Sunday, December 31, 2006
A Lump of Coal for Kwanzaa
For you religio-centric clods who haven't yet expanded your celebratory horizons -- and you know who you are -- I bring a message of tolerance and inclusiveness: December 26 marked the start of Kwanzaa.
As some know, this High Holy Week saw its birth 482 moons in the distant past, which means about forty years ago. It was founded by the Great Prophet, Maulana Karenga, who was born in the cradle of religion itself, Maryland.
Like many deeply spiritual men, Karenga came from humble origins, christened Ron N. Everett and raised on a poultry farm. Perhaps it was the desire to distance himself from his fowl upbringing, but young Everett took the African name "Karenga" and then later adopted "maulana," a Swahili title that means "master teacher."
Like all great spiritualistic teachers, Karenga never felt constrained by the ways and strictures of this material fold, like, for instance, laws prohibiting, assault, robbery and the torture of young women, the last of these being a highly spiritual act for which he was imprisoned, no doubt in violation of his constitutional right to freedom of religious expression............................................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Selwyn Duke
Iraq Policy and Public Opinion
With mounting stridency, news media demand to know why President Bush fails to bow to public opinion expressed in the recent Congressional elections and pull our troops out of Iraq.
The underlying assumption is that public opinion, expressed in elections or opinion polls, in all cases represents truth and wisdom. As I wrote in The Limitations of Public Opinion, such is seldom the case when complex policy matters are the subject of those opinions.
he stock market, for example, gives us a daily, broad spectrum opinion poll reflecting the outlook for business. Obviously, however, very few people have the knowledge and resources to become rich and to keep their wealth over time simply through knowing what composite market opinion is at any given time.......................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Thomas Brewton
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Saddam the Merciless EXECUTED - AP Misusing Words to Report it!
Just deserts were dished out to one Saddam Hussein last night. Few deserved it more than he.
There is no reason for me to recount his many crimes against humanity here, but it is a good thing he has paid for his evil -- and paid with his life.
That is all need be said about that...
But, in reading the AP's story by Abdul-Zahra, something else comes to the fore that is vexing to anyone looking for truth in the media. Of course, truth is always in short supply from our friends at alAP, but with Abdul-Zahra's report we see a constant misuse of the English language.
There is no need to reproduce the entire report here, but I'd like to focus on the misuse of certain words that seems to offer exculpatory sentiment for the murderer Saddam and shows how the AP seems not to know what words mean.
The report starts out with this sentence:
Clutching a Quran and refusing a hood, Saddam Hussein went to the gallows before sunrise Saturday, executed by vengeful countrymen after a quarter-century of remorseless brutality that killed countless thousands and led Iraq into disastrous wars against the United States and Iran.
Vengeful? Is Abdul-Zahra trying to lead us to feel that this execution isn't justice, but is mere vengence?
It was a grim end for the 69-year-old leader who had vexed three U.S. presidents. Despite his ouster, Washington, its allies and the new Iraqi leaders remain mired in a fight to quell a stubborn insurgency by Saddam loyalists and a vicious sectarian conflict.
"Grim" end? Is that the sort of sorrowful terms we use to describe the execution of such a murderous dictator: grim? And, naturally, we cannot talk about the execution of Saddam for his crimes without making it seem all a wasted effort because his actions still "vex" U.S. presidents! Even in execution, this AP writer is trying to hand a triumph to Saddam.
Next our intrepid AP reporter got a sly dig against the death penalty by placing Saddam's use of political murder and torture next to a legitimate death penalty.
Iraq's death penalty was suspended by the U.S. military after it toppled Saddam in 2003, but the new Iraqi government reinstated it two years later, saying executions would deter criminals.
Saddam's own regime used executions and extrajudicial killings as a tool of political repression, both to eliminate real or suspected political opponents and to maintain a reign of terror.
Obviously, to writer Abdul-Zahra, there is not much difference between a measured and legitimate usage of the death penalty and Saddam's obscene murders.
Lastly, Abdul-Zahra showed complete ignorance of what the word "honor" means:
While he wielded a heavy hand to maintain control, Saddam also sought to win public support with a personality cult that pervaded Iraqi society. Thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals were erected in his honor all over Iraq.
A grateful people honor a well-known person for his life's work by naming schools after him or displaying his portrait. But a dictator places them about the country by HIS OWN ORDER. Those "thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals" were decidedly NOT erected in his honor all over Iraq. They were forced there by his thugs to aggrandize a tyrant by his own order.
"In his honor" is not the right verbiage to use in that case at all, Mr. Abdul-Zahra. Do you even know the difference?
Does the AP's editors?
Amherst College: Should Marxism be Given Another Look?
The Young America's Foundation has come out with their 2006 list of the most bizarre and Politically Correct college courses of the year and it shows, once again, the foolishness being called an "education" that is foisted upon our children in our colleges and universities.
The number one most ridiculous is Occidental College's "The Phallus", supposedly a study on the relation "between the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism."
What palpable nonsense!
The U. of Pennsylvania's "Adultery Novel", where students learn about infidelity -- I suppose to make Bill Clinton more acceptable -- also made the list.
Additionally, we see the U. of California-Los Angeles's "Queer Musicology", where our youngsters are taught about gay music -- as if it were somehow a "different" kind of music, apparently. Now, is separating them out from the rest of our music supposed to make them accepted just like "everyone else"? I thought gays wanted to be thought of as "normal people" instead of separated and segregated?
The list seems mostly to chastise overindulgences in "women's studies" in the average American University. Occidental College, for example, has quite an extensive "women's studies" department with all sorts of facile and unnecessary courses stuffed into this area of "study". Imagine the bloated budget this department must waste on a yearly basis!
There were a myriad of other "courses" that our highly priced and woefully inadequate universities have wasted time and effort upon, many of which attack America, the male of the species, white people and western culture. Of course, they all assault the sensibilities of any student who wants to actually learn something useful.
But, to my mind, the worst one on the list was Amherst College's "Taking Marx Seriously: Should Marx be Given Another Chance? Let me answer that query with a word even the pointy heads at University might understand: NO. A resounding no!
Here is Amherst's course description:
Should Marx be given yet another chance? Is there anything left to gain by returning to texts whose earnest exegesis has occupied countless interpreters, both friendly and hostile, for generations? Has Marx's credibility survived the global debacle of those regimes and movements that drew inspiration from his work, however poorly they understood it? Or, conversely, have we entered a new era in which post-Marxism has joined a host of other "post-" phenomena? This seminar will deal with these and related questions in the context of a close and critical reading of Marx's texts. The main themes we will discuss include Marx's conception of capitalist modernity, material and intellectual production, power, class conflicts and social consciousness, and his critique of alienation, bourgeois freedom and representative democracy. We will also examine Marx's theories of historical progress, capitalist exploitation, globalization and human emancipation.
In light of the 100 million human beings murdered over the last 100 years or so by people inspired by Marx, it is a continual amazement to me that certain types of people still wonder if the failed theorist's ideas could still work "if only it were tried right".
Marx's ideas have nearly all proven chimerical at best and murderous at worst, yet we get one person after another traipsing about our college campuses claiming the mantle of thoughtful, professor positing the absurdities of Marx and his many murderous acolytes and ruefully pontificating upon their unrealized potential.
These are the same sorts of people who point to things like the Spanish Inquisition and the many wars launched under the name of Christ in previous centuries as reasons to de-legitimize Christianity. They proclaim Christianity's hypocrisy because of the many that have died in Christ's name. Yet, far more people have died as a result of Marx's religion than any other ever created. And not a word about the millions upon millions of Marx's victims is ever acknowledged by the ivory tower set.
So, according to such people, religion should be cast out because of such depredations, religion should be banished from the mind of man and excised from the university because of such historical excess, yet the excess caused by Marx? Well, let's not bring that up shall we?
After all, they plaintively claim that Marx's ideas were never "really" implemented right as this fetid course description seems to allude, so his ideas must deserve a second look. Marx's followers just didn't get it because of how "poorly they understood it". Regardless of what Marxism has led to, let's give it another shot... no pun intended.
So, why can't we use the same argument for religion? Why can't we say religion has never been tried right, too? Not that I am equating Christ to Marx, far from it. But the pointy heads don't see their dichotomy. In fact, they don't even acknowledge it as a legitimate query.
Marx has proven an utter failure through every manner of implementation of his ideas on both large and small scale and does not behoove the time spent on him as a legitimate course of study unless it is as an adjunct to political science or history, and then only as a negative example therein.
Marx deserves nothing but the contempt of everyone. And our universities don't deserve much better for their slavish love for this murderous, beast at this rate.
Yes, he should be taught. But he deserves to be placed as the worst human being in human history. Worse than Hitler, worse then Stalin, even worse then Torquemada.
A Few U.S. Muslims Who Stood Up!
OK, since 9/11 I have had a few negative things to say about Muslims and Islam... OK, more than a "few".
I have complained that the so-called moderates in the world of Islam don't stand up to the terrorists, for instance. As the old adage goes "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing", and Muslims the world over have seemed to be more than willing to let the evil happen.
Well, since I have reported the "evil" that Muslims do, I feel it only proper to report when I see them doing something right.
On Dec. 21st, the Washington Post featured a story titled Muslims Mark Solidarity With Jews,
Event Held Days After Iranian Meeting That Denied Genocide. And in it we meet a few American Muslims who stood publicly against the re-writing of history sponsored by the Iranians a few weeks ago.
Local Muslim leaders lit candles yesterday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to commemorate Jewish suffering under the Nazis, in a ceremony held just days after Iran had a conference denying the genocide.
American Muslims "believe we have to learn the lessons of history and commit ourselves: Never again," said Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, standing before the eternal flame flickering from a black marble base that holds dirt from Nazi concentration camps.
Good show, Imam Magid.
Now if only more of his creed were as vocal.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Advent Fourth Sunday
Mary and Joseph were confronted by the Immaculate Conception, Mary's impregnation before the marriage ceremony, with what would have appeared to the outside world as a serious breach of Judaic righteousness that potentially could have ostracized them from their community. Yet both of them heeded God's Word: "Do not be afraid."
The Reverend Jason Pankau preached today's sermon at the Long Ridge Congregational Church (North Stamford, Connecticut). The message was "do not be afraid." When you hear God's call, trust in Him and follow where he leads......................
Click HERE To Read On
AP: Turning Gov't Letter Into Excuse for America Bashing
As the AP reports (Strip-Searched Muslim Woman Gets Apology), the Dept. of Homeland Security sent an apology letter to a Muslim woman who was strip searched on April 11th, 2006. Naturally, the AP uses the report as an excuse to bash the US government.
The Department of Homeland Security has sent a letter apologizing to a Muslim woman who was detained at the Tampa airport and strip-searched at a county jail.
Safana Jawad, 45, a Spanish citizen who was born in Iraq, was detained on April 11 because of a suspected tie to a suspicious person, authorities said. She was held for two days before being deported to England.
AP reports the letter was dated December 8th and sent in response to a complaint by Jawad.
"On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, I offer you my sincere apology for having to undergo a strip search," wrote Timothy J. Keefer, acting chief counsel for the department's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Then the AP takes this woman's complaint to the next level, as it were, by allowing her to wag a finger in the face of the USA.
Jawad was traveling to Clearwater to visit her 16-year-old son, who lived with her ex-husband, Ahmad Maki Kubba. Kubba, an Iraqi exile and American citizen for 27 years, was praised last year by Gov. Jeb. Bush for organizing a group to vote in Iraq's election.
Kubba said his ex-wife's detention prompted his son to move to Spain.
"I lost my son because of what happened," Kubba said. "My son wanted to be in the U.S. Navy, and he speaks both English and Arabic. He would have been just what they are looking for. What they did to Jawad was unfair and is hurting America."
Where is the AP wagging a finger in the face of Muslims everywhere for allowing the smallest percentage of them to make everyone else suspect Muslims as terrorists in the first place?
As it ends up, though, this appears to be a non-story. This apology letter isn't odd at all, apparently.
Department spokeswoman Joanna Gonzalez said it is standard practice to send a response letter to someone who complains. She said the agency does not track the number of apologies it issues.
Seems like the Dept. of Homeland Security does this all the time! (Though maybe a better story is why they bother wasting so much time with these letters?)
Nothing out of the ordinary at all, really.
But, it DID give the AP a chance to say how mean the USA is to those nice Muslims, though.
So, I guess the non-story DID serve SOME purpose: AP bashing the USA again.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
A Perfect Example of Global Warming Hysteria
Chicken Little yelled, "Help! Help! The sky is falling!" Our frightened Chicken could well be a "journalist" writing about Global warming, or a former Vice-President that can't find anything else to do with his time.
The hysteria that is global warming is perfectly evinced in a recent story by the Independent newspaper from England.
Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island is so fraught with fear mongering and hyperventilation that it is no wonder that skeptics look to the Globaloney movement and laugh at their claims of "scientific" seriousness.
For some sidesplitting, hilarity, this particular story is as ridiculous as they come, replete with overly emotional rhetoric, ill chosen verbiage, and scientific boobery.
(I will bold some of the funniest stuff for emphasis)
Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.
"Obliteration"? This obliteration took many years. But using the word obliteration seems a choice to invoke a sudden cataclysm and a way to cause alarm and fear in the reader. Certainly, obliteration does mean to "erase from existence", granted, but the word has a certain emotional carriage to it that is sure to cause alarm
And the Independent is somewhat misleading on the time line as well. Lochachara Island, for instance, has been gone for 20 or so years but here we have the Independent making it seem as if it just happened! As if Global Warming suddenly swamped the island.
Two-thirds of nearby populated island Ghoramara has also been permanently inundated. Dr Sugata Hazra, director of the university's School of Oceanographic Studies, says "it is only a matter of some years" before it is swallowed up too. Dr Hazra says there are now a dozen "vanishing islands" in India's part of the delta. The area's 400 tigers are also in danger.
Another word used to scare: "inundated". Inundation is generally a word to describe a sudden flood, not a slow, inexorable rising of water. We also use it to describe being overwhelmed, such as being "inundated" with email -- again an emotional reaction results. But, these islands have taken many years to go away. The fact that they are disappearing is certainly nothing to scoff about, and, while the hyperbolic rhetoric adds a novelist's flair, little scientific weight is brought to the story with such fear mongering.
Until now the Carteret Islands off Papua New Guinea were expected to be the first populated ones to disappear, in about eight years' time, but Lohachara has beaten them to the dubious distinction.
Another sentence calculated to cause mere fear. It is interesting that, in the rush to sound all dramatic, the Independent is ignoring the fact that 8 years or more should be plenty of time for inhabitants of these low lying islands to MOVE to a place where it ISN'T slowly flooding! It would also be plenty of time to save the tigers worried about above.
Human cost of global warming: Rising seas will soon make 70,000 people homeless.
Again, 8 years or more... they have at least 8 YEARS to move. Such advanced notice does NOT cause people to become "homeless"! This word is again used as if this is a sudden conflagration causing catastrophic loss. It is not. It is something that people have all sorts of time in which to solve their housing problems.
A forest fire, an earthquake, even a real flash flood, those are sudden catastrophes that could cause people to become "homeless". 8 years should be plenty of time to find somewhere else to live!
This grandiose flourish cries for some perspective to be called for here.
Refugees from the vanished Lohachara island and the disappearing Ghoramara island have fled to Sagar, but this island has already lost 7,500 acres of land to the sea. In all, a dozen islands, home to 70,000 people, are in danger of being submerged by the rising seas.
Nearly this entire sentence is filled with teary eyed, scaremongering! "Refuges", "fled", both are words usually used to denote suddenness. There is nothing sudden about the decades it is taking to submerge these islands, especially since Lohachara island has already been gone for 20 years.
Of course, these people are losing real estate and, yes, it will not be easy to move and start over. It never is easy to move and start over no matter what is causing the move. But, they will move and they will carry on. And they have many years to figure out how to do it.
And the last bit about being "in danger of being submerged". More emotionalism that. There is no "danger"; there is just plain fact. And it is a fact that must be dealt with by leaving the area affected. "In danger of" implies that something can be done to stop it and there is not one much humans can economically do to stop these islands from being submerged or even global warming, if it is happening, from happening.
Now, whether global warming is, indeed happening or not is immaterial to the fate of these islands. They are absolutely submerging beneath the waves and will soon be but a memory. This kind of erosion is happening all the time all across the world and always has. Many islands have come and gone in man's recorded history alone.
Worse, these scaremongers also fail to inform their acolytes that, if it is global warming, it is something that has happened many other times in Earth's past -- and in all those other times there WAS no man around to cause it. Man has not caused global warming. Man can do nothing to stop it.
Still, there is plenty of doubt that Global Warming is the cause. Dr. E. Calvin Beisner has written to me recently giving good reason to doubt that water levels have risen due to man's interference in the environment. "Averaged over century-long periods, sea level has been rising on Earth ever since the end of the last Ice Age, and according to the International Union for Quaternary Research's Sea Level Commission--the world's most authoritative body of scientific work on the subject--there is no significant change in the rate of rise through the period when, according to global warming theory, human activity is supposed to have contributed significantly to the warming."
But, in the end, I'd say that if people don't have the sense God gave a rock to move off an island that has been slowly submerging for 8 years or more, then global warming is the least of their worries.
Globaloney hysteria strikes again.
Planning to Fail
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group has submitted its recommendations for altering US policy in Iraq that would also affect the entire Middle East. President Bush will present modifications to current operations in January. Nancy Pelosi recently announced her new legislative agenda for the 110th Congress but never mentioned Iraq (or border security) even once. When is the majority Democratic leadership in Congress going to unveil their new strategy for Iraq or for that matter the larger war with terrorism?
Democrats declare Iraq a failure
The Democrats have decided that President Bush's Iraq policy is a failure and have demanded a "change of course" without being very specific about their meaning.
National Democrat Committee Chairman, Howard Dean, called Iraq a "mess" blaming President Bush for "failed political leadership and lack of foresight and planning." "Staying the course is not a plan," he said................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Chuck Busch
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Should We Honor Kwanzaa Creator, A Rapist and Torturer?
It amazes me that this Kwanzaa business has been washed of the real life criminal activity of its creator. The man was a race monger, a violent thug, a rapist, a torturer... just a horrible human being.
Yet never a word of this man's evil is ever uttered when his pseudo holiday is discussed in the MSM.
And the Cox News Service did it again on Christmas in theirs titled Kwanzaa glows even brighter after 40 years.
Kwanzaa turns 40 today. The colorful holiday, invented by California professor Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966, is like a jazz musician who fuses bits and pieces of music into a vibrant mosaic of sound. Kwanzaa, "first fruit" in Swahili, is a fluent, nonreligious holiday that borrows liberally from a patchwork of cultures and traditions.
Karenga originally created the seven-day observance to empower black communities and uplift black culture and identity.
Yes, kindly professor Ron Karenga. What a great guy.
Of course, his name wasn't really Ron Karenga originally. It was Ronald McKinley Everett.
In 1969 the organization called US (as is "us"--blacks--against "them" --whites), a black power militant group Everett founded, frequently clashed in violence with police and even other black power groups. Members of his group even killed two Black Panthers in 1969.
Nice and peaceful, eh?
In 1971 Everett served time in jail for assault. By then Everett had changed his name to Maulana Ron Karenga and began to affect a pseudo African costume and act a native African.
It wasn't mere assault he was convicted of, either. It was sexual assault and torture perpetrated against some of his female followers. The L.A. Times then reported that he placed a hot soldering iron in one woman's mouth and used a vise to crush another's toe.
As writer Lynn Woolley wrote of Professor "Karenga":
And so this is Kwanzaa. The militant past of the creator is now ignored in favor of the so-called seven principles of Nguza Saba – principles such as unity, family and self-determination that could have come from Bill Bennett's "Book of Virtues." The word "Kwanzaa" is Swahili, meaning something like "fresh fruits of harvest."
No one remembers the part about "re-Africanization" or the sevenfold path of blackness that Dr. Karenga once espoused. Hardly anyone remembers the shootings, the beatings,the tortures and the prison terms that were once the center of his life. It's just not PC to bring that sort of stuff up now that Kwanzaa is commercialized and making big bucks.
And the Cox News Service just helped a criminal and sexual pervert skate by again, hidden behind his false holiday, and has allowed him to continue to dupe millions of black Americans. A man who has never denounced his past criminal activity and extremist ideas.
Happy Kwanzaa, indeed!
Charity vs the Welfare State
Religion and morality command every individual to do the right thing by helping people who have fallen upon hard times. But charity is not the same thing as decreeing that such people are entitled to an equal share of everyone's wealth.
Liberal-socialist-progressive critics charge that questioning the welfare state amounts to a mean-spirited policy of dumping the needy into the streets to provide funds for tax-cuts that benefit only the wealthy.
Such questioning, however, is mean-spirited only if one assumes that the Federal government is the sole source of charity.
In fact, from 1620 to 1933, all public welfare activity was at the state and local levels, primarily through churches, local charity groups, immigrant societies, and fraternal organizations like the Elks and Shriners. Those groups operated hospitals and schools for the disabled and the sick. For a few cents in weekly dues per household, they provided social insurance to support widows, orphans, and the disabled. Members in good standing with their fraternal and sisterly organizations would be cared for and supported by them in times of difficulty.....................
Click HERE To Read On
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Gay Activism Used to Stop Blood Drives!
More proof that our schools are failing our students.
Santa Cruz schools rethink blood drives after gay student barred
A gay student prevented from donating blood because of his sexual history has stirred debate among Santa Cruz school officials over whether to continue hosting campus blood drives.
"I was turned away because of my sexual contacts," Childers said. "The reasoning behind me not being able to give blood is ridiculous. ... It made me feel like an outcast."
According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, a man who has had a sexual encounter with another man since 1977 is ineligible to donate.
Santa Cruz city schools officials said they were reconsidering whether to have blood drives on campus if students were required to divulge information about their sexual activities.
AIDS is plenty enough reason to prevent gays, the single most at risk segment of society, from donating blood to a blood bank. A policy to keep AIDS out from our blood supply is sensible and far from "bigotry".
Here is the stupidity from a school official to explain their decision:
"As the blood supply has become so politicized over time we need to check our policies," Santa Cruz City Schools Trustee Cynthia Hawthorne said.
If the issue is being "politicized" it would be by you and gay activists putting us all at risk over your social activism, Mz. Hawthorne.
It is logical and proper to stop gays from introducing AIDS into our blood supply and putting each of us at risk. But, in San Francisco, the activism for gay "rights" is far more important than the safety of our blood supplies.
But, it really shouldn't surprise anyone, should it?
Muslim Woman Like the Veil?
From BBC Channel 4 comes a Christmas message that could do with a little more analysis and less taking the thing at face value.
Veiled British Muslim woman delivers alternative Xmas message
At the same time the 80-year-old monarch's Christmas message to Britain and the Commonwealth was broadcast, a woman known only as Khadijah spoke on Channel 4 television Monday about why she wore the niqab in public and called for tolerance.
"We are seen as oppressed. Since I've started covering I feel much more liberated, which I know a lot of people possibly won't be able to understand," she said.
"I don't wear the niqab to separate myself from society. I want to be part of this society -- this is where I choose to live. I hope that society is more accepting of my personal choice. It's not about separation."
OK, so we have a purported "Muslim" women claiming she loves to be covered in the black tent she walks around in. She claims it's "liberating".
At first blush (not that you could see her blush, mind you) one would see this as an affirmation of religious choice. Why, those Muslim women love their traditional dress, you'd think. We should ease off this hateful, western bias against the veil or the hajib. It must be that all our assumptions of the oppressiveness of Muslim female coverings is wrong.
But wait. One small section of the AFP story makes the entire thing a lie...
Khadijah -- who converted to Islam a decade ago and said she is the great-granddaughter of a suffragette who fought for women's right to vote -- said Straw's comments were not helpful.
This is no "Muslim" woman, but a white woman who willingly converted. And what we have here is a person who is striving to out Muslim the REAL Muslims. A nuevo Muslim attempting at zealotry trying to be accepted by people who will never accept her. A white person "gone native", as the saying used to go.
One can never take the word of an activist convert for much of anything because all too often they are extremists. They usually have certain mental problems and emotional voids that they fill with a new thing, something that becomes their entire life, something that is often even more than a passion. Usually more an obsession than a conviction or belief.
So, this claim of Muslims loving the veil is not from a woman who has spent her life covered from head to foot. This is not a woman who's mother was beaten by her Muslim Father. This is not a woman who was raped by her Muslim Uncle and warned to never tell anyone. This is not a woman who has lived with all the women around her beaten, mistreated and oppressed her whole life. This is a woman who only recently became a Muslim and is suddenly enamored with her interesting, new world.
This is not a woman who's voice comes from the experience of the Muslim world, but an outsider trying to convince herself that she is a "true" Muslim.
This woman's "message" is misleading and should be ignored. She does NOT represent the average Muslim woman and should not be treated as if she does.
Jim Webb Parrots the Party Iraq Line
Even though the Democrat Party has seized the majority in both houses in Congress, no clear approach to the administration's current Iraq policy emerged from the campaign. Former Republican turned Democrat Jim Webb, who edged out incumbent and potential presidential candidate Republican George Allen for a Virginia US senate seat, however did gave us an explicit forewarning of many of the Democrat's attitudes and intentions just prior to the midterm elections. He said the only solution to Iraq’s dilemma was a Democrat takeover of Congress on November 7 along with a number of other easily refuted statements.
"Since 2003, President Bush has laid out nine different plans for victory in Iraq, none of them serious and none of them workable. That statement alone would suggest that the Bush administration has not rigidly stuck to one course of action, but has been adapting to the evolving situation in Baghdad.
"Most seriously, this incompetence has hindered our ability to fight international terror." If fighting international terrorism doesn't include winning the battle for Baghdad, I don't know what is. Our enemies have already declared Iraq to be the central front in the war for the Middle East...............
Click HERE To Read On
Sunday, December 24, 2006
And no Crib for a bed...
If you would like, please take some time to roam about our contributors' archives for many wonderful postings, essays and news and commentary.
And, thanks for being a loyal reader of Publius' Forum.
From the gang at Publius' Forum
Christmas at War
Christmas, of course, has not always been celebrated the same way we do today. Not in the U.S.A., not in the world. One thing Christmases throughout history have had in common, though, is that it’s been a day for family gatherings. Of course, there is another thing that Christmases of all eras share and that is the simple fact that humans don’t always pause for any mere holiday. At least one thing never stops, even during Christmas: war.
And, now we face yet another Christmas with our country involved in strife. I won't lament the causes of such then or now, but we all can feel sorrow for the many friends and family who celebrate their Christmas, once again, with an empty chair at the holiday feast.
As Christmas 2006 draws near we find ourselves again facing a force that wishes to destroy us. And, also again, we have sent our soldiers -- those young men and women we hold so dear -- into the breach to stem the tide of our enemies.
It has always been thus. Even on Christmas.
On Christmas night in the year 1776, George Washington made his famous cross of the Delaware River and captured some 900 Hessian troops in the employ of the British army. If this particularly daring act didn't form the turning point in the War for Independence, it most certainly brought a much needed victory to the beleaguered Continental forces and the celebration afterward brought hope and a new resolve to the Revolutionary generation. A Christmas present that eventually brought success at arms to our nascent nation was General George Washington’s gift to his people.
During another trial by fire, Christmas came to the minds of Americans who fought in blue and gray. But, the solemnity and death they faced did not cloud their memories of home and holidays. Corporal J. C. Williams, Co. B, 14th Vermont Infantry, wrote on December 25, 1862:
"This is Christmas, and my mind wanders back to that home made lonesome by my absence, while far away from the peace and quietude of civil life to undergo the hardships of the camp, and may be the battle field. I think of the many lives that are endangered, and hope that the time will soon come when peace, with its innumerable blessings, shall once more restore our country to happiness and prosperity."
The boys of ‘62 pressed on through two more Christmas holidays until the War Between our States came to an end in 1865.
American troops always face poignant thoughts as they trudge on with their duties during this time of year. As World War One came and faded, as American troops once again flooded Europe in service to the world only 20 some years later, and now when we face a shadowy threat from a world-wide terrorism that is hard to define, American soldiers stand stoic in the face of danger with nothing but their comrades at arms beside them and the thoughts of family back home keeping them warm.
It was said that during the Battle of the Bulge in World War Two our soldiers had faced so much of war, that war had filled every second of their waking life, that many of them had completely forgotten that it even was Christmas. But Patton's lightning strike at the Nazi breakthrough was the best present for those who would celebrate that and many more Christmas days to come free of Nazi tyranny.
It all had to be done. And our soldiers marched on even during Christmas.
So, as you sit to your Christmas dinner or as you enjoy your own family's holiday traditions and festivities, remember our soldiers. Remember those who stand between the breach and us. Remember that some will be lost to that breach so that we might enjoy our holiday. Even if you don't have a family member in the service, remember.
The men and women in uniform are family to us all, especially in times of strife. So, please take just a moment at any time during your holiday celebrations for a moment of silent thanks for their service -- past, present and future. Perhaps you might make this your own family tradition?
Merry Christmas and God bless America and her people.
Stolen Baby Jesus 'Annual Phenomenon'
It is unfortunate that Nativity scene figures are the target of theft and vandals across this country each year during the Christmas holiday. As this ignorant crime increases from year to year, it shows the lack of respect that too many Americans have developed for their neighbors as well as a failed respect for private property.
Let's face it. The people who do such things are jerks. It's just that simple.
But, on a lighter note, The Hartford Courant employed an interesting choice of words in their story on the recent several thefts of Nativity Scene figures across Southington, Conn.
After giving space to Church goers reacting with outrage over these mean-spirited, and pointless thefts, Courant staff writer, Ken Byron pulls this sentence out from his "professional journalism" bag 'o tricks:
The theft of baby Jesus from Nativity scenes is something police around the state and the nation have seen, and some say it is an annual phenomenon.
Do they now, Kenny? An "annual phenomenon", ya say?
Are ya saying, Kenny my friend, that they don't steal the baby Jesus year round? That they are only doing it on an "annual" basis? And only during the Christmas season, at that? Is the Baby Jesus safe on Halloween or Thanksgiving, do ya think?
Astounding! You have informed us so well, Kenny. We are grateful for your insight.
But, here is a little news flash for ya, Kenny. Of course it would be an "annual phenomenon". Christmas only comes ONCE a YEAR!
"Annual phenomenon", indeed.
See, folks? This is the kind of professionalism that our friend at the Opinion Journal, Joseph Rago, was talkin' about when he was pontificating on how bloggers just aren't of high enough caliber to be a real, honest to goodness journalist working for the MSM!
Why, no stupid blogger sitting in his pajamas and banging away at his keyboard like a monkey at play could have come up with the "news" that stolen Nativity figures might be an "annual phenomenon".
Halp uz, Josiph Ragoo, we r stuck hear on r blogs
And, unfortunately, thanks, to Ken Byron for making this story of America's declining respect for private property and for our neighbors just a bit ridiculous with your remarks.
Merry Christmas, to all Publius' Forum readers from me, Warner Todd Huston.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
In the Superman comics, Bizarro is a twisted clone of Superman that perceives things backwards such as bad being good, up being down, and left being right. As intense as the annual Christmas conflagrations have become over the past few years, it was only a matter of time before those wishing to stand for decency and common sense found themselves in an unsettling situation where the usual roles were reversed.
In a number of short stories I have written such as "The Schauungtown Chronicles" and "An U.N.I.Q.U.E. Individual", an organization known as the Toleration Fellowship set in a world governed by an elaborate system of homeowner associations suppresses traditional religious expression on behalf of secularists and New Age mystics in the name of inclusion and diversity. The Toleration Fellowship uses as its insignia the upside-down broken-cross peace symbol.
In a case in Colorado, it seems these roles have been reversed. A woman in a homeowner association there was being threatened with a fine of $25 a day for hanging on her home on private property a wreath in the shape of the peace sign. A number of residents took offense because the peace sign can also be interpreted as a Satanic symbol celebrating the defeat of Christ......................................
Click HERE To Read On
Politics and the Spirit of Christmas
The socialistic welfare state is extolled by liberal-socialistic-progressives as more Christian then Christianity, because the welfare state purports to help the needy. So did Hitler's National Socialism.
Traditional Christmas spirit, depicted in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, was the warmth of family gatherings, friendship, and loving kindness to everyone.
Today, however, many people insist that socialism IS Christianity. It's certainly true that the early churches established by the Apostle Paul grew rapidly, because people found there the Christian love and fellowship, as well as support for the poor, sick, elderly, and disabled, that was available nowhere else....................
Click HERE To Read On
Scrooge a man for our times
Christmastime is inevitably accompanied by allusions to Ebenezer Scrooge. As portrayed in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Ebenezer is a thoroughly disagreeable, curmudgeonly, miserly misanthrope. I sympathize. And not just because similar contentions are routinely made about me.
Enough is enough. It's time to move on, as they say, from the conventional view of the man as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster."
We as a society have come a long way in the 160 years since Dickens wrote his story. We're kinder and gentler and infinitely more accepting. Ebenezer would be perceived much differently today..........................................
Click HERE To Read On
Friday, December 22, 2006
Do we Love the Famous... or the Infamous?
Recently, a poll of school children in England sparked a question over role models and what children there think should be the most desirable goals in life to strive for. In the poll, children under 10 viewed being a celebrity as the "very best thing in the world", though they seem not to think as highly about God.
In the 2006 top ten list such figures as Madonna and TV stars Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne appear. In the past, sports stars David Beckham and Wayne Rooney made it into the top ten, as well. But, many of these "celebrities" are famous as much for their ill-tempered comportment and the many offhanded remarks uttered in public and reported by a fawning tabloid media as they are for the extraordinary abilities that brought them to the top of their professions.
This raises an intriguing question: What has become of "fame"?
America's Founding Fathers are so revered today, for instance, because they didn't imagine they were striving to achieve mere fame as we define it today. To the Founder’s contemporaries celebrity status meant little but what was important to them was fame as defined by the ancients. Being well known for their deeds of import, moral gravity and worth bestowed true fame, as fame is properly defined.
England's great conservative, Edmund Burke, once said of someone, "He had no failings which were not owing to a noble cause; to an ardent, generous, perhaps an immoderate passion for fame; a passion which is the instinct of all great souls". By equating "fame" to "greatness" and "a noble cause" he equates fame to actions of a good and positive nature.
Founding Father and second President, John Adams, once quoted a few lines from Alexander Pope’s "Essay on Man" in his diary while pondering the sort of fame that he and his fellows hoped to win from the verdict of history and their countrymen:
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake;
The centre mov’d, a circle straight succeeds,
Another still, and still another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbor, first it will embrace;
His country next; and next all human race
Pope here explained the effects of fame in the allegory of ripples in the lake, ripples that one's actions will cause for community, country, and, ultimately, humanity. And that is the reason that fame was thought to connote positive moral stature because positive "ripples" are the only ripples worth celebrating.
On the other hand, being known for bad behavior, ill temper and venality wins infamy, not fame in the proper definition of such actions. Unfortunately, today we confuse and conflate fame with the lesser category of infamy.
People who make a name for themselves by over the top behavior, immorality and general surliness, like Madonna and Sharon Osbourne, have more correctly achieved infamy, not fame or celebrity. Yet it is the Madonnas and Sharon Osbournes of the world that kids think of as famous.
This cannot be a good thing and shows that we have lost reverence for respectability and cast aside the positive, proper definition for fame. We have degraded the word to simply mean well known and gutted the moral meaning. This does not raise up the well known to heights of fame, but lowers the well meaning to the depths of infamy.
Worse than the results of who the children thought were "famous", the top ten things that these kids thought were "very best things" reveals almost a complete lack of substantive goals in the ghastly choices given by the youngsters.
1. Being a Celebrity
2. Good Looks
3. Being Rich
4. Being Healthy
5. Pop Music
8. Nice Food
9. Watching Films
Granted this is a list of the interests of 10-year-olds, but can anyone doubt that the outcome of a poll of kids into their early teens would be much different? For that matter, could the list be much different than the responses of the general public at any age?
Still, that speculation aside, it is obvious that western society is not teaching its children what is good and right in society if Britain’s tykes grant admiration for such characters as Madonna. It is a sad commentary on our society that fame has been degraded to the same low status as infamy. (And I have to admit here, that my country, the U.S.A., is certainly no better and has contributed far too much to the degradation of fame.)
Advent Third Sunday December 17, 2006
The coming of Jesus Christ can be thought of in two respects: we look to Christmas celebrating His birth, and thank God for His ministry that came afterward.
The texts today at Long Ridge Congregational Church (North Stamford, Connecticut) focused upon the beginning of Jesus Christ's ministry, at age thirty, the traditional time of maturity for the priestly order...................
Click HERE To Read On
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Troubled Childhood Increases Risk of Homosexuality
Out of Denmark comes a study that will be sure to put a crimp in the we-are-born-that-way theory of the origins of homosexuality. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, provides interesting and tantalizing evidence that the less stable or traditional a child's home is, the more likely that the child will turn to homosexuality as an adult.
The study used 2,000,355 native-born Danes between the ages of 18 and 49, virtually "the entire Danish population". With such a large base it can hardly be claimed that the sampling was problematic. Many studies in the past have been discounted because of their sampling sizes -- generally being claimed too small.
Denmark was the first country to legalize gay marriage and has a large variety of recognized modes of cohabitation and lifestyles, so this study is of particular interest in that the stats cover the longest range of time available from which to establish the most reliable statistics.
Effects of Upbringing on Sexual Orientation
As quoted on the NARTH website, the study's authors conclude: "Our study provides population-based, prospective evidence that childhood family experiences are important determinants of heterosexual and homosexual marriage decisions in adulthood."
The authors go on to say, "Whatever ingredients determine a person's sexual preferences and marital choices, our population-based study shows that parental interactions are important."
A further observation is made by Linda Ames Nicolosi of NARTH.
Assuming that people who marry heterosexually are almost always heterosexual -- especially in a country where homosexuality carries little stigma, and gay marriage is legal -- and people who marry homosexually can be presumed to be homosexual, the study's findings offer intriguing evidence about family factors separating homosexual from heterosexual persons.
The findings show that children who have unstable or abusive homes are more likely to have homosexual relationships later on. This rings true to many studies that show homosexual males were often sexually abused as children.
This would also tend to prove that homosexuality is more a pathology, than a mere "natural" predilection. It would make the claims of being born gay problematic and, rather, a result of the mind's reaction to a troubled childhood. It would also tend to make the removal of homosexuality from the rolls of mental health problems a mistake.
Here are some of the findings from the Danish report:
1. Men who marry homosexually are more likely to have been raised in a family with unstable parental relationships -- particularly, absent or unknown fathers and divorced parents.
2. Findings on women who marry homosexually were less pronounced, but were still associated with a childhood marked by a broken family. The rates of same-sex marriage "were elevated among women who experienced maternal death during adolescence, women with short duration of parental marriage, and women with long duration of mother-absent cohabitation with father."
3. Men and women with "unknown fathers" were significantly less likely to marry a person of the opposite sex than were their peers with known fathers.
4. Men who experienced parental death during childhood or adolescence "had significantly lower heterosexual marriage rates than peers whose parents were both alive on their 18th birthday. The younger the age of the father's death, the lower was the likelihood of heterosexual marriage."
5. "The shorter the duration of parental marriage, the higher was the likelihood of homosexual marriage...homosexual marriage rates were 36% and 26% higher among men and women, respectively, who experienced parental divorce after less than six years of marriage, than among peers whose parents remained married for all 18 years of childhood and adolescence."
6. "Men whose parents divorced before their 6th birthday were 39% more likely to marry homosexually than peers from intact parental marriages."
7. "Men whose cohabitation with both parents ended before age 18 years had significantly (55% -76%) higher rates of homosexual marriage than men who cohabited with both parents until 18 years."
8. The mother's age was directly linked to the likelihood of homosexual marriage among men -- the older the mother, the more likely her son was to marry another man. Also, "only children" were more likely to be homosexual.
9. Persons born in large cities were significantly more likely to marry a same-sex partner -- suggesting that cultural factors might also affect the development of sexual orientation.
In any case, this is a large sampling culled from among what is purportedly the most "tolerant" nation toward homosexuality and alternate lifestyles and it shows that, far from being benign, homosexuality is a result of abuse and instability in the home, as opposed to being some natural proclivity, for a large percentage of the population.
The 'Times' of our Lives are Ticking Away
We seldom think about it, but our lives are divided into brief periods we refer to as some sort of "time." It all starts when it is "time" to go to bed. Then it is soon "time" to get up and "time" to get to work, or school, etc.
Some of our "times" are so mundane we never think much about them. I am thinking of those "times" we set aside so we can eat. Like "Breakfast time." "Lunch time." "Dinner time." It goes on and on. Live theatres have curtain "time." Flights are On "Time" some of the "time." Some "times" we kill "time" and other "times" we save "time." Then, of course, there are certain "times" during the year when many folks schedule their "meal time" around "game time," which of course refers to games like football and basketball......
Click HERE To Read On
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Opinion Journal: Bloggers are a Mob -- 'Written by fools to be read by imbeciles'
WSJ's Opinion Journal has indulged in another round of the MSM's upturned nose to the lowly blogger, another cornucopia of contumelies, a mountain of maligning. We are all fools and imbeciles according to assistant editorial features editor, Joseph Rago in today's Op Ed, The Blog Mob.
Here's the wind up...
Blogs are very important these days. Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has one. The invention of the Web log, we are told, is as transformative as Gutenberg's press, and has shoved journalism into a reformation, perhaps a revolution.
I feel a "but" coming!
And the pitch...
The blogs are not as significant as their self-endeared curators would like to think. Journalism requires journalists, who are at least fitfully confronting the digital age. The bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the MSM like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps.
A swing and a miss, Mr. Rago.
Few bloggers, Mr. assistant editorial features editor, imagine themselves to be anything like investigative journalists... few even consider themselves journalists at all. A small number may have taken steps into that field, but most bloggers who blog on culture, the news and politics are in it for opinion making. And, I'd lay odds that few would dispute such a claim.
On Publius' Forum, for instance, we are reacting to the MSM and it's bias. We are delineating the misreporting, lies, distortions and misspeak that occurs among the many assistant editorial features editors and their cohorts out there. But, none of us lay claim to original reporting.
So, Mr. Rago is complaining that we bloggers aren't doing something we aren't even attempting to do in the first place! Would Rago be mad that a dog doesn't meow… only if he wasn't aware that a dog instead barked? And it appears that Rago is completely innocent of the kind of barking that bloggers do.
Additionally, he seems to imagine that political blogging is all that the blog is for. He seems not to be taking into account that the blog was, indeed, originally designed to be an electronic, public diary, a mode of communication not designed specifically for "reporting", newsmaking or politics and that the great preponderance of blogs out there are just that; someone's little diary.
The way we write affects both style and substance. In this aspect, journalism as practiced via blog appears to be a change for the worse. That is, the inferiority of the medium is rooted in its new, distinctive literary form. Its closest analogue might be the (poorly kept) diary or commonplace book, or the note scrawled to oneself on the back of an envelope--though these things are not meant for public consumption. The reason for a blog's being is: Here's my opinion, right now.
I'd further suspect that Mr. Rago is not very informed of American Newspaper history. Most American papers were filled with columns copied from other papers (without attribution on top of it), hackneyed writing, partisan mudslinging, and rumormongering. In fact, it has only been since the 1950s that newspapers were imagined to be straight "reporting" with commentary and opinions ostensibly relegated only to the editorial sections as opposed to running throughout every story in the paper.
In fact, before radio and TV became so prevalent, newspapers were expected to pick a political side and fight like wildcats for that choice. Political candidates even openly supported, and were in turn supported by, newspapers both on a national as well as local level.
In one complaint, though, Mr. Rago is closer to a legitimate concern.
...Instant response, with not even a day of delay, impairs rigor. It is also a coagulant for orthodoxies. We rarely encounter sustained or systematic blog thought--instead, panics and manias; endless rehearsings of arguments put forward elsewhere; and a tendency to substitute ideology for cognition. The participatory Internet, in combination with the hyperlink, which allows sites to interrelate, appears to encourage mobs and mob behavior.
Because political blogs are predictable, they are excruciatingly boring. More acutely, they promote intellectual disingenuousness, with every constituency hostage to its assumptions and the party line
Point taken. Let's face it; writing styles vary wildly, most being not of a very high caliber (perhaps myself included). And, yes, too many preach to the choir making little effort to convince or argue effectively.
It is also unfortunate that the blog, at times, lends itself to "panics and manias". We have all seen a story ripple through the blogging community that later turned out to be a humbug. I admit to having fallen for a few myself.
However, as I alluded to above, this is no departure from historical newspaper practice. This is, in fact, a complete and accurate reflection of newspaper history. It is little different even than the days of the Founding Fathers who wrote tracts and commandeered newspapers to disseminate their ideas. Thomas Jefferson didn't fund a printing of ideas of his enemies in some attempt at "moderation" or "bipartisan" reporting!
We only remember the best writing of that era because the worst was quickly forgotten and relegated to the scrap heap of memory. There were hundreds of newspapers in the old 13 colonies and not all produced the best writing, to be sure. Rago seems blinded by a narrow historical perspective.
After all, today we have the New York Times an organization that seems to have made it a practice to hire plagiarists and writers of fiction!
No, what we have here is a man who imagines his profession is far nobler than it really is -- now OR in the past -- as he turns up his nose at the new kids on the block.
As bloggers we can take note of assistant editorial features editor, Joseph Rago's bemoaning the oft times low level of literary acumen and erudition endemic throughout our work, we can take note of his admonitions and make a better effort to improve our product and enrich our content. But, on the other hand, the MSM might want to clean up its own yard before it complains about the neighbor's.
... and I'll have you note that I used a lot of fifty cent words to sound more learned, Joe. Did I pass the audition? Am I the fool or the imbecile?
JOHNNY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE - - Getting this John the Beloved To Linger
While attending Highland High School in the early 80's, I would often see a book in our library entitled, Johnny, we hardly knew ye. It had a youthful and smiling JFK on its cover, and was a memoir written by two of the future-President's aides regarding his first run for Congress in 1946.
I assumed the title had come from the fact that this particular Johnny died prematurely, but it actually turned out to be an old Irish war protest song. Oddly appropriate considering that the sixties ushered in the reign of this particular old Irish man, who brought in Vietnam, thereby creating that most useless of species, the Hippy. And oh! What that hath wrought.
OK, so he wasn't very old. But to a teenager, he was ancient. And to a proud Reaganite, he stood for everything nauseating, selfish, and cowardly that his decade came to be. The book was drivel, which meant the Hippy Press loved it, the critics worshipped it, and at least one teenager wasn't buying it. Heck, I wouldn't even check it out after reading the jacket. I was, after all, in an American school. I'd already had all the Political Castration I could stand. I certainly wasn't going to suffer through anymore on my own time.....................
Click HERE To Read On
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Arabic Signs Panic Virginians
The AP is reporting that a program operating near Richmond sponsored by the Virginia Interfaith Center is raising eyebrows and causing some members of the citizenry to worry that secret Terrorist messages are being left across the city.
The small beige signs bearing black Arabic script have been appearing all over town on buses and at colleges.
The signs, which below the Arabic script carry English translations and comments that indirectly caution against jumping to conclusions, are part of a campaign by A More Perfect Union, a program of the Virginia Interfaith Center, and are aimed at dispelling some of the public's fears toward the Muslim community. Organizers hope to eventually expand the program statewide.
Of course, the signs are not a secret terrorist message, but an attempt to soften the image of Islam. The idea is to get Virginians more at ease with seeing Arabic script and not to automatically associate it with terrorism.
"As people see Arabic, they immediately make an association with terrorism," said the Rev. C. Douglas Smith, executive director of the Virginia Interfaith Center, a nonpartisan coalition of faith communities that work for change through education and advocacy. "That's probably because since Nine-Eleven, not only is fear overwhelming us, but that's how we're being trained to think."
This campaign is, however, a most disingenuous and, ultimately, insidious one.
Insidious in that, should this campaign truly work to make Americans cease to be alarmed at signs of Islam, we will surely be giving Islamofascists succor and freedom. It can do nothing but assist Islamist extremists to tear down American defenses and allow them to more freely roam about our country to commit their murder and mayhem at will given cover by all lack of alarm at Islamic activities.
The AP story gave us a perfect example of its disingenuousness, as well.
Bias toward the Muslim community is a continuing problem across the country and in Virginia, said Imad Damaj, president of the Virginia Muslim Coalition for Public Affairs.
"There's so many lazy, unexamined assumptions about all of us and how we react to people," Damaj said. "We need to challenge ourselves."
Schoel said history has proven that Americans can learn to let go of irrational fears toward other cultures.
"After World War II, when people saw Japanese script it was scary," she said. "But now we see it and it's fun, it's hip, it signifies a cool culture."
"That's a huge turnaround."
Sure it's "fun, it's hip" and "cool" to become fond of Japanese symbols now because Japan is an ally and has gone from a militaristic, monarchy to a democracy. THAT is why it is now "cool" and "hip", not because Americans have successfully "challenged" themselves about Japan, but because Japan has itself changed to be more deserving of interest and respect. The Japanese people have given us a reason to become at ease with their culture. The Japanese have gone out of their way to become a respected, benevolent people and have joined the civilized nations in commerce, entertainment and culture.
Islam has most certainly not given Americans any reason whatsoever to trust it or become at ease with it and the Virginia Interfaith Center knows this full well, hence the disingenuousness.
This program acts as if it is we Americans that must somehow change, to accept Islam better, to be more "tolerant" of it, instead of Islam's to show us why we should be more tolerant of it. Islam has not done a single thing even to meet us half way to convince us that it is, in truth, a benevolent -- or even benign -- ideology.
Americans have absolutely no reason whatever to become at ease with signs of Islam.
Not one single reason.
This obsequious campaign by the Virginia Interfaith Center should be opposed until Islam gives us a reason not to be biased against it and displays of its symbols.
Extolling the Female Tongue
A long time ago I read a short online piece about how women could get their men to put the toilet seat down. Inherent in it was the idea that this was an example of men's lack of consideration and that the task at hand was one of disciplining these bad boys. I don't know, my attitude is that if women can leave a toilet seat down, men can leave it up.
Of course, this is just a silly, pebble-in-the-shoe issue, but I see it as a metaphor for a modern phenomenon: The casting of women's characteristic behaviors as the norm and men's as dysfunctional deviations.
This is strikingly obvious with the topic of communication. Man has long known that women were the more loquacious sex, and you've probably heard of studies to this effect. A recent book states that women have about 20,000 "communication events" (I love these terms the psycho-babblers conjure up) a day, versus about 7,000 for men. But this is nothing new; who didn't know a bevy of garrulous girls in school? ............
Click HERE To Read On
Monday, December 18, 2006
What the Heck is a Paleoconservative and Why You Should Care
Have you ever noticed how enthusiasts of all sorts frequently speak a language that is completely unintelligible to the rest of us? For example, computer geeks . . . err . . . enthusiasts have their own language as do gear heads . . . err . . . hot rod enthusiasts. Wonkish political obsessives like me are guilty of the same thing, I am afraid. I don't know a gigabyte from RAM or a header from a flathead, but I can rattle off the various shades of conservatism in Rainman-like fashion.
I was reminded of this tendency recently when I published anarticle on paleoconservatism and abortion. The article was originally published at Intellectual Conservative, and later published at several mainstream, GOP-oriented conservative websites. It made some very controversial assertions so I expected to get feedback. Well I did. Most of it was positive. Some of it was not. But what surprised me was that most people weren't taking issue with my controversial assertions. Instead, many seemed to be unfamiliar with the term paleoconservative. I was surprised because my article appeared on conservative oriented political websites. I assumed paleoconservative would be a term familiar to those who frequent such websites. Well you know what they say about assuming. I was also disappointed. That many conservative internet surfers didn't know what a paleoconservative is is an indication that my side seriously needs a marketing campaign.............
Click HERE To Read On
Editor & Publisher Hails Find of AP's 'Capt. Jamil' of '6 Burning Iraqis' Fame, Taunts Bloggers
Editor and Publisher seems hardly able to hold back their excitement over the possibility that someone has found proof of the existence of the mysterious "Captain Jamil Hussein" who the Associated Press claimed as a source for the supposed burning of 6 Sunni Iraqis in retaliation for the depredations of that sect on their Shi'ite neighbors.
In a Sunday posting on their site, E&P is crowing about "Conservative Bloggers in the U.S." eating crow.
Though far from definitive proof, it was strong enough to cause at least one conservative blogger to wonder if those who had mocked the AP might have to eat "a huge shinola sandwich."
The tag for the story on the Hot Air home page currently reads, "Anyone got any good recipes for crow?"
It was a story that had no proof whatsoever except this "captain of Iraqi police" the AP quoted. There is no confirmation by any reliable second source, nor any proof by Iraqi government sources or US Army sources. No physical evidence, or photographs. In fact the US Army disputed the story openly. But the story made a great splash and was widely cited by news services all across the western media as if it was totally verified.
USA Today reported back on November 28th that "The Associated Press is standing by its report that six Sunni men were burned to death in Baghdad Friday by Shiites, even though U.S. military officials have accused the wire service of relying on a source who "is not who he claimed he was," an Iraqi police captain."
Now,Marc Danziger of Winds of Change Blog posted the following on the 17th:
With the help of some friends who have been doing a smidgen of looking, and it appears - appears, but is not certain - that there is in fact a Jamail Hussein in the Yarmouk police station in Baghdad. We'll know more tomorrow.
Editor & Publisher seems to be relishing that Michelle Malkin and others will have to "eat crow" if it is proven that this captain does, indeed, exist.
However, E&P seems to be missing the real story... as usual.
The fact is, whether this Captain Hussein exists or not, there is still no corroboration for the story of six burned Iraqis.
And, it has always been a staple of journalism that more than one source should be required to publish a story reported as "fact". After all, if only ONE source is ever needed for a story, then anyone can publish anything as "fact" merely upon any single person's say so.
I slept with Marilyn Monroe, ya know? Print that as fact, AP... just because I say so. Even though I was but a child when she was found dead. But this one source says it's true, so the AP MUST assume it could be fact!
It is also interesting how E&P has jumped on a story that is reported as one being reported from "...some friends who have been doing a smidgen of looking, and it appears - appears, but is not certain..." How is this a story? With a may and a might and a could have been?
Isn't this just what they are chiding the "Conservative Bloggers" and Michelle Malkin for? Not having proof in hand of the truth of their claims that Captain Hussein didn't exist before writing their posts? Isn't that exactly what E&P just did with a report that "appears - appears, but is not certain"?
Further, did they not think that there could be more than a few Hussein's in Iraq, or any OTHER Muslim country for that matter, that could be a policeman?
If E&P wanted to stick a finger in Malkin's and those "Conservative Blogger's" eyes, they might have wanted to be sure themselves of the truth of the matter!
In the long run, E&P's "report" did nothing to clarify the situation and amounts to nothing but schoolyard finger pointing and an exercise of their own in mocking -- a thing they seem to be decrying in Malkin -- and they have opened themselves up to being slapped right back with claims of hypocrisy if this story of the found Captain Hussein turns out to be a false lead.
Looks like Editor & Publisher was in need of an editor for their report!
(See more at Michelle Malkin's HotAir blog)
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Apparently Not The Thought That Counts
In a land as prosperous as that of the United States, from time to time parents must remind their offspring that the Christmas season is not suppose to be as much about the gift as about the sentiment behind the present. However, as charities themselves degenerate into bloated bureaucracies more concerned about perpetuating themselves than about assisting the downtrodden, those administering these organizations no longer view the giving public as the real heroes behind what use to be considered grassroots eleemosynary but rather as dimwitted cogs to be lectured as to how the acts once perceived as selfless are actually reactionary gestures undermining the progressive vision of their enlightened betters.
Even within my own short life thus far, at one time Toys for Tots was grateful to receive any new toy or even a good used one in reasonable condition (as from my own experience I can tell you that a second-hand Millennium Falcon is as nearly as much a delight as one fresh out of the box). However, like a spoiled child getting too much at Christmas, now not only aren't second-hand toys not good enough for these philanthropic agencies, but now they also dictate what kinds of new ones may be donated as well.....................................
Click HERE To Read On
Iraq Study Group... Unbiased? Hardly
It amazes me that the Iraq Study Group was so hailed as a milestone in Iraq Policy. Worse, it has been claimed to be an unbiased deliberation of the situation in Iraq loaded with people with "gravitas" who have no political stake in the outcome.
But, any look at the people on the commission shows a group of people who came into this group with an agenda beforehand and none of them intended to address this task without preconceived notions that they were bound to prove out in their recommendations.
The putative leader of the group, James Baker, had well-known reservations about the entire Iraq enterprise so certainly couldn't approach the situation in an unbiased way. His most immediate cohort, Lee Hamilton, is a long time Democrat Party operative, so he was certain to be against the Bush Administration, as well.
Not only that but some of the supporting organizations are hardly those that might be considered "unbiased". Both the United States Institute of Peace and the Center for Strategic and International Studies are filled to overflowing with people who stood foursquare against Bush and his policies in Iraq since the day the president announced his plans.
And now, to further prove how members of this group can in no way be considered unbiased observers, another member of the ISG delivered the Democratic Party's weekly radio address following the president's.
Clinton's defense chief warns of Iraq 'quagmire'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Defense Secretary William Perry, a member of the Iraq Study Group, said Saturday that Iraq could turn into a "quagmire" if the Bush administration fails to change strategy.
Perry, who led the Pentagon under President Clinton, delivered the Democratic Party's weekly radio address.
Referring to the Vietnam War, Perry said: "The term 'quagmire' recalls one of the saddest periods in American history, which we do not want to relive. But I believe that is likely to happen if we 'stay the course' in Iraq."
Here was the amusing part of the CNN report above...
The Iraq Study Group report was critical of just about every aspect of the administration's war policies.
It's no wonder when there was no one placed in the ISG or its support organizations that weren't publicly against the Bush team at the start.
And now one of the ISG is giving radio addresses for the Democratic Party?
VERY unbiased, that.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
The Anti-Assimilation Movement
Assimilation -- defined as the act of becoming part of or more like something greater -- is a hot-button issue these days. Whether alluding to the calls for a return of the American Southwest to
Mexico by the Reconquista movement or the encroachment of radical Islam on the streets of Paris, the fact remains that members of immigrating minority groups are increasingly refusing to assimilate into the cultures of their resident countries. The lack of assimilation by immigrants to the United States -- both legal and illegal -- is culminating in an American identity crisis and poses a serious problem for the future of our country.
This movement toward anti-assimilation stands in stark contrast to the very concept of our nation.E pluribus unum , "out of many, one," is the motto of the United States. This motto, this dedication, was originally selected by the Great Seal Committee in 1776. It acknowledged that the thirteen separately governed British Colonies had banded together to form one inclusive nation, a country that stood independent from the British Crown, the United States......................
Click HERE To Read On
Murdering Babies for Stem Cell 'Research'
-By Warner Todd Huston
Well, here is the nightmare scenario that every right to life, Conservative has warned about when a society so disrespects life that it begins harvesting human cells and parts for "science" and medicine.
Ukraine babies in stem cell probe
There is heated debate about the ethics of using stem cells
Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC suggests.
But now there are claims that stem cells are also being harvested from live babies.
The BBC has spoken to mothers from the city of Kharkiv who say they gave birth to healthy babies, only to have them taken by maternity staff.
In its report, the Council describes a general culture of trafficking of children snatched at birth, and a wall of silence from hospital staff upwards over their fate.
Couple this report with the constant reports that China is harvesting the organs from live prisoners of the state and the poor to sell to the rich in need of organ donors and you will see perfect examples of a lack of respect for human life.
These are the warning signs of a misuse of science, the kind of misuse featured in the "medical experiments" carried out by Nazis and Japanese "doctors" during WWII that so shocked the world. When a culture is so cavalier with life these sorts of trafficking situations are absolutely bound to occur.
If you life is not rated as special, as sacrosanct, then there is no mental or cultural barrier to harvesting organs from living people to benefit those who can pay to steal their organs. There is nothing to stop unethical medical practitioners from killing babies and adults to sell the parts they harvest from those warm bodies.
If a human life is to be considered an "unviable tissue mass" even in vitro, then there is no way to stop the practice of making human cells, human organs... life itself... a commodity to buy and sell.
In fact, if this practice stays in operation underground long enough, it will surely go above ground and become legal in the long run. After all, why not just legitimize it if it has been going on for years anyway?
Now that medical science has advanced to this level, now that human cells and organs can be used to extend other's lives, this kind of buying and selling of human body parts will naturally follow. And, without a healthy respect for life embedded deep in a culture's psyche making trafficking and stealing of those parts anathema, this kind of outrage will grow apace with science and the medical arts.
And scientists will continue to and in ever growing numbers cast aside ethical considerations for that next great breakthrough, or merely to make a living off the deaths of the less protected, those "worth less" to society.
But, then, the question must always be asked in Orwellian overtones: WHO is to determine which citizen is "worth less" and which is not?
Because, let's face it, the rich are who will benefit the most from such trafficking. After all, it is they who can pay for these black market body parts. And do we really want to develop the concept in the west that the "poor" are worth so little to the world except what cells and organs can be stolen from their still breathing bodies?
I hope not.
It must be a goal of any advanced society to foster a respect for life lest life become so unimportant that such abuses become commonplace. And, if such harvesting becomes commonplace, we would live in a society so separated by class that the rich would literally be able to live off the organs of the underclass.
We must have a serious discussion of these ethical considerations before the practice of harvesting organs from people becomes widespread. We must not wait until it is so pervasive in our societies that it becomes a crisis. Let us now resolve to sanctify life before many millions die in the name of science.
The murder of people for their cells, organs and appendages has already begun, but let us undertake a cultural shift away from such mistreatment.
Let us do it before it is too late.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Schoolboy Turns in Found 'Weapon', Gets Suspended For Effort
In school we tell our children that guns are bad. We tell them to be good little children and turn in those bad, evil guns to a parent, a policeman or a teacher. We tell them to do the supposed responsible thing. Be an upstanding citizen and take that evil gun out of circulation so that someone else won't kill half the city, runs the logic.
So, a young boy at Troy Middle School near Joliet, Illinois follows this sage advice and what is his reward?
He is kicked out of school for following his indoctrination.
On November 15th, 13-year-old student Ryan Morgan was expelled from school in supposed compliance with the idiotic "zero tolerance" policy against weapons with the school district claiming that young Ryan had "possession of a gun".
Sounds menacing, doesn't it? A gun! Imagine that?
Well, maybe it isn't so ominous after all because this "gun" turned out to be a mere toy pellet gun that Ryan and a friend found hidden in the boy's bathroom. It seems that Ryan had heard a rumor that this "gun" had been hidden there so he and his little friend went there to do the "right" thing and retrieve it to hand it in to the office.
As a reward for his diligent efforts to be a good, responsible citizen the school recommended that Ryan be expelled for a year. A slap in the face for performing what he has been told is his civic duty.
Later, this supposed policy that the district's lawyer, John M. Izzo, said held the district "bound by state law to bring an expulsion recommendation" against this poor, dutiful child was upheld by the school board. Consequently, honest little Ryan is to be thrown out of school for his offense.
Superintendent Larry Wiers said that "purposeful possession of weapons is one of the most serious offenses a student can commit and requires close consideration by the administration."
Yes, little Ryan, even if you are trying to do the "right" thing, turning in a gun found laying about the place, you are to be punished.
Wait, it gets worse.
As mentioned, this penalty is supposed to leave young Ryan expelled for a full year. Of course, the school board really does "care" about education, you know? We know this because they say so, you see. So, instead of leaving him expelled and sans educational opportunity they are going to pay for a year of home schooling.
Not only is Ryan being punished for trying to fulfill what he is told is his duty, but now so are the taxpayers who will have to pay double for this young man to be educated. With property taxes already paying for his education once at the school, it will now be doubled for his home schooling.
Lawyer Izzo earnestly announced that "it would be in the best interest of the student and the school to continue provide this student with educational opportunities through home bound study." But, what is "in the best interest" of the taxpayers who are being forced to pay double for this kid who was only trying to be helpful, Mr. Izzo?
So, what is it, school administrators? Are we teaching our children to do the "right" thing and turn in found weapons to the school administration to take them off the street, or are we teaching children that to get involved in any way is tantamount to pulling that trigger on themselves? Are we teaching our children that taking a gun out of circulation is important or are we teaching our children that school administrators cannot be trusted?
It would seem the later in both cases.
The lessons here are disheartening. The Troy Elementary School District just taught young Ryan Morgan that if he sees something wrong going on that he'd darn well better turn and walk away, stay out of it, don't get involved. Because if he does, we have taught him that HE will be the one in trouble. See a kid waving a weapon? Pretend you see nothing. Hear a kid getting beaten? Close your ears lest it be imagined you were involved. Happen to come across a rape in progress. He sees nothing. A break in? What break in? And, what would happen if Ryan someday hears two terrorists talking about their next target? Heck, it isn't any of Ryan's business. Move along nothing to see here, little Ryan.
So much for civic mindedness.
So much for doing the "right" thing.
So much for good administration of our schools.
As Heard on WBAL
-Warner Todd Huston was a guest on the Bruce Elliot show, WBAL Boston, on January 4th, 2007 discussing this topic.