Friday, August 31, 2007

Katrina: Two Years Removed

Hurricane Katrina has two years of history to look upon. Many of her victims lie in graves along the gulf coast while many others have picked up their sodden belongings and relocated to cities all across America. Unfortunately, two years after Katrina slammed into coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, many people of New Orleans are still playing the victim. And, it wears like a very dirty shirt.

John Hawkins today in Townhall spells it out.

Nobody is owed a living for the rest of his life because he had a bad break two years ago. Yet, we still have people affected by Katrina who have FEMA paying their rent. How sad and pathetic is it that these shiftless people are still leaching off their fellow citizens? Since when is being in the path of a hurricane supposed to give you a permanent "Get Out of Work Free" card?

Is that just too honest for some people? Is it just “too mean?" Well, if your house burns down tomorrow and you're still living on the dole two years from now, are your real friends going to pat you on the back and tell you that you should keep suckling at the government teat for as long as you can or are they going to give you a kick in the behind and tell you to get a job? A real friend would be honest enough to tell you the truth and more people should do the same for Katrina victims.
Can I add one more thing? If some people of New Orleans are misguided enough to rebuild within the flooded areas of that city they should never be able to get federally guaranteed property insurance because they choose to do so at their own peril. If they are misguided enough to build a home in a floodplain that will certainly flood again, they alone should bear the burden of their stupidity. If an insurance provider chooses to provide insurance for anyone building a home or business on the floodplain, it should only do so at the risk of their own money--not taxpayer guaranteed money.

There are times when cold intellect should trump emotional hand wringing. Could this be one of them?

Bush To Spend Again?

It is this sort of crap that makes me hope we can replace George W. Bush with a true conservative President.

'Cause Bush ain't one.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Truth, Interrupted in Brussels

The European model of utopia can only be met if one applies a whole new meaning to the word. No where is this more evident than in Brussels, that city that serves as host to the European Union's governing body.

As I've noted before on two separate occasions, the mayor of Brussels has banned a demonstration that was scheduled to take place on September 11. The demonstration was to be organized as a protest against the Islamization of Europe and planned to honor the dead of the 9/11 attacks with a moment of silence.

The reason for the banning?

Said the mayor, Freddy Thielemans:

“First and foremost the organizers have chosen the symbolic date of 9/11. The intention is obviously to confound the terrorist activities of Muslim extremists on the one hand and Islam as a religion and all Muslims on the other hand. […] Such incitement to discrimination and hatred, which we usually call racism and xenophobia, is forbidden by a considerable number of international treaties and is punished by our penal laws and by the European legislation. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly pronounced judgments condemning this type of acts.”
Yep, we wouldn't want anyone to realize that there might be a link to the attacks of 9/11 and Muslim extremists. Who knows what might happen if that cat is ever let out of that bag.

From the Paul Belien at the Brussels Journal:
According to the mayor the demonstrators are “racists,” “xenophobes,” hence criminals under Belgian and European law. “With regard to the planned demonstration of September 11 […] my mind is made up. And my decision is final: it will not take place,” he said. In The Wall Street Journal of 27 August Mr Thielemans added: “I won't have Brussels regarded as the capital of racism.”

The organizers appealed against the mayor’s ban before the CoS. They were confident that it would overrule the mayor’s decision. After all, the CoS had overruled the mayor of Antwerp’s ban of the AEL demonstration five years earlier.

Yesterday, however, the CoS upheld the mayor of Brussels’ ban. In its verdict the CoS stated that the organizers cannot prove that their interests are harmed by the mayor’s decision not to allow them to demonstrate on 9/11. The impropriety of the date of the planned demo was the crucial element in the argument made before the court by the mayor’s lawyer. Anyone who dares to suggest that the 9/11 terror attacks have anything to do with Islamism is a racist, a xenophobe, a criminal. That is what the mayor of Brussels says, and what the verdict of the CoS implicitly but undeniably reaffirms.
Yet, the confounding element to this whole bizarre affair is that Brussels will serve host to a demonstration on September 9 that claims the 9/11 attacks were
the work of the American government, acting on behalf of the Jews. In Brussels, stating that the attacks on the WTC towers and on the Pentagon were committed by Muslims is a crime, although it is a fact. Stating that America and Israel were behind the attacks is not a crime, although it is a lie.
Truth has become incidental to law in Brussels.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Media Coverage of Iraq

If you would like to read a lengthy essay on the media's failings in its coverage of the war in Iraq, check out Karl's post at Protein Wisdom.

In the midst of the still-lingering controversy over the truthiness of The New Republic’s “Baghdad Diarist,” more than a few people suggested that war supporters, unable to discredit the real bad news coming from Iraq, targeted the Scott Thomas Beauchamp stories as a weak link. I cannot speak for everyone who supports the mission in Iraq, but I would submit that Beauchamp’s apparent fables and embellishments are not a “weak link” to be attacked, but simply an egregious example of the establishment media’s flawed coverage of the conflict. Accordingly, what follows is an over view of the establishment media coverage of the conflict in Iraq.

Though public opinion polls consistently show that Americans consider Iraq to be the most important issue facing the country, establishment media has slashed the resources and time devoted to Iraq. The number of embedded reporters plunged from somewhere between 570 and 750 when the invasion began in March 2003 to as few as nine by October 2006. The result was the rise of what journalists themselves call “hotel journalism” and “journalism by remote control.”
The post contains many links and quotes that leave no doubt as to which message the media in general wants the public to believe.

It is time to stop being informed by the blathering idiots that make up today's main stream media.

Another Battle in the War Between Public Education and Christians

The latest episode of educators trying to kick God out of School comes via Cassy Fiano from Liberty Counsel.

Denver, CO - Today, Liberty Counsel filed suit against Lewis Palmer School District on behalf of Erica Corder, a high school valedictorian who was forced to publicly apologize for sharing her Christian faith at graduation. Erica was one of fifteen valedictorians from the Lewis-Palmer High School class of 2006. For the past year, she has been the subject of criticism because the school continues to portray her as a student who engaged in improper conduct because she mentioned Jesus Christ during her speech.

Before graduation in May 2006, Principal Mark Brewer informed the valedictorians that they could choose one student to speak, or that all of them could deliver a 30-second graduation message. The students chose to have all fifteen valedictorians participate and chose a general topic for each speaker. Erica and one other student were chosen to give concluding messages. Each valedictorian orally presented a proposed speech to the principal before graduation.

During her 30-second message Erica spoke about her faith in Jesus Christ. Afterwards, she was escorted to see the assistant principal, who said she would not receive her diploma because of the speech she had given. Principal Brewer later indicated that her comments were "immature." He said that she could only receive her diploma if she apologized to the school community. Erica prepared a statement saying the message was her own and was not endorsed by the principal. Brewer insisted that she include the words: "I realize that, had I asked ahead of time, I would not have been allowed to say what I did." Erica complied because she feared the school would withhold her diploma. She was also afraid that the school would put disciplinary notes in her file and would generate negative publicity, which could prevent her from becoming a school teacher. Principal Brewer sent out Erica's message in an e-mail to the entire high school community. Soon after, Erica received her diploma.

Liberty Counsel sent a letter on behalf of Erica to the Lewis Palmer School District Board of Education, explaining that her First Amendment rights had been violated, and requested that the district apologize for the e-mail that Erica was forced to write and institute a written policy to ensure that no future constitutional violations occur. The school board has thus far taken no remedial steps. Meanwhile, Erica continues to be the subject of public criticism from school officials.

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "Valedictorians have the right to express their religious viewpoints while at the graduation podium. School officials have no right to threaten young graduates that their diplomas will be withheld. The school district's action in forcing Erica Corder to write an e-mail apologizing to the community for exercising her right to free speech is shocking."
Perhaps I am missing the mark here, but could someone please explain to me how little Erica Corder has become so powerful that the mere mention of Jesus in her 30 second valedictorian address establishes a national religion?

I'm all ears. Anyone?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Double Standard at the Washington Post?

It is one of two things here. Either big media is afraid of rabid Muslim anger or it is in ideological lockstep with Islam. It is either afraid to offend those that might blow a gasket and start rioting (or suing) or it agrees with the underlying arguments forwarded that Islam is beyond the reach of criticism or parody.

The latest example comes to us from the Washington Post where editors have decided not to run a cartoon scheduled for August 26 that pokes fun at Islamists, despite having run a cartoon that poked fun at Jerry Falwell on August 19.


A popular comic strip that poked fun at the Rev. Jerry Falwell without incident one week ago was deemed too controversial to run over the weekend because this time it took a humorous swipe at Muslim fundamentalists.

The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country did not run Sunday's installment of Berkeley Breathed's "Opus," in which the spiritual fad-seeking character Lola Granola appears in a headscarf and explains to her boyfriend, Steve, why she wants to become a radical Islamist.
Cartoon strip on Salon.

No rioting was reported at Liberty University last weekend and there was no one killed and no injuries. There was reportedly no property damage as the result of the demonstrations that did not take place. No American flags were burned, no effigies were torched and, to the best of my knowledge, nobody was sued. There were no signs paraded around town demanding death to all that insult Christians or Baptists.

It looks like the Washington Post may have dodged a bullet.

via Protein Wisdom

Soccer Ball Sensitivity

The US military has apologized to Muslims trapped in the dark ages for daring to distribute soccer balls to Afghanistani children who love the sport. The soccer balls were distributed, according to spokesman Captain Vanessa Bowman as a

"goodwill humanitarian aid mission ... for the enjoyment of Afghan children."

"We do regret any disturbances caused," she said.
The problem with these soccer balls, aside from the fact that anal retentive Muslims the world over go out of their way to find offense over anything that could be interpreted thusly, is that the balls contain on them numerous flags from many countries. The flag of one country represented, Saudi Arabia, contains the Islamic declaration of faith as well as the names of Allah and Mohammed.

Since soccer balls are kicked, and no good Muslim would ever approve of the kicking of Mohammed or Allah, offense was taken.

More at LGF.

I'm filing this one under "good grief."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hypocrisy, Thy Name is John Edwards

From today's Patriot Post:

John Edwards has not yet been challenged by fellow Democrats on the presidential circuit about the $16 million he earned with Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund invested in the dreaded sub-prime mortgage market. Like Edwards, all the Demos are busy using the sub-prime-lending crisis to again blame the rich for taking advantage of the poor. The fact that one of those so-called evil, rich profiteers is among them is too comical to ignore. But it doesn't stop Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama from calling for a society of shared responsibility. In their world, borrowers never make poor decisions; lenders are just "unsavory."

Edwards is once again stranded in hypocrisy-ville, having profited from a company that foreclosed on 34 homes in New Orleans. This is a particular embarrassment for Edwards, because New Orleans was where he launched his campaign---the capital city of the lesser of his two Americas. Caught in a pinch with reporters, Edwards publicly offered financial assistance to the people who have lost their homes; presumably from the $16 million in "dirty" money he made trying to "learn about poverty." It will be interesting to see just how many people come a-knockin' on his door.

Arizona Educators Protecting
Students From Sketched Ray Gun

Up until about 30 minutes ago I considered Larry my friend.

Since the time he moved to my small home town in the 2nd grade Larry has been drawing elaborate sea battle scenes. Huge sailed ships with cannons blazing filled the sketches, pictured from every possible angle. I imagined many times during our school days together that the scenes depicted Oliver Perry along the Barbary Coast or in Lake Erie as he cleared it of invading British.

Now, come to find out, the jerk was just threatening to blow my head off.

You think you know a guy.

h/t Protein Wisdom

Thursday, August 23, 2007

BBC News

Virginia's John Warner made a statement today in which he encouraged President Bush to get the attention of Iraqi President Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by ordering a symbolic troop reduction in Iraq.

The wisdom behind any such pull-out can be debated (I think it would be dunderheaded) but his comments were directed toward a course of action that he feels would motivate the Iraqi government's ineffective leader.

So, what is the headline at BBC News in an article covering Warner's remarks?

Top Republican urges Iraq pullout
It isn't until one gets beyond the headline and begins to read the article that one discovers that Warner's dunderheaded comments weren't actually calling for a "redeployment" or "retreat" or "pullout" as the headline would like to persuade the reader.
An influential Republican senator has called for the withdrawal of some 5,000 US troops from Iraq by the year's end.

Senator John Warner, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the US needed to show that its commitment to Iraq was not open-ended.
Maybe this is just shoddy journalism or something more sinister. Who knows? It does seem to be business as usual at the BBC.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thomas Sowell: "An Investment in Failure"

From Thomas Sowell's article in Real Clear Politics on the poverty and those that make a living off of it.

Progress in general seems to hold little interest for people who call themselves "progressives." What arouses them are denunciations of social failures and accusations of wrong-doing.

One wonders what they would do in heaven.
I'm guessing a class action lawsuit assuming, of course, that they could find a trial lawyer available to file it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Uncle Sam Trying to Be Dad

After the bang-up job our government is doing on immigration, education, poverty, housing, crime and their war on drugs, I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise to me that many of the enlightened would want to try their hands at parenting their subject's children too.

Where once it was determined that men, blessed by freedom and the morals divined of faith, would and could best provide for themselves, now it is the collective that is often expected to do the heavy lifting. Not only have good people ceded their own personal responsibilities for their own lives and families, the government, led by social planners and activist judges, have actively pursued penetration into personal realms where they have no business.

One such realm is parenting.

Today we witness officials in Oregon aggressively pursuing lordship over children that do not belong to them. From

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (AP) - Two 13-year-old boys accused of slapping girls' bottoms and poking or cupping girls' breasts at school apologized on Monday as a judge dismissed charges against the two, ending a six-month case that drew national attention.

The charges triggered a debate over whether such behavior in school should be considered criminal.

Four girls listed as victims by the prosecutors had asked the judge to drop the charges against Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison.

Yamhill County Judge John Collins did so on Monday, saying it was in the "interest of justice."

A number of young girls were in the courtroom during the hearing. They included at least some of the four who asked that the charges be dropped, attorneys said.

During the brief hearing, the two boys faced the girls and apologized.

"I never intended to hurt you in any way," Mashburn said.

Cornelison told the girls: "I hope we can still be friends."

The News-Register newspaper of McMinnville reported that a "civil compromise" reached by prosecutors and the defense called for both boys to apologize, to pay each of the four girls $250 and to complete a "boundaries education" program.
The "boundaries education" afforded me when I was a child was applied in sessions only a few seconds long by the palm of my Father's right hand. I can only remember four or five such sessions, always reserved for the worst of offenses, their purpose apparently to demonstrate to me that there are consequences for behaviors unbecoming (at least that is what I learned.)

We don't need a government that tries to do the work of parents, we need parents willing and able to fulfill the responsibility God gave to them. Most parents know this. I fear government does not.

h/t Michelle Malkin

EU Gets Tough For All Of 24 Hours

And here I thought that Barry Sanders had a great cut-back move.

Yesterday the European Union cut off funds aimed to buy fuel to be used to generate electricity in Gaza. It seemed they had tired of having their earmarked aid skimmed by terrorist officials and instead having it used for unintended purposes.

Today they said, 'oh, never mind.'

From AP/Yahoo News:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The European Union said Tuesday it will resume vital fuel aid to the Gaza Strip's electric company, bringing a measure of relief to Palestinians who have sweltered at home or choked on generator smoke during five days of power outages.

The EU had suspended payments for the fuel that powers major Gaza electricity generators on Sunday, suspecting the strip's Hamas rulers were pocketing electricity revenues. On Tuesday, the bloc announced that fuel shipments to the power plant would resume the following day.
Every penny that Hamas is forced to spend on vital goods and services is a penny that doesn't find its way into the pocket of a terrorist. I think we should let bloody Saudi money buy off disgruntled Hamas voters--a policy that the EU seemed to agree if only for 24 hours.

h/t LGF

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jimmy Carter and the Truth

John Hawkins at Right Wing News has included the text of a short interview he conducted recently with Robert Novak.

This exchange about our best ex-President jumped off the page:

John Hawkins: In your book, you really go out of your way to emphasize how often Jimmy Carter lied about things...

Robert Novak: (Laughs)

John Hawkins: Do you think that Carter's frequent lying and the fact that he seemed to get away with it, helped influence Bill Clinton to lie so often when he was President?

Robert Novak: Well, I think Bill Clinton was a minor league liar compared to Jimmy Carter. Carter would just lie for the sake of lying. He was absolutely incredible.

I put a lot of the cases in the book -- I couldn't put all of them in -- but my two favorite cases are in the book. I had written a column detailing nine separate lies by Carter and he told another reporter that I had apologized to him for it. That was just an absolute lie.

Then many years after his presidency, my late partner, Rowly Evans and I had a party celebrating the 25th anniversary of our column and we invited all the Presidents and ex-Presidents to send letters. Nixon didn't like us much, but he sent a nice letter. But, Carter told an aide that the last thing he would do was send any kind of greeting to those guys.

That year, in 1988, at the Democratic National Convention, there was a reception at the Carter Center in Atlanta and as my partner was going through the line -- I told my partner not to do it -- ...(and he said to Carter), "Mr. President, how come you didn't send us a message for our 25th anniversary?" He said, "Well Rowly, if I had known, I certainly would have sent it. It must have gotten lost in the mail."
Take the time to read the whole interview. It is quite interesting.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Protest that Was (and one that wasn't)

The mayor of Brussels spoke loudly last week when he disallowed a protest to take place in the city to denounce shari'a law. The organized protest also planned to include a moment of silence for the victims of 9-11. The mayor objected to the protest because he didn't want to upset any Muslims that might be offended.

There are apparently some types of protests that can be officially allowed in Brussels. You know the type, the ones that try and blame America for the 9-11 attacks.

From the Brussels Journal:

A far-left group of anti-American conspiracy theorists, calling itself “United for Truth” (UfT), is going to demonstrate in Brussels on 9 September. The group will march from the North Station to the South (Midi) Station in protest against "George Bush’s involvement" with the 9/11/2001 terror attacks in New York and on the Pentagon.
It is clear that it isn't the upsetting of just anyone that has made the mayor so cautious but rather the upsetting of only Muslims that has him walking on eggshells.

The mayor might as well start paying his Muslim taxes--he has already surrendered his free will.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

American Forces Attack Elderly Iraqi Woman's Home With Hand Thrown Bullets

They either think that we are really, really, really dumb, or they simply are. You be the judge.

This picture as it appeared on Yahoo Tuesday from Michelle Malkin:

With this caption:

An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City.
Now, what could be wrong with that picture?

However, not to be out scooped by AFP/Yahoo News, Suitably Flip found an even more disturbing photo:

With this caption:
A Baghdad area puppy shows a hand grenade, recently tossed through the windows of this Sadr City animal shelter, killing dozens of adorable puppies and kittens and demolishing the building when it detonated.
Help me, milk comin' right out my nose!

A great roundup at the Malkin site with comments suggesting the rounds being displayed might very well even be out of service. In any case, whoever had to throw these bullets could sure use a better gun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From the School of Unintended Consequences

"Orang-utans home destroyed for bio-diesel” and, as Protein Wisdom says:

Uh-oh. Now they gone and did it. Clint Eastwood is going to be, like, so pissed!

Wisconsin Takes a Stab at Socialist Health Care

You know the routine. Troubled teenagers traveling on the wrong road are ordered by parents or the court to visit a prison hoping the experience will "scare them straight." These "Scared Straight" programs have worked well on some would-be dregs to society.

The new twist is that Wisconsin is playing the part of the scarer while the rest of the states are the ones needing a good dose of reality and fear. According to John Stossel in Townhall, we need to pay pretty close attention to what transpires while we visit.

The Wall Street Journal editorial-page editors are upset that Wisconsin's state Senate passed "Healthy Wisconsin", which will give health insurance to every person in the state. Of course, the Journal editors are right in saying that the plan is "openly hostile to market incentives that contain costs" and that the "Cheesehead nation could expect to attract health-care free-riders while losing productive workers who leave for less-taxing climes."

In addition, as the Journal put it, "Wow, is 'free' health care expensive. The plan would cost an estimated $15.2 billion, or $3 billion more than the state currently collects in all income, sales and corporate income taxes."

And, of course, down the road it will cost much more than that. Even the $15 billion is based on the usual Pollyannaish assumptions such as millions in savings "from putting more emphasis on primary care."
Which is exactly why Stossel is singing the Wisconsin fight song.
That's why America needs "Healthy Wisconsin." The fall of the Soviet Union deprived us of the biggest example of how socialism works. We need laboratories of failure to demonstrate what socialism is like. All we have now is Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, the U.S. Post Office, and state motor-vehicle departments.

It's not enough. Wisconsin can show the other 49 states what "universal" coverage is like.

I feel bad for the people in Wisconsin. They already suffer from little job creation, and the Packers aren't winning, but it's better to experiment with one state than all of America.
This program will fail because socialism will always fail. It is going to make it more expensive for businesses to operate profitably in the state. Thus there will be the slow ebb of jobs to more business friendly areas. As the businesses leave, so will the jobs. As the jobs leave, so will many productive taxpayers following the jobs. Those that remain will have to shoulder an ever greater share of the burden. But, let us not forget that there will also be an influx of new residents to the state--those that are seeking lower costs in health care. It is a system that demands the productive leave at the same time that it invites those seeking to be pulled along for free. Its almost as if a maniacal Matt Millen designed the wretched beast from the ground up and slapped a Honolulu-blue Lion's jersey on its back--gosh, it sure looks good until it gets its teeth kicked in.

We can predict how the costs of the program will affect the pocketbooks of the average person and how this will affect the economy of Wisconsin. But, how will such a move affect the quality of health care?

Paul Belien, writing at the Brussels Journal, speaks of how socialized medicine affected his grandfather.
My grandfather's deafness was the side effect of an antibiotic that was given to him because of budgetary constraints in a system providing "free" health care. More expensive drugs and treatments with fewer side effects are set aside for younger patients. Political authorities, claiming to be the guardians of solidarity in society, deem it less desirable for a young person to be deaf than for an old one. Hence my grandfather, after having paid heavy wage-related contributions as a young man to fulfill his solidarity with the sick and elderly, had to pay the price of deafness to fulfill his solidarity with the young.
My good friend Stonehands moved to liberal Wisconsin several years ago. I hope he moves back to Michigan before he is ever forced to use that very same bad system he will be soon be forced to pay good money for.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Scottish Health Board Surrenders to Failed Bomber

Suppose you have actually won a battle. Suppose you were able to thwart an attack by an evil and demented person. Given the circumstances, how can you take this small victory and turn it into a defeat?

Ask the boards of health in Scotland.

DOCTORS and health workers have been banned from eating lunch at their desks - in case it offends their Muslim colleagues.

Health chiefs believe the sight of food will upset Muslim workers when they are celebrating the religious festival Ramadan.

The lunch trolley is also to be wheeled out of bounds as the 30-day fast begins next month.

But staff and politicians branded the move political correctness gone mad and warned that it was a step too far.

Bill Aitken, the Scottish Conservative justice spokesman, said: “This advice, well-meaning as it may be, is total nonsense.

“It is the sort of thing that can stir up resentment rather than result in good relations.”

The new guidance comes in the wake of the failed terror attacks on Glasgow and the death of suspect Kafeel Ahmed, 27.

Health chiefs in Lothian and Glasgow will give all employees time off to pray and to celebrate Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan.

But Greater Glasgow and Clyde as well as Lothian NHS boards also issued the advice, warning workers not to take working lunches, and said all vending machines should be removed from areas where Muslims work.

One senior consultant said: “What next? Are we going to have advice on how to deal with Catholics during Lent?

“This kind of thing does more harm than good.”
It is time for people of the free world to start acting as if they are free instead of pandering to the murderous tantrums of immature bullies.

Why do the evil Islamists blow shit up, set people afire and cut off heads? It is to get people to do exactly the sort of things that the health board is doing here--to get others to bend to their will.

Good job Scotland. Your ancestors would be so proud.

h/t LGF.

Monday, August 13, 2007

John Edwards Gives To Charity

John Edwards was in a quandary. For months he had been bashing Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. with the same zeal that Michael Moore uses to attack the last raspberry filled Krispy Kreme at the dessert table.

Then, when questioned about a comfy book deal including a $500,000 advance that he signed with Murdoch's own HarperCollins, he responded that "every dime" of the money went to charity.

But, what of the $300,000 book expense budget also included in the deal?

It appears that those particular dimes might be considered off budget.

From Michelle Malkin.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Michigan's First Spouse Is Burning Tax Dollars While State Awash in Debt

The State of Michigan is awash in debt--estimated at being somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.8 billion this year. Our Governor has traveled far and wide pushing for a package of cuts in spending and tax increases to bridge the gap. Michigan must, as required by the constitution, operate with a balanced budget.

There has been much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands. Heads have been scratched and many pencils have been sharpened. In the end we have been assured by the Governor that all possible cuts have been made--any further cuts will result in the loss of essential services.

Then, I read this article by former State Rep. Leon Drolet in Right Michigan:

Michigan is actually leading the nation in job growth in one small niche: The number of people employed on the staff of the gubernatorial "first spouse" has never been higher. Michigan Taxpayer Alliance research has revealed that Michigan's First Gentleman Dan Granholm Mulhern has the third largest staff of any first spouse in the nation. Only California and Ohio provides their governor's wives with more assistants - five and four staffers respectively.

Jennifer Granholm's husband Dan Mulhern has three paid staffers, at least one of whom reportedly receives a very generous $115,000 salary and benefits package. In a state with a population more than twice Michigan's, New York First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer ekes by with just two staffers. The spouse of the governor of Illinois has one staffer, as do those of Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota. The national average is 1.2 state employees per first spouse, brought down a bit by the fact that a few governors are single or divorced.

In Michigan, working for the governor's spouse has become a growth industry. Former First Lady Michelle Engler had only one staffer for most of the 12 years her husband held office, according to John Truscott, who was Gov. John Engler's spokesman.

Some have questioned why Michigan's First Gentleman needs a larger staff than the first spouses of New York or Illinois. Mr. Mulhern has described his staff as dedicated, hard-working state employees who bring value to Michigan taxpayers, but the public has no solid information about what those staffers do, or how residents benefit from this expenditure of their tax dollars.
I think we can see how serious the Governor is about making cuts. If she cannot make the easy choices when it comes to cutting costs, how will she ever make the tough ones?

Preventing Muslim Anger is as Easy as Limiting Free Speech

In what has to be one of the most obvious examples of cowering before Muslims that I am aware of, the Mayor of Brussels has banned a demonstration planned for September 11 in which there was to be a "moment of silence" in recognition of the victims of the Islamic murderers on that fateful day.

Why would such an event be canceled? Well, we wouldn't want to upset any Muslims--when they get mad they could hurt somebody.

If we ever become so fearful that we cannot protest murder out of fear of the murderers, how much freedom will we have? That Socialist utopia that is Brussels has the answer.

From Little Green Footballs.

Enjoy Andy McKee

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ban the Koran?

From the Telegraph today via Dhimmi Watch:

The Koran should be banned as a “fascist book” alongside Mein Kampf because it urges Muslims to kill non-believers, says Dutch populist MP Geert Wilders.

The leader of the far-right Freedom Party, which holds nine of the Dutch parliament's 150 seats has called for the ban after an alleged Islam inspired attack on a Labour councillor who had renounced the Muslim faith.

Mr Wilders claims that the Koran “calls on Muslims to oppress, persecute or kill Christians, Jews, dissidents and non-believers, to beat and rape women and to establish an Islamic state by force”.

"Ban this wretched book like Mein Kampf is banned!,” he wrote in yesterday's De Volkskrant newspaper.
The response was fast an furious.
Els Lucas, a Dutch lawyer, has filed a compliant to the country's prosecutor demanding action against Mr Wilders for “insulting a section of the community”.

"I think he has gone too far and it is unseemly that a member of parliament expresses himself like this,” she said.

The offence is punishable with a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of up to £11,300.
I do not think that Wilders is completely serious when he suggests banning the Koran. I do think that he wants to highlight the violence and subjugation mongering that is promoted within the texts.

Rather than keeping Muslims from reading the book (which he knows he cannot do) I think he is likely trying to get sleepy Dutch non-Muslims to read it. Would there be a better way for Wilders to prove his point?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Moral Conundrum Over Palestine

A question asked by Joseph Puder in his article today at FrontPageMag:

why in almost 60 years did neither Egypt, Lebanon, nor Syria for instance provide citizenship for those Palestinians in refugee camps, and why weren’t they absorbed by their fellow Arabs-Muslims in these countries who speak the same language, worship in the same mosques, and follow the same traditions?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Play's Authors Point out that Christians are More Dangerous that Muslim Extremists

Oh, those non-Christians, having to live under that fearful cloud created by those violent and oppressive Christ-minions. You should be heartened to know that some brave souls are fighting back against the savage believers with a new play, Cash in Christ, being unveiled at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. From the Independent:

The show – pitched as "putting the fun into fundamentalism" – features fundraising evangelical preacher Fanny Comfort and her husband Bob singing songs such as "Christian Rock (Is Cool)" with lines about "guitars exploding like a bomb".

The writers said that, while there is public discussion about the dangers of radical Islamic groups, the influence of the Christian far right is underestimated. "I've been very sensitive to extremists in other religions, particularly Islam, being demonised."
Yes, we are certainly all sensitive to the demonization of Islamic fundamentalists that, in the first four days of August have already murdered 249 people and injured at least 310 others in at least 34 separate attacks within eitht countries--all for the glorification of their God. We wouldn't want these people being demonized!

Continues Van Badham, co-writer of the play:
"I find the Christian right groups that are enormously powerful in our own culture a larger numerical threat than extreme Islam. They are somehow removed from public criticism, and that is one of the reasons we did the show.

"Bush is from the religious right and he has the bomb; that terrifies me far more than the potential of other extremists to get their hands on nuclear weapons. In the religious right it is the self-appointed moral majority that sets its own rules, and anybody opposing them is labelled unpatriotic and shouted down."
With all the false labeling and shouting down, it is curious that Badham was able to utter these words of enlightenment.
Badham said the Wisepart/Jews and Communists co-production is entirely fictitious, but reflects wider political concerns. "It terrifies me that a few religious groups were able to cause a furore around Jerry Springer – The Opera in Britain. What I find frightening about the war in Iraq is that Bush and the people around him speak about it as if it's the crusades again."
What pure unadulterated bullshit. The only persons saying that Iraq is a crusade are people like Badham that want to link Iraq to the Crusades. Where I come from, in religiously oppressive America, people are bending over backwards to avoid any such comparison--particularly those in government that have stated for years that this is not a war with Islam and that Islam is a religion of peace.
She said that although people they met at church services were kind, she felt their attitudes might foster religious intolerance. "The propaganda is intense. We have been going to these megachurches to be told: 'Christianity is not a religion. It is the work of God to rescue all of humanity.' So everybody else can basically get stuffed."
So, despite three months of kindness and the fact that no one measured shoe sizes for a bomb-fitting, the Badham argument boils down to her fear that Christians believe that God wants to rescue humanity? No wonder she is scared to death.
Gary Clarke, pastor at Hillsong Church, London, said he wouldn't apologise, but that he might well laugh. "If you can't laugh at yourself then things have probably become far too serious, and keeping a good sense of humour about things is one of the most important components in having healthy conversations with people from all walks of life," he said.
I seem to remember a different response from the Muslims that objected to the Mohammed cartoons. Remember those "Behead those who mock Islam signs"?

I'm a "free expression" sort of guy, so I'm not going to sweat the opinions of misguided artists that think that the corner preacher is more evil than the car-bombing Islamic fascist. I'm with pastor Clarke when he says that you have to be willing to laugh at yourself. Still, I think it is this core belief that we Christians have that makes us the target of parody--our willingness to accept the comedy being aimed at us. We don't threaten murder whenever our pride gets a little stab.

Which makes me wonder if Badham's next play will tease Mohammed or the local cleric.

h/t to Brussels Journal

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tolerance Means No Line In the Sand

What occurred in Srebrenica may well have occurred only because of tolerance. How could tolerance be so cruelly indifferent?

From George Handlery at the Brussels Journal:

On June 12 1995, Bosnian Serbs acting for Belgrade captured the Muslim town Srebrenica and massacred seven thousand male captives. “Blue Helmets” protected the town and a safe-zone close to it sheltering the claimants

Now Numira Subasic having lost 22 family members wants justice for herself and other abused women. That government has already been investigated the case and the conclusions cost a Minister his job.
How could a town, directly under the protection of UN troops be slaughtered?
The Dutch UN soldiers were disinterested and incompetent, intimidated as well as mainly concerned with their own survival. Indeed, the Unprofor’s Dutch were unprepared or, put facetiously; they did not anticipate encountering brutality while they also believed virtue could be served risk-free.

These attitudes taken from a PC-inspired book of myths inspired the inappropriate decisions made under the pressure of 15 hostages held by the Serbs. One mistake was that to avoid “provoking” the easily aggravated by appearing to be too martial. In addition, to signal good will, presumably in the interest of keeping “channels open” for a “dialogue”, the positions before Srebrenica were surrendered. Once the Serbs reached the camp on July 12 and asked to inspect it, the Dutch, presumably to “create confidence”, piled up their arms and admitted the Serbs. Thereafter, lacking the means to resist, they ignored the ensuing marauding. Survivors claim that some Dutch did not even surrender under duress but that they accompanied the Serbs voluntarily. (A famous photo shows the Dutch and the Serbs toasting each other.)

According to survivors, the tolerant Dutch entrusted to protect the refugees feared the Serbs and so became accessories to their crime. Therefore, they did nothing when soldiers led women out of their compound to rape them. A survivor claims that a “Dutch Bat” trooper listened to his walkman while, close to him, a woman was raped. One witness alleges that a ten-year-old was placed in his mother’s lap and then decapitated. In another case, a protector was present when the mother of a crying child was ordered to make it stop. The woman failed. Therefore, the trooper cut the throat of the infant. This writer knows a Moslem rape victim whose child cried when it happened. Thereupon the Serbs urinated on the small girl.
Tolerance, which used to mean not beating the stuffing out of someone for who they were or what they believed, has slowly devolved into a clawless animal that not only will not beat up adversaries, but will neither protect the weak, fight evil, nor make judgments of any kind. Tolerance will not allow the drawing of lines in the sand. While a lineless playground may mean a black eye or swollen lip, on the stage of geopolitics no line can mean 7,000 quickly dead.
An unwelcome conclusion for America and Europe emerges. Giving in to aggression might evade a fight initially. However, it will not avoid the risk of ultimate slaughter. Europe’s vulnerability derives from its state of mind, which imperils it and its US ally. The preferred approach of the “progressive humanitarians” of both continents will not even restrain a pre-teen gang. The case presented – the danger, the response and the outcome – suggests that a revision of the approach to global politics is called for. It should conform to the rules the bad guys set and abandon the illusions of an ideal world. Iran, Iraq, Korea, but also Russia and China have a message. It counsels that, a reality-corrected change in the assumptions that determine the assessment of antagonists and the means used to respond to them is imperative.
Did "never again"--when it was uttered in response to WW2 atrocities--mean we would never allow something like this to ever occur again, or did it mean that "never again" would we allow something like this to occur without good documentation?

A vast majority of the world stood firm at one time and adopted the former meaning. The tolerant crowd of today has a pen and paper handy.

Youtube Debate Analyzed by Coulter

In today's essay at analyzing the recent Democrat debate on Youtube, Ann Coulter provides the quote of the week:

Not counting talking snowmen, the main difference in the YouTube debate audience and the audience for the earlier CNN Democratic debate is that the YouTube debate had 173,000 fewer viewers in the 18-49 demographic. So it was provably not young and, on the basis of casual observation, definitely not hip.

As usual, the audience consisted mostly of public schoolteachers. According to CNN, the highest reading achieved on the CNN feelings-knob was for Richardson talking about public schoolteachers. (Some in the audience said they hadn't been that excited since the last time they had sex with an underage student.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Changing Party (And Not For the Good)

Support for Republicans and overall identification with the party has diminished in recent years, and the war or terror has undeniably been a major part of this development. However, there are a large number of conservatives pulling back from the GOP because the party is no longer willing to rein in the bloated programs of bureaucracy or to fight political corruption. I count myself among that second group.

The latest chapter in this sad saga is addressed by John Hinderaker at Powerline Blog.

The "ethics reform bill" now making its way through Congress marks the end, for now at least, of any serious effort to reform the earmark process. This is a sad thing for the Republican Party. Through all of modern history, up until the last two or three years, the Republicans were the party of clean government. It was the Democrats who were associated with bribes, corruption, machine politics, and so on. The idea that the current Republican leaders in Congress--I am thinking especially of Mitch McConnell--are willing to throw away this heritage, and join with the Democrats in suppressing any serious effort at reform--is profoundly depressing.
Read the rest. Cry in pillow.