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HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY!

Today is the day civilized folks celebrate the great Italian explorer who brought the One True Faith, the written word, and the wheel to the...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, June 10, 2005

What in the world is this 10 lane highway crap?

Our own interstate highway system practically destroyed this nation all by itself. How can people be this stupid?

Imagine this: your state government puts a transportation corridor in your neighborhood. It’s nearly a quarter-mile wide. It will serve vehicles and trains and incorporate oil, gas, electric and water lines. Try to fight it and you’ll not only face the combined might of your local, state, and federal governments, but foreign interests as well. The internationalization of U.S. roads has begun.
We’re not just talking about isolated instances of privately-built toll roads with foreign management, as we’ve seen in Southern California. We’re talking about networks of toll roads that may be built by foreign builders, managed by foreign operators, function primarily to accommodate foreign goods, and connect U.S. roads to similar networks in Canada, Mexico and, later, Central and South America.
Interstate 69, for example, is a planned 1600 mile national highway connecting Mexico, the U.S., and Canada. Eight states are involved in the project: Once completed, I-69 will extend from Port Huron, Michigan to the Texas/Mexico border.
In Texas, I-69 will be part of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) project – a 4000 mile network of existing and new toll roads – which will create the largest private highway system in America. Interstate 35, also called the Oklahoma to Mexico/Gulf Coast element, will be developed as part of the TTC.
Plans call for the TTC to be 1200 feet wide with 10 vehicle lanes (three passenger vehicle lanes in each direction), truck lanes (two in each direction), six rail lines (three in each direction), two tracks for high-speed passenger rail, two for commuter rail and two for freight. The corridor will include a 200 feet right-of-way for oil, gas, electric and water lines.
According to Corridor Watch, a group opposing the TTC, Governor Rick Perry announced his Corridor vision in 2002, instructed the Texas Department of Transportation to prepare an action plan and within six-months the Department of Transportation presented the finished product to the state Transportation Commission. “Without any substantive discussion or debate and without public comment,” the Commission approved it, a plan projected to cost up to $185 billion and take up to 50 years to build.

(Thanks to WND for the heads up.)

From The Why Science Is NOT Always Cool Department:

From the San Francisco Chronicle (!), via WND, comes evidence of corruption of the scientific method. (Surprise!)

Up to a third of scientists have engaged in ethically questionable practices over the last three years, according to a survey published in today's issue of the British science journal Nature.

The surveyed behaviors range from extremely serious acts such as fraud and plagiarism -- which were committed by only a fraction of a percent to 1. 4 percent, respectively -- to acts that are ethically far more ambiguous, such as ignoring data that contradict one's theory.

The survey does not necessarily mean that one-third of all the biomedical scientists surveyed are guilty of misconduct, as many of their acts are subject to varying interpretations, (Emphasis mine.) cautions the study's lead author, sociologist Brian C. Martinson of HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis, which sponsors research on health-related issues.

Wouldn't you expect someone with an interest in preserving the status quo to say something like that?

Still, the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, suggests that science is becoming so competitive and so dominated by big business (Emphasis mine.) that many scientists repeatedly find themselves faced by uncomfortable ethical choices -- and the decisions they make may not always be the wisest, Martinson said in a phone interview.

Of course big business is the culprit. It couldn't possibly be scientists screwing with reality in order to promote a political agenda. Can you say "Lysenko" ?

He said he rejects "people who want to sensationalize (this finding) and say 'all scientists are corrupt' " -- which isn't his belief. Rather, he hopes to start a serious national discussion of the moral dilemmas generated for scientists by the high-pressure, big-bucks atmosphere of modern science.
Historically, scientists have defined misconduct as publication of false, fabricated or plagiarized data. But that's far too narrow a definition of scientific misconduct, Martinson said, and he and two colleagues, Melissa S. Anderson and Raymond de Vries, both of the University of Minnesota, try to go far beyond it in their study.

The anonymous surveys were mailed to almost 8,000 NIH-funded biomedical researchers. Of the seven most-frequently reported instances of possible misconduct in scientific publication, the biggest sound pretty harmless to laypeople: "inadequate record-keeping related to research projects," which was admitted by 27.5 percent of the 3,247 respondents.

The others were:
-- "Changing the design, methodology or results of a study in response to pressure from a funding source," reported by 15.5 percent.
-- "Dropping observations or data points from analyses based on a gut feeling that they were inaccurate," admitted by 15.3 percent.
-- "Using inadequate or inappropriate research designs," acknowledged by 13.5 percent.
-- "Overlooking others' use of flawed data or questionable interpretation of data," reported by 12.5 percent.
-- "Withholding details of methodology or results in papers or (research) proposals," cited by 10.8 percent.
-- "Inappropriately assigning authorship credit" -- that is, not fairly identifying the researchers, admitted by 10 percent.

Astronomers criticise plans to allow cellphone use on planes

I'll believe anything that will halt this coming plague.

Using cellphones on aeroplanes could drown out faint radio signals from space, astronomers are warning. They told a US agency considering lifting in-flight restrictions on cellphones that special devices should be installed on planes to limit damage to research if the regulations change.

US law currently prohibits aeroplane passengers from using cellphones because they may interfere with critical aircraft electronics. But the dramatic use of cellphones by passengers on the planes hijacked on 11 September 2001 spurred many people to petition the government to change this policy.

"It was not the cellphones that caused those planes to crash," says Paul Feldman, a telecommunications lawyer at the firm Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth in Arlington, Virginia, US. "For better or worse, there's an increasing expectation that people can use their cellphones everywhere, all the time."

Now two government agencies - which would probably both have to agree to lift the ban - are reviewing the issue. The Federal Aviation Administration may reverse its policy depending on the results of a study on how cellphones affect flight safety. The study should be finished in January 2006.

Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked for public comments on the possibility of lifting its restrictions, which were originally put in place because of the strain that cellphone use could put on ground-based wireless networks.

(Thanks to WND.)

Does the practice of your wrong-headed religion give the government the right to take your child?

I just don't know about this one. I am truly torn. Heal thy poor child, O Lord.

A Texas couple is fighting to regain custody of their 12-year-old cancer-stricken daughter after the state seized the girl, claiming her parents have not done enough to treat her.

A judge has postponed until tomorrow a ruling on whether or not doctors can treat Katie Wernecke against her parents' wishes, KPRC-TV in Houston reported.

Katie's parents, Michele and Edward Wernecke of Agua Dulce, Texas, say their daughter's Hodgkin's disease is in remission and she doesn't need radiation treatment after undergoing a round of chemotherapy. Mr. Wernecke is worried that more treatment will have harmful long-term effects on his daughter and wants an opinion from doctors outside Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi.

But the Texas Child Protective Services believe the recommendations of doctors at the hospital should overrule the parents. Robert Rosetti, program director over investigations at the CPS Nueces County office, claims the parents are being "medically neglectful."

Speaking this morning on NBC's "Today" show, Michele Wernecke said her daughter's illness is unique and should be treated as such.

"I think they should treat her for what her body calls for and not standard protocol. Nobody will look at that," she said. "Not every cancer is the same. Nobody understands that. Her body is not standard, and her cancer is not standard."

The Werneckes, members of the Church of God, have said they oppose blood transfusions unless they are from Katie's mother, but she is not a match, according to doctors.

Their attorney, Daniel Horne, however, said religion isn't at issue. He says his clients don't believe doctors haven't been upfront about Katie's care and have not answered all their questions about radiation's side effects.
"This issue is about parental rights, not about religious rights," Horne said. "They just want to be informed of her treatment. They want to be involved in this."

Last week, the state issued an Amber Alert that led to the seizure of Katie, who is undergoing tests at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The couple's three sons were also taken and are in a foster home.

Michele Wernecke was arrested on charges of interfering with child custody and was released Monday after posting $50,000 bond.

Dealing a blow to Margaret Sanger's murderous machine.

From WND comes this story of how to do battle with the forces of evil:

Planned Parenthood is on the defensive in Indiana after a pro-life group's undercover work led to a state fraud investigation and a judge's decision ordering the agency to turn over medical records for abortions done on girls under the age of 14.

Mark Crutcher, author of a new handbook that aims to re-energize and equip the pro-life movement, sparked the Indiana probe and others like it across the nation with a well-documented survey revealing virtually all Planned Parenthood affiliates fail to report clear cases of statutory rape to authorities.

Girls under age 14 are presumed to be victims of rape, but Planned Parenthood argues that compliance with the underage reporting law would breach the doctor-patient confidentiality agreement.

Nevertheless, Crutcher, president of Texas-based Life Dynamics, insists Planned Parenthood understands the law, noting his group has a tape recording of the abortion provider's top two national attorneys admitting that child-abuse reporting laws override confidentiality requirements in every state.


Mr. Crutcher is the author of Lime 5, a book I highly recommend. It exposes the damage done to the survivors of our national disgrace.

Chinese crackdown on house churches

Our enemies (members of the Religion of Mass Murder) take a page from Howard Dean and seek to prevent their decaying totalitarian one party state from being controlled by a party of non-white Christians.

Chinese police launched a massive raid on house churches in Changchun, the capital city of the Jilin province in the northeastern part of the country, detaining 500 and holding 40 leaders three weeks later, say religious freedom activists with the Voice of the Martyrs

On May 22, during Sunday worship time, police and Public Security Bureau officers simultaneously raided approximately 60 house churches. While most of those detained were released after 24 to 48 hours of interrogation, approximately 40 leaders are still being held in different detention centers.

"This is clearly a major assault on unregistered house churches in Jilin province,” said Todd Nettleton, director of news services for the Voice of the Martyrs. "The amount of man-power, coordination and planning involved in raiding 60 church meetings simultaneously shows this effort came from high levels of the Chinese government."

Five days after the major raids, approximately 60 additional house church leaders were arrested at Jiutai, a suburban city near Changchun. Most of the 60 leaders are still in custody.

One church pastor, Zhao Dianru, 58, was released Monday after 15 days of "administrative detention." Zhao's arrest document accused him of "using other means to instigate and disturb social stability," but did not mention religion or church activities. According to reliable contacts in that area, about 20 boxes of Christian books were confiscated during the police raid.
VOM sources say that university students, professors and other young intellectuals make up a large portion of the raided house church groups. It's believed this is a coordinated campaign to eliminate house church influence in the university areas.

China's new law on religion, the Provisions on Religious Affairs, took effect March 1. Some believed the new law would lead to less restriction on unregistered churches, but these large-scale raids and arrests seem to show otherwise.

The raided house churches are not all part of the same group, and are not affiliated with any of China's major house church networks. They are independent house churches with thousands of believers who choose not to register their Christian activities with the Communist government.

Thanks again to World Net Daily for the heads up..

Christians jailed amid Saudi denial of persecution

Our allies (members of the Religion of Peace) take a page from Howard Dean and seek to prevent their fledgling democracy from being controlled by a party of non-white Christians.

Saudi Arabian officials, after denying allegations that the Kingdom arrests and tortures religious believers, released five Christians arrested in connection to a house church while three remain in custody.

The men released Wednesday, all citizens of India, are Nediyakalayil Daniel Samuel, Koilpillai Vijayakumar, Moothenpackal Mathai Thomas, George Mathew and Biju Thomas, according to International Christian Concern, a Washington, D.C.-based monitor of persecution.

Still in custody are Chittirickal John Thomas, Saji Varghese, Pallivadakkethil James George and Samkutty Varghese.

All of the men, except for Samkutty Varghese, were arrested in a raid May 28 in Riyadh by the Muttawa, or religious police.

The raid is believed to be the result of Samkutty Varghese's detention Jan. 24, when authorities found in his possession names and numbers of people in his Assembly of God group.

Thanks to World Net Daily for the heads up.

Another good blog

Michael Yon is a journalist. Only better.

If he's good enough for Major K. and Lance In Iraq, he's good enough for me.


Camp Caldwell
Iran Border Region, Iraq

A platoon from the Tennessee National Guard was preparing to creep up to the Iranian border during the night. Using night-vision equipment, the soldiers were to employ ground surveillance radar to locate smugglers crossing the mountains into Iraq. But as the platoon prepared their equipment for the night's mission, Captain James Hite, the company commander for Team Brave 1/278th Regimental Combat Team, walked into the TOC and announced a new mission. Fresh intelligence indicated that a priority target had arrived in a nearby village. The smugglers would get a free pass tonight; the platoon was to conduct a hasty raid to capture or kill a suspected terrorist.

The target was Ali Niami Jani, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iraqi Border Patrol, who moonlights for Iranian Intelligence. Ali Jani was apparently a proud and boastful man, saying he owned "a thousand sheep." Translation: I’m rich.

According to the Iraqi Border Patrol, Ali Jani was known to smuggle "anything that will make money" into Iraq, or into Iran: drugs, weapons, explosives. Ali Jani is also known to sell arms and explosives used to attack Coalition and Iraqi forces. This would make Jani a terrorist.

Major K. is now an international media star.

I am proud to say "I knew his blog when...". The major is himself one of the good guys.

Here is part of his
post on the interview with the BBC:

The interview was unfortunately what I have come to expect from the BBC and the MSM in general. Mostly negative, leading questions about the situation here, why people here feel their dignity is being violated by house searches, etc. Ross, my interviewer, also asked why so many bloggers think the press has it wrong. I told him that it was because they only covered a tiny percentage of the whole story. They never talk about the reconstruction projects underway, the smiles, the many people who thank us for giving them their country back and beg us not to leave too soon, the warm greetings and the kids that run out to our Guntrucks waving whenever we drive by. I told him that I am well aware the fact that in modern journalism, "if it bleeds it leads." Part of the problem is that although I am in one of the hotter areas of Baghdad, we see very few journalists around here. Most of the time, they stay in the comfort and relative safety in their hotels in and around the green zone broadcasting from their balconies surrounded by private security. They only come here for large operations and leave shortly thereafter.

Here is another recent post from Major K. on the new democracy in ol' Babylon:

This is the local council of Sheikhs meeting with the local leaders of the Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and US Forces. There was plenty of arguing about security, the tactics of the Iraqi Army, and the Sheikhs using their influence to root out the arhabi in their neighborhoods and report them to the Iraqi authorities. Our interpreter was struggling to keep up with the number of people speaking. As usual, almost everyone was looking out for themselves, but the key was this. No one got shot, stabbed, slapped, punched or thrown out a window. In fact, they Iraqi leaders of the meeting admonished everyone to watch their tone and be respectful toward each other in spite of their disagreements. Just like meetings back in America, much more was said than was actually accomplished, but the fact the these folks are getting together without being at gunpoint is another sign that we're moving in the right direction. They all walked away, and will live to meet again next week.

Please pray for Major K. and all our troops, for the safe completionof their mission, and for their safe return to their loved ones.

Also add an extra prayer for Mrs. Major K. and their
son.

You know you paid too much attention (or not enough) to the 1980's when...

...today you suddenly realize Poi Dog Pondering's song "Living with the dreaming body" reminds you of The Pogues' song "Poor Paddy".

Barack Obama is a racist and a coward...

...and what's worse, he is a traitor to his people. Here is Citizen Obama's attempt to be relevant while opposing the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the DC Court of Appeals.

(Note to the senator: Take a good look at what happens to other blacks annointed as "rising stars" in the Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion.)


Now, the test for a qualified judicial nominee is not simply whether they are intelligent. Some of us who attended law school or are in business know there are a lot of real smart people out there whom you would not put in charge of stuff. The test of whether a judge is qualified to be a judge is not their intelligence. It is their judgment.

Wow, how persuasive.

Unfortunately, as has been stated repeatedly on this floor, in almost every legal decision that she has made and every political speech that she has given, Justice Brown has shown she is not simply a judge with very strong political views, she is a political activist who happens to be a judge. It is a pretty easy observation to make when you look at her judicial decisions. While some judges tend to favor an activist interpretation of the law and others tend to believe in a restrained interpretation of the law providing great deference to the legislature, Justice Brown tends to favor whatever interpretation leads her to the very same ideological conclusions every single time.

Socialists always accuse their enemies of doing what they themselves do. A classic and effective Leninist-Leninist tactic.



Judicial decisions ultimately have to be based on evidence and on fact. They have to be based on precedent and on law. When you bend and twist all of these to cramp them into a conclusion you have already made -- a conclusion that is based on your own personal ideology -- you do a disservice to the ideal of an independent judiciary and to the American people who count on an independent judiciary.

Huh? Which is it?

Because of this tendency, and because of her record, it seems as if Justice Brown's mission is not blind justice but political activism. The only thing that seems to be consistent about her overarching judicial philosophy in an unyielding belief in an unfettered free market and a willingness to consistently side with the powerful over the powerless.

What he accuses his enemies of...


Justice Brown believes, as has already been stated in the Chamber, that the New Deal, which helped save our country and get it back on its feet after the Great Depression, was a triumph of our very own "Socialist revolution." She has equated altruism with communism. (Emphasis mine.) She equates even the most modest efforts to level life's playing field with somehow inhibiting our liberty.

Jackass. Read a book.

No.

I apologize to all the jackasses of the world. Even a jackass would hesitate to say "She has equated altruism with communism." Anyone who equates the New Deal with charity has serious problems indeed...

The junior senator from Illinois is nothing more than a low grade moron or its political equivalent, the left-fascist demagogue.

For those who pay attention to legal argument, one of the things that is most troubling is Justice Brown's approval of the Lochner era of the Supreme Court. In the Lochner case, and in a whole series of cases prior to Lochner being overturned, the Supreme Court consistently overturned basic measures like minimum wage laws, child labor safety laws, and rights to organize, deeming those laws as somehow violating a constitutional right to private property. The basic argument in Lochner was you can't regulate the free market because it is going to constrain people's use of their private property. Keep in mind that that same judicial philosophy was the underpinning of Dred Scott, the ruling that overturned the Missouri Compromise and said that it was unconstitutional to forbid slavery from being imported into the free States.

The ignorance of this descendent of slaves (my assumption) is breathtaking. The constitution defined slaves as chattel. It was not a question of property rights. It was a question of whether some people are allowed to say who is human and who is not. (For you bourgeois legalists out there, please see Dred Scott v. Sanford, Jews v. Nazis, and Roe v. Wade.)

BTW, to all of you who laughed at Alan Keyes and refused to help him win: I told you so.




Mr. Andrew Vachss is on the side of the angels.

I do not know anything about Mr. Vachss' politics, his religion, or whether or not he is kind to animals. I have never read any of his books.

But any man who works as tirelessly for God's little ones as Mr. Vachss can't be all bad.

May Almighty God bless and protect him in his mission.


National Association to Protect Children
Behavior is the Truth

Battles of the Day

Thanks to The 50th Anniversary of the Korean War website.


On this date in 1951, the Battle for the Punchbowl began (in the vicinity of Hwach'on Reservoir).

Corporal Charles G. Abrell, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, earned the 73rd Medal of Honor of the Korean War. While advancing with his company against a heavily fortified hill, Abrell voluntarily rushed forward through the assaulting squad that was pinned by fire from a bunker on commanding ground. Although wounded by grenade fragments, he single-handedly attacked the position, exhorting his comrades to follow. Wounded twice more, he stormed the emplacement and hurled himself into the bunker with a live grenade in his hand. The resulting explosion killed the entire enemy gun crew and Corporal Abrell. Inspired by his bravery, his platoon swept the objective.

May God have mercy on Cpl. Abrell's brave soul.


On this date in 1953, the Siege of Outpost Harry began.

During the siege of Outpost Harry, the 15th Infantry Regiment and the 5th Regimental Combat Team, both of the 3rd Infantry Division, repelled an assault by the Chinese 74th Division. The Chinese suffered an estimated 4,200 casualties.


Don't you dare forget the Korean War.

Even though I believe we failed to finish the job by freeing all of Korea, this does not reflect poorly on the brave US and UN forces who fought on the peninsula. The fault lies with the men who sent them to fight and told them to stop.

We are still paying the price for this failure, and may pay an even greater price in the near future.

Blog of the Day

Iraq The Model offers interesting and insightful reporting and commentary from inside Iraq. Here's the latest post.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The rights of the disabled.

Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces are witnessing a considerable activity in holding public conferences and meetings for civil-society organizations to voicing their opinions and hopes about writing the new permanent constitution of Iraq and to guarantee the participation of wider segments of the Iraqi people in the talks about this vital process.

Such conferences and meetings have become so abundant and popular nowadays and many people are taking part in their activities especially intellectuals, politicians, artists, sheiks as well as ordinary people.In this regard, the organization of health and culture organized a conference in Baghdad that called for discussing the draft of the international memorandum for protecting the rights of the disabled and to include the basic clauses of this memorandum in the permanent constitution.

The conference was attended by representatives of NGOs active in this field from all over the country.

At the end of the conference, the delegates demanded to include the principle of nondiscrimination among Iraqis in the Iraqi constitution and they stressed that differences among human beings must be respected and that disability must be accepted and treated as a type of human variation.The participants in the conference also asked the government to provide all that is needed to guarantee equality in opportunities.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings

Today we honor Blessed Caspar Sadamazu, a Jesuit martyr from Japan. He was burned alive for the greater glory of God in 1626. Blessed Caspar, pray for us.

Today's reading is 2 Corinthians 4:7-15.
Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 5:27-32.



Everyday links: The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.


Prayer to Saint Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

WOODWARD DOES WASHINGTON

Ann Coulter is a hoot and a half.

BTW, did I mention she's really hot?

My only regret is that Mark Felt did not rat out Nixon because he was ticked off about rapprochement with China or detente with the Soviets.

Rather more prosaically, Felt leaked details of the Watergate investigation to The Washington Post only because he had lost a job promotion — making him the Richard Clarke of the Watergate era. This will come as small consolation to the Cambodians and Vietnamese tortured and slaughtered as a direct result of Nixon's fall. Oh, well. At least we got a good movie and Jimmy Carter out of it.

Still, it must pain liberals to be praising an FBI man who ordered illegal searches of their old pals in the Weather Underground in the early '70s. For those searches, Felt was later prosecuted by the Carter administration.

Ironically, only because of Watergate — which Felt helped instigate — could a nitwit like Jimmy Carter ever become president — a perch from which Carter pardoned draft dodgers and prosecuted Mark Felt. No wonder Felt kept denying he was "Deep Throat.

Thank goodness for Watergate. Without it, we would be naming all our political scandals after Teapot Dome.

Walter Williams spanks the racialist mob.

If I had had an economics professor like Walter Williams...
(BTW, Dr. Williams is subbing for conservatives' favorite serial adulterer tomorrow.)


If you listened to the rhetoric of black politicians and civil rights leaders, dating back to the Reagan years, you would have been convinced that surely by now black Americans would be back on the plantation. According to them, President Reagan, and later Presidents Bush I and II, would turn back the clock on civil rights. They'd appoint "new racists" dressed in three-piece suits to act through the courts and administrative agencies to reverse black civil rights and economic gains. We can now recognize this rhetoric as the political equivalent of the "rope-a-dope." As my colleague Tom Sowell pointed out in a recent column, "Liberals, Race and History," if the Democratic party's share of the black vote ever fell to even 70 percent, it's not likely that the Democrats would ever win the White House or Congress again. The strategy liberal Democrats have chosen, to prevent loss of the black vote, is to keep blacks paranoid and in a constant state of fear. But is it fear of racists, or being driven back to the plantation, that should be a top priority for blacks? Let's look at it.

Again, Townhall.com comes up big. It's just not fair to those piddling little sites out there.

Man, I LOVE Howard Dean.

Townhall.com lead me to all of these priceless pieces on the man sanity left behind.

- CNSNews.com: Obama criticizes Dean
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) criticized Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean Wednesday night for using "religion to divide."
Obama told reporters gathered at the Rock the Vote awards dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., that Dean needs to tone down his rhetoric. Dean said on Monday that the Republican Party was "pretty much a white, Christian party."

- Elder: Dr. Dean, the shrink is in
Dean considers Republicans a morally inferior species. In a speech in Kansas on Feb. 25, 2005, Dean said the contest between Democrats and Republicans was "a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good." A couple of months later, Dean also called Republicans "corrupt," and said, "You can't trust them with your money, and you can't trust them with your votes."

- Hewitt: A tale of two chairmen
Why the media loves the disastrous Howard Dean and doesn't understand the greatness of Ken Mehlman.

- Noonan: Seeing red
...let's do a thought experiment. Close your eyes and imagine this.
President Bush is introduced at a great gathering in Topeka, Kan. It is the evening of June 9, 2005. Ruffles and flourishes, "Hail to the Chief," hearty applause from a packed ballroom. Mr. Bush walks to the podium and delivers the following address.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I want to speak this evening about how I see the political landscape. Let me jump right in. The struggle between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party is a struggle between good and evil--and we're the good. I hate Democrats. Let's face it, they have never made an honest living in their lives. Who are they, really, but people who are intent on abusing power, destroying the United States Senate and undermining our Constitution? They have no shame.
But why would they? They have never been acquainted with the truth. You ever been to a Democratic fundraiser? They all look the same. They all behave the same. They have a dictatorship, and suffer from zeal so extreme they think they have a direct line to heaven. But what would you expect when you have a far left extremist base? We cannot afford more of their leadership. I call on you to help me defeat them!"

- Ham: The perfect GOP TV spot
Ken Mehlman, thank goodness, is quite a different face to put forward. I say run the comments of the two back-to-back in a TV spot. Nothing dirty; you wouldn't even have to mention specific candidates or campaigns.
Howard Dean: "Republicans aren't very friendly to different kinds of people, they are a pretty monolithic party ... it's pretty much a white, Christian party."
Ken Mehlman: "A lot of folks who attended my Bar Mitzvah would be surprised...We gotta get ourselves beyond this point where when we disagree about politics, we call the other guy names."

- Freddoso: The leader is a liability
I’m beginning to see through the Republican spin,” a GOP Hill staffer instant-messaged me the other day, “and now I don’t think it’s spin anymore. Howard Dean is just totally nuts.”

- AP: Dean defends criticism of GOP
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said Thursday that the recent controversy over his comments isn't going to stop congressional Democrats from focusing on issues like Social Security, gas prices and the war in Iraq.
"You know, I think a lot of this is exactly what the Republicans want, and that's a diversion," Dean said after meeting with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid about the Democrats' agenda for the next few weeks of Congress. "The truth is that we need to focus on exactly the issues that Harry Reid just talked about, and we're going to."

- Bozell: The Howard Dean blackout
If Howard Dean thought it would be a great idea to heighten his profile by becoming chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), he was making a big mistake. Since he was elected to the top party spot on Feb. 12, Democrats have been hiding him like the Clinton staff hid mistresses.
They've had big help from a national media blackout. As Dr. Dean traveled the country dispensing gaffe after gaffe, the national networks ignored him almost entirely. On Thursday, June 2, he cracked at a left-wing convention that a lot of Republicans "have never made an honest living in their lives." ABC, CBS and NBC ignored him for three days, until the Sunday morning interview programs, which have about one-quarter to one-half the ratings of the evening news.

Thomas Sowell on class (part 2)

Someone once defined a social problem as a situation in which the real world differs from the theories of intellectuals. To the intelligentsia, it follows, as the night follows the day, that it is the real world that is wrong and which needs to change.

Having imagined a world in which each individual has the same probability of success as anyone else, intellectuals have been shocked and outraged that the real world is nowhere close to that ideal. Vast amounts of time and resources have been devoted to trying to figure out what is stopping this ideal from being realized -- as if there was ever any reason to expect it to be.

Despite all the words and numbers thrown around when discussing this situation, the terms used are so sloppy that it is hard even to know what the issues are, much less how to resolve them.

Back in mid-May, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal had front-page stories about class differences and class mobility. The Times' article was the first in a long series that is still going on a month later. Both papers reached similar conclusions, based on a similar sloppy use of the word "mobility."

The Times referred to "the chance of moving up from one class to another" and the Wall Street Journal referred to "the odds that a child born in poverty will climb to wealth." But the odds or probabilities against something happening are no measure of whether opportunity exists.

Visit Townhall.com every day. You'll be a better man for it. (Girls, just get over it. You know what I mean.)

Thomas Sowell on class (part 1)

If I had had an economics professor like Dr. Sowell, I would not have hated the subject nearly as much.

The new trinity among liberal intellectuals is race, class and gender. Defining any of these terms is not easy, but it is also not difficult for liberals, because they seldom bother to define them at all.

The oldest, and perhaps still the most compelling, of these concerns is class. In the vision of the left, we are born, live, and die in a particular class -- unless, of course, we give power to the left to change all that. The latest statistics seized upon to support this class-ridden view of America and other Western societies show that most people in a given part of the income distribution are the children of other people born into that same part of the income distribution.

Among men born in families in the bottom 25 percent of income earners only 32 percent end up in the top half of the income distribution. And among men born to families in the top 25 percent in income earners, only 34 percent end up down in the bottom half.

How startling is that?

More to the point, does this show that people are trapped in poverty or can coast through life on their parents' wealth? Does it show that "society" denies "access" to the poor?

Could it just possibly show that the kind of values and behavior which lead a family to succeed or fail are also likely to be passed on to their children and lead them to succeed or fail as well? If so, how much can government policy -- liberal or conservative -- change that in any fundamental way?

Damn it, we just do not hear from Milton Friedman often enough.

The man with more economic good sense in his two thumbs than all the planners and all the fixers in all the capitals of the world combined weighs in on school vouchers.

Little did I know when I published an article in 1955 on "The Role of Government in Education" that it would lead to my becoming an activist for a major reform in the organization of schooling, and indeed that my wife and I would be led to establish a foundation to promote parental choice. The original article was not a reaction to a perceived deficiency in schooling. The quality of schooling in the United States then was far better than it is now, and both my wife and I were satisfied with the public schools we had attended. My interest was in the philosophy of a free society. Education was the area that I happened to write on early. I then went on to consider other areas as well. The end result was "Capitalism and Freedom," published seven years later with the education article as one chapter.
With respect to education, I pointed out that government was playing three major roles: (1) legislating compulsory schooling, (2) financing schooling, (3) administering schools. I concluded that there was some justification for compulsory schooling and the financing of schooling, but "the actual administration of educational institutions by the government, the 'nationalization,' as it were, of the bulk of the 'education industry' is much more difficult to justify on [free market] or, so far as I can see, on any other grounds." Yet finance and administration "could readily be separated. Governments could require a minimum of schooling financed by giving the parents vouchers redeemable for a given sum per child per year to be spent on purely educational services. . . . Denationalizing schooling," I went on, "would widen the range of choice available to parents. . . . If present public expenditure were made available to parents regardless of where they send their children, a wide variety of schools would spring up to meet the demand. . . . Here, as in other fields, competitive enterprise is likely to be far more efficient in meeting consumer demand than either nationalized enterprises or enterprises run to serve other purposes."

Unfortunately, vouchers are too little, too late. Giving tax rebates to those parents willing to sacrifice to send their kids to private schools is the only way to send a message to the educrats. Take away their funding and soon we'll have fewer of them.

Then return control of the government schools to the governed at the local level and presto! you'll have better schools.

French marketing and style consultants tell you how to be a man.

Yahoo! News (via Drudge) gives me a headache.

Macho man is an endangered species, with today's male more likely to opt for a pink flowered shirt and swingers' clubs than the traditional role as family super-hero, fashion industry insiders say. A study along these lines led by French marketing and style consultants Nelly Rodi was unveiled to Fashion Group International during a seminar Tuesday on future strategy for the fashion industry in Europe.

"The masculine ideal is being completely modified. All the traditional male values of authority, infallibility, virility and strength are being completely overturned," said Pierre Francois Le Louet, the agency's managing director.
Instead today's males are turning more towards "creativity, sensitivity and multiplicity," as seen already in recent seasons on the catwalks of Paris and Milan.

Didn't we suffer through this crap in the 1970's? And who listens to the French, anyway? Even their monkeys surrender.

The desecration of Ground Zero

Michelle Malkin (Townhall.com) shines a light under the rock where the left-fascist political and cultural thugs slither.

Most Americans have not been paying attention to the bureaucratic wrangling and political jockeying that has plagued the construction of the World Trade Center Memorial at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. But it’s not just New Yorkers and developers and 9/11 families who should care.
A good portion of the project is federally subsidized. All of us have not only a financial stake, but also a moral stake, in protecting the honor of the victims­ and the dignity of our country.
A Blame America Monument is not what we need or deserve. But it looks like one is already in the works.
In a startling op-ed printed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Debra Burlingame exposed the “Great Ground Zero Heist.” Burlingame is on the board of directors of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines fight 77, which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. She reports that the World Trade Center memorial will encompass a “cultural complex” whose primary tenant will be something called the “International Freedom Center.”
According to an IFC fact sheet, the project “will be an integral part of humanity’s response to September 11.” An educational and cultural center will host exhibits, lectures, debates, and films “that will nurture a global conversation on freedom in our world today.” Tellingly though, as Burlingame notes, early plans for the center that included a large mural of an Iraqi voter were scratched in favor of a photograph of Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson when the designs went public. So much for nurturing that global conversation. The center’s “civic engagement network” will connect visitors to “service” opportunities. Translation: Left-wing activist recruitment center. As the fact sheet notes, “leading NGOs (non governmental organizations) will be offered outposts at the Center to reach out to its visitors.”


All too predictable. Write your Repansycan and your Democrass if you want, but I just don't seem to be able to get pissed off as much these days.

Maybe that's how they win.

Paul Krugman gets smacked!

The 2005 Jayson Awards. . . with your “Krugman-stalking” host, Don Luskin!

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first-ever Jayson Awards! It’s a glittering gala of gotchas, as we recognize Paul Krugman’s most egregious (or just plain hilarious) lies, errors, distortions, misquotations, and embarrassments in six categories. Winners will all receive their choice of any one Krugman Truth Squad logoed product from our online store.

It was a real challenge to pick the winners — the best of Krugman’s worst — because America’s most dangerous liberal pundit has produced an unprecedented wealth of partisan sleaze. And after writing the Krugman Truth Squad column for more than two years, I really thought I’d seen it all. But thanks to the almost two hundred readers who submitted nominations, the 2005 Jaysons recognize a great selection of not only familiar classics, but also some brand-new never-before-seen Krugman howlers.

In case you haven't stumbled over Citizen Krugman's intellectual droppings in your travels, he's a professional fool who somehow keeps getting access to a word processing program.

Think Howard Dean with a style book.

Our second Jayson is for the category of Biggest Howler (Political). And the winner is … Jeffrey Gepner, who submitted Krugman’s Times column from election morning last November. Believing — along with the rest of the media — that John Kerry would win the presidency, Krugman rhapsodized,

I always get a little choked up when I go to the local school to cast my vote. The humbleness of the surroundings only emphasizes the majesty of the process: this is democracy, America’s great gift to the world, in action. … Those people still believe in American democracy; and because they do, so do I. … it’s already clear that the people of Florida — and, I believe, America as a whole — have refused to give in to cynicism and spin.
… Regular readers won’t be in any doubt about who I want to win, though New York Times rules prevent me from giving any explicit endorsement. (Hint: it’s the side that benefits from large turnout.)

Needless to say, Krugman’s not feeling quite so rhapsodic lately. In a Times column three weeks ago he had this to say about “America’s great gift to the world, in action”:

the national election was about who would best defend us from gay married terrorists.

That one's my favorite. I also found the following amusing.

The next Jayson is for the category of Funniest Inadvertent Confession. And the winner is … Paul Kane, who resurrected Krugman’s Times column of April 23, 2000, aptly titled “How to Be A Hack.” In a discussion of the economic “hired guns” who “roam in packs” in Washington, he describes how to identify one, writing,

he has learned that pretty good jobs in think tanks, or on the staffs of magazines with a distinct political agenda, are available for people who know enough economics to produce plausible-sounding arguments on behalf of the party line. Ask him whether he is a political hack and he will deny it; he probably does not admit it to himself. But somehow everything he says or writes serves the interests of his backers … there is another telltale clue: if a person … always sings the same tune, watch out.

And here’s some advice for the Krugman Truth Squad:

Hack jobs often involve surprisingly raw, transparent misrepresentations of fact: in these days of search engines and online databases you don’t need a staff of research assistants to catch ’em with their hands in the cookie jar.

In this case I gladly yield to the expert on the subject of hack writers, Paul Krugman.

The latest opinion on the Gaza pullout from Israelinsider

I believe the pullout is stupid and suicidal, but people, please. It is not America's fault. It is time for Israel and her American supporters to realize there is something seriously wrong.

It is entirely homegrown.

And none dare call it decadence.


Israel, tell America the cold, hard truth
Ariel Natan Pasko
It's time for Israel to stand up to America and say: Stop pushing us into suicidal concessions before it's too late! Even the bible says so.



Mounting a citizens challenge
David Bedein
It is up to U.S. citizen supporters of Israel to work with the Congress to "advise" the State Department that they do not "consent" to its Middle East policy agenda.



Bush to Israel: Drop dead!
Jack Engelhard
Two leaders from the Middle East recently visited President Bush with the same agenda, that is, to cut Israel down to size, and both left happy.



The defining moment
Bruce S. Ticker
Disengagement opponents have yet to galvanize a powerful US lobby, although a well-oiled American force could make or break the country's post-pullout future.


Here's something positive:


Signs of progress
Salah Uddin Shaoib Choudhury
Despite the anti-Jewish socialization at the root of the conflict, there are clear signs that real bridges are being built between Israel and the Muslim world.



Interesting, but really beside the point.

Israeli doctor says Jesus died of a blood clot

Dr. Benjamin Brenner, a researcher at the Rambam Medical Center in the Israeli port city of Haifa, announced that he is publicizing his theory to raise awareness about pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal disorder often associated with long-distance air travel.

The author of an earlier in-depth medical report into the cause of Jesus' death dismissed Brenner's theory, and Bible scholars said that while establishing the physical cause of Jesus' death was interesting, it ignored the spiritual dimension.

All Religions Are Not Created Equal

Robert Spencer (Human Events Online) says what I wish I had said.

Are all religions equal in their capacity to inspire fanaticism and violence? In the wake of the Koran flushing scandal, Tom Regan of the Christian Science Monitor blog wrote a piece to that effect. Even though that scandal has faded from the headlines, the attitudes Regan expressed remain—and interfere with our ability to resist the global jihad. Taking issue with the assertion by Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe that “Christians, Jews, and Buddhists don’t lash out in homicidal rage when their religion is insulted” and “don’t call for holy war and riot in the streets,” Regan wrote that Jacoby had made “an interesting point. There’s only one problem with it—it’s wrong.”

“Unfortunately,” declared Regan, “even a cursury [sic] scan of the headlines from the past few years, or even this past week, shows how wrong it is. Shall we talk about the religious leaders in Israel who have threatened violence and riots, and perhaps worse, to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his supporters, if he goes ahead with his disengagement plan?”

Did Ariel Sharon flush a Torah? Of course not. These people are angered because they think his plan threatens Israel’s survival, not because they think Sharon has insulted Judaism.

Regan goes on to mention the “Jewish religious zealot, who believed in 1995 that there was ‘a religious commandment’ to kill Yitzhak Rabin,” the “whole decades-long situation in Northern Ireland,” the “Christian militias who murdered hundreds of people in the Lebanese refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982,” and “Serbian Christians who murdered 20,000 Muslims in 1995.” Not one example, in other words, of Jews or Christians murdering innocents because they believed their religion had been insulted.

Read the whole column and check out these links:

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery -- a HUMAN EVENTS sister company) and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter); and editor of The Myth of Islamic Tolerance (Prometheus).

Ok. So, this guy walks into a bar carrying a bloody chainsaw...

You just cannot make up stuff like this. From MSNBC.com:

On April 25, Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres.

If you saw this in a movie, you'd call it stupid and unbelievable.

Then they let him into the United States.

That dear friends, is what is known as a punchline. And, yes, the joke is on us.

The following day, a gruesome scene was discovered in Despres’ hometown of Minto, New Brunswick: The decapitated body of a 74-year-old country musician named Frederick Fulton was found on his kitchen floor. The man’s head was in a pillow case under a kitchen table. His common-law wife was discovered stabbed to death in a bedroom.

Look at the guy's mugshot! He's straight out of central casting.

Sid? Yeah, Sid, it's Larry. Have I got a kid for you! Sure, he can play homicidal manic. He was born to play homicidal maniac!

But seriously, folks, these are our borders we're talking about. We cannot survive as a nation if these circumstances continue.

There's religion, and then there's religion...

God-Lite Doesn’t Cut It

Dave Shiflett (National Review Online) takes a look at that world-historical poll from last week (give or take a week) that showed the world the US is a white Christian nation. (Howard Dean, call your office.)

A new poll tells an old story: Americans are deeply religious, especially compared to Europeans. “Religious devotion sets the United States apart from some of its closest allies,” according to an AP-Ipsos survey. “Nearly all U.S. respondents said faith is important to them and only 2 percent said they do not believe in God.” Western Europeans are the “least devout” among the people surveyed (countries include the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, and Spain).

I certainly found this to be true while working on my new book, Exodus: Why Americans are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity. In interviews with believers a consistent theme emerged. They believers rejected the God-lite of progressive Christianity. They desire the absolute God of tradition.

Writer Andy Ferguson encountered the lesser god while taking a class at a West Coast Episcopal seminary. Andy sometimes argued basic Christian beliefs with a professor. After one such discussion he repaired to the lunchroom, where he was approached by a fellow student. “We have finally figured out what your problem is,” the classmate said. “You are the only one here who believes in God.” Andy thought it over and concluded: This guy is right. Thus began a journey that recently took him into Catholicism. In economic terms he had switched brands. It’s highly unlikely he’ll be switching back.

Congratulations, Andy.

Andy’s not alone. The most recent “Religious Congregations and Membership” study, published in 2000 (the study is conducted each decade) by the Glenmary Research Center, tells the statistical story. Progressive churches are progressing, it seems, ever closer to oblivion. The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (11,106 churches) has experienced a decline of 11.6 percent over the previous ten years; the United Methodist Church (35,721 churches) was down 6.7 percent; and the Episcopal Church (7,314 churches) lost 5.3 percent of its membership. Also, the United Churches of Christ (5,863 churches) declined 14.8 percent while the American Baptist Churches USA were down 5.7 percent.

Uh, wait a minute...

The denominations showing growth included the deeply conservative Southern Baptist Convention, a collection of 41,514 churches, whose overall growth rate was 5 percent. The traditionalist Presbyterian Church in America (as opposed the mainline Presbyterian Church U.S.A.) experienced an impressive 42.4 percent increase, while the Christian and Missionary Alliance rose 21.8 percent. Meanwhile, the Evangelical Free Church was up 57.2 percent, and Pentecostal denominations also boomed. The Assemblies of God, with 11,880 churches, saw 18.5 percent growth, while the Church of God, with 5,612 churches, saw growth of 40.2 percent.


Ok. I get it. He's talking about politically conservative churches. It's the politically friendly forces doctrine again. It had to be. After all, from the perspective of The Church, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church in America.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings

Today we honor St. Ephrem the Syrian, who wrote hymns and poems that converted many to Christ and battled the heresies of his day. This is also the feast day of Blessed Anne Mary Taigi.

The readings for the Feast of St. Ephrem are Colossians 3:12-17 and Luke 6:43-45

Today's reading is 2 Corinthians 3:15, 4:1, 3-6
Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 5:20-26


Everyday links:
The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, Pray for us.

Prayer to Saint Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Little Chucky Schumer rails against the fate that awaits all persecutors of the faithful.

From Penraker's blog:


Is it Anti-Catholicism?

Hugh Hewitt (On the radio 1280 AM here in Minneapolis 5PM -8PM ) has been pushing the idea that the Democratic opposition to David Pryor's nomination is anti-Catholic. Democrats have essentially taken the position that one who follows the teaching of the Catholic church on abortion is not an acceptable member of the judiciary.

They have not phrased it that way, of course, but once you listen to what they say, that's what it gets down to.

I don't think this is anti-Catholicism per se. But it seems to leave room on the bench only for Catholics who don't follow the church teaching.
A quick search on the internet showed that Islam is not wild about abortion either. Would the Democrats take the position that a devout Muslim who felt strongly about the teachings of his religion could not be appointed to the court? It would seem so.

How about devout Baptists? They oppose abortion also. Nope, can't be ajudge. Actually quite a few religious faiths take the same position. The Democrats would exclude them all as dangerous religious zealots.
So the Democratic opposition is not really anti-Catholic. It is more anti-religious.

Actually, sir, it is precisely anti- Catholicism. Just think about the moral issues that divide other Christians from The Church. I'm not saying Chucky would welcome a devout Baptist to the federal bench, but it the fact that only Catholicism has a unified philosophical and theological system to oppose the evil of this or any age.

Eleanor Holmes Norton is a racist.

Watch as DC's powerless ignoramus (a deadly combination) fulminates helplessly against a fellow woman of color, albeit one with an education, accomplishments, class, grace, a brain...

The best way to understand the danger of the nuclear options is to inspect the records of the judges whose documented extremism make filibuster or withdrawal of the nominations the only options. They have in common nearly identical, across-the-board, far-right dogmatic views that displace the discipline of settled law. The two who are particularly unacceptable to people of color are Janice Rogers Brown, a California Supreme Court judge and an African American re-nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Terrence Boyle, a Fourth Circuit District Court judge nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Regrettably, Justice Brown’s service on the California Supreme Court has already borne out the prediction of the California Association of Black Lawyers who in originally opposing her nomination predicted that “her appointment may be detrimental to Black America” with nothing short of “far reaching consequences for generations to come.” Her decisions on racial discrimination have been shocking. Two cases illustrate the mind set she would bring to the Court of Appeals.

When her court found that the First Amendment did not keep a court from barring racial epithets in the workplace, Justice Brown suggested that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act also could not constitutionally bar such racially derogatory on-the-job speech, notwithstanding Supreme Court precedent to the contrary (Aguilar v. Avis Rent-a-Car Systems, Inc., 980 P.2d 846 (1999)). Moreover, Justice Brown’s view regarding the role of law in eliminating discrimination is longstanding, continuing and systematic. In one 2005 case, People v. Robert Young, 34 Cal. 4th 1149, she went out of her way to pronounce a unique and discredited view, deprecating the role of race in legal cases. Contradicting an explicit holding in 1985 California Supreme Court case, she found that black women are not a “cognizable group” that might encounter group discrimination. Perhaps the most revealing critique of Judge Brown’s fixed views on race and American law came from California Chief Justice Ronald George, who, like Justice Brown, was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson. In a race case where Brown and George were on the same side, Justice George nevertheless called her concurrence a “serious distortion of history” by equating segregationist practices with programs to eliminate discrimination. He warned that her views on race “will be widely and correctly viewed as presenting an unfair, inaccurate caricature of affirmative action programs” and are “likely to be viewed as less than evenhanded” (Hi-Voltage Wire Works, Inc. v. City of San Jose, 12 P.3d, 1068, 1093-95).

Justice Brown, who cites only one federal case in her ten most significant litigated cases, not only lacks the federal experience needed for the D.C. Circuit in particular. In racial and other federal cases that are more prominent in the D.C. Circuit than any others, she has shown disrespect for federal law and settled principles. President Bush has chosen to nominate to this circuit designated to decide matters of special federal importance a judge who was rated not qualified by 20 of the 23 voting members of the California Bar Commission when she was re-nominated to the California Supreme Court, in part because she ignored established precedent and inappropriately placed her personal and philosophical views in her opinions, according to the Commission. At the federal level, she received a rare ABA mixed qualified (majority) and not qualified (minority) rating. Janice Rogers Brown is unqualified to sit on the D.C. Circuit and her view on race makes her unfit to sit on any federal court today. Her nomination is an insult to people of color that would be compounded by a violation of the filibuster rule to enable her to serve.

Thank goodness this cow can't vote on legislative matters.

Guidebook to Hell

Did you ever wonder how to get yourself a one way ticket to oblivion while pretending you are going to paradise? (Oh! And the virgins! Never forget the virgins!)

Thanks to The Mudville Gazette for the heads up.

When travelling, wear jeans and carry a walkman - try not to look like an Islamic fundamentalist - and for precise instructions on how to link up with Iraqi groups "contact the Salafite jihadist exponents in your own countries".

These are just some of the travel tips and suggestions provided on an Islamist internet site for potential al-Qaeda recruits from various Arab and Western countries who have signalled their desire to go to Iraq to fight against the American troops.

"The route to Iraq for mujahadeen who want to reach the country of two rivers" is the title of a message that appears on a prominent Islamic internet forum often used by the al-Qaeda network. "To reach Iraq, you will need detailed instructions," notes the message, signed by "Doctor Islam", "not just on how to get to the country, but on how to enter one of the mujahadeen groups there.

"The instruction booklet begins with the recruiting phase, which is normally used by Salafite imams in Arabic or Western countries. "The Salafite Jihadists are spread throughout various countries. Many are under surveillance or hunted by the police, but despite this they manage to send zealous young people to Iraq. They [the recruiters] are not far away but among us, though you will need Allah's help to reach them, as on making contact, we could be accused of terrorism.

"The instructions confirm the crucial role of fundamentalist Imams in recruiting aspiring guerrillas for the Jihad in Iraq, but technology also plays a part. "Some of these Salafite mujahadeen participate in our forums" the message says, "and if they do not post many messages it is because they are involved and being hunted by the tyrants".

According to the report, there is the risk of fraudsters even in the recruitment of Islamist terrorists, people who take advantage of the passion of aspiring jihadists to rob them. "Brother, beware of the lies that you find on forums, of those who say they know the way of the Jihad and ask for money. Never give them cash unless they are trusted people in whom you have great faith".

Yeah, keep the faith, baby.

Sgt. Chris Engeldrum, American hero: Requiescat in pace

One more proud and sad story of yet another man better than you and me from our friends at The Mudville Gazette.


Bravest Sacrifice

On the day he was murdered by a coven of cowards, the flag that Sgt. Chris Engeldrum had carried from the firehouse of Ladder 61 flapped over Baghdad. But at 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2004, there may have been an immaculate exception and the flag shed a tear. That flag, that beautiful flag, was yesterday like the Holy Grail in a particularly emotional ceremony — a "two handkerchief job," we hacks would call it — at the Fire Academy.

<...>

Chris Engeldrum took an American flag from Ladder 61, took it to Ground Zero, took it to Djibouti, and then took it to Baghdad, and there that flag from Ladder 61 flew over the skies of Baghdad," Bresler said.

<...>

Swifty — a longtime Army medic — painfully recalled that day last year when Engeldrum was blown up by a 300-pound bomb in a convoy by the rats on a route called "Route Rams" outside of Baghdad.
"He was my best friend, and he thought, even though he was a firefighter putting his life on the line every day, you would be a coward if you didn't go to Iraq and fight evil," said Swifty.

"We were in an absolutely armored Humvee, the bomb was so big, the crater was 6 feet wide and 5 feet deep. I was blinded in the right eye, but my problem was no problem. I saw Chris and Wilfredo Urbino, I knew they were gone. I worked on two guys who were with us, and they made it, bless them. But Chris, what a hole in my heart that makes."

I cannot imagine being able to summon words able to express my gratitude to Sgt. Engeldrum and his family. May God have mercy on his brave soul.

Berge Avadanian, American Hero: Requiescat in pace

The Mudville Gazette tells of the passing of yet another man better than you and me.

When Berge Avadanian jumped into France as part of the 82nd Airborne on D-Day, 6 June, 1944 he was sure he was going to die that day.
"I was a fatalist, myself. I was resigned to death. It was a one-way trip as far as a lot of us were concerned because our chances were not so good."

In fact he did die on June 6 - 2005.

Thank you sir for your service to our country and may God have mercy on your brave soul.

Here's a taste of an interview with Mr. Avadanian:

"It was nothing new to me," said Avadanian of Waltham. At 85, he still talks with the matter-of-fact, sometimes-bitter tone of someone who survived 462 days of combat.

"There were a lot of younger guys. Just boys, going in for the first time. I tried to cheer them up. I said, `Hey, I wonder how the Red Sox are doing. I bet they're getting beat.' Sixty years later, I'm still waiting for them to win," he said.

He remembers seeing just a couple of cows when he landed in a farmer's field. He linked up with other paratroopers, and on the outskirts of Ste-Mere-Eglise at dawn, he killed a German. Then he saw the corpse of a young lieutenant he'd last seen in England having his hair cut, dangling from a tree, his throat slit.

"I'm ashamed of myself. I saw that and I didn't run over to cut him down," Avadanian said.

That's the conscience of a brother in arms speaking.

As the 60th anniversary of D-Day nears, he said, "If God would allow me to be born again, I would pray to God to put me on that same road to Normandy. It was the most gratifying thing I have ever done. I was so proud to be fighting for my country."

Amen to that, Mr. Avadanian. Amen to that.

On politically friendly Moslems.

Remember, only the Moslem countries usually side with the Vatican and the (Republican led) US whenever the UN wants to sterilize people of color or wrap their genitals in latex.

The concept of politically friendly forces can make strange bedfellows, but it also highlights the fundamental agreements possible between people of good faith. (Can you guess what subgenres of "moslem" and "protestant" I believe are not of good faith?)

Rummel vs. the isolationist libertarians

I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but Professor R.J. Rummel is having an interesting discussion on his blog Democratic Peace.


Personally, I have always viewed libertarians the same way I see evangelical protestants. They are usually politically friendly forces (Yes, I know that sounds vaguely Leninist.) who are most often on the correct side of the important questions. Unfortunately, there is a fundamental flaw in the foundation of each system.

As a Roman Catholic, it is obvious to me that flaw is a disordered relationship with God. Of course, conservative evangelicals are closer to the truth than your usual agnostic libertarian.


While I pray for the conversion of all souls, this is not a theological discussion. Political results are what concern us here.


Here's a bit of the exchange which hinges on the participants' opposing attitudes toward our current war. (You do remember we're at war, don't you?)


RJR: From my reading, talks to libertarians, and exchanges of emails, a majority of libertarians are not only negative on the American war against Hussein, but also are against an active policy of promoting democratic freedom abroad, and seem not to understand that we are involved in a war against terrorism that requires military aid and troops in many countries, such as the Philippines and Afghanistan, and an active homeland security. If the National Libertarian Party had its way, we would essentially leave ourselves defenseless at home and abroad. Add to this that democracy itself is thought by many libertarians to be a dirty word, and libertarian attacks on the idea of a democratic peace, and you should see why I sought a concept -- freedomism -- that while believing in maximum freedom separated those who agree with me from these isolationist, anti-democratic (see the last quotes from Knapp, below) libertarians.

Knapp alleges:
Professor Rummel's characterization of libertarians as eschewing advocacy or action for freedom outside the borders of the countries in which those libertarians live is blatantly and irrefutably false, as the existence and work of (to name but three of many organizations) the International Society for Individual Liberty and Libertarian International Organization establishes. In the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, libertarians and libertarian organizations -- in person and with monetary and moral support -- flocked to Russia and eastern Europe to encourage the flowering of freedom. A political movement whose members were unconcerned with freedom outside the borders of the states from which they hailed would not hold international conferences, fund new think tanks in countries emerging from dictatorship, raise funds to publish -- often without any prospect of profit -- libertarian texts in the native languages of countries other than the authors'[2], and so forth.

RJR: I am wrong only if I claim that all libertarians and their groups fit my characterisization. I do not. But, most do, so I've seen. And more power to the minority that have helped the establishment of freedom in other countries. This is one of those disagreements that depends on personal impressions. Citations and references do not help, since we all can be selective. But, surely the National Libertarian Party platform should have some weight in this.

We now get to Knapp's surprising interpretation:

At one time, Professor Rummel held that "[t]o eliminate war, to restrain violence, to nurture universal peace and justice, is to foster freedom (liberal democracy)." It is apparent that, at some point since, he has drastically altered that conclusion: For he now holds that war and violence, even at the cost of peace (an obvious cost in any war) and justice (arguably a cost at least in the particular war at issue), are acceptable methods so long as they have the effect of spreading democracy.

In fairness to Professor Rummel, he advances his new argument along two axes: The imperative of spreading democracy, and the notion that not to do so endangers existing democracies:"[I]n an age of readily transportable biological weapons, such as anthrax, and nuclear weapons, no longer can a country like the U.S. sit back and ignore what goes on elsewhere in the production and deliverability of such weapons. In the hands of those who hate the democracies and their libertarian values, democracies have too much vulnerability to attack. Now, involvement and intervention in the rapacious affairs of thug regimes is of necessity a protection of democracies, not to mention advancing human rights and the freedom libertarians praise."

RJR: One, I do not advocate war or violence against any and all non-democracies. In general, I have argued that fostering democracy can and should be done nonviolently, unless the regime is a threat to the security of democracies. Two, even regarding "rapacious affairs of thug regimes," war against them is not the only or necessarily best recourse (as of Sudan and Burma, for example). There are many nonviolent courses of action, such as sanctions, support for internal pro-democracy movements (as we are doing in Iran), appeals to the UN, submission of documents to the international Court of Justice, and so on.

North Korean Missiles and Cuba

Humberto Fontova (at Human Events Online) reminds one and all (if they are willing to listen) that a commie is a commie is a terrorist:

North Korean officials met U.S officials in New York this Monday but any hopes that North Korea would agree to curtail their Nuclear program in exchange for U.S. bribes seem dim. Reuters quoted a State Department official as saying: "Nothing changed in so far as we received no indication as to how soon or how likely it is that they will return to six-party talks....as for substance, it did not change anything."

A major problem for North Korea's neighbors, we might think. Japan and South Korea should be worried, but those missiles sure can't reach us. Maybe not from North Korea. But an article in London's Jane's Defense Weekly (not exactly an outpost of the right-wing ranting blogosphere) from August of last year states that: "North Korea has long sought to obtain the ability to directly threaten the continental US" (emphasis added).

Now I'll quote directly from a December 11, 2004, article in The Pyongyang Times itself, titled "DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] Military Delegation Visits Cuba":

"The Cuban army and people will fight shoulder to shoulder with the Korean army and people in an anti-US joint front. Our armed forces exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in military fields."

Now let's go back to the October 5, 2003, "This Week" program on ABC, where host George Stephanopoulos interviewed CIA weapons inspector David Kay regarding what his team found in Iraq.

David Kay: "I would contend we've already found things that if they had been known last December, January, February would have made huge headlines: clandestine labs in the biological program, North Korean missiles going to Cuba. ... There's a whole host of stuff we have found."

Hello...? Hello...? Hello!

Typically, none of this made a splash in the mainstream media. Then again, historical knowledge has never been its strong suit. Connecting the dots between North Korea and missiles going to the regime that came closest to setting off nuclear Armageddon in 1962 – a regime that begged, pleaded, even tried to cajole the Butcher of Budapest into incinerating several U.S. cities – simply stumps the likes of Peter Jennings, Aaron Brown and Dan Rather.

Senator Plagiarism strikes again.

Linda Chavez (at Human Events Online) skewers Joe Biden.

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., thinks that the United States' detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "has become the greatest propaganda tool that exists for recruiting of terrorists around the world." Biden told ABC's "This Week" that "we should end up shutting it down, moving those prisoners. Those that we have reason to keep, keep. And those we don't, let go." Biden wants Congress to appoint a commission to study Guantanamo, but the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee seems to have no clue what the practical consequences of his suggestion would be.

That was the stupid. Here comes the wise.

Since January 2002, when the United States began detaining at Guantanamo Bay enemy combatants captured in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other fronts in the war on terror, critics have complained of human rights abuses. Last month, the secretary general of Amnesty International compared Guantanamo to the Soviet gulags, a charge that can only be described as obscene. From 1929 to 1953, 18 million people were imprisoned in the Soviet slave labor camps. The gulags' horrors have been documented by their most celebrated inmate, Nobel Prize-winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and most recently by Anne Applebaum in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Gulag: A History." Men, women, even children guilty of nothing were sent to camps in Siberia where they were worked often literally to death. Applebaum writes that "[p]risoners were also locked in punishment cells until they died of cold and starvation, left untreated in unheated hospitals, or simply shot at will for 'attempted escape.'"

The men imprisoned at Guantanamo are members of an international terrorist organization that has killed thousands of innocent civilians. Most were captured while fighting U.S. and coalition troops. They have provided valuable intelligence about al Qaeda, including its recruitment efforts in Europe, its training methods, especially its use of suicide bombers, and its exploitation of charity fronts to raise money for its efforts. More than 200 men have been released from Guantanamo, some of whom have rejoined terrorist networks and are trying to kill Americans again.

Keep the following in mind every time you read or hear how we are abusing those poor Moslem mass murderers.

One of the techniques terrorists employ is to allege torture and mistreatment when they are captured, regardless of whether it is true. The U.S. military has confiscated training manuals that outline what a prisoner must do. One such manual seized in a Manchester, England, raid instructed al Qaeda operatives in these important lessons: "1. At the beginning of the trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge. 2. Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison." With U.S. military tribunals about to hear cases involving 15 Guantanamo detainees, we should be prepared for an onslaught of torture propaganda.

One of the reasons al Qaeda has proved so deadly an enemy is that it understands and exploits Western sensibilities so well.

About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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