Sunday, June 26, 2005


This can't be good:

WASHINGTON, June 25 - President Bush's initial response to the proposed takeover of a major American oil company by a Chinese rival has been to duck. It is not hard to see why.

The $18.5 billion offer by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation for Unocal,
which had already made a deal to be acquired by the American oil giant, Chevron,
is forcing the administration to confront its own internal rifts over whether China should be viewed as friend, foe or something in between.

It is putting a spotlight on a host of related economic and foreign-policy issues - from North Korea's nuclear program to America's growing dependence on foreign capital and the upward pressure on gasoline prices caused by China's thirst for oil - that defy easy solutions.

Hardly a week goes by without Mr. Bush vowing to make America less dependent on foreign sources of energy, so any deal that increases that dependence - or is even perceived as doing so - would create a problem for him.

Especially in view of this from Bill Gertz:

China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.

U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.

China's military buildup includes an array of new high-technology weapons, such as warships, submarines, missiles and a maneuverable warhead designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses. Recent intelligence reports also show that China has stepped up military exercises involving amphibious assaults, viewed as another sign that it is preparing for an attack on Taiwan.

"There's a growing consensus that at some point in the mid-to-late '90s, there was a fundamental shift in the sophistication, breadth and re-sorting of Chinese defense planning," said Richard Lawless, a senior China-policy maker in the Pentagon. "And what we're seeing now is a manifestation of that change in the number of new systems that are being deployed, the sophistication of those systems and the interoperability of the systems."

China's economy has been growing at a rate of at least 10 percent for each of the past 10 years, providing the country's military with the needed funds for modernization.

While the New York Times tends to couch such things in political terms, I would like to think that the administation sees this deal as exactly what it is - incompatable with national security.

While we must deal with China economically at some level, to let them control a major oil company would be sheer madness.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Tellin' It Like It Is, To The Very End

I've heard of Oriana Fallaci all of my life, unfortunately it was only a passing knowledge of her existence as a writer. A year or so ago, I read "The Rage and the Pride" and immediately I was a major admirer of her passion and common sense approach to the very real and immediate danger that Islamism in specific, and Islam in general, poses for western culture.

Alas, she is in her mid-70s and has been battling cancer for several years. I will mourn the day that her magnificent voice is stilled, but it is far from being so a the moment. She has written a new book entitled "The Force of Reason" which is a follow-up to "The Rage and the Pride." I look forward to reading it and not only for the obvious reasons. She is also under under idictment in Italy literally for villification of a religion. Here's an excerpt, but do read the whole thing:

NEW YORK--Oriana Fallaci faces jail. In her mid-70s, stricken with a cancer that, for the moment, permits only the consumption of liquids--so yes, we drank champagne in the course of a three-hour interview--one of the most renowned journalists of the modern era has been indicted by a judge in her native Italy under provisions of the Italian Penal Code which proscribe the "vilipendio," or "vilification," of "any religion admitted by the state."

In her case, the religion deemed vilified is Islam, and the vilification was perpetrated, apparently, in a book she wrote last year--and which has sold many more than a million copies all over Europe--called "The Force of Reason." Its astringent thesis is that the Old Continent is on the verge of becoming a dominion of Islam, and that the people of the West have surrendered themselves fecklessly to the "sons of Allah." So in a nutshell, Oriana Fallaci faces up to two years' imprisonment for her beliefs--which is one reason why she has chosen to stay put in New York. Let us give thanks for the First Amendment.

It is a shame, in so many ways, that "vilipend," the latinate word that is the pinpoint equivalent in English of the Italian offense in question, is scarcely ever used in the Anglo-American lexicon; for it captures beautifully the pomposity, as well as the anachronistic outlandishness, of the law in question. A "vilification," by contrast, sounds so sordid, so tabloid--hardly fitting for a grande dame.

"When I was given the news," Ms. Fallaci says of her recent indictment, "I laughed. Bitterly, of course, but I laughed. No amusement, no surprise, because the trial is nothing else but a demonstration that everything I've written is true." An activist judge in Bergamo, in northern Italy, took it upon himself to admit a complaint against Ms. Fallaci that even the local prosecutors would not touch. The complainant, one Adel Smith--who, despite his name, is Muslim, and an incendiary public provocateur to boot--has a history of anti-Fallaci crankiness, and is widely believed to be behind the publication of a pamphlet, "Islam Punishes Oriana Fallaci," which exhorts Muslims to "eliminate" her. (Ironically, Mr. Smith, too, faces the peculiar charge of vilipendio against religion--Roman Catholicism in his case--after he described the Catholic Church as "a criminal organization" on elevision. Two years ago, he made news in Italy by filing suit for the removal of crucifixes from the walls of all public-school classrooms, and also, allegedly, for flinging a crucifix out of the window of a hospital room where his mother was being treated. "My mother will not die in a room where there is a crucifix," he said, according to hospital officials.)

Ms. Fallaci speaks in a passionate growl: "Europe is no longer Europe, it is 'Eurabia,' a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense. Servility to the invaders has poisoned democracy, with obvious consequences for the freedom of thought, and for the concept itself of liberty." Such words--"invaders," "invasion," "colony," "Eurabia"--are deeply, immensely, Politically Incorrect; and one is tempted to believe that it is her tone, her vocabulary, and not necessarily her substance or basic message, that has attracted the ire of the judge in Bergamo (and has made her so radioactive in the eyes of Europe's cultural elites).

And exactly which part of Oriana's theory is incorrect?

Mark Steyn delivers a scathing criticizm of the UN and the "international community" of which the liberals are so very fond. From tsunami relief in Indonesia, to Bosnia, to Iraq, they have proven themselves to be long on rhetoric and woefully short on action.

Do read "Action Stations" (yes, it requires registration, but it's worth it to read this and other Mark Steyn pieces.) An excerpt:
For example, I'd be far more amenable to criticism of American policy in Iraq if it weren't being levelled by the same folks - notably Do-Nothin' Doug Hurd - who fiddled transnationally while Yugoslavia burned. Bosnia is, in fact, everything the anti-war crowd predicted Iraq would be: 250,000 people were killed, which is what the more modest doom-mongers estimated would happen in Iraq, and that's 250,000 out of a population a fifth the size of Iraq's. We were told that toppling Saddam would do nothing but create thousands more radical Islamists across the Middle East. In fact, it's Bosnia where, under the nose of its EU viceroy, Wahabist infiltration is recruiting tomorrow's jihadi. Week after week, we've seen sob stories on the TV news in which some hapless Baathist clerk from the Department of Genital Severing reveals that he's been out of work now for two years, but when was the last time you read a piece on unemployment rates in Paddy Ashdown's Bosnia? It's officially 45 per cent, and it's only the drug-dealing, child sex and white slave trade that boom around every UN mission that's holding it down that low.
However Iraq turns out, it's already a hundred times healthier than Bosnia, and its effects are rolling on through Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. But because Bosnia is the quintessential expression of international lack of will, it will always get a better press than Bush's 'war for oil'.

Ouch, that's gotta hurt!


Victor Davis Hanson on "The Politics of American Wars"

Methinks They Doth Protest Too Much

Of late, it seems that nothing will arouse the ire of a Democrat faster than using the words "liberal" and "Democrat" interchangeably. In fact, many liberals have abandoned the term altogether in favor of "progressive." Clearly, a case of different name - same product. And "mainstream" Democrats (an endangered species, if there ever was one) bristle at the description of themselves as "liberal" as though it was a gutter term of derision. It would appear that liberals and Conservatives can agree on one thing; at least in name, liberalism has been thoroughly discredited.

It would also appear though, that old habits die hard.

The other day, Karl Rove made a statement in front of the Conservative Party of New York as to the way liberals responded to 9/11. The New York Times chose to begin their story thusly:

Karl Rove came to the heart of Manhattan last night to rhapsodize about the decline of liberalism in politics, saying Democrats responded weakly to Sept. 11 and had placed American troops in greater danger by criticizing their actions.
It would appear that The New York Times makes no differentiation between liberals and Democrats, though Karl Rove clearly does.

The story goes on, and includes the quote in question.

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State.

Citing calls by progressive groups to respond carefully to the attacks, Mr. Rove said to the applause of several hundred audience members, "I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble."

Did Rove even use the word "Democrat"? He was clearly speaking of "liberals" and it appears that he chose his words very carefully in doing so. And he was absolutely correct, liberals have been atrocious on this issue from day one, and the farther left one goes, the worse it gets.

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman has issued a statement and has included nearly two dozen examples of just what Mr. Rove stated.

Still, the usual suspects are frothing at the mouth, calling for apologies and resignation:
WASHINGTON -- Democrats said Thursday that White House adviser Karl Rove should either apologize or resign for accusing liberals of wanting "therapy and understanding" for the Sept. 11 attackers, escalating partisan rancor that threatens to consume Washington.
So, can we finally say with certainty that Democrats and liberals, and the DNC are basically the same thing? The New York Times seems to think so and the Democrats seem to agree. Karl Rove cut the liberals and the Democrats are bleeding - case closed.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Let's Not Give Them the Satisfaction

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment prohibiting the burning of the flag. It reads:
"The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."

Some thoughts that immediately spring to mind:

  • While I personally believe that flag burning is a detestable act, is it only me that sees that such an amendment will only serve to increase the incidents of flag burning - not decrease them? People burn flags for shock value, if there is a law against such acts, the shock value is enhanced, not diminished.
  • On a similar note, assuming that those who would burn a flag have no respect for this country, why would we think that they would have any respect for the laws of this country?
  • "Civil disobedience" is considered a sacrament by those who consider public protest their calling in life, because it generates publicity from the pliant media that lends credibility to their otherwise non-credible positions. Would not this amendment not give them yet another tool to garner the attention that they crave? Better to ignore them.
  • Are we really going to put people in Federal Prison for desecration of a flag? I admit to finding this prospect a little distaseful, if for no other reason, because it turns them in to martyrs.
  • With so many pressing issues before us, why are we discussing this at this time? I would much rather the time and energy be used to protect our culture and our way of life (which is, indeed, clearly threatened) than to protect the symbol thereof.
  • A Crucifix in a jar of urine is "artistic expression", subsidized by tax dollars, but burning a flag is a Federal crime? I honestly do not see how we can protect physical forms of religious dissent and punish physical forms of politicadissentnt, no matter how vile.

Many of the people who despise this country will continue to burn the flag in public as a symbol of their hatred, amendment or no. To formalize our disgust with their actions with an amendmentnt simply encourages them. I think that burning a flag is repulsive enough in the eyes of most Americans that doing so would de-legitimize whatever cause the flag burners sought to highlight. Turning one's back on those that seek attention is the most profound form of punishment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

IT'S OFF TO WORK I GO........... I will be out of town until tomorrow afternoon. I will leave you with yet another fine piece by historian extraordinaire, Victor Davis Hanson. I would highly recommed it, as I would pretty much anything he writes.

Monday, June 20, 2005


The indespensable Mark Steyn is simply one of the finest political writers on the scene today. This piece, Facing the Music - Mark Steyn on Democratic complaints about Guantanamo , is so good that it screams to be pasted in its entirety, rather than excerpted. Enjoy:

Been following the latest horrifying stories from what Amnesty International calls the "gulag of our time"? John Kass of The Chicago Tribune was outraged by the news that records by Christina Aguilera had been played at Guantanamo at full volume in order to soften up detainees. He thought they should have used "Dance, Ballerina, Dance" by Vaughn Monroe, over and over and over.

Well, readers had plenty of suggestions of their own, and so the Tribune's website put together a list of "Interro-Tunes" - the most effective songs for aural intimidation, mood music for jolting your jihadi. A lot were the usual suspects-like the Captain and Tennille's blamelessly goofy "Muskrat Love", which, as I recall, put the Queen to sleep at a White House gala, though the Duke of Edinburgh sat agog all the way to the end. Someone suggested Bob Dylan's "Everybody Must Get Stoned", which even on a single hearing sounds like it's being played over and over. I don't know what Mr Kass has against "Ballerina", which is very pleasant in the Nat "King" Cole version. But he seems to think one burst of "Dance, ballerina, dance/And do your pirouette in rhythm with your aching heart" will have the Islamists howling for the off-switch and singing like canaries to the Feds. Who knows? I sang "Ballerina" myself once on the radio long ago, and, if it will discombobulate the inmates, I'm willing to dust off my arrangement and fly down to Guantanamo, if necessary dressed liked Christina Aguilera. If they want an encore, I'll do my special culturally sensitive version of that Stevie Wonder classic, "My Sharia Amour".

By now, one or two readers may be frothing indignantly, "That's not funny! Bush's torture camp at Guantanamo is the gulag of our time, if not of all time." But that's the point. The world divides into those who feel the atrocities at Gitmo "must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -Pol Pot or others" (in the widely quoted words of Senator Dick Durbin), and the rest of us, for whom the more we hear the specifics of the "atrocities" the funnier they are. They bear the same relation to the gulags (15-30 million dead), the Nazi camps (nine
million dead) and the killing fields of Cambodia (two million dead) as Mel
Brooks‚ "Springtime For Hitler" does to the original. Nobody complained at
Auschwitz that the guards were playing the 78s of The Merry Widow (the Fuhrer's favorite operetta) with the volume knob too high. When that old KGB hand Yuri
Andropov succeeded Brezhnev as the big guy in the Kremlin, he was reported in
the western press to be a big Glenn Miller fan. But to the best of my knowledge
no-one suggested he was in the basement of the Lubyanka torturing the inmates
with "I Got A Gal In Kalamazoo".

The first time the full-blast junk-pop treatment caught the eye of the media was a decade and a half back, when US troops bombarded the Panamanian strongman General Noriega with the Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)". In those days, nobody reckoned it was torture. But these days torture seems to be in the ear of the behearer. Because the jihadi find western culture depraved - and I'm not necessarily in disagreement on that, at least where Christina Aguilera's concerned -we're obliged to be extra-super-duper-sensitive with them.

Says who? Again, the more one hears the specifics of the "insensitivity" of the American regime at Guantanamo, the more many of us reckon we're being way too sensitive. For example, camp guards are under instructions to handle copies of the Koran only when wearing gloves. The reason for this is that the detainees regard infidels as "unclean". Fair enough, each to his own. But it's one thing for the Islamists to think infidels are unclean, quite another for the infidels to agree with them. Far from being tortured, the prisoners are being handled literally with kid gloves (or simulated kid-effect gloves). The US military hand each jihadi his complimentary copy of the Koran as delicately as white-gloved butlers bringing His Lordship The Times of London. When I bought a Koran to bone up on Islam a couple of days after 9/11, I didn't wear gloves to the bookstore. If that's "disrespectful" to Muslims, tough. You should have thought about that before you allowed your holy book to become the central motivation for global jihad.

I'm not arguing the merits here so much as the politics. There's certainly a discussion to be had about how to categorize these people. As things stand, they're not covered by the Geneva Conventions -they're unlawful combatants, captured fighting in civilian clothes rather than uniform, and, when it comes to name, rank and serial number, they lack at least two thereof, and even the first is often highly variable. As a point of "international law", their fate is a matter entirely between Washington and the state of which they're citizens (Saudi Arabia, mostly). I don't think it's a good idea to upgrade terrorists into lawful combatants. But if, like my namesake the British jurist Lord Steyn, you feel differently, fine, go ahead and make your case.

Where the anti-Gitmo crowd went wrong was in expanding its objections from the legal status of the prisoners to the treatment they're receiving. By any comparison -ie, not just with Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot - they're getting better than they deserve. It's the first gulag in history where the torture victims put on weight. Each prisoner released from Guantanamo receives a new copy of the Koran plus a free pair of blue jeans in his new size: the average detainee puts on 13 pounds during his stay, thanks to the "mustard-baked dill fish", "baked Tandoori chicken breast" and other delicacies. These and other recipes from the gulag's kitchen have now been collected by some Internet wags and published as The Gitmo Cookbook.

Judging from the way he's dug himself in, Dick Durbin, the Number Two Democrat in the US Senate, genuinely believes Gitmo is analogous to Belsen, the gulags and the killing fields. But he crossed a line, from anti-Bush to anti-American, and most Americans have no interest in following him down that path.You can't claim (as Democrats do, incessantly) to "support our troops" and then dump them in the same category as the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge. In the hermetically sealed echo chamber between the Dem leadership, the mainstream US media, Hollywood, Ivy League "intellectuals" and European sophisticates, the gulag cracks are utterly unexceptional. But, for a political party that keeps losing elections because it has less and less appeal outside a few coastal enclaves, Durbin's remarks are devastating. The Democrats flopped in 2002 and 2004 because they were seen as incoherent on national security issues. Explicitly branding themselves as the "terrorists' rights" party is unlikely to improve their chances for 2006.

What Defines Them is Not What They're For; It's All About What They're Against

With at least two notable exceptions.

In the neverending cavalcade of "socially aware" yet vacuum skulled entertainers, there appears to be at least two individuals who actually prefer actually doing something constructive over repeating worthless jingoisms; Bob Geldof and Bono.

Both are involved in trying to relieve the crisis in Africa, and both of them have chosen to associate themselves with people who are not acceptable to their entertainment collegues.

Bono is taking heat for meeting with George W. Bush and Tony Blair:

BONO has been attacked by his rock peers for associating with US President
GEORGE W BUSH and British Prime Minister TONY BLAIR.

The U2 rocker recently admitted friction has been sparked within the band since his transformation from rock star to anti-poverty campaigner.

But fellow musicians are concerned Bono is taking his desire to make a global difference too far. Fellow Irish star SINEAD O'CONNOR says, "I think you risk losing your credibility by going to a party at Downing Street.

"I would draw a line at drinking wine and eating cheese with the Prime Minister."

Meanwhile, songwriter BILLY BRAGG says, "Bono is prepared to sit down and talk directly with George Bush in his territory.

You may recall that Sinead O'Conner proved her credibility by tearing up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live.

Meanwhile, Bob Geldof, who has already been criticized for wanting to include the Pope in his efforts on behalf of Africa (which I wrote about here) continues to show that he cares more about his cause than the approval of his peers. Why else would he say this?

"America doesn't have a lack of empathy; they just don't know the issues as well.
Actually, today
I had to defend the Bush Administration in France again. They refuse to accept, because of their political ideology, that he has ctually done more than any American President for Africa. But it's empirically so."
Well Bob, that will certainly not set well with the likes of Sinead O'Conner. But that's not all, Bob further wants no Bush bashing at his benefit concerts!

LIVE 8 founder Bob Geldof is determined to see his international concerts stay focused on the plight of Africa's poor -- and not fall into cliched Bush bashing and global warming rhetoric.

Geldof has ordered show organizers and producers to redouble all efforts to keep LIVE 8 performers "on message" during the July 2 event, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

"Please remember, absolutely no ranting and raving about Bush or Blair and the Iraq war, this is not why you have been invited to appear," Geldoff said to the manager of a top recording artist, who asked not to be identified. "We want to bring Mr. Bush in, not run him away."

Good luck with that one Bob.

As I've said before, whether the efforts of Bono and Bob Geldof will have an appreciable effect on the immense problems that Africa faces is debatable, but their efforts are nonetheless laudable. They have both proven themselves to be adults among children. They have taken the time to learn the facts and have exhibited courage in stating those facts at the risk of "losing credibility" (as Sinead O'Conner puts it) among their peers. One can not only be judged by one's supporters, but also by one's critics. By that measure, Bono and Geldof seem to be on the right track.

What O'Conner and her kind are incapable of understanding is that these men are actually building credibility rather than losing it.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

KKK was "Fraternal Group of Elites"

It appears that revisionism is in full bloom in the Senate. Durbin equates Gitmo to the worst atrocities in the history of mankind and now, Byrd claims that the Ku Klux Klan never engaged in or preached violence against blacks, Jews or Catholics:

The 770-page book is the latest in a long series of attempts by the 87-year-old Democratic patriarch to try to explain an event early in his life that threatens
to define him nearly as much as his achievements in the Senate. In it, Byrd says
he viewed the Klan as a useful platform from which to launch his political career. He described it essentially as a fraternal group of elites -- doctors, lawyers, clergy, judges and other "upstanding people" who at no time engaged in or preached violence against blacks, Jews or Catholics, who historically were targets of the Klan.
Yeah Bob, sort of like the Moose Club or the Rotary Club with white robes and hoods. Just a fratenal group of elite, "upstanding" people who just happen to be white, gentile and protestant.

By the way, who in the hell would buy, much less read, a 770 page book about Robert Byrd's life?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Left's Mercurial Speech Standards

After the debacle at Waco (you remember, the David Koresh nutjobs that were transformed into crispy critters by the Janet Reno Justice Department) Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA referred to the "jack booted thugs" of the ATF in a fundraising letter. I can still hear the squeals from the left in defense of our noble government agents who were being unfairly tarred with the hideous label which alluded to Nazi stormtroopers. That was 1992, Bill Clinton was president and the individual who hurled the allusion was, politically, well right-of-center.

The bare facts of the matter are that approximately 80 people were incinerated in Waco, people who were only guilty of following a psycho with a messiah complex - this was not exactly a high water mark for Federal law enforcement. Setting the details of incident at Waco aside though, Mr. LaPierre's allusion was unfortunate, even in the context of a fund-raising letter, which is often given to hyperbole. There are far too many dedicated government agents who risk, and often lose their lives in the service of their country to be generalized in such a manner.

President George H.W. Bush resigned from the NRA in protest of LaPierre's characterization and Republicans from all quarters arose to denounce LaPierre's intemperate phrase.

My, how times have changed. Now we have Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) comparing the treatment of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay to the treatment of the victims of the Third Reich, the Soviet Gulag and Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Unlike Mr. LaPierre's clumsy allusion, Sen. Durbin's words are concise and to the point:

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here
[at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional]
Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you
what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee
chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the
detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners

So, when will Sen. Durbin's Democrat colleagues in the Senate stand up and publicly disavow these noxious comments? Well, I don't believe they will. It seems that the more time that goes by, the more shrill and hysterical these people become. The "Bushitler" and Nazi imagery that has long been a staple of the radical left has obviously taken deep root in those who were once thought to be mainstream - the two are now almost indistinguishable. Sadly, Democrats, in general, are beginning to look as though their hatred for George W. Bush is greater than their love for their country. Just as "mainstream" Muslims refuse to stand up against their radical fringe and, in the process, become complicit in their excesses, so now are Democrats following their radicals over the edge of reason.

They claim to "support the troops" but they seem to never miss a chance to cast our forces and their mission in the worst possible light. Every defeat or miss-step is magnified and every victory is downplayed or ignored.

Does Sen. Durbin and his ilk not understand that much of this conflict is PR? Does he not realize that his comments, word for word, appear in Al Jazeera and simply fuel their anti-American propaganda machine? Is he so filled with anti-Bush hatred that he would scuttle our effort in the Middle-East, an effort that more than 1,700 of our men and women have died for, just to disgrace the president? Is he a traitor, or a fool? In either case, he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate.

Aside from the fact that I could give a damn (yes, that's right, I simply don't care) what they do to any of the detainees (terrorists/murderers) at Guantanamo Bay, the fact is that there is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between Gitmo and the mass-murderer's row of Hitler (6 million Jews alone), Stalin (15-30 million, at least) and Pol Pot (2 million, or 1/3 of the poulation) that the Senator calls to mind. If the Senator does not understand that, his ignorance of history is stunning. If he does understand it, his duplicity is so breathtaking that his resignation should follow.

Friday, June 17, 2005

But, alas, so little time.

I thought that I had this site humming as to keeping it more current, but sometimes the realities and obligations of life have a nasty way of infringing on one's hobbies. I am sure that this is a situation not unknown to most of us.

So, the likes of Dick Durbin (hits bottom, keeps on digging), Democrats in general, (whose only principle seems to be to counter Pres. Bush, no matter what the consequences may be) the Iranian "elections" (yeah, right) Iraq, (don't believe everything you hear in the papers) and all of the other issues will have to wait.

I'll be back at it in a few days.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Or at Least, the Acquitted

Yeah, I know that by now this is old news, but I've been out of town and now that I'm back I am compelled (compelled, I tell you) to put in my two cents on this farce masquerading as drama masquerading as news.

One news clip I saw pretty much summed it up for me. I showed a woman, upon the announcement of the blessed vindication of her savior (the oh so persecuted St. Michael), releasing doves with a look on her face that was a combination of unadulterated bliss and utter vacuousness. My reaction was paradoxical; on one hand I was curious as to what she could possibly be thinking, on the other hand I preferred not to know.

I guess I will just have to quote myself, from before the verdict was reached:
Who will win? Well, in the end, the freaks will win and we all will lose. Personally, I would hope that Jackson will not come out of this unscathed and will be found guilty of something. Unfortunately, the trial has assumed a carnival-like ambiance and a carnival is a freak's home turf.

I have nothing more to add.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I'M OUTTA HERE..... Posted by Hello

........for a few days, so blogging will be suspended until Wednesday evening. Until then, I'll leave you with this pretty picture of a shiny airplane ascending into the friendly skies. Have a good week!
Get your Mind Right

OK, I'm an unapologetic Parrotthead. As such, I'm consistantly embarrassed by Jimmy Buffett's liberal politics as evidenced by this Hugh Hewitt post:

First, the serious stuff. From the Los Angeles Times' "Quick Takes" column:

"A Secret Service agent was dispatched to recover Jimmy Buffett's lost cellphone, which reportedly contained numbers for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. The singer lost the phone at a Cuban restaurant in Delray Beach, Fla., on May 29, according to the Palm Beach Post. Busboy Jason Martin picked it up.

'We were sitting around smoking weed and strolling down the list on Jimmy's phone, going 'Wow!' Martin told the paper. The busboy says he didn't call any of the celebs, but told police his friends might have placed crank calls to Clinton."

I still love ya Jimmy, but you really should re-evaluate your circle of friends.

Posted by Hello

A group of naked cyclists took part in a bike ride to protest against oil dependency and to "celebrate the human body."

Crowds gathered as about 100 people set off from Hyde Park corner, London, in the World Naked Bike Ride past some of the capital's most famous landmarks.

Most of them stripped fully naked for the 10km (6.2 miles) cycle past Piccadilly
Circus, Big Ben, Covent Garden, Oxford Street and the United States Embassy.

Yeah, that should do it! I can just hear Tony Blair now at 10 Downing Street: "My God! we must have oil independence now lest those people get naked again!"

As a side note, have you ever noticed that the people who insist upon getting naked at these protests are people who really shouldn't be naked? I mean, some human bodies simply should not be celebrated. Then again, maybe that's the point - give us what we want or we will horrify you with our nakedness.


(via Drudge)

(via Roger L. Simon)
A recent public opinion survey of Iranians, conducted by The Tarrance Group, surprisingly found that a vast majority (74%) of Iranians feel America's presence in the Middle East will increase the probability of democracy in their own country. The survey, which was the first of its kind, found two-thirds ofIranians believe that regime change in Iraq has been a positive for both neighboring countries: with 66% believing that it served Iran's national interests, while 65% believed the Iraqi people will, in the long-run, be better off.

It's working better than I ever dared to hope it would! There are those who said that it couldn't be done. There are those who still say that it can't be done. When it is done, they will all say that it was inevitable and it would have happened anyway. We know differently.
Posted by Hello
Canadian at border boasts of 700 kills, refuses to go home for court date in grisly murder case

TORONTO - A Canadian senator said Friday U.S. customs should have done a
better job after they let a man carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood into the United States.

Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais,
Maine, on April 25, saying he was an assassin, the same day he was to be
sentenced in Canada on charges he assaulted and threatened to kill his
neighbor's son-in-law.

The following day, a gruesome scene was discovered at the neighbors: The decapitated body of a 74-year-old country musician named Frederick Fulton
was found on Fulton's kitchen floor. His head was in a pillowcase under a
kitchen table. His common-law wife was discovered stabbed to death in a

Unaware of alleged murders Canadian police and U.S. customs officials did not know about the alleged murders when custom officials let Despres into the U.S., but they knew he was due in court that morning for sentencing on the assault case.

They let him enter the U.S. anyway.

Colin Kenny, chairman of Canada's Standing Senate Committee on National
Security and Defense, said U.S. customs should have at least alerted local
police in Maine to keep an eye on him.

"I think I would have wanted to keep a close eye on that fellow for
awhile," Kenny said. "The whole thing gives me a queasy feeling."

Gee, ya think? I mean, look at they guy! If you were casing the role of "psycho axe murderer" in a movie, this guy would get the part. But wait, there's more:

Bill Anthony, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Friday the Canada-born Despres could not be detained because he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and there was no warrant out for his arrest.

William Heffelfinger, deputy assistant commissioner for field operations for U.S. customs, acknowledged though that they knew he was probably going to skip his court appearance.

"We knew he was supposed to be at court," Heffelfinger said. "There was an RCMP officer at the port at that very time and he would not go back to court."

Heffelfinger said Despres told custom officials that he was "with NSA and with the marine corps, a trained sniper with over 700 kills."

Police did not track Despres after left customs.

Anthony said they fingerprinted Despres because "obviously you don't want somebody like that walking out of the port into your community where your
officers live and your children play."

Joseph Gutheinz, a University of Phoenix criminal justice professor, said they could have arrested Despres for lying to a customs officer. The comment about "700 kills should have tipped" them that he was not telling the truth, he said.

'He said he was an assassin'
Eddie Young sat next to Despres at the customs office when the agents processed them. Young told the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal that he heard Despres tell custom officers he was an assassin.

"That's the reason I remember him. He said he was an assassin," Young said. "When he come in they opened his bag up and they took out, it looked like large bayonets to me but they could have been a little bit longer for swords, and then two pairs of brass knuckles fastened on to his bag, a chainsaw and what looked like a flak jacket, a bullet-proof vest."

Despres seemed intense, Young said.

"I'm going like, Jesus, he's an assassin? Like, 130 pounds, nasty looking little Mohawk. I don't even think he blinked for the 25 minutes we were sitting beside each other," Young said.Young said the customs officers appeared to be joking around with the swords.

"I watched the Customs guys fling the swords around in the back room," Young said. "I mean, wouldn't the evidence be ruined with their fingerprints?"

Young said officials treated him better than he was.

"When I came back in they were giving him a coffee," Young told the newspaper. "He got processed faster than I did."

Young said he was detained at the border because he was arrested in Ottawa almost 20 years ago for drug possession.

Despres, 22, became a suspect for the murders because of a history of violence between him and his neighbors, and he was arrested April 27 after police in Massachusetts saw him wandering down a highway in a sweat shirt with red and brown stains. He is now in jail in Massachusetts on murder charges, awaiting an extradition hearing next month.

I simply do not understand how something like this can happen. Sure, mistakes can happen, but the guy had a bloody chain saw and a face right out of a George A Romero movie! Is there not anything like "reasonable cause" in a situation such as this? If this guy can cross the border unchallenged, then we are in far more danger than I thought.


While I know there are pressing issues out there such as Brad and Jennifer and the Michael Jackson trial, there are also other things that deserve your undivided attention, like nuclear terrorism. Paranoia you say? The stuff of Tom Clancy novels you say? Well, I'll bet you would have said the same thing about airliners being flown into the World Trade Center - on September 10, 2001.

This National Journal article by Siobhan Gorman and Sydney Freeberg discusses the very real possibility of an event that would make 9/11 look like a minor ripple and it should be read in its entirety. An excerpt:

The Port of Los Angeles -- Twelve thousand times a day, the hulking cranes outside Noel Cunningham's office unload another shipping container. Any one of
them could conceal a nuclear weapon -- and Cunningham's first clue, he fears,
might be a blinding flash outside his window. As director of operations and
emergency management for the Port of Los Angeles, Cunningham is responsible for securing a facility which, together with the neighboring Port of Long Beach, is
the gateway for 44 percent of the goods that come into the United States. A bomb
that gets through here is just a drive down the highway from any city in 48
states. "All the other threats, we can deal with," Cunningham says. "But the
nuclear threat is probably the one we wouldn't recover from."

Cunningham's security challenge is hardly unique: America's porous borders and winding coastlines are impossible to fortify against bad people determined to get bad things into this country. The security consensus since 9/11 is that government officials should do everything they can to catch terrorists before they can launch an attack, but that they must realize they won't be able to catch all of them. The equation regarding the nuclear threat is different, however: Letting just one nuclear bomb through carries unacceptable costs -- mortal, economic, and psychological. So, this threat demands a response that -- ideally -- leaves nothing to chance.

With that in mind, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Cunningham and his Long Beach counterpart commissioned nuclear-security workups of their ports. The conclusion: Port officials could get the best protection against attacks by persuading officials abroad to tighten security at the foreign ports that feed shipments into Los Angeles and Long Beach. That's the mission that Cunningham and his colleagues began to pursue, at first meeting considerable push-back from the U.S. government. Now, their approach is a national model.

"The good news and the bad news is that Los Angeles is the best in the country," says University of California (Los Angeles) public policy professor Amy Zegart. She gives it a grade of C. A security expert who has studied the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex extensively, Zegart says that while Los Angeles has made more headway than any other jurisdiction, even after "superhuman effort" to coordinate jealously independent agencies, its security system remains full of holes, both technological and political.

The story is similar at the national level. Adm. James Loy, who until recently was the deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, recalled a series of "Deputies Committee" meetings in the White House Situation Room in early 2004 at which federal security officials expressed nagging worries about efforts to combat nuclear terrorism. This was the one threat that required a "zero-tolerance policy," Loy said, and current efforts weren't cutting it. Within months, Loy would become one of the leading advocates in the federal government for a new office dedicated to bolstering the country's nuclear-detection policy and technology. In Loy's vision, this office would drive a "mini-Manhattan Project" to push for a technological breakthrough that could revolutionize America's ability to detect nuclear material at its borders, inside its borders, and around the world. The proposal for the
Domestic Nuclear Detection Office made its debut in the president's 2006 budget request.

But headway has been modest, at best. Many critics say the security system currently under development for ports and border crossings has inherent flaws. The chief weakness is that the system depends on newly installed "radiation portal monitors" -- which can't reliably detect the most-likely-to-be used material: highly enriched uranium. Nor can the monitors detect a shielded dirty bomb. And even if the devices could detect every type of nuclear material, as outgoing House Homeland Security Chairman Christopher Cox, R-Calif., points out, the current system assumes "that terrorists will do us a favor by bringing their nuclear material through a radiation portal monitor."

If 9/11 taught us anything it taught us that fiction can become horrifying reality in a matter of seconds. This is why it is imperative that we should not only continue to seek out those who would perpetrate such an act abroad, but we should also be ever vigilant at home.

The liberation of Iraq and the growing movement toward democratization in the Middle East is making a lot of people nervous, people with a great deal of money and a virulent hatred of the United States. These people want us dead, they want our civilization destroyed. Those who would distract us with "Koran desecration" stories are fools (or worse) and they obfuscate the monsterous nature of our enemy.

Yesterday's fiction is today's history. Consider the possibilities, for to ignore them may bring a future too horrible to imagine.

Friday, June 10, 2005

No, This is Not a Parody.

Sean Penn, who sucks up countless millions acting in American movies and who, in his spare time, pontificates as to the evil of the very county that has given him his charmed life will be writing for the San Francisco Chronicle on the presidential "elections" in Iran:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Hollywood actor Sean Penn, adopting the role of a journalist, scribbled in his notebook as Friday prayer worshippers in Tehran chanted "Death to America."

Penn, 44, in Iran on a brief assignment for the San Francisco Chronicle ahead of presidential elections on June 17, may be one of the best known faces in film, but he went unrecognized by the 6,000 faithful at Tehran University.

Working with a translator, Penn took copious notes as hardline cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged the congregation to vote en masse "to make America angry."

The actor, who visited Iraq before and after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and wrote an account of his second trip for the Chronicle, told Reuters he had decided to come to Iran because of growing tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The United States accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons and sponsoring terrorism. Iran denies the charges.

Stalin called people of Penn's ilk (Communist apologists in the west) "useful idiots" and, while Stalin was one of the 20th centuries most evil of men, he was certainly no fool. He learned, early on that there were those in the west who would willingly do his bidding and he was right.

Clearly, this is just another example of the mainstream media's total abandonment of objectivity in favor of naked propaganda. Why Sean Penn? Obviously because they know, in advance, what he will write and they know that it will fit their twisted world view. Anyone who agrees with them is considered an "intellectual" and those who do not are "buffoons." Penn has a long history of anti-Americanism and, as such, his take on this so-called "election" is highly valuable commentary and opinion from an "informed" member of the "artistic community". What amazes me is just how transparent they have become.

Acoording to this poll, confidence in the media has sunk to an all-time low, which would appear to mean that the American public has sensed their duplicity. Let us hope that these numbers are correct.

Don't these people have anything better to do? Posted by Hello

Man, this is sad. Five American soldiers were killed today by a roadside bomb. Muslim maniacs are in our country, conspiring to kill American civilians , and these oblivious airheads are outside a courtroom "debating" with signs as to the guilt or innocence of a has-been pop star who has an affinity for young boys and plastic surgery.

And we wonder why they think we're a paper tiger that is unworthy of respect.

Elegant Pop Culture Freak Gathering Posted by Hello

The King of Pop Culture Freaks

I've said little or nothing about the Jackson child molestation case because, well, I really don't care. Not that I think that child molestation is not worthy of my passion (I think that it should be punishable by life imprisonment, at the very least,) I just find it difficult to find much to get worked up about in this particular case.

But, since I have the words "cultural opinion" in the masthead, I guess I am obliged to make a comment on this case.

To begin, I really enjoyed Michael Jackson as an entertainer. He was an enormously talented young man whose early music I still enjoy to this day. His personal descent to what we see today should be a cautionary tale to aspiring icons, as well as the general public that seems to condone behavior of celebrities simply because of their status as celebrities.

The defendant if a freak. Sure, it can be argued as to how he became this way, but the fact that he's a freak is pretty much undeniable and it's clear that he's irredeemable in his freak status. At the very least, he has an unnatural obsession with young boys and this obsession has led him to actions which, even if they were wholly innocent, are extremely incriminating to even the casual observer. The bubble of "yes Michael" bobbleheads with whom he surrounded himself allowed his behavior to become increasingly bizarre over the years and I have no doubt that this behavior included child molestation.

He's also a freak magnet inasmuch as everyone who gloms onto him and everyone with whom he chooses to surround himself are either on the outer fringes of normalcy or certified freaks themselves. Simply look at the photo above - if you don't find this collection of "celebrities" at least a little disturbing, well, you have probably already stopped reading this.

The plaintiffs, particularly the parents are freaks. They are grifters and con artists that probably used their own children as bait in order to extort money from Jackson. In doing so, they have probably sentenced their children to a life in the freak show we know as popular culture. There will be books, and made-for-TV movies and their 15 minutes of fame will be guarateed. Certainly, I feel deeply for the children who were sold into Neverland slavery by their parents, but aside from expressing indignation over this fact (which I do), there's simply nothing that any of us can do to remedy that situation.

Who will win? Well, in the end, the freaks will win and we all will lose. Personally, I would hope that Jackson will not come out of this unscathed and will be found guilty of something. Unfortunately, the trial has assumed a carnival-like ambiance and a carnival is a freak's home turf.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

And he went into politics? Posted by Hello

Yes, I know that it's not nice to make fun of one's looks but I just came across this photo of a young John Kerry (evidently from college) that I had never seen before. I think that I know why.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Like the Energizer Bunny on Acid, Democrat Chairman Just Keeps Going and Going and.....

Howard Dean gives his theory as to the demographics of the Republican party:
Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, unapologetic in the face of recent criticism that he has been too tough on his political opposition, said in San Francisco this week that Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party."

"The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people," Dean said Monday, responding to a question about diversity during a forum with minority leaders and journalists. "We're more welcoming to different folks, because that's the type of people we are. But that's not enough. We do have deliver on things: jobs and housing and business opportunities."


My only comment would be that I disagree that he has been "too tough on his political opposition," he's doing more to discredit his own party than the Republicans could ever hope to do. The fact that the Democrats aren't rising up en masse to disavow him is tantamount to their agreement with him.

I really do love Mark Steyn's work. He's always the "go-to guy" when their are difficult things that are in dire need of being said. No less is the case in this column on Africa. My only disagreement is on the subject of Bob Geldof. I must give Geldof a great deal of credit; when most of his ilk are wearing ribbons and blathering on about "awareness" (as though awareness ever really changes anything) at least Bob is using is celebrity toward something positive. He seems to me to be genuinely concerned about an issue about which we should all be concerned. Whereas most of Geldof's entertainment industry collegues are content with blaming Bush for all of the world's ills, Bob is, at least, doing something constuctive. What good will it do? Probably very little, but it's a hell of a lot better than appearing on an awards show with an "awareness" ribbon on the lapel of a $5, 000 jacket and prattling on and on as to how "Bushhitler" is the source of all of the world's evil.

That said, it's clear that Mark is right when he says that the source of Africa's problems lie in their political situation. Most of the continent's contries are run by madmen, depots and mad despots. They have succeeded in keeping the people ignorant and in poverty, for an educated population with only a moderate degree of prosperity simply will not tolerate mad despotism as their form of government.

Africa is is textbook example of how food can be used as a weapon and the African tyrants deJour have used it with a mastery not seen since Stalin. Africa is a continent rich in natural resources and with an abundance of fertile land. For decades, Ethiopia was the very definition of starvation - why, to this day whenever I hear the word "Ethiopia" I get an image in my mind of a starving child; sunken cheeks, skeletal limbs, bloated belly and flies all over his face. Ethiopia, however, produces some of the most expensive and most sought-after coffee in the world! How is it that a country that can produce some of the finest coffee in the world, could not feed itself? Drought was the cover story, but a despotic government lies at the heart of the problem and ignorance continues to feed and maintain the despots.

Many of those in the west blame our "neglect" of Africa. What neglect? We have spent many billions of dollars in feeding Africa, only to find out that the age-old Biblical adage is true - "give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish, and he'll never be hungry again." What Africa needs is modern agricultural methods that will solve their food problems, and education that will solve their AIDS problems. Unfortunately, none of this will be possible until the political leaders of Africa are receptive to the kind of what they really need and what they need is progress. culturally and economically. The means are at hand to solve this unfortunate continent's problems, but they have to be willing to accept the fact that many of their problems are not the fault of the west, but are the fault of themselves.

We are not neglecting Africa, Africa is neglecting itself. I, for one, am tired of the west taking the fall for every backward culture's failure to embrace progress - from the Middle East to Africa. The solution is there for the taking.
Actually, just the opposite, but you would never know it by reading the New York Times!

The invaluable Rich Galen, proprietor of "Mullings", runs the numbers:

Headline in yesterday's New York Times: "U.S. Challenged to Increase Aid to Africa" which topped a piece by reporter Celia Dugger.

The article states that the European Union has "agreed unanimously... to almost double assistance to poor countries over the next five years. Japan this week reaffirmed its pledge to double aid to Africa in just three years."

All this in the run-up to British Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Washington this week at which he "hopes to shake loose more American aid for Africa."

Way, way, WAY down in the ninth paragraph we read that the "United States has tripled aid to Africa to $3.2 billion since Mr. Bush took office." [Emphasis mine]

Wait. What? You mean that the Great Internationalist, Bill Clinton, presented budgets for aid to Africa which were only a third of the Great Isolationist George W. Bush?

That can't be correct, can it? Nah. Surely the New York Times would have published a series of congratulatory editorials if it were true.

Even FARTHER down in the story, this nugget: [T]he United States is still the single largest donor [to Africa], giving about a quarter of the total...."

Still not enough because the same sentence goes on to say, "[The US] is next to last in the share of national income it gives - 16 cents of each $100. On average, major European nations give more than twice as much - 36 cents of each $100."

Ok. You wanna play the statistics game? Let's go to the tape:

According to the highly respected Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2001 France provided .34 percent of its GNI to aid to Africa. In 2004 that went up to .42 percent - an increase of about 24%.

In 2001 (which would have been the last Clinton budget), the donation level of the US was .11% of GNI. That has, under the guidance of George W. Bush, increased to .16 % in 2004 - a boost of over 45%!

Germany's contribution over that period has increased just over three percent. Japan, by the way, has DECREASED its donation since 2001
by about 17 percent.

See? It's not enough that the American people give 25 cents out of every dollar given by every nation on the planet. 25 percent is not a fair share.

The New York Times believes you have too much money and you should share more of it with the very excellent national leaders of African countries.

25 cents out of every dollar donated to Africa is donated by you. You also, by the way, donate 20 cents out of every dollar which goes to running the United Nations.

According to the charts and graphs, the country of Luxembourg is as close to the top of the list as the US is to the bottom - number two. Luxembourg has contributed .85% of its Gross National Income to this effort which translates to about $241 million.

The miserly United States donated $19 BILLION in 2004.

There are 191 members of the United Nations. I guarantee you that the UN representative from Upper Iguana is not wringing his hands trying to figure out how to increase UI's contribution to the UN or to Africa.

I also guarantee you that the representative from Upper Iguana is heavily involved in high-level cocktail party discussions as to how to distribute the power of decision-making at the UN more fairly; read UI gets as big as say as the US.

So long as we're inventing metrics to make our case, how about this one: In every one of these activities for each dollar your country donates you get one vote. You donate $241 million you get 241 million votes.

You donate $19 Billion, you get 19,000,000,000 votes.

Now, that sounds fair.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the NY Times article which got me started on this and a link to the OECD charts showing how our 19 Billion isn't cutting the mustard. Also a Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

The "Blame America First" crowd (as Jean Kirkpatrick so aptly put it) never seems to miss a chance to skew the numbers. We seem to get all of the blame and none of the credit while "the world" sits on its hands awaiting an American solution to problems for which they can take credit if successful, or scourge us with blame if it is less than so. We seem to be the world's whipping boy and financier rolled into one. It makes one want to throw up one's in disgust and let "the world" hoist itself by its own petard.....but then again, that's not who we are, is it?

Maybe being American means having an innumerable nuber of cheeks to turn, maybe that's just part of being the world's "last, best hope of mankind."
Well, that is, as long as you agree with us.

Geldof condemned over Pope 'invite'

Campaigners have penned an open letter to Bob Geldof in protest at his decision to invite the Pope to support Live 8.

The National Secular Society (NSS) is pointing to the Vatican's refusal to condone the use of condoms, saying it has helped spread HIV in Africa.

The society, which campaigns for religion to be taken out of public life, says it will create a counter-campaign of protest against any decision by Pope Benedict XVI to get involved. NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood said Geldof should not have written to the Pope about attending the Hyde Park event.

He said: "Inviting the Pope to Live 8 would be a slap in the face for all those currently working to stem the spread of Aids in Africa.

"Aids is destroying lives, communities and, ultimately, will destroy whole nations for generations to come unless greater efforts are made to check it.

"To invite the Pope, who has supported and reinforced this inhumane policy, to an event aimed at combating poverty through protest, verges on an obscenity. The invitation must be withdrawn immediately."

At the launch of Live 8, singer Sir Elton John raised his concerns about the invitation, saying: "When you take into consideration their (the Catholic Church's) views of contraception, and how this affects the spread of Aids... it adds to the general poverty of this region, doesn't it?"

The event in London's Hyde Park - featuring Madonna, Robbie Williams and Paul McCartney - will draw attention to poverty and debt in the developing world.

Five free concerts will take place simultaneously in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Philadelphia on July 2.

This is so pathetically revealing on so many levels that I simply do not know where to start. Personally, I have a lot of respect for Bob Geldof. I think that he is an enormously sincere individual who is doing whatever he can to relieve some of the world's suffering. His actions are commendable and, over the years, his motives have clearly shown to be pure. So many of these entertainment types "talk the talk" in the form of mindless babble and wearing pointless ribbons of various colors. Geldof is "walking the walk" by actually doing something.

Are Geldof's carping, sanctimonious critics aware of the Catholic Church's very, very long history of missionary hospitals in Africa as well as every other backwater hellhole on earth? Are these vacuous bobble-heads aware of the countless Catholic missionaries that have been slaughtered for no reason other than that they sought to provide some comfort and healing to those who are victims of some of the most evil regimes in history? Is the empty-headed chattering class aware of the schools that have been built in these areas to provide education to those who would otherwise remain ignorant?

Obviously, in the eyes of The National Secular Society, all of the good that the Catholic Church has done (assuming that they are aware of it, and that's a big assumption considering their pompous ignorance) is negated by The Church's tradition of mixing healing the sick, clothing the naked and feeding the hungry with (gasp!) religion.

To his credit, Geldof obviously understands that the solution to problems as immense as those that face Africa requires seeking common ground with those who have the same ends, though details of their solutions may differ.

Once again, his vociferous critics have clearly illustrated that political correctness is simply facism by another name.

Friday, June 03, 2005

More Like the Religion of Savages

Not content with the killing of Jews, Christians and Hindus, let us not forget that Muslims are also at war with other Muslims of whom they disapprove:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a gathering of Sufi
Muslims north of Baghdad, killing 10 people in the latest attack by Iraqi insurgents on religious sects they disapprove of, officials said on Friday.

The bomber detonated his explosives on Thursday evening in a house near the town of Balad as Sufis gathered for a religious ceremony, Interior Ministry officials said.

Sufis follow a form of Islamic mysticism that stresses the need for a personal experience of God. Some conservative Muslims consider them emotional or
even heretical.

Really, lets's face it, Islam isn't a religion, it's a psychosis masquerading as a religion.
U.S. Confirms Gitmo Soldier Kicked Quran
Tempest in a Toilet

Look for the "hate America" crowd in this country a well as the Islamofacists abroad to get themselves in a lather as a result of this story.

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon on Friday released new details about
mishandling of the Quran at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects,
confirming that a soldier deliberately kicked the Muslim holy book and that an
interrogator stepped on a Quran and was later fired for "a pattern of
unacceptable behavior."

In other confirmed incidents, water balloons thrown by prison guards
caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; a guard's urine came through
an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Quran; and in a confirmed but
ambiguous case a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover
of a Quran.

The findings, released after normal business hours Friday evening, are
among the results of an investigation last month by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the
commander of the detention center in Cuba, that was triggered by a Newsweek
magazine report _ later retracted _ that a U.S. soldier had flushed one Guantanamo Bay detainee's Quran down a toilet.

The story stirred worldwide controversy and the Bush administration
blamed it for deadly demonstrations in Afghanistan.

Hood said in a written statement released Friday evening, along with the
new details, that his investigation "revealed a consistent, documented policy of
respectful handling of the Quran dating back almost 2 1/2 years."

Hood said that of nine mishandling cases that were studied in detail,
five were confirmed to have happened. He could not determine conclusively
whether the four others took place.

Nine cases, in 2 1/2 years. And what of the oh so sensitive Muslim detainees? Certainly their handling of the "Holy Book" is nothing less than meticulous, no? Well, as a matter of fact, no:

He also said they found 15 cases of detainees mishandling their own Qurans. These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran," Hood's report said. It offered no possible explanation for the detainees' motives.

Last week, Hood disclosed that he had confirmed five cases of mishandling of
the Quran, but he refused to provide details. Allegations of Quran desecration
at Guantanamo Bay have led to anti-American passions in many Muslim nations,
although Pentagon officials have insisted that the problems were relatively
minor and that U.S. commanders have gone to great lengths to enable detainees to practice their religion in captivity.

Hood said last week that he found no credible evidence that a Quran was ever
flushed down a toilet. He said a prisoner who was reported to have complained to
an FBI agent in 2002 that a military guard threw a Quran in the toilet has since
told Hood's investigators that he never witnessed any form of Quran desecration.

A tempest in a toilet, nothing more, nothing less.

I'm supposed to respect your violent, oppressive tome? I don't think so.

I have to tell you, I don't give crap about Koran desecration. Mind you, I have my doubts (and if it did happen, I don't believe that it was a "pattern"), but even so, I could care less.

Besides, have we forgotten who these inmates at Guantanimo Bay are? They're murderers and terrorists who want nothing more than to destroy our very civilization, and we are supposed to believe their complaints? To hell with their sensibilities.

Whether we want to believe it or not, we are in the midst of a religious war. We didn't ask for it, but it came to us anyway. We continually try to avoid it, even now, but it it is continually waged on us. It is waged on us by people who are so addicted to obscene violence that their "religion" has been reduced to nothing more than an excuse for their baser insticts. These are people that took the Church of The Nativity in Bethlehem by force, occupied it, defiled it, defecated in it and used the pages of ancient Bibles as toilet paper. Yet they are now whining about Koran desecration? These are people who have absolutely NO respect for anyone's faith, yet expect everyone to respect theirs. These are people who have squandered countles TRILLIONS of dollars in oil revenues yet they endlessly whine about their poverty and continue to pledge their allegience to the despots who have kept them mired in poverty because these despots publicly profess to be devout Muslims, though in private they are the worst kind of depraved, Godless monsters. As a "culture" (and I use that word very loosely) they are like malevolent children who have never been told "no" and throw a tantrum when they don't get their way. The more we placate them, the more malevolent they become because they can see that that is how they get their way. I lost any respect that I had for Islam a long time ago and until I see some reform on their part, I'll not have any respect. Until I see some respect from them for my culture, I see no reason to have any of theirs.

If it's a religious war they want, then so be it. Let us engage them and end this insanity here and now. The people of Allah have killed, and continue to kill, far too many of my countrymen and my spiritual bretheren for me feel compassion. I believe that what is at stake is the very survival of our Judeo-Christian culture, for that is their true enemy. It is they who have chosen war and it is they who must now choose peace.

Where are the "moderate" voices of Islam and why do they not speak? Where are the righteous and peaceful Muslims and why do they not recoil at what their religion has become? Why are they not screaming at the top of their lungs in agony at the unspeakable atrocities that are being committed, even against other Muslims, in the name of their Allah? It's because it's just to hard a case to make. It's because Islam is not a "religion of peace" and no matter who says it, or how many times they repeat it will it ever be so. At its center is darkness, violence and oppression. Is it any wonder that it is adopted by violent criminals in prison? It doesn't make these criminals more peaceful, caring participants in society, it "spiritualizes" their rage and codifies their baser instincts. It doesn't raise one up, it gives one an excuse to wallow in self pity and rage.

As for the hand-wringers who are so concerned about treating the koran with respect, weren't these the same people who saw nothing wrong with placing a Crucifix in a jar of urine, naming it "Piss Christ" and having it funded by the government in the name of "art" and "free speech"? Did Christians erupt in violence over this abomination?

To those who are so distressed about this ALLEGED Koran desecration, I can only say "get over it" and enjoy a little taste of the indignities that have been heaped upon Christianity of late.

As for me, I'm still distressed over the deaths of 3,000 innocent people on 9/11 and the desecration of the New York City skyline. I think I will be for a very long time.
I'm Back

I've been out of town quite a bit, in fact, I'm out of town more than I'm in. That, coupled with adjusting to a radically new lifestyle has forced me to put blogging on the back burner. That said, I will endeavor to post on a more regular basis. After all, having created "the best unread blog in America", the least I can do is update it on a more regular basis.