Kandahar, Jan. 31(AP): Villagers attacked Taliban rebels who had blockaded a road and were confiscating music cassettes from passing cars in southern Afghanistan, officials said on Tuesday. Two militants and a villager were killed.Of course, this same God that denies music embraces murder with open arms. This is what happens when man loses sight of God and tries to fill in the gaps on his own.
After seizing and breaking the cassettes, the insurgents informed travelers that music is forbidden by Islam, said Abdul Wasai, the government chief in Spin Boldak district, where the fighting occurred Monday.
The Taliban used the same claim to justify destroying thousands of music cassettes and videos while the militia held power from 1996 to 2001.
Ten militants had seized dozens of cassettes from travelers before the villagers attacked, Wasai said. The militants were also searching for anyone linked to the country's U.S.-backed government, but none was found.
Seven villagers and two rebels were also wounded in the fighting and police later arrested the insurgents. The rest fled across the nearby border into Pakistan, he said.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Jeff Goldstein writes in Protein Wisdom:
Somewhere, in the mythical back alleys of America, uteri twitch as Southerners, long held in check by the sheer egalitarian will of their liberal Democratic brethren, pull long white robes and heavy rope out of the mothballs in granpappy’s special “patriotic” hope chest…No wonder Robert Byrd voted to confirm. Sometimes you just have to dance with the one that brung ya.
Posted By Roug at 1:10 PM
The Dixie Chicks were humming along as a darling country music trio until one night in March 2003 in London. Lead singer Natalie Maines slammed President George W. Bush at a concert and announced to the British crowd, ''We're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.''Wow, a leftist embracing stereotypes. I wonder what stereotypes are floating around these days about skanky, blonde, ungrateful, moronic ditzes?
That didn't sit well with country music fans then, and now Maines says she's finished with the genre and is none too pleased with the fans, basically labeling them as redneck hicks.
She tells Entertainment Weekly, "the stereotype is true."
"For me as a person, [The incident has] completely altered the course I was on," Maines tells Entertainment Weekly. "For me to be in country music to begin with was not who I was. I liked Martie and Emily's (the talented Dixie Chicks) playing, but I did not grow up liking country music."
"And I guess I was ignorant to the fact that the stereotypes behind country music were true — and it was disappointing."
I await in great anticipation Natalie's rocketing to the top of the charts in another musical genre. Of course, she had better pick one where there is no country music spill-over. I hear that redneck hicks can carry grudges.
Posted By Roug at 12:03 PM
From the Drudge Report. Speaking in the true way of an objective journalist, CNN Middle East correspondent Christiane Amanpour has decided that the war in Iraq is "not acceptable."
"The Iraq war has been a disaster, and journalists have paid for it," Amanpour explains to Larry King, a day after ABC NEWS anchor Bob Woodruff was hit injured by a bomb.War is an ugly thing. Journalists that aspire to bring the news to the public are taking a gamble when they venture into war zones. Bob Woodruff knew the risks and he took them. Amanpour apparently believes that paying the dues of complicit journalism, practiced by CNN under Eason Jordan when the Saddam regime was in power, is well worth it. But, what is that cost?
Amanpour works for a news organization that historically has felt it better to provide filtered (and therefore false) news safely, than it is to produce truthful news under duress. Another option would, of course, be to provide the best news possible from a distance.
"This is not acceptable what's going on there and it's a terrible situation."Of course it is not acceptable. Was the former Iraqi regime acceptable? Is Amanpour suggesting that today's situation in Iraq, with 30,000 dead over the past 3 years, is any less acceptable than the Saddam situation when nearly 2,000,000 died as a direct result of his government and military actions over previous 24 years? Does Amanpour possess any knowledge that would lead her to believe that had we not attacked Iraq, that Saddam would have joined the "peace movement?"
AMANPOUR: "It's a spiraling security disaster... And by any indication whether you take the number of journalists killed or wounded, whether you take the number of Iraqi soldiers killed and wounded, contractors, people working there, it just gets worse and worse."When measuring death, the totals will always get worse and worse, because totals are a mounting figure, and we do tire of war. We tire of the deaths, the destruction, the bombings and kidnappings. We hurt inside when we see filmed footage of journalists kidnapped and beheaded and when we hear of injuries to all innocents. (Incidentally, many of us Americans also hurt when we hear of our brave soldiers being killed and injured on the field of battle, a group Amanpour conspicuously leaves outside her sympathic commentary.)
By diverting our eyes like the CNN, do we clear our consciences if the killing continues unabated? By pointing our fingers and screaming safely at a distance like the UN and the American left, should we feel like we have done enough? Our President doesn't think so, and conservatives generally feel the same way, and our country and coalition have acted to free a people at tremendous cost.
CNN, Eason Jordan and Christiane Amanpour come down solidly on the other side of this argument--with their own brand of clear consciences I might add.
A conscience, it appears, isn't nearly as expensive as it used to be.
(All emphasis mine.)
Posted By Roug at 8:47 AM
Monday, January 30, 2006
The analytic amongst us moves his hand from one place to another in dubiety, one color to another, one corner to another and finally, no closer to decision, the digerati starts at once again to consider the nuance of this attack, the benefit of that retreat, or the wisdom of perhaps gathered strength in place--while most notably and feebly keeping the others at bay and at pensive posture with this true tactic of delay, cognizant that this strategy will garner him little value other than to lose more slowly, and knowing that whatever his any move may be, it will result in both cacophony and counter attack; yet he knows nothing else and continues on this road of ponderous forflection and decisions delayed.
At least he has finally outgrown tipping the board.
Posted By Roug at 4:32 PM
The mother of jihad that I featured earlier this month, Umm Nidal Farhat (on the election rolls she is listed as listed as Maryam Farahat,) is in the news again. From the Telegraph by way of TROP.com.
She has encouraged three of her sons to die attacking Israel, and would be proud if the other three followed suit. She appeared in a video with her youngest boy, Mohammed, 17, telling him not to return alive from a suicide mission. Now she is a democratically elected Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.Maureen Down of the NYT bestowed absolute moral authority on Cindy Sheehan for losing a son in Iraq. I excitedly await the honor bestowed on Farahat by Dowd, having buried three children in the same war.
Posted By Roug at 3:14 PM
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Masked gunmen on Monday briefly took over a European Union office to protest a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons deemed insulting to Islam's Prophet Muhammad, the latest in a wave of violent denunciations of the caricatures across the Islamic world.Today there are probably hundreds of thousands of Scandinavians trying to trade in their Gaza travel tour junkets. Though no doubt disappointed that they will miss the color and pageantry of an all-out rock, rocket and rifle riot on the bomb-pocked streets of Gaza, a gentle drive to the fjords might have to suffice.
The gunmen demanded an apology from Denmark and Norway, and said citizens of the two countries would be prevented from entering the Gaza Strip.
"We are calling on the citizens of the two countries to take this threat seriously because our cells are ready to implement this all over Gaza," one militant said.
Posted By Roug at 2:12 PM
In Human Events Online, Mac Johnson has an interesting take on our high energy prices and energy policy.
High energy costs are a mystery. It seems like no matter how much we prohibit domestic energy production, energy prices just keep going up -- and we just keep getting more dependent on foreign sources. There is no law of economics that can explain it, no hypothetical relationship between supply and demand that could predict price. Bill O’Reilly must be right. High prices must be the result of a secret plot by big oil, or perhaps the freemasons.The article goes on to point out example after example of why each of our viable sources for energy are undesired by the left, and why unrealistic and inefficient energy dreams are favored by the people that hate the viable sources the most.
Well, that’s one explanation. Or we could consider a radical alternative: energy prices are high because Americans object to every possible source of energy known to mankind. Energy, it seems, is icky. Not so icky that we want to use less of it, mind you. But icky enough that we don’t want to make it ourselves. Instead, we fantasize about utopian energy sources of “the future,” and pay through the nose today for limited supplies of foreign energy that originate in the most backward, unstable, and faraway places imaginable.
The article concludes:
Many critics contend that America does not have an energy policy. But that is wrong. Our policy is clear and has been unchanged for thirty years or more: produce little, use lots, and wonder why things never get better.One too has to consider that the energy supply solutions that are not being pursued today, such as ANWR and offshore drilling, new refineries, construction of nuclear power plants, etc., are all long-term solutions and won't reduce your cost at the pump or your heating bills at home for years after they are finally approved.
This is a catch up game and we are way behind.
Hat tip to Right Nation.
Posted By Roug at 1:50 PM
Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in 2004, thanked Chavez for "supporting life and peace." She said earlier that she was impressed by his sincerity when they met privately on Saturday.Few things help the spirit more than yukking it up with a political thug with blood on his hands.
"He said, 'Why don't I run for president?'" she said. "I just laughed."
Don't believe me? Check out here and here.
Posted By Roug at 12:14 PM
According to Jack Murtha we are facing just that. In the Boston Globe from last week, Murtha opined that
"Our troops are the target," Murtha told the newspaper. "We're not fighting terrorism in Iraq. We're fighting a civil war in Iraq. We've got to give them an incentive. We fought our Civil War. Let them fight their civil war."Enter today's interview in Townhall by W. Thomas Smith, Jr. of Brigadier General Daniel P. Bolger, an active General in Iraq, and a General that takes to the field several times a week because he feels it is better to lead from the front than push from the rear.
WTSjr: Is the war in Iraq devolving into “civil war” as some now suggest?We all have a choice of listening to seasoned veterans such as Jack Murtha, who some 20 years ago was active in our military, or we can listen to seasoned veterans such as Brigadier General Daniel P. Bolger that are currently serving on the ground in Iraq.
BOLGER: If we define a ‘civil war’ as Iraqis killing Iraqis, then we have that. We have had that here since before Saddam.
Saddam took killing his fellow Iraqis to a horrific level, which is a big reason why our operations in 2003 were so important to the Iraqi people. During his tyrannical rule, Saddam gassed and slaughtered Kurds, killed many Shiite Arabs, and executed plenty of Sunni Arabs as well. Naturally, many of these groups resisted. So there is a strong, living tradition of fighting the central government here. That was true under the Ottomans and under the British mandate, too.
But if we use a more conventional understanding of the term, ‘civil war,’ of a break-away or rebellious part of the country fighting the rest for political control or independence, that gives much more dignity to our enemies than they give to themselves. The vast majority of Iraqis, including the majority of Sunni Arabs, are not fighting the elected Iraqi government. Those who are fighting us call themselves ‘the resistance’ and though they claim to be against the Americans and other coalition forces: mostly they kill innocent Iraqi civilians. That's nihilistic terrorism, and not civil war.
That the two disagree on military tactics should not be surprising because there are many such disagreements that take place. However, that Jack Murtha hasn't yet grasped the definition of terrorism should be an absolute shocker.
So, why isn't it?
Posted By Roug at 12:11 PM
Sunday, January 29, 2006
From FoxNews, the new judge in Saddam's trial, Raouf Abdel-Rahmanhas, started out with a bang, openly challenging the former dictator, tossing out a defense lawyer, and challenging the entire legal defense team.
Abdel-Rahman obviously came into the session aiming to impose control on a trial that has been plagued by delays and frequent outbursts by Saddam and Ibrahim, who is Saddam's half-brother and former intelligence chief.It is time for this trial to get moving. The Iraqi people are still living under the shadow of Saddam, and many still fear his return to power while others refuse to give up their terrorist activity until he is completely gone (meaning dead for you non-death-penalty believers.)
He began the proceedings with a show of authority, shouting at one defense lawyer for interrupting him and stressing in an opening statement that "political speeches" were not allowed and "if any defendant crosses the lines, he will be taken out of the room and his trial will be carried out with his absence."
Ibrahim stood up, demanded to be allowed to speak and said, "Circumstances have forced us to deal with each other here, in spite of my belief that this tribunal is illegitimate, the daughter of a whore."
The judge ordered him to sit down, shouting, "One more word and I'm throwing you out." When Ibrahim refused to sit, two burly guards grabbed him by the arms and dragged him out of the court.
As they scuffled, Saddam stood and shouted, "Down with the traitors. Down with America." Defense lawyers began shouting as well. "Is this a street demonstration, are you lawyers?" Abdel-Rahman barked at them.
Democracy will be a slowly developing process in Iraq. It will take true Iraqi patriots like Abdel-Rahman to move Iraq into a modern non-terrorist nation. He might very well sacrifice his life to do this for his country. All the heroes in Iraq aren't American.
Posted By Roug at 10:41 AM
The Religion of Peace has once again demonstrated its great tolerance of others and willingness for open dialogue with different faiths, as four car bombs blew up outside of Iraqi churches today.
BAGHDAD, Iraq Jan 29, 2006 — Car bombs exploded in a synchronized spree of attacks outside at least four churches in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk within a short period, killing at least three Iraqis and wounding nine, police said.At least these Islamists are non-discriminatory in that they want everybody else dead.
Col. Birhan Taha said that three civilians were killed and one wounded in an attack on the Church of the Virgin in Kirkuk at 4:30 p.m.. Fifteen minutes earlier, another car bomb exploded outside an Orthodox church, wounding six civilians.
Both cars were detonated by remote control, Taha told The Associated Press.
From ABC News.
Posted By Roug at 10:20 AM
Saturday, January 28, 2006
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) -- Killings, rapes and indiscriminate attacks driving tens of thousands of people from their homes continue in Darfur with perpetrators including soldiers who fired at civilians from helicopter gunships, the United Nations reported on Friday.Those enlightened and peace loving Arab Islamists are at work again.
A 42-page report from the Geneva office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights chastised the government of Islamist-minded coup leader Omar el-Bashir, saying promises to end centuries of discrimination and marginalization of black African minorities were marked by "token gestures" while murder and torture go unpunished.
There has been growing pressure for stronger sanctions to be imposed by the U.N. Security Council, to be chaired beginning in February by the United States, which accuses Sudan's government of genocide.
The report details numerous cases of rape of African women -- some told "so you will have Arab blood," others because they were "slaves" -- and said victims who tried to get justice were instead abused.
One was beaten by three army officers, others were told they were lying and, in one case, a state doctor said rape was impossible because the woman was not a virgin.
Truly, Islam is a religion of peace.
Posted By Roug at 7:06 PM
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Kidnappers threatened in a new videotape broadcast Saturday to kill four Christian peace activists unless all Iraqi prisoners were released, saying they were giving the U.S. and Iraqi governments a "last chance" to save the hostages.The Christian Peacemaker Teams believe the United States and Coalition forces are the terrorists in Iraq because they pre-emptively attacked a nation. As the CPT website maintains to this day in a plea to the real terrorists;
The tape dated Jan. 21 and broadcast on Al-Jazeera showed the four men — two Canadians, an American and a Briton — standing near a wall, before cutting away to another shot in which they were seated and talking, but their voices were not heard.
The newsreader said the group issued a statement with the tape saying it was the "last chance" for U.S. and Iraqi authorities to "release all Iraqi prisoners in return of freeing the hostages otherwise their fate will be death." No deadline was set.
The previously unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigades has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
We believe there needs to be a force that counters all the resentment, the fear, the intimidation felt by the Iraqi people. We are trying to be that force: to speak for justice, to advocate for the human rights of Iraqis, to look at an Iraqi face and say: my brother, my sister...(Be careful what sister's face you look at because you could have her killed by doing so.)
Perhaps you are men who only want to raise the issue of illegal detention. We don't know what you may have endured. As you can see by the statements of support from our friends in Iraq and all over the world, we work for those who are oppressed. We also condemn our own governments for their actions in Iraq.Terrorists do not care about the sanctity of human life. If they did care they would neither have taken part in the regime of Saddam Hussein, (the regime that the CPT wishes was still in power--responsible for the slaughter of over 300,000 domestics and over 1,000,000 people in wars of aggression) nor taken upon themselves the task of killing hundreds of innocents each month in seeking a political advantage. Yet, this is the side the CPT has chosen to stand beside and support.
For future reference, here are a few easy questions that can be posed to yourself if you want to decide who is a terrorist and who is not.
1) Does this person want me, my children, my family, my siblings, my friends and relatives, my neighbors, my co-workers, my banker, my teacher, my grocer and even my milkman to die?
2) Will this person celebrate a disaster (man-made or foul) that kills many innocent people?
3) Does this person celebrate death?
If you can answer yes to the above questions then it is pretty certain you have a real-live terrorist on your hands. A lesson learned too late by the CPT.
Posted By Roug at 5:25 PM
Friday, January 27, 2006
Did anyone else think it was odd that on Oprah's panel yesterday, discussing the sleazy liar James Frey, was Frank Rich of the NYT and Richard Cohen of the Washington Post?
It isn't like these two guys have ever carried the banner of truth at all costs.
That Frey is a liar should not be mistaken. He is a huge liar. He cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Many people that bought his book were misled and inspired because of his lies. Now, I guess, they have lost that inspiration and are angry. That is sad, but it is not the national tragedy that it is being made out to be.
I personally believe that it is much more dangerous for a motion picture to be written, produced, directed and promoted as if it were a true account, when it is so loosely based on history that its major resemblance to history is names and locations. We are seeing this currently in Steven Speilberg's "Munich," and have seen in in movies of the past such as "JFK," and "Pearl Harbor." In these movies what is not historical fact is being sold as one. The dangers of mislearned history are much greater than the exposure of an inconsequential liar as a, well, inconsequential liar.
I don't blame Oprah for being upset. She promoted Frey and then stood by him when he first came under attack. She felt she let down her audience and book club members who spent good money on what turned out to be crap, and this reflected badly on her. Geez, I wanted to go on stage and pop him a good one myself.
But the indignation of Rich and Cohen is laughable. They cry foul over the lies of people like Frey whose actions are unimportant, while accepting the work of history revisionist movies as great drama.
From the Boston Globe with hat tips to very occasional reader DanK and Right Nation, liberal Massachusetts' Senators John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy are pushing for a filibuster of Samuel Alito despite several Senate Democrat members of the "Gang of 14" saying that they will not support a filibuster of the nominee.
As the floor debate was continuing Thursday, the leaders of the filibuster attempt -- Massachusetts Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry -- were trying to drum up support in their caucus for blocking Alito.It is a proud moment when a Michigan man must lay claim to Senators such as Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, but can still poke fun at another state for having elected what are even worse embarrassments to public office.
They were counting senators like Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Debbie Stabenow on their side. Other senators, including ranking Judiciary Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Charles Schumer of New York, head of the Senate Democrats' fundraising arm, did not say Thursday whether they supported the effort.
"There's some division in our caucus," Kennedy conceded. "It's an uphill climb at the current time, but it's achievable."
Canadians, Gore said, should vigilantly keep watch over prime minister-designate Stephen Harper because he has a pro-oil agenda and wants to pull out of the Kyoto accord -- an international agreement to combat climate change.We know that Al Gore is a technical genius through his cutting-edge work on the internet, and we know he is a relationship/communication icon as the book and movie based on his live, "Love Story" show, but how much does this multi-faceted genius know about Canadian political finance laws?
"The election in Canada was partly about the tar sands projects in Alberta," Gore said Wednesday while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
"And the financial interests behind the tar sands project poured a lot of money and support behind an ultra-conservative leader in order to win the election . . . and to protect their interests."
As it turns out, nothing.
Darcie Park, spokeswoman for oilsands giant Suncor Energy, said she's taken aback by Gore's remarks and hopes they don't resonate with Canadians.As the saying goes, you're a nobody until Al Gore has slandered you. Welcome to the big time Mr. Harper!
"Our company just doesn't do business that way. We're really puzzled about where these comments came from," she said.
"Canadians understand how elections work in Canada and understand there are these very tight restrictions around what individuals and companies can contribute to individual parties or campaigns."
The federal Elections Act limits how much money individuals, corporations and unions can donate to political parties. Individuals are allowed to give as much as $5,000 a year, while companies and unions are capped at $1,000 a year.
Posted By Roug at 2:35 PM
With the recent troubles besetting the big three auto manufacturers, all of who have a huge impact on Michigan's economy, Michiganders are becoming more and more creative in their efforts to improve auto sales and save a few state jobs. As I drove home from Grand Rapids today I noted two such efforts.
A gentleman driving a dark brown Dodge cargo van felt he could encourage the purchase of a new vehicle by changing lanes while driving directly beside me and forcing me off the freeway and into a concrete barrier. I was able to dodge the Dodge-wielding capitalist and the barrier by hitting the brakes and navigating the highway shoulder without losing control, despite dedicating one entire hand to flipping him off.
Thirty miles farther on, the operator of a bright red Chevrolet SUV felt that she could initiate an auto sale by rapidly overtaking me, tailgated me, changing to the left lane, speeding around me like a crazed capitalist, and then nearly brushing my bumper as she crossed my lane to exit off the freeway. By braking hard I was able to escape the SUV, but alas, my perfectly executed flip was rendered ineffective as she sped down the ramp without taking a sideways glance.
Those concerned about lagging domestic auto sales should understand that I am driving a rental right now because a deer tried the same cut-off maneuver on me last week. I already have to get another car. Don't make me flip you off.
Posted By Roug at 2:02 PM
Thursday, January 26, 2006
An editorial today in the New York Times asks Senate liberals to have a spine and to initiate a filibuster against Samuel Alito.
Judge Samuel Alito Jr., whose entire history suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress, will almost certainly be a Supreme Court justice soon. His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation's basic philosophy of government — and a Senate that seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead.The idiocy of the NYT can only be measured in its falling stock prices and circulation numbers. The President of the United States has the responsibility for the nomination of Supreme Court judges, not the Senate, and certainly not the editorial staff of the NYT. In addition, President Bush ran for President with the intention of appointing "traditionalist" jurists to the court. He was elected in 2000 and 2004 after campaigning on that promise.
It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public's attention to the import of this nomination.
At the Judiciary Committee hearings, the judge followed the well-worn path to confirmation, which has the nominee offer up only the most boring statements and unarguable truisms: the president is not above the law; diversity in college student bodies is a good thing. But in what he has said in the past, and what he refused to say in the hearings, Judge Alito raised warning flags that, in the current political context, cannot simply be shrugged away with a promise to fight again another day.Was the NYT concerned with Ruth Bader Ginsberg's refusal to answer questions at her hearings? Or, more likely, was a refusal for Ginsberg to answer questions acceptable because the NYT agreed with the liberal ideology of a radical, feminist, ACLU lawyer?
If the NYTimes desires to have an overreaching judiciary that writes the laws of the land, they can continue to fight this battle on the field of their editorial pages. But to dubiously lament the erosion of Congressional powers at the hand of the President, while favoring the erosion of Congressional power at the hand of a non-elected Judiciary is intellectually dishonest.
It does seem however, if circulation and profit numbers are accurate, that their desires, even in the liberal bastion of New York, are losing their shine and polish.
America isn't buying it--the ideas or the newspapers.
Posted By Roug at 2:15 PM
According to a poll released Tuesday, a vast majority of people would rather have their tongues stapled to their foreheads than vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Presidential election.
Or something like that.
Hat tip to Right Nation.
Posted By Roug at 1:49 PM
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
"What is not resolved by intelligent policies and by leaders is resolved by citizens. That is how the Berlin Wall fell and that is how this wall will fall," Fox told Reuters. "I hope it isn't even built because, if it is, it will fall."Any comparison to this proposed security fence and the Berlin wall is ludicrous. The Berlin Wall was built by the communists to keep people in. This fence would be built to keep illegals, criminals, gang members, and terrorists out.
If Fox doesn't understand this he is either undeniably stupid or undeniably stupid.
Posted By Roug at 4:06 PM
From the Detroit Free Press today, the fiasco of a project that the new Cass Tech High School in Detroit has become.
When the new Cass Technical High School in Detroit opened in August with a $127-million price tag, it was the third most-expensive in the nation -- costing nearly twice as much as new schools recently built in nearby districts such as Plymouth and Saline.They don't have me wondering, I know. $127,000,000 just doesn't buy what it used to.
But five months into the school year, there are leaks in the roof. Students are shivering in some classrooms and sweltering in others. The new football field and a state-of-the art printing shop are unusable.
The problems have many wondering whether students -- and taxpayers -- are getting what they deserve.
Posted By Roug at 9:52 AM
According to the report, Rudaki said that "if Europe does not act wisely with the Iranian nuclear portfolio and it is referred to the UN Security Council and economic or air travel restrictions are imposed unjustly, we have the power to halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the Persian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz."I wonder how Kuwait and the UAR (both Arab and Sunni) like the idea that Iran (non-Arab and Shia) is willing to disrupt the flow of their only substantive revenue source.
25% of the world's oil production passes through the Straits of Hormuz, which connect the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. The meaning of Rudaki's threat is that not only will Tehran stop its oil production from reaching the West, it may also use force to prevent the other oil prodoucers in the region (the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait) from exporting to the West.
Iran is rattling sabres, and a lot of people are listening.
Posted By Roug at 8:50 AM
As hard as it is to believe, NBC has dumped the Book of Daniel.
LOS ANGELES - The last chapter of the controversial religious drama "The Book of Daniel" has been written at NBC. Although the network stopped short of saying the low-rated show was canceled, a spokeswoman said Tuesday it has been dropped from the schedule.I never accused the show of being blasphemous. I said it portrayed the average Christian as being a nitwit and the average Christian family as being a group of sneaking hypocrites. The writers and producers of this show were writing about a culture that they know nothing about and writing instead about how they perceived Christians to be. This sort of self-indulgent judgmentalism is very heavy handed and almost universally false.
The series, which starred Aidan Quinn as an Episcopalian priest with a pill habit who holds regular conversations with Jesus, has a promiscuous son and a daughter who deals marijuana, proved better at drawing criticism than viewers.
Conservative Christian groups condemned the depiction of Jesus as blasphemous, accusing the writers of portraying Christ as tolerant of sin in talks with the priest. Seven NBC affiliates refused to air it.
We all live in some ignorance. A physics professor may not know how to cook that perfect omelette, while the short order cook might not ponder the density of light. Most of us accept these small voids in our experience as a way of life. We catagorize them as things we either refuse to ponder farther, or things we will try and learn about. The Book of Daniel was a story written by a short order cook about the density of light.
Ignorance blared from a rooftop gets too much attention.
(h/t to Right Wing News.)
Posted By Roug at 8:15 AM
Writing in Townhall today, Walter Williams discusses FEMA and its response to Katrina, and analyzes if Wal-Mart, so immediate and efficient in Katrina relief, would have fared any better than FEMA if it were also government agency.
The FEMA fiasco is discussed in several articles in the December 2005 issue of The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty magazine, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, the nation's first free market think tank (fee.org). Hillsdale College professor of economics Robert Murphy points to some of FEMA's stupidity in response to Hurricane Katrina, which includes "delaying firefighters two days in Atlanta hotels to receive sexual-harassment training and watch videos on the history of FEMA while people were dying in New Orleans."If this is the case, how did we end up with layer upon layer of government programs designed to help us with everything?
By contrast, private firms like Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Home Depot had trucks on the road immediately after the hurricane. Stores even gave away items like chain saws and boots for rescue workers, sheets and clothes for shelters, and water and ice for the public. Wal-Mart was so efficient that there was talk among some Louisiana officials of letting Wal-Mart take over FEMA's job and a suggestion that Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott run FEMA. Freeman editor Sheldon Richman says the latter suggestion misses a very important point. Wal-Mart was effective because it was not a government agency. If Mr. Scott were in charge of FEMA, he wouldn't do much better than its former director, Michael Brown. Government cannot achieve the efficiencies of a business. Trying to get government to be as efficient as business is as hopeless as trying to teach cats to bark and dogs to meow.
Posted By Roug at 7:53 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Only a day after John Kerry announced his opposition to Samuel Alito because he felt Alito would "take the court backwards," a poll released yesterday showed that most Americans would prefer a court that might take a bit of a step "backwards."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Public support for Senate confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito grew slightly to 54 percent after his often stormy Senate hearing, a poll released on Monday showed.Kerry and his partners in leftist ideology havn't yet discovered that many Americans feel that the courts have moved far enough already.
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey also found that only about one in three Americans believe President George W. Bush's conservative candidate would vote, as critics fear, to reverse the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Posted By Roug at 11:53 AM
Debbie Schlussel writing in FrontPageMag.
If Roger and Debbie actually do have a war, whether it is simply a war words or a good old-fashioned donnybrook, my money is on Debbie. She is a lot smarter, more honest, prettier, and should fisticuffs ensue, I'm sure she's a lot tougher too.
The portly Ebert is out of his league here, even if his heels do make him tallest.
Posted By Roug at 11:24 AM
Our northern neighbors elected a conservative government for the first time in 12 years. From Reuters via Drudge.
I love traveling to Canada and always have. The past few years however I have stayed south of the Canadian border as I rejected the anti-American attitude that many Canadians are so proud to spew. Booing the American National Anthem in Montreal, negative comments about the US by Canadian government officials, and the horrible slant against America by large Canadian dailies in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto soured me on travel to the Soo and north. I felt that if I was going to spend my money somewhere, I at least wanted to spend it in a place where I was welcome.
It is too early to tell of course, after this one election, exactly what the long term trend in Canadian politics and attitudes toward America will be. After all, this is still a minority government in Canada, and there are plenty of America haters left up north. However, this is perhaps the start of a more positive relationship between our two countries.
Now I feel I might be able to rethink my summer traveling plans. The few American dollars I have in my wallet are always better spent amongst friends, and not around those that hold me in contempt. We shall see.
Posted By Roug at 10:01 AM
Monday, January 23, 2006
Out of the Daily Times in Pakistan, comes this report that Iraqi terrorists from Ramadi are turning against Al Qaeda after a bombing that killed 80 people earlier this month.
Residents said on Monday that at least three prominent figures on both sides were among those killed after local insurgent groups formed an alliance against Al Qaeda, blaming it for massacring police recruits in Ramadi on January 5. “There was a meeting right after the bombings,” one Ramadi resident familiar with the events said. “Tribal leaders and political figures gathered to form the Anbar Revolutionaries to fight Al Qaeda in Anbar and force them to leave the province,” said the resident.It would seem that even terrorists tire of having their own tribesman blown up. I'm not particularly fond of the idea of roving bands of militia providing spontaneous justice at the point of a gun, especially when many of these goons are just as guilty of murder and mayhem of those that they now are turning against. However, if this rebellion against the rebels can be harnessed by the powers that be, this could be a very good development.
I'm sure IraqBodyCount.org will tally the bodies regardless.
Hat tip to Right Nation.
Posted By Roug at 8:57 PM
Bashar Assad, whose Syrian govenment has been accused by the UN of involvement in the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has started its own brand of "one-ups-manship," by accusing Israel of the murder of the dirty-toweled one, Yasser Arafat.
From JTA with a hat tip to The Religion of Peace.com.
“Of the many assassinations that Israel carried out in a methodical and organized way, the most dangerous thing that Israel did was the assassination of President Yasser Arafat,” Assad said Saturday in a speech in Damascus.Just another tired attempt by Assad to rally the ignorant Jew-haters in the Middle East. It will probably work too.
Arafat died of an undisclosed illness in a Paris hospital in 2004, and doctors found no evidence of foul play.
Harsh business realities are slapping Michigan's big tax governor and big price unions today. From Detroit Free Press.
Ford Motor Co. on Monday morning announced its anxiously awaited Way Forward plan — an ambitious wide-ranging effort that will close 14 plants, including the Wixom plant in Michigan, lay off up to 30,000 workers, streamline the company’s product offerings and try to prepare the 103-year-old automaker for a promising, stable future.This is horrible news for an already struggling Michigan economy. It was, however, expected.
Ford has more than 82,000 hourly workers in 18 assembly, eight stamping, and 17 powertrain and casting plants in North America. But with declining demand for its vehicles, that is far more than the Dearborn-based automaker needs.
Moving forward, perhaps the white and blue collars can find time to shelve generations old animosity and work toward the goal of a vibrant and competitive company.
Alas, my guess is that once the company turns another profit, almost immediately, the white collars will be granted larger than deserved bonuses, and the blue collars will be demanding larger than reasonable raises. That is the historic way of the Michigan automotive industry, and that is precisely why it is shrinking.
Posted By Roug at 1:35 PM
From the Federalist PatriotPost of today, this quote from John Stossel: "Not enough money for education? It's a myth. The truth is, public schools are rolling in money. If you divide the U.S. Department of Education's figure for total spending on K-12 education by the department's count of K-12 students, it works out to about $10,000 per student. Think about that! For a class of 25 kids, that's $250,000 per classroom. This doesn't include capital costs. Couldn't you do much better than government schools with $250,000? You could hire several good teachers; I doubt you'd hire many bureaucrats. Government schools, like most monopolies, squander money. America depends more on schooling than the vast majority of countries that outscore us on the international tests. But the bureaucrats still blame school failure on lack of funds, and demand more money." ---John Stossel
Posted By Roug at 12:02 PM
State mottos are often coined to make the state look attractive to those that might want to visit or immigrate. For instance, New Jersey is considered the Garden State. It is a lovely image of flowers and greenery and the fresh, sweet smell of color.
Vermont might very well want to change its state motto to "The 60 Day Rapist State," or "We Don't Believe in Punishment State." It wouldn't take too long for serial rapists to discover the genteel, progressive atmosphere of Vermont as a great place to move. You know, just in case you get caught raping a minor.
A county prosecutor said Friday that a 60-day prison term for a man who pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a juvenile was the best the state could impose under the circumstances.Give me a break. That same logic would say it is a different circumstance to murder an 80 year old than a 20 year old, or to steal from a woman is different than stealing from a man. When we begin to judge the circumstances of victims as to the severity of the crime we are in a dire situation.
The comment from Windham County State's Attorney Dan Davis came a day after Marc Cartner, 38, of Jamaica pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a minor and two counts of violating his conditions of release.
Judge Katherine Hayes, sitting in Vermont District Court for Windham County, accepted the plea deal Thursday morning.
"You're an adult," Hayes was quoted by the Brattleboro Reformer as telling Cartner during the sentencing hearing. "You're supposed to be mature."
Cartner was given a two- to four-year sentence, with all but 60 days suspended. He'll be on probation when released and must go through the state's sex-offender treatment program. He also will be on the state's sex-offender registry and must provide authorities with a DNA sample for a police database.
Cartner's guilty plea came two weeks and one day after another 60-day minimum sentence for a sex offender, Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston, generated a firestorm of controversy that still has not abated.
Some legislators and commentators around the country have called for the judge in that Chittenden County case, Edward Cashman, to be removed from the bench.
A key difference in the two cases was that Hulett had a four-year sexual relationship with a girl that began when she was 6; the victim in Cartner's case was 15.
"Nobody can really compare a relationship in which the victim is 15 years old to one where she's 6," said Steven Wright, Cartner's lawyer. "While both criminal, they're very different circumstances."
All serial rapists wishing to move to Vermont should take residence near Judge Cashman or esquires Dan Davis and Steven Wright. That way the non-punishing judge and attorneys might think twice before assigning relativist sentences.
Posted By Roug at 9:09 AM
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Back in 1995, several of us Fairview grads decided to gather for a weekend of games—an activity that kept us pretty busy through our high school and college years, when we weren’t otherwise occupied chasing girls or camping out, contemplating the time necessary for a llama to carry a sack lunch to Mars, and whether the llama, if it ever did reach the red planet, could ever eat his BLT if the mayo went bad in transit. (Any idiot knows that in the vacuum of space the mayo would stay good, so I won that argument along with a majority of the games on that first weekend.)
Six of us showed up for the first three-day event—staged in Gaines Township, Michigan, at the home of Lon G, just outside of Grand Rapids (a venue to which a llama could probably reach with much greater ease as long as it stayed off my Aunt Anna’s lawn on the way.)
The festivities have since expanded to include a fourth day and one year a fifth was added, ostensively to provide Danny K a chance to win at least one game. We, with little debate, denied his request to expand the weekend to cover 17 days. Steve A was against the expansion because of his work. Dallas H had too many kids at home. Rollin didn’t think he had enough socks for that long, and Lon G denied any extended stay after his wife told him he had to. I simply didn’t think I could put up with being around the jerks that long.
In eight weeks we will reconvene in Caledonia, Michigan for GW12. Steve A has long since dropped out, his ego sorely battered by the year after year shellacking he received at my hand. But this year, from the far off land of Wausau, Tim H will be there, battling as well as his feeble little mind and stoney little hands will allow.
I await this 12th Gaming Weekend.
Posted By Roug at 8:52 PM
There have been some 20 suicide attacks in Afghanistan since late September. Prior to that, such assaults were relatively rare in Afghanistan. A bombing last Monday in an Afghan-Pakistan border town killed 21 people, making it the country's deadliest suicide attack since US-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001.The local Afghans believe it is Pakistani Islamists behind the attack, and the Afghan government believes it is the Taliban.
In either case, you can be sure it isn't the Americans, The JOOOOOOS, or the Mennonites.
Why don't these people deserve a life in freedom? Why don't they deserve a way of life that is free from the violence? Of course, they do deserve it. However, they will not get it as long as there is an aggressive minority of Muslims that believe that killing in the defense of Islam is commanded by God.
Elsehwere, from the Times Online today, this attitude is summed up quite nicely by Abu Hamza's trial proceedings in Britain.
Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for the defence, said that Abu Hamza’s interpretation of the Koran was that it imposed an obligation on Muslims to do jihad and fight in the defence of their religion. He said that the Crown case against the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque was “simplistic in the extreme”.
He added: “It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.”
Posted By Roug at 7:24 PM
Via Iran Focus, Moqtada al-Sadr has vowed to support Iran should they come under attack for their pursuit of nuclear weapons and thwarting UN inspections.
"If neighbouring Islamic countries, including Iran, should come under attack, then the Mehdi Army will support them," Sadr said on a visit to Tehran.We had the opportunity to neutralize Sadr earlier, and the Iraqi government has also allowed this criminal to remain free, despite his involvement in the death of a rival cleric.
Sadr's Mehdi Army militia rose up against U.S. occupying forces in Iraq in 2004.
Sadr is an Iranian puppet who will remain a thorn in the side of more moderate Shiites that want a legitimate shot at freedom. Roving bands of armed militia with no allegiance to Iraq are not a good thing for the Republic--and with his criminal past there is legitimate reason to detain him. A festering wound like Sadr will not get better without treatment.
Posted By Roug at 6:19 PM
Europe's decline might very well be irreversible, not so much because its leaders are benighted--statism always tends to be popular, I suppose, among those who run the state--but because there doesn't seem to be a groundswell of concern among Europe's peoples. When the United States appeared to be in decline during the 1960s and, especially, the 1970s, huge numbers of Americans rebelled against the idea that decline was an inevitability we should all get used to--an idea that was much more commonly expressed, at that time, than many people now realize. The American people chose Ronald Reagan to lead them mostly, I think, because he was the politician who most clearly and eloquently refused to accept the prospect of declining wealth and influence. I don't see any similar process underway in western Europe.Why can't socialists ever see something like this coming?
Posted By Roug at 9:53 AM
Susanne Osthoff, the German kidnap victim who was detained in Iraq but later released after the German government paid her kidnappers ransom, was in possession of some of the ransom money after her release.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday.This woman collected on some of the ransom money used to buy her freedom. Two days after Osthoff's release, the German government released a Hezbollah terrorist convicted in 1985 for the murder of a US navy diver.
Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed.
The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers, the magazine said.
The question begs to be asked. Will Osthoff split the loot with the family of the navy diver?
From Reuters via RightNation.
Posted By Roug at 8:50 AM
Saturday, January 21, 2006
"We've come to this dark time in which the new Gestapo of Homeland Security lurks here, where citizens are having their rights suspended," Belafonte said in a speech to the annual meeting of the Arts Presenters Members Conference.Harry, do you sincerely believe that the DHS is like the Gestapo? How can you live and be so miserable all at once?
"You can be arrested and not charged. You can be arrested and have no right to counsel," said Belafonte.
Posted By Roug at 11:35 PM
Aiden Quinn, who plays Daniel in the "The Book Of Daniel," a television drama designed to cast Christians as hypocrites and malfunctionaries, is tired of people noticing that the Christians in his series are hypocrites and malfunctionaries.
He says, "I think it's time to grow up, America. I mean, come on. This is just a dramatic device for the internal dialogue that my character is having and it's just what he imagines Jesus might be saying to him back and forth.Thank you, Aiden for the lecture and your historical perspective on the obvious. Thank you for telling me to grow up too. But, in my defense, you cannot expect us pill-popping, philandering, alcoholic, homosexual, delusional and neurotic Christians to be perfect, can you?
"This is not the second coming, this is not the historical Jesus. The historical Jesus, for all the people that are really upset, would be a Sephardic, dark-skinned Jew - remember that."
And the actor urges those making a fuss about the show to actually watch it.
He adds, "It's an organised group that haven't seen the show... The faith in this is really sincere. It's an adult, witty, well-written, well-cast show. Give it a chance."
I am not upset about the show, I am just critical of it. And, you should see my house, I'm not that well organized either.
What a dope.
Posted By Roug at 11:39 AM
In what is becoming a several times weekly occurrence, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has decided that the Jews occupying Israel needs to be addressed. This time, he challenged Europe to take all the Jews back. He asserts that all Jews would live Israel if only the invitation was granted.
DAMASCUS - In a new attack on the existence of Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has challenged Europe to take back the Jews who emigrated to Israel, adding that no Jews would remain in Israel if Europe were to open its doors.(snip)
Ahmadinejad delivered the challenge after arriving in Syria for a two-day visit on Thursday. Addressing Europe, he asked: "Would you open the doors of your own countries to these (Jewish) immigrants so that they could travel to any part of Europe they chose?"
"Would you offer the necessary guarantees that you would provide for their security when they came to your countries and not allow another anti-Semitic wave in Europe?"
He said Europe should welcome Jewish people to prove its sincerity in supporting people's freedoms.The Jews have been hunted and vilified for centuries. Europe does seem to be experiencing heightened anti-Semitism in recent years. However, a great amount of this is at the direct hands of the burgeoning Muslim population.
He added he was confident that no Jews would remain in Israel if European countries allowed them to immigrate.
So, I have a better idea. Why don't all the hateful and violent Jihadi Islamists move back to the religious home turf of Islam? Why don't the terrorists in Iraq, the rioters in France, the separatists in Chechnya, the beheaders in Thailand, the bomb makers in Pakistan, the drive by shooters of India, the rocket launchers of Gaza, and the stone throwers of Iran make themselves a big clubhouse just outside of Mecca?
That clubhouse of Barad-Dur wouldn't be occupied for more than a week before everyone inside died in a fireball of its own making. And the world would be a much better place.
Hat tip to Right Nation.
Posted By Roug at 11:07 AM
Friday, January 20, 2006
The guys at RedState are getting kinda huffy about it.
Had Roy Blunt not put the final nail in his leadership coffin yesterday morning with his Wall Street Journal op-ed, he surely would have done so yesterday afternoon with his overly structured and sterile blogger conference call, both of which showed him more establishmentarian than in touch. To be sure, the race is still his to lose, but he is right now doing quite well at losing.I strongly urge both my monthly readers to lay on the horn for John Shadegg!
Yesterday I spoke with a half dozen Republicans now living on K Street and three congressmen. The congressmen are all publicly supporting Roy Blunt. I also spoke with some congressional aides. Everyone felt that Blunt had peaked too soon, lost momentum, and was, through his own words and deeds, solidifying himself as a man oblivious to a growing problem. Not one of his three supporters, nor the aides associated with others of his supporters are convinced right now that Roy Blunt has the race wrapped up.
Posted By Roug at 2:56 PM
With a hat/tip to Little Green Footballs, the Publius Pundit Blog has caught Code Pink in a photoshop hack job.
The picture on the bottom is from a freedom demonstration in Iran. The altered photo on the top is part of the CodePink website's front page banner.
I cannot help but wonder how CodePink would have to alter the picture below to be able to place it on their banner, because this picture too is of an Iranian woman protesting her conditions. Code Pink only cares about the waging of war, not being able to emotionally comprehend that war is sometimes necessary.
Posted By Roug at 1:32 PM
Republicans also turned to McCain, the occasional party maverick with the gold-plated reformer's resume and a demonstrated appeal to independent voters. GOP leaders covet that appeal as they look ahead to fall elections that will test their grip on power.Well, I'm still fuming over John McCain. He is one of those gentlemen that has a keen knowledge of what he would like to do, but is not keenly aware of what the end result of his tampering will be. The McCain-Feingold Act is a mess. McCain's anti-torture legislation makes it much more difficult to legally exact information from terrorists by watering down the definition of torture to a point where some Islamic Jihad moron, willing to eat dirt and live in a cave, cannot be forced to either stand for extended periods of time or to listen to bad music played loudly. His joining the "Gang of 14" effectively helped cede equal power to Senate Democrats in judicial nominee voting when the Republicans held a 55 vote majority.
"Obviously, when you're looking at the issue of congressional reform, the first person you turn to in the United States Senate is John McCain, and we've done so," said Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.
That was Tuesday, the same day that California Rep. David Dreier walked across the Capitol to see McCain about legislation House Republicans are trying to pull together to curb the influence of lobbyists.
Not that many years ago, Republicans were furious at the Arizona senator for his ceaseless, and ultimately successful, efforts to pass legislation designed to reduce the impact of big money on politics.
The high command in the House was doubly angry, fuming that the McCain briefly used the office of the Democratic leader as a base of operations to secure the votes of GOP rebels needed for final passage.
Give me a true conservative who will vote consistently on the issues. I don't think the Republicans need to veer to the center. How about McCain meandering a bit to the right instead?
Posted By Roug at 12:53 PM
The Democrat Party is salivating over the opportunity to make great gains in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the 2006 mid-term elections--possibly even wresting control from the Republicans in both branches.
President Bush's fallen popularity, the Abramoff scandal, the Delay problems, NSA disclosures, etc., (not to mention the MSM's continual left leaning harps over the horrible life all Americans must endure) have all given Democrats new-found hope.
However, taking back either the House or the Senate will take not only the unseating of sitting Republicans, but it will require the Democrats to hang onto nearly every seat they currently own.
Writing in Townhall, Dustin Hawkins explains why holding onto a safe Democratic Senate seat in Maryland isn't going to be as easy as first thought, and why it is the Democrat's own fault.
Yet while Steele is unlikely to face any real primary opposition, he has had to deal with various attacks from his opponents – attacks that certainly have not helped the Democratic Party’s image and could only help Steele in the long run. Steele is not an unpopular figure in the state, certainly not for a Republican, and several incidents have been negatively perceived.It is very hard to have sympathy for the Democrats. They have lost both branches of congress in recent years, have lost the last two Presidential elections, hold a minority of state houses, and are losing their once deathly grip over the judiciary. But, rather than reflecting on possible mistakes past and changing course, they simply scream harder at the indignity, as if the electorate voted them out of office over an acute hearing problem.
Members of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a group headed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), illegally obtained copies of Steele’s credit report. Steele has been called an “Uncle Tom” and one liberal blog even posted a distorted picture of him as a white minstrel in blackface.
For a while, some high-profile Democratic operatives shrugged off the incidents and suggested Steele should expect such tactics. Nevertheless, the negative effects of these racially tinged tactics have only added to the Democrat Party’s woes.
Hey, it isn't the hearing of the voters that is suffering, they just don't like what they are hearing.
Posted By Roug at 12:15 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Al-Jazeera tells us that their fellow Muslims will murder this 28-year-old infidel on Thursday.The picture and caption are this week's entry of "Picture of The Week" at TheReligionOfPeace.com.
The Religion Of Peace website offers this link to the JawaReport, where an article highlights the tenuous situation involving the photographed kidnapping victim, American journalist Jill Carroll.
Posted By Roug at 4:09 PM
Ok, I admit it. I chuckled when I read that Jacque Chirac
said on Thursday it would be ready to use nuclear weapons against any state that carried out a nuclear attack against France, reaffirming the need for its nuclear deterrent.Then I read RedState and chuckled a bit harder (some might say my mirthful exuberance bordered on open laughter.)
Modern France has a history of the using application of force against only those enemies least capable of defending themselves. Whether thrashing hapless African militias in the Congo, gunning down natives in New Caledonia, or dynamiting Greenpeace ships in neutral harbors French military activities in the post-World War II have been long on ignominy and short on heavy lifting.What makes it even more amusing is that Chirac doesn't get the joke.
Indeed, France's post-World War II military debacles span the globe and are probably only exceeded by the total hash it made of the political structure of its former colonies.
Given the French inability to construct an aircraft carrier it is not difficult to imagine the Force de Frappe having a similar Peter Sellers quality.
Posted By Roug at 2:28 PM
Freshly on the heels of a case in Vermont where a judge sentenced an admitted child rapist to only 60 days in jail after preying on a young girl for four years, comes this injustice out of Massachusetts.
A former high school teacher who pleaded guilty to the homosexual rape of one of his teenage students will avoid jail time.I simply do not understand. Perhaps in law school they would have taught me the nuances of sentencing and the advantages of having convicted child rapists out on the streets to mingle with my kids.
Gregory Pathiakis, 26, of Brockton, Mass., pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of rape of a child, enticement of a child under 16, five counts of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of harmful material to a child, according to the Enterprise newspaper of Brockton, Mass.
Pathiakis, who quit his job after school officials questioned his extracurricular contact with students, was arrested in January 2004 after a 15-year-old boy told authorities the Middleboro High School teacher raped him Dec. 23, 2003.
Prosecutors asked Brockton Superior Court Judge Suzanne V. Delvecchio to give Pathiakis four to eight years in state prison, followed by five years probation. But she issued a suspended, 2 1/2-year jail term, followed by five years probation.
Please someone, explain this to me.
Posted By Roug at 1:07 PM
Writing today in Townhall, George Will touts the success of Wal-Mart, spouts against big-labor's underhanded means of attacking the huge retailer through legislation because then cannot win conventionally, doubts the statistical implications being forwarded by the anti Wal-Mart crowd, and shouts against state governments all-powerful quest to seek more and more sources of revenue to fund their growing socialist agendas, this time at the expense of a company that lowers local retail prices by nearly 6% every time it opens a new store.
Maryland's new law is, The Washington Post says, "a legislative mugging masquerading as an act of benevolent social engineering.'' And the mugging of profitable businesses may be just beginning. The threshold of 10,000 employees can be lowered by knocking off a zero. Then two. The 8 percent requirement can be raised. It might be raised in Maryland, if, as is possible, Wal-Mart's current policies almost reach it.Wal-Mart is successful for a reason. Why would a government attack so fervently one of the brightest success stories of our time? It is really quite simple--the government wants a cut.
This is part of the tawdry drama of state politics as governments grasp for novel sources of money. Forty-eight states are to varying degrees dependent on revenues from gambling. Forty-six states are addicted to their cut, to be paid out over decades, from the $246 billion coerced from the tobacco industry by using the specious argument that smoking costs their governments huge sums. As a result, 46 states have a stake in the long-term profitability of tobacco companies.
Maryland's grasping for Wal-Mart's revenues opens a new chapter in the degeneracy of state governments that are eager to spend more money than they have the nerve to collect straightforwardly in taxes. Fortunately, as labor unions and allied rent-seekers in 30 or so other states contemplate mimicking Maryland, Wal-Mart can contemplate an advantage of federalism.
States engage in "entrepreneurial federalism,'' competing to be especially attractive to businesses. A Wal-Mart distribution center, creating at least 800 jobs, that has been planned for Maryland could be located instead in more hospitable Delaware.
Posted By Roug at 12:17 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
As reported in the LA Times today, a group of UCLA alums are paying cash to students to report on instructors who are "abusive, one-sided or off-topic."
The year-old Bruin Alumni Assn. says its "Exposing UCLA's Radical Professors" initiative takes aim at faculty "actively proselytizing their extreme views in the classroom, whether or not the commentary is relevant to the class topic." Although the group says it is concerned about radical professors of any political stripe, it has named an initial "Dirty 30" of teachers it identifies with left-wing or liberal causes.I couldn't work up a sob for these poor, poorly treated and misunderstood professors if I squeezed my tear ducts with a pliers. If you don't like being surveilled doing your state-funded work, work in the private sector.
Some of the instructors mentioned accuse the association of conducting a witch hunt that threatens to harm the teaching atmosphere, and at least one of the group's advisory board members has resigned because he considers the bounty offers inappropriate. The university said it will warn the association that selling copies of professors' lectures would violate campus rules and raise copyright issues.
Posted By Roug at 4:17 PM
From Walter Williams writing in Towhnall.
A much better explanation for the millions going to the campaign coffers of Washington politicians lies in the awesome growth of government control over business, property, employment and other areas of our lives. Having such power, Washington politicians are in the position to grant favors. The greater their power to grant favors, the greater the value of being able to influence Congress, and there's no better influence than money.Follow the money!
The generic favor sought is to get Congress, under one ruse or another, to grant a privilege or right to one group of Americans that will be denied another group of Americans. A variant of this privilege is to get Congress to do something that would be criminal if done privately.
Here's just one among possibly thousands of examples. If Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) used goons and violence to stop people from buying sugar from Caribbean producers so that sugar prices would rise, making it easier for ADM to sell more of its corn syrup sweetener, they'd wind up in jail. If they line the coffers of congressmen, they can buy the same result without risking imprisonment. Congress simply does the dirty work for them by enacting sugar import quotas and tariffs. The two most powerful committees of Congress are the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance committees. These committees are in charge of granting tax favors. Their members are besieged with campaign contributions. Why? A tweak here and a tweak there in the tax code can mean millions of dollars.
Posted By Roug at 1:35 PM
"Amid the Jack Abramoff scandal, everyone in Congress wants to restrict the freedom of other Americans, especially lobbyists. But how hard is that, and what difference would it make anyway? The real test of 'reform' will be if the Members are willing to discipline themselves. That's a good standard for measuring theI couldn't have said it better myself, which might explain why I haven't even come close.
race for House GOP Majority Leader, too. When Republicans took control of the purse strings in 1995, the federal budget was $1.5 trillion. It is now $2.55 trillion a year---or $5 million a minute---and the latest Treasury data reveal that in Fiscal 2005 federal outlays grew by another $179 billion, an 8% increase and more than twice the rate of inflation. It's naive to believe that influence peddlers in Washington won't flourish in an environment where such fountains of money never run dry. If Republicans really want to end the era of K Street Conservatism, they'll
attack the system of spending that lies at its roots." ---The Wall Street Journal
Posted By Roug at 1:01 PM
I am always a bit skeptical of information issued by organizations that I am not familiar with. Despite its resident plausibility, particularly in light of the in-your-face gay and lesbian agenda, I forward this on with a grain of salt.
From The Institute of Religion and Democracy, this press release on a planned crashing of the annual White House Easter Egg Hunt by a pro-homosexuality advocacy group.
Soulforce went on to promise: “This event will be like nothing anyone has ever seen before. The White House lawn – the Bush White House lawn – will, quite unexpectedly, be filled with gay and lesbian families. This is something people will be talking about for a long time, an event that will make history!”
According to Soulforce, “It is time to claim our place at the table. Come to our nation's capital and let America see who we really are.” Soulforce promised: “It is basically going to be the biggest LGBT family party ever, you and your kids will have a great time.
Recipients of the Soulforce e-mail were asked to be “discreet” and not to post the information on websites because the “success of this action depends on keeping it under the radar of the media and the administration!!!”
Posted By Roug at 12:05 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Christopher Hitchens (whom I might add I disagree with a substantial part of the time,) writing in Slate, has one exceedingly important thing to say about the state of affairs in Iraq today.
"We have had enough of this nonsense," said Sheik Ahmad Khanjar, the leader of the Albu Ali clan. "We don't accept that a non-Iraqi should try to enforce his control over Iraqis, regardless of their sect—whether Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs or Kurds." Ali Hussein Lifta, a local Shiite repairman, responded handsomely. "So many ties of friendship, marriage and compassion" connect people, he said. "We have become in fact part of the population here."Khanjar is a Sunni, the decided minority of today's Iraq, even though under Sadaam they enjoyed authoritative rule. Hitchens, in this article, documents the rise of Sunnis against anti-Iraqi interests, before he adopts the lock-step position of Sunnis elsewhere. An important national identity is forming, and this is critical if Iraq is to succeed.
If all goes even reasonably well, and if a combination of elections and prosperity is enough to draw more mainstream Sunnis into politics and away from Baathist nostalgia, it will have been proved that Bin-Ladenism can be taken on—and openly defeated—in a major Middle Eastern country. And not just defeated but discredited. Humiliated. Is there anyone who does not think that this is a historic prize worth having? Worth fighting for, in fact?An incredibly important point, don't you think?
I leave that thought with all those who have been advocating withdrawal, or taking a fatalistic attitude to an overrated "insurgency," or who hold the absurd belief that al-Qaida would have left Iraq alone if only we had done the same. If their advice had been followed, and the coalition had pulled out in 2004, the Zarqawi forces would have tried to take the credit, and their boast might even have been believed. This would have been a calamity of a global and epochal order. Now, however difficult and messy the rest of the transition, that at least will never be the outcome.
(h/t to Right Nation.)
Posted By Roug at 11:44 PM
Wanted: the hood, radiator, both headlights, mounts, grille, and any other mangled or shattered apparatus normally found underneath an otherwise uncrumpled hood, (the number and identities of which cannot be ascertained due to difficulties in visually inspecting the areas lying beneath the inoperable and mangled members) of a sleek, red, 1994 Eagle Summit SE all-wheel-drive automobile, that was summarily impacted by a member of what had heretofore been touted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a greatly thinned white tail herd that landed, after impact, within the boundaries of the bovine TB quarantine area of northeast lower Michigan.
I will also entertain any offers anyone might have for a warm winter coat and a pair of good winter walking shoes.
Posted By Roug at 10:37 PM
Unhappy that terrorists are unable to grab a phone and talk to al Qaeda without being overheard, the ACLU and CAIR, among others, filed suits today in federal court to stop the surveillance of international phonecalls in the United States.
At a news conference, Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director Bill Goodman portrayed the president as a man on an unprecedented power grab at the expense of basic democratic principles.I don't have a lot of sympathy for those on the al-Qaeda Rolodex.
He said the public was starting to understand the assertion that the erosion of individual rights is a slippery slope that lets the government "brand anyone a terrorist with no right to counsel, no right to be brought before a judge and no right to privacy in communications."
The Detroit lawsuit said the plaintiffs, who frequently communicate by telephone and e-mail with people in the Middle East and Asia, have a "well-founded belief" that their communications are being intercepted by the government.
"By seriously compromising the free speech and privacy rights of the plaintiffs and others, the program violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution," the lawsuit states.
In its suit in New York, the Center for Constitutional Rights maintained its work was directly affected by the surveillance because its lawyers represent a potential class of hundreds of Muslim foreign nationals detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
It said its attorney-client privilege was likely violated as it represented hundreds of men detained without charge as enemy combatants at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and a Canadian citizen who was picked up at a New York airport while changing planes, sent to Syria and tortured and detained without charges for nearly a year.
The group said the surveillance program has inhibited its ability to represent clients vigorously, making it hard to communicate via telephone and e-mail with overseas clients, witnesses and others for fear the conversations would be overheard.
Plaintiff Rachel Meeropol, an attorney at the center, said she believes she has been targeted. "I'm personally outraged that my confidential communication with my clients may have been listened to by the U.S. government," she said.
(h/t to Little Green Footballs.)
Ed Koch, former democratic mayor of New York, has a few comments about the lunatic fringe of the Democrat Party in the World Tribune, this time directed at Harry Belafonte.
The expectation that Democrats would take back the House, Senate or both in this year’s general election diminishes with each passing day, and it is not difficult to understand why. The American public does not want to see the president demeaned or humbled before the world. They expect and demand that simple courtesy be afforded that office. In philosophy, the country is much closer to George W. Bush than it is to Ted Kennedy. A sane and wise voice is that of liberal Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)who in response to the recent Alito confirmation hearings said, “George Bush won the election. If you don’t like it, you better win elections.” In his simple and direct statement, he is absolutely right. In a commercial for brokerage firm Smith Barney, John Houseman once said, “They make money the old fashioned way…they earn it.” George W. Bush was reelected the old fashioned way…he earned it through hard work and on the merits.I do not agree with much of what Ed Koch has to say, but on this particular comment he is 100% correct. It is time for the democrats to tone down the rhetoric, or at the very least, to denounce the crackpot liberal mouthpieces that are very closely associated to the Democrat Party.
Anything less is going to result in a disappointed donkey come this November.
(h/t to Drudge.)
Posted By Roug at 3:00 PM
From yesterday's Federalist Patriot, this short commentary on Dr. King and some of those now carrying his torch of freedom and equality.
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live
out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal.'... I have a dream
that my four children will one day live in a nation where they
will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content
of their character... And if America is to be a great nation this
must become true." ---Martin Luther King, Jr.
Editor's Note: Martin King asked that his children "not be
judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their
character." Yet Jesse Jackson (one of King's lieutenants during
those tumultuous '60s civil rights protests), Cynthia McKinney,
Louis Farrakhan, Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Harold Ford, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson-Lee and most other black political and
social leaders today, advocate for government programs and policies that judge by skin color alone, regardless of character. The
Democrat Party has, in effect, inculcated many black folks with
the notion that they can't make it on their own, that they must
rely on Democrats for their welfare---relegating these constituents
to a different kind of "plantation," but enslavement just the same.
As for the expanding list of conservatives who have gained
national stature (and happen to be black)---Justice Clarence
Thomas, Secretary of State Colin Powell and his successor,
Condoleezza Rice, Ken Blackwell, Michael Steele, Thomas Sowell,
Walter Williams, Alan Keyes, Ward Connerly, Don Scoggins, Alvin
Williams, Star Parker, Jesse Lee Peterson, Larry Elder, etc.,
they are castigated by the Left as "Uncle Toms" and "puppets."
Posted By Roug at 12:38 PM
Monday, January 16, 2006
"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country," Nagin, who is black, said as he and other city leaders marked Martin Luther King Day.Ray, one thing you haven't learned yet in your many duties as mayor and in your previous occupation as a corporate executive: actions and chosen inactions have consequences.
"Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."
Certainly, God could have spared America from hurricanes, but hurricanes are not necessarily God's wrath any more than gravity is God's wrath aimed at a person that falls off a mountain.
Mr. Nagin, do you think that AIDS is God's wrath upon gay men? On Africans? In the early stages of AIDS, did you think it was a punishment for Haitians? Do you see tornados as attacks on the Mid-West? Are earthquakes in Iran or Pakistan God's wrath over Islam? Maybe you could explain forest fires or grass fires in Oklahoma or Texas, or drought in Africa. Who knows, maybe cold winters are revenge on the Inuit tribes.
Mr. Nagin, here is the way I see it. That a major hurricane was going to hit New Orleans was a mathematical certainty, and it finally happened this year. We had studied the problem and ideas were forwarded that would have prevented a category 3 hurricane from breaching the levees. These plans were deemed too ecologically damaging.
We had allocated money to Louisiana for flooding control. In fact, army corps money allocated to Louisiana was more than in any other state over the past few years. This money, however, was spent on pet projects that did not improve the levee system.
The city of New Orleans had devised evacuation plans for a hurricane emergency. For whatever reason, these plans were not even put into motion by the locals, namely you.
The state of Louisiana's Governor and other state agencies created all the fine photo ops for those people stranded at the Superdome and Convention Center, while local officials and the news media forwarded false rumors about murdering hordes inside the dome, shots being fired at helicopters, cannibalism and armed gangs moving inside the city. All of this exacerbating an already difficult rescue situation. It didn't help that state agencies intentionally prevented disaster relief supplies to the Superdome because they felt it might create a situation where evacuees wouldn't want to leave the bottled water and blankets.
We cannot know the mind of God, regardless of what Ray Nagin believes. However, if God is punishing anyone here, I think it is more plausible that He is punishing the people of New Orleans and Louisiana. It is simply too hard to blame all of America for the voting record of stupid people in Louisiana.
Posted By Roug at 10:54 PM
Writing in the Sun Times yesterday, Mark Steyn does what he does best, effortlessly cutting to the chase.
Even smear tactics require a certain plausibility. When you damn someone as a big scary mega-troubling racist misogynist homophobe and he seems to any rational observer perfectly non-scary and non-troubling, eventually you make yourself ridiculous. The boy who cried "Wolf!" at least took the precaution of doing so when there was no alleged predator in view. If he'd stood there crying "Wolf!" while pointing at a hamster, he'd have been led away for counseling. That's the stage the Senate Democrats are at.(h/t to Instapundit.)
Thanks to John Hawkins at Right Wing News for posting this little gem from the Democratic Underground.
hwmnbn: Democrats are now America's Sunnis. They were in power, now they are out. The new repug masters are making sure they stay on top, even if it means dismantling our Constitution and remaking our country into a fascist state.And this attitude is going to help you capture the House, the Senate or the Presidency? I don't see it happening any time soon.
The Sunnis in Iraq are at least putting up a fight as they go down. Dems seem to be content to "hold hearings" to determine why we're going down.
Our leaders should be screaming bloody murder. Filibuster, boycott, close down congress, stop this train no matter what it takes! F*ck, I'm frustrated.
My apologies to Conyers, Murtha, and the too few others who've consistently fought hard. They ALL have to fight, fight hard, and fight NOW!
Loudly exposing a political and/or historical ignorance will only help to attract those who are even more politically and historically ignorant. This is not the basis for a sound political movement, regardless of how passionate.
Tone down the rhetoric. Learn what the Constitution actually says. Learn what fascism actually is. Study the historical landscapes of this country politically before you start to freak over a few years out of power. If you do all of these things perhaps you can make an argument without 70% of the people either laughing at you directly or shuffling to the other side of the road hoping not to be associated with you.
Oh, and pop an Atavan, would you?
In what must be a horrific shock to NBC television, viewers in mid-America aren't thrilled about The Book of Daniel.
As WorldNetDaily reported, "The Book of Daniel," written by a homosexual, is being promoted as the only show on television in which Jesus appears as a recurring character and the only network prime-time drama series with a regular male "gay" character, a 23-year-old Republican son. The main character, Daniel Webster, is a troubled, pill-popping Episcopal priest.It is really hard for me to figure out how some people are able to hold down jobs in the entertainment industry. For about $12.00 in consultation fees I could have pulled the plug on this fiasco long before NBC pushed it on us.
Touted as the riskiest show of the year, it includes a wife who relies on mid-day martinis, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter. At the office, the priest's lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law.
Nashville's WSMV-TV General Manager Elden Hale, Jr. said: "Based on a review of the first three episodes and the clearly voiced concerns from our viewers, we have determined that the program 'The Book of Daniel' is not appropriate for broadcast television in this community."
Of course, what would I know about it? After all, I'm from middle America.
Posted By Roug at 2:42 PM
Writing in Townhall today, W. Thomas Smith, Jr. identifies the many connections that al-Qaida and Saddam had in pre-war Iraq, and how the Iraq war is very much a part on a larger war on terror.
Then, he frames a great question thusly:
So let’s forget for the moment any weapons of mass destruction (and the verdict is still out over whether or not WMDs were spirited across the borders). Forget the fact that Saddam was providing monetary support to the Palestinian families of suicide bombers. Forget the fact that he had violated umpteen U.N. resolutions since the end of Gulf War I. Forget the fact that his air-defense forces were regularly shooting at American and British pilots. Forget that he was a brutal dictatorial thug whose henchmen systematically raped, tortured, and murdered anyone who so much as hinted at any domestic political opposition. Forget all of the collaterally related geo-strategic reasons for gaining a foothold in the middle of the Islamist-fascist world during a global war against Middle-Eastern-based terrorism.To which he provides an answer.
Instead, let’s consider the question that continues coming back to me:
Why is the White House not jumping all over the fact that terrorists were indeed training in pre-invasion Iraq as defensible proof of why we had no choice but to invade that country?
The answer is simple and unfortunate: Many in the mainstream media have been so successful at debunking any evidence, proof, or substantive facts as they relate to the Saddam-Al Qaeda connection, that any new information supporting any facts those of us in-the-know already know will simply be rejected. The new information will be seen as desperate backtracking on old ground. The White House, which is committed to winning the war, will be seen as being in a defensive mode regarding issues that now have no strategic or tactical relevance in the future prosecution of the war. And the general public, which has been fed a steady diet of Iraq-is-the-wrong-theater since 2003, no longer knows what to believe.Read the whole thing.
Posted By Roug at 12:40 PM