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SEX IS DEATH [Part 95: Sexual perversion - the sin that keeps on taking and taking and taking...ad nauseam...ad infinitum]

I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love ...

"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

Thursday, July 28, 2005

NOW they want me.

Fyodor is off to do his his civic duty, kiddies.

Be good.

Sweet dreams.

Sleep tight.

Know where your guns are at all times.

The Vietnamization of Iraq continues apace in the MSM.

Dadmanly delivers a beat down to the "Our Boys are all addicts" crowd as only a First Sergeant can.

A Big Non-Problem

Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette notes some blatant misreporting in the London Daily Telegraph (scroll down). Greyhawk reports the Telegraph headline:

Stressed US Troops In Iraq 'Turning To Drugs' Two years into the occupation of Iraq the menace of drug abuse appears to be afflicting American troops.

This kind of sloppy reporting really bothers me, beyond the obvious phony analogy to Vietnam era problems, symptomatic of poor morale and discipline from demoralized soldiers in an unpopular war. No, what bothers me is that any simpleton could contrast the rates of occurrence against (any) population and realize drug and alcohol abuse by soldiers is actually dramatically lower than for non-military populations.

As Greyhawk notes, in the US population as a whole:

An estimated 17.6 million American adults (8.5 percent) meet standard diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder and approximately 4.2 million (2 percent) meet criteria for a drug use disorder. Overall, about one-tenth (9.4 percent) of American adults, or 19.4 million persons, meet clinical criteria for a substance use disorder -- either an alcohol or drug use disorder or both -- according to results from the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) reported in the current Archives of General Psychiatry [Volume 61, August 2004: 807-816].

Note that the figures are estimates of numbers of people with use disorder, not one time, casual users. We'd expect that number to be higher.

And despite that the Telegraph in its own reporting notes that "out of the 4,000 men of the 256th Brigade Combat Team, only 53 faced alcohol-related charges and 48 were charged with drug offences" (according to US army figures). And without reporting statistics at multiple points in time, how does the Telegraph justify the scare headline that soldiers are "turning to drugs," which certainly implies an increase even if technically it doesn't necessarily say that.

Why are they so careless with their conclusions? Because they want the story first, then pounce on even the smallest amount of data points to "back it up."

Greyhawk, based on the actual data presented by the Telegraph, reaches the proper conclusion:

Still one thing seems certain - drug and alcohol problems aren't rampant among troops in Iraq.

As a First Sergeant for a National Guard Unit in Iraq, I deal first hand with any such infractions that may occur. Thus far, 7 months in, 200 soldiers, not a single incident, neither drug nor alcohol use, both expressly prohibited by General Orders.

Many of my soldiers know how to make beer, wine and other forms of alcohol; stateside they used to joke about setting up stills, faced with a complete prohibition on alcohol within Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). That's the kind of jokes soldiers make when they know, in the end, they'll follow orders or do some serious jail time or rank & pay reductions. Not once have I smelled alcohol, we do health & welfare inspections monthly, leaders live among their troops, there is just no way this is going on in our unit. And some of these guys knew how.

At Debate Space, the now dormant joint debate blog I started with The Liberal Avenger, I explained to LA the reasons we don't have these problems:

The security threat is high, thereby screening procedures include canine units, open container searches, and other technology based procedures.

Given what my soldiers have seen as the consequences for drug use, I think they would be pretty reluctant to get caught. (And anyone who knew or found out would talk about it, and eventually someone not your friend would find out.)

I also pointed out that we conduct regular, unit level random urinalysis in such a way that the soldiers never know if their turn is due until right before they are screened.

As I said then, I'll say again, we have not had anyone piss hot since prior to mobilization. Not here. Not now. Maybe it's because it could really get you killed here.

(Linked as Covered Dish at Basil's Blog)
Link

If you don't read Michael Yon...

...you don't know what's going on in Iraq.

Every combat soldier knows the risks of capturing dangerous men far exceed those associated with just killing them. Capturing a terrorist is no longer a signal of the end of his ability to disrupt forward progress. That's not a minor shift in emphasis. Among people weary of watching friends and comrades fall and bleed to death, any adjustments in the goal posts give rise to discussions of more expedient and durable ways of dealing with infestations of combatants who scurry in and out of hiding places. Not tightening the lids on these insect jars does more than just lead some cantankerous officers and police to consider more definitive measures of dealing with combatants. It also places our young soldiers and Marines in precarious waters, where one can only hope they are physically and morally conditioned to resist the current.

Some of those same currents had started swirling around the colonel's office, as LT Beaudoin asked increasingly specific questions that were deflected and re-directed if not evaded outright. Young LT Beaudoin dove for the diplomatic throat, raised his voice a notch and said firmly to the police colonel, "Listen! You need to be straight with us. We are your allies. We will capture or kill these guys."

Before the interpreter could translate Beaudoin's words, it was clear their meaning had been communicated. The Iraqi journalist and the police colonel both were in my field of view. They sat upright and paid full attention to Beaudoin, promising to provide the information requested. But LT Beaudoin was not satisfied, and said, "I want to interview the police lieutenant who captured these guys," which everyone knew translated to, "Get the lieutenant who captured them in here, now."The colonel spoke and waved his hand, and soon a policeman came into the room. He flattened a laminated map on a tea table, and the journalist and the police chief started pointing possible targets to LT Beaudoin. The momentum of the meeting had shifted from friendly and informative, to specific and deadly.

Lance in Iraq does the work of hundreds of journalists AND fights a war at the same time.

Except for those sharp guys at The Washington Times, of course.

Much ado about nothing

I've noticed that the "big troop reduction" story has been recycled (here and here, for instance) in the last several days. Whether members of the media are ignorant of the military planning process or they have a desire to cook up a story that doesn't exist (more likely), there is nothing new to report. Back in March, the Washington Times said:

The drawdown will begin, if the situation permits, in OIF-4, which will get underway in earnest in the summer of 2006. Some OIF-4 units will deploy this summer.

"Later-deploying (brigade combat teams) in the next (troop) rotations will be adjusted based on conditions on the ground and acknowledging more Iraqi participation," Cody told reporters.

The plan to decrease the number of troops rests on Iraqi security forces' ability to handle the insurgency, which requires training, equipment and field experience, most of which is being provided by the U.S. military.
I was told when we mobilized (June, 2004) that we would be the last big deployment and OIF 4 would be much smaller. If the Washington Post wants to now report that as a double-dog top "secret memo written for British Prime Minister Tony Blair" then so be it. Sometimes I wonder if search engines are not allowed in newsrooms.

Takebackthememorial.org update.

Never forget.


Family Member Group Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2005
Contact: Anthony Gardner 973-216-2623 (MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY)

New York, N.Y., July 27, 2005 - Fifteen September 11 organizations representing the majority of the families of victims lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 today announced the launch of two new initiatives that will help America ‘Take Back the Memorial’ at Ground Zero.

“Campaign America” is the way that concerned communities across the country can show their support to “Take Back the Memorial.” Concerned citizens are encouraged to download the Campaign America Resolution located at http://www.takebackthememorial.org/www.takebackthememorial.org and present it to their local city or town councils for consideration. Municipalities which have passed the resolution, will be listed on the Campaign America Honor Roll located at http://www.takebackthememorial.org/www.takebackthememorial.org. The passing of the Campaign America Resolution by communities across America will send a powerful message that this is America’s 9/11 Memorial, and American communities will not stand for the International Freedom Center and Drawing Center being located on the World Trade Center site.

The “Offline Petition Drive” is an extension of the widely successful online petition by http://www.takebackthememorial.org/www.takebackthememorial.org. Currently the online petition has garnered over 36,000 signatures including nearly 1900 family relatives of September 11 victims. The offline petition will reach supporters without easy access to the internet. We encourage supporters to printout the Petition kit and instructions (available at http://www.takebackthememorial.org/www.takebackthememorial.org) and gather the signatures of friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Leftist yahoos steal money from poor kids...

...don't expect more details at 11.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for another excellent example of our moral and intellectual betters at work.

In response to questions from radio reporter Perry Michael Simon about New York City's corruption probe involving the alleged diversion of public funds from two non-profit clubs that benefit poor kids and seniors to Air America, the liberal radio network put out a statement yesterday. Bottom line: Don't blame us. Here's the text via Brian Maloney:


On MAY 24, 2004 the newly formed PIQUANT LLC acquired the principal assets of AIR AMERICA RADIO from the prior ownership entities. PIQUANT has owned and operated AIR AMERICA RADIO since that time. The company that had run AIR AMERICA RADIO till then no longer had anything to do with the network.

PIQUANT had no involvement whatsoever with funds from GLORIA WISE BOYS &GIRLS CLUB. PIQUANT neither received nor expended any of the sums that are the subject of the City's investigation of the CLUB.

PIQUANT is not being investigated by the City, which is investigating a transaction that took place before PIQUANT existed.

Yeah? But where did the money go? Was the loan repaid? And was there an agreement between Air America and Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club officials to promote the latter's activities as part of the loan deal? Apropos that last question, take a look here at an Air America host promoting and soliciting donations for the summer camp run by the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls club. The date of this promotion was June 14, 2005. Several sources tell me the possible quid pro quo involved here should be of special interest to the FCC.


Kevin Aylward at Wizbang translates Air America's statement:
We didn't exist as a corporate entity at the time of the swindle, so it can't be our fault. The Air America that stole that money doesn't exist anymore. Obviously this story is a diversionary tactic; plotted and orchestrated by Karl Rove to divert attention from his own troubles...


Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports today: Liberal Air America Radio stuck in cellar. Guess the low ratings are Rove's fault, too.


Update: Several readers make a point about p.c. corporate responsibility best summed up by commenter RW at Wizbang...


It's a good thing that Piquant only bought a company that had accepted money stolen from children and old people instead of a company that had been involved in the slave trade, otherwise they might have been on the hook for reparations. [MM: Can you spell W-a-c-h-o-v-i-a?]


So, when there's money on the table, liberal ideals are easily replaced with Enron tactics...


Ed Morrissey adds:
If Piquant thinks that it can wash its hands of the mess Evan Cohen left behind, they're very much mistaken. As long as they hang onto that money and leave the poor kids in Brooklyn holding the bag, their leftist pap about taking care of the little guy will sound even more hollow than ever.

Coulter contra Roberts continues.

From Human Events Online, Ann Coulter fights the good fight. Someday soon she may have the right to say "I told you so."


"He's a scholarly man; he has a good education; he has been recommended by legal authorities; he has a good record in lower courts." -- President Bush

"This decision had the advantage of being acceptable to conservatives, plus Democrats won't be able to attack him. There is nothing to grab a hold of, to whack him on." -- An administration official

"Virtually every conservative who knows him trusts him and thinks he's a competent guy." -- Newt Gingrich

"(He) has voiced opposition to many forms of abortion. He dislikes affirmative-action programs, contending that they amount to reverse discrimination. Also, he has vigorously defended ... the Lord's Prayer in its public schools." -- Los Angeles Times

"He is a remarkable intellect and he's had great experience and he's had wide knowledge, and you all would enjoy an evening or more with him." -- C. Boyden Gray

"This guy is a complete S.O.B. of a conservative and you can't prove it." -- P.J. O'Rourke

"When you look at the man's record, his experience, his integrity and his ability to deal with tough questions of law in a way that the courts should, in a restrained way, not to attempt to legislate from the bench, I think he's a man in tune with the times." -- Dick Thornburgh

"His view is: 'Here's what it says state government can do -- and if it doesn't say it can do it, then it can't do it.'" -- Lawyer who argued cases before the nominee

"(He) seems to be a judicial conservative, what we call a constitutional constructionist. ... That's satisfactory with us, if that's true." -- National Right to Life's John Willke

"He is a 'stealth nominee.' ... The right's not yelling; the left is trying to yell but can't find much to yell about." -- Bob Beckel

"This is a home run." -- President Bush's chief of staff

He is David Hackett Souter, only the most recent reason Republican presidents -- especially Republican presidents named "Bush" -- have lost the right to say "Trust me" when it comes to Supreme Court nominations.
The other reasons are: Earl Warren, William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy.

Like John Roberts, Souter attended church regularly. Souter was also touted for his great intellect. He went to Harvard! And Harvard Law! (Since when does that impress right-wingers? So did Larry Tribe. It is one of the eternal mysteries of the world that liberals are good test-takers.)

At least when Souter was nominated, we needed a stealth nominee. The Senate was majority Democrat back then. The Judiciary Committee consisted of eight Democrats and six Republicans -- two of whom were aggressively pro-abortion. A year later, faced with the same Democratic Senate, the current president's father nominated Clarence Thomas. Who would have thought the current Bush would be less macho than his father?

Heehee.

Roberts would have been a fine candidate for a Senate in Democratic hands. But now we have 55 Republican seats in the Senate and the vice president to cast a deciding vote -- and Son of Read-My-Lips gives us another ideological blind date.

I love that last line. Ann has a voice. Not necessarily a style, but a voice.

Fifty-five seats means every single Democrat in the Senate could vote against a Republican Supreme Court nominee -- highly unlikely considering some of those Democrats are up for election next year -- along with John McCain, Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Lincoln Chafee. We would still win.

Sordid Soledad Saga Settled Satisfactorily...

...maybe...

Proposition A, the measure allowing the city to transfer the Mount Soledad National War Memorial -- along with its signature 29-foot cross -- to the federal government, passed easily. Needing a two-thirds majority, Prop A received 75.9 percent of the vote (179,820 votes).

The rule of law versus...

"We are absolutely elated," said Phil Thalheimer, chairman of the San Diegans for the Mount Soledad National War Memorial. "The people of San Diego have spoken loud and clear and for that we say thank you very much. The votes speak for themselves. San Diegans have saved the monument from certain destruction and now it's time to defend it."

There are still a pair of court dates for the cross scheduled for later this summer, including an Aug. 12 date in front of Judge Cowett. She will decide whether the city owns the land in the first place, and it's right to sell it to the federal government.

James McElroy, whose client is suing to have the cross removed from Mount Soledad, says the courts and not the voters should decide the issue. "It's fundamentally a constitutional issue," he said.
(Thanks to Yahoo!News.)

...the rule of men.

Peeve Farm Update.

This is really creeping me out. First there was this apparent coincidence. I mentioned Paranoia Agent on June 13 and today I noticed the following:

Monday, July 25, 2005
01:00 - Where credit is due

I've got to admit that while I usually just turn down the volume when the anime block comes on and tune it out, Paranoia Agent is a series that I can really seriously enjoy.

It's intricate, self-referential, smart, creepy, and written in such a way that the compelling parts of the storytelling survive the translation intact. The people don't just look like people, a rare treat in and of itself—they act like people, too. That's really something I appreciate, whatever the genre.

It's also got an opening sequence that is pure, injectable nightmare fuel. If you've seen/heard it, you know what I mean—but if not, I won't even attempt to describe it.

Those Adult Swim guys know how to pick 'em.

Doppleganger? Psychic connection? CIA radio signals? (Get your aluminum foil hats here! Aluminum foil hats! Don't leave home without 'em!) Alien implants? I am not sure I want to read this guy's whole blog. What if he too gives redheads an extra two points on the old 1 to 10 scale...

It's too scary to contemplate.

Or, is it just a matter of numbers? If everyone everywhere blogged, how many would mention Paranoia Agent? How many would call the juniorette US Senator from New Yawk Hitlery? Just how many would get it?

If you thought that was exploitive, fasten your seat belts kids!




Miss Universe seems to be guilty of two crimes: being Canadian and being much, much, better looking than the vast majority of women on the planet.
The first is easy to fix. Natalie, the borders are wide open. You should ask for asylum. There should be no dearth of sponsors willing to help you. (At least in the red states.) The second obviously needs no fixing whatsoever.

I would like to invite the new Miss Universe, Natalie Glebova, to move to the good ol' USA, where a girl is still free to wear a sash.


Thanks to Arthur Chrenkoff for the heads up on this hideous example of oppression committed by the barbarians to our north.

Canadian Miss Universe Natalie Glebova (above) was forced to take off her official sash at a local festival celebrating Thailand when Toronto authorities invoked a law against sexual stereotyping.

Those sick, twisted, bastards.

The winner of the international beauty competition held in Bangkok in May, Glebova was to open the festival last weekend sporting her official beauty queen's regalia.

However, city employees invoked a regulation against activities which degrade men and women through sexual stereotypes or exploit their bodies to attract attention.

Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I am pretty sure EVERYTHING women wear is designed to do JUST THAT.

Bowing to the local law, the 23 year old blue-eyed brunette was made to remove her Miss Universe sash, though not without complaint.

Coming soon, courtesy of the Toronto city council: burqas for all women.

That will solve the problem of sexual stereotypes and exploitation.Toronto Mayor David Miller has since apologized for the whole incident. The law, however, remains on the books. Any Toronto readers might enlighten the rest of us whether the local city council is providing good municipal services for the ratepayers' money, or whether they're just too busy making sure that no acts of sexism are occurring within the city boundaries.

See more of Natalie here.

Why would anyone watch a "true to life" TV show about warriors made by non-warriors?


From the man who brought you Cop Rock comes Over There, TV's take on the fight in old Babylon. What do real warriors think?

[LEFT: In a preview of "Over There" at Camp Murray in Tacoma, 1st Lt. Eva Sovelenko reacts to a scene as Sgt. John Figueroa looks on.]

A truck tire hits a flagged wire, a roadside bomb explodes, a handsome private with shredded leg screams in agony. In the bloody chaos of the moment, his soldier buddies panic. One pukes.

Stop the cameras! Sir!

"People don't act like that when an i.e.d. (improvised explosive device) goes off. They make us look like idiots. We're not idiots!" said a first lieutenant previewing "Over There," the new TV series from Steven Bochco ("NYPD Blue," "Hill Street Blues") that debuts tomorrow night on FX cable network. It's set in Iraq, hyped as "true to life" by producers and hailed by critics as "unflinching" and "gut-wrenching."

"Bogus" was the preferred adjective among the eight soldiers -- most of them Iraq vets -- viewing the series pilot last week at Camp Murray, headquarters of the Washington State National Guard in Tacoma.

"Thank God that's over," said a master sergeant as the credits rolled.
The uniformed skeptics dissected the series pilot scene by scene, beginning with the roadside bombing and panicked soldiers. Who, they asked, was pulling security? And what kind of idiot pulls off his helmet after a bombing attack? "In real life, training takes over. Not in Hollywood," said Sgt. Dan Purcell.

The flags on the trip wires got an "F": roadside bombs in Iraq are typically hidden in watermelons, hay stacks, animal carcasses -- not marked for easy viewing. "A flag to mark an i.e.d.? What is that -- like don't land here?"

Truck drivers also got eight thumbs down. "You do not, under any circumstances, pull off on the side of the road. You stop in the middle."
The TV series, filmed in California, follows an Army infantry squad, flashing between soldiers' experiences in-country and the impact of their deployment back home in the States. It's billled as the first war drama built around a U.S. military conflict still in progress, a war with death tolls mounting daily.

Bochco, who co-created the series with Chris Gerolmo ("Mississippi Burning"), has stated in interviews that the show is apolitical. "Ultimately, a young man being shot at in a firefight has absolutely no interest in politics," he told Reuters news service.

But some camo-clad critics at Camp Murray were left wondering just what the message was in "Over There." One said a young soldier who brags about slitting the throat of a child sentry "makes us look like murderers."

Master Sgt. Jeff Clayton complained that cameras deliberately dragged out the death scenes of Iraqi insurgents after a firefight, lingering unnecessarily on the carnage. "It made me sick."

And where, soldiers asked, were the scenes of soldiers building schools, Iraqi kids waving American flags?

I guess hiring Arthur Chrenkoff as a consultant is out of the question.

The fast-paced premiere is packed with sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll; cool explosions and close-up gore; cussing and wrought emotion. It opens with the soldiers' goodbyes to family and a nervous flight to Iraq. In an instant -- "Yeah, right" -- the new dudes are belly-down in sand in front of a mosque full of insurgents, with two women accidentally trapped in the trenches, one with a big attitude and little common sense.

Is this Bochco or my other idiot Italian cousin, Coppola?

"I can do it myself!" she yells at a soldier who tries to help her dig a trench. "You deaf soldier?" It's night, she's totally exposed to enemy fire and, when it starts, it's boy-soldier who has to push her head down to save her.

No wonder the men keep asking, "What do we do about the women?"

"I did not like the way the show presents men's opinion of women -- they act like the women were some other species," said Lt. Connie Woodyard, who returned from Iraq earlier this year. "We're not cowards. Women in Iraq are doing amazing things."

The Camp Murray soldiers dismissed the military firefights as "bull---- " ("Where is the air support? Where is the armor support?"), the dialogue as contrived ("It sucked") and plot drivers as pure Hollywood.

In the script, characters are thrown together for the first time. They constantly ask each other to explain nicknames. In real life, soldiers are sent to Iraq in units. "They don't have to ask each other's nicknames. They all know each other."

After one week in-country, the soldier-actors mull life and death and war in eloquent speeches home to loved ones, talking about how war unmasks the monster within. "Nobody is that reflective after one week in-country. It's more like, "Ohmigod, we're in Iraq. Hi. What the hell am I doing here?"
A few scenes passed muster. Heads nodded when a soldier opened up a packet of Taster's Choice freeze-dried and downed the whole thing. Nice detail. Ditto the scene of the earnest soldier describing the horrors of war via computer video e-mail as his adulterous wife is writhing in ecstasy with lover-boy back home.

"But after only a week?" commented one soldier.

"It usually takes at least two," added another.

Ouch.

One scene hit home for the tough audience: an intimate close-up of two African American soldiers talking band-of-brother bonds. Says one: "If you're looking for another fool to risk getting shot to cover your fool behind, I'm right here beside you."

Correct! Sir!

Only one of the camo-clad critics, Sgt. John Figueroa, who is awaiting call-up orders to Afghanistan, said he'd watch it.

"Hey, I'm into Hollywood," he said, shrugging.
(Thanks to seattlepi.com and Yahoo!News.)


Blog of the Day.

Check out Penraker.

Think the sentencing of the "Millenium Bomber" is a victory? In the immortal words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend."

The idiot judge spews and Penraker slaps him hard:

The message I would hope to convey in today's sentencing is twofold:
"First, that we have the resolve in this country to deal with the subject of terrorism and people who engage in it should be prepared to sacrifice a major portion of their life in confinement. [that will make their knees knock]

"Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution.

"I would suggest that the message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart. We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections.
"Despite the fact that Mr. Ressam is not an American citizen and despite the fact that he entered this country intent upon killing American citizens, he received an effective, vigorous defense, and the opportunity to have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury of 12 ordinary citizens.

"Most importantly, all of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial. There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel.

"The tragedy of September 11th shook our sense of security and made us realize that we, too, are vulnerable to acts of terrorism.

"Unfortunately, some believe that this threat renders our Constitution obsolete. This is a Constitution for which men and women have died and continue to die and which has made us a model among nations. If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won.

"It is my sworn duty, and as long as there is breath in my body I'll perform it, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We will be in recess."
(Italics mine. - F.G.)


What an absolute fool. What a grandstander. What a poseur. NOBODY believes that our constitution is obsolete. That's the sort of Michael Moore-like statement, overblown and hysterical, that is unworthy of a judge. The situations with military tribunals and prolonged detention had nothing at all to do with his case. He grabbed this opportunity in the media spotlight to stand on his soapbox and prattle on. Can you say "Political Judge"?

We have a sudden surplus of preening idiocy in this country - we have roving bands of jackasses - people who know that we have liberty, but utterly fail to understand what it takes to keep it. Unfettered by small things like responsibility for human lives, they pretend they are Saint George fighting the dragon.

They believe, like pacifists, that if we are just nice enough, everyone will join us in the big square dance of humanity. They have always relied on the kindness of strangers.

Any fool can talk about keeping liberties; it takes men who are willing to assess the situation with a cold eye and a willingness to apply force to keep them. We didn't craft the special regime for terrorists because we like to detain people for fun - we were presented with a situation unique in the history of mankind, and have crafted a humane, law-regulated special regime to handle it. Never before has the specter of mass terrorist attacks by means of WMD presented itself. Never before has so vile a human being arisen as the modern islamic terrorist.

Our Liberty was hard won - and people similar to Judge Coughenour were not among those who gave us that freedom. That was done by the people who were fitted to the times - those that had rough edges and were not merely parlour nannies spouting platitudes. The founders realized that they had to take extraordinary measures - and not just live within their rights as Englishmen.

Law exists for man, not man for the law.

Amen to that, brother.

PETA people, call your office.

Click to enlarge.

From The My Fatwa Is Bigger Than Your Fatwa Department:

Muslim Scholars Releasing Fatwa Against Terrorism

(CNSNews.com) - An Islamic advocacy group, tired of repeatedly answering the question, 'Why won't Muslim leaders condemn terrorism,' on Thursday will release a fatwa against terrorism and extremism. A fatwa is an Islamic religious ruling. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the fatwa is being issued by the Fiqh Council of North America, and it is endorsed by major U.S. Muslim groups. Representatives of the Fiqh Council, an association of Islamic legal scholars that interprets Muslim religious law, and leaders of several leading American Muslim organizations will take part in the news conference. (The term "fiqh" refers to Islamic jurisprudence, CAIR said.) Also on Thursday, CAIR said it will release radio versions of its 30-second "Not in the Name of Islam" TV ads. The public service announcements will be in English, Arabic and Urdu. The "Not in the Name of Islam" campaign is intended to dissociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims, CAIR said.

From the files of the fantastical bluesmen...

I hate my boring job,
I hate my boring life.
I need an ice-cold beer,
I need a red-hot wife.

- "Hateful Needful Blues" by Pus-Eye Coleman. From the album The Best of Pus-Eye Coleman.

Larry Johnson blows his "Grandmama" CIA cover!


Former NBA superstar Larry Johnson shocked everyone when he revealed he had been a covert CIA agent in his playing days. He had gone deep undercover as an elderly black woman code-named "Grandmama".

Johnson took this drastic action so he could publicly take a couple of partisan political swipes at President Bush for the Plameplot Dome scandal.


President Bush is jeopardizing national security by not disciplining Karl Rove for his role in leaking the name of a CIA officer, and has hampered efforts to recruit informants in the war on terror, former U.S. intelligence officers say.

Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson used the Democratic Party's weekly radio address Saturday to reiterate comments he made Friday to a panel of House and Senate Democrats.

At that event, Johnson and others expressed great frustration that CIA operative Valerie Plame's name was made public. Plame is married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of Bush's Iraq policy.

"Instead of a president concerned first and foremost with protecting this country and the intelligence officers who serve it, we are confronted with a president who is willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson," Johnson said in the radio address.

Unwanted

Actually, I am a bit disappointed. I think I would make a good juror.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today we honor Pope St. Innocent I. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38 .
Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 13:47-53 .


Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today


Memorare

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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The rule of law = peace. Any questions?

Professor R. J. Rummel continues to tilt at the windmill that is a populace indoctrinated in government schools. Ah, but Rummel is no Quixote. (Any man who can remain a scholar while surrounded by the beauty of Hawaii is worthy of respect.) He has produced a visual aid to help even the dimmest bulb in the scoreboard realize free peoples don't covet their neighbors polity and therefore don't slaughter them wholesale.

Here are the front and back of the democratic peace chart on which he was commenting. Draft V.6.1 of the front is viewable on line here. If you have a problem reading the text, decrease the resolution of your screen. The pdf download is available here. . Version 4 of the backside is here, and the pdf download is here.

From The Continuing Protestant Crackup Department:

From Inside Politics by Greg Pierce of The Washington Times comes more of the same.

I'm sorry. I know that you, gentle reader, expect more from poor old Fyodor. Besides, you may have been away from church since the sixteenth century and don't know about the crackup. Let me try again.

HOLY CRAP! The National Council of Churches is a commie front organization!

Political lobby

"As funding from its member denominations continues to decline, the National Council of Churches (NCC) is increasingly relying on support from liberal foundations and polemical direct mail campaigns," Mark Tooley writes at the Web site of the American Spectator (www.spectator.org).

"A recent fundraising letter from NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar blasts 'Jerry Falwell and his friends,' 'hard-right fundamentalists,' libertarians, President Bush, Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, and the organization for which I work (the Institute on Religion and Democracy)," Mr. Tooley said.

"Preoccupied with its political purposes, Edgar's letter never once mentions what is officially still the NCC's purpose: to foster ecumenical unity within America's churches. Talking too much about Christianity might sound too 'fundamentalist.'

"So, seemingly writing for a largely secular audience, who are expected to react viscerally to the mere mention of names like Falwell and Limbaugh and Bush, Edgar hacks away at hard-core political themes. In so doing, he seems to want to confirm the worst allegations of the NCC's critics: that the NCC has ceased to be a church organization and has instead become a political lobby of the Left. Indeed, to remove all doubt, Edgar mentions that the NCC works closely with the far-left MoveOn.org, which, though unmentioned by Edgar in his letter, also has provided funding to the NCC."

From The I Wish I Had Said That Department:

Wesley Pruden, Editor of The Washington Times, takes out Robin Givhan, who apparently was not briefly married to Mike Tyson.

If clothes make the man, let's raise a cheer for young Master Jack Roberts, the small son of the new nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has joined the crusade to restore male sartorial splendor to summer.

Master Roberts appeared at the White House -- with his dad, his mum and older sister -- in a dashing seersucker suit and brown-and-white saddle shoes, the junior version of the two-tone spectators that were once the summer shoe of choice for the well-dressed Washington gentleman.

This offended the Value Village taste of one Robin Givhan, the "fashion" correspondent for The Washington Post. She saw it as an assault on the reigning slob look of the malodorous hip -- ragged denims, dirty tennis shoes, sandals accentuating hairy male toes and sloppy flip-flops -- that's politically correct among the purveyors of bilge and bile.

Most of us thought the Roberts family looked nifty, something out of a bandbox, with Mrs. Roberts, who is clearly not intimidated by the gay blades of the fashion world who are forever trying to make silly and absurd the women they can never be, in pink and pearls. She looked as toothsome as a strawberry ice-cream cone, and she dressed her son and daughter with thoughtful concern for the once-in-a-lifetime occasion. The Post's Miss Givhan, who might not know a writ from a tort or a tart from a torte, nevertheless knows what disqualifies a man for a seat on the Supreme Court. If a man can't sire a family that won't offend Style-section sensibilities, how could he interpret a constitution? The Robertses, man and boy, are so ... 1950s:

Heehee.

Fortunately, Miss Givhan belongs to a fading generation whose taste, if we may call it that, is swiftly going out of style. She has nothing to teach either young Master Roberts or the woman who chooses his summer suit(s). Seersucker is back, along with clean hair and fingernails. Miss Givhan should check out summer seersucker at Paul Stuart or Brooks Brothers, or if she is afraid of venturing that far uptown, Jos. A. Bank could show her racks of blue or gray seersucker at the mall. Secondhand seersucker will soon be showing up at Goodwill, if it has not already.

Not so long ago, seersucker was merely the retro look, harking back to summer straws, white shirts and happy days, when giants ran the town and most of them wore seersucker between Memorial Day and Labor Day and sometimes well into September. Not all were Southerners, but most were Democrats. Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin would have been their go-fers.

The man who wears seersucker in summer now is accustomed to strangers smiling at him on the street and saying things like: "Hey, man, I like that look." There's even more bad news for Miss Givhan and her cranky ilk. Now that the seersucker suit is well established among men of breeding and accomplishment, the sartorial revolution will be expanded to bring back summer whites. White cotton poplin is available even from Haband, which ought to be far enough down-market to suit any of the polyester democrats at The Post. The likes of the late Hale Boggs of Louisiana, Richard B. Russell of Georgia, John Stennis of Mississippi and John L. McClellan of Arkansas were the last of the white-suit men in Congress. Before them there were Huey Long, "the Kingfish," and Harry Truman. They remembered what the Navy never forgot, that nothing is as buff as summer whites.

The grown-ups are gaining on the slobs. Master Roberts is just the new blood we've been waiting for.

Fanatical Right-Wing Right-To-Life Hollywood Movie of the Day...

...or, From The Lucifer Catches Cold Department:

Jeff Rubin reviews The Island at Human Events Online.

What if Hollywood made a profoundly conservative movie -- one that was also a rip-roaring entertainment -- and nobody came?

That question isn’t rhetorical, or even hypothetical. It so happens that Hollywood just did make such a film: Dreamworks’ The Island, directed by Michael Bay and starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. And, from the looks of its opening weekend, nobody did come -- at least by the standards of would-be summer blockbusters: The Island grossed a measly $12.1 million, coming in fourth behind Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wedding Crashers, and Fantastic Four, all of which had already been out for two or more weeks. (Nowadays, big-budget summer movies aim to gross upwards of $50 million in their debut weekend; $25 million is on the low end of hopes and expectations. Variety called The Island’s $12.1 million “very disappointing,” though “disastrous” was no doubt the word in the minds of Dreamworks executives.)

So what makes The Island such a “conservative” film – indeed, one of the most politically incorrect I have ever seen? Let me back up a bit and tell you how I came to see it despite my initial near-total lack of interest.

The film, as I said, is directed by Michael Bay: strike one against it, in my moviegoing decision-making process. Bay’s previous films include Armaggedon and Pearl Harbor. Armaggedon was occasionally enjoyable nonsense -- though it may have tipped Bay’s un-PC political leanings in its opening sequence, which showed Bruce Willis hitting golf balls off an oil rig at a Greenpeace ship. Pearl Harbor was simply dreadful. Both were filmed in Bay’s hyperkinetic style, which features constant camera movement and rapid-fire editing – and which gives me headaches.

Seeing an HBO “First Look” mini-doc on the making of The Island only disposed me further against seeing it. It appeared that the film’s interesting (if not terribly original) premise – in the near future, clones are created for the purpose of organ-harvesting – would be left unexplored in favor of relentless, over-the-top action. The reviews on the film’s opening Friday seemed to confirm this, and were on balance overwhelmingly negative: the website RottenTomatoes.com, which collates reviews from other sources, assigns them a percentage value, and then averages them out, came up with a a 42 percent (thoroughly “rotten”) average for The Island.

But one particular review caught my eye -- The New York Times’, which I read online. It was mostly dismissive, but contained this sentence: “The issues raised by the possibility of human cloning are vexed in themselves, and they are also connected to more immediate debates about abortion, stem cells and euthanasia. These debates are quite pointedly invoked -- in ways that cut sharply against the assumption that Hollywood is a liberal propaganda factory -- whenever the question of [the clone protagonists] Lincoln and Jordan's humanity is raised.”

Hm, I thought. Then I read the following in a “reader review” (i.e., by a Times reader) following the review proper: “It is infuriating to run into a superbly well made film with so retrograde and reactionary a message as this one. Alas, that is part of its charm. One is apt to come away thinking that cutting-edge biomedical endeavors like fetal stem cell research cannot coexist with decent regard for human dignity, and that the scientists in such pursuits are all crazed villains. The Island might well become a cause célèbre for the radical right-to-life set.”

Well now, I thought, sounds like a movie for me! So I packed up the family – wife, and five kids aged 12 to 18 – and hightailed it to the local multiplex. Still, I wasn’t expecting more than a pretty good action flick that came down on the right side of a moral-political issue for once. The Island turned out to be much better than that: smartly written, compellingly plotted, superbly acted, and visually stunning (believe me, this is one film that demands to be seen on the big screen, unless you have a 50-inch plasma).

The story is a grabber: An evil -- well, evil to us radical right-to-lifers, anyway -- company makes clones of rich-and-famous “clients” for “insurance” against future illness (or mere aging), in the event of which the clones’ organs (or skin) will be harvested for transplant -- killing them, of course. Some female clones are used to conceive and bear children for infertile “clients” and then “disposed of.”

Naturally, the clones can’t know any of this. So they are kept in a high-tech underground complex and misled to believe that they and their keepers are the sole survivors of an environmental catastrophe that has rendered the outside world uninhabitable – all except for a single, paradisal island that can accommodate a select few inhabitants, who are chosen by a randomly occurring lottery. The “winners” of the lottery, it turns out, are actually being called up for harvesting.

Senator Dick's Catholicism takes a back seat (and then some) to his petit fasciste dreams of power.

Dick Durbin’s Evolving Standard of Decency

Terence P. Jeffrey, writing at Human Events Online, delivers a blow by blow account of Tim Russert's beat down of the duplicitous Dick.

If the Supreme Court continues using “evolving standards of decency” to interpret the 8th Amendment, it may soon declare it cruel and unusual punishment to subject double-talking politicians like Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois to questioning by Tim Russert, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Russert put Durbin on the rack last Sunday, torturing the poor man with his own contradictory words.

When Durbin was first elected to the U.S. House, you see, he was pro-life. Now, as a pro-abortion member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he is expected by left-wing groups to enforce his party’s pro-abortion litmus test for Supreme Court nominees. With the nomination of Judge John Roberts to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Durbin is showing every sign of living up to those expectations.

Back in 1983, as Russert pointed out, Durbin “believed that Roe v. Wade was incorrectly decided” and supported “a constitutional limit to ban all abortions.” Durbin, Russert said, wrote to a constituent: “The right to an abortion is not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.”

Durbin did not contest Russert’s characterization of his formerly pro-life, anti-Roe views. “I’ll concede that point to you, Tim,” he said.

In 1983, it should be noted, Roe was ten years old, and Rep. Durbin was a 39-year-old Georgetown Law School graduate with many years of legal and political experience. In 1973, when Roe was decided, he served as legal counsel for the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1978-82, he was an associate professor of “Medical Humanities” at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

It ought to be reasonable to assume that as a legislative lawyer and medical school professor, Durbin arrived at his anti-Roe views thoughtfully. He may even have read then-Associate Justice William Rehnquist’s devastating rebuttal of Roe’s unsustainable claim that the 14th Amendment created a right to abortion.

When the 14th Amendment was ratified, wrote Rehnquist, 36 states had laws restricting abortion that were left undisturbed. “Indeed,” Rehnquist said, “the Texas statute struck down today was, as the majority notes, first enacted in 1857 and ‘has remained substantially unchanged to the present time.’ There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted.”

What changed Durbin’s mind about the meaning of the Constitution?
On “Meet the Press,” this is how Durbin explained his conversion: “You know, it’s a struggle for me. It still is. I’m opposed to abortion. If any woman in my family said she was seeking abortion, I’d go out of my way to try to dissuade them from making that decision. But I was really discouraged when I came to Washington to find that the opponents of abortion were also opponents of family planning. This didn’t make sense to me. And I was also discouraged by the fact that they were absolute, no exceptions for rape and incest, the most extraordinary medical situations. And I finally came to the conclusion that we really have to try to honor the Roe v. Wade thinking, that there are certain times in the life of a woman that she needs to make that decision with her doctor, with her family and with her conscience and that the government shouldn’t be intruding.”

Hoo-hoo! (The call of the Yellowbellied Pencilneck - democrassis childkillem.)

This is not only devoid of constitutional reasoning, it is devoid of all reasoning.

Durbin effectively argues: Because some pro-lifers don’t believe in family planning or rape or incest or other exceptions, the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to abortion.

Totalitarian thought has been deciphered!

The truth is there is nothing any pro-lifer can say, do, or advocate that can change the fact that the Constitution, as written and ratified, does not prohibit states from restricting abortion. Durbin might as well say: Some pro-lifers root for the Dodgers, therefore the Constitution guarantees a right to abortion.

As it is, Durbin told Russert it “would trouble me greatly” if Roberts took the same position today--that states can restrict abortion--that Durbin correctly took in 1983 and has since abandoned.

An activist, but fair, interpretation of Durbin’s appearance on “Meet the Press” is that Durbin’s career as a professional Democrat has groomed him to fight the confirmation of any justice he suspects harbors the same constitutional convictions he himself brought to Washington, D.C., 22 years ago.

Power lowers one's IQ and The Dick has been climbing the ladder of The Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion for decades.

It’s too bad President Bush and his nominee are taking such a stealth approach to the confirmation process. If Judge Roberts is indeed a strict constructionist, and as brilliant and persuasive as reputed, he might do an even better job than Tim Russert of exposing Durbin’s double-talk. In the process, he could change hearts and minds—not to mention the way we confirm justices to lifelong tenures on our highest court.

Book of the Day II

Guy Deutscher's The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention (Metropolitan Books)


“Language is mankind’s greatest invention – except of course, that it was never invented.” So begins linguist Guy Deutscher’s investigation into the evolution of language. No one believes that the Roman Senate sat down one day to design the complex system that is Latin grammar, and few believe, these days, in the literal truth of the story of the Tower of Babel. But then how did there come to be so many languages, and of such elaborate design? If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of “man throw spear,” how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous vocabularies, and intricately nuanced shades of meaning?

Drawing on recent, groundbreaking discoveries in modern linguistics, The Unfolding of Language exposes the elusive forces of creation at work in human communication, giving us fresh insight into how language is formed, evolves, and decays. It traces the emergence of linguistic complexity from an early evolutionary “Me Tarzan” stage all the way to the expressive power of languages today, with their intricate engineering which allows them to convey unrestrictedly complex thoughts and ideas.

Arguing that destruction and creation in language are intimately entwined, The Unfolding of Language shows how these processes are continuously in operation, generating new words, new structures, and new meanings. From the written records of lost civilizations to the spoken idiom of today’s streets, we move nimbly from ancient Babylonian through medieval French to the English of the present. We marvel at the staggering triumph of design that is the Semitic verb, puzzle over single words that can express highly elaborate sentiments, such as the Turkish sehirlilestiremediklerimizdensiniz (“you are one of those whom we couldn’t turn into a town-dweller”), [obviously the Word of the Day - F.G.]and learn how great changes of pronunciation may result from an age old human habit - simple laziness. Through the dramatic story of The Unfolding of Language, we discover the genius behind a uniquely human faculty.

Thanks to Paul Johnson and Forbes magazine for the heads up on both of today's books.

Mr. Johnson mentions both books in an article in the June 20, 2005 Forbes entitled "Thoughts on the Existence of God". Mr. Bird's book got him thinking about what Johnson refers to as the "first intervention of the metaphysical force or dominionin the process of history". (That's God's creation of everything
ex nihilo to you and me.)

Johnson then turns to Mr. Deutscher's book and types this:

"Both the Hebrews and the Greeks, in different ways, believed there was something divine about 'the word,' or logos. The Greeks thought the word was the abstract principle of reason exhibited by an orderly universe. The Jews thought it the image of God, the beginning and origin of all things. It is possible, then, that the giving of the word to humanity was the second intervention of the metaphysical force or dominion in the process of history. That, I think, is the conclusion I have come to in these difficult matters. What will be the third, I wonder?"

By his reckoning the Big Bang is one, language is two, and golly, what is the third intervention going to be? Any good Catholic (and a fair number of awful ones) knows the intervention is
The Word Made Flesh.

If Paul Johnson is Jewish, just forget the last comment.

Book of the Day I

Here is another stake in the heart of the intellectual vampire known as neo-Darwinism. (Dead politics mimicking real, vibrant science and sucking the life out of the same.)

Richard J. Bird's Chaos and Life (Columbia University Press)

Why, in a scientific age, do people routinely turn to astrologers, mediums, cultists, and every kind of irrational practitioner rather than to science to meet their spiritual needs? The answer, according to Richard J. Bird, is that science, especially biology, has embraced a view of life that renders meaningless the coincidences, serendipities, and other seemingly significant occurrences that fill people’s everyday existence.

Evolutionary biology rests on the assumption that although events are fundamentally random, some are selected because they are better adapted than others to the surrounding world. This book proposes an alternative view of evolving complexity. Bird argues that randomness means not disorder but infinite order. Complexity arises not from many random events of natural selection (although these are not unimportant) but from the "playing out" of chaotic systems—which are best described mathematically. When we properly understand the complex interplay of chaos and life, Bird contends, we will see that many events that appear random are actually the outcome of order.

Sowell on education: Dogma vs. Reality parts I and II.

Dogma vs. Reality I

There have been many bitter complaints from teachers and principals about the Bush administration's "No Child Left Behind" act -- and more specifically about having to "teach to the test" instead of doing whatever teachers and principals want to do.

Now the results are in.

Not only have test scores in math and reading shown "solid gains" in the words of the New York Times, young black students have "significantly narrowed the gap" between themselves and white students. All this is based on official annual data from 28,000 schools across the country.
What is especially revealing is that it is the young black students who have made the largest gains while older minority students "scored as far behind whites as in previous decades."

In other words, the children whose education has taken place mostly since the No Child Left Behind act show the greatest gains, while for those whose education took place mostly under the old system, it was apparently too late to repair the damage.

Do not expect either the New York Times or the education establishment to draw these conclusions from these data. Nor are black "leaders" likely to pay much attention, since they are preoccupied with such hustles as seeking reparations for slavery.

"By their fruits ye shall know them" may be an ancient adage but results take a back seat to dogma when it comes to the education establishment. That is why there has been so little to show for all the additional billions of dollars poured into American education during the past three decades.
Ironically, there was another report issued recently, this one giving results of opinion polls among professors of education, the people who train our public school teachers. It is also very revealing as to what has been so wrong for so long in our schools.

Take something as basic as what teachers should be doing in the classroom. Should teachers be "conveyors of knowledge who enlighten their students with what they know"? Or should teachers "see themselves as facilitators of learning who enable their students to learn on their own"?

Ninety two percent of the professors of education said that teachers should be "facilitators" rather than engaging in what is today called "directed instruction" -- and what used to be called just plain teaching.

Dogma vs. Reality II

A recent e-mail from a dedicated teacher illustrates a problem that has received far too little attention.

In her kindergarten class was a little black girl who did well except for getting a very obvious question wrong. It turned out that the little girl had no problem with the concepts or the facts but had misinterpreted a word because it sounded like another word that she had heard used at home, where a "black English" dialect was spoken.

Since the teacher was white, she knew that she was running a risk by getting into this issue. Opening this can of worms could result in anything from being called a "racist" to an ugly confrontation at school or in court.
Nevertheless, the teacher told the girl's mother that, unless her daughter learned standard English, her education could suffer and her intelligence might be so under-estimated that she could be falsely labeled subnormal.
It was near the end of the term so there was no time to see what effect, if any, the teacher's words might have had.

Some time later, however, the mother and the teacher happened to encounter each other in a department store and discussed what had happened since their discussion.

Sure enough, the same problems had caused the little girl to do badly on tests in her next class. Fortunately, the girl's mother now remembered the teacher's warning and began to get workbooks and to watch how people spoke around the little girl at home.

On the next tests, the girl made straight A's.

Think about it: This straight-A student could have ended up a failure and perhaps even considered retarded, if her teacher had not gone out on a limb to let her mother know what was wrong. Years of letting the problem go uncorrected could have taken a toll on her prospects for a lifetime.
No matter how smart you are, you can end up looking pretty dumb if you take a test written in Chinese. But there is no excuse for English to be a foreign language to anyone growing up in the United States.

Thanks to the dedicated work of Ron Unz in California and other states, the practice of teaching Hispanic American students in Spanish under so-called "bilingual" programs, has been shot down and the test scores of Hispanic students have gone up.

For black students, getting them away from "black English" is likewise key to improving their education and all the opportunities in later life that will depend on education. Unfortunately, there are too many people with a vested interest in promoting "black English" and other fads that are part of the multicultural ideology.

What makes this a farce, as well as a tragedy, is that what is called "black English" is a dialect that originated among white people in parts of Britain centuries ago. That dialect was transferred across the Atlantic when people in those parts of Britain settled in the American South.

With more than 90 percent of the black population living in the antebellum South, this transplanted dialect became the language of American blacks. Meanwhile, that dialect died out in Britain, with the spread of education and the standardization of the English language.
It also eroded away in the South, with the spread of education among whites and blacks. But it persisted among the least educated blacks and, after the 1960s, this dialect became a badge of racial identity. Teachers were warned not to tamper with it and many heeded the warning.

Joe Sobran: You Call This A War?

(Note: The link above will take you to Joe's current on-line column. The archive is here. Not all of his past columns are available in the archive.)


With perfect timing, Joe Sobran appears and asks the correct questions.

The London terror bombings make one thing clear: the United States and the United Kingdom are never going to win the “war on terrorism.” The reason is simple: it isn’t really a war. And nobody can win or lose it.

We should stop talking about it as if it were a war. It’s a clash of wills. The enemy is obscure, but can’t be fought or defeated as if he were a state. He has no vital secrets or single mastermind that can be found by, say, taking, questioning, and torturing captives.

Clashes of wills are often won through conquest and colonization. That is not an option in this war. Win their hearts and minds through free elections, property rights, freedom of speech, religious freedom, Coca Cola, jeans, Hollywood, et cetera? Iffy.

It seems to have pacified the Germans and the Japanese. Perhaps too much so. Is Islam impervious? It is a false religion, so, no. Japanese Shintoism seems to have made peace with modernism, but is dying in the process. As are those types of Christianity that have done the same.

Perhaps fanatical moslems are fanatical out of fear for the future of their false religion. If so, they will have to be crushed as the Japanese and Germans were.

That will prove difficult without the will (or the possibility, according to Sobran) to wage all-out war against them.

“He,” in fact, is a loose federation, not a centralized power. His numbers aren’t huge, but he has millions of sympathizers who share his hatred of us. He has no ambition to conquer us or destroy our freedoms; such talk is foolish. “Democracy,” if that’s what you want to call it, isn’t at stake. The enemy merely wants to harass and shock us until we stop irritating him.

And our government has no intention of doing that. It will keep doing what it does, and he will keep retaliating. This will go on indefinitely, since neither side can force the other to do what it wants. What costs can random acts of terrorism against a few civilians impose on the politicians who make the decisions? Don’t such acts in fact reward and encourage them?

What incentive could cause President Bush to change his course? Every new terrorist act fortifies his determination not to change. Nothing he does gives the enemy any reason to change, either. He even profits by the stalemate. From his point of view, the Iraq war isn’t futile.

For a time it appeared that Prime Minister Tony Blair might suffer political damage for supporting the war. But he survived his last election easily, winning by a larger margin than Bush did last November.

Does Bush feel the same frustration most of us feel? Somewhat, probably; but not enough to make him reconsider. He is a patient, stubborn man, but not the sort of creative thinker whose mentality is disturbed when reality doesn’t yield to his will. “What am I doing wrong?” isn’t the kind of question he asks himself.

Ouch. But true enough.

Because he thinks of himself as engaged in war, he is content with old “lessons” of war he learned as a youth. For him this is World War II all over again, and his role is to act like the “heroes” of that war, Roosevelt and Churchill.

The same is probably true, more or less, of the enemy. He can wait. If his occasional strikes kill innocent people and cause an uproar, he has his reward; his conscience has long since ceased to bother him. He isn’t trying to “convert” Bush, and he no longer cares, if he ever really did, whether the Western public changes either.

Both sides are adapting to a new way of life, in which neither victory nor defeat is a prospect. Each has made its arrangements and alliances; there is no turning back. The rest of us may as well come to terms with it, since, as James Burnham used to say, when there’s no solution, there’s no problem. This is just the way we’re going to live from now on.

If you think time is on our side, and modernity's, check the relative fertility rates for moslem countries and compare them to those in Christendom. Time is on the side of the numbers.

Expensive “security” measures, most of them useless, will be a permanent feature of our lives and economies, like the huge military budgets of the Cold War. We are still paying hundreds of billions in taxes for weapons systems we never needed; more to the point, we pay most of the money for military salaries and pensions that have become an ineradicable part of modern existence, like a second welfare state.

Do you get a regular check from the government? If not, you may be missing the point of the whole thing. Government programs ostensibly begin with the purpose of “protecting” us from something — poverty, old age, deadly enemies, carcinogens in the water and air. But our “protectors” keep on getting paid long after any danger has passed.

What starts as a means eventually becomes an end in itself. What we thought was only a specific emergency measure turns out to be a whole way of life. Some very brainy people never catch on to this.

The truth is, it has always been thus. And always will be. Such is the price of original sin. Truly brainy people have known this all along.

Millar and Hinds are on a roll...

...I just hope no TV idiots get any ideas...

Click to enlarge.

Another example of real life fascism, Seattle style...

...or, John McCain, call your office.

The First Amendment has been moved to the ICU. I suggest you pay your respects now. It won't last long.

First, Washington state's speech police came for the talk-radio hosts, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said nothing. In fact, the Evergreen State's largest daily newspaper said worse than nothing; it actively cheered on the enemies of the First Amendment.
The situation is this:

In April, Washington's Legislature passed a 9.5-cent-a-gallon gas-tax hike -- which would give the state the nation's highest gasoline tax. Public outcry was followed by the formation of a grass-roots group, No New Gas Tax, intent on overturning the new levy via an initiative -- Initiative 912.

Two talk-radio hosts, Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson of Seattle's KVI-AM (a Fox News affiliate), embraced the signature-gathering drive to put I-912 on the ballot. And that's when the trouble started.

The radio hosts were a bit too effective at getting the word out about the anti-gas tax initiative, so a county prosecutor with ties to the initiative's opponents decided to try to shut them up by making clever use of the state's campaign-finance-regulation machinery. San Juan County Prosecutor Randall Gaylord sued No New Gas Tax, alleging that the group had failed to list KVI-AM's commentaries as contributions to its campaign.

Advocacy on Wilbur and Carlson's shows, Gaylord argued, was really just an "in kind" contribution -- no different than a check written to a political committee. And, amazingly enough, a judge agreed with him. Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham argued in his opinion that he was merely requiring "disclosure" of the contribution. But when it comes to campaign-finance regulation, disclosure is virtually always a precursor to restrictions.

So, what might a principled newspaper do at this point, regardless of its stance on the gas tax? Well, of course, it would see the clear threat this judge's line of thinking poses to journalists everywhere. It would see that when we start to blur the line between campaign coverage and campaign contributions, we risk preventing the press from doing its job. And it would see that petty squabbles over state transportation spending are hardly something over which it's worth tossing one's First-Amendment-protected brethren to the wolves.

And, so, if that's what a principled newspaper might do, what would the Seattle P-I do? Well, of course, it would write a flippant editorial under the headline: "Jabber Over Journalism." And it would declare that while it's fine for "broadcast pundits, newspaper columnists and editorial pages" to "discuss issues and recommend action," the KVI hosts deserve to be harassed for "acting as political activists, not journalists."

Puzzled by the paper's stance, I phoned the P-I's editorial page editor, Mark Trahant, a few days after that editorial ran, to better understand the paper's thinking. Trahant graciously agreed to discuss the editorial with me, and so I asked him the question that was pressing on the minds of First Amendment partisans across the country.

If a couple of radio-talk-show hosts can be regulated under campaign-finance law -- their very spoken words considered contributions -- what exactly protects the P-I (or any other publication) from such regulation? After all, the P-I has editorialized regularly on the gas tax (in favor of the tax and against the initiative) for months.

"We're not participants," Trahant said. "We have no vested interest, other than as citizens." Trahant went on to note that one of the hosts, Carlson, had given money to the I-912 campaign. "They actually coordinated on air, telling people where to get petitions."

And if that doesn't get to the heart of the matter, I don't know what does.

The speech regulators, almost always on the political left, are happy to let you talk all day -- so long as what you say doesn't actually have any effect on anything. But if what you say starts driving fundraising or getting people out of their chairs and on the street collecting signatures, then you may well be an enemy of the state.

Trahant and other like him, however, need to realize that the First Amendment has no qualifiers. It doesn't say that "Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press … unless a citizen shall have a 'vested interest' in the topic." (Thanks to Tech Central Station via Townhall.com.)

Freedom, Requiescat in pace.

I hope nobody thinks John Roberts is going to save the day.

WTF?

Excuse me? Yes, I am terribly sorry to bother you nice folks, but it seems there a couple of non-profilable humans traipsing about the country with at least one shoulder fired anti-aircraft missle. Yes, I agree. It is quite an inconvenience.

Michelle Malkin types this at Townhall.com:

This week, New Jersey Transit officials joined the New York Police Department in performing hapless random searches of Granny's knitting bag and Junior's Thomas the Tank backpack to prevent the next al Qaeda attack.

But not everyone is fighting the War on Terror blind. Some U.S. military personnel have been given a very clear and un-p.c. mission:

Be on the lookout for Middle Easterners carrying rocket launchers.
Yup, that's right. Many readers have e-mailed me about a recent report floating on the Internet that reveals military concerns about a suspicious trio of Middle Eastern men who apparently pointed a rocket launcher at low-flying aircraft near Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma earlier this month. It's authentic. Battle Staff Directive No. 41, categorized as "For Official Use Only," was issued at Hill Air Force Base in Utah last week to raise a red flag about the incident at Tinker AFB:

"On 14 Jul 05, three individuals were observed outside of the perimeter of Tinker AFB, OK. They were looking through binoculars, taking pictures and one appeared to be holding a large weapon at chest level. The weapon appeared to be aimed towards a low flying aircraft. The three individuals were described as being of Middle Eastern descent and left the area when approached. The weapon was later identified as a rocket launcher (MANPAD) and the low flying aircraft to be a B-1 Bomber. FBI in Oklahoma City and AFOSI [Air Force Office of Special Investigations] determined the threat to be credible."

Someone leaked the directive to a website called Soldiers For The Truth (sftt.org), and it was picked up by another site, the Northeast Intelligence Network (homelandsecurityus.com). Tinker AFB staff and FBI officials remain tight-lipped about the incident. But Capt. Sean Carter, a public affairs officer at Hill AFB, verified the directive for me.

BTW, why hasn't this been on the nightly news?

Playing with words and fire.

Washington recasts terror war as 'struggle'
(Thanks to the International Herald Tribune via Drudge.)

The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, according to senior administration and military officials.

In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the country's top military officer have spoken of "a global struggle against violent extremism" rather than "the global war on terror," which had been the catchphrase of choice.

Administration officials say the earlier phrase may have outlived its usefulness, because it focused attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military campaign.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution."
He said the threat instead should be defined as violent extremism, with the recognition that "terror is the method they use."

Although the military is heavily engaged in the mission now, he said, future efforts require "all instruments of our national power, all instruments of the international communities' national power." The solution is "more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military," he concluded.

Administration and Pentagon officials say the revamped campaign has grown out of meetings of President George W. Bush's senior national security advisers that began in January, and it reflects the evolution in Bush's own thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Rumsfeld spoke in the new terms on Friday when he addressed an audience in Annapolis, Maryland, for the retirement ceremony of Admiral Vern Clark as chief of naval operations. Rumsfeld described America's efforts as it "wages the global struggle against the enemies of freedom, the enemies of civilization."

The shifting language is one of the most public changes in the administration's strategy to battle Al Qaeda and its affiliates, and it tracks closely with Bush's recent speeches emphasizing freedom, democracy and the worldwide clash of ideas.

"It is more than just a military war on terror," Steven Hadley, the national security adviser, said in a telephone interview. "It's broader than that. It's a global struggle against extremism. We need to dispute both the gloomy vision and offer a positive alternative."

The language shift also comes at a time when Bush, with a new appointment for one of his most trusted aides, Karen Hughes, is trying to bolster the State Department's efforts at public diplomacy.

Lawrence Di Rita, Rumsfeld's spokesman, said the change in language "is not a shift in thinking, but a continuation of the immediate post-9/11 approach."

"The president then said we were going to use all the means of national power and influence to defeat this enemy," Di Rita said. "We must continue to be more expansive than what the public is understandably focused on now: the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq."

By stressing to the public that the effort is not only military, the administration may also be trying to reassure those in uniform who have begun complaining that only members of the armed forces are being asked to sacrifice for the effort.

New opinion polls show that the American public is increasingly pessimistic about the mission in Iraq, with many doubting its link to the counterterrorism mission. Thus, a new emphasis on reminding the public of the broader, long-term threat to the United States may allow the administration to put into broader perspective the daily mayhem in Iraq and the American casualties.

Douglas Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, said in an interview that if America's efforts were limited to "protecting the homeland and attacking and disrupting terrorist networks, you're on a treadmill that is likely to get faster and faster with time." The key to "ultimately winning the war," he said, "is addressing the ideological part of the war that deals with how the terrorists recruit and indoctrinate new terrorists."


WASHINGTON The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, according to senior administration and military officials.

In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the country's top military officer have spoken of "a global struggle against violent extremism" rather than "the global war on terror," which had been the catchphrase of choice.

Administration officials say the earlier phrase may have outlived its usefulness, because it focused attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military campaign.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution."
He said the threat instead should be defined as violent extremism, with the recognition that "terror is the method they use."

Although the military is heavily engaged in the mission now, he said, future efforts require "all instruments of our national power, all instruments of the international communities' national power." The solution is "more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military," he concluded.

Administration and Pentagon officials say the revamped campaign has grown out of meetings of President George W. Bush's senior national security advisers that began in January, and it reflects the evolution in Bush's own thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Rumsfeld spoke in the new terms on Friday when he addressed an audience in Annapolis, Maryland, for the retirement ceremony of Admiral Vern Clark as chief of naval operations. Rumsfeld described America's efforts as it "wages the global struggle against the enemies of freedom, the enemies of civilization."

The shifting language is one of the most public changes in the administration's strategy to battle Al Qaeda and its affiliates, and it tracks closely with Bush's recent speeches emphasizing freedom, democracy and the worldwide clash of ideas.

"It is more than just a military war on terror," Steven Hadley, the national security adviser, said in a telephone interview. "It's broader than that. It's a global struggle against extremism. We need to dispute both the gloomy vision and offer a positive alternative."

The language shift also comes at a time when Bush, with a new appointment for one of his most trusted aides, Karen Hughes, is trying to bolster the State Department's efforts at public diplomacy.

Lawrence Di Rita, Rumsfeld's spokesman, said the change in language "is not a shift in thinking, but a continuation of the immediate post-9/11 approach."

"The president then said we were going to use all the means of national power and influence to defeat this enemy," Di Rita said. "We must continue to be more expansive than what the public is understandably focused on now: the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq."

By stressing to the public that the effort is not only military, the administration may also be trying to reassure those in uniform who have begun complaining that only members of the armed forces are being asked to sacrifice for the effort.

New opinion polls show that the American public is increasingly pessimistic about the mission in Iraq, with many doubting its link to the counterterrorism mission. Thus, a new emphasis on reminding the public of the broader, long-term threat to the United States may allow the administration to put into broader perspective the daily mayhem in Iraq and the American casualties.

Douglas Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, said in an interview that if America's efforts were limited to "protecting the homeland and attacking and disrupting terrorist networks, you're on a treadmill that is likely to get faster and faster with time." The key to "ultimately winning the war," he said, "is addressing the ideological part of the war that deals with how the terrorists recruit and indoctrinate new terrorists."


WASHINGTON The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, according to senior administration and military officials.

In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the country's top military officer have spoken of "a global struggle against violent extremism" rather than "the global war on terror," which had been the catchphrase of choice.

Administration officials say the earlier phrase may have outlived its usefulness, because it focused attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military campaign.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution."
He said the threat instead should be defined as violent extremism, with the recognition that "terror is the method they use."

Although the military is heavily engaged in the mission now, he said, future efforts require "all instruments of our national power, all instruments of the international communities' national power." The solution is "more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military," he concluded.

In one sense, I am happy about this. We are not behaving as if we are fighting a war, (We may not even be capable of fighting one.) so we should not call it a war.

On the other hand, our fellow citizens are fighting and dying to protect us. That sounds like a war.

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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