Novel Written By Saddam To Be Published Next Week
This story has nearly limitless fun written all over it.
AMMAN, Jordan -- A novel Saddam Hussein apparently finished the day before the U.S.-led war in Iraq started will be published next week.
His daughter said the book -- "Get Out, Damned One" -- tells the story of a man who plots to overthrow a town's sheik but is defeated in his quest by the sheik's daughter and an Arab warrior.
Saddam has written three other novels. They were simply signed, "Its author." This one will carry Saddam's name.
A Jordanian company will publish the book in Arabic, followed by English and French editions.
The book includes a dedication from Raghad Saddam Hussein to her father that reads, "to the creator of men and heroes ... to the one who taught us all the great values."
Stay tuned for exclusive excerpts kiddies!
"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 24, 2005
Novel Written By Saddam To Be Published Next Week
Little Green Footballs offers the following, that once again proves discretion is the better part of jihad. (Unless you can get your sister's teenage son so high he'll wear any kind of belt you like. Then it's right back to the greater glory, strike the great satan, etc., etc.)
"God Has Ordered Us to Take Care"
The noble mujahideen of Islamic Jihad are cowering like scared rats, after Israel pledged to resume wiping them out.
Of course, they’re only hiding because Allah told them to. Otherwise, they’d be out there fighting, right behind their kids.
BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - Islamic Jihad activists marched on Friday, vowing not to be cowed by Israeli death threats, but group leaders wary of assassination by airborne missiles avoided the rally.
Israel said on Wednesday it had resumed a “targeted killing” policy against leaders of Islamic Jihad, underlining how far a ceasefire with the Palestinians has frayed since a February summit that revived hopes of Middle East peace.
Islamic Jihad chose Beit Lahiya for its usual Friday rally. Around 1,000 faithful turned up to condemn Israel’s decision and pledge retaliation.
“Blood for blood and a shelling for a shelling!” they chanted.
But faction chiefs and masked gunmen who normally join such rallies were absent this time. Even the group’s main spokesman Khaled al-Batsh remained in a car some distance from the rally.
A Jihad leaflet distributed to marchers said: “We urge our mujahideen to take maximum precautions to foil any chance for the occupation and its planes to eliminate us.”
Batsh told Reuters: “The enemy is flying dozens of drones in our skies. Certainly we must be more careful. God has ordered us to take care against the plans of the Zionist enemy.”
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 4:11 PM
Professor R. J. Rummel of Democratic Peace reinforces my biased opinions. Luckily, we're both right.
But three things are different now. One is that there is a president dedicated to a war on terrorism and facing no distracting scandal. Whereas Nixon was reelected for President on the promise to end the war and in its dire days was faced with the Watergate scandal that eventually drove him from office. Two, there is no draft. Absent the draft, there are not the hundreds of thousands of anti-draft young people demonstrating against the war and providing the troops for the left and communists. This is one reason that some Democrats want to bring the draft back, but thankfully, the Republicans are not so stupid. Yet. And three, there was an open and fair election in Iraq and there democratization underway that is supported by the Iraqis. In Vietnam, the South Vietnamese government had little democratic legitimacy. It appeared authoritarian and corrupt and the democratic elections it held appeared bogus to many South Vietnamese. With the help of North Vietnamese agents, political organizations were set up in the South to call for a "Third Way" between North and South, for freedom and independence. These groups, attractive and legitimate on the surface, severely weakened the government at home and abroad, particularly in the Unites States, where "Third Way" activist often made speeches and gave testimony.
So, although as I watch events, I get this feeling that I've gone through this before, I don't think the outcome will be the same. In short, I believe the terrorists will lose.
Professor Rummel seems a bit more optimistic about the future than I am. I hope and pray he's right and I'm wrong.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 3:44 PM
James Lileks is a funny guy. Thanks to Arthur Chrenkoff for the heads up.
Gitmo is the gulag equivalent of a Ben Affleck movie: no one's seen it, but everyone has an opinion about it. Given all the rhetoric that's been spilled about this sorta-kinda-not-really Death Camp, it's time we re-examine the facts, and remind ourselves what's really at stake. Herewith a summation.
Q: What is Gitmo?
A: Contrary to what some suggest, it does not stand for "Git mo' Peking chicken for Muhammad, he wants a second portion." It stands for "Guantanamo," a facility the United States built to see if the left would ever care about human rights abuses in Cuba. The experiment has apparently been successful.
Q: Who's in Gitmo?
A: Operation Scoop Up The Little Lost Lambs plucked men from distant countries and brought them to Gitmo to beat them deaf for no apparent reason. There are between 400 and 30 million people at Gitmo, and somewhere between zero and 15 million people have died there.
Q: That's quite the range. Do we have precise figures?
A: Well, technically, no one has died at Gitmo. Metaphorically, millions have perished, since Gitmo is the spiritual heir to assorted thug regimes -- except Saddam's, of course. Think Nazi death camps. Did you know one of the Nazis' Middle East allies was the grand mufti of Jerusalem, a Hitler admirer who was a mentor to Yasser Arafat? Funny how history works. Not ha-ha funny, but Seinfeld-ironic funny.
Q: History is boring. C'mon. Why do they hate us?
A: Because our women wear thongs, our media are naughty, our homosexuals walk around unstoned, and we refuse to let them finish Hitler's plans for the Jews. Because we are the infidel sons of monkeys and pigs who do not believe that most holy of books, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Also because we had something to do with Afghanistan.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 3:27 PM
Going Down Range samples the creature comforts we take for granted.
BTW, Qatar seems to be be what the left-fascists mean when they screech "American imperialism".
Flush toilets and a Chili's restaurant. Those poor opressed bastards. Have we no shame, America?
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Sorry, but I am not dead
I am sorry for not posting for the past few weeks. A while back I went on R&R to Qatar for four days. The US Army runs a facility that is used by troops to relax from the combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is part of a big logistics facility at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. It was nice to sleep in without the fear of a rocket attack, use real toilets and take a nice long hot shower. The dinning facility was good. There was Baskin and Robin’s ice cream, unlimited Gatorade and lots of good fruit to eat. At the gym there were tons of free weight and weight machines with an Orange Julius that charged $1.50 extra for a scoop of protein powder with their drinks. The bonus part was going to Chilis and getting a nice big cheese burger and a real beer. Each soldier is allowed three beers a day. The Army sold beer tickets that cost three dollars and was tracked to your social security number. Some troops were selling their beer tickets for seven or eight dollars at the end of the night. Bonus points was that there were a swimming pool next to Chilis.
One discordant note:
One though came to my mind while I was walking about the mall. I was looking for a bookshop to buy the latest bestseller, classic of literature, or some tales of old Arabic culture; something like the Norse sagas, or tales of old for the region to read while sitting at Starbucks. To my amazement there were no bookstores in the mall. This might be trivial to you, but to me bookstores are a repository of knowledge where ideas can be disseminated or knowledge can be purchased for the inquisitive. Not here.
I guess that part of our imperial system hasn't been implemented yet. Who needs 200 different Sniglets books anyway? Or bibles?
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 3:04 PM
I'm not the only one who noticed the Katie Holmes "conversion" to scientology story. This is from theOneRepublic and Cliff Kincaid:
Actress Katie Holmes, who was raised a Catholic, has announced that she is excited about taking lessons in Scientology, a New Age religion started by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Her new boyfriend and future husband, box-office megastar Tom Cruise, 42, is a Scientologist and has become very vocal in the media about it. A flurry of stories has appeared about Holmes, 26, converting to Scientology.
But the Los Angeles Times noted a bit of hypocrisy in the reaction of Hollywood to this development: “Although Hollywood reacted in panic last year to Mel Gibson’s evangelical zeal tied to the release of ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ it has generally responded to Cruise’s Scientology fervor with determinedly closed-lipped tolerance.”
It’s much more than tolerance. Converting to Scientology is considered fashionable. But if Mel Gibson were dating a young lady and it was announced that she was leaving her established religion or church to convert to his brand of conservative Catholicism, you could anticipate a wave of revulsion and horror.
The difference between Scientology and Catholicism is immense. For years, Scientology fought a battle with the IRS because the government would not recognize its claim to be a religion. The IRS finally granted Scientology its desired status under President Bill Clinton, the recipient of massive donations from the Hollywood glitterati.
If you go to the group’s website, under the “What is Scientology?” category, you won’t find a reference to Scientologists believing in God. Instead, you read such things as “The aims of Scientology are a world without insanity, without criminals, without war, where the able can prosper and where Man is free to rise to greater heights.”
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:43 PM
Today was Fathers' Day. Nobody here really noticed. What we have noticed in the intelligence section is that although arhabi attacks in general are still well below average, we have seen a little bit of an uptick in IED's here in our area. I had a very few people wish me a happy fathers' day today beacuse they know my beautiful wife is expecting our first child. My thoughts on Fathers' day still turn to my father, who passed away, too young, almost two years ago, at the at the age of 71. He was an exceptional father and human being. A finer example of manly chivalry, I have never seen. I wrote this poem for his funeral. I wish he had seen it before he passed.
Be whatever you want
But be a good one
Always do the right thing
And be sure to have fun
He is the man
That I want to be
A daunting task
For the likes of me
Kind and thoughtful
Always and all ways
Exemplifying the Golden Rule
To the last of his days
Responsible, trustworthy and loving
He taught me about being a man
Philanthropic and wise
For one should if one can
His words are oft repeated
The wise and the jest
Intelligent yet humble
Gave family his best
A bit of a kook
He loved his life
By love for his wife
Like a good wine
Should not stay on the shelf
His faith daily drove him
To serve higher than self
A road less traveled
With others in need
When no one was looking
He’d do the right deed
There’s a hole in the world
Where he used to be
Now a darker place
Since he is now free
To know this man of honor
We have been truly blessed
“Pass it on.” He would say
“And give it your best”
To Andrew John Krappman Jr.
As a soon-to-be father, I have a very tough act to follow....
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:32 PM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Some good news and some bad ones.
As usual, these days there are good things and bad things happening in Iraq. I cannot possibly list all the good and the bad but I thought of commenting on some of the things that happened in the last couple of days since I haven't done any newsy posts in a while (Well I know I haven't done ANY posting in a while but hopefully this will change, especially if the electricity improves).
-The worst news these days are the continuous suicide bombings that affected even the capital despite the strict security measures resulting in dozens of deaths in Baghdad alone. This was not unexpected, as it's not realistic to expect security to return to normal (whatever that means since I can't remember any real peaceful time since the 70s) but still security has improved in Baghdad as far as I can tell and from what I'm seeing although it's not what we all hoped.
-Another bad news is the continuous assassinations of Sunni and She'at figures at the hands of extremists from both sides. Yesterday 4 Sunni figures were killed (Radio Nawar/Arabic link). These were part of the Sunni delegation that is negotiating with the committee that was chosen by the parliament to form a draft for the constitution. There's no doubt in my mind that such attacks are carried by terrorists connected to Zarqawi or the Ba'athists, as they announced themselves that they would kill any Sunni who negotiate with the government, but still there are incidents were extremists She'at were involved in such assassination, particularly the Sadirists in hope of inciting a civil war.
-Another bad thing is that we have had no water supply for the 4th day in a raw due to a sabotage of the major water treatment plant by the animals that some still call insurgents, and this includes all Baghdad although government officials said yesterday that "the problems that resulted in a shortage in water supply in Karkh (the western side of Baghdad) were solved" (from Al Sabah/Arabic link).No word about the shortage in the eastern side though and they didn't even acknowledge that there's such a problem!
Anyway, things are not all gloomy as there are some really good things happening too, as many attacks are being stopped, terrorists get caught and the efficiency and number of Iraqi troops is improving day by day.-Yesterday a car loaded with bombs was discovered near a police station in Kirkuk (Radio Nawar/Arabic link). The bomb was removed by IP and multinational soldiers and was then destroyed in a remote place.
-The Iraqi people are also doing their part in reporting suspicious activities more and more these days. According to "Iraq Directory" (Arabic link) sources in the multinational forces said that an Iraqi citizen helped them in arresting a group of terrorists two days ago. The man saw about 10 people running fast from a location near the ministry of interior to a nearby house with guns and RBGs in their hands. He was quick to report this and soon a unite from "Baghdad Task Force" raided the house and arrested 8 suspects most of whom rushed to hide and were found hiding in toilets with loaded guns in their hands.
-Also one particular news that I found very encouraging although may seem not that significant is that the ministry of education started distributing 300 air coolers to the schools in Fallujah (Radio Nawar) to improve the conditions for final-years students that are going to do their final exams on the 1st of June.
I find this as a very good development, as I never ever went to a school that had air coolers and I studied in the best highschool in Iraq that Uday and Qusay studied in too! Of course their classrooms had air conditioners not just air coolers and they had heaters too for the winter while the rest of us had to settle with what ceiling fans can offer in summer and nothing in winter but our clothes. And now schools in Fallujah are getting air coolers? That was just unimaginable before the war.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:22 PM
None of my nonsense needed on this one.
One of my favorite pictures is of a laughing little boy lofted up on his father’s shoulders. Many years have passed since the camera captured that snippet of time - now I’m as old as my father was when the picture was snapped. But in many ways my father is still holding me up.
My father was born on the emerald green island of Java in the middle of World War II. As the war drew to a close my father’s family left the bloodied Pacific for the damp fields of the Netherlands. My dad spent the next few years struggling to adapt to the rigid educational system of post-WWII Holland. At the time the school system was a cold assembly line that used standardized tests to sort students into predestined futures. By the time he was fifteen his academic scores forever closed the door to his dreams.
But my father would not be so easily denied. Rather then numbly accept a future preordained by a few pen strokes my father joined the crew of a merchant marine cargo vessel. When he boarded that ship he left behind the only home he had ever known, and every person he had ever met. I am still awed at the courage it must have taken to simply walk away from everything familiar and leap into the unknown. But leap he did, and when he finally came to rest it was on the shores of the United States of America.
And in America my father finally found a place big enough to hold his dreams. Over the next decade he found a good job as an electronics technician, became a US citizen, and met my mother. His dreams had found fertile ground in the bright sun of southern California. A few years later I was born - the first child of eight. Although we never had a lot of money we were rich in all the ways that really matter. Every facet of my character was chiseled by his firm counsel, and by watching my father I learned what it meant to be a good man.
I learned strength of character is more enduring then any feats of physical aptitude. I learned to take a fall, but more importantly how to persevere. I learned to treat all men with dignity, and to see through the crippling illusions of class and creed. I learned the sanctity of hard work, but that family always comes first. And I learned that all the money in the world can’t buy back a man’s sacred honor.
I grew up around children with more money. Their father’s had bigger houses, faster cars, more prestigious jobs. But I never cared – I had a better dad. My father’s powerful blood courses through my veins and for that I am ever thankful. Happy Father’s Day Dad. Thanks for everything.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:05 PM
Thanks to Lance in Iraq for the heads up and the links.
Building or rebuilding?
Strategypage makes a point I mention frequently (see here and here): there was very little damage done to Iraq's infrastructure in this war because Saddam didn't care to build infrastructure. So when you see someone trying to score political points by referring to the "restoration" of basic services as "slow moving" you know s/he doesn't have much of a grasp of what is going on over here:
Iraq needs about $100 billion to rebuild. Most of this is not repairing war damage, but doing maintenance of infrastructure that Saddam did not do for two decades. He stopped work on roads, schools, hospitals, and utilities when he went to war with Iran in 1980.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:38 PM
I proceeded to tell him that he has quite a following now. He said his wife, Carren told him that there were hundreds, even thousands of supporters. I informed him who all had linked him and that visits were in the tens of thousands. He was quite surprised and happy to hear that.
He remembers quite a bit of what happened. The short version, he picked up the device and tried to throw it over the bridge into the canal, unfortunately it took him with it. I'm surprised he didn't loose both arms. As he told me all the details which I'll leave for him to blog about I realized I was standing in front of a true hero, however I held back calling him the Hero I knew him to be because my gut feeling told me he would reject the label. Instead I just help him with a sip of water.
Something he did ask me to blog about was CPT Jason Spencer, Chuck's XO. Because Chuck was wearing heavy Kevlar armor, he went bottoms up in the canal, and was drowning, Jason dove into the canal to save him, only to find himself in the same predicament as Chuck and almost drowning himself, but he managed to muscle himself upward to then help pull Chuck ashore. This man is a hero and Chuck wanted me to spread the word on this.
The gurney arrived to transfer him to Walter Reed Medical, that was my cue that it was time for me to leave. He asked me if I had a camera, which unfortunately mine was dead, so the answer was "no". He wanted me to take his picture Note to self: always have camera charged. I did however, have for him a copy of "Heart of a Soldiers", a book about a hero Rick Rescorla, autographed by Mrs Rescorla. Chuck was familiar with his story.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:19 PM
The saga of Susan Torres, heroine, and her family continues. Please pray for them all.
By Michelle Malkin · June 24, 2005 07:24 AM
Baby Torres, whose mom, Susan, suffered a stroke at 17 weeks pregnant and is in a coma, is alive and kicking. The Arlington (Va.) Catholic Herald reports:
It has been nearly eight weeks since Susan Torres (pictured at right with her oldest son) was rushed to the hospital after she suffered a stroke caused by melanoma cancer. For eight weeks, despite her brain damage, she has been closely monitored and kept alive for the sake of her unborn baby. And after eight weeks, baby Torres is alive and kicking — quite literally.
According to Mercy Schlapp, a friend of the Torres family, Jason Torres felt his child kick for the first time on June 20.
But the battle for the child’s life is far from over. Twenty-five weeks gestation is the earliest that a baby can survive an early delivery, and this is Susan’s 21st week of pregnancy. The family hopes to wait until 30 weeks before delivering. Right now, the cancer has spread to Susan’s lymph nodes, but the baby is in no immediate danger, said Schlapp.
You can donate to the Susan Torres fund, which Frank J. at IMAO first brought to our attention, here. More info from the Catholic Herald:
Many people have been calling St. Rita Church, where Susan and her husband, Jason, are members, to find out what they can do to help. Father Donahue directs them to the fund established to help with medical expenses not covered by insurance. The bill is expected to be between $300,000 and $400,000, although this may rise depending on how long Susan is kept alive.
They also are asking for prayers, Father Donahue said.
"We’ve been taking care of them spiritually, as a parish family should," he said.
The fund was set up by the Knights of Columbus from St. Leo Parish, of which Jason is a member. On June 10, the fund was placed online and people are now able to make donations through PayPal. The Web site has had more than 25,000 hits.
Before it was placed online, the fund had collected $50,000. Since it was put online, they have received another $30,000, and they are expecting an equal amount from the mail.
"They have to empty the P.O. Box a couple of times a day now," said Father Wooton. This gives him encouragement.
"Keep them in your prayers," he said. "That’s the most important thing right now. We’ve got at least three weeks to go and hopefully five or six weeks." Even if they make it to the delivery date, the baby will still need to be hospitalized after birth.
(Thanks to Michelle Malkin's blog.)
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:03 PM
I fear the Korean War soon will be relegated to the same status as the Spanish-American War: A mostly forgotten footnote in our history.
I hope I am wrong.
June 25, 1950
The North Korean People's Army (NKPA) crossed the 38th Parallel at 0500 hours with 60,000 troops to launch an all-out offensive on the Republic of Korea. The United Nations Security Council, in the absence of the Soviet Union, adopted a resolution calling for the withdrawal of North Korean forces to the parallel.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:44 AM
(Inside the Ring/Washington Times)
Pentagon officials tell us China's recent flight test of a new 6,000-mile-range JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile earlier this month was not the only recent troubling development in Beijing's military buildup.
About the same time as the JL-2 test, China also test-fired a new long-range air-to-air missile.
"The missile has over-the-horizon capability, something they have not had before," said one official familiar with the test.
Defense analysts believe the missile, which was not identified by type, could be one of China's new PL-12 air-to-air missiles, an indigenous missile that has beyond-visual-range radar guidance and targeting.
Air Force Gen. Paul V. Hester, commander of Pacific Air Forces, said in a recent meeting with reporters that China's fighter modernization is being watched closely and warned against underestimating Chinese military air power, as occurred with Soviet warplanes during the Cold War.
"They have great equipment. The fighters are very technologically advanced, and what we know about them gives us pause or concern against ours," he said.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:39 AM
In the Inside the Ring column (The Washington Times), Sgt. Garrett A. Barton USMC says equipment needs to change.
We've obtained a copy of several recommendations and suggestions made by a Marine Corps machine gunner and veteran of Fallujah. He offered his thoughts on how to better wage urban warfare, what the military is now calling MOUT, for military operations in urban territory.
Marine Sgt. Garrett A. Barton, now based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., says Marines need more realistic training, have equipment that's too heavy, and need better-penetrating armaments, such as armor-piercing rounds, to use against Islamist car bombers.
"A firefight in a MOUT environment against drugged-up insurgents is not the place to discover Pfc. Smith needs to work on his shoulder pressure and manipulation of the [testing and evaluation]," he said.
"This is life and death. The average grunt is swamped with weight," he said. Marines carry gear and ammunition that include flak jackets, Kevlar helmets, two ceramic plates, M-16s with seven magazines, grenades, radios, water, chow, night-vision equipment and more.
"Ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain," he said. "This is not good when Marines need to move quickly in a combat situation, and the extreme weight reduces their fluidity."
As for weapons, "the M-16 is prone to jams," he said.
"I can personally attest that I kept my weapon properly cleaned and lubed yet within ten minutes I had two jams ... in Al Fallujah," Sgt. Barton said.
The M-16 round also is "too fast, too small and too stabilized. It cannot compete with the 7.62 fired by Warsaw Pact weapons" such as AK-47s.
Sgt. Barton said he has never seen armor-piercing rounds for his M-240G medium machine gun.
"Our current enemies like to use [car bombs]. Personally, I would feel more comfortable shooting at a vehicle laden with explosives if I had armor-piercing rounds," he said.
Troops also need more powerful hand grenades. "The insurgents in Iraq like to inject themselves with adrenaline," Sgt. Barton said. "The casualty radius of our current grenades is insufficient."
Sgt. Barton concluded his "grunt wish list," which was sent to the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, Va., saying he tried not to be too critical, knowing current resources are limited. But he noted: "Any improvement is a big step in our capabilities."
Now, I'll admit I know nothing about it at all, but I have been hearing bad things about the M-16 since I was in fifth grade and playing at war.
Let's hope we learn our lessons from this war quickly. And well.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:25 AM
From UPI (via The Washington Times) come this news:
Shana Alexander, '70s TV star dies
Shana Alexander, who gained fame as the liberal voice on the "Point/Counterpoint" segment on CBS' "60 Minutes" in the 1970s, has died. She was 79.
She inspired one of my favorite SNL bits: "Jane, you ignorant slut."
Alexander, who broke ground earlier as the first woman staff writer and columnist at Life magazine, died of cancer Thursday in an assisted-living facility in Hermosa Beach, Calif., her sister, Laurel Bentley of Manhattan Beach, told the Los Angeles Times.
A 1945 graduate of Vassar College, she was a columnist for Newsweek magazine in 1975 when she was teamed with James J. Kilpatrick, the conservative Washington Star columnist, on "Point/Counterpoint" for the next four years.
She wrote The Pizza Connection, a book about some of my unsavory gangster cousins.
Born in New York City in 1925, Alexander was the daughter of Milton Ager, a successful pop composer whose songs included "Happy Days Are Here Again," "Hard-Hearted Hannah" and "Ain't She Sweet."
That's pretty cool.
She was twice married and twice divorced. Her 25-year-old daughter, Kathy Alexander, died in 1987.
On television she appeared to be a doctrinaire totalitarian of the middle. She now knows the truth.
May God have mercy on her soul.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:03 AM
(Inside Politics/The Washington Times)
"There's an obvious answer to Democrats who claim John Bolton is too abrasive to succeed as President Bush's U.N. ambassador — he spearheaded the successful fight to get the U.N. to reverse its notorious 'Zionism is racism' resolution," the New York Post's Deborah Orin writes.
"The Anti-Defamation League warmly commended him when he did what many had thought impossible in 1991. ADL chief Abe Foxman wrote a letter backing his so-far stalled nomination as U.N. envoy this spring," Miss Orin said.
" 'We will long remember him as a man of principle and integrity who, as assistant secretary of state for international organizations, played a leading role in the successful U.S. effort to repeal the infamous resolution,' he wrote.
"What's weird is that Team Bush has barely mentioned Bolton's triumph in its battle to stop a Democratic filibuster and get the U.S. Senate to confirm Bolton."
Nothing more needs to be said to justify Mr. Bolton's confirmation. If he can get those ignorant third world racist fatheads to pretend they don't hate Jews any more, he ought to be named Emperor of Space and Time!
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:55 AM
The Japanese are better allies than any nation in western Europe, and we nuked them twice. (Britannia does not count. They are protected by water. But they are going to regret that damn Chunnel one of these days.)
Get a load of this:
Euros for terrorists
(Inside Politics/The Washington Times)
"Who's funding the insurgents in Iraq? The list of suspects is long: ex-Baathists, foreign jihadists, and angry Sunnis, to name a few. Now add to that roster hard-core Euroleftists," U.S. News & World Report says.
"Turns out that far-left groups in Western Europe are carrying on a campaign dubbed Ten Euros for the Resistance, offering aid and comfort to the car bombers, kidnappers, and snipers trying to destabilize the fledgling Iraq government," reporter David E. Kaplan writes at www.usnews.com.
"In the words of one Italian website, Iraq Libero (Free Iraq), (some of my dumbass cousins! F.G.) the funds are meant for those fighting the occupanti imperialisti. The groups are an odd collection, made up largely of Marxists and Maoists, sprinkled with an array of Arab emigres and aging, old-school fascists, according to Lorenzo Vidino, an analyst on European terrorism based at the Investigative Project in Washington, D.C. 'It's the old anticapitalist, anti-U.S., anti-Israel crowd,' says Vidino, who has been to their gatherings, where he saw activists from Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Italy. 'The glue that binds them together is anti-Americanism.' "
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:46 AM
Wesley Pruden (The Washington Times) says goodbye to Mr. Graham after nearly 50 years of public ministry.
The man who has preached to more people than any man in history approaches the end of the long, long sawdust trail tonight in New York City.
When he moves slowly to the pulpit in an arena in Flushing Meadow, Billy Graham will open his 417th crusade in the service of Jesus Christ, and over three days will put finis to a remarkable phenomenon of the nation's history.
The confidant of presidents, who will take a text from the Bible and hold forth for 25 minutes, is a pale reflection of the man who set Gotham aflame in New York City in 1957. But his message, shorn of politics and partisanship, will be as familiar as ever: that God changes lives through faith in "His only begotten Son."
He's frail now at 86, suffering from a half-dozen diseases, but when he holds up his well-worn Bible, the weight of the years will fall away, the bright blue eyes will blaze in the klieg lights, and he will become once more the youthful boy of summer, a dashing if no longer athletic man of a hundred tent revivals, accompanied by the crickets of summer nights singing in the Johnson grass just beyond the sawdust that leads to an altar of repentance and redemption.
There was no large supporting cast at his first New York crusade a half-century ago, when he booked Madison Square Garden for six weeks and arrived to jeers that Gotham was too sophisticated for the old-time religion. He stayed for 16 weeks, preaching to 2 million persons and became the talk of the town.
The triumph in New York was a reprise of a similar success in London, where he opened to catcalls and stayed for months, preaching to millions and making converts of media, royalty, the titled and the commoners, barrow boys and aristocrats alike. The notion that the public had moved beyond the evangelism of Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, Gipsy Smith and the revivalists of the early 20th century was spectacularly smashed.
This will be his last crusade in America, though he may make one more visit to London if his health permits. Billy Graham has never been touched by scandal and only rarely by controversy. The collection plate is fully audited and the results made public. Throughout his ministry he has kept to a rule that he will never be alone in a room with a woman not related to him, avoiding the temptations that have taken down revivalists before him.
Mr. Graham's religion is not my cup of tea, as even a casual perusal of these pages will show, but I am willing to admit a little Christianity is better than no Christianity at all.
I am not Billy Graham's Judge. None of us are. Compared to the standards set by public figures in the late, unlamented century, Mr. Graham is a paragon of virtue and class. That is how we should remember his public life.
The following story makes clear the man's faith and courage. Such gifts have only one Source.
He has always hewed closely to the revivalist's message, never softening the good news of the Gospel with appeals to a fuzzy, feel-good prosperity gospel. I heard him preach in Pyongyang more than a decade ago, to a small congregation closely watched by the harsh and suspicious North Korean government. He took as his text John 3:16, and preached the Bible plain.
"If you forget everything else I've said here today," he told them, "remember this: God loves you. He proved it by giving His Son to die on the cross for our sins. He raised Him from the dead. The Bible says He's alive and some day He's coming back. Until then, we are to live good lives, love our neighbors, obey laws and be good citizens. I know I'm going to heaven. Not because I deserve it, but because Jesus Christ died on that cross for my sins, and He died for your sins, too."
On the way back to our hotel, our "minder," a tough, bright young communist who never gave us a rest from reciting the rhetoric of Kim il-Sung and the world's most brutal Marxist regime, asked whether we had ever heard that message before.
"Yes, we have."
"Well, I never have."
He stared out the window of the car, through a pounding winter's rain, and kept a brooding, thoughtful silence for the rest of the half-hour ride. "I want to think about that."
If any man brings just one other closer to the Christ in his lifetime, that life should be considered a good one. When the hour comes for Billy Graham to meet his Lord and Saviour, I sincerely hope and pray the Judge who is Mercy as well as Justice will greet him warmly.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:12 AM
How not to treat our boys from WJZ 13 in Baltimore.
Soldiers Getting Ripped Off At BWI Airport
Three men are charged with stealing from soldiers' bags at BWI airport as they headed off to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.Thousands of soldiers leave from BWI each month to fight overseas, now police say those men who put their lives on the line to protect people here at home have been getting hundreds of their personal belongings stolen from their suitcases at the airport. The investigation has turned up thefts from other flights in the international terminal as well.A laptop computer has been traced back to an "Air Canada" passenger.The police have only identified 45 soldiers as victims of these crimes. Those soldiers will get their belongings back.It is believed there may be many more victims.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 9:46 AM
Today is the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. He is the patron of auto routes and road workers, (he made straight the way of the Lord - get it?) candle makers, health spas, Jordan, leather workers, Quebec, wool workers, and he is invoked for the protection of lambs.
Today's first reading is Isaias 49:1-6.
Today's second reading is Acts 13:22-26.
Today's Gospel reading is Luke 1:57-66, 80 .
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful;O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.
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.)
PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 8:39 AM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
(Ok, technically speaking, it's not eternal. The day of ultimate victory will come. In His time.)
I could find at least two or three of these stories a day:
State senators approved legislation that allows girls and women to more easily obtain a morning-after pill from pharmacists, midwives and nurses, despite opposition from lawmakers who likened (Emphasis mine.) the emergency contraception to abortion.
The measure - which passed Wednesday 34-27 - would allow girls and women to obtain the medication without a physician's visit or prescription and without parental consent regardless of the patient's age.
"Today, science has triumphed over politics," (said Dr. Mengele to the twins - F.G.)
said Kelli Conlin, executive director of the National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice New York. "The state Legislature granted the women of New York greater access to birth control and gave them a second chance to prevent unintended pregnancy."
The measure now goes to Republican Gov. George Pataki to be signed or vetoed. Pataki will review the bill's specifics before commenting, said spokesman Kevin Quinn. The Democrat-led Assembly passed the measure in January.
Under the legislation, the medication could be provided by any pharmacist, nurse or midwife who gets a blanket prescription - naming no individual patient - from a physician. Seven other states have similar measures.
Current state law requires a physician's visit to receive emergency contraceptives.
The proposal, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Nicholas Spano, split the GOP-dominated chamber during a debate in which some equated the conception-interruption medication to abortion.
"Abortion is a murder," said Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a Democrat. "We have experts and all indications are that this pill might cause abortion."
Emergency contraceptives, also known as morning-after pills, are intended to prevent pregnancy by ensuring that an egg does not become fertilized. They can reduce the chance of pregnancy by 89 percent if taken within 72 hours of intercourse. It is different from RU-486 - often called the French abortion pill - which aborts an already attached embryo.
(Thanks to the Las Vegas Sun and CNSNews.com.)
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 4:43 PM
Deluded fool rots in prison.
(From SFGate.com via CNSNews.com)
Five years ago this month, Jeff Luers set fire to three SUVs at a dealership in Eugene, Ore., to protest America's heedless contributions to global warming. He was promptly arrested and put on trial for arson.
Refusing to plea bargain, as his accomplice did, and with a past record that includes 30 days in jail for a scuffle with a U.S. Forest Service agent, the then 22-year-old Luers was sentenced to 22 years and 6 months in prison, the longest sentence ever handed down in America for environmentally motivated sabotage.
Here's a sample question from this must read interview:Did you consider yourself engaged in terrorism when you set fire to those SUVs?
No. Really, when you look at the use of the word today, terrorism is nothing more than a way to define armed struggles that you disagree with.
We were trying to draw attention to the use of resources in America that are contributing to climate change and global warming. Obviously, during an act of property destruction, objects are smashed, burned or demolished. That happens. But what makes an individual act of sabotage more heinous than crimes committed by governments and transnational corporations? If we're going to look at the definition of terrorism or the definition of violence, then we need to put it in its proper perspective. We certainly ought to open the definition up to corporate destruction of rivers, forests, oceans and all ecosystems, because those certainly aren't acts of love.
What do you get when you cross ignorance with a stifled conscience?
Turnabout: Democrats Go After Rove's Comments"
(CNSNews.com) - Democrats, stung by the uproar over Sen. Dick Durbin's recent comments, are turning tables on Republicans, demanding an apology for Karl Rove's remarks to a conservative audience on in New York on Wednesday. "Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said we must understand our enemies," Karl Rove reportedly told the New York Conservative Party's annual dinner. "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," press reports quoted Rove as saying. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war." The Associated Press reported that Democrats are writing a letter to Rove, demanding that he retract and apologize for his comments. "The one thing New York has had since Sept. 11 is unity," Sen. Charles Schumer was quoted as saying. "To inject politics into this and to defame a large number of people" is outrageous, he said. "It's not what New York and America is all about." A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said President Bush should repudiate Rove's "offensive and outrageous comments."
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 4:26 PM
I find it funny that son of a bitch Rascalvelt and the CINO Kennedy are held up as examples of Democrass rectitude.
The Republican National Committee has unveiled a new web ad that allows Democrats to speak for themselves.
The ad is called "Wild Thing," and according to the RNC, it features Democrats' recent "over-the-top" rhetoric.
The web ad will be emailed to 15 million grassroots supporters on Thursday, the RNC said.
Here's the transcript of the ad, straight from the RNC press release:
(Text on Screen): A long, long time ago ... (Montage of past presidents)
FDR: "The only thing we have to fear ... "
Truman: " ... and are determined to work for peace on earth ... "
JFK: "Ask not what your country can do for you ... ask what you can do for your country."
(Text on Screen): Today
(VIDEO) Howard Dean: "I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country. I really do."
(VIDEO) Hillary Clinton: "It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth."
(VIDEO) Howard Dean: "A lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."
(PRINT) Howard Dean 6/6/2005: (Republican Party) "It's pretty much a white, Christian party"
(VIDEO) Nancy Pelosi: "Our plan is to stop him ... stop him ... he must be stopped."
(VIDEO) Dick Durbin: "You would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans."
(PRINT) Harry Reid 5/6/2005: "I think this guy (President Bush) is a loser."
(VIDEO) Harry Reid: "I apologized for the loser, I haven't for the liar."
(VIDEO) Jon Stewart: "We turn our attention now to Washington, and the Democrats. Political party founded in 1792 that enjoyed an active role in
American politics through much of the 20th century. Perhaps you've heard of them. No? Ask your parents."
(Text on Screen): The Democrats Today. No Vision. No Plan. Not your Parents' Democrat Party.
(Text on Screen): Paid For By The Republican National Committee. Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate Committee. www.gop.com
(Thanks to CNSNews.com for the heads up.)
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 4:15 PM
Dems Allegedly 'Conducting Guerrilla Warfare on Troops'
Congressional Democrats are engaged in a "growing pattern" of demoralizing American troops, according to House Republican leaders who Wednesday showed no willingness to let the controversial comments of Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin die.
"While our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line each day to defend our safety and to protect our freedoms, I am sure the least they expect is the backing and the support of their leaders at home," said Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Republican Conference.
"To the contrary," Pryce added, "what we've seen from Democrat leaders is a growing pattern of jumping at any chance to point the finger at our own troops, bending over backwards to promote the interests of terror-camp detainees while dragging our military's honored reputation through the mud." (Thanks to CNSNews.com.)
You know, this would be a really good way to lose a war. You control what the masses see and hear, making sure it is nothing but bad news about the nation, the military, and the war. With the country thus demoralized and foursquare against fighting any more, no politicians (and very few generals) will be willing to stand up and declare themselves in favor of victory.
Then you cut and run and declare yourselves heroes while ignoring the countless innocents left to the razor sharp mercies of the erstwhile enemy.
Yes sir...impressive strategy...I wonder why no one thought of this before...uh...hey, wait a minute...
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 3:57 PM
Here's hoping William Kristol is not as clued in as he thinks he is. I am getting sick of settling. The lesser of two evils is still evil.
(From the Daily Standard via Townhall.com)
06/22/2005 5:40:00 PM
Warning: THIS IS SPECULATION. Obviously, I think it's somewhat well-informed speculation, or else I wouldn't be writing this. But it is speculation.
(1) There will be a Supreme Court resignation within the next week. But it will be Justice O'Connor, not Chief Justice Rehnquist. There are several tea-leaf-like suggestions that O'Connor may be stepping down, including the fact that she has apparently arranged to spend much more time in Arizona beginning this fall. There are also recent intimations that Chief Justice Rehnquist may not resign. This would be consistent with Justice O'Connor having confided her plan to step down to the chief a while ago. Rehnquist probably believes that it wouldn't be good for the Court to have two resignations at once, so he would presumably stay on for as long as his health permits, and/or until after Justice O'Connor's replacement is confirmed.
(2) President Bush will appoint Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to replace O'Connor. Bush certainly wants to put Gonzales on the Supreme Court. Presidents usually find a way to do what they want to do.
And his aides will have an argument to make to conservatives (like me) who would be unhappy with a Gonzales pick: Bush would not, after all, be replacing a conservative stalwart like Rehnquist with Gonzales. Gonzales would be taking O'Connor's seat, and Gonzales is likely to be as conservative as, or even more conservative than, O'Connor. Indeed, Karl Rove will continue, Gonzales is as conservative a nominee to replace O'Connor as one could find who could overcome
a threatened Democratic filibuster. Bush aides will also assure us privately that when Rehnquist does step down, Bush will nominate a strong conservative as his replacement. They might not tell us that nominee would be as an associate justice, for Bush would plan to then promote Gonzales to chief justice--thus creating a "Gonzales Court," a truly distinctive Bush legacy.
A Gonzales nomination would, in my view, virtually forfeit any chance in the near term for a fundamental reversal in the downward drift of American constitutional jurisprudence. But I now think it is more likely than not to happen.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 3:43 PM
Get real Taranto. He's not a sensitive metrosexual type running around helping helpless girls, he was checking her out. BTW, just how callipygian is Miss Abdrabboh?
Mirth in the Balance
Speaking of Al Gore, in a New York Times op-ed piece, Fatina Abdrabboh, a student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, tells a heartwarming story of a random act of kindness.
It begins with Fatina feeling down on America: First, the local yokels in Cambridge looked at her funny because (well, she assumes because) she was wearing a hijab, a Muslim headscarf. As if that weren't bad enough, when she went to the gym, "every television" there "highlighted some aspect of America's conflict with the Muslim world. . . . I was not sure if the blood rushing to my head was caused by the elliptical trainer or by the news coverage."
She got on a treadmill and started running--hard. Perspiration ensued, and tragedy loomed: "I reached for my towel, accidentally dropping my keys in the process. . . . As they slid down the rolling belt and fell to the carpet, my faith in the United States seemed to fall with them."
Enter our hero:
Suddenly a man, out of breath, but still smiling and friendly, tapped me on my shoulder and said, "Ma'am, here are your keys." It was Al Gore, former vice president of the United States. Mr. Gore had gotten off his machine behind me, picked up my keys, handed them to me and then resumed his workout.
It was nothing more than a kind gesture, but at that moment Mr. Gore's act represented all that I yearned for--acceptance and acknowledgment.
There in front of me, he stood for a part of America that has not made itself well known to 10 million Arab and Muslim-Americans, many of whom are becoming increasingly withdrawn and reclusive because of the everyday hostility they feel.
Now, this may seem like just a feel-good story, but consider how lucky we are that it happened at all. In 2000 Al Gore lost one of the closest presidential elections in recent memory--and he would have won if the U.S. Supreme Court had not stopped the Florida Supreme Court from manufacturing a few hundred more "votes" for him.
Had that happened, it's conceivable Gore would still be in the White House today--and even if not, he certainly would not be wandering around in public unaccompanied by his Secret Service detail. If Fatina Abdrabboh had her keys handed to her at all, it might have been by a gruff law-enforcement agent rather than by the suave erstwhile veep.
There's no way of knowing how much such an encounter would have deepened Fatina Abdrabboh's alienation and intensified her anger, or how those feelings might eventually have expressed themselves. What we do know is that thanks to Al Gore--with a little help from William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas--we'll never have to find out.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:44 PM
...or, The Death of the Fifth Amendment.
FIFTH AMENDMENT [U.S. Constitution] - 'No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.' (Emphasis mine.)
The reactionary Rehnquist court discovers that government has a constitutional right to "your" property without even resorting to the excretions of William O. Douglas' pudenda. It turns out you don't really own it after all, they do.
A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights.
The 5-4 ruling _ assailed by dissenting Justice Sanday Day O'Connor as handing "disproportionate influence and power" to the well-heeled in America _ was a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They had argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.
As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue. (Emphasis mine.)
Writing for the court, Justice John Paul Stevens said local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community. States are within their rights to pass additional laws restricting condemnations if residents are overly burdened, he said.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:16 PM
Take That, Tom!
The New York Sun reports that a move is afoot in Berkeley, Calif., to change the name of Jefferson Elementary School, because the third president owned slaves. A familiar enough story, but this one reaches whole new levels of complexity. The proposed new name for the school is Sequoia Elementary, "but even with that name, the school district cannot quite dodge the slavery connotations":
Some community members have pointed out that under Chief Sequoia's leadership in the early 19th century, the Cherokee nation owned more than 1,500 black slaves. A spokesman for the Berkeley Unified School District, Mark Coplan, acknowledged that Chief Sequoia "presumably owned slaves and was rather barbaric," but he emphasized that the proposed new name would honor the sequoia tree, not the Cherokee leader.
The school conducted a vote of parents, teachers and tykes on what new name to propose. "Sequoia narrowly beat out the second-place candidate, Ohlone, which would have honored a California tribe." But wait, aren't Indian names supposed to be offensive?
"Other names rejected in the April vote would have paid tribute to the abolitionist Sojourner Truth, black diplomat Ralph Bunche, Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez, and Berkeley's late rent-board commissioner, Florence McDonald." Luckily, Berkeley's late rent-board commissioner already has a fast-food chain named after her.
(Thanks to Best of the Web Today
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:12 PM
Best of the Web Today has the latest on that wildly effective Democrass campaign tactic: self-immolation. As an added treat, some ventriloquist digs up Vanessa Redgrave's corpse. (He's very talented. Sounds exactly like something she would say.)
'Some May Believe'
Dick Durbin took to the Senate floor yesterday to apologize tearfully for likening American troops to Nazis. Well, sort of. "Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Washington Post quotes the Senate's No. 2 Democrat as saying. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies." (Blogger Ian Schwartz has video.)
As National Review's Kathryn Lopez notes, it would have been better if Durbin had simply said, I crossed the line. I was wrong. I'm sorry. But the Post reports his Republican colleagues were inclined to accept his apology.
What's really appalling is that so few prominent Democrats--with the notable exception of Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago--expressed any objection to Durbin's calumny. Indeed, many vigorously defended it. Here's Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, quoted by the conservative Illinois Leader (hat tip: blogger John Ruberry):
"The Bush Administration and Republican leaders are engaged in a pathetic attempt to make Senator Dick Durbin's condemnation of the use of torture at Guantanamo Bay an issue. As a result of the revelations of conditions at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram prison in Afghanistan, the Republicans owe the American people, our soldiers and veterans an apology for undermining American values such as the Rule of Law, putting our troops at greater risk around the world, and cutting veterans health care benefits when they come home."
An editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, possibly the most far-left big-city daily in America, actually blasted Durbin--not for likening the troops to Nazis but for "caving in" and issuing a nonapology last week that implied the comparison might not have been totally justified:
The senator should have hit back hard, just as the Amnesty International did when its comparison of Guantanamo to the Soviet gulag was attacked. By caving in, Durbin did just what the orchestrated right-wing smear effort required to succeed: It made him the story rather than focusing further attention on the outrageous violations of international law and human rights being perpetrated in Guantanamo and elsewhere in the name of the American people.
Last week on CNN's "Larry King Live," guest host Bob Costas put a question to left-wing actress Vanessa Redgrave:
Costas: Even given the mistakes or perceived mistakes of American policy, what is the greater evil in the world, America and its policies or America's enemies?
Redgrave: It's an important question. One of our most respected judges and highest up in our judicial system said that laws which detain indefinitely without charge, without trial, without defense, without prosecution, without evidence, without cross examination, are a greater evil than terrorism, and I feel the same, actually.
Many of us suspect that this is the prevailing attitude of the liberal left. Durbin's comments and the Democrats' reactions to them certainly do nothing to alleviate this impression.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:00 PM
The connection was obvious to senators of both parties, though nobody said so publicly. Four days before Sen. Joseph Biden declared he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination if he could find the financing, he held hostage an important, non-controversial Bush diplomatic appointee. His intent: to force President Bush to reappoint a billionaire backer of Biden to a government oversight board.
Nobody expected Biden's move when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convened last Wednesday to send routine nominations to the floor. Biden, the committee's ranking Democrat, blocked Senate consideration of White House personnel director Dina Habib Powell as the State Department officer named to use public diplomacy to improve U.S. relations in the Middle East. As the price for releasing her, he demanded retention on the Broadcasting Board of Governors of radio tycoon Norman Pattiz.
And who is Pattiz?
Pattiz, founder and chairman of the Westwood One radio conglomerate, in 2000 was a generous Democratic contributor ($360,000 for that election cycle alone) and an overnight White House guest. President Bill Clinton named him that year to the BBG, which oversees the U.S. government's worldwide radio and television broadcasting services.
Bush in 2002 reappointed Pattiz as part of a conventional package deal to get the Senate, then under Democratic control, to confirm a Republican nominee to the board: conservative Kenneth Tomlinson, former editor of the Reader's Digest and Reagan-era head of the Voice of America. Pattiz and Tomlinson, now the BBG chairman, was no marriage made in heaven. According to sources, Tomlinson viewed Pattiz as a Hollywood control freak.
Still, Pattiz would have had another term this year had his name not appeared as a signatory in a Sept. 23, 2004, New York Times advertisement assailing Bush's record and calling for his defeat. That broke the unwritten rule that a minority appointee cannot attack the president who appointed him.
Boy, those Iranians sure are lucky they don't have to worry about any of this democracy stuff.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:50 AM
From NRO, Nina Shea introduces an authentic freedom fighter.
Egyptian businessman and human-rights activist Ramy Lakah should be very much on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s mind as she visits Cairo today. The case of this 41-year-old Coptic Christian dramatizes the destructiveness of Hosni Mubarak’s human-rights policies upon a nation that was once the cultural leader in the region and raises some of the steep challenges facing President Bush’s democratization push for the country. But his experience also offers some hope and points a way forward.
Lakah, a business entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social-reformer politician, is a citizen any country would be proud to call its own and one that Egypt desperately needs if it is to develop into a successful democratic state. But, according to Lakah, because of his political success at the expense of the ruling National Democratic party and his criticism of the Mubarak regime’s human-rights record, he has been the target of harassment and a vicious government-smear campaign that has shattered his endeavors inside Egypt and forced him and his family to flee the country.
In 1998, building on a fortune inherited from his father bioengineering business, he formed the Lakah Group, a holding company that employed 12,000 people. Lakah says that international rating agencies gave it the highest bond rating achieved by any Egyptian company until that time. An indomitable mover and shaker, his ambitions did not rest there. He wanted to invest in the people of his native land, as well. Hence, he started micro-enterprises for girls and sponsored educational opportunities in the lower middle class neighborhood of Dahar, in central Cairo.
Lakah’s good works proved so popular that Dahar, which like the country as a whole is about 90-percent Muslim, elected him to parliament in 1999 despite his open identification as a Catholic (he was a principal host of Pope John Paul II during the papal visit to Egypt in 2000). He was popular among his peers in the legislature as well, and they made him the vice chair of the parliament’s powerful foreign-affairs committee.
Hooray multi-party democratic reform! Oh, wait.
Acting on a tip that he was about to be arrested, Lakah finally left Egypt in July 2001. Now 41, he lives with his wife and two young daughters in Paris where he is CEO of Star Airlines, a Middle East commercial airlines with offices on the Champs Elysees. Even in exile, he continues to be hounded by the Mubarak government, which Lakah says falsely reported to Interpol that he is wanted on criminal charges though he knows of none that have been lodged against him. In 2003, based on an Interpol warrant, he was subject to a 24-hour detention, followed by deportation, when he landed at Chicago’s O’Hare airport while on a business trip. This is doubly tragic because Lakah is staunchly pro-American and was one of the few Egyptians to respond to the United States government’s call for help by training Iraqis in radiology and other areas of bioengineering.
Lakah is eager to clear his name but holds little hope for a fair trial. The Egyptian judiciary is not known for its independence. His friends and pro-democracy colleagues, Nour and Saad Eddin Ibrahim have both served jail time on trumped up charges in Egypt and were released only because of international pressure.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:39 AM
One of the reasons I have been so concerned about Iran for such a long time is that I fear the mullahs’ cleverness, ruthlessness, and ability to mount brilliant deceptions. Moreover, while there have long been basic fault lines within the mullahcracy, I have long believed they would find ways to pull together at moments of crisis.
The electoral fiasco of June 17 has shaken both of these convictions. They couldn’t even stage a phony election without appearing inept and thuggish, which is certainly not the image they wanted to send to the world. And the spectacle of intense internal conflict among leading figures in the Islamic republic makes me wonder if the revolution is beginning to devour its own fathers and sons.
First, the numbers. The regime had made it clear that the size of the turnout would indicate its legitimacy with the public, so they had to come up with big numbers. After hours of hilarious confusion, during which the "official" numbers oscillated wildly and different vote totals were announced by the interior ministry and the Council of Guardians, the regime finally decided to claim that something like 65 percent of eligible Iranians had voted. But most clear-eyed observers with the freedom to move around the country and actually go to polling places, found very few voters. The Mujahedin Khalq, the longtime allies of Saddam Hussein who have long been a source of information on things Iranian, estimated that the real figure was about 10 percent. If you read The Scotsman, for example, you hear things like this:
...at a polling station in...an affluent suburb of northern Tehran, only 150 voters had arrived by mid-afternoon. "We have been given 1,000 ballot papers, so it seems the turn-out has been a lot lower than expected," said Mohsen Jannati, the school’s headmaster, who supervised the voting.
The lowest participation — maybe as low as 3-5 percent — was in Khuzestan Province, where there had been bombings and protests in recent weeks. But anecdotal evidence from all over the country indicated a very low turnout, as of late afternoon. Despite this, the mullahs trotted out rosy reports of big voter turnouts, and even broadcast "live" TV coverage of voters queued up, waiting patiently to make their voices heard.
The only problem was that the pictures were from past elections. One woman called up a Tehran radio station to say that she was sitting at home watching the tube, and saw herself voting. Very droll indeed.
Donna Brazile, call your office.
Realizing that a major fiasco was brewing (a source inside the interior ministry informs me that just before closing time, only seven million people had voted) the regime mobilized its forces. First they announced that the closing time would be extended by several hours. Then the Revolutionary Guards and the fanatical Basijis (the religious paramilitary force) started rounding up their followers, along with governmental employees and anyone who could be blackmailed or intimidated (students were told that they could not attend university unless they voted), and dragged them to the polls. Even so, by early morning the regime — which had millions of blank ballots in reserve, in order to produce whatever outcome they desired — was staggering about, trying to decide what it should announce. Differing results came out of different buildings, and the top candidates accused one another of fraud, and worse.
They should have asked for Afghan or Iraqi help. Those folks know elections.
As best I can tell, the real numbers are quite different from the official ones. Roughly seven million people voted under normal circumstances, between the opening bell and the official closing time. But there were approximately 29 million ballots, a difference of 22 million. Of these, about five million were produced by the late evening roundups (bringing the total of actual voters to twelve million), and the balance — 17 million — were fraudulent, mostly blank ballots filled out by the representatives of one candidate or another. This out of an eligible pool of about 51 million (remember that the voting age in Iran is 14 years).
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:18 AM
Donald Luskin (Krugman Truth Squad) reports on the latest whopper.
It seems there is no limit to Paul Krugman’s hatred of the Republican party. And apparently there’s no limit to the New York Times’s willingness to embarrass itself by printing yet another hilarious error-filled column by America’s most dangerous liberal pundit.
In his Friday column, Krugman attempts to spit out the salacious details of scandals involving Republican politicians in Ohio. But what Krugman doesn’t seem to know is that many of the politicians he’s talking about are Democrats! And because the Times does no fact-checking of its op-ed columns, his absurd blunders now live forever in the “newspaper of record.”
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:13 AM
Time for the Sun to Rise
National Review Editor Rich Lowry argues for the re-militarization of an important ally.
I am not so sure about this one...
Pacifism has never been so silly. In an East Asia featuring both one of the world’s most irrational states and a rising dictatorial power bent on changing the region’s strategic balance, it is a crucial ally of the United States that labors under a constitution that could have been written by Quakers. Of course, it was an American team put together by Douglas MacArthur after World War II that wrote the Japanese constitution imposing pacifism as state policy. That was understandable 50 years ago. Now, the constraints of the Japanese constitution — and the Japanese attitudes that preserved them all these years — are senseless anachronisms.
Japan has slowly been emerging from its shell over the last decade, and it is one of the diplomatic triumphs of the Bush administration that it has helped accelerate this process, strengthening the U.S.-Japanese bond and enhancing its usefulness. The Japanese will proceed at their own pace, but our response to every step they take toward becoming a more “normal” country should be nothing but encouragement: “More, please.” The goal, although it will never be fully achievable given historic, cultural, and other differences, should be to make Japan as reliable a partner of the U.S. in Asia as Britain is in Europe.
“There is no fear of Japan. The old cork-in-the-bottle theory is dead,” says an administration official, referring to the former fear in the U.S. government that any Japanese step toward rearmament would mean an inevitable slide toward aggressive militarism. “The old saw is that Japan is just an aircraft carrier, a jumping-off point for American forces. Well, we want to make it a jumping-off point for both U.S. and Japanese forces.”
By today's standards, WWII has been over for a long time. The Japanese have proved themselves to be reliable allies. There is no such thing as a militaristic race. (Except for the Klingons, of course. But even they may be changing.) Still...
The alliance is a natural. Japan broadly shares our values. The U.S. is the world’s number-one economy and Japan is number two, a powerful combination. We want to check China, and Japan feels threatened by China. Japan provides the basing the U.S. needs at a time when we have lost our bases in the Philippines and our relationship with South Korea looks shaky. We want to stay in East Asia, and the Japanese want to keep us there, in a dangerous neighborhood. Japan is surrounded by three nuclear countries that would make anyone nervous: North Korea, China, and Russia.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:50 AM
That was just the hook to make you look. I do not think they are really more perverse than any other people, including Americans. They simply don't have our ever shrinking remnant of Christianity holding them back from the brink of moral madness. We're headed toward the same destination. The Japanese will get there first.
Anyway, the story is about a new hotel staffed entirely by women (I hope!) dressed in everyone's favorite cliche, the French maid uniform.
A new hotel where all staff are decked out in saucy French maid's outfits, use only the politest of language and refer to male customers as "Master" is proof of the growing economic might of the otaku geeks once largely ridiculed in Japanese society, according to Shukan Jitsuwa (6/30).
Women dressed as maids have long been a staple otaku fantasy, and now the new hotel in the Atami resort area of Shizuoka Prefecture is promising to give the geeks their greatest desire for just 25,000 yen per night with two meals thrown in for good measure.
Here's their website with what Google likes to call a translation.
"When it started offering advance bookings over the Internet, it filled is 100 rooms in a single day," a hotel industry insider tells Shukan Jitsuwa.
The maid hotel is actually called My Sweet Home Moe Room. The otaku oasis was originally due to open on June 19, but delays caused by construction work and the training of maids put back the opening date to July 1.
To make sure My Sweet Home stands out above the pack and does not get the average otaku complaining that it is merely another cosplay accommodation, staff at the hotel have been instructed to use only the archaic form of Japanese that a real maid would use, as well as only to ever refer to customers as "Master."
Well, at least it sounds like a polite place.
My Sweet Home also promises to provide a selection of what it calls secret services, which can be requested free or be partaken of for a price.
However, when response to the maid hotel's website was so huge when it initially posted, operators were forced to add a disclaimer that it is not a sex business.
"Apparently, they were getting requests along the lines of whether it would be possible to slap the maid into a dog collar and chain her up," the hotel industry insider tells Shukan Jitsuwa.
(Google has 229,000 photos of cosplayers here. To be honest, this seems to be mostly benign fun. But like anything else, there are always a few people who go too far.)
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:16 AM
Gary Bauer (Israelinsider) finds hypocrisy and deceit in the lack of news on the terror chick with the burn scars.
If you don't get the FOX News Channel then you didn't see any of the dramatic footage of the Israeli army's arrest yesterday of a 21-year old, female Palestinian homicide-bomber, strapped with 25 pounds of high-explosives, just moments before she was to commit mass-murder by detonating herself inside an Israeli hospital.
No other television network featured the story.
Utterly ignoring the extraordinary video of the homicide-bomber's arrest, both the BBC and CNN focused extensively on how much "damage" Israel's early morning arrest -- for which there was no video -- of 55 Fatah and Islamic Jihad terrorists, described by CNN as "Palestinian activists," would cause to today's scheduled "summit meeting" between Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
That only one network would air incredible footage of the seizure of a ticking human-bomb, just moments before she tried to murder hospital patients, means this story was not simply ignored by the mainstream media -- it was boycotted by the mainstream media. Since nearly every aspect of this remarkable story contradicts everything the mainstream media has been trying to tell us about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they just opted for the easiest way to handle it -- denying it ever happened.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:00 AM
From Israelinsider, take a look at distaff butchery.
Since the year 2000, 8 Palestinian women have perpetrated suicide attacks, killing 39 Israelis. The Israeli army and Security Forces have uncovered 45 acts of terror initiated by women. In the past year, over 59 women have attempted attacks against Israelis.
One of those attempts took place on Monday. Wafa Samir Ibraim Bas, a 21 year-old Palestinian woman from Jabalya, left her Gaza home with a permission pass to visit Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for a medical check-up. Attached to her clothing, her pants, was more than 22 pounds of explosives.
It was the perfect opportunity. A young woman. An entry permit into Israel for medical treatment. By her own admission and the admission of her handlers, it was assumed that Bas would only be cursorily surveyed at the Erez Crossing. It was assumed that Bas would easily reach her intended target and murder as many people -- doctors, nurses, patients, visitors -- as 22 pounds of explosives could handle. Luckily, they were wrong, they miscalculated. The intended female suicide bomber was detected. The explosive device was safely detonated by sappers. No one was injured.
Wafa Samir Ibraim Bas had a morning appointment in the Burn Unit of the hospital that had saved her life several months ago. In December of 2004 Bas was badly injured and burned by a gas balloon explosion in her home. Israeli hospitals do not practice a policy of discrimination. All patients are treated alike. Some patients send thank-you notes. This one decided to detonate a bomb.
Who, you might ask, could be behind such a heinous act?
The al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades is the terrorist organization behind this attack. Al Aksa has admitted sending Bas on this mission and choosing Soroka Hospital in Beersheba as the intended, primary target. Al Aksa, the organization affiliated with the PLO, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the ruling faction within the Palestinian Authority.
As Westerners, it seems unfathomable. The Palestinian Authority is supposed to, has pledged to, fight terror not perpetrate terror. And yet, the facts are right there in front of us. As leader, the democratically chosen leader of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas should be in control.
Abbas should be able to say to his followers, "No More Terror". And they, even the al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, should listen. Especially they. The question before us is this: is Abbas sending out a double message, or is this pure and deliberate deceit.
Ha! "Should"? There is democracy, and then there is democracy.* And then there is whatever game the so-called Palestinian nation is playing. The window of opportunity for the development of real democracy, freedom, and peace in that part of the world may well be closed.
*RJR: there are two types of democracies, electoral ones that have democratic voting, but human rights may be constrained (E.g., Turkey), and liberal democracies in which there is a rule of law and respect for human rights. Liberal democracies do not murder their people, and few electoral democracies do. In any case, the number murdered by electoral democracies is a very small number compared to the massive blood letting by nondemocracies (110 million murdered by Marxist dictatorships alone).
(Thanks to Professor R.J. Rummel for his usual cogent clarity. See the above quote in the context of the complete post here.)
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 9:33 AM
So what have they been doing for the past sixty years?
"From now on, any Israeli stupidity will provoke an echoing response from the resistance," the group warned in a statement issued.
The terrorist group called on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas "to stop running after meetings with Israelis and return to the bosom of the resistance and the fight against the Israeli occupation."
The group is responsible for the death of two Israelis in the last week.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 9:29 AM
- 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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