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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

So Where Are These "Good" Muslims?


John Hawkins at Right Wing News links to Victor Davis Hanson's comments vis a vis  Islam and the war on terrorism.

--Victor Davis Hanson has some wise words for one of his readers who mistakenly believes Islam is the enemy in the war on terrorism...
"Isn’t the enemy in the Middle East Islam? To end this war, should US policy be the destruction of the religion? "
"Hanson: No. I don’t think so. Look at India, Malaysia, and Indonesia where we don’t have a great deal of trouble with Muslims. Rather, the problem is in the Middle East, where a reactionary Islam, Arab tribalism, post-Soviet Baathism and statism, combined with failed states and autocratic governments, create this lethal brew of Islamofascism. "

And agrees with Hanson.

"Exactly. As Iraq becomes free & prosperous, more terrorists are captured and killed, & the terrorists continue to murder other Muslims, you will start to see a sea change in the attitude of "moderate" Muslims towards terrorism."

Now far be it from me to disagree with either of these distinguished gentlemen (especially Dr. Hanson who has more letters behind his name than I have in  my name), but there is stronger evidence to the opposite.

For over thirty years I have made a study of religious cults. Yes, Islam meets all the requirements of a cult, including long-term brainwashing of its followers. That makes the problem a worldwide  problem. Dr. Hanson suggests we "[l]ook at India, Malaysia, and Indonesia where we don’t have a great deal of trouble with Muslims."

If he's talking about Americans  not having trouble with the Muslims of those countries, he is correct. However, the citizens of those nations might have a different opinion.

I was in the process of writing a lengthy post rebutting this issue, then had to run off to teaching obligations. When I returned, I happened to surf over to the Barking Moonbat where I discovered Vilmar had linked to precisely the same sort of post at Connie du Toit's blog "Personal Effects". (It sounds like a Six Degrees of Separation  pathway, doesn't it?) Once there, I found this:

"Recently one of the commenters [Steven King Bowers on Jun 27, 04 / 2:43 am] on Kim's site made the case against Islamic fascists and detailed the short history of conflicts."

She then posts a partial list of countries currently having problems with Muslims who have no interest in living peacefully with their neighbors.

"Algeria, Morocco, Mali (formerly part of the Spanish Sahara), Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Greece, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Kashmir, all the "-stans," Malaysia, the Philippines, Macedonia, Bulgaria."

Notice Indonesia, India, and Malaysia are all on the list. Then Mrs. du Toit rightly comments:

"The fact that there may be "good Moslems" who want peace is only meaningful when those "good Moslems" are ready to take arms against the bad guys. If the bad guys are supposedly in the minority (which is what people keep trying to tell us) then why are there these problems ALL OVER THE WORLD involving Moslems of every flavor variation. If there are "good Moslems" why are they looking away, doing nothing, allowing the "Infidels" to do their battles for them? It means, they are condoning the action of their Moslem brothers."

Where are the thousands--the tens  of thousands--of "moderate" Muslims marching in New York, or San Francisco, or London, or Paris in protest of how their "peaceful" religion has been polluted by Islamic fascists? (I did read somewhere there was a gathering of some sort in New Jersey, I believe, that couldn't manage to gather even 100 people.)

If those protests begin, I might be tempted to believe the "good" Muslims will eventually reject their violent brethren. Until then, the question "Do they silently agree with the terrorists?" will remain foremost in my mind.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Both Sides Now


Unbelievably this writer manages to take both sides of a debate. A true Kerry-ite. [S]he agrees Kerry's divorce records should be released, since Jack Ryan's were unsealed, then argues the media should ignore  any revelations that are exposed.

"Normal people aren’t routinely accorded the benefit of having their court disputes kept secret. Why should the rich and powerful be treated any differently? They shouldn’t be.

"Still, the media shouldn’t be in the business of gratuitously printing the embarrassing details of people’s private lives, even when they are brought up in court. The key word here is "gratuitously."

And what important issue in Jack Ryan's campaign did the "gratuitous" revelation of his private sex life address? Beyond forcing an up-and-coming Republican conservative to withdraw from a race the Democrats were in danger of losing? Guess that's enough for you, though.

"But now that Judge Schnider has opened up the records of the Ryan marriage, it will be difficult for Kerry to keep his sealed.

"Already, his operatives are calling any effort to unseal his divorce records political "gutter ball" and a "trash hunt."

How can people say that stuff with a straight face? How can people listen  to them with a straight face?

"But that can’t be a good enough reason for public records to remain sealed. Imagine what Republican partisans will have to say if John Kerry’s divorce record is left sealed after one of their candidates felt the need to bow out of a race after his was made public.

"Of course, after having access to the records, the media will have to judge for itself how newsworthy any of the information contained in them is.

"Ten years after their divorce, the ex-Mrs. Kerry wrote a book about her "suffocating marriage" to, she claimed, help other couples trapped in such unhappy relationships.

"We, in the media, will have no such excuse for printing the sordid and unhappy details of the Kerrys’ break-up.

But you did  have an excuse for slavering over Jack Ryan's details? You don't think printing "the sordid and unhappy details of the Kerry's break-up" might keep our country from being "trapped" in the "unhappy relationship" of a Kerry presidency?

Porn, Yes. Michael Moore, No.


Strange times for the Supremes. On the one hand there's this result of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law which they ruled was constitutional.

"Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel."

And on the other hand, there's this decision about the importance of upholding the First Amendment.

"The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law meant to punish pornographers who peddle dirty pictures to Web-surfing kids is probably an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech."

While I consider "That Film" Moore created to be nothing less than political porn, it does appear the Supremes have developed a split personality.

Use It Or Lose It


This appears to remove another campaign issue from Kerry's side of the balance sheet. No more for-the-children wailing about inadequate education funding.

But don'cha just love it when the Federal government starts begging their teachers' pets to take their money--ah--our  money?

"States are getting a reminder from the federal government: Make plans quickly to spend more than $2 billion in education money or be ready to lose it.

"The Education Department [created by Jimmy "America-held-hostage" Carter--ed. ] has found that all the states, the District of Columbia and eight territories have high cash balances left from 2002, including money meant for poor children, disabled students and limited-English learners.

[…]

"The department's move comes as an election-year fight grows over whether states and schools have enough money to do what's demanded of them under new federal law. House Republicans said Tuesday that states have $16.8 billion in unspent school money dating from the former Clinton administration, a figure that the Education Department confirmed but state school officials called misleading without context about how school financing works.

Context. Yeah, right. Caribbean vacations for "Administrator Conferences." Special celebrations for favored teachers at Chippendales clubs. I wouldn't mind those type of "contextes."

"We've literally flooded the system with cash, and it's time to start focusing on improving student achievement instead," said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee."

Over a month ago I pointed out even with all those billions, that still only accounts for 6-8% of school budgets. And for their measly 6%, the federal government claims the right to tell everyone what they can teach and how they must teach it?!

Scrambling for spending really isn't new and different, though. A few years ago the Food Stamp program was serious "under spent." So much so, the welfare department started advertising for people to sign up. And a friend of mine just received a notice from the IRS saying she might be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. When she called and said she had no dependent children (which I thought was part of the eligibility requirement) she was told, no, it wasn't. Her net income was low enough to qualify.

Everyone is oohhhing and aahhhing over Hillary's inadvertently telling the truth. What's she's really  admitting to is just plain stealing. The Feds obviously don't need any more of our money or they wouldn't be frantically warning school districts to "quick, spend it or our budget will be cut!" They already had to return $155 million last year, and, since money equals power, it's apparent the Education Department is panicked about losing a huge chunk of theirs.

I vote for… good riddance!

MORE: Michelle Malkin has discovered how Massachusetts will be spending its surplus.

"Have you checked your child's summer reading list? Beware: Some lame-brained school officials have decided to ditch the sonnets of Shakespeare for the tripe of Tupac.

"Teachers in Worcester, Mass., have embraced Shakur's posthumously published book of poems as a way to get middle school students' attention. "We wanted to include books that kids would want to read," Michael O'Sullivan, a member of the summer reading list selection committee, explained to the Telegram and Gazette of Worcester last month before school let out. ''Reading counterculture in schools, and to get kids to read anything that is not completely objectionable, is the goal,'' Deputy Superintendent Stephen E. Mills echoed."

With this sort of crap being pushed in middle schools, it's no wonder our colleges are reduced to teaching Buffy, The Simpsons , Harry Potter, and Star Trek .

Monday, June 28, 2004

Trend Setters


The lefties love to think of themselves as trendsetters, but I don't think this is the kind of "trend" they had in mind.

Today Vilmar at Barking Moonbat links to a Larry L. Eastland column at OpinionJournal.com entitled "The Empty Cradle will Rock - How abortion is costing the Democrats voters - literally "

How ironic. I've had this Ted Byfield June 6th Calgery Sun  column floating around for the past month and very nearly ditched it. Glad I didn't. Apparently the thinning of the ranks is being felt everywhere, or, as Byfield says, the "Sun may be setting on the 'feminarchy.'"

"By the feminarchy, I don't mean just the feminists.

"I mean the grand coalition of the feminist lobby and gay lobby that for years has dictated the social policies of the Liberals, Tories, Bloc Quebecois, NDP and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as the hiring policies of nearly all the universities, and the content of nearly all public school curricula.

"To the feminarchy also must go the credit, or blame, for reducing both genuine conservatism and the phenomenon of articulate religious conviction to the status of the absurd.

"Consider, for example, the extraordinary exhibition staged by Judy Sgro, the federal immigration minister. She undertook a one-woman street protest against Stephen Harper after Harper's Conservative health critic endorsed "neutral" counselling for women seeking abortion. Harper did not repudiate his health critic. So the signal went out for another "Stop Kookdom!" orgy.

"Apart from the Sgro extravaganza, not much else happened.

[…]

"But this has been coming for some time. For at least five years, we have heard the wailing of aging feminists that younger women are not taking up their cause. The reason for this perhaps vaguely dawns on them.

"Political values tend to pass mainly from parent to child."

"The feminarchy made it a point not to produce children, and to quietly destroy them if they tried to make an uninvited appearance."

"So now that they need them, they aren't there."

Keep up the good work, people.

NOTE: This does not mean I am pro-abortion. Aside from all the unnecessary deaths, I have always wondered if somewhere in that 40-year Holocaust was a child destined to cure cancer--or any of a number of other great works that would benefit humankind far more than the doctrine of "a woman's right to choose."

MORE: Tom at MuD & PhuD has an interesting analysis.


The Rottweiler is Rampaging


On Sunday The Emperor linked to The Daily Pundit's post about American complacency, highlighting his favorite comment from one of their readers: "The farther we get from September 11, the closer we are to September 10."

Just as compelling is the Rottie's own observation: "It is a sad but unavoidable fact that we, as a people, have the attention span of a humming bird on methamphetamine."

There's so much more, so just go read everything.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Yet Another Reason to Avoid Tennessee


(I'll explain that title at a later date.)

"State troopers will honor new driving certificates for immigrants as valid identification, even though they are stamped with the words ''not valid for ID.'' The previously unannounced policy surprised and angered some supporters of the new law yesterday, even as it pleased others.

"That's news to me,'' said Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, who persuaded colleagues last month to support the new driver's license law, described as the ''strictest in the nation'' by Gov. Phil Bredesen, its main architect.

"Controversy has swirled over the certificates, which will be issued instead of driver's licenses to temporary immigrants and those who can't prove they're in this country legally ." [Emphasis mine.]


Islamic Bedtime Stories for Kiddies


Or better yet, this should run as a double bill with That Film that Lard Michael of Michigan just inflicted on the public.

"A website dedicated to Islamic law features a video presentation of four children acting out a beheading in a similar manner to recent slayings in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
In a scene that appears to mimic the murder of Nicholas Berg, a young boy is shown kneeling in front of two boys and a girl who are masked and clothed in the style of the American's Muslim kidnappers.

[…]

"The video, revealed to WND by the Northeast Intelligence Network, appears on a site operated by Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri, a defender of the 9-11 attacks who is being held in London on an extradition warrant issued by the U.S. government."


Pandering…


…to the lowest dregs of intelligence. You said it, Michael.

"[Americans] are possibly the dumbest people on the planet... in thrall to conniving, thieving, smug pricks."


Malevolent Manipulations


Both Josh Chafetz and Glenn Reynolds are cutting Mary Beth Cahill, Kerry Campaign Manager, far too much slack. Apparently Mary Beth is sending out emails soliciting donations based on the fact George Bush is comparing Kerry to Hitler !

"P.S. It's hard to believe that the Bush campaign would use images of Adolf Hitler. See it for yourself: http://www.georgewbush.com."

Chafetz suggests:

"Indeed, do  see it for yourself, because here's what the ad is: It's a series of clips of Al Gore, Howard Dean, Richard Gephardt, and John Kerry making totally over-the-top denunciations of Bush. Interspersed are clips from MoveOn.Org ads comparing Bush to Hitler. The ad ends with, "This is not a time for pessimism and rage. It's a time for optimism, steady leadership, and progress. President Bush."

"In other words, Bush is criticizing his opponents for, among other things, comparing him to Hitler. In response, the Kerry Campaign sends out this incredibly dishonest email suggesting that Bush has compared his opponents to Hitler and asking for money.

[…]

"I'm not sure whether this is malice or incompetence on the part of the Kerry Campaign -- and I suspect the answer is incompetence -- but it doesn't bode well for them either way."

This isn't incompetence. And it is beyond malice. With that email, Cahill plunges gleefully into the cauldron of sheer malevolence.

If we have learning nothing else from the Clinton administration/campaign (beyond new and different ways to "solicit") it is that they are masters at accusing their opponents of the same tactics they themselves use. Like carny hucksters they say it fast and say it shrill, hoping the dumb clucks in middle America will forget it was the George Soros-funded MoveOn.org  who first created the Hitler=Bush  comparison. (And if you believe Al Gore's recent rant about "digital brownshirts" wasn't accusing Bush-supporting, conservative bloggers of Nazi-esque fascism, you need to go back to school.)

One of the most effective defenses in our modern political era is to accuse the accuser  of doing the same thing you yourself have done--aka "moral equivalence." I have no clue why this lame ploy works--and continues to work. But Clinton used it repeatedly to excuse his own peccadilloes by dragging out rumors of the Founding Fathers' misbehavior with the arrogant claim "See? Everyone did it! Why pick on me?"

So please, don't excuse this sort of malevolent manipulation by labeling it mere "incompetence."

Friday, June 25, 2004

"Take a running jump, Holy Joes, humbugs!" - Matthew 23:25 


Missed that one the last time you read the Bible, did you? Well, don't despair. You can find that verse and more in the new PC/Greenie version of the Bible.

"Titled "Good as New," the new Bible is translated by former Baptist minister John Henson for the "One" organization, to produce what the group calls a "new, fresh and adventurous" translation of the Christian scriptures.

This travesty of Scripture would make more sense if you told me the late Jim  Henson of Muppets fame channeled the text.

"The 104th archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams – leader of the Church of England – describes it is a book of "extraordinary power," but admitted many would be startled by its content.

Good ole' Rowan--master of the understatement.

"Instead of condemning fornicators, adulterers and 'abusers of themselves with mankind'," says Ruth Gledhill, the London Times religious affairs correspondent, "the new version of his first letter to Corinth has St. Paul advising Christians not to go without sex for too long in case they get 'frustrated.'"

Oh yeah--there was definitely too much condemnin' goin' on in that old version! Now, admittedly I think Paul had some major issues with women (and not getting' any), but this advice is just nuts! Unless, of course, Paul slips in a comment or two about "safe sex" and using condemns…

"The One organization that produced the new Bible translation is dedicated to "establish[ing] peace, justice, dignity and rights for all." It is also focused on "sustainable use of the earth's resources," challenging "oppression, injustice, exclusion and discrimination" as well as accepting "one another, valuing their diversity and experience." [In other words--nothing is sinful, everyone is saintly, and one God fits all .]

"According to Ekklesia, a London-based "theological think tank" that supports the "One" translation:

"The translation is pioneering in its accessibility, and changes the original Greek and Hebrew nomenclature into modern nicknames. St. Peter becomes "Rocky," Mary Magdalene becomes "Maggie," Aaron becomes "Ron," Andronicus becomes "Andy" and Barabbas becomes "Barry."


Changes the original Greek and Hebrew? What are they shooting for--a celestial reunion of the Bee Gees?

"Here's how Williams, the top Anglican archbishop, describes the new Bible: "Instead of being taken into a specialized religious frame of reference – as happens even with the most conscientious of formal modern translations – and being given a gospel addressed to specialized concerns … we have here a vehicle for thinking and worshipping that is fully earthed, recognizably about our humanity."

The Bible was not written about worship that is "fully earthed". Being "earthy" ain't a good thing, Doctor. Scripture was written by and about earthy  men and women, but the whole point of Judaism and Christianity is that we are sinners and unworthy of God's notice. Every one of the "great" people of the Bible suffered the consequences of their actions even though they did great things for God.

But that's the whole problem with the Bible, isn't it? Waaaay too much of that pesky "suffering the consequences of your actions."

Thursday, June 24, 2004

"Smile When You Say That, Pardner…"


You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?

"The [New York] Times is apparently repenting for the fact that its lead book critic savaged Bill Clinton's autobiography. To make amends, the Times is rushing to inform journalist types that it is running a favorable review of the Clinton book in its Sunday book review section--two weeks from now.

"Times PR person Kathy Park sent a missive to the liberal-leaning journalist website Romenesko late Wednesday, informing it of the paper's early posting of the favorable review. As if trying to assuage angry liberals for having initially dared to criticize Clinton, Parks quickly assures readers that this review, anyway, is positive: "Larry McMurtry describes 'My Life' as '…the richest American presidential autobiography--no other book tells us as vividly or fully what it is like to be president of the United States for eight years.'"

Well, I'm not surprised. Lonesome Dove  was over hyped mediocrity, so what else could you expect from Larry McMurtry?

Giving the Customer What they Want


If that last post was the question, Professor Bainbridge points to the answer as provided by Eric Rasmusen.

"Who would have thought back in the 1960's that by 2000, professors would be denied tenure based on casual evaluations by the students they were grading?

[…]

"Rather, I think that "good teaching" means "contented students" for the people who rely on student evaluations. Student evaluations are indeed a good way to measure this. And it is a reasonable objective. Administrators are trying to sell a product, and if you view the student as a customer rather than as someone to whom you have a moral obligation, you want to design a product that he wants. The student will likely want a course that has a low workload and gives him a pleasant feeling of accomplishment while being described as difficult course on an advanced topic. Professors have incentives similar to administrators-- it is more fun teaching contented students, and while it is quite difficult to know how to make students learn…it is much easier to figure out how to make students pleased."

Wonderful. Now we'll have a generation who are perfectly pleased  to be able to wax poetically unintelligible on Homer [Simpson] in three languages.

Academic Maladjustment


When in doubt, dumb down.

"To the shock of academic purists, today's students can now take classes in Buffyology (the study of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Elvish (the language of “Lord of the Rings”), “Harry Potter” and other TV shows and movies, with a focus on everything from physics to military history.

[…]

"The Potter class looks at how anti-gravity research could produce a flying broomstick. That's intriguing, but it's not really science education in my book," said Reader's Digest editor Jacob Young, who featured "The Science of Harry Potter," a Frostburg (MD) State University course, in a March article called "Absurd 101. Young compared the Potter class to "How to Watch Television," an offering at Montclair (NJ) State University, and "How to Get Dressed," a freshman seminar at Princeton.

[…]

"But physics professor George R. Plitnik, who teaches the Potter class in Maryland, insists that the course — which ponders the possibility of self-teleportation — is no joke.

It sure as hell won't be a joke if some looney tunes-uneducated student decides to test the possibility by "self-telaporting" off the roof of the dorms.

"It becomes harder by the year to teach Shakespeare, [said Middle Tennessee State University English Professor David Lavery — known to fellow Buffyologists as the “father” of "Buffy" studies]…"

I see. That's why you gave in to the lowest common denominator.

Lavery, who recently co-hosted the “Slayage” conference — a three-day gathering of more than 325 fans and students of the butt-kicking blonde — admits that part of the appeal of teaching pop culture is simply that the scholars are fans, too.

Oh, now  I get it. Why waste your time actually imparting knowledge to your students when you can merely transform your evening/weekend amusements into a legitimate course of study. AND have the state taxpayers foot the bill.

Other films and TV programs also have been deemed worthy of a closer look. The philosophy of "The Simpsons" is being discussed in classrooms along with Plato and Kant; classes in Klingon, the language of "Star Trek," are widely available; and at Turves Green Boys’ Technology College in Birmingham, England, children are offered weekly after-hours lessons on Sindarin, a conversational form of Elvish invented by “Lord of the Rings” creator J.R.R. Tolkien.

How comforting to know the next generation will be able to wax poetically unintelligible on Homer [Simpson] in three languages.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Moore Fears Hizballah Boycott


Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs points out how Michael Moore's people are a-okay with Hizballah's support of That Film. (In respect to Ray Bradbury I will never use the bogus title again.)

Most telling quote from the article:

"The story then quotes [film distributor] Front Row Managing Director Gianluca Chacra: "We can't go against these organizations as they could strongly boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria."

Interesting excuse. If people are advised to avoid That Film in Lebanon and Syria, it's called a "boycott." If people are advised to avoid That Film in the United States, it's called censorship.

"[Tom] Ortenberg [president of Lions Gate Films Releasing] said. "I think the one message that everybody can take from 'Fahrenheit'…is that we need less censorship in this country not more. For any organization to call for the censorship of this film is particularly distressing and misguided. If anybody wants to debate the issues raised in the picture, that is terrific, but to call for censorship of the film could not be more wrongheaded."


Monday, June 21, 2004

Being Serviced Meritoriously


If the Boy Scouts offered badges like these do you think the ACLU would leave them alone?

"106 Science Claims and a Truckful of Baloney"


The scariest fact about this article is how many people buy into the hype.

"Psychologist William Hallman says that people really do learn their science from science claims, which is rather like learning the fundamentals of automobile engineering from a used-car salesman. "If you ask people, 'When you clean your kitchen, how clean do you need to get it to be safe?' he says they respond: 'I need to clean 99.9 percent of germs on contact'," repeating the claims of antibacterial cleansers."

Well, doh! How do you think the EPA stays in business?

VeepStakes


Ran across this amusing little exercise at WorldMagBlog. Choose Kerry's veep with the Washington Post Veep-O-Matic!

I'll go out on a limb and say Kerry will choose Max Cleland of Georgia. He's a southerner with military and Senatorial experience, but, more importantly, it will be virtually impossible for Republicans to debate his record. Every time an opponent opens his/her mouth, Cleland can whine he's being "attacked" again. And who wants to be accused of "attacking" a disabled person? That's a no-win situation--believe me, I know…

Next…



"Iran said Monday it had confiscated three British naval vessels and arrested eight armed crew members. The Royal Navy acknowledged it had lost contact with three small patrol boats on a routine mission in the waterway between Iraq and Iran.

[…]

"Iranian-British relations have been strained in recent days, since London helped draft a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors meeting last week in Vienna that rebuked Iran for past cover-ups involving its development of nuclear technology.

"Iran says its program is aimed only at producing energy, while the United States accuses Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran accused Britain of caving in to U.S. pressure on the resolution."

We'll be glad to "press" a few J-DAMS into the Brits' hands to "cave in" some Iranian nuclear sites.


Sunday, June 20, 2004

Pie in the Face


Michiko Kakutani will be looking for a new job next week.

"The Pastiche of a Presidency, Imitating a Life, in 957 Pages,"

"But while Dan Rather, who interviewed Mr. Clinton for "60 Minutes," has already compared the book to the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, arguably the most richly satisfying autobiography by an American president, "My Life" has little of that classic's unsparing candor or historical perspective. Instead, it devolves into a hodgepodge of jottings: part policy primer, part 12-step confessional, part stump speech and part presidential archive, all, it seems, hurriedly written and even more hurriedly edited.

"In fact, "My Life" reads like a messy pastiche of everything that Mr. Clinton ever remembered and wanted to set down in print;…"

I have no doubt Ms. Kakutani's review is accurate, but how did accuracy get into print in the New York Times ? Unless… Perhaps this is an easy way for the NYT to claim they're "unbiased." The next time someone accuses them of slanting the news, they can point to this review and say "Not true. See how we savaged Bill Clinton?"

Wonder if Billy Boy reacted like this when he read the review:

"The former American president, famed for his amiable disposition, becomes visibly angry and rattled, particularly when [David] Dimbleby asks him [in a BBC interview] whether his publicly declared contrition over the affair is genuine.

"The President initially responds to Dimbleby's questions by launching a general attack on media intrusion. When the broadcaster persists with the question of whether the politician was truly penitent, Clinton directs his anger towards Dimbleby."

Just business as usual for Clinton over the defining moment of his presidency.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

What's missing here?


We have the 9/11 Commission investigating Bush Administration so-called lapses, encouraged by their Madam LaFarge-esque groupies knitting away in the back of the hearing room.

We have another group delving into who leaked the identity of uber-agent Valerie Plame to Robert Novak.

We have the Abu Gharib photos being investigated so many ways I've lost track.

We have A.N.S.W.E.R. organizing protest marches in the usual venues.

We have graduating students at Berkeley sporting green sashes to proclaim their dedication to martyrdom.

We have Islamic calls to worship being force-fed to the citizens of Hamtramck, Michigan.

But…

We don't have "moderate" imans denouncing the kidnapping and wanton murder of Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, and Paul Johnson from their pulpits during Friday worship.

We don't have "moderate" Muslim community leaders speaking out against the terrorists and "rebels" bombing and murdering both U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens.

We don't have "moderate" U.S. Muslims rallying and marching against the "radicals" who have "hijacked" the so-called "religion of peace."

Why not?

Because it is a sad reality that every Muslim believes he is superior to every other human being on Planet Earth. (In fact, according to Islamic teaching, anyone who's not a Muslim, Jew, or Christian isn't even considered to be  human!) The death of a few Jews and Christians stir no angst among them. At some point they will all have to be disposed of anyway so whether it is done by semi-human hands or Allah's Own Hand it makes no difference to them. If they don't have to bloody their own hands  to do it, so much the better.

There is only one prime directive in the Muslim mind--claim every scrap of dirt they can for Allah. And radical or "moderate," they don't care how it's done.

Interrogation Procedures


John Hawkins at Right Wing News covers this email to NRO's The Corner from an Army interrogator rather thoroughly, so I'm just going to point out a thing or two he didn't.

When the Abu Gharib pictures were originally published, I wrote this:

"Abuse or SOP?"

"The rest generally pull out Dhia al-Shweiri's quotes about what he had undergone as a prisoner of Saddam and his complaints that he was humiliated by the US military, having to strip naked and made "…to feel as though we were women, the way women feel, and this is the worst insult, to feel like a woman."

Everyone who quoted the story used the same passage, but they all eliminate the statements immediate before it.

"He said he and six other prisoners - all hooded - had to face the wall and bend over a little as they put their hands on the wall.

"They made us stand in a way that I am ashamed to describe. They came to look at us as we stood there. They knew this would humiliate us," he said…"

First thought: when coupled with the later comments about being made to "…feel as though we were women…" it makes me wonder exactly how Islamic men er--ah--engage  with their wives in the bedroom.

Second (and more important) thought: this is a rather standard "search" procedure in American prisons, isn't it? As disgusting as it is, searching prisoners' body cavities is a necessary evil.

As I recall, there was a rather infamous prison battle in Afghanistan involving the "American Taliban" Johnny Walker Lindh. CIA agent Johnny "Mike" Spann died in that uprising and numerous questions were raised about how thoroughly the captured Taliban fighters had been searched."

The Army interrogator writes:

"I’ve been an Army interrogator since 1990, and just finished up a hitch as an interrogation instructor and interrogation training developer.

"Something that bothers me about all this is that all of the techniques adopted by FM34-52 have survived legal review for decades (and DOD lawyers are not stupid – they have a focus towards a war effort where the objective is killing the enemy, as opposed to US civil/criminal lawyers) – all of a sudden all of this stuff is illegal? I am a GW1 vet, with 3,000 interrogations under my belt, nothing was off limits and suddenly we are all wrong?

"(FYI, in Gulf War 1 – GW1, we had female MPs and female interrogators – and we strip searched Iraqi soldiers by the battalion…no outcry there)" [Emphasis mine.]

Like I said from the beginning, most of what was described by Mr. al-Shweiri is SOP in prisons. It should  be standard operating procedure when processing an enemy who will stuff his body cavities with plastic explosives in the hope of killing a few American soldiers.

When two gangs of German saboteurs were captured in the U.S. during WWII, we had no problem convicting and executing them as spies.

"Shortly after midnight on the morning of June 13, 1942, four men [led by George John Dasch, age 39] landed on a beach near Amagansett, Long Island, New York, from a German submarine, clad in German uniforms and bringing ashore enough explosives, primers, and incendiaries to support an expected two-year career in the sabotage of American defense-related production. On June 17, 1942, a similar group [led by Edward John Kerling, age 33] landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville, Florida, equipped for a similar career in industrial disruption.

"By June 27, 1942, all eight saboteurs had been arrested without having accomplished one act of destruction. The eight were tried before a Military Commission, comprised of seven U.S. Army officers appointed by President Roosevelt, from July 8, to August 4, 1942.

"One was sentenced to life imprisonment, another to thirty years, and six received the death penalty, which was carried out [on August 8, 1942].

Six of the eight were executed even though they had never accomplished one act of destruction .

So why are we wasting our sympathy on a bunch of murdering, filthy Muslim dregs of humanity?

Oh, yeah--I remember--so George W. Bush can be defeated in the November elections.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Tyranny of the Minority Redux


Horsefeathers has given Professor Samuel P. Huntington his official "Henny Penny" award. Okay, the Professor does tend to obsess over every little thing. But Huntington's recent editorial (free registration required) hits the mark:

"Michael Newdow is Right. Atheists Are  Outsiders in America
[…]
"Although the Supreme Court did not address the question directly, Mr. Newdow got it right: Atheists are "outsiders" in the American community. Americans are one of the most religious people in the world, particularly compared with the peoples of other highly industrialized democracies. But they nonetheless tolerate and respect the rights of atheists and nonbelievers. Unbelievers do not have to recite the pledge, or engage in any religiously tainted practice of which they disapprove. They also, however, do not have the right to impose their atheism on all those Americans whose beliefs now and historically have defined America as a religious nation.
[…]
"We are a Christian people," the Supreme Court declared in 1811. In the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln also described Americans as "a Christian people." In 1892 the Supreme Court again declared, "This is a Christian nation." In 1917 Congress passed legislation declaring a day of prayer in support of the war effort and invoking America's status as a Christian nation. In 1931 the Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier view: "We are a Christian people, according to one another the equal right of religious freedom, and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God."

[…] In three surveys between 1989 and 1996, 84% to 88% of Americans said they were Christians. The proportion of Christians in America rivals or exceeds the proportion of Jews in Israel, of Muslims in Egypt, of Hindus in India, and of Orthodox believers in Russia."

So why are we always allowing the minority to dictate our policy not only about Christian symbols and phrases, but gay-marriage and partial birth abortion?

The Good Dr. Horsefeathers makes an excellent point when he says: "Things don’t stay the same, Professor. When they get bad enough human beings will do something to change them for the better—you can bet on it."

All well and good. But why not work on change before  things "get bad enough?" It sure would save lives when push comes to shove. Or does he think we are cursed to endlessly repeat the mistake of Chamberlain vs. Nazism and Clinton vs. Islamofascism?

Honest Democrats, Nefarious Republicans


Baldilocks relates her  experience with the Universal National Service Act of 2003 (H.R.163/S. 89) "Reinstate the Draft" email originally debunked by Citizen Smash. You know (I hope) the one I mean. It cleverly manages to avoid mentioning all its sponsors are Democrats!

"However, when I was sitting at one of my friends’ place, her fax came on, distributing all of the pertinent information about this bill. Well, almost all of the pertinent information."

"My friend’s response: “see what Dubya is trying to do?” There was not one word in the fax about the sponsors and the co-sponsors of the bill.

"This is the type of mentality that has become too prevalent: anything undesirable is automatically George W. Bush’s fault."

And Dems wonder why they're called liars and cheats.

Boycotting, Blackballing, or Censorsing?


Obviously supporters of Lard Michael of Michigan intend to claim censorship over this. They'll probably get away with it since the ordinary American no longer knows the difference between those three words.

Censorsing  - To examine and expurgate.
As much as I think His Obeseness could use a good expurgation, no one is doing it. No one's even coming close.

Blackballing  - A negative vote, especially one that blocks the admission of an applicant to an organization.
(Blackballing opens a whole new area of imagination vis a vis  Mount Michael that I think I'll avoid for now.) Suffice it to say, I don't think anyone, much less an organization founded only a few months ago, could convince the Hollywood elites to deny Gluteus Extra-Maximus admission to their special circle.

Boycott  - To abstain from or act together in abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with as an expression of protest or disfavor.
Now this is something anyone can engage in, on any level. In fact, I'm sure many readers think it's just fine that homosexuals intend to boycott the state of Virginia over their recent legislation to refuse to recognize gay marriage or civil unions.

"California-based Move America Forward, which says its goal is "supporting America's war on terrorism," has launched an electronic campaign, both via e-mail and through its Web site, encouraging theaters not to play Moore's film, which is critical of the war in Iraq.

"Additionally, Move America Forward has listed on its Web site the movie theaters that either have agreed already to screen "Fahrenheit 9/11" or have not yet decided on a course of action. The Web site lists e-mail addresses of executives at 23 theater chains, both large and small, along with their business addresses, and it urges the public to contact them with their objections to the film."

Of course the public can also contact those theaters with their support of the film which is why this is not censorship. Censorship can only be carried out by an entity with some sort of legal clout--usual the government.

"According to Sal Russo, chief strategist of Move America Forward and a partner in the public relations film Russo Marsh & Rogers, which started the organization last month, the group has heard anecdotally of some theaters that will not show the film. But he was unable to identify any of those theaters.

"Moore's credibility as a documentarian has been shattered," Russo said. "Even supporters of the film say it is distorted."

[…]

"We are still finalizing our distribution pattern and we are still very much on target to open 'Fahrenheit 9/11' in something north of 500 theaters on June 25," [Tom] Ortenberg [president of Lions Gate Films Releasing] said. "I think the one message that everybody can take from 'Fahrenheit' -- whether you support the war in Iraq, oppose the war or are undecided -- is that we need less censorship in this country not more. For any organization to call for the censorship of this film is particularly distressing and misguided. If anybody wants to debate the issues raised in the picture, that is terrific, but to call for censorship of the film could not be more wrongheaded."

Someone send Mr. Wrongheaded Ortenberg a dictionary please.

"Said John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners: "Any time any organization protests against a movie, they ensure that the movie will do better at the box office than it would have done otherwise. If they have any doubt about this, just ask Mel Gibson."

On the other hand they could ask Martin Scorsese about The Last Temptation of Christ . It was tough to tell which was bigger--the opposition firestorm or the movie's abysmal flop.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Calling Woodward and Bernstein


…to take their rightful places in the list of pathologically biased journalists. They fostered the cult of anti-journalism intent on "exposing" any and all secrets. These type of secrets, however, need to be kept, especially in a time of war.

WHITE HOUSE ANGER AFTER TIME MAGAZINE DETAILS LOCATION OF CHENEY'S 'SECRET BUNKER' Tue Jun 15 2004 11:11:34 ET

"Top White House officials expressed anger after TIME magazine detailed the location of Vice President Dick Cheney's secret bunker, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned."

Btw, has TIME ever revealed the real identity of "Deep Throat?" Just askin'.

Here's some information about the Deadly Duo's background. Interesting tidbits:

"Bob Woodward on working as a teenager in his father's law office:
"I was the janitor. I’d be there at 10 at night. No one else is there. You’d go around cleaning up ashtrays and trash cans and sweeping. What’s that on the desk? Oh, that’s interesting. You start looking at what’s on the desk, then in the drawers, then in the files, then eventually in what they call the disposed files."

He should still be a janitor--in a maximum security prison.

"Roberta Krasner, who grew up with [Carl] Bernstein, "a red-diaper baby":
"In elementary school, we got this “Freedom Card.” If you finished your math assignment or whatever, you were trusted to work in the class garden or go to the library without teacher supervision. Carl said he never got a Freedom Card. He said, “I always wanted a Freedom Card.”

Why? He wouldn't know what to do with it.

I Still  Blame Walter Cronkite


And so, according to this Ann Coulter column, did Ronald Reagan!

"This wasn't sunny old grandpa carrying candy around in his pocket for children. After watching Walter Cronkite's coverage of the Vietnam War in December 1972, Reagan told President Richard Nixon, "under World War II circumstances, the network [CBS] would have been charged with treason."

To repeat my original post, what I remember of Walter Cronkite is a grumpy old man hunkered down in the mire of a Vietnamese rice paddy, dolefully reporting on the death and destruction being inflicted on American forces. I was only a kid, so my impressions are those of a not-very-politically savvy teen, but the overall feeling when I happened to see one of his broadcasts was of abject depression. Fortunately my parents disliked him immensely so I didn't have to watch him very often.

It wasn't until much later that I learned Cronkite's reports of how the U.S. was losing the war were primarily broadcast during the Tet Offensive--an offensive we won--an offensive that decimated our Communist enemies with minimal cost to us--an offensive that was so negatively spun by the 5th columnists in the U.S. press most of us thought we were crushingly defeated!

To this day I cannot understand Cronkite's strange flip-flop. At the time I got the distinct impression he was 1) impressed with his own importance as a veteran war correspondent and 2) deliberately attempting to influence the upcoming Presidential elections.

That Cronkite supports liberal Democrats is a matter of record. All you have to do is read
his Denver Post column.

That column alone should be enough to revoke his credentials as the most "respected" journalist in America. The most biased, perhaps. The most self-important, definitely. But not the most respected. His reporting style and blatant journalistic advocacy put down deep roots--like kudzu in the South.

Day in and day out we are treated to examples of Cronkite's poisonous legacy in action--from Abu Ghraib to the newest CBS "must carry" directive of Bill Clinton's book bash.

Economic Draft?


Naturally this AP story tries to make it sound that way. Statistics better to slam Bush's economic policy with…

"After analyzing military records of 798 Americans killed in Iraq as of Wednesday [May 26th], the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said 46 percent of them were from communities of less than 40,000 residents at least 25 miles from a populated place of 100,000 or more. The figures include accidental and non-combat related deaths.

"Such small towns make up only about 27 percent of the population, but they have claimed nearly as many war dead as the metropolitan areas that make up the other 73 percent.

"Men and women from rural areas disproportionately enlist to continue a family history of military service, escape small-town life or flee economically depressed areas that offer little hope, according to experts.

"Often, high school graduates with limited options are drawn to the military by its economic packages."

However, there is this bit of information the AP conveniently managed to miss:

"This blogger, though, talked to a high-ranking army recruiter who said that it was mostly urban enlistees from the coasts who join up for the benefits. Since war broke out, she said, those enlistments are down, but enlistments from the Midwest and the South--what she called "the heartland"--have shot up. Why do you think this is?"

Urban enlistees from the blue state liberal centers . Always looking to snatch the gold ring without riding the horse.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Non-Biased Media: Take 1,833


Now let me get this straight… It's okay the have a "clueless cowboy" president and a dead-on Dick Cheney impersonation in The Day After Tomorrow , but this might lead to "Democrat-bashing?" [From A Fly on the Wall]

"Paramount Pictures is worried that Meryl Streep's edgy, chilling performance as a U.S. Senator in The Manchurian Candidate , which opens at the end of next month, is too close to the real Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a pal inside the studio tells me.

"As a result, studio honchos have asked director Jonathan Demme to make little recuts and trims here and there to remove some of the more Hillaryesque gestures and expressions in the flick.

[…]

"Meryl has the Hillary hand gestures totally down pat," my insider tells me. "I don't know whether this is something she picked up subconsciously or an idea Jonathan gave her, but she's totally dead on. You feel like you're watching Hillary Clinton conspire to take over the world. The Republican Hillary-haters should totally eat this up."

Be sure to follow the link. The pics are terrific!

Non-Biased Media: Take 1,832


Obviously the Clinton Broadcasting System desperately needs to get the bad taste of President Reagan out of their airway, but this is just yeech !

"Move over Rush Limbaugh!

"Bill Clinton is set to hit the talkradio waves with a live special promoting his new book -- one that CBS has ordered a "must carry" directive for all of its news affiliates, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

"Each and every one of CBS's news and talk stations will be required  to take the Clinton book radio special, now scheduled for next 6 PM ET Thursday -- whether local programming management wants it or not! [Emphasis mine]

"It's going to be like one big commercial for the book! Why didn't Mr. Clinton's publisher just buy an hour," one angry executive for a CBS news station said late Monday. "This is not news, this is marketing. I already feel dirty!"

"Other CBS radio executives are excited about Clinton finally appearing on live talk radio.

"I can't wait for the callers," said one CBS radio suit.

"The one hour session titled "CLINTON CONNECTS WITH AMERICA" will be moderated by CBS EARLY SHOW host Harry Smith. The program appears to be part of a larger cross-promotion platform package with Clinton and CBS parent VIACOM. The former president is set to sit with CBS's Dan Rather at the Clinton library in Arkansas for Sunday's CBS 60 MINUTES."

I haven't a clue about FCC regulations, but isn't there something  out there to stop this sort of blatant pandering? If not there sure as hell ought to be.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

"Sovietphobia"


Andrew Sullivan indicts the Liberals with their own words, among them this statement:

"All evidence indicates that the Reagan administration has abandoned both containment and détente for a very different objective: destroying the Soviet Union as a world power and possibly even its Communist system. [This is a] potentially fatal form of Sovietphobia… a pathological rather than a healthy response to the Soviet Union." — Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen, 1983.

Imagine, if you can, if our country had been laboring beneath the Political Correctness laws we are burdened with today? Imagine if the mere mention of the evilness of the Soviet Union prompted lawsuits and fines as does the mention today of the evils of radical Islam? A sobering thought, eh comrade?

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Iran-Contra


Somehow I get the feeling that, during this official week of mourning for President Ronald Reagan, the Long Knives are lying in wait, sharpening their blades for the attacks to come. One of those will surely be how Reagan's second term was "marred" or "made ineffectual" by the "Iran-Conta scandal."

Powerline lays out the basics of that infamous episode that the Dems just love using to trash Reagan's Presidency. (The same post points to an important connection to the current situation in Iran as well.) There is a similarity between that and the Neutrality Act of 1937 that very nearly tied FDR's hands when he wanted to support China against the encroaching Japanese. (The Neutrality Act prohibited the US from providing supplies to "belligerents," without recognizing either ally or enemy.) But "… invoking the Neutrality Act would penalize China, which was more dependent than Japan on American assistance, [so] President Franklin D. Roosevelt chose not to identify the fighting as a state of war."

I could find no history that Congress established a "commission" to "investigate" whether or not FDR had the right to make that classification as he did. It's too bad Reagan couldn't just "re-label" the Sandinista/Conta fight as conveniently, but he was hamstrung by the Boland Amendment to the War Powers Act because, as Powerline points out, "Congressional Democrats…wanted Nicaragua to be Communist, consistent with their generally socialist world-view at that time."

Thanks to Reagan and his staff being willing to take the heat of the hypocritical Democrats' ire, we now have this headline--which you will never see in the mainstream media: "A Democratic  Nicaragua Honors Reagan"

"When the Sandinistas finally agreed, under pressure from the Contras, to hold elections in 1990, American liberals were sure the Reagan Doctrine would be discredited once and for all. Instead, the candidate of the democratic opposition, Violeta Chamorro, won in a landslide -- and another outpost of the Evil Empire gave way to freedom."
Boston Herald, November 13, 2003.


Snapshots from C-SPAN


Thank you, C-SPAN, for giving us the chance to watch.

An attractive, thirty-something couple with their little girl, the mother softly explaining what was happening to her child while the father clutched his cap to his heart, working hard to control his emotions.

A tall, athletic man in sporty bike shorts and top, sleek helmet tucked under his left elbow, suddenly squaring up to the coffin and snapping a precision salute.

A double amputee soldier, undoubtedly injured in the current war, struggling with a crutch until he could salute with his truncated right arm.

A solitary Japanese man stopping to solemnly bow three times.

Teenage girl openly wiping tears from her cheeks.

Washington dignitaries and staffers, and their families, side by side with work-clothes-clad groundskeepers.

MORE: "Glynn Crooks, a Native American from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux tribe in Prior Lakes, Minn., salutes the casket of former President Ronald Reagan at the Capitol Rotunda Thursday, June 10, 2004 in Washington. Thousands of mourners are paying their last respects to the former President before tomorrow's funeral service at the National Cathedral. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)"

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

"For the Children"


If I hear that expression on more time I'm going to puke! Here's what liberals and Dems consider appropriate "for the children,"

"But it turns out that Gillian, the spokesperson for the Los Angeles chapter of the International Socialist Organization, is no “little girl.” Her chapter of the ISO was one of the sponsors of Saturday’s anti-war rally in Los Angeles, where she had the "pole position" as one of the final people to address the crowd of about two thousand demonstrators preparing to march through the heart of downtown LA.
[…]
"Indeed, Gillian and her comrades aren’t simply advocating for peace – they are actively working to bring about an American defeat in Iraq, using the Vietnam War as a template.
[…]
"So, you might be wondering, what does a young woman like Gillian do for a living? She’s a high school [history] teacher. In fact, she’s an active member of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, and Progressive Educators for Action."

here's what is in appropriate.

"Commenter Jennifer's anecdote from the trenches of public school teaching in the thread for this post is worth repeating:

"I taught "Merchant of Venice" to seniors one year; in it there's a line where one character is insulting another, by saying something along the lines of "He damns the ears of all who hear him, by calling him 'fool.'" One of the kids asked me what that meant, so I explained that one of the lesser-known verses of the Book of Matthew has Jesus saying that anyone who calls another a fool will be damned. (I recited chapter and verse, though I can't remember it now.) I went on to talk about the very funny use Voltaire made of that in his essay "The Jesuit Berthier" (an angel tells a priest to stop giving his stupid, boring sermons, because instead of winning souls for God he's endangering the souls of all who hear him, because they all call him a fool), and explained also that this is why cartoony villians in movies developed the habit of using "Fool!" as their default insult; for people familiar with the Bible, the fact that the villian always says "Fool!" is just one more proof that this is an evil, evil dude.

"So anyway," I said to the class, "back in Shakespeare's day, when people were far more familiar with the Bible than they are now, instead of insulting someone by saying 'You are a fool,' you'd say 'You are a--well, I can't SAY what you are because then I'd go to hell.' That's what he's doing in the play."

"Next day I get called into the principal's office; some parents were FURIOUS that I had told their kids that Jesus said anyone who says 'fool,' will go to Hell.

"But he did," I pointed out.

"It doesn't matter, Jennifer. You can't insult kids' religions."

"Well, the kid asked me what that line from the play meant! What was I supposed to do?"

"Just tell him you don't know."
[Jennifer's contract was not renewed .-ed]

…and here's  what they're really  learning!

"State police have confiscated two computer hard drives from the Griswold Middle School after the parent of a 12-year-old student found a picture of a man's erect penis in her daughter's back pack.

"Her daughter, a high honors student who has not been in trouble before, printed the black and white picture out on the printer in the middle school library after a man she had been instant messaging on the school computers sent it to her, along with his home phone number.

"We were completely shocked," the mother said. "Parents assume, I assumed, that the Internet at school was blocked from harmful material. That isn't the case."
[…]
"Principal Preston Shaw sent a letter home to parents Tuesday urging parents to monitor their children's Internet use.
[…]
"According to the seventh-grade girl who printed the picture, she and many of her friends have been using instant messaging at school to have sexually explicit chats with strangers since January. It is a trend, she said, among some of the popular students and those who would emulate them to gather around a computer while one person chats and the others look on. A child engaged in an explicit conversation gets positive attention.

"It started because my friends were doing it and I wanted to do what they were doing and it escalated from there," she said. "When I was on there, the other kids were like, who are you talking to. My friends and I had more to talk about."
[…]
Griswold parents are concerned about the incident, although many of them had not read the letter and were not aware of the incident.

"I don't blame the school. It's the parent's responsibility," said parent Michelle Rile of Griswold. "In seventh grade they should know better. I like that my daughter has access to the Internet at school, but I don't want her IMing or using chat rooms or any of that stuff."
"It does concern me, what happened, especially in this day and age," added another parent, Anita Brown of Griswold.

"If I had gotten that letter I would have thought it was an isolated incident that involved one kid and I would have thrown it away," the mother of the 12-year old said. "People need to be aware that this is going on. I never would have believed it could have been my kid."


Monday, June 07, 2004

Petty Partisans


Add that title to "Sore Losers," "Sour Grapes," and, as The American Spectator  labels them in this piece, "Bad Apples," and you have the face of the modern Democrat Party.

Think the Dems are interested in a serious debate on issues? Think they have reasoned, detailed plans in opposition to Bush's policies? Think they even know which direction the high road is? Not hardly. This  is the reality:

"Give some Democrats credit: many of the comments released by party factotums on the death of President Ronald Reagan at least attempted to be gracious. But, while some of the words may have been magnanimous, the actions of some Democrats was not.

"In California, according to a Democratic House leadership staffer, Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi's office refused until late in the day West Coast time to prepare any remarks by the leader on the passing of the President.

"A call went out around mid-day on the East Coast that Reagan might be in serious condition, and that party leaders should be ready. But Pelosi's people basically said they couldn't' be bothered. [Democratic whip] Steny Hoyer had to get them in line. We got the impression they just didn't want to say anything that would be construed as supportive of a Republican."

"Pelosi's office also nixed sending flowers to the funeral home where the president's body was being prepared for burial.

"Back in Washington, staffers at the Democratic National Committee stopped a couple of interns who were lowering the flags to half mast outside their headquarters.

"The interns were just doing what they thought was right," says a DNC staffer, who heard about the incident. "But somebody a bit more senior told them not to lower the flags until they absolutely had to, I guess when President Bush announced that all flags should be lowered. There was only an hour's difference. It was pretty petty, but that's how bad things have gotten around here."

Here's hoping those interns will wise up and get out while the gettin's good.

Do Not Forget Again



"There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures. "
--William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar , Act IV, Scene iii

In the young days of our nation we were blessed with godly men who sailed those tides with honor and dignity. As we approached the final third of the 20th century many despaired we would ever see their like again.

Then we elected Ronald Reagan.

Then we forgot for a while…

And then at the start of the 21st century we remembered.

"On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures. "


Saturday, June 05, 2004

A New Star Shines in Heaven


From a close friend:

"My one-time neighbor died today. Not a close neighbor, you understand. He and his wife lived over the field, across the (frequently) dry riverbed, through the orchard, and up and down a couple of hills. I never wandered over asking for a cup of sugar. In fact, I only saw him twice the whole time we were neighbors and then we merely exchanged pleasant waves.

"It was nice knowing he was my neighbor, that I could sit on the front porch of my small ranch house in the Santa Ynez Valley and see the green mountain across the way that was his home. It was comforting. He was a man who spoke great words, set great goals, accomplished great things, and believed everyone could do exactly the same. You knew he was unashamed of his faith in God; that he had an unchangeable set of principles; that he was honest; that he would stand firm in the face of any odds.

"Most of all you knew he believed --not only in himself, but in you --the individual you--the unique you. He knew you  and others like you, would succeed if given the right chance; knew your most cherished possession was not material goods but the ideals of freedom.

"My neighbor changed the world.

"Thanks neighbor. God bless."

Send your condolences.

Friday, June 04, 2004

School Daze



Web-cheat student to sue university

"A student who was booted off his degree course for plagiarism is to sue the university. He says tutors at the University of Kent should have spotted what he was doing and stopped him sooner.

"Michael Gunn, a 21-year-old English student, freely admits using material downloaded from the Internet to complete his assignments. He told the Times: "I hold my hands up. I did plagiarise. [sic] I never dreamt it was a problem."

"His problem, then, is not that he was caught, but that he was caught too late. He argues that the university should have warned him of the consequences earlier."

What's most amazing is that this idiot's parents are footing the attorney's bill for the case. If they had bothered to teach their spoiled brat right from wrong, they could have saved themselves a ton of money.

Found via GeekPress

Then again, it appears the entire boomer generation is bouncing off the reality walls:

"Protesters delivered a message yesterday to the national spelling bee: Enuf is enuf!

"Members of the American Literacy Society picketed the 77th annual spelling bee, which is sponsored every year by Cincinnati-based Scripps Howard.

"The protesters' complaints: English spelling is illogical, and the national spelling bee only reinforces the crazy spellings that they say contribute to dyslexia, high illiteracy and harder lives for immigrants."

Dumb…

"We advocate the modernization of English spelling," said Pete Boardman, 58, of Groton, N.Y. The Cornell University bus driver admitted to being a terrible speller."

Dumber…

Protester Elizabeth Kuizenga, 56, is such a good speller that she teaches English as a second language in San Francisco. She said she got involved in the protest after seeing how much time was wasted teaching spelling in her class."
[…]

Dumbest…

"If these people were able to read and write with a simplified spelling system, they would be able to fill out a job application, stay employed and stay out of prison," said Sanford Silverman, 86. The retired accountant was handing out copies of his book, "Spelling for the 21st Century: The Case for Spelling Reform."
[…]

And a child shall lead them…

"I can't believe people are picketing against something this ridiculous," said contestant Steven Maheshwary, 14, of Houston."

As reported by Right Wing News

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Sporting News on the Light Side


With everything negative being reported in the media, it's important we all take a moment to relax and enjoy something special now and then.

I love horse racing. I've ridden all my life, and my dad got me started on the sport when I was just a kid. (Carry Back was my first Derby winner.) Years ago I was fortunate enough to have actually been  to the Kentucky Derby before it became the three-ring media circus it is now. (I really miss the old race course announcer with his distinctive, thrill-chills inducing, gravelly shout "And down the stretch they come!" )

Most people love the scrappy underdog--er--horse, who defies the odds and leaves the elites in the dust. So, for everyone who feels the same way, here's Smarty Jones' blog.

Fame is fleeting--and there are neigh-sayers at every turn--but Smarty Jones' fans at the Philadelphia Daily News appear to be having a lot of fun. The little guy even knows how to crack a joke or two.

"May 7, 2004
"P.S. You may have noticed that the end of my column has an e-mail address. Though I welcome all comments and questions, I really don't have enough time to answer ever single message. Thus, for the 257 people who have asked so far:
• I don't need any ink-jet-printer cartridges.
• The racing association specifically forbids the use of Viagra.
• No, I don't need to enlarge my private part. I'm already hung like a you-know-what, thank you."

"May 25, 2004
"Last weekend in Cannes, while everyone else was checking out prez-hopeful daughter Alexandra Kerry's see-through silks, I was listening to offers for rights to my bio.

"M. Night Shyamalan is pitching "The Horse Sense," to be filmed right here in Philly. Naturally, it has a horrifying twist-ending: Instead of winning the Triple Crown, I lose to Tampa Bay.

"Meanwhile, Michael Moore is pitching an expose, "Smarty and Me." Seems he's recently discovered that there's some gambling(!) going on in horse racing.

"Some other titles I've heard tossed around: "Hairy Trotter and the Prisoner of Bensalem," and "The Lord of the Reins."

"Let's go Big Boy."


Class versus Trash


I posted about this a while ago, and I am sorry to read Ray Bradbury has no intention of pursuing Moore on this issue. But that's the nature of a classy gentleman--language notwithstanding.

Moore is a remarkably unoriginal auteur  when it comes to naming his ersatz projects. "Dude, Where's My Country?" from "Dude, Where's My Car?" "Bowling for Columbine" from the old "Bowling for Dollars" TV show. And now "Fahrenheit 9/11" from the classic "Fahrenheit 451." Does he think no one notices? Or does he preen over his cleverness?

Ray Bradbury: "Michael Moore is an asshole"
by Jan Haugland

"Michael Moore stole the title to his fictuous documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" from author Ray Bradbury, who in 1953 wrote his dystopic scifi classic "Fahrenheit 451".

"So what does Ray Bradbury, now 84 years old, think about Moore using his book title for his Bush-bashing movie project?

The answer is, as journalists in the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter [original Swedish] found out when they called the author, that he is mighty pissed off. Here's my translation of the juicier bits of the interview.

"Michael Moore is a screwed asshole, that is what I think about that case. He stole my title and changed the numbers without ever asking me for permission.

Have you spoken to him?

- He is a horrible human being. Horrible human!

"That Ray Bradbury thought Moore could take his Palme d'Or from Cannes and stuff it was extremely clear, even if he never expressed himself with those words, when DN reached the author in his home in Los Angeles. [...]

Do you disagree with his opinions...

-That has nothing to do with it. He copied my title, that is what happened. That has nothing to do with my political opinions.

"Bradbury said that he had tried to discuss the issue with Moore, but that the director avoided him.

- I called his publisher. They promised he would call me the same afternoon, but he didn't.

When was that?

- A few months ago, when his plans about the movie was first made known.

"The conversation touched politics when Bradbury mentioned that Moore had ruined general Wesley Clark's chances to become the democrat's presidential candidate. Like several American commentators Bradbury means that Moore's support to Clark was a kiss of death when Clark did not distance himself from Moore's claim that Bush deserted from his military service.

- He slandered the president to general Clark, and Clark allowed him to do it. Clark should have said: "Don't say that. It is not true." That day Clark lost his chance to become president.

I understand. And you supported general Clark?

- No. I support honesty.

"According to Bradbury others have asked him about Moore's use of his title, but "I don't want to make a big story out of it."

- I detest all paparazzi journalism that is so common these days. If I just could make him change his title silently, that would be the best thing.

Do you think that is possible, I mean the movie is very famous under that title now?

- Who cares? Nobody will see his movie, it is almost dead already. Nevermind, nobody cares.

But it won the Palme d'Or in Cannes?

- So what? I have won prizes in different places and they are mostly meaningless. The people there hate us, which is why they gave him the d'Or. It's a meaningless prize.

"Ray Bradbury was very clear that he considered Moore a dishonest thief, but refused to answer if he would press charges in any way."

[Found via RightNation.US]

MORE: Roger Simon comments.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Now or Then?


For those who claim 1) the founding fathers were nothing more than ignorant racists, 2) the Second Amendment does not refer to a "citizen militia," and 3) the Constitution is a "living" document subject to constant change, read on.

Professor Bainbridge links to Clayton Cramer who unearthed a 1790 document sent by then Secretary of War Henry Knox to President George Washington. Washington then sent it on to Congress which was in the process of developing a suitable militia law for the United States.

"An energetic national militia is to be regarded as the capital security of a free republic, and not a standing army, forming a distinct class in the community.

"It is the introduction and diffusion of vice, and corruption of manners, into the mass of the people, that renders a standing army necessary. It is when public spirit is despised, and avarice, indolence, and effeminacy of manners predominate, and prevent the establishment of institutions which would elevate the minds of the youth in the paths of virtue and honor, that a standing army is formed and riveted for ever." {Emphasis mine.]

"…public spirit is despised…" when any newsperson or organization who openly supports U.S. efforts in Iraqi is mocked and despised.

"…avarice…" thy name is the United Nations Oil-for-Food program.

"…indolence…" a.k.a. welfare.

"…effeminacy of manners predominate…" eventually, if the gay agenda is not thwarted.

How did those guys know this stuff? They only had to look at the Old World they had just fled and fought. Now an elitist cadre of liberals demand we remold our own society in that failed fashion.

Do you want to be France? Or Germany? If not, then engage your brain before you vote this coming November.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Pipe Dream


The "all religions are equal" crowd better pay close attention to this article by Amir Taheri. The United States is the center of Western Civilization a.k.a. the Christian culture . Muslims, even those who enjoy the benefits of life in America, will never stop attempting to turn it into a Muslim nation any way they can. They may not take up the sword, but they will  use our equal rights laws to impose their will on us.

"Islam and Democracy: The Impossible Union"

"As an Iranian now living in a liberal democracy, I would like to explain why Islam and democracy are essentially incompatible.
[…]
"Democracy is based on one fundamental principle: equality.
[…]
"Early Muslims translated numerous ancient Greek texts, but never those related to political matters.
[…]
"The idea of equality is unacceptable to Islam. For the non-believer cannot be the equal of the believer. Even among the believers only those who subscribe to the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, known as the "people of the book" (Ahl el-Kitab), are regarded as fully human. Here, too, there is a hierarchy, with Muslims at the top. [Emphasis mine.]
[…]
"To say that Islam is incompatible with democracy should not be seen as a disparagement of Islam. On the contrary, many Muslims would see it as a compliment because they believe that their idea of rule by God is superior to that of rule by men, which is democracy.
[…]
"Last year Yussuf al-Ayyeri, one of the leading theoreticians of today's Islamist movement, published a book in which he warned that the real danger to Islam did not come from American tanks and helicopter gunships in Iraq but from the idea of democracy and the government of the people. [Emphasis mine.]
[…]
"Islam is about certainty (iqan ) while democracy is about doubt. Islam cannot allow people to do as they please, even in the privacy of their bedrooms, because God is always present, all-hearing and all-seeing. [Emphasis mine.]
[…]
"Muslims can build successful societies provided they treat Islam as a matter of personal, private belief and not as a political ideology that seeks to monopolise the public space shared by the whole of humanity and dictate every aspect of individual and community life. Islam is incompatible with democracy."


Amen


Mark Steyn remembers long ago and far away, when setbacks didn't deter the United States. (Found via InstaPundit)

"But that's the difference between then and now: the loss of proportion. They had victims galore back in 1863, but they weren't a victim culture. They had a lot of crummy decisions and bureaucratic screwups worth re-examining, but they weren't a nation that prioritized retroactive pseudo-legalistic self-flagellating vaudeville over all else. They had hellish setbacks but they didn't lose sight of the forest in order to obsess week after week on one tiny twig of one weedy little tree.

"There is something not just ridiculous but unbecoming about a hyperpower 300 million strong whose elites -- from the deranged former vice president down -- want the outcome of a war, and the fate of a nation, to hinge on one freaky jailhouse; elites who are willing to pay any price, bear any burden, as long as it's pain-free, squeaky clean and over in a week. The sheer silliness dishonors the memory of all those we're supposed to be remembering this Memorial Day.

"Playing by Gore-Kennedy rules, the Union would have lost the Civil War, the rebels the Revolutionary War, and the colonists the French and Indian Wars. There would, in other words, be no America. Even in its grief, my part of New Hampshire understood that 141 years ago. We should, too."