Kidnapped by Japan - How A Mother's Dying Wish Led To A Father's Unimaginable Loss

Read the story here

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Sphere: Related Content

Matthew Chapter 282:

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You Gotta Believe

Sphere: Related Content

Al Jazeera, the the Pan-Arabic TV network today carried parts of a new audio tape by the lately very chatty Mr. Osama bin Laden in which he called for cessation of all Palestinian peace negotiations with Israel in favor of "holy war".

Now Dems should be taken aback by this request because they really don't think Iraq is all that important to worldwide Al Qaeda. According to their own statements, Iraq is a sideline issue which is occupying our attention at the expense of the main event, bin Laden's Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Late last year Dem Senator Jay Rockefeller wished that the US would,

"...change the mission away from deep involvement in Iraq’s civil war and toward
a more narrow focus on fighting Al-Qaeda.”

Dem Senator Robert Byrd said in August of last year,

"When the President of the United States took his eye off the ball, and diverted
our national attention from Osama bin Laden and his terrorist training operation
in Afghanistan, the President dealt the security of the American people a major
The fact is Al Qaeda sees Iraq as a central front in their jihad against the West. This latest statement of bin Laden's only buttresses the increasing evidence of that fact. Last month's seized letter written by Abu-Tariqa, a local al-Qaeda leader near Bala, spoke about how badly Al Qaeda's forces are faring in Iraq currently and another recently seized letter written by an unnamed emir said, Al-Qaeda's
“Islamic State of Iraq is faced with an extraordinary crisis, especially in al-Anbar”.
Iraq's importance to Al Qaeda isn't really much of a secret any more. Except, of course to the Democratic Party.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NewsFlash: Saudi Women Now Allowed To Drive (Maybe)

Sphere: Related Content

The early 20th Century has now arrived in Saudi Arabia as the Saudi Shura Council has made a recommendation to let women drive. As we all know this is a risky move on the Shura's part. If they begin to see this as a trend women may begin to make other mad demands such as asking that they no longer be considered to be household property, for the right to go unescorted by a male relative in public or the right to be raped without then being flogged by Saudi authorities.

To prevent such awful possibilities the Shura has attached certain limitations in their recommendations. These limitations are:

  • The woman driver must be under 30. The woman's driving is conditional upon the permission of a relative [father, husband, brother, or son].

  • The woman driver must obtain a driver's license from the center for teaching women to drive.

  • The woman driver must be modestly dressed.

  • The woman driver will be permitted to drive alone in the cities, but outside the cities she must be accompanied by a relative.

  • The woman driver will be permitted to drive Saturday through Wednesday between 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM.

  • The woman driver must have a cell phone with her, so she can call for help in an emergency.

  • The woman driver must pay a certain sum when her license is issued; this sum will be set aside for car repairs.

The Shura Council also ordered the following:

  • The establishment of a special women's transportation department; this department will collect the fees.

  • The establishment of a telephone emergency center.

  • The establishment of transportation centers for women in the cities, which will be under religious supervision.

  • The council stipulated that a woman driver who violates these rules will have her license revoked.

If this keeps up, what's next: Women burning their hijabs??

Arthur C. Clarke - RIP

Sphere: Related Content

When I was young and first discovered science fiction, its major appeal for me was the sense of wonder it conjured. I was never really terribly interested in straight fantasy, though. I was looking for the wonder of the possible. No author was able to create that sense of "this really could happen" more than Arthur C. Clarke. And Clarke knew where the action was; out there, among the stars.

Clarke's talent lay in his ability to convincingly postulate the big concepts. In Childhood's End he wrote about man's next evolutionary step. In The Fountain's of Paradise he wrote about a space elevator lifting man and materials beyond Earth's hold. And in one of his later books, The Light of Other Days he speculated about a "WormCam" that gave mankind the ability to see anything, anywhere, even back in time, allowing views of every event in history.

Clarke was one of those few handful of writer's whose fame reached beyond the readership of his books. His is credited with predicting the telecommunications satellite, a decade before its appearance and when the space age dawned he was among its greatest public advocates. His fame grew larger after his collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on the revolutionary film, 2001 A Space Oddysey.

Personally he was private, living most of his life in Sri Lanka. In his later years he was wheelchair bound with post-polio syndrome, a bitter irony for a man whose mind was so unfettered. He wrote up until the end.

Today and forevermore he wanders the stars of which he spent his life dreaming.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How Barack Failed to Get His Groove Back

Sphere: Related Content

First came the days of videos of his pastor and admitted close friend of twenty years Jeremiah Wright shouting hateful anti-white and anti-American comments in a virtual loop on cable stations. Then came a distinct drop in his poll numbers and Barack Obama knew he had to do something to stop the bleeding, so today he delivered A More Perfect Union, the speech he hopes will do just that. We'll see.

The speech was very much like Obama himself and his campaign so far; filled with impressive and stirring rhetorical flourishes. And empty as the vacuum of space. He needed to distance himself from Wright, explain his relationship with him, make it plain that he understands what is in the heart of the average American and show that the image he has tried so diligently to create of himself being beyond race is not a sham, that he is the real deal, the man who can unite and "heal" the country. Unfortunately for him his occasional minor successes made his major failures that much more starkly obvious.

Of course he had to and did repudiate Wright's paranoia and conspiracy-theory lunacy. He's running for President, not trying out to be the next guest on the Art Bell radio show. And he had to and did disavow the overt racism. The average White person is about as likely to vote for the guy who wants to get Whitey as is the Black person likely to vote for the White guy who thinks that "darkie" needs to be put in his place. He rightly and smartly made the point that "progress has been made", that the country that Pastor Wright sees is not the country we live in today.

But in trying to explain why he joined Wright's church and why he stayed he spoke sweetly and explained nothing. He basically said that since his experience showed Wright to be a caring friend, a source of encouragement, that he has done good works; the fact that he also happens to have a hate-filled, racist, deranged streak can be forgiven. No, Barack, it can't. The country that Jeremiah Wright is so filled with rage about (and which he still thinks exists) is one where a man could tithe his pay, teach Sunday School, love his wife and children and also agitate for Blacks to sit in the back of the bus. Wright is what he hates. If any White politician were to accept such a person into his inner circle today that politician would be condemned and probably driven from office. He would deserve to be. Barack Obama would probably be leading the charge.

The greatest failure of the speech however is that it proves (and quite conclusively, too) that Obama is not the man who can bring people together the way he says he can. Those videos of a hate-filled Jeremiah Wright, a man of God whose calls for damnation for America have far greater resonance and deeper meaning than if spoken by some non-religious shouter, were not taken before Barack Obama met Wright. They had known each other for well over a decade when they were made. The shouts of approval from the congregation were issued by the congregation that Obama has belonged to as long as he's known Wright. These were and are his friends and neighbors. And in all that time Obama has not been able to convince them to move beyond their resentment and hate. Nowhere in the speech does he even talk about his having tried.

How then can this be the man to bring the nation together? One of Barack Obama's main campaign themes is that he is a man who will "reach across the aisle" to get things done. But the reality is, he's had the chance to do just that in the Senate and hasn't. Now he says that he is the man who will move people away from the old racial ways into a new and better day. Once again, he's had the opportunity on a small scale and (if he's even tried) he's failed. Should inaction and/or failure really be the ticket to the most powerful office in the world?

Cross-Posted at Liberty Pundit

Say Goodbye To Hollywood

Sphere: Related Content

Well maybe the Iranian regime isn't all bad, after all...

But more seriously, this little piece from AFP makes a point that is heard far too infrequently: All those Leftists (in this case celebs) who are so eager to find fault with the United States and believe that the "world" hates us and seem to believe that the world would be benign but for us never seem to get the point that they are as despised by many foreign regimes as much as is George W. Bush. The Left likes to mock Bush for saying that Islamofascists hate us for "who we are", their own take on the issue being far more "sophisticated". They know that we are hated for our (specifically GWB's) policies.

These Leftists actually have it partially right. Al Qaeda hates our foreign policy alright, but they hate our domestic policies, too. The hate the fact that we actually allow "corrupt" and "decadent" celebrities like them to run around freely. The fact that Susan Sarandon is out and about without a Burqa is ultimately as offensive to their sensibilities as the fact that we are in the Middle East. George Clooney looks like as good a prospect for a beheading as Daniel Pearl did and as good a prospect as any of those "right-wing Republicans" he rails against so regularly.

If the Left thinks thinks that George ("moron", "Hitler", "fascist") is the problem and the Iranian leadership is just being reactive, here is the real difference between them: Bush is the one who (hasn't and) won't ban them, put Burqas on them, make them grow beards and chop their heads off if they don't face Mecca five times a day for prayers.

That seems pretty easy to understand. Why do they have such a problem with it?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bye Bye Obama?

Sphere: Related Content





Less than a month ago the media was still in mid-swoon over Senator Barack Obama, as he got massive coverage which was massively positive. But this past week the tide may finally have begun to turn. Over the past few days Obama's close connection to his "former" pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has come under increased scrutiny as video like the above has been uncovered raising a host of questions. Did Wright preach the sort of hate exemplified in the video in front of Obama? If he did, what did Obama think? Say? Do?

Despite all the positive press Obama has gotten the Wright controversy is not the first time troubling questions have been raised about him. Obama’s attempt to portray himself as a new kind of politician, almost beyond politics has been hampered by a number of facts that don’t square with this image.

Obama’s claim that he represents change becomes considerably harder to sell in light of the fact that the National Journal found him to be the most liberal Senator; more liberal than Kennedy, Kerry, Reid or even Clinton. All the talk about change becomes considerably harder to believe when every plan you advocate has been advocated by Ted Kennedy for the past forty years.

His relationship with Antoin (Tony) Rezko is troubling on another level. When you’re trying to prove that you’re above politics having murky financial dealings with an indicted potential felon are not helpful. Tony Rezko is a real estate developer and has been a friend of Obama’s for over twenty years who is now on trial for extortion. While Obama is not implicated in Rezko’s charges, eyebrows have been raised by a real estate deal in which Obama bought his house, after consultation with Rezko for what appears to be an unusually low price, while on the same day Rezko’s wife bought a lot adjoining Obama’s for $625,000, selling a portion of it to Obama a few months later for (yet another low price) $104,500. Nothing illegal has been charged in the deal but it has the smell of a thousand other buddy/buddy, wink-and-a-nudge deals indulged in by so many other completely conventional politicians who are seen as slimy by the public.

Some of the glow of Obama’s newness was also removed by Hillary Clinton's commercial pointing out Obama’s possible lack of preparedness in facing the by now expected “Are you prepared for a crisis at 3 AM” question. The commercial was effective not because it is obvious that Obama isn’t prepared, it is damaging to Obama because people just don’t know if he is prepared. And the commercial may have given enough people pause that it helped Hillary to have a good day in the Super Tuesday II primaries, preventing Obama from landing a knockout blow.

But the Wright problem may well prove to be when all the questions about Obama reach a critical mass. The difference between the Jesse Jackson campaign of 1984 and one of the predicates for the success of the Obama campaign has been Obama's ability to appear to be beyond race. But the Wright issue could well start to peel the bark off that appearance. Wright’s videoed comments aren’t just about Black empowerment; they talk about the US being behind a plot to introduce AIDS into the Black community for the purpose of genocide. They accuse Israel of carrying out a genocidal policy against the Palestinians. They blame the US for 9/11 and even for the attack on Pearl Harbor! His beliefs place him comfortably in the fever swamps of the lunatic fringe. Jeremiah Wright appears to hate the US. Is it really credible that a man whose feelings about this country are so strong never talked to his close friend, Barack Obama about those feelings even after Obama was running for and winning a Senate in that evil entity, the US? When Obama is running for the Presidency of that same “criminal” nation? Wright runs the risk of removing Obama from the mainstream, potentially stripping him of his “trans-racial” appeal.

Barack Obama now has a significant advantage in delegates to the Democratic convention in August. In order to prevail the percentage of delegates Hillary needs to win in order to gain the nomination may be higher than she can reasonably be expected to achieve. Barack Obama, despite all of the above questions about him, is still the odds-on favorite to win the nomination. Perhaps neither he or Hillary will have enough delegates to win on the first ballot at the convention at which point it may come down to a battle for the so-called Super Delegates, delegates who aren’t committed to any candidate by virtue of vote count, but who can decide on their own where to go. It could get ugly.

Should he survive all that Obama will then enter the general election, not quite the trans-racial, squeaky clean, brand new, agent of change he has tried to sell himself as being. What he and we can count on is that once he enters the general election those questions are not going to go away. The Republicans are not in a very strong position in this upcoming election and they know it. They are not likely to let these questions about Obama drop. Why should they; especially since they didn’t even have to go hunting for them on their own? They have had them handed to them by Clinton and Obama themselves.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Out Of My Depth

Sphere: Related Content

The above video relates how Kenyon Smith, a uh, Aquamaid, a synchronized swimmer with the Santa Clara Aquamaids, cannot get a college scholarship or berth on the US synchronized swimming team at the Olympics in Beijing despite being a "phenomenon [whose]twists and splits and head-down pirouettes are crisp and fast" because of his sex.

This is an obvious double standard which just screams out for ACLU intervention and I would like to eloquently editorialize against his treatment...But I can't. Because it makes me feel...kinda creepy. You know.