? Nope. Anyway, if it was broken, the combat engineers would fix it. Under fire.
Can't get to it? Try this from bugmenot-
Username - firstname.lastname@example.org
Password - bubbabrown
Allow me to Kiple this - The Sons of Martha
The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary's Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.
It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.
They say to mountains, "Be ye removed." They say to the lesser floods, "Be dry."
Under their rods are the rocks reproved -- they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit -- then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.
They finger death at their gloves' end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.
To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden -- under the earthline their altars are --
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city's drouth.
They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not teach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they dam'-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's days may be long in the land.
Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat --
Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha spilled for that!
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.
And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessed -- they know the Angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessed, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the Feet -- they hear the World -- they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and -- the Lord He lays it on Martha's Sons!
- Rudyard Kipling
Lizards, Lizardettes, Guests, and our Loyal Opposition - I give you, The US Army's COMBAT ENGINEERS (http://www.mindef.gov.sg/army/engi_motto.htm)
What Democratic Cliches Has Bin Laden Missed?
And yet, bin Laden hasn't done a half bad job, considering all of these obstacles. It's as if he's being coached by Sandy Berger. By the way, has anybody seen Berger around lately? Anyway, here are the Democratic Talking Points that bin Laden trots out in his latest communique, in order:
1. "... your polls that show an overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq."
To bin Laden, these polls are obviously the greatest thing since the toe-popper mine. He mentions them no less than three times in his statement. The blessed Koran, on the other hand, gets no reference at all. Caliph Omar's conquest of Jerusalem in 638? No mention at all.
Bin Laden's distortion and exaggeration of "polls" suggests that he doesn't have much understanding or first-hand knowledge of them, but he is definitely familiar with anti-war rhetoric about polls.
2. "Pentagon figures show the number of your dead and wounded is increasing not to mention the massive material losses, the destruction of the soldiers' morale there and the rise in cases of suicide among them."
John Murtha might say the same thing on Sixty Minutes, and essentially has. But it's unusual for a terrorist to lecture us about troop morale and Pentagon expenses. If we were destroying our military and bankrupting our imperialist treasury, the terrorist would not be pleading with us to stop. He would want more, more, more.
Besides obsessing about things like troop morale, bin Laden shows other second-hand traces of rhetoric about the war. Several times he uses the silly redundant phrase "[Situation] on the ground".
3. "The Vietnam Butcher."
Domestic critics of the war would just say "Vietnam" for short, but many of them mean the same thing bin Laden does.
4. "... what deepens the doubt over the White House's information is the fact that it targets the media reporting the truth from the ground."
So somebody is ordering somebody to shoot journalists. Where have you heard that before?
Bin Laden has apparently forgotten about all the journalists his gang have murdered, like Daniel Pearl. Most journalists seem to have forgotten about them as well.
5. "... oppressive measures [have been] adopted by the U.S Army and its agents to a point where there is no difference between this criminality and Saddam's criminality."
Dick Durbin put that much better, didn't he? And John Kerry threw in some very imaginative examples.
6. "Read, if you will, the reports of the horrors in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons."
Bin Laden is obviously an avid reader of such reports, but he sounds much less passionate about them than Al Gore does. Almost apathetic in comparison.
7. "... reports point to the ultimate failure and defeat of the unlucky quartet of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz."
This is an artful way of putting it, though I suspect that the word "unlucky" is a poor translation. Many of bin Laden's followers are more shocked by Condoleezza Rice than they would be by ten thousand Paul Wolfowitzes, but bin Laden is not talking to his followers here. He gives the correct leftist orthodox version of the Unholy Pantheon.
8. " The sensible people realize that Bush does not have a plan to make his alleged victory in Iraq come true. "
Bush does not have a plan! Of all the Mynah-bird noises in this statement, this one squawks the loudest. What the hell does bin Laden care? If there's no plan, so much the better for him.
9. "And if you compare the small number of dead on the day that Bush announced the end of major operations ..."
Must not overlook the "Bush declared victory, Bush declared victory!" meme. Again, bin Laden's phrasing of it looks moderate in comparison.
10. "... that fake, ridiculous show aboard the aircraft carrier ..."
Yes indeed, Osama bin Laden shared the indignation that all decent Americans felt at that photo of Bush in the flight suit. Al Franken, he feels your pain.
It seems strange that the leader of a vast terrorist organization would fret over what Bush wore at a photo opportunity. Does Lex Luthor spend a lot of time worrying about Superman's color coordination? When did the job of "terrorist" and "bitchy media pundit" become conflated?
Welcome to Michael Moore's world, where all of these things are cosmicly connected. In the meantime, peace-loving Americans, Osama bin Laden just wants you to know that if it makes you mad, it makes him mad, too.
11. "Bush and his administration do not have the will or the ability to get out of Iraq for their own private, suspect reasons."
Apparently nobody at al-Qaeda HQ knows what the proper Arabic transliteration for Halliburton is. Otherwise he could have just said "Halliburton" and saved some space.
12. "Iraq has become a point of attraction and restorer of energies."
Bin Laden probably does not like the standard Democratic term, "breeding ground". After all, this is a Holy Jihad, not a prairie dog town at the height of rutting season.
13. "And if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State ..."
Check out William Blum's Rogue State at your bookstore and you'll find that it is also highly recommended by Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, and Oliver Stone. They blurbed all over it. I suppose they will have to add bin Laden's kudos now. After all, Osama bin Laden is a sort of superior version of Noam Chomsky. He knows everything Chomsky knows, plus how to milk a goat and field-strip an AK-47.
How does this relate to Democratic Talking Points? Have you heard an Al Gore speech lately? Put it down in a book and it would make Rogue State look like Reader's Digest.
Incidentally, in his little bio at Counterpunch (the Internet Magazine that Hits Like a Girl) William Blum brags about having revealed the names and addresses of hundreds of CIA agents after he left the State Department in 1967. Look up some of the angry internet editorials about Valerie Plame and you'll be surprised how many of them feature an advertisement for Rogue State on the same page.
THE ANSWER: The Democratic Cliches on Iraq/WoT which bin Laden missed are: a) The Legendary Plastic Turkey; and b) wiretapping and searches of al-Qaeda suspects. The great turkey scandal is mainly of interest to esoterics like Cindy Sheehan, so we won't count off too much for that. You'd think he'd have complained about our attempts to spy on his employees, though. Some boss he must be.
That aside, this is such a comprehensive collection of donkey-gripes that I'm amazed there's nothing in there about Jack Abramoff. Maybe "Jack Off" witticisms don't translate well into Arabic. And it's possible that the communication was cut short by a security alert, just as bin Laden was about to rip into Linda Tripp and the Great Arkansas Baitshop Conspiracy.
He might have even intended to close with "Go for Gore in '08!", laughing at us stupid Americans who don't get the double meaning.
Friday, January 20
Thursday, January 19
Their primary concern was the rights of terrorists:
In the end, Samuel Alito almost, almost sold me last week with the enormously attractive, ceaselessly repeated mantra that a judge's politics, ideology, preferences, and opinions really are irrelevant. Maybe the only thing that matters really is that a judge "apply the law" and maintain "an open mind." Maybe all that liberal criticism of Alito really was just petty and personal. After all, he showed us that he knows the law. And if he says he has an open mind, who is really in a position to dispute that?
It took me a couple of days with a deprogrammer (and some long evenings with the bourbon) to fully unpack the problem with Alito's very neat theory of judging. Maybe it almost works as applied to Roe v. Wade, where there are dozens of precedents and even super-precedents, as Arlen Specter loves to call them, to navigate. But all that nice jurisprudential wallpaper simply falls away where it really matters: the constitutional limits of the war on terror.
I'll conceded her point that there is little precedent on how to treat illegal-alien terrorists captured wearing bomb-vests in shopping malls or on a battlefield far from US shores. To which I say, so what? Does she really care about the health and well-being of Abu Abu Jihadi Akbar? Well, in a word, yes:
When it comes to the reach of the president's authority to pursue this war with a warrantless wiretap in one hand and a cattle prod in the other, there is almost no statutory authority or court precedent. Judges, specifically the justices of the Supreme Court, will in the end be making up the law more or less as they go.
If you indulge me for a just moment and imagine Alito as a wolf (albeit a smart, qualified, principled one), I'm suggesting that if the court's abortion jurisprudence is made of some combination of straw and twigs, its war on terror jurisprudence is made of moth wings.
Cattle prod? Any evidence that they've used a cattle prod for interrogations of captured terrorists? And, again, if so, so what? You don't fight wars by Robert's Rules of Order. And since the Jihadis have been violating the Geneva Convention since before the War began, they don't apply, either. Of course, the Jihadis aren't the enemy, Judge Alito is:
The other case that would supposedly constrain Justice Alito's judgments about presidential power is Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the 2004 blockbuster that allowed a so-called enemy combatant to challenge his indefinite detention, despite the Bush administration's claims that U.S. citizens could be locked up indefinitely without charges on the president's say-so.
So-called? Unless she wants to append unlawful to the enemy combatant designation, I think there is little question as to what the terrorists are. I suspect that Ms.Lithwick would consider both "unlawful" and "terrorist" to be a little too judgmental for her taste. After all, why should a judge be judgmental?
In the end, when it comes to questions about presidential war powers, it just doesn't matter all that much whether a judge is a strict constructionist or an activist, a pragmatist, a textualist, or an originalist. Judicial promises to respect precedent are almost immaterial when the precedents are either ancient or nonbinding. What matters most when the case law falls away are ideology and politics.
Ideology and politics, not justice? Not what is right?
What about winning the war?
Such considerations are, to Ms.Lithwick, if not entirely inconsequential, certainly not worth mentioning.
Ann Coulter: Mainstream Democrat (Hat Tip: Powerline via Puppy Blender)
I really hope the Democrats run on a Terrorists' Rights platform this fall. Filibuster-proof majority?
[Dark, malevolent laughter]
Wednesday, January 18
Top Stories of 2005
No where is it more obvious than in the differences between what the Left and Right web news sites and blogs classify as the top 10 over, or underreported news stories of 2005.
A google search on the subject, revealed there are a handful of sites that took the trouble to detail lists:
WorldNet Daily (Right)
Front Page Magazine (Right)
Democracy Rising (Left)
Daily Kos (Left)
Project Censored (Left)
I can say I agree that the substance of these lists accurately represents their concerns and what issues are most important to each "side" of this divided country (and world).
I'm struck by the "obvious" -- these lists not only point to the dissimilarities between the world views, but also the life attitudes and views of both sides.
The Left seems obsessed with the evils of Bush, his "lies", his administration, the evils of corporate america, and the evils of America in general. Anything that rebells against the "establishment" is worthy of praise. They ignore the evil that exists in the rest of the world, specifically those occuring the Islamic world perpetrated by Islamo-fascists, and by the violence fostered by them in the countries where they have established a presence.
The right points to the hypocracy of the Left and the double-stand of conduct it (the left) accepts as long as it is against the same enemy (see the list provided above). The right sees the good that is happening in our world, the war, the enconmy, and also sees the dangers to our freedoms. It sees the dangers the Islamic world presents to Western societies, and the real threats to freedom and our way of life.
The left sees danger to their freedoms, but I question whether or not what they see is real or imagined. They seem to favor appeasement of radical Islam, all things socialist, and any organization that hates America. They claim to be patriotic, but resent demonstrations of patriotism.
I leave it to you to decide and debate. For what it is worth, here are the summarizations of the lists, with links to the full lists and articles on each website.
WND's 2005's "spiked" list of the 10 most underreported stories"
WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah has sponsored "Operation Spike" every year since 1988, and since founding WorldNetDaily in May 1997, he has continued the annual tradition.
Here, with our readers' help, are WorldNetDaily editors' picks for the 10 most underreported stories of the past year:
1. Failure of the 9-11 commission to investigate "Able Danger."
2. Successes in rebuilding Iraq.
3. Cover-up of David Barrett's probe of Clinton IRS and Henry Cisneros.
4. The impact of illegal immigration on the U.S. and its security.
5. The truth about Terri Schiavo and her death.
6. Sandy Berger's slap on the wrist for stealing classified documents.
7. The fact that WMDs were found in Iraq.
8. Atrocities of radical Islam.
9. Islam's impact on French riots.
10. Good news about the economy.
Front Page Magazine's Top 10 Overreported and Underreported Stories
10. The passion of Mary Mapes
9. Tom DeLay's Indictment
8. Jimmy Carter's Opinion (on Anything)
7. JOhn Roberts' Federalist Society Membership
6. Jane Fonda's "Apology"
5. Koran Desecration and "Torture"
4. Wiretapping Terrorists
3. Two Words: Cindy Sheehan
2. Bush's "Negligence" during Hurricane Katrina
1. The Libby Indictment
Top 10 Underreported Stories
10. The Economy
9. Bush Gets it on the Border (sort Of)
8. Academic Freedom on the March
7. Hurricanes Don't Discriminate by Race
6. Prominent Leftists' Utter Hypocrisy
5. Able Danger
4. Muslim Rape Spree
3. The Left Throws in the Towel in Iraq
2. The CIA's War on Bush
1. Shhh... We're Winning in Iraq
And from the Left
Democracy Rising's Top 10 Underreported Stories of 2005
1. Bush Family war profiteering on the war in Iraq. The extent of Iraq contracts going to corporations which involve members of President George W. Bush's family has not been investigated by the corporate media.
2. Investigate the alleged war crimes in the assault on Fallujah. The city of Fallujah had once been quiet about the occupation, but U.S. soldiers killing of civilians protesting the military taking of a school led to an uprising. The result: two devastating assaults, accusations of indiscriminate bombings, killing of civilians and the use of chemical weapons.
3. The environmental and human impact of depleted uranium needs investigation.
4. Is the United States losing the war in Iraq?
5. The under counting of U.S. casualties in Iraq demeans the sacrifice of U.S. soldiers and is an unpatriotic lie of the Bush Administration. While 15,000 soldiers are reportedly casualties of the war, in fact more than 100,000 have sought medical treatment.
6. The need for a corporate withdrawal from Iraq as a first step toward giving Iraq back to Iraqis.
7. Impeachment of the President and Vice President needs to become a part of mainstream political dialog.
8. Examine the real costs of the Iraq War - not just the hundreds of billions appropriated for the war, but what these appropriations are costing Americans in their daily lives.
9. Is the U.S. becoming the enemy we abhor? Reports of torture, civilian casualties, use of weapons of mass destruction make the United States more and more similar to Saddam Hussein's Iraq every day.
10. The politics of the Iraq War in 2006. Are Democrats at risk of turning off their anti-war base by being unable to enunciate a position on Iraq?
and their top 10 reported stories...
1. Cindy Sheehan stands up to President Bush in Crawford, TX and reawakens the anti-war movement.
2. The people speak with their feet and in the polls. A majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and want to see the U.S. beginning to withdraw troops from the country.
3. The people of Iraq who have stood up for their nation's freedom - voting for political parties that call for the end of the occupation, with political leaders who signed the Cairo Statement that called for withdrawal of troops, for political forces putting forward the framework for a ceasefire and end to the war, and for Iraqis who have resisted the occupation.
4. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) puts forward an exit strategy. Murtha, who supported the invasion of Iraq and consistently advocates for a stronger military and larger defense budget, urged an immediate 'redeployment' of U.S. forces out of Iraq to be completed in six months.
5. Former military, intelligence and foreign service officers speak out against the war.
6. Republicans begin to break rank with the President.
7. Soldiers start to say no to the war, recruiters fail to meet recruitment goals, and mothers organize against the draft. The end of the Vietnam War came in part because U.S. soldiers lost faith in the war and their military leadership.
8. Congress stands up to the President and Vice President on torture. Three leading Republican Senators -- John McCain (AZ), John Warner (VA) and Lindsay Graham (SC) -- challenged the White House with legislation that would expressly prohibit cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees in US custody anywhere in the world.
9. The Downing Street Memos breakthrough in the corporate media. A concerted web based campaign by a coalition of organizations under the name, AfterDowningStreet.org forced the corporate media to cover the Downing Street Memos.
10. Anti-war Democrats, ignored the leadership of their party and have gotten organized and are speaking out more effectively than they had been through the 'Out of Iraq Caucus' in the House.
Click here for Project Censored's list of 25 stories.
Tuesday, January 17
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Last week witnessed a rather interesting, if somewhat shameful performance by the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary. Having come to the conclusion that the "Advice and Consent" really means, whatever the minority in the Senate wants if that minority happens to call itself "Democrat", they showed the country the final truth about themselves. I used scare quotes around "Democrat" because in truth they are democrats in name only.
Somewhat like the Democratic Republic of North Korea, they have no intention of letting the mere voters decide how this country is run. The "Democrats" are afraid of the voters:
All of which suggests that this careful judge, whom the Democrats accuse of being "out of the mainstream of America," would be inclined to defer to the elected branches, which actually measure where that "mainstream" flows. And that, as best as we can figure, is of what Senator Schumer and his colleagues are afraid.
Since 1994, successive elections have shown that the mainstream is shifting away from their far-left liberalism and toward a moderation that leaves partisans on both sides unhappy. On abortion, a signature liberal issue, voters have elected a Congress that supported a ban on partial-birth abortion but not other types, and eventually elected a president who signed such a ban. They have re-elected a Republican president who takes an assertive view of his powers in war, but a Congress in which members of the president's own party have on occasion declined to ratify all of those powers. Judge Alito appears willing to allow the elected branches the latitude to make those compromises.
For the Democrats, the courts have become the last venue in which they can advance an agenda despite the voters. Democrats have not controlled the House since 1995. They have not been able to keep control of the Senate through an election in the same span. Their presidential candidates have failed to win support from more than half the popular vote for two cycles in a row now. The Supreme Court is all they have left, and now a president is exercising his constitutional powers to appoint a justice who happens to think that the will of the voters matters. That is what the Democrats are afraid of as Judge Alito's confirmation heads toward the floor.
I want to correct one small mistake in the quote. No "Democrat" Presidential candidate has won a majority of the vote since 1976. Clinton won 43% of the 1992 vote and 48% in 1996. And Clinton only won in 1996 because the Republicans didn't try very hard. He would have probably even lost then had he not signed Welfare Reform over the objections of his party. The Democrats have, on a whole host of issues, moved far from mainstream America.
Some issues, like the aforementioned welfare reform and gun control, they have been content to put on the back burner and hope that the voters forget what their real positions on them are, but one issue stands at the core of the "Democrat" party, and on that issue, more than any other, they really don't trust the voter. Last week's circus was really over one thing, and one thing only: abortion. Not just abortion, mind you, but late-term post viability abortion. In 2003 congress enacted a ban on most late-term abortions. This is currently working its way through the Court system. In STENBERG, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEBRASKA, et al. v. CARHART the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional "right" to late term abortions in a 5-4 decision. If (when) Alito is confirmed it seems likely that this new law will be upheld.
And for this, more than any other reason (there are other reasons, such as the rights of terrorists, but I don't think they would have gone this far for their homies in Gitmo), did the "Democrats" make fools of themselves last week. All in all, I would say it was a most instructive week. If the "Democrats" don't trust the voters, then perhaps the voters might want to consider how far they trust them with power.
Of course, in truth, the majority already have. That's why the "Democrats" are the minority party.
Mark Steyn, of course, is better at this than me :-)
"We think the problem with the party is anatomical," a direct result of outdated beliefs, such as that supporting health care for everyone must also mean support for late-term abortions, Carville tells NewsMax.
"There's a significant part of the Democratic Party that doesn't want to reform anything. We call them the 'Remainderists.' OK?
"Remainderists are people who say that if you hate them (the GOP) enough, then we're what remains and then people will vote for us and then we can have our people at the Capital Grill (a popular power restaurant a few blocks from the Capitol). And then we can get more golf trips and bigger steaks."
That's got to change, Carville says.
Carville thinks the Democrats should take a lesson from the Republican playbook and from all people, Newt Gingrich.
Carville's ideas on restoring his party to power come from GOP successes.
He credits former GOP Rep. Newt Gingrich's takeover of Congress in 1994 and the "Contract With America" with offering a similar approach.
"I admired that. And I've talked to Gingrich at length about this," he says of Gingrich's strategy. He notes that the House Republicans failed to seize the momentum of their success.
Carville makes reference to how the Republicans have wrapped themselves in the American flag, while Democrats have ceded the battle over "patriotisim" by doing nothing to "define" it to suit themsleves. Um, what the hell is progressive patriotism? While I hate to give him my money, it may be worth it to buy his book and read what he says on the subject.
And he points out some very obvious lessons the Republicans better learn:
- Seize the momentum gained by good ideas, and follow through.
- Clean up your house. The scandals, if not dealt with, will be the end of the party's current standing and severely hinder future efforts to get things done.
More of Carville's ideas include:
- Democrats' foul treatment of Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito was nothing more than unpleasant politics so that the Chuck Schumers and Ted Kennedys of his party "will be able to say we told you so" in the future when, for example, Alito works to overturn Roe v. Wade on the first case before the Supreme Court.
- Congress needs to dramatically overhaul campaign finance and lobbying laws -- and make it all 100 percent public. He thinks that challengers to sitting members should be able to raise as much money as they can.
- America should shift to much more use of nuclear power and even drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if need be.
- New Orleans should become the first "Green City" in America, making it a showcase of what can be done.
- Salaries for members of Congress should be $350,000 a year instead of an average $150,000. "You've got somebody making $150,000 a year hanging out with millionaires and with $800-an-hour lobbyists. It's a system designed to be at best corrosive and at worst corrupting."
- Community colleges will be the way of the future with respect to creating the needed opportunities for the disadvantage and elderly to make progress through learning new skills.
- Immigration reforms are needed, but ones that are realistic. For example, he chides President Bush's idea of sending people back to their home countries after five years. But, he added, "the Democrats just don't get it" too with silly ideas like amnesty.
I wonder which party will actually take these comments to heart and take action. I suspect he will be dismissed by the complacent Republicans. The Dems are too fractured at this point and their radical Left wing fringe will never go for this.
I suspect both parties, if they don't evolve, will go the way of the Whigs and Torries. Leaves you wondering what new parties will emerge in the future.
Whatever you think of James Carville, the fact remains that he was a master at keeping Clinton in office, popular with the public, and helping him to get re-elected. He's set to help Hillary any way he can. Maybe we need to read and study what the other side is advocating now, before we get caught up in yet another Clinton presidency.
Monday, January 16
I think we must live in an alternate universe. Our universe is upside-down, inside-out, and left-to-right instead of right-to-left. Nothing here makes sense to me.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson and Bruce Gordon (the new president of NAACP) are planning a big event to honor a very special hero of the black community. This event is expected to draw 15,000 people and will probably be held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Who is this Black American hero they are planning to honor?
Is it Colin Powell, the first black 4-star general, first black chairman of the joint chiefs, first black man to be Secretary of State, and first black man who could be President if only he wanted to be? No. It's not him.
Is it Clarence Thomas, the first black man to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States? Nope.
Is it Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Stanford professor and the first black woman to serve as Secretary of State. Nope, not her.
Is it Guy Bluford, the first black NASA astronaut who flew for 8 days in space? Nope. Not him.
Is it Ron McNair, the second black NASA astronaut (who died in the space shuttle Challenger disaster)?? Nope. Not good enough.
Is it Dr. Walter Williams, distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and another truly inspiring black American. Nope.
Is it Dr. Thomas Sowell, distinguished professor from Stanford University? No.
Is it Richard Pryor, a real national treasure, who just recently passed away?
Nope, not him either...
I could go on and on. There are thousands and thousands of truly amazing
black Americans who deserve an honor like this....
So who is it that The Reverend Jackson and the NAACP plan to honor???
Which black icon is going to draw 15,000 people to honor him????
It's none other than Stan "Tookie" Williams, the thieving murdering thug who founded the Crips gang--- The coward who killed a little old lady with a shotgun blast to her face. This guy was so rotten and vile that they had to put him to sleep to get rid of him once and for all. That's who. That's who is being honored. That's the role model for our young people....
I'm sorry. I just don't get it. Can this really be happening????
Beam me up Scotty. There's no intelligent life here.
I think Martin Luther King must be flipping in his grave over what the "black leadership" has done with his legacy. Shame too. If you spin a good enough tail that resonates not with the better angels, but the lesser demons, then you end up with leadership like this.
Maybe Jesse "shakedown" Jackson is the pied piper, leading all those who follow to destruction. He certainly isn't leading them to a better future.
Friday, January 13
We are bloggers with boatloads of opinions, and none of us come close to agreeing with any other one of us all of the time. But we do agree on this: The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street.
As they say, read it all.
Same Question, Same Answer
Cindy Sheehan asked President Geo. W. Bush, "Why did my son have to die in Iraq?"
Another mother asked President Clinton, "Why did my son have to die in Bosnia ?"
Another mother asked President Johnson, "Why did my son have to die in Vietnam ?"
Another mother asked President Truman, "Why did my son have to die in Korea?"
Another mother asked President F.D. Roosevelt, "Why did my son have to die on Iwo Jima?"
Another mother asked President W. Wilson, "Why did my son have to die on a battlefield in France?"
Yet another mother asked President Lincoln, "Why did my son have to die at Gettysburg?"
And yet another mother asked President G. Washington, "Why did my son have to die at Valley Forge?"
Then long, long ago, a mother asked, "Heavenly Father, why did my Son have to die on a cross outside of Jerusalem?"
The answers to all these are similar:
So that others may have life and dwell in peace, happiness and freedom...
The loss of a child is considered to be one of the most stressful things a mother (or father) can endure. The question is reasonable, but don't discount or dismiss the answer.
Value and appreciate the lives of those who fill your life and days while you have them, but more importantly, honor their sacrifices and do not dishonor them in their deaths.
For all those who have given of themselves with life, limb, or innocence, thank you.
Thursday, January 12
Hey, I've long ago forgotten how to post things to LGC, so I'll just leave this as a comment in case someone wants to do the work of upgrading it to a post.
I've just finished a new zombie report that is so odd that I'm pretty sure Charles will never feature it -- which leaves the door open for LGC to have a zombie exclusive! Here it is:
Definitely my strangest report ever -- just a sort of photo diary of a typical bohemian day in San Francisco. That's right -- no protesters, no crazy signs (well, a couple of crazy signs) -- merely a peek into a day in the life of zombie. Entertaining in its own strange way, since it covers a lot of unrelated topics, each noteworthy in its own right.
OK, I'll stop blabbing now and let you all enjoy the report!
zombie | 01.12.06 - 3:58 pm |
Update:Now also at LGF, but we do have exclusive zombie commentary :-)
Wednesday, January 11
The Latest Twist to the Nigerian Money Transfer Scam
ASSALAMA AILEKUM. I am highly compelled upon strict recommendation, to write you this very urgent and confidential letter.I do hope my letter will not embarrass you since I had no previous correspondence with you. I am sending this proposal with due sense of umanity,responsibility and with few awareness that you will give it a sympathetic attention. I regret the inconvenience it may cause you x-udd on the condition that we have not met before. I am Mrs. Munirat Fatima Abacha, the wife of Mohammed Abacha, son of the Late head of state of Federal Republic of Nigeria - General Sani Abacha.I am contacting you in view of the fact that we will be of great assistance to each other like wise developing a cordial relationship. My husband along with his late father and top officials of their past administr! ation has been accused of looting several Billion United States Dollars from the Nigeria Government. The current attitude of the present government towards my family has indeed made life quite unbearable for us. Fortunately, Mohammed my Husband has Eighteen million and six hundred thousand United States Dollars(US$18.6 million) cash, which he intended to use for investment purposes overseas. This money is kept in a private security company. This money was deposited for safe keeping in the security vault of a freighting agency here by my husband preparotry to being air lifted abroad for investment purposes before his arrest leaving a clause that it could only be claimed by an expertriate partner. It is only my husband and myself that know where the money is kept. Due to the current situation in the country concerning government?s vendettas towards my family, we seek your assistance to transfer this money out of Nigeria for the purpose of investment as intended by my husband.Note that my family is currently being probed by this present government for alleged involvement in misappropriation of public funds during my father-in-law's regime.Towards this effect, an embargo restricting my family members from traveling or carrying out financial transactions without their express permission is in force. Right now, my husband (Mohammed) is under arrest and is being detained in connection to the above and other activities of his late father.However, I have an arrangement on how to freight this money to you after receiving some assurances from you of the safety our own share and that you will only take the commission that we will offer you.This money personally belongs to my husband and he intends that it still be used for investment. The freighting company to be used has now been introduced to me and as so on as we recieve your readiness to assist us recieve this fund we shall formalize the deposit documents in your name and reach an agreement with them to air lift the consignment for your pick up.Bearing in mind that your assistance is needed to transfer this fund, we propose a commission of 15%(Fifteen Percent) of the total sum to you for the expected services and assistance. While 5% is mapped out for miscellaneous expenses. On your positive consent, I shall expect you to contact me urgently to enable us discuss about this.Your urgent response is highly needed. I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinarily confidential, while I await your prompt response. Please send reply to my most private email@example.com
MRS. MUNIRAT FATIMA ABACHA
Anyone wanna help?
Didn't think so.
Tuesday, January 10
Something Bob Munck said on Pablo's earlier thread attracted my interest:
A more difficult question is when before birth an embryo becomes sentient. I am convinced by the scientific results that it is more than six months after conception, but again, I don't get to make that decision. The mother does.
This strikes at the heart of the matter. Is a developing baby a person?
Or are they the exclusive property of the mother up until the very moment of birth?
Hence the connection to Dred Scott v. Sanford. The only worse decision in Supreme Court history than Roe was Dred Scott. Dred Scott was reckoned a piece of property.
During slavery anyone doing violence to a slave had to answer to that slave's master; otherwise the full weight of the law could be brought down upon whoever presumed to raise a hand against another man’s human property.
John F. Callahan.
Likewise today a woman's unborn child is dealt with as her property. She can decide whether the child lives or dies. The father has no say whatsoever. Indeed, as has been part of the Alito controversy, the father does not even have to be informed.
The unborn child is the property of the woman who is gestating it.
Does this seem right to you?
Dred Scott was the property of Dr. John Emerson. Does that seem right to you?
What is the difference? Especially after the child reaches viability.
I'm not talking about pre-viability. Using Mr. Munck's example, the woman would have already had six months to make her choice (to ignore all of the other choices she'd already made to get there). Roe v. Wade went nowhere near that:
3. State criminal abortion laws, like those involved here, that except from criminality only a life-saving procedure on the mother's behalf without regard to the stage of her pregnancy and other interests involved violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects against state action the right to privacy, including a woman's qualified right to terminate her pregnancy. Though the State cannot override that right, it has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman's health and the potentiality of human life, each of which interests grows and reaches a "compelling" point at various stages of the woman's approach to term. Pp. 147-164.
(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician. Pp. 163, 164.
(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. Pp. 163, 164.
(c) For the stage subsequent to viability the State, in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life, may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. Pp. 163-164; 164-165.
By extending Roe v. Wade to include a child up to the point of birth the Court has taken the original (bad) decision to ludicrous standards, and Mr. Munck has given us the reason why, and it has nothing to do with privacy.
The Left see the child as the exclusive property of the woman.
Again, does this seem right to you?
Reflections on Sharon: The Battle of the Chinese Farm, and Other Mad Adventures
Sharon’s problematic reputation goes back to the 1948 war, when he first made his bones in the Palmach strike battalions of the Haganah. By the age of 22 he was a major in command of Unit 101, Israel’s first special forces unit. His critics point back to this time when they call him a maverick who ignored or exceeded orders at will, and who acted with disregard for civilians and human life in general.
In irregular warfare, the problem of telling soldiers from civilians is not a trivial one. Especially when the enemy routinely operates from civilian-occupied areas, and makes no attempt to protect or evacuate civilians even when given plenty of opportunity to do so. It doesn’t help when your enemies get the benefit of every doubt, even from your so-called friends. Technically, the Jordanian police at Kalkiliah were civilians, and the Palestinian fedayeen they were protecting could be called “civilians” too. But those fedayeen were crossing the border to kill Israelis, after which they would fall back behind a shield of other civilians. Unit 101 took them out (violating Jordanian sovereignty in the process, horror of horrors) to stop their operations, not because Sharon wanted to maliciously kill some noncombatants.
Sharon’s supposed insubordination (and general beastliness) during those early years of struggle have never been specifically established, and never could be. The operations of the Haganah and of Unit 101, during those most precarious days of Israel’s existence, were generally secret. They were often carried out without written orders, in situations where command authority was either unclear or was deliberately obscured for purposes of deniability. Compared to our own covert ops in Vietnam, Sharon’s shadow war was relatively mild. Compared to French measures in Vietnam and Algeria, it was laughable. Compared to standard PLO practice, it was a model of humane restraint. Finally, it took place during a time in which – as David Ben Gurion well recognized – it was absolutely vital that Israel show that she would defend herself in deadly earnest, or she would never have a moment’s peace.
Far from being an undesirable loose cannon, Ariel Sharon was the ideal man to conduct such operations. The more “maverick” he was, the better suited he was. Ideal for his critics, too – those who can’t stomach what it takes to survive in the face of an utterly ruthless foe can pretend that the efforts which keep them safe in their homes are the work of an irresponsible madman. So they can have their safety without taking moral responsibility for it. In short, Ariel Sharon was exactly the kind of man that his nation needed him to be, right across the political spectrum.
During the Sinai Campaign of 1956, Sharon was criticized for provoking an unnecessary (but fairly minor) battle at the Mitla Pass. Classic Sharon, his critics would say. After having been denied permission to attack the pass, Sharon was allowed to scout it, and his overly aggressive reconnaissance led to a fight. Therefore, he “disobeyed” orders. The successful efforts that allowed his brigade to reach the pass in the first place were overshadowed, and his military career was nearly ended. If this is insubordination or incompetence, there are many famous generals in history who could cite better examples from their own experience. Fortunately for Israel, Sharon was not finished. In 1967 he led Israeli forces to a brilliant victory at Abu Ageila that literally ended the war on the Sinai front: when the Egyptian chief of staff learned about this defeat he panicked and ordered a general retreat, taking Egypt right out of the fight.
Which brings us to the 1973 war, and Sharon’s most infamous feats of mad dog behavior. Driving towards the Suez Canal in typical Patton style, Sharon’s tanks and paratroopers collided with heavily fortified Egyptian infantry at the so-called Chinese Farm. Rather than another neat Abu Ageila, the Israelis endured three days of fighting and heavy casualties before Sharon crossed the canal and ripped through the Egyptian rear, completing a fatal encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army. Again, in defiance of orders!
Taking the Chinese Farm battle first: Sharon’s enemies called it a huge blunder, and accused him of leading an entire brigade into an Egyptian trap. (Sharon’s enemies can’t make up their minds whether Sharon is too good at killing people, or not good enough.) A three-day pitched battle is nobody’s idea of a good time, and grinding it out in the face of a superior enemy position is not the classic IDF style. No doubt (like Gettysburg, Waterloo, Stalingrad, and Marathon) it could have been done better. During the Six Day War, Israeli armored forces had moved virtually at will, destroying anything in their path. One of the lessons of 1973 was that those days were over. For the first time in history, a country faced an army that had been literally custom-built to destroy them. The Soviets built Egypt a new army from scratch after 1967, and then trained it for two years behind a screen of UN peacekeepers – which then rolled out of their way as neatly as a sliding door. They hurled this army at Israel on the tenth day of Ramadan, that notorious Islamic peace-fest, and when Israel reeled back and then moved to counterattack, they found that all the rules had changed. The Egyptian forces were protected by an umbrella of first-class SAMs that took a heavy toll of Israeli aircraft. It was no longer possible for a fighter-bomber squadron to route an entire Arab armored division. And Egyptian troops were now equipped with superb wire-guided Soviet anti-tank missiles that were ideally suited to desert warfare. Under these circumstances, it was ridiculous to expect that IDF forces could encircle the enemy without a brutally hard fight, and it was almost a miracle that they were able to succeed at all.
But the enemy’s deadliest weapon against Israel, as always, was diplomacy. The sort of diplomacy, that is, where the enemy gets to call a time-out whenever things start to go against him. Israel is expected to obey every whim of the allegedly peace-loving world community, while her enemies get to raise hell until they get themselves into so much trouble that they need another ceasefire to save their bacon. It was during one such plea for “peace” that Sharon continued to pound nails into the Third Army’s coffin, ensuring that the Egyptians and their Soviet sponsors would have to call the show off for good. Kissinger scolded the ambassadors, and the Soviets went into a purple fit, while Golda Meir just shrugged her shoulders: What could she do, with that lunatic Sharon running loose and disobeying orders? I doubt if any prime minister was ever happier to be disobeyed.
Once again, as in 1948, Sharon was exactly the sort of loose cannon that his nation needed him to be, and thank God for that. Lincoln famously observed that he wished other generals would drink some of Grant’s whiskey, and so long as Israel must operate under the lopsided restraints that no other nation on earth is expected to observe, she ought to hope that she will always have a few mavericks like Ariel Sharon. And the liberals can sit safe in their homes and curse him. Everybody wins.
Etemaad, the Iranian-run newspaper, reported that the 17-year-old "confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005."
In the fracas, the boy friends got on their motorbikes and fled, leaving the two girls defenseless. With that, rapists proceeded with their attacks.
Three Muslims "pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them." She then took a knife, stabbing one of the men’s hand. The men continued with the attack.
As the girls attempted to run from the park, the men bodily got hold of them again. Nazanin then stabbed one of the men in the chest. "The teenage girl broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape."
The decision of the court? Nazanin will be hanged to death.
-J. Grant Swank, Jr.
No where in the world and under no law self defense is considered to be a crime, but in the tyrannical mullacracy of Iran if a woman does not resist rape she will be stoned as adulterer and if she does she will be hanged.
Please complain to the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner. firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to pressure Iran to free Nazanin.
Monday, January 9
An Abortion Rights Brain Teaser
Now, what shall we make of this
Selective Abortion: 10 million girls 'missing' in India
Around 10 million female foetuses may have been aborted in India over the past two decades because of ultrasound sex screening and a traditional preference for boys, according to a study published online in The Lancet.
Researchers based in Canada and India looked through data from a national survey, conducted among 1.1 million households in 1998, and at information about 133,738 births that took place in 1997.
They found that in cases where the preceding child was a girl, the gender ratio for a second birth was just 759 girls to 1,000 boys.
And when the two previous children were girls, this ratio fell even further, to 719 girls to 1,000 boys.
On the other hand, when the preceding child or children were male, the gender ratio among successive births was about the same.
Based on the natural sex ratio in other countries, around 13.6-13.8 million girls should have been born in India in 1997 -- but the actual number was 13.1 million.
"We conservatively estimate that prenatal sex determination and selective abortion accounts for 0.5 million missing girls yearly," said one of the authors, Prabhat Jha of St. Michael's Hospital at the University of Toronto, Canada.
"If this practice has been common for most of the past two decades since access to ultrasound became widespread, then a figure of 10 million missing female births would not be unreasonable."
The "girl deficit" is far more prominent in educated women, the investigators found.
Isn't abortion liberating? Isn't choice wonderful? How happy these mothers must be that they are able to not only choose whether to have a baby, but what kind of baby to have. What a wonderful society to have such a firm commitment to women's rights. I am woman, hear me roar! Unless I was aborted for being a girl...
Disclaimer: Sarcasm has been liberally applied.