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

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Friday, March 28, 2008

They're Winning - Fitna Pulled!

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Fitna, the anti-Koranic Dutch film about which I previously posted here has been pulled with the following explanation:

Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some
ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers. This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else.

In my previous post I wondered, "How the West handles the reaction to this film may well prove instructive as to how much will the West has in the struggle against Islamofascism." It looks like we're starting to get our answer.

Cross-linked at Libery Pundit

There's Oil In Them Thar Hills, Son

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According to Next Energy News,

In the next 30 days the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) will release a new report giving an accurate resource assessment of the Bakken Oil Formation that covers North Dakota and portions of South Dakota and Montana. With new horizontal drilling technology it is believed that from 175 to 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil are held in this 200,000 square mile reserve that was initially discovered in 1951. The USGS did an initial study back in 1999 that estimated 400 billion recoverable barrels were present but with prices bottoming out at $10 a barrel back then the report was dismissed because of the higher cost of horizontal drilling techniques that would be needed, estimated at $20-$40 a barrel.

If true this could potentially increase America's oil reserves tenfold, possibly cutting the cost of oil in half. It would be interesting to see what would become of the Middle East with a greatly reduced US presence. Since America's involvement in the area is blamed for every problem that exists there by Islamic extremists and America haters everywhere one can only eagerly await the paradise that will bloom once we're gone.

Amazing, world shattering stories appear with a fair degree of regularity in the news which later turn out to be less than advertised. This one would have so many positive benefits for the US that it is hard not to get excited. To put it mildly, it bears watching. More to come...


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It was my pleasure to get the opportunity to guest blog on Liberty Pundit this week, as you've no doubt noticed from all the cross tabbing. Liberty Pundit is a terrific blog, run by some wonderful, generous folks and I recommend it highly. Drop in often. You'll be happy you did.

The Vice-Squad!

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Did you ever meet someone and pretty much didn't like them right away; you know there was just something about them that turned you off? And then, after getting to know them you found out that, well maybe you were wrong. You might have actually found out that you really like them! That's what John McCain and Mitt Romney are making believe is happening to them right now. Mitt is in mid-faux-swoon and McCain is enjoying the attention of "the jerk".

While they were campaigning against each other earlier this year, the lack of chemistry between these two was pretty pronounced. And their individual campaign organizations loathed each other. But time marches on and needs change and Mitt has let it be known that he'd accept the Vice Presidential nod if offered and is doing everything in his power to turn himself into McCain's new best friend. According to this AP report, while out on the campaign trail with McCain in Salt Lake City and Denver yesterday Mitt said of McCain,

"He is a man who is proven and tested" and without question the
right man to be president."
And Senator McCain, also feeling magnanimous said this of Romney's primary win in Utah (He won by 90%):
"Look, that wasn't the only state I lost to Governor Romney in — it
was just the largest loss."
The love now flows like water. The fact is Romney wouldn't be a bad choice as VP for McCain at all. Despite his rather rocky path to being a true-blue conservative, Mitt seems to have arrived and would probably be acceptable to most conservatives, helping McCain prop up the base, which is a continuing problem for him. Mitt would also help in the Northeast, an always difficult area for Republicans. He's smart, handsome and usually quick on his feet. Oh yeah and he looks like a President.

Another often mentioned possible VP pick is Florida Governor , Charlie Crist; helpful in Florida but he doesn't excite conservatives much. One of the lamer names I've heard floated is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham or as Rush Limbaugh calls him, Senator Gramnesty. John McCain can be awfully dumb when it comes to appealing to conservatives. A Graham pick would prove him to be deaf and blind, too.

If McCain looks at the VP pick as a strategic matter he'll see that what he needs is a strong conservative with appeal in places that Republicans often have little. This brings us back to the coquettish Governor Romney. McCain could (and knowing him, probably will) do worse.

Oh, and as sort of an afterthought: I'd say that the chances of an Obama/Clinton ticket are looking less likely with every passing "He sucks and besides, he's a Negro" from Hillary and Bill. I attended a National Review function a few months ago in which Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn and Rob Long spoke. Jonah threw out the possibility of Virginia Senator Jim Webb as a running mate for Obama: war hero, former Republican, southerner. Could be formidable.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

And You Thought Cartoons Were Trouble?

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After the violence that followed the publication of the now famous Danish cartoons that showed the prophet Mohammed, supposedly in contravention of the Koran and the murder of Danish filmmaker Theo Van Gogh you might have thought no other Dane would have the guts to thwart Islamofascist demands. Fortunately, you'd be wrong. Filmmaker and Dutch Cabinet member Geert Wilders is scheduled to release Fitna, which

will elaborate on verses from the Quran accompanied by documentary
footage from the world of Islam.

It is, as you might expect, very violent showing such acts of savagery as beheadings, suicide bombings etc. and ties them directly to the Koranic passages that authorize them. Needless to say the impending release of the film has caused a huge amount of alarm and controversy in Denmark; the Dutch cabinet met last night to discuss what to do about it. It is reported that the Dutch public prosecution department had considered investigating the possibility of filing charges against the filmmaker but never followed through. And the Dutch are not the only concerned party; the EU is putting their diplomatic missions on alert, preparing for the possibility of trouble.

And trouble is something they just may get.

    • Zabihullah Mujahid has stressed that the Taliban will increase their
      attacks on Dutch military and humanitarian peacekeepers in Afghanistan, if the film was ever aired.

    • Wilders received a fatwa by Al-Qaeda, calling all Muslims around the world to assassinate Wilders in the name of Islam.

    • Syria’s Grand Mufti, leader Ahmad Badr al-Din said that if Geert Wilders pictures the image of a burning Koran in his film, the Dutch people will be held responsible and possible attacks against Western public interests are not out of the question.

The various governments are not the only ones to be apprehensive about such threats.

Earlier this week Network Solutions pulled the plug on a promotional
website for the film and YouTube removed the first part of the videoclip, citing "terms of use violation". Wilders was also turned down by all Dutch broadcasters.

Despite these setbacks Wilders is committed to releasing the film which he sees as alerting people to the true nature of Islam which he sees as a threat to Western freedoms. How the West handles the reaction to this film may well prove instructive as to how much will the West has in the struggle against Islamofascism

UPDATE: The film has just been released and can be seen in above.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dirty Bigfoot!

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According to the above story, Bigfoot molested a Mr. Gene Morrell when he was a child, leading to Mr. Morrell becoming a child molester himself.

I'd like to comment on this story, but I really don't know what to say.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

The New Goliath!

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If anybody is wondering why attendance at Christian services is down, way down in Europe this story just might help clear the issue up for you.

You see while on the one hand mosques in London are breeding grounds for Muslim extremism and are attracting converts through hate, Rev Robert Harrison, of St John's Church, Hillingdon, in North West London has come up with a way to pass along the Christian retelling the story of David and Goliath...

...from the point of view of the giant - and he is portrayed as a "celebrity" binge drinker who is hung over on the day of his fateful encounter with David.

Oh yeah, let's not forget...

Adam revelling in Eve's naked body

That ought to bring back the faithful, alright.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Where She's Headed?

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David Brooks' latest column, The Long Defeat does a pretty good job of summarizing the Democrats' current predicament. While the numbers at this point make it a near impossibility for Hillary to win (Brooks puts it at about 5%), her massive ego won't let her do the rational thing and pull out. Brooks does a good job of getting inside Hillary's head and looking at the situation from her perspective:

The better answer is that Clinton’s long rear-guard action is the
logical extension of her relentlessly political life.

For nearly 20 years, she has been encased in the apparatus of political celebrity. Look at her schedule as first lady and ever since. Think of the thousands of staged events, the tens of thousands of times she has pretended to be delighted to see someone she doesn’t know, the hundreds of thousands times she has recited empty clich├ęs and exhortatory banalities, the millions of photos she has posed for in which she is supposed to appear empathetic or tough, the billions of politically opportune half-truths that have bounced around her head.

You can almost hear Hillary thinking, "I stayed married to that bum and went through all this crap and all I got was this crummy Senate seat?" She is simply not equipped to handle such a possibility and so she will persevere and slash and burn Obama, using the race card like Lester Maddox on speed and level charges of dishonesty and corruption and whatever else a drowning woman can get her hands on to shove him out of the way and grab at that golden 5% chance.

In fact Hillary already has become Mike Huckabee pumped up with female hormones. Huckabee's pointless end campaign looks smart compared to Hillary's current moves. He kept on well after it made any kind of mathematical sense, without tearing and ripping at the de-facto nominee's coat-tails, trying to prove that even with the odds stacked completely against him, he still could pull votes. In truth, Huckabee's behavior made sense for a guy who was hoping to make a case for the Vice Presidential slot or to remain viable for 2012 or 2016.

Hillary's intransigence is pointless and very soon she will start to seem like Howard Beale of Network fame, mad with no sense of [her] own mental deterioration. Liberals who are so eager to patholigize every behavior might be interested in this analysis of Hillary by Dr. Paul Lowinger, who says of her that she was,

"...dowdy-looking... wearing a misshapen brown dress-like hide her lumpy body..fat ankles and thick calves covered with black hair...wide on her toes...a definite odor of
perspiration...greasy hair...eyes bulged out of focus... dark thick eyebrow which crossed ...her forehead..." Gennifer describes Hillary as, "...a fat hanging down...big thick glasses...ugly dress...a big fat butt...behaving oddly...buzzing around." Bill's mother Virginia, another rivalrous Southern woman had a similar if more muted response when she met Hillary, "No makeup. Coke-bottle glasses. Brown hair with no apparent style."

This is Cinderella before the arrival of the Fairy Godmother and Prince
Charming when the dirty and ragged char girl is transformed into a Princess: influential attorney, policy leader, cultural icon, intellectual, author, mother and a styled First Lady. Why dredge up the sludge then? Because beside the Oedipal, sadomasochistic, frigid and over controlled Hillary is the needy little girl, beautiful and worthy who is searching for love.

Hillary is on the verge of having the glass slipper pulled away forever. Cinderella is about to morph into Howard Beale. Even for those of us who are anything but Hillary fans, this could be painful to watch.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Best Defense Is...

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This story from the AP falls under the category of the best defense being a good offense. In it we see that,

Iran is demanding compensation for what it says are unlawful
sanctions imposed by the U.N. for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, the Mideast nation's foreign minister said in a letter...

Of course nobody is fooled by this kind of tactic, which Iran uses so regularly and which allows Bush Administration haters who would rather hurt Bush than face the threat of Iran use to try to make the President look like a warmonger.

Foreign ministers of the six countries that have been in the
forefront of efforts to ensure that Iran's nuclear intentions are peaceful—the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany—issued a joint statement to coincide with the council's adoption of a third sanctions resolution on March 3 reaffirming their approach.

They offered to improve a package of political, security and economic incentives they put on the table in June 2006 if Iran suspends enrichment—but said continued defiance will lead to further measures.

While I suppose this is better than encouraging Iran the fact remains that while we engage in all this diplomatic back-and-forth Iran gets closer to actually having a real nuke every... single... day.

Tick Tick Tick

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

And The Winner Is...Oy

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Via John Derbyshire at The Corner

While we are all thrilled to watch Hillary and the the lovely Barry Obama beat each other senseless on a daily basis, the thrill is soon gone when we realize that the likely beneficiary of all that whacking is the guy over there on the left.

John Derbyshire over on The Corner points out the following:

According to Fox News, according to Andy:

McCain said the United States' goal in fighting Islamic extremists should be "to win the hearts and minds of the vast majority of moderate Muslims who do not want their future controlled by a minority of violent extremists.

"In this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs.

"So–o–o–o, Senator, you favor bringing in even more students from Muslim Middle East nations —even more than the 15,000 extra Saudi students the President favors. Is that right?

What a great idea, Senator. What a wonderful, visionary idea. I just hope the flight schools can handle them all.

Yeah, if whoever gets the Dem nod is crippled and can't win we get this guy, instead. Besides the above bit of brilliance, today he also said,

"We need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies."

While I understand the need to toss around diplomatic blather, I can't help but wonder what "collective will" he's talking about? The kind that comes out of the UN? The kind of "will" you find in Spain? In Germany? Italy? This kind of claptrap is the type of drivel that the State Department and a world full of America-haters love to hear.

Sometimes I despair.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Ah, So That's What They Mean By "Green"

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While the Left and the Enviro-fanatics are running around screaming that everyone who disagrees with their extremist agenda is a corporate stooge, big business is mopping up by "going green" as can be seen in the example in this story.

Emblematizing the takeover of the Green movement by commercial interests,
Discovery Communications LLC has announced the launch date for the
transformation of its low-rated Discovery Home network into
, a network devoted to, you guessed it, "green" lifestyle choices.

The intent is certainly decent.

Or is it?

In reality, it's just another moneymaking scheme as businesses take advantage of the environmental movement to encourage consumers to throw out perfectly good and usable products and replace them with more expensive ones. Similarly, businesses are using eco-friendly" claims to encourage consumers to use services they don't need and that they would otherwise dismiss as poor uses of their money.

All those rubes trying to "Save The Earth" have "sucker" written all over them and there are plenty of people out there who know a goldmine when they see one. Of course many of these "Green" schemes in fact turn out to be destructive to the environment but since liberalism is really about feeling good rather than doing good, it really doesn't matter, does it?

Cross linked at Liberty Pundit

I Know Why: Hillary's A Guy!

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by krs601

Ok, so the guy who flew the plane on Hillary's Big Adventure says that, contrary to what Hillary says there was no gunfire, no sniper fire, no evasive manuevers, no sitting on flak jackets, etc. What to make of it? I think I know. You know how guys will tell girls they've just met slight... er, exagerations about themselves in order to get the girls interested? That's what Hillary was doing here: telling teensie exagerations to get the voters interested.

Now what I think this implies is obvious: As many of us have suspected all along, Hillary is a guy! I think this solution goes a long way in explaining an awful lot about her...I mean him.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Legal System That Shouldn’t Be Shari’a-ed

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This article by Libyan-European liberal thinker and entrepreneur Muhammad 'Abd Al-Muttalib Al-Houni is a response to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williamson's recent statements on allowing Muslim Sharia'a law to share authority with British law, at least in some parts of Britain.

Williamson, who is known for working tirelessly to apologize to Islamic radicals and showing a kind of understanding to killers that will surely lead to the eradication of his own religion and culture is the perfect example of the modern liberal: forgiving the worst in all cultures but his own, which is not to be forgiven for anything. Al-Houni says that the implementation of Shari'a would do the following:

"1) Permit polygamy for European Muslim citizens, and not punish them for it - [even though] this is considered criminal under European law;

"2) Permit European Muslim citizens to beat their wives to discipline them, as the Koran urges;

"3) Allow men to unilaterally decide to divorce without requiring any court proceedings, as this is a right guaranteed [to men] by shari'a;

"4) Give daughters [only] half the inheritance rights that sons have, while widows receive only an eighth of the inheritance;

"5) [Not] consider women's testimony the equal of men's in shari'a courts;

"6) Deprive a divorced woman of custody of her children if she remarries;

"7) Allow European Muslim citizens to marry in traditional marriages without the need to officially register these marriages;

"8) Eliminate adoption, since it is contrary to shari'a;

"9) Force a woman whose Muslim husband converts to another religion to divorce him, because he is an apostate;

"10) Prevent European Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims…"

The rest of the article is equally instructive and well worth reading.

Cross linked to Liberty Pundit

What If...?

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While it is, of course entertaining watching the video above in which Bill Clinton tries to explain why his signing the Defense Of Marriage Act was a great triumph for liberalism, it somehow got me to thinking what it would be like if instead of running against an African-American Hillary were running against a gay man. Instead of playing the race card Bill would, of course be playing the gay card. Picture, if you will, Bill doing his gay impression. I'm thinking Rudy in a dress without the sense of humor. Think of the visual, if you have the courage. It is not for the weak, my friends.

Cross-linked to Liberty Pundit

Liberal Genealogy

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Jonah Goldberg is in big trouble. Who is Goldberg? He’s a nationally syndicated columnist and a National Review contributing editor who has just published his first book. That’s why he’s in trouble. The book is called Liberal Fascism, The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. Prior to publication (and before anyone had read it) the book was given scathing reviews on which was hacked, replacing Goldberg’s picture with one of him with a Hitler moustache. Since publication, it has frequently been placed behind other books in unrelated sections of the bookstore and on more than one occasion people who purchased it were scolded by bookstore staff for doing so. Despite this it has reached #1 on the NY Times bestseller list.

Here’s why the book has caused such controversy: Conservatives are so frequently referred to as fascists by liberals that we sometimes think it must be our middle name. Google the word Bush and Hitler and you get over 800,000 pages where they appear together. Goldberg wondered about the reason for this. He couldn’t think of any policies that conservatives held that seemed even vaguely Nazi-like. So he started researching. Liberal Fascism was the result.

The book presents the history of fascism from its roots in the Jacobins of the French revolution through the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson to the rise of Mussolini and Hitler to the countercultural 60’s to the current Politics of Meaning so beloved by Hillary Clinton. This is not the history the Left wants you to know. According to the prevailing interpretation as presented in the media and academia fascism is a Right-wing phenomenon. It isn’t. Like communism, and socialism, its ideological cousins, fascism is another “ism” of the Left. And Goldberg has the goods to prove it.

When liberals make their frequent claims that various actions of the Bush Administration are historically unique acts of fascism they are either being ignorant or dishonest because nothing that Bush has done can even come close to the actions of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson, among whose fans was Benito Mussolini, instituted a propaganda ministry, the Committee on Public Information (CPI) which among its activities hired 100,000 men to spread out over the country to restaurants, theaters, street corners etc. to spread the Administration’s gospel. He passed the Sedition Act, which makes the Patriot Act look like the Bill of Rights in comparison as it banned “uttering, printing, writing, or publishing any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the United States government or military.” Magazines and newspapers were regularly subjected to government censorship, the radical magazine, Masses not being allowed to be distributed due to offenses such as publishing an “anti-American” cartoon. The American Protective League, created by the Justice Department employed at its greatest strength over 250,000 Americans to spy on their neighbors and often act as muscle to physically crack down on “seditious street oratory”.

Liberal icon, FDR was an enthusiastic member of Wilson’s administration and populated his own administration with many other like-minded Wilsonians. Mussolini was an early supporter of Roosevelt’s, seeing many similarities between their policies, once admiringly stating that “America has a dictator” referring to Roosevelt.

Fascists and progressives (the name by which liberals were known until the middle of FDR’s years in office) did (and still do) in fact have much in common; the raising of the State to quasi-religious status and the corollary need to diminish religion’s place in the public square; the use of the tactic of making each issue a “crisis” requiring military-style mobilization, (Think War on Poverty or the need to Save The Earth.) including the need for mass communal action. They also both see the need for the virtual ideological take-over of the universities and believe that the “old ways” are corrupt and outmoded. They believe in “new ideas”, “new ways of doing things” and a “new politics of meaning”. They frequently agitate for “change”.

One of the interesting aspects of fascism is that unlike communism which has always held itself out as being universal, fascism often adapts itself to the culture of the country in which it has taken root. This explains Germany’s and the Nazi’s anti-Semitism while Italy’s fascists weren’t anti-Semitic at all. Mussolini frequently tried to protect Jews until he started taking his orders from the Germans.

There are many reasons that fascism has come to be known as a Rightist phenomenon but virtually none of them have anything to do with any philosophical kinship or policy similarities. There were no small-government Nazis. The philosophical heritage of the Right comes to it from Edmund Burke, James Madison and the Federalists. Their pedigree has no connection with fascism. Liberalism’s does.

Goldberg has written a book that is being and will continue to be vilified by those who refuse to read it. But to those who do much of what they hear in current public discourse will sound uncomfortably familiar. The United States is highly unlikely to evolve into a Nazi-like fascism. It isn’t within the American character. If it comes at all it may come the way comedian George Carlin (of all people) says, as quoted in Liberal Fascism, not in “jackboots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley-shirts. Smiley-smiley.” And it won’t be Right-wing at all.

Cross linked at Liberty Pundit

Another Example Of The Overheated Rhetoric Of Global Warming

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Andean toads have been dying off for over twenty years. What could be the cause? I'll bet you can guess what was blamed:

It looked as if one research team was a winner
in 2006
when global warming was identified as the “trigger” in the extinctions by the authors of a much-cited paper in Nature. The researchers said
they had found a clear link between unusually warm years and the vanishing of mountainside frog populations.

Well, maybe not:

Now, in the March 25 issue of PLoS Biology, another team argues that the die-offs of harlequins and some other amphibians reflect the spread and repeated introductions of the chytrid fungus. They question the analysis linking the disappearances to climate change. In interviews and e-mail exchanges, Dr. Pounds and the lead author of the new paper, Karen R. Lips of Southern Illinois University, disputed each other’s analysis. Experts who have researched the amphibian said neither group had enough evidence to nail down its case and warned that this normal tussle over scientific details should not distract from the reality that humans are clearly roiling biology in ways important and yet poorly understood.

This is just another example of how the politics of global warming influences the science. When the Left says that certain scientists can't be trusted because they're on the payrolls of corporations with a vested interest in a given issue they conveniently forget that the careers of all scientists rise and fall on the grants they get and right now global warming is hot (if you'll excuse the pun). The fact is that climactic science is far from being understood well enough that conclusions about toad death being caused by global warming and other such similar "scientific findings" is specious at best.

The Left is correct to a degree that you should follow the money. But the money frequently flows to their pet causes, too.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Liar Liar Liar

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I'm not sure what I find worse, politicians lying to pad their meager resumes,

"I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our
heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

and this,

Immigration is a case in point for Obama, but not the only
one. In 2007, after the first comprehensive immigration bill had died, the senators were back at it, and again, Obama was notably absent, staffers and senators said. At one meeting, three key negotiators recalled, he entered late and raised a number of questions about the bill's employment verification system. Kennedy and Specter both rebuked him, saying that the issue had already
been resolved and that he was coming late to the discussion. Kennedy dressed him down, according to witnesses, and Obama left shortly

"Senator Obama came in late, brought up issues that had
been hashed and rehashed," Specter recalled. "He didn't stay

or politicians lying about who they really are,

"My record in public office taken as a whole is the record of a
mainstream conservative." - John McCain

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Monday, March 24, 2008

You Never Forget Your First

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In a related to story to this it is reported that the first cigarette was sold and smoked immediately thereafter.
Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Child Abuse - For The Right Reason

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This story should tell you all you need to know about how devoted liberals really are to “the children”.
Cross-linked at LibertyPundit

Horray For...France?

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It would seem the days of Jacques Chirac really are dead as current French President Nicolas Sarkozy apparently has plans to send 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan, boosting the French troop presence there to close to 3,000. Even more remarkable is the fact that he is doing this while Germany, Italy and Spain are continuing to show their usual spinelessness in the face of Islamofascism.

Since coming to power in May of last year Sarkozy has continued to act in a way that has made it almost difficult to loathe the usually wretched French Republic. On a score of different fronts he's advocated policies and made statements that would make it seem that he doesn't realize that both Europe and France are in a death spiral. Last month, instead of attempting to grovel before the growing ranks of world anti-semitism he said,

"I won't shake hands with people who refuse to recognise Israel."

He's also shown solidarity with the US in opposition to Iran saying,

“Proliferation is a grave threat to international security. We
cannot sit by and do nothing while Iran develops technologies which are in violation of international law.”

And he's even taking a whack at China on environmental issues, threatening to penalize Chinese imports due to the free-ride it gets on carbon-emissions while the EU must meet strict standards, despite China being expected to soon become the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide.

The fact that the US sees Europe as an ally (no matter how unreliable) is threatened by the demographic trend-line in which Muslim immigrants are now on their way to becoming the majority while showing little allegiance to Western culture. Sarkozy, with his personal experience with the Muslim riots that spread across the country in 2005 has shown a desire to try to get a handle on the problem by proposing quotas on immigrants. The fact that he's on the right track can be seen by the comments of a Leftist member of the French commission on social and economic reform who said,

“If we will have quotas for specific nationalities and specific
professions it will lead to a racist policy."

Will Sarkozy be able to stop the boulder of French decline as it careens down the mountain to its ultimate crash landing? Well, he is far from perfect and the cracks are already starting to show. His private life reads like something out of National Enquirer. In fact, it frequently is something that you can read about in the Enquirer. He has a famously short temper that is considerably less than endearing. And he is fighting the entrenched forces of the status quo which are deeply committed to France's current death spiral. His poll numbers have dipped to around 40% approval and his party fared badly in recent municipal elections. But Sarkozy is smart and resourceful so he could well pull himself out of these doldrums.

The question then becomes whether Sarkozy will become the leading edge of a European revival or just the last man who tried? I wouldn't exactly put my money on his chances but it is encouraging to see that there's a least still a little fight left in Europe.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit

Where Wright Was Wrong And Obama Was (Almost) Right (Even Though He's Left)

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Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike that Barack Obama's March 18 speech, A More Perfect Union, is the greatest bit of rhetoric ever to be uttered since the Sermon on the least according to the mainstream media. To those of us in the real world of course, this is nonsense. The speech was, first and foremost, a political necessity, a way to stop the immediate, alarming and potentially fatal slump in Obama's poll numbers in the wake of the revelation of Jeremiah Wright's, Obama's pastor and close friend of many years' hate-filled videos. As such, it had to walk a fine line, sounding credible to all sides and not alienating either African-Americans (including those of Wright's paranoid mindset) and Whites, who are ready to vote for an African-American, as long as he won't don a Dashiki and deliver an address titled Payback Time at his Inaugaral. Any speech with such broad goals is bound to have some bits that are going to please any group, even conservatives who are skeptical of Obama's Leftism. And so it did.

Among best parts of the speech, from a conservative perspective are the following lines:

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he
spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

Unfortunately, immediately thereafter he starts to go wobbly:

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means
acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed.

It is in "acknowledging that what ails the African-American community" that he starts to head into the tall grass of the Left. What ails the African-American community at this point isn't racism and the lingering effects Obama sees, ingrained societal attitudes and policies that are keeping Blacks down, but the belief that this is true as well as those who profit from that belief. It is understandable that after generations of slavery and Jim Crowe, Blacks should have incorporated victimhood as part of their identify. But that paradigm is now false and clinging to it no longer serves a positive purpose. Instead it is perpetuating the problem.

While not denying that racism exists in the form that the Al Shartons, the Jesse Jacksons. the Jeremiah Wrights and the Democratic Party say that it does, the reality is that it exists to a much smaller degree than they would have us believe. And the evidence of that is everywhere for those willing to see it.

One of the best ways to view how people feel about each other is to see how they interact on an intimate level and one of the best ways to do that in this situation is to look at Black/White intermarriage. In the '40's and '50's only about 2% of Black men married White women, the societal taboo against such a thing being very strong. By the 80's and 90's that percentage had risen to about 10%.

Also, economically the disparity between the races is not nearly as profound as many would have it appear. Thomas Sowell, one of the truly great intellects of our time and a man who fearlessly confronts the lies of the zeitgeist daily, frequently addresses this issue head-on in both his column and in many of his books. Those who have a vested interest in continued racial discord often point to the disparity in household incomes between Blacks and Whites. Sowell has pointed out that the problem with this comparison is that it doesn't take into account that fact that Black households comprise a far higher percentage of single mothers, a much poorer income group among both Blacks and Whites. He also points out in this example, that a Census Bureau study of a few years ago,

"... with dozens of pages lavished on income disparities, mentions in one brief sentence that the real per capita income of whites rose 13 percent from 1989 to 1999, while the real per capita income of Blacks rose 24 percent during that same period."
Maybe the most startling statistic that militates against racism being responsible for economic hardship is the fact that immigrants from Barbados, almost exclusively Black, have higher incomes than Whites.

The fact is that today most of the disparities between African-Americans and Whites is caused cultural factors, and by that I specifically mean the retention of a debilitating belief system that says that Blacks can't get ahead because of White racism. It isn't true but what is true is that such a self defeating world view can be self-fulfilling. Which is just what both racial con men like Jeremiah Wright and the Democratic Party need for their own purposes. An excited and inflamed audience keeps the pews full for Wright and a large, aggrieved constituency is needed by the Democrats whose only hold on power is through the manipulation of identity politics.

If Barack Obama had really wanted to make the greatest speech this side of the divinely inspired he might have tried really speaking "truth to power" and said some of the above. But his objective here wasn't nearly so lofty. He was really just trying to get himself out of a jam and despite the media's fawning reception, he went only as far as was necessary to do just that and no more. Thanks to the media he may just have succeeded in his limited goal, but the opportunity that existed to do so much more, sadly went unfulfilled.

Cross-linked at Liberty Pundit