Saturday, January 13, 2007
Our NEW Site...
BOOK MARK THE NEW PUBLIUS' FORUM NOW!!! CLICK HERE
We are debuting a new look, but we have not cut back on any of the content you are used to and have come to expect of Publius' Forum. But, we are offering many more features for linking, and social bookmarking that isn't available to us on the blogspot format.
Of course, we will keep this page up for quite a while into the future to catch all of you who are late in seeing the announcement, so don't worry about your link to us disappearing too soon.
I urge you all to visit our new address and make that your Publius' Forum connection.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Sec. Rice Attacked by Sen. Boxer Over Childlessness
Is it not outrageous that Senator Barbara Boxer (Dem, Cal) verbally attacked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for not having children as Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday to discuss the Administrations position on Bush's Iraq military "surge" plans? Is this an acceptable criticism of a political official? Is the fact that an official might not have children reason to doubt their capacity for policy making or ability to advise an administration?
Is this the Democrat's new era of niceness, their less rancorous way of governing?
I was shocked to see this intemperate verbal assault by Boxer in the New York Post, but I became curious to see how other MSM sources treated the outrageous comments of the unbalanced Boxer. So, I did a little search of the reactions of the press.
(Full excerpts of the sections in each story that detailed Boxer's outrageous behavior follows)
- CBS News- *AP report (Lawmakers Grill Rice Over the Iraq War )
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., noted Rice has no children of her own to lose overseas. "Who pays the price?" Boxer repeatedly demanded. "You're not going to pay a particular price," she told Rice, because the secretary has no "immediate family" at risk.
- Miami Herald- **AP report (Congress treats Gates with kid gloves)
But the gloves came off for Rice.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., noted Rice has no children to lose overseas. "Who pays the price?" she repeatedly demanded. "You're not going to pay a particular price," she told Rice, because the secretary has no "immediate family" at risk.
I said "full excerpts" as if there would be a lot of stories about Boxer's attack, didn't I? In fact, few of the dozens of stories of Rice's appearance before the committee even mentioned Boxer's foolish attack.
As you can see, only the New York Post seemed too interested in the outrageous Boxer. The rest of our "News" sources barely mentioned it and it seems that no original writing was spent on the issue with every major news source just aping the AP's two subdued accounts.
As contrasted with the above AP reports, here is how the Post started off their report on the exchange:
WASHINGTON - Condoleezza Rice came under a shocking Democratic attack yesterday - as a childless woman who can’t understand the sacrifices made by families of U.S. troops in Iraq. In a bitter personal assault on the secretary of state during her appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, anti-war Sen. Barbara Boxer fumed that Rice didn't comprehend the "price" of the war.
Only the Post, so far, seems willing to highlight Boxer's unsuitable comportment as a Senator.
It was also curious to me that most of these stories about Rice being "grilled" before the Senate committee -- even the ones that did not mention Boxer -- also went on to describe how well received Defense Secretary Robert Gates was as if to assure the reader that Rice's mistreatment was some how "balanced" by Gates' easy day on the Hill.
Still, it is amazing how Boxer has basically gotten a pass by the MSM for her boorish, uncivilized, and completely illogical attack on Secretary Rice's childlessness.
This must be just another example of how the Democrats are going to be more bi-partisan and less rancorous and how the MSM is going to help them achieve that... or, rather, how they aren't and how the MSM is going to help cover it up for them?
Sadly, the American public is ill served by the MSM, once again.
*This same AP report showed up in several sources. For instance CBS News, The Guardian Unlimited and the Kansas City Star, among others, used this AP report.
**This same AP report showed up in several sources. For instance, the San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, and the Guardian Unlimited, among others, all used this report.
More Of Jimmy Carter's Advisers Quit Over Book
I reported a few days ago that one of ex-president Jimmy Carter's aides quit after his recent book was published. That aide called the book "filled with errors".
Now, fourteen more have ended their association with the disgraceful ex-president over the book's lies, distortions and fantasies.
Carter Center Advisers Quit to Protest Book
Fourteen of the city’s business and civic leaders resigned from the Carter Center’s advisory board on Thursday to protest former President Jimmy Carter’s recent criticisms of Israel and American Jewish political power.
Their joint letter of resignation denounced Mr. Carter’s best-selling book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” for its criticisms of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The letter also took issue with comments Mr. Carter has made suggesting that Israel’s supporters in the United States are using their power to stifle debate on the issue.
They are not very happy and who can blame them?
To those who really knew him or had close associations with him in the world of politics in the early days, he was well known to have been a mean and vicious operator. He is also widely known for being far from the God fearing, religious man he pretends to be in public. And he is at last unable to disguise his anti-Semitism in public with the publication of this anti-American and anti-Jewish book of his.
His resigned advisers went on to say:
“It seems you have turned to a world of advocacy, even malicious advocacy,” the letter said. “We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position. This is not the Carter Center or the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support.”
Carter was a disgrace as president, a traitor as ex-president, and a racist who takes money from those who wish to destroy this country. It's about time people wise up about this horrible man.
Senator Obama and the Social Gospel
All the fuss over Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and his possible presidential candidacy is hard to explain. He is a recently elected junior Senator. Under normal circumstances his candidacy would be considered premature at best and hubristic at worst. So why the fawning treatment, especially by the media?
Well, I have to admit the guy is smooth. I saw him on Jay Leno, and I was very impressed with his persona. He was funny, self-deprecating, and able to banter back and forth with Leno. He is able to engage in small talk without immediately mounting the bully pulpit as many politicians are prone to do. In this respect he reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton. He seems like a regular guy. How much of that is an act, I have no idea. He did graduate from Harvard Law which tends to tarnish your regular guy credentials. But much of politics is an act, and he seems pretty good at it.
A big question is how long he will be able to pull off the "can't we just all get along?" act. Will the Democratic primary voters tolerate that shtick in the hope of victory, or will they force him to more clearly articulate where he stands on the issues? Despite all the talk that he is a bridge between left and right, his positions are cookie-cutter liberal. If the Democratic primary voters don't force him to reveal his hand, I'm sure the Republican campaign machine will if he becomes the Democratic nominee..............
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Dan E. Phillips
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Bush This Step in the Right Direction Could be his Last Chance
"Imagine this war as a sort of grotesque race. The jihadists and sectarians win if they can kill enough Americans to demoralize us enough that we flee before Iraqis and Afghans stabilize their newfound freedom. They lose if they can't. Prosperity, security and liberty are the death knell to radical Islam. It's that elemental."
---Victor Davis Hanson
A "new plan" for Iraq, at last some sense... Bush's plan revealed
Bush finally acts as if he truly wants to win this battle to give Iraq a chance to stabilize its foundling government by desiring to send in 20,000 more troops to "clear, hold, and build", as the phrase has it. Clear out the insurgent and terrorist's cells, hold the territory taken and then give the nascent Iraqi government a chance to establish itself as well as give the common Iraqi citizen the feeling of safety that befits a civilized society.
Sadly, Bush should have done this at least two years ago. In fact, many said from the beginning that we hadn't enough troops to win the peace from the beginning. Those who made that claim were 100 percent right. But, that he has seen the sense of it and is proposing it now is a good thing. Better late than never.
The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.
Not just for the safety of the USA, Mr. president, but for the very lives of the people in Iraq for whom we have accept charge. And this is the one area that unfeeling Democrats and Paleocons wish to ignore. What happens if we precipitously leave Iraq? A blood bath as Iran tries to seize control (using the Syria/Lebanon model) and then fights with Al Qaeda and Saddam loyalists for territory. But, Paleocons and leftists have already decided that Iraq's citizens are not worth their effort to care about, they have already written the Iraqi people off. (And, were I a Paleocon, I'd feel very uneasy about being on the same side as the anti-American left and leading Democrats)
It is also good that Bush is focusing on the region around Baghdad. If the Iraqi government cannot hold their own capitol, they have an immediate face of weakness. Baghdad must be cleared and held.
The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.
Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.
Bush goes on to explain what will be different this time.
Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents -- but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods -- and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.
Here is the "clear, hold, and build" strategy I was referring to in the first half of this analysis. We have cleared out the insurgents many times in various places in Iraq. But, since we never had the troop strength to hold the area, we left as soon as the immediate mission was accomplished -- and it was usually pretty quickly accomplished. However, clearing them and then leaving the area was counter productive. When you turn on the lights in a cockroach-infested kitchen, for instance, you see, the roaches scamper away, but the second the light is off again, they come out once more. Similarly, by clearing and leaving we allowed the cockroaches to come back as often as we left. This prevents any stability from visiting the area and keeps the local populace on the side of the insurgents and terrorists.
Here is the single most salient point the president made.
The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy -- by advancing liberty across a troubled region. It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom -- and help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.
When this war first began many of us, myself and the president included, wanted to steer as far clear of the talk of the "clash of civilizations" business as possible. We aren't at war with all of Islam, we stressed. It is still true that we aren't at war with Islam per se. But it is gallingly obvious that we are, indeed, in a clash of civilizations. On one hand is western liberty, democracy and freedom led by the USA and on the other is oppression, murder, and anti-modernity represented by radical Islam. The key problem is that the so-called moderates in the Islamic world are not opposing radical Islam. In fact, many of these moderates give tacit support to the radicals imagining that it merely won't hurt the moderates to turn from their responsibilities of peaceful conduct and give a wink and a nod to the radicals. The moderates console themselves that the radicals are going after the west and just might leave them alone. It is a mistaken conception.
Yet, what reason besides a basic responsibility to a greater humanity compels moderates to speak out against the radicals? Should they do so, will they get the support of the west? It seems no is the answer to that. America stands alone in giving succor to any moderate who might find it in his soul to work against radicals and if we falter we offer moderates no support at all and leave them naked to radical aggression. We but show them it's best to keep their heads down and hope the storm passes them by.
It will not pass them by without American opposition. The president knows that and I predict he will go down in history as one leader in the west who was right about what we face.
In one of his closing paragraphs, Bush said the following:
From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists -- or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?
I add this. Democrats and anti-Americans are not "sick of the violence". They could not care less about "the violence". If they were truly sick of the violence they'd want to find a way to stop it. But, they only care about defeating the GOP and bringing down Bush's administration and they merely want the USA out of the Middle East entirely quite without any consideration of the consequences. The violence that would escalate after we leave is of no interest to them. The violence that would engulf the entire Mideast is not something they care anything about.
Theirs is an inhumane, narcissistic blindness to the lives of millions of Middle Easterners.
But, they'll suddenly scream bloody murder if they find their oil spigot turned off and waves of suicide bombers appearing on our shores trained and equipped in the lost regions of the Mid East that they advocated we leave, wouldn't they?
Naturally, they'd blame everyone else, too.
Still, this is probably Bush's last chance to make Iraq work. And the way the left is lining up to defeat even this attempt to solve the issues facing Iraq it may come to pass that he waited too long to propose this. Bush has a fight in Congress before the first boot touches the ground in Iraq and, for all our sake; I hope it is a battle he wins quickly and decisively.
A WONDERFUL DEATH -- And Still the NYT Doesn't Get It
There's something about hope. No matter how bad things get, man still clings to the tiniest shred of faith that things can change. It is innate within all humanity, a truly glorious thing.
Unless it's applied to Islammunism and its co-conspirator the New York Times. That is when hope is pointless and dangerous.
Something wonderful happened on December 30, 2006. It was the perfect way to end the year. They hung one of the most vile human beings to ever walk the planet, and that's saying a lot given mankind's wicked past. Yep, snapped his neck like a twig, which was tremendously merciful considering what that narcissistic SOB did to millions of innocent people. In the end, the victims gave mercy to he who had never shown any…ever.......................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Resa LaRu Kirkland
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Pizza Place to Take Mexican Pesos For Pizza
You may have heard the story kicking about the talk shows and the internet about the South Western Pizza chain that has announced that they will be taking US dollars as well as Mexican Pesos as payment for their pizzas?
In some circles this is causing quite a nativist outrage. Upstanding Americans are crying "anti-Americanism" against this pizza chain, Pizza Patron, which has stores in Southern Arizona, Southern California and other areas of the USA close to the Mexican border.
It seems the natural charge to make against the chain in this day of heightened sensitivity against illegal immigration. But, if one takes a little bit of time to think about this with a bit of reason, one might come to feel this story is just a humbug of a story.
The Pizza chain folks, for their part, are claiming they are surprised at the attention they are getting. I find TAHT claim a bit disingenuous. As I said, we ARE in a heightened sensitivity over immigration, after all. Still, I heard the public info office of the chain on the radio yesterday wondering what all the hullabaloo was about?
Reuters, reporting in a story titled "Texas-based pizza chain accepts Mexican pesos", gives us the public stance of Pizza Patron.
"Unlike many other businesses for us it makes sense. Our stores are located in predominately Hispanic communities and so the majority of our customers are Hispanic," said Andrew Gamm, director of brand development for Pizza Patron.
"We know that a large number of them travel back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico and consequently have some pesos left over in their pocket. The pizza business is extremely competitive and we thought this was a way to position ourselves in relation to our competitors," he told Reuters.
OK, not a delicate promotion they have, to be sure. But, let's think about this for a second.
Many countries, for instance, have business that accepts several different currencies. Especially when they are near border areas or cater to a specific foreign clientele. It isn't unusual... though it is a tad unusual in the United States. (Since our currency is often considered a world currency, it isn't common for Americans to accept foreign money, to be sure. And, I don't want to speak out of turn, but there may even be some laws against usage or foreign currency for debts in the USA.)
Point two: is that this is purely a business decision. i support business more often than not and feel this company has a right to adopt this practice if they feel it will improve their bottom line.
Point three: I'd bet that they stop doing this after a time. Consider that it takes nearly 12 Pesos to make up one US Dollar. That mean a 9 dollar pizza will cost nearly 100 Pesos! That means these stores will have giant buckets of these practically worthless Pesos that they will have to handle and take to exchange. I think this company will find it way more trouble than it is worth to take these Pesos. So, in the end, all the notoriety they get will be for naught.
I have to end up coming down on this story with a big "so what"?
Some Funny Globaloney News
I love to see it when the Global Warming crowd makes themselves look like the clowns they are. And here is two stories that made me laugh about the Globaloney nuts.
Story #1 :Monument to the Planet Suffers a Hard Fall to Earth
An artist who hoped to stir debate over global warming with his 175-ton quartzite and bronze sculpture “Spaceship Earth” is instead struggling to solve the mystery of its spectacular crash at Kennesaw State University last week.
Questions abound over whether vandals destroyed the sculpture, made by a Finnish-born artist known as Eino, or whether a combination of substandard adhesive and rain caused it to crumble in the middle of the night on Dec. 29 in a collapse the campus police said they felt from their offices around the corner.
The pictures were hilarious. One of this ridiculous giant world sculpture with some figures of kids walking on the top of it and the other picture was the jumbled mess of materials collapsed on the ground.
It's great for a laugh.
Story 2: Ancient global warming was jarring, not subtle, study finds
This one was less funny and more revealing of how intellectually empty the Globaloney crew is.
Foreshadowing potential climate chaos to come, early global warming caused unexpectedly severe and erratic temperature swings as rising levels of greenhouse gases helped transform Earth, a team led by researchers at UC Davis said Thursday.
The global transition from ice age to greenhouse 300 million years ago was marked by repeated dips and rises in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and wild swings in temperature, with drastic effects on forests and vegetation, the researchers reported in the journal Science.
"It was a real yo-yo," said UC Davis geochemist Isabel Montanez, who led researchers from five universities and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. "Should we expect similar but faster climate behavior in the future? One has to question whether that is where we are headed."
OK. So WHERE were all the humans on Earth 300 million years ago that caused all this catastrophic global warming? There WEREN'T any, that's where.
So, if this has happened many times before and there was no man about the globe to "cause" it... WHY is man blamed for it now?
I'll tell you why. Because blaming man means blaming capitalism and growth. And which country has the most of that? The USA. Therefore, Globaloney is but a replacement ideology for failed socialists and communists with which they can use to attack the USA and capitalism.
Hence, the Globaloney movement.
Marx would be proud of the pseudo science used to bash capitalism.
UPI Report is Just a Muslim 'Leaders' Press Release
It is always amazing when a "news report" is merely just a rehash of some press release, or is, at the very least, a completely one sided report.
Such is the case with a recent UPI "report", "Fight anti-Arab bigotry, Gonzalez told".
UPI is wagging its finger at U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez via a group of "Arab leaders" who are warning the government "to fight anti-Arab bigotry." The whole UPI "report" is nothing but the warnings of these so-called leaders about how filled with bigotry the USA is and how the government must fight it.
With all this hooplah, one would imagine that Arabs are being attacked, mistreated and discriminated against all across the country at an alarming rate. Arab "leader" James Zogby even makes the claim that the government must "reverse this disturbing and increasingly accepted trend of anti-Arab and Muslim bias".
However, recent statistics of the hate crimes committed in 2005, show that only 11 percent represented anti-Muslim crime according to the FBI. By contrast, 68 percent was anti-Jewish. further, anti-Muslim crimes total less than 1,000 cases in the entire country whereas attacks on blacks and Jews as a result of bigotry number in the many thousands. So, claims of anti-Muslim crime being an "increasingly accepted trend" is overblown, nonsense.
Yet, UPI gives us the unvarnished claims of rampant anti-Muslim bigotry by these so-called leaders and gives us NO balanced view of the absurdity and outrageousness of their claims.
In other words, UPI was just a mouth piece for lies told by activists.
We should expect more from a "news" wire agency. It seems doubtful if we'll ever get it, these days.
John Edwards and universal health care
Taking a much needed break from primping, former North Carolina Senator John Edwards launched his 2008 presidential bid the other day. A campaign cornerstone is the promise of universal health care.
The emphasis here is on the word promise. Although he's had literally years to work out the details, Edwards has few specifics, if any, that he wishes to disclose.
During a blog session on the liberal Daily Kos website last week, the Democrat said:
"I believe we need a universal health care system where ALL Americans have health care coverage. I'm working on a plan right now for universal healthcare, and if you have ideas I would love to hear them."
Hold it. I thought HE was the guy with the ideas. Maybe not, at least when it comes to the tar baby (if you'll pardon the expression) of universal health care.
We're close enough to easily see the experience of our friends to the north in Canada. And what an experience it has been............................................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Michael Bates
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Nock on Shaw's Socialism
Celebrated libertarian analyst Albert Jay Nock's 1945 review of George Bernard Shaw's Everybody's Political What's What exposes the fundamental flaw in socialism and its American liberal-progressive doctrine. As we begin a new Congress dominated by liberal-socialist-progressives, it is useful to have Mr. Nock's perspective.
The Mises.org website posting titled The Socialism of Mr. Shaw is a reminder to us elderly, and a notice to the young, that however delightful Shaw was as a playwright, he was very far out in left field with regard to politics and economics. Not surprisingly, just as is true today of the media and theatre today, Shaw's plays project pro-socialist views.
Most people today who know of Shaw at all probably acquired that acquaintance indirectly via the hugely successful Broadway musical My Fair Lady, which was an adaptation of Shaw's Pygmalion. To appreciate Shaw's role outside the literary field, it's necessary to understand a bit more about the late Victorian period in England and its impact upon political and economic doctrine in the United States..........................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Thomas Brewton
Monday, January 08, 2007
We Must Negotiate with Iraqi Terrorists and Insurgents Say 'Experts'
Chronicle staff writer, Robert Collier, wants the US to "negotiate" with the radical, Islamist, terrorists and the old guard Saddamists that are vexing Iraq's attempts to move into the 21st century preventing them in their laudable attempt to build a nation answerable to Iraqis of every stripe.
"U.S. must negotiate with insurgents and militias, experts say", Collier breathlessly informs us. His "experts", though, leave much to be desired for reliability.
Collier seems to think the insurgents and terror outfits should be treated as if they are merely interested parties, as if they were the same kind of political party or faction we are used to in the west. Someone has not taken the time to inform Mr. Collier about exactly what these factions want in the Middle East, sadly.
Collier brings up what seems an interesting point in how to get people to the negotiating table he so wants to set.
In interviews with Chronicle correspondents in Iraq and by telephone with a Chronicle reporter in San Francisco, two dozen Sunni and Shiite hard-liners revealed a paradox. None could fully explain how to bring his side's sectarian killings under control, yet all emphasized that peace cannot take hold without the approval of those holding the weapons.
Unfortunately, as he moves forward with his piece he proves he doesn't understand the situation at all. He fails to realize that the parties who are funding the radical Islamists come from sources that have neither the desire, nor the ability to come to any negotiating table in Iraq. The people funding and driving the terrorists are not generally even Iraqis. They are often foreigners and ideologues that require that their enemies fall without any "negotiations" to the matter. And, those who are pushing the internal insurgency are out of power Saddamites who similarly aren't interested in "negotiating" but just simply want all their power back and do not care a fig how they do it. Or they are local militias and warlord leaders who have little interest in national political discussions.
In other words, the factions are varied, but few are interested in any negotiations.
Worse, nearly every person he quotes or relies on to inform him of the situation in Iraq are either "name withheld for security reasons" or people who cannot be officially linked to any power base or group. So, it is curious why Collier seems to think they represent anyone or should be relied upon for solid intel on the situation in Iraq... at least solid enough to base policy upon?
Collier introduces us to the pontifications of, in the Paper's words, "Two Iraqi correspondents for The Chronicle, who asked not to be identified for security reasons". He also quoted a former Saddam era functionary who has been out of power for years: "Mudafar al-Amin, who was Iraq's ambassador to Britain from 1999 until the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003..."
After reading the entire, long report by Mr. Collier one cannot help but be struck with the fact that this "former Republican Guard general" that Collier is so taken with is merely angling to regain his own lost power.
The former Republican Guard general, for example, estimated that al Qaeda's attacks represent "only 10 percent of the resistance," and he said that if the Hussein-era army were remobilized, it could "easily" stamp out al Qaeda and other terrorists.
In fact, nearly everything this "general" says is calculated to bring back Saddam's former army officers to a position of power. It's amazing that Collier was so bamboozled by this supposed insider.
Collier doesn't seem to understand the success of the clear and hold strategy that US forces have employed a policy that should be first considered to set the groundwork for building the nation's political infrastructure before moving to any kind of "negotiations". Every place that the US military has brought overwhelming force into play, and then firmly held, has stabilized allowing the stage to be created for local parties to come with a newfound desire to negotiate.
The purpose of the clear and hold strategy is to promote stability. Once an area has been cleared of insurgents, the people of a community may begin to expect a certain amount of personal safety in their daily activities and will, then, be more able to accept their national government and their political processes, giving them the credence and legitimacy that a populace must invest to sustain a working government.
Instead, Collier seems to be suggesting we give all insurgents upfront legitimacy without even determining if they do, indeed, have any standing from which to negotiate. He seems to think we should just accept to his negotiating table any former general who claims to still represent an army. This would not promote unity but would only increase fractionalization.
He also relies on the proclamations of an NGO created in 1994 that claims to want to spread peace about the planet. The International Crisis Group has been saying for some time that we should "negotiate" with anyone and everyone in Iraq, but seems not to have any real ideas who those individuals might be. Naturally this group wants to rely on the UN to start these palliative negotiations. I wonder if the ICG can give us a list of any successes the UN has had with such "negotiations" the past?
Both Collier and NGOs like the ICG fail to understand that "negotiating" leads to little of consequence with these types of foes. Why should they acquiesce to the central government's demands, for instance, if their own power base is wholly legitimized? What would cause them to willingly give up the power that has been handed them by a slot at any official "negotiations"? If their tenuous claims to power are supported they are far more likely to strive for more, especially if the central government cannot exert its own claims to power over them.
That is why the clear and hold strategy is so successful. Without something to temper the insurgent's insatiable grasp for power, some reason for them to feel it necessary to come to the negotiating table needy of compromise, negotiations are a complete waste of time.
But here comes the ICG and the SanFran Chronicle willing to hand any insurgent a free pass to legitimate power. All they need do is kill a few hundred civilians and attack a US convoy or two and, viola! They are an instant "leader" that should be "negotiated" with.
This idea of Collier's is a sure plan for worsening conditions, more in-fighting and further sectionalizing of Iraq's worst hotspots as well as a return to power for people who are responsible for the rapes and tortures of uncounted Iraqi citizens for decades. On top of that it invites more external meddling by al Qaeda and Iran.
No, instead of sensible analysis, what Collier gave us was an example of staff writer trying desperately to make news with his "exclusive" sources and to drive the agenda as opposed to reporting on anything. It is an attempt to make the reporter relevant but is not any serious policy discussion at all. Collier also represents the inability of certain people in the west to understand the threat that faces us in Iraq.
Collier reveals that he is not on the side of the Iraqi people, the US military, or the American people if he wants to reward and legitimize murderers, warlords, and strongmen instead of strengthening an evolving Iraqi government.
Thanks but no thanks for the "help" Mr. Collier.
Revision of My Announcement for the Presidency
REVISION OF ANNOUNCEMENT MADE JANUARY 1, 2007
In last weeks REALITY FACTOR, I indicated I would announce my candidacy for President of the United States sometime in May 2007. After considerable inner deliberation, I am having second thoughts.
As soon as I announced that I would "announce" in May 2007, people started asking questions. One of the first reveals the problem: "Who would I appoint as Secretary of the Treasury?" I had planned to appoint Donald Trump. But when I realized this idea was based on my secret desire to fire him, I began to think it might be wise to re-consider. Maybe Bill Gates would make a good choice. If we ran a little short on cash, he could bail us out.
Then somebody asked me who I would pick as a running mate? This stopped me cold. No matter who I picked, it would make half the electorate mad. If he were a Liberal, all the Conservatives would get upset. If it were a Conservative, all the Liberals would get upset. If he were an Independent, all the Liberals and all the Conservatives would get all riled up in a rare moment of unified uproar. If it were a man, most of the women would be insulted. If it were a woman, most of the men would be insulted...........
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Vince Johnson
Sunday, January 07, 2007
AP Pelosi's 'Historic Moment for Women' -- What About Condi?
The AP isn't the only one going ga-ga over the ascension of Nancy Pelosi to become the "first Female Speaker of the House". We are seeing the fawning on just about every news outlet out there. And it is, indeed, quite an historic change from the long line of gentlemen that have taken the Speaker's gavel.
First female House speaker, Nancy Pelosi basks in historic day
WASHINGTON (AP) - San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi made history today by becoming the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history.
Standing on the House floor with her six grandchildren, Pelosi said her election marked a historic moment for women in U.S. history.
Among the onlookers in the packed visitors' galleries were actor Richard Gere and singer Tony Bennett.
I am not sure why the mention of the so-called celebrities was important in the story, but as they wish.
Still, I just have one big question about all the hooplah about this "historic moment for women"...
Where was all the hooplah when Condi Rice took her place in the Bush Administration?
She had a few "historic days" herself, didn't she? Where was the AP -- and everyone else -- going nuts about Condi?
Retiring at age 21
For awhile I have contemplated writing this column but haven’t had the full sensibility to do it yet. I began submitting columns online at age seventeen, back in the year 2002. I began the process with the hubris of a budding pundit and kept the habit until now, with a declining sense of the value of this kind of writing. Now I am twenty-one and about 21 percent half-educated.
I now know at least this: I don’t know enough to be weekly offering my opinions as though possessed of some eminence. There is a thousand times more sense in one of Seneca’s ancient moral sketches or Joseph Addison’s essays three hundred years ago than in the freshest columns I could put forth on any topic. Wisdom is better nurtured in the memorization of Solomon’s Proverbs than the attempt to produce new proverbs for the age of YouTube and iPod. The Bible is better for the soul than the morning newspaper.
Liberals are the ambitious ones by nature; I think I have a liberal nature. A sense of proportion that results from education and experience moderates opinions and makes a mind conservative. Not that I wasn’t politically conservative at age seventeen when I started on this present course, but it was conservatism wild and liberal.
Regret is not the word for lessons learned. I have learned that punditry, for all of its good sense every now and then, is not my calling. .................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Hans Zeiger
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Dead Hiker's Father: Media Helped Kill My Son
The story of James Kim, who died of hypothermia in a remote part of Oregon after setting out on foot to seek help for his stranded family, was a sad capper to the year 2006 for many. A lot of things went wrong for the Kims as they started out for a holiday trip only to have it end in disaster.
Spencer H. Kim, James Kim's Father, has today a plea appearing in the Washington Post titled The Lessons In My Son's Death. It is a message to Oregon's emergency services community to help stop another tragedy such as befell his son from happening to anyone else.
He has many suggestions from better marked roads (his son accidentally drove down an unmarked logging road and ended up stranded far from help), to timelier emergency services and better tracking of cell phone and credit card usage. But his last point was, to my mind, the most tragic and least sensible of the troubles that befell his son and daughter-in-law.
And that tragedy was supplied by the media.
Finally, the Federal Aviation Administration classification code for Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) to limit media presence during a life-or-death search-and-rescue operation should be more strictly enforced. A TFR is used to restrict aircraft operations within designated areas to separate "non-participating" aircraft from those engaged in official activities, including search-and-rescue operations.
Unfortunately for James, aviation authorities acquiesced to media requests to relax restrictions and allowed low-altitude media flights in the area while the aerial search was still underway. This untimely and irrational decision caused many rescue helicopters to abandon their operations for one full afternoon due to dangerous conditions created by media airplanes. It took personal pleas to Washington to get restrictions reinstated. The search, not media interest, should be the top priority.
(I bolded the last line for emphasis)
Who can doubt that, in the rush to get the story, the media has, once again, turned human tragedy into mere fodder for their air time? And, it is entirely believable that a media more interested in their own needs did nothing but get in the way of the people who were trying to save lives.
Just as the Media lends credence and succor to terrorists by slavishly reporting their every propagandistic word and deed, so they insinuate themselves into the lives of people suffering great emotional distress just so that they can "get" their story.
The media has a lot to answer for in general, but now, according to Mr. Kim, they have the death of James Kim added to their list of black deeds.
I'll close with Father Kim's brief memorial to his son:
With his last heroic determination to rescue his family, James proved himself to be a man of action. My son deserves a legacy worthy of that man. As a tribute to him, I am determined to follow his lead and do all I can to prevent another senseless tragedy.
Like a Thief in the Night, The Defacing of an American Chapel
When the extremist Taleban junta demolished the centuries old Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001, the world replied with outrage at the attacks on those ancient artifacts. It was, indeed, an outrage against art, antiquity, history, and religion as these great statues carved into a mountainside in the Bamyan Valley were brutally dynamited by the Islamist extremists then holding Afghanistan in thrall. It was right that the world community expressed their disgust at this obscene destruction.
One would think that no such outrage could happen in the United States, that no one would be uncivilized enough to propose the elimination of a long standing artifact, merely because it had a religious origin.
One would be wrong.
Since 1935 a free standing cross has been standing in Wren Chapel, the place of prayer that has stood for generations as part of the college campus of William and Mary College near Williamsburg, Virginia. Encompassed in the Christopher Wren building, which stood during Thomas Jefferson's days (though this one is one re-built after fire), the Chapel has served generations of William and Mary students. Even as the college was founded with an intimate connection to the Anglican Church in the beginning and later the Episcopal Church, Wren Chapel has served the student body of all religious affiliation and has, for years, had a practice of giving users of the Chapel the option to have the Cross removed during their scheduled time of usage.
That, it appears, was not good enough for School president Gene Nichol who announced that the Cross would be completely removed from its long standing place in the Chapel. Worse, he made this move with no consultation with the school administration, the student body or the alumnus. It was his own, arbitrary decision.
The only announcement the president seemingly meant to issue was a brief email by Melissa Engimann, W&M’s assistant director for Historic Campus. Apparently, Engimann meant to explain to employees who work in the Wren building what had happened. "In order to make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff and visitors of all faiths, the cross has been removed from the altar area", she wrote.
This idiotic PCism was fully endorsed by our intrepid president later.
At the end of October and after the shock of this absurd decision dawned on everyone, the good president tried to further justify his decision by saying, "Questions have lately been raised about the use of the Wren Chapel and the cross that is sometimes displayed there. Let me be clear. I have not banished the cross from the Wren Chapel."
Interesting how he tried to massage the truth by making it seem as if the cross was only "sometimes" displayed, when it was in reality only sometimes removed!
On December 20th, president Nichol belatedly decided to bring the issue to the student body and alumnus. In a public letter he "apologized" for his precipitous decision... but retreated not one step.
"I likely acted too quickly and should have consulted more broadly. ... The decision was also announced to the university community in an inelegant way", he meekly admitted.
To assuage the hurt feelings he universally inflicted he offered a compromise. He would, he magnanimously claimed, allow a plaque to commemorate the "Chapel’s origins as an Anglican place of worship and symbol of the Christian beginnings of the College" to be placed inside the Chapel. Of course, such a weak effort only commemorates the fact that his decision has turned the Chapel into some average common room, used for whatever purpose is needed and is no longer a Chapel further cementing the destruction of the historic room.
Nichols went into further detail about how foreboding the Chapel is to students not of Christian background to justify his PC removal of the Cross and re-branding of the room. "I have been saddened to learn of potential students and their families who have been escorted into the Chapel on campus tours and chosen to depart immediately thereafter."
A fanciful tale, Mr. President. Even f true, does it justify the destruction of the historic purpose of the room? Are there no other places on the campus where these people of "other religions" can have their thin skin massaged enough to make them feel "included"?
Nichol went on to wax poetic at the new level of happiness he claims his decision has provided:
"A number of Muslim and Jewish students now report, for the first time, that they are using the Chapel for prayer and contemplation. And I was pleased to learn that the student organization Hillel recently made a reservation to use space in the Wren for the first time anyone can remember."
Can Mr. Nichol honestly say that all these people were somehow prevented from observing their own faiths or having their "meetings" before he summarily removed the Christian intent of the Chapel? What a ridiculous claim it would have been if he had.
With one of the last few sentences of his statement, Nichol said, "We believe in the cause of the College--its singular history, its tradition of life-changing learning rooted in character and rigor, and its promising role in the future of the nation and the world."
The Taliban would have been proud of president Nichol, as they would surely have used similar rhetoric to justify their destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha.
So, another Christian symbol is wiped off the face of the Earth to be replaced by the religious sentiment of the multicultural, a PCism that erases anything not of its liking and banishes it from sight. Wren Chapel--or is it now just the Wren room-- is now safe for use, cleansed of all that horrible Christianity.
Yes, the Taliban would be proud of president Nichol.
AP: War Bad for Your Health
One must read the latest AP non-report about the effects of war on people with a big dose of "duh" in mind.
Study: War Trauma May Raise Heart Risks
A groundbreaking study of 1,946 male veterans of World War II and Korea suggests that vets with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are at greater risk of heart attacks as they age.
The conclusion: war is bad for your health.
Wow. Wonder how much taxpayer money was wasted on THAT study!?
At least our veteran's aren't so stupid that they wouldn't have been able to know it all upfront, without a "study".
"It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out," said John Oliveira of New Bedford, Mass., a former Navy public affairs officer and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, I certainly don't want to make light of the problems of coping that our veterans confront upon returning from war. Robert E. Lee once said that it is good that war is so horrible or we'd get too fond of it and he knew whereof he spoke.
People are vastly different and, whereas some may never experience much discomfort or anguish from their war service, others are bothered with the mental images for the rest of their lives. And we, as a society, should be observant and responsive to the needs of our returning heroes even as they advance into old age.
But the study we have here is so cursory that it is beyond any scientific use. The AP report mentions the following:
The data also didn't track how frequently the men exercised, so researchers couldn't tell if the men with PTSD symptoms were getting more or less exercise than other veterans.
In other words, no controlling factors were implemented, the only requirement for the study being that the subjects were in the military. And, while it is logically a prerequisite qualification necessary to be included in a study on the military, it isn't enough of a control factor to inform the findings.
It would be like deciding that all people who get haircuts are women based only on who goes in and out of the corner beauty salon!
The AP, though, does not rate the scientific viability of the study and even adds their own irrelevant part to the story.
(Dr. Gary J) Kennedy, who was not involved in the study, said treatment options for PTSD include drugs, talk therapy and behavioral changes such as getting more exercise and taking action to solve small problems in life rather than shutting down emotionally.
"We've got a whole generation of veterans coming back (from Iraq and Afghanistan) and their health needs are just going to be tremendous," Kennedy said.
A "whole generation" Mr. Kennedy? We hardly have a "whole generation" who will be "coming back" with "tremendous" health care needs. We certainly will have a large group who's needs must be satisfied, but this is no "generation" the size of WWII we are talking about. No need to exaggerate and blow the facts out of proportion.
It was most ridiculous that the AP is quoting someone who "was not involved in the study". WHY are we bothering with him in this story again?
In any case, this story really adds up to no information that is useful to the reader and starts with a "conclusion" that everyone takes as obvious in the first place; War is bad for you.
Duh, AP. Duh!
John Kerry: Latest Perspective on Iraq
The ever-changing (aka flip-flopping) Senator Kerry gives us his latest straight scoop on Iraq.
In a December 24, 2006, Washington Post article, Senator Kerry shares his insights after literally having been on all sides of the question in the past. His latest thoughts originate in the visit that he and Senator Christopher Dodd made recently to Iraq.
The Senator's conclusion is: The only hope for stability lies in pushing Iraqis to forge a sustainable political agreement on federalism, distributing oil revenues and neutralizing sectarian militias. And that will happen only if we set a deadline to redeploy our troops.
We'll look at that in a few paragraphs down, but first let's indulge in the fun of a few pot-shots at an easy target to hit.........................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Thomas Brewton
Friday, January 05, 2007
AP: Some 'Capt. Hussein' Proof? Yet, More Questions Remain
At last it seems some light has been shed on the existence of this capt. Hussein as we get the story from Michelle Malkin's site. Michelle has been the chief bulldog in efforts to reveal the AP's mysterious source.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The Interior Ministry acknowledged Thursday that an Iraqi police officer whose existence had been denied by the Iraqis and the U.S. military is in fact an active member of the force, and said he now faces arrest for speaking to the media.
It looks like we just might have an answer -- though it is not yet assured that this person is, indeed, the "capt. Jamil Hussein" the AP used as a source. Still, the revelation that such a man actually exists seems to answer to the doubts that the AP actually had a live source for this story.
But it's only a start toward solving the controversies surrounding this AP story.
There are still many questions that dog this story and the AP is not out of the woods yet where it concerns the truth of whether 6 Iraqi Sunnis were burned alive or not. And that, not the existence of this capt. Hussein, has always been the central point to the dispute. The existence of the source always was a sidelight, a distraction, to the story, not the main problem.
There is not a shred of proof that the 6 burning Iraqis incident ever happened and this is an issue that the AP has still not satisfactorily addressed. There's no independent source, no burnt bodies ... little of the story has checked out other than the source, at long last. And THAT has taken over a month and a lot of recrimination and controversy to straighten out.
Central points of this story
- Did the incident ever even happen and where is the proof?
- Why does the AP publish news stories based on only one witness with no corroboration?
- How long has the AP been publishing stories on the word of only one witness?
As I wrote in my first report on this issue on NewsBusters:
And, it has always been a staple of journalism that more than one source 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.
The AP's inability to substantiate their source was but a small part of the questions the AP faces overs its credibility here.
Expect the AP to wash its hands of this issue, though, imagining it is a closed case now that we seem to have proof of the existence of capt. Hussein.
As for the rest of us, there is a long way to go before we could be satisfied that the AP is practicing due diligence in their reporting.
Official Announcement Set For May 2007!
I have decided to run as an Independent Candidate for President of the United States of America in 2008. The "official" announcement will be made sometime around May 1, 2007 at three separate locations:
1. Beach Dog Cafe in Lincoln City, Oregon. 2. Coast Roast Coffee Company at Salishan in Gleneden Beach, Oregon. 3. A site yet to be determined in Stayton, Salem, or Aumsville, Oregon.
This decision was made after determining that the American Electorate is currently divided into two categories
The "Stupid Fool" Category, which believes politicians are capable of running our country and continues to elect and re-elect them, term after term.
The "Special Fool" Category which recognizes the reality that politicians are ruining the country rather than running it.......
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Vince Johnson
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Wa. Post: Good Hearted Dems 'Torn' about Shutting GOP Out
This morning the Washington Post published a story about how the Democrats are going to exclude Republicans from participating in the "First 100 Hours" plan that the Democrats intend to implement when they officially become the majority in the House of Representatives this week. And, while they do clearly state that the Democrat majority is going against a campaign promise to be less partisan, the Post just cannot help but make it seem as if it pains those poor Democrats that Republicans are so mean that they cannot include them in compliance with their promises.
Democrats To Start Without GOP Input
But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.
Wow, breaking a campaign promise before they even take the reigns of power! But, wait... the Post papers over this promise breaking by saying how bad the Dems feel about this lapse.
Democratic leaders say they are torn between giving Republicans a say in legislation and shutting them out to prevent them from derailing Democratic bills.
Gosh. That must make it all OK. Those poor, sad Dems must really be broken up over this. Why, if Republicans weren't so evil and all, the Dems COULD let them join in the legislation process. It isn't like the Republicans were really elected fairly, anyway.
"There is a going to be a tension there," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the new chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "My sense is there's going to be a testing period to gauge to what extent the Republicans want to join us in a constructive effort or whether they intend to be disruptive. It's going to be a work in progress."
Um, you mean disruptive like the Democrats have been for a decade, Mr. Van Hollen?
And, Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly is already priming the pump for their "Fist 100 Hours" plan to fail with no complaint or comment about such backtracking from the Post.
"The test is not the first 100 hours," he said. "The test is the first six months or the first year. We will do what we promised to do."
And after telling us how the Democrats intend to have secret meetings closed to the public and won't allow the GOP to participate in the process if they can help it, the Post assures us that:
For several reasons, House Democrats are assiduously trying to avoid some of the heavy-handed tactics they resented under GOP rule. They say they want to prove to voters they are setting a new tone on Capitol Hill. But they are also convinced that Republicans lost the midterms in part because they were perceived as arrogant and divisive.
When all is said and done, and despite the rather soft sell the Post tried to spin what is the coming Democrat Power grab, there will be no "change in tone" in Washington. Especially from Democrats who have, historically, been far more prone to mean-spirited power plays.
"If you're talking about 100 hours, you're talking about no obstruction whatsoever, no amendments offered other than those approved by the majority," said Ross K. Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University . "I would like to think after 100 hours are over, the Democrats will adhere to their promise to make the system a little more equitable. But experience tells me it's really going to be casting against type."
At least one quote in the piece was right on.
Naturally, Mr. Baker does not work for the Washington Post.
WHEN WE WERE COWBOYS... We Were Invincible
Golda Meir once said (paraphrasing) "...the fighting will stop when they love their children more than they hate us." I've said multiple times that the #1 killers of Palestinian children--or any child whose parents follow Islam--are Palestinian adults. The left's mantra of "Won't someone puhlease think of the children?" rings hollow and impotent given their appalling inaction on behalf of the children who truly need it--children of Islam. Their suffering is inexcusably ignored by these self-styled paragons of the defenseless. These little ones are on their own, left to their own devices, and in the hands of Islamic adults, those "devices" are most likely Improvised and Explosive. And all because the left in this land and others are too gutless to admit to their own horrifically failed policies. Pathetic.
Get the picture? If you do, congratulations; you're not a loserly hippy. You're what we used to call a cowboy--an American Cowboy.
And when we were Cowboys, we were invincible......................
Click HERE To Read On
AP: Praising Islam for American Youth
In apparent pursuit of their status as the chief news source for Islam in the west, the AP published a puff piece about how wonderful it is for young Americans to participate in the Muslim practice of the Hajj -- a required pilgrimage to Mecca.
Here is how wonderful and instructive it is...
The 20-year-old American tells his hajj pilgrimage stories ... and saw a man drop dead while circling the Kaaba.
Well, how "inspiring" it is to see a man drop dead at a religious function. Is that the sort of thing that should be praised as a civilized expression of religion?
"Dude, I saw it, the guy had the most peaceful smile on his face," (said) Adil Muschelewicz ... Muschelewicz didn't know the cause of the man's death -- exhaustion maybe, he said -- but it became one of the many powerful religious moments that have shaken him during the trip.
"I looked at his face and I looked at the Kaaba, and it was like he was happy, he'd gotten close to God. It just went boom, like this deep bass line in my heart," he said. "It was so emotional. I was by myself, in this wild place I'd never been before."
Isn't this somewhat shocking? Is it a western ideal to have people keeling over dead at religious services? Is it something we should celebrate for our children?
For the AP it is a great thing, it appears.
For young American Muslims far from home, the hajj pilgrimage is an awesome adventure that they say deepens their faith and connects them with the wide range of Muslim peoples.
The AP also seemed to have a multicultural orgasm as they praised the "soundtrack" of "languages" present during the Hajj.
It is also a sensory overload, with a soundtrack in languages from around the world -- Arabic, English, Turkish, Malay and Bahasa, Urdu and Hindi. Intense poverty collides with wealth, with some pilgrims sleeping on the garbage-strewn pavement and others staying in "five-star" tents with meals and other facilities provided.
Are we advocating for our children to go to Mecca and sleep on garbage strewn streets?
Just what the heck is so great about this and why is the AP celebrating it so? It all seems rather perplexing until you get to the AP's real message. A little later in the piece we see the AP's real point revealed. The AP is celebrating American Muslims distancing themselves from the west and gaining "connection to the Middle East" to give them a fuller expression of Islam.
But for American Muslim parents, it is also a chance to connect their children with a religious heritage they have only heard about growing up in the U.S. Some of the younger pilgrims -- children of immigrants from the Islamic world -- may have occasionally visited their parents' homelands. Others, whose parents are converts to Islam -- like Muschelewicz -- have less direct connection to the Middle East.
Obviously the AP is pushing the idea that one cannot be a proper Muslim in the USA and that one needs a "connection" to the Middle East to be a better observer of the faith.
But, it is doubtful that religion is what the AP is concerned about. What they are concerned about is furthering the proposition that the USA is somehow a lesser place. Lesser for Muslims or anyone else. The USA, in the AP's eyes, retards the proper development of a Muslim as it does development of anything else besides self-centered, consumer driven, halfwits that are not cosmopolitan enough to celebrate other cultures.
Yes, when all is said and done, this is just another excuse for the AP to bash the west and the USA and another way for the AP to advocate that our youth distance themselves from it.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I'll Be A Guest on WBAL, Boston Tonight...
I have been asked to be a guest Thursday night (01/04/07) on the Bruce Elliot Show on WBAL, Boston at 11PM East Coast time.
I will be discussing the Illinois schoolboy who was thrown out of school for turning in a toy pistol to his Principal.
See the story hereSchoolboy Turns in Found 'Weapon', Gets Suspended For Effort.
You can visit the Bruce Elliot show website to see all that Bruce is up to. WBAL, Bruce Elliot Show
Kansas City Star: Muslims 'better attuned' to world politics than many 'US-raised Christians'
One does not need to look much farther than the Newspapers in the USA to understand why we may lose this war against Islamist fascism and terrorism. At the very least, the Kansas City Star's Mary Sanchez displays her desire to condemn everything American and to make excuses for Muslim terrorists.
Using the "six imams expelled from an airplane" story as a springboard to wag a finger in the face of we ignorant Americans, Sanchez warns that we just don't get it where it concerns distinguishing between "Muslims who are a threat, and those who are not."
Naturally, it isn't the fault of any Muslim, either. No, it's all the fault of those uninformed American Christians.
Funny. I missed the part where Christians flew planes into the World trade Towers, or when Christians cut off Nick Berg's head, killed journalists and soldiers, and perpetrated so many suicide bombings.
The only crystal-clear thing is this: similar incidents will occur. We are at the beginning of a long process to gain a better understanding of, comfort level with, Muslims in the United States.
Once again, a "journalist" places the onus of understanding on us and asks nothing of those poor misunderstood Muslims -- you know, the Muslims who are perpetrating so much violence the world over?
Were she in the 1930's, Sanchez might well have been the type to plead for us to "understand" the Nazis, too.
Amusingly, Sanchez made an effort to sound like she was attempting to come from the middle ground.
"Can't we all get along" dialogues are not going to help us much right now.
An argument she promptly demolishes by claiming that Muslims are better informed on world politics.
Many Muslims are better attuned to world politics, world faiths, than many US-raised Christians. Sometimes this is due to them being immigrants, or having closer ties to foreign lands. But erasing this global gap is a first start in disconnects between Muslims and Christians within the United States.
It is a bit hard to believe that Muslims are better informed, though, considering that literacy is many times higher in the west than it is in the Muslim world. Muslims are more prone to wild-eyed conspiracy theories -- a Jew behind every door and an American paying for it -- than a Daily-Koz reader on a full pot of coffee, clutching the latest issue of Mother Jones magazine.
For Sanchez, this is another opportunity to push multiculturalism and to scold us about how racist we really are.
Then she says that "can't we all get along" is not much help because her solution is to tell us to bow to the enemy's wishes. After all, we aren't cosmopolitan enough, not worldly enough to understand those poor, put upon Muslims. Sanchez feels it her duty to let us all know that it's really all our fault anyway.
Editor & Publisher: Disgraced ex CNN News Chief, Eason Jordan, Attacks AP Over 6 Burning Iraqis Report
As I reported on Newsbusters the Associated Press is refusing to back down from, nor give satisfactory evidence for, its November report that 6 Iraqi Sunnis were burned alive in sectarian violence, a claim heavily disputed seemingly by everyone but the AP.
The AP based their reports of this grisly violence on the word of a single "witness" they named as Iraqi police captain, Jamail Hussein. Unfortunately for the AP, and despite quite a lot of effort by quite a few people, this captain of Iraqi police cannot be located so that the story can be substantiated. The AP, however, continues to claim that he exists despite the paucity of evidence.
And, also as reported on NewsBusters, Editor & Publisher posted a story making fun of Conservative Bloggers for attacking the AP assuming that they had discovered via a post on the Winds of Change Blog that this captain Hussein had been found. E&P gleefully claimed that folks who criticized the AP for the lack of proof of the existence of the mythical AP source, such as Michelle Malkin, would have to "eat crow" since they imagined him finally found.
Since E&P's taunting of Conservative Bloggers, no further confirmation of the existence of captain Hussein has been brought forth and his existence is still shrouded in mystery.
Well, now disgraced CNN News Chief Eason Jordan has stepped up his own criticism of the AP's refusal to settle this dispute with a plaintive call to the AP to come clean on a new site called Iraqslogger. Jordan wrapped up his call to bring the AP to account with: "Until this matter is resolved, the AP's credibility will suffer."*
Editor & Publisher dutifully reports this little conflict as if they are merely practicing good journalism while conveniently forgetting their gleeful attack of Conservative Bloggers of only three weeks ago.
Still, despite Editor & Publisher's faulty memory, this Capt. Hussein controversy rolls on making the AP out to be liars, Editor & Publisher to be partisan hacks, and Conservative Bloggers to be right... again.
* And Eason Jordan should know from suffering credibility. For some background on why Eason Jordan left CNN try this story, Blogger's Success- CNN's Eason Jordon Quits.
When Did Black Become A Christmas Color?
It has been said that socially Evangelicalism is five to ten years "behind" the broader culture. John Warwick Montgomery once remarked that America was where old German heresies went to die, meaning that eventually the intellectual refuse of the elite came to infect the American church no matter how reluctant the bride of Christ in the United States might have initially been to such doctrinal fads.
Back in the 90's, Evangelicals looked on in astonishment as Postmodernists from lofty chairs in academia went about undermining the notion that one should not be judged by the color of one's skin but rather by the content of one's character. Instead. these deconstructionists suggested that one should be assessed primarily as a member of one's herd and judged in light of either the sins or disadvantages of one's forefathers.
As a result, whereas in years previous those of certain backgrounds struggled to take their place in and recognized as full members of society, the trend reversed itself and those skilled in exploiting past resentments were able to shame the majority into allowing certain demographic classifications to cordon themselves off as they saw fit while denying this proclivity to the members of the most numerous group. Though conservative Christians initially bucked such a trend by admonishing that it is ultimately the individual that Jesus died and rose from the dead for and will whom be judged, they too are now succumbing to this social pressure......................................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Frederick Meekins
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Jimmy Carter's Cash Links to Arab Terrorists
Jimmy Carter should be banished as a foreign agent He has consistently done his best for decades to undermine the USA's strategic interests in the Middle East.
It is sickening that he is given respect and treated as an honorable American.
To understand what feeds former president Jimmy Carter's anti-Israeli frenzy, look at his early links to Arab business.
A quick survey of the major contributors to the Carter Center reveals hundreds of millions of dollars from Saudi and Gulf contributors. But it was BCCI that helped Mr. Carter established his center.
BCCI's origins were primarily ideological. Abedi wanted the bank to reflect the supra-national Muslim credo and "the best bridge to help the world of Islam, and the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists."
Shortly after assuming office, in March 1977, Mr. Carter made his first public statement regarding a Palestinian "homeland." Since then, he has devoted much of his time to denouncing Israel's self-defense against Palestinian terrorism, which he claims is not only "abominable oppression and persecution" of the Palestinians, but also damages U.S. interests in the region.
Read more of this excellent article...
Carter's Arab financiers
Iraq, Doing FAR Better Than Reported
We report when they get it wrong, and now we can report when they get it right...
And it's about time some American news source describes how well most of Iraq is doing since the US led overthrow of Saddam's regime. It is a fact that escapes too many in the western media who's only goal seems to be to attack America in general and George W. Bush n particular.
WHILE the American political elite is using Iraq as an excuse for fighting internal political wars, a different reality is taking shape in parts of this war-torn nation. Wherever some measure of security is assured - that is to say in more than 80 percent of Iraq - towns and villages long left to die a slow death are creeping back to life.
Nowhere is this slow but steady return to life more startling than in Um Qasr, in the southeast extremity of Iraq on the Persian Gulf. Four years ago, this was a jumble of rusting quays, abandoned houses and gutted buildings. By the spring of 2003, its population had dwindled to a few dozen, along with hundreds of stray dogs. There was even talk of abandoning it altogether.
The story goes on to describe how an Iraqi cell phone company is poised to make 500 million dollars this year and how soft drinks and cars are big sellers all across Iraq. Other reports recently have hinted at how well the satellite TV business is booming in Iraq, as well.
But here is an important thing to keep in mind...
But what about continued terrorist attacks? Most foreign investors coming to make money in Iraq shrug their shoulders. "Doing business in any Arab country is always risky," says a Turkish investor who has set up a trucking company and a taxi service. "In some Arab countries, you risk nationalization or straight confiscation by the ruler. In other Arab countries, you must give a cut to one of the emirs. Here, you face possible terrorist attacks. But such attacks are transitory."
With the volatility of the MidEast, not just Iraq but the region over, Iraq is no worse than any other country in the region as far as it being safe to create and sustain a business. And it is fast becoming one of the most desirable places to do so with the stability and friendliness to business the US has offered potential investors.
Unfortunately, this story of the economic success of Iraq will never make most of the western media because it doesn't fit in with the desired goal of destroying president Bush and the USA.
At least, once in a great while, we do get a story here and there that tells us some truth. Good going New York Post.
What We Ought to do and Ought Not to do
There is a sneaky trend in America that is creeping up on us so deceptively that we do not realize it is actually happening. What is worse, we have not the slightest idea where this trend is leading.
To explain: Most of us agree that people ought to wear their seat belts to save lives. To make sure we do what we "ought" to do, politicians passed laws requiring us to do what we should have been doing all along. As the sign says along the highway: "CLICK-IT OR TICKET!"
People "ought" to quit smoking in order to live longer and avoid exposing others to the dangers of secondary fumes from smoldering tobacco. To make sure we do what we "ought" to do, politicians have passed laws making it illegal to do what we "ought not" to do in various places such as restaurants, lounges, airports, airplanes, and more recently, entire towns!......
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Cince Johnson
Monday, January 01, 2007
Constitutional Federalism vs Totalitarianism
As noted frequently in past postings, the unavoidable tendency of socialism is concentration of political power in the hands of a ruling elite who decide for the masses what their living and working conditions are to be. This is called state-planning.
In ways that would have been inconceivable as recently as the 1920s, our everyday lives are circumscribed by unelected bureaucrats in Washington who make regulations, enforce them, and adjudicate them, too often without our access to the normal safeguards of the common law. Those bureaucrats -- think of the IRS, for example -- issue rulings that most Federal courts will not contest, on the grounds that they lack the supposed expertise of the tens of thousands of Federal regulatory bureaus........................
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Labels: Thomas Brewton
Hppy New Year 2007
Time for New Years. We welcome 2007 into existence.
And, time brings up an interesting observance. What, exactly, is it, after all? We experience things passing, the flower blooms in Spring and dies in Fall; that is surely time passing. But, the way we mark time is completely man made. It isn't something that exists naturally and it certainly isn't a single, ever moving force. If it were a single force of nature, time would not be measured as we measure it.
As the ball drops in New York to ring in the New Year, folks in Chicago are still an hour away from the event. Californians are two hours away. That shows the man-made structure of what we consider "time".
So, as we celebrate the New Year, take a second to reflect on the fact that what we are celebrating doesn't really even exist!
Something else to give you a headache other than too much bubbly!
Happy New Year, Publius' Forum Readers!
Psychic predictions for the New Year
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had better hurry up. We're down to the last few hours of 2006 and she hasn't resigned yet.
How do I know Justice Ginsburg is hanging it up this year? I read it on CaliforniaPsychics.com, which modestly bills itself "the net's Number 1 resource for psychic guidance."
President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden also need to get a move on. When CaliforniaPsychics made its political predictions for 2006 a year ago, included was the prophecy that Mr. Bush would be "laid up and in a health care facility of some sort."
The news was even grimmer for Mr. Cheney; he would suffer a massive heart attack. Senator Obama was supposed to announce his intent to run for president. Bin Laden was destined to be captured.
There was more. One psychic said the war in Iraq would end in the middle of the year. Another foresaw American soldiers withdrawn from there beginning in September. A New York City terrorist attack was to be planned in April and May. An "intense campaign" to reinstate draft registration would be launched in 2006...........................................
Click HERE To Read On
Labels: Michael Bates
French Protest New Year's Arrival
French protest new year's arrival
From correspondents in Nates
January 01, 2007 04:50pm
Article from: Agence France-Presse
SOME 600 people gathered in the western French city of Nantes to protest the new year's arrival today
Lashed by rain, the organisers said even the weather was against 2007, as they milled about under banners reading "No to 2007!" and "Now is better!"
"The world will come to understand that it must stop this mad course towards the future and we demand the governments of the world and the United Nations declare a moratorium to stop this December 31 the future," said one of the organisers.
The tension mounted as the minutes ticked away, but the arrival of midnight and 2007 did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm as they began to chant "No to 2008!".
Organisers vowed to resist pressure from watchmakers and calendar printers to hold the event for a third time on December 31, 2007, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.