Kidnapped by Japan - How A Mother's Dying Wish Led To A Father's Unimaginable Loss
Friday, May 30, 2008
My thanks to Ed Morrissey of Hot Air for linking to our banner story, Kidnapped by Japan - How A Mother's Dying Wish Led To A Father's Unimaginable Loss on his post Transplants for the Yakuza?. Ed is a major force on the Right side of the blogosphere and his support here focuses some much needed attention on the story of Paul Wong, his daughter Kaya and others, too many others, like them.
Thanks again, Ed!
While NASA is spending millions of dollars going to Mars and doing dull stuff like digging down through Martian permafrost looking for signs of microscopic life, a guy in Denver is doing the heavy lifting of proving that some really interesting aliens are walking around right here on Earth.
A video that purportedly shows a living, breathing space alien will be shown to the news media Friday in Denver.
Jeff Peckman, who is pushing a ballot initiative to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver to prepare the city for close encounters of the alien kind, said the video is authentic and convinced him that aliens exist.
"As impressive as it is, it's still one tiny portion in the context of a vast amount of peripheral evidence," he said Wednesday. "It's really the final visual confirmation of what you already know to be true having seen all the other evidence."
When Peckman went before city officials this month to discuss his proposed ET initiative, he promised to show the video.
Peckman said the general public will have to wait to see it because it's being included in a documentary by Stan Romanek.
"No one will be allowed to film the segment with the extraterrestrial because there is an agreement in place limiting that kind of exposure during negotiations for the documentary," he said.
But people won't have to wait too long to see it for themselves.
"There is an open, public meeting in about a month in Colorado Springs," Peckman said. "We'll hope to do one in Denver at some point, and then in a few months, there will be the documentary that anybody can have, and it'll have the footage."
An instructor at the Colorado Film School in Denver scrutinized the video "very carefully" and determined it was authentic, Peckman said.
That's right; an "instructor at the Colorado Film School" checked it out "very carefully" and gave it a thumbs up. So I guess NASA can pretty much turn out the lights on that boring old hunk of metal on Mars. You don't have to go to Mars to find aliens. Turns out they're in Denver, instead.
Hot Air comments
If you look really, really closely at the 22 seconds that have been released of this reportedly three minute video you can see your first, real live alien. And for those of you out there who remain snarky cynics just remember that "an instructor at the Colorado Film School in Denver scrutinized the video "very carefully" and determined it was authentic." So shut up, you.
In news sure to bring Democrats to tears the Commerce Department today announced the economy actually grew a weak but still real .9% in the first quarter of this year. As a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP it appears that the much anticipated "Bush recession" refuses to show up as the Dems have been hoping. Oh, and if you didn't remember, the media's favorite Republican is also on the recession bandwagon, in March saying,
So, I would say that, oh, it’s very likely, and more and more economists are saying that we are probably, quote, ‘in a recession.’The fact is that those anticipating, either ruefully or happily, a recession may wind up being disappointed for a long time to come. Blogger sbvor notes that...
According to the NBER [National Bureau of Economic Research]:
“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”
But, there never has been and, I would wager, never will be, any recession which does not involve at least one quarter of negative GDP growth.
And, the professionals whose income depends upon accurate economic forecasts, continue to forecast economic growth in every quarter of 2008.
As conservatives frequently note, any news that is good for the country this election season is bad for Democratic chances. Add an economy on its way back from a shaky period to the good news coming out of Iraq and you might just see how badly things looking up will bring the Dems' mood down.
Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.
In a directive issued on May 14, the governor’s legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere “should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.”
The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses.
In a videotaped message given to gay community leaders at a dinner on May 17, Mr. Paterson described the move as “a strong step toward marriage equality.” And people on both sides of the issue said it moved the state closer to fully legalizing same-sex unions in this state.
“Very shortly, there will be hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, and probably thousands and thousands and thousands of gay people who have their marriages recognized by the state,” said Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, a Democrat who represents the Upper West Side and has pushed for legalization of gay unions.
So even though no bill legislating gay marriage has made it through the legislature in NY so far, Paterson has managed to just skip the legislative process completely. Hot Air wonders about a possible push-back move against this tactic:
I wonder if some opponent won’t try to argue that because no New York state law has been passed formally granting full faith and credit to gay marriages, Paterson’s guilty of improperly/unilaterally “requiring” the state to recognize them and therefore in violation of DOMA. Seems like a stretch since DOMA’s really aimed at courts interpreting the federal constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause, but any weapon to hand, I guess.
Whatever the final outcome, this is just another example of the utter disdain that liberals have for democracy.
A Blog For All comments
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I recently posted about Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus having written his new anti-environmental-movement book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles and now he's making a visit to the US and quickly becoming one of my favorite world leaders. Klaus, who has a reputation as friend of this country and is an admirer of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, among other champions of freedom today offered to debate Al Gore on the topic of global warming. It doesn't appear likely that the un-credentialed faux scientist and former Vice President is likely to take him up on it anytime soon.
"I many times tried to talk to have a public exchange of views with him, and he's not too much willing to make such a conversation," Klaus said. "So I'm ready to do it."
Klaus was speaking a the National Press Building in Washington to present his new book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles - What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?, before meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday.
"My answer is it is our freedom and, I might add, and our prosperity," he said.
Klaus echoes many conservatives here in the US who perceive radical environmentalism as personified in Gore as being just the latest mask on expanding statism:
"Like their (communist) predecessors, they will be certain that they have the right to sacrifice man and his freedom to make their idea reality," he said.
"In the past, it was in the name of the Marxists or of the proletariat - this time, in the name of the planet," he added.
President Klaus is a sane, clear-headed European leader, unafraid of facing down the forces of the politically correct. The world needs more like him.
blonde sagacity comments
Liberty Pundit comments
This is certainly the kind of event that kooks and nutbags of all varieties have been waiting for. The object discussed in the video is reminiscent of the shadow that launched a million maniacs (aka: the Martian face)
At the time the "face" was first photographed it was taken by the gullible and those who like to make money off them as being an artifact of some Martian civilization right of out of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series. Sadly, it turned out to be a very unromantic collection of rocks, which is what the white speck in the video will probably turn out to be as well.
The good thing about the kind of silliness this sort of thing engenders is that it helps keep interest high in the space program and paves the way for the day when something really alien shows up.
Of course if that white dot in the video turns out to be some crashed starship from a galaxy far, far away, this post is going to make me look very bad...I think I'll take my chances.
Hot Air also comments
Scott McClellan, probably the least respected White House Press Secretary in recent memory has written What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, a reportedly very unflattering account of the administration in which he served. And everybody's going nuts. The book, makes supposedly explosive accusations of deception and incompetence on the part of his boss, the President (or "Bush" as he now rather disrespectfully refers to him) and most of the rest of administration.
The Left, of course is having a field-day, finding in McClellan, a man they previously reviled as a liar and dolt, a new found hero and truth-teller extraordinaire. The Right is less clear on exactly what to make of him: 1) A Judas? Yeah, that seems to fit. 2) A liar? Well, a lot of his "revelations", like Karl Rove and Scooter Libby "conspiring" to lie about the Valerie Plame affair, is more air than substance. Unless you're psychic you usually can only suspect what two people behind closed doors are talking about. Apparently McClellan possesses some hitherto psychic powers which he should have employed a bit while he was Press Secretary. They might have prevented him from looking so clueless much of the time.
The reaction of those who knew him in the Bush administration is interesting. Most of them seem legitimately shocked, saying they never knew he thought what he is now saying in the book and that the book doesn't "sound" like him. They ask, and rightfully most fair minded people would have to admit, "Why did you stay so long if you thought this way?" There are a couple of possible explanations: 1) He was there sucking up all the info he could gather in order to write this hit piece as soon as he left. 2) He's lying now because his publisher wanted a book that would do what this one seems to be doing already: sell. 3) He is incredibly weak and stupid, everything he says in the book is true and he just didn't know how to handle it when he was there. Boo Hoo
Strip away everyone's agenda (and I'm not immune-I think he's a mostly lying Judas) the fact is no one really knows...which leaves the accuracy of his book very suspect indeed. No matter how you look at it, McClellan was either lying then or now: He's a liar.
McClellan may have made a big contribution to his net worth, but he also has also managed to do what had seemed impossible; to diminish his already negligible reputation. Congratulations, Scott.
Hot Air comments
Flopping Aces comments
Exurban League comments
Right Wing News comments
Stop The ACLU comments
Below The Beltway comments
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Christian Britain is fading into history:
From The Church of England Newspaper:
If recent reports of trends in religious observance prove to be correct, then in some 30 years the mosque will be able to claim that, religiously speaking, the UK is an Islamic nation, and therefore needs a share in any religious establishment to reflect this....
At all levels of national life Islam has gained state funding, protection from any criticism, and the insertion of advisors and experts in government departs national and local. A Muslim Home Office adviser, for example, was responsible for Baroness Scotland’s aborting of the legislation against honour killings, arguing that informal methods would be better. In the police we hear of girls under police protection having the addresses of their safe houses disclosed to their parents by Muslim officers who think they are doing their religious duty.
While men-only gentlemen’s clubs are now being dubbed unlawful, we hear of municipal swimming baths encouraging ‘Muslim women only’ sessions and in Dewsbury Hospitals staff waste time by turning beds to face Mecca five times a day — a Monty Pythonesque scenario of lunacy, but astonishingly true...
The point is that Islam is being institutionalised, incarnated, into national structures amazingly fast, at the same time as demography is showing very high birthrates...
Today the Christian story is fading from public imagination, while Islam grows apace.
But do not despair; the red squirrels will remain to carry the standard high:
MINISTERS are planning to build a £100,000 wildlife bridge over a new road to protect Scotland's dwindling red squirrel population.
The 375ft Kingcausie Wildlife Overbridge will span a section of the new Aberdeen bypass, near the ancient Cleanill Wood.
It will allow squirrels and other wildlife to safely scamper above the road.
Environment minister Mike Russell has approved the bridge building as part of the £390million road scheme.
There are around 120,000 red squirrels in Scotland.
Buttle's World notes
Now that her long journey is nearing its end Hillary Clinton seems more relaxed, moooore sensuous and womanly, do you not agree? Look as she dances, moving like a wild, untamed animal. This is a woman who must surely go back to her room at night and dance the Lambada, the forbidden dance (if you don't know the reference, I'm too old and cranky to explain it to you) into the morning hours.
And to think, we shall never see this vixen as President...Why? Why?
Ok, I'm done now. LOL
Gateway Pundit gets down with its bad thing, too.
Right Wing News can see the sexy is back, too
John McCain's recent invite to Barack Obama to join him in a trip to Iraq was a pretty smart move, highlighting as it does the fact that Obama hasn't set foot inside the war zone in over two years. And those years have been eventful ones in which the Surge has been implemented and in which Al Qaeda in Iraq has been virtually routed, the Iraqi army has started to step up to the plate, causalities are down, etc.
Despite those remarkable changes Obama, like many Dems refuses to recognize a good thing when it happens (at least on a Republican President's watch) and has pretty much kept his Iraq policy the same as when the situation on the ground was going much worse; that policy being to get the Hell out ASAP no matter what the result. So McCain thought inviting the Obamessiah to Iraq would be a good way to remind people of the changes for the better in the war and Obama's intransigence and inflexibility in adjusting his policy to the new circumstances (the idea that Obama would refuse to go being a certainty).
Well the messianic-one lived down to expectations and issued a wonder of statement refusing to go:
John McCain’s proposal is nothing more than a political stunt, and we don’t need any more ‘Mission Accomplished’ banners or walks through Baghdad markets to know that Iraq’s leaders have not made the political progress that was the stated purpose of the surge. The American people don’t want any more false promises of progress, they deserve a real debate about a war that has overstretched our military, and cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars without making us safer.
In other words, he doesn't have to go to see for himself what is going on. So he refuses to acknowledge the widely reported enormous success the past two years have brought and he refuses to find out the truth on his own. Yep, it looks like McCain got it right when he said,
"Look at what happened in the last two years since Senator Obama visited and declared the war lost," the GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting told The Associated Press in an interview, noting that the Illinois senator's last trip to Iraq came before the military buildup that is credited with curbing violence.
"He really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time," the Arizona senator added. "If there was any other issue before the American people, and you hadn't had anything to do with it in a couple of years, I think the American people would judge that very harshly."
But as Hot Air points out, Obama has started to wear his flag lapel pin again, so there, Senator McCain.
Barack Obama: Defining "not good enough" daily.
Stop The ACLU is on the story, too
And so is Flopping Aces
The Midnight Sun discusses as well
As does The Gay Patriot
And Sister Toldja
And Blogs For John McCain
And Commentary Magazine
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
No, it isn't a mistake to say he sees "the fallen" in the audience, you racists. Barack Obama doesn't make mistakes. If he says he sees them, he SEES them. It isn't his fault you're not cool enough to see them.
Hot Air also noticed his power
So has Stop The ACLU
Exurban League also pays attention
So does Ed Driscoll
And Michelle Malkin
And Southern Appeal
And Flopping Aces
Pointing Fingers While Sitting On Their Hands - The Dem' Magical Method Of NOT Dealing With High Energy Costs
"Your industry has no problem doubling your profits, tripling your profits, even when prices at the pump go crazy," he said. "You have no problem keeping up with your increasing profits. It just doesn't seem fair, guys. It just doesn't seem fair."
Has Asian growth accounted for a 500% increase in demand? Hardly. Has the supply dropped by 500%? No. Have both factors combined for a 500% increase metric? Not even close.
What gives? The answer is precisely what OPEC says: Frantic speculation on tomorrow’s supply, compounded daily, and geo-political events that have driven this hysterical perception.
So convinced are our markets today that tomorrow’s supply is going to evaporate, we place a crisis value on today’s barrel. Tomorrow, we are surely even closer to fossil fuel doom and thus that day’s barrel will be even more critical than the day before. Lather, rinse, repeat. $132 per barrel crude prices are returned from the calculus. Yet, it’s basic math dictated less by true supply and demand and much more on the hysterical perceptions of the same.
We have become oil hypochondriacs. We are so convinced that we have cancer, it has inevitably appeared on our psychosomatic charts. So assured are we that doom awaits in perpetuity that we drive our own listing ship fearing that it will list port side any moment now.
During his Presidency Bill Clinton argued that allowing drilling in ANWR, a tundra blanketed wasteland that environmentalists seem to visualize as some green Valhalla, would take a decade to start producing oil if drilling were allowed, so wasn't worth the effort. If the drilling had gone forward then we'd now have a million more barrels a day at our disposal and would need to depend on foreign oil less. Cal Thomas, in a recent column makes the point more broadly:
[Peter Robertson, vice chairman of Chevron] said there would be plenty of oil available to the United States if the oil companies were allowed to get it: "Eighty-five percent of offshore oil is off-limits." Responding to objections to offshore drilling by environmentalists and their allies in Congress, Robertson noted that some of the strongest pro-environment nations in Europe - he mentions Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom - lease offshore locations for oil exploration. The technology has become so good, he said, that during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, "one thousand offshore wells were destroyed (in the Gulf of Mexico), but not one leaked." Australia, he said, has allowed offshore drilling for 40 years without any environmental damage.
Why the price of oil is what it is is complicated and while all the reasons haven't been touched on here, the main point remains valid: We do not have to be as dependent on foreign oil as we are today and oil prices would not be as high as they are today if liberals in Congress got out of the way and just let the "villainous" oil companies drill where they see fit and refine as they see fit. The Congress does not want to American public to catch wind of this reality so they call in oil execs and try to scapegoat them.
In another legitimately entertaining bit of responsibility-dodging Mark Steyn has pointed out how Congress just passed the...
so-called NOPEC bill. The NOPEC bill is, in effect, a suit against OPEC, which, if I recall correctly, stands for the Oil Price-Exploiting Club. “No War For Oil!,” as the bumper stickers say. But a massive suit for oil — now that’s the American way!
“It shall be illegal and a violation of this Act,” declared the House of Representatives, “to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product… or to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for oil, natural gas, or any petroleum product when such action, combination, or collective action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price, or distribution of oil, natural gas, or other petroleum product in the United States.”
Er, okay. But, before we start suing distant sheikhs in exotic lands for violating the NOPEC act, why don’t we start by suing Congress? After all, who “limits the production or distribution of oil” right here in the United States by declaring that there’ll be no drilling in the Gulf of Florida or the Arctic National Mosquito Refuge? As Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz herself told Neil Cavuto on Fox News, “We can’t drill our way out of this problem.”
That Congressional finger that our liberal legislators like to point at everybody else should turn around and point to the real culprit in this situation: Congress itself.
The search for life on other worlds ramped up again yesterday when...
The Mars Phoenix lander touched down in the far north of the Red Planet, after a 680 million-km (423 million-mile) journey from Earth.
The probe is equipped with a robotic arm to dig for water-ice thought to be buried beneath the surface.
It will begin examining the site for evidence of the building blocks of life in the next few days.
Phoenix is just the latest in a wide ranging group of programs, at least part of whose goal it is to detect life elsewhere in the universe.
SETI continues to scan the skies looking for intelligent signals of non-terrestrial origin. Enlisting the public in the search, SETI allows thousands of non-scientists to participate by having standard pc's analyze the data SETI collects. You can download the software do just that here.
To date astronomers have detected over 230 extraterrestrial planets orbiting other stars:
The scores of newly identified exoplanets are the result of the numerous techniques now available to planet-hunting scientists. Peg 51 b was discovered using the radial velocity technique whereby astronomers look for slight wiggles in a star's motion caused by the gravitational tug of orbiting planets. This so-called wobble technique was also used to spot Gliese 581 C.
The transit method, another tool used by planet hunters, requires that a planet pass directly in front of its star as seen from Earth. The planet blocks some of the star's light that would reach Earth, and this slight dip in starlight can be used to calculate the planet's size.
Scientists can also spot alien worlds by observing the way a planet-harboring foreground star bends and brightens light from a background star. This technique is called gravitational microlensing. The presence of an extrasolar planet can also be inferred from the dusty debris disks that shroud some stars.
Raising the stakes
Stakes in the search for extrasolar planets have risen even higher with the recent launch of the European Space Agency's planet-hunting spacecraft, COROT, which will use the transit technique to monitor thousands of stars simultaneously. Over the course of its two-and-a-half year mission, it is expected to find up to 40 new rocky worlds, along with tens of new gas giants.
The NASA Kepler mission, scheduled to launch next year, is even more ambitious. The spacecraft would be the first capable of detecting Earth-sized planets in our galaxy. NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission is currently on the backburner indefinitely, but it would have the same capability as Kepler. If launched, the satellites will mark an important step in the quest to answer one of humanity's oldest questions: Are we alone in the universe?
That's if Earth-bound astronomers don't make the discovery first. The discovery of Gliese 581 C showed the radial velocity technique could spot planets much smaller than scientists had predicted only a few years ago.
Here's an interesting video on the topic:
The Phoenix lander is an important contribution to what is becoming a crowded field of study.
Hot Air also reports on the landing
Monday, May 26, 2008
Hillary Clinton had a piece in Monday's NY Daily News in which she claims she wants to accomplish two main goals: explain her recent (massively criticized by the Left) comments about June being the month Bobby Kennedy was assassinated (the more perceptive folks in the liberal media seeing through her clever ruse of using some sort of trigger code to her murderous minions to take out Barack Obama) and to explain to one and all why she is still running despite the odds and the clamour for her to get out of the race.
On the first point she doesn't fare very well. In the way of an explanation she tells us she said:
I made clear that I was - and that I thought the urgency to end the 2008 primary process was unprecedented. I pointed out, as I have before, that both my husband's primary campaign, and Sen. Robert Kennedy's, had continued into June.
She then apologizes...well, kinda. The only problem here is she doesn't mention the part of her statement that really caused the furor; that little assassination thing. It usually helps to identify the sincerity of your apology if you honestly state what you did that was perceived as being offensive. Lacking that honesty confessions tend to look a bit self-serving. (Actually honesty probably would have worked better as her comment about Kennedy being assassinated really isn't anywhere near the opprobrium that the Left has made it out to be. Normal people would see that she was apologizing for a pretty minor offense. )
On her second point - why she's staying in the race - she isn't completely truthful, either. She says that one of her major motivations is that:
I am running because I still believe I can win on the merits. Because, with our economy in crisis, our nation at war, the stakes have never been higher - and the need for real leadership has never been greater - and I believe I can provide that leadership.
Ok. Here she's probably being up-front. She thinks she can win on the intrinsic rightness of her getting the nomination due to all her sterling qualities. Well, I guess all Presidents have to have an ego big enough to believe that and God knows that Hillary lacks for nothing in the ego department.
She then goes on to tell a whopper:
I am running because I believe staying in this race will help unite the Democratic Party. I believe that if Sen. Obama and I both make our case - and all Democrats have the chance to make their voices heard - in the end, everyone will be more likely to rally around the nominee.
Yeeeessss, I think everyone can see how "unifying" this race has been; Bill playing the infamous (boo hiss) race card, Hillary attacking the probable nominee's experience. No, no hard feeling in this race. I'm sure all Obama's supporters would be climbing all over each other to line up and vote for Hillary if she were to nab the nomination from him. And alternatively, all her voters are over the moon about Obama, too. Yeah, unity. That's what its all about.
I believe I won a 40-point victory two weeks ago in West Virginia and a 35-point victory in Kentucky this past week - despite voters being repeatedly told this race is over - because I'm standing up for them. I'm standing up for the deepest principles of our party and for an America that values the middle class and rewards hard work.
Finally, I am running because I believe I'm the strongest candidate to stand toe-to-toe with Sen. McCain. Delegate math might be complicated - but electoral math is not. Our campaign is winning the popular vote - and we've been winning the swing states we need to get 270 electoral votes and take back the White House: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arkansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Florida and West Virginia.
Reminding folks what a weak candidate Obama is is another great unifying point, isn't it?
Somehow, in this beautiful statement of principles Hillary forgets one other small reason that she's running: She is the most ambitious woman in the history of the planet. She stuck around with that philandering jerk, liar of a husband and withstood all the indignities and trivialities of being First Lady (sexist, moronic term, that!) because it would get her closer to the Presidency. She's been a faithful Lefty for decades and YOU DAMN PEOPLE DAMN WELL BETTER GET THAT SOB OBAMA OUT OF MY WAY, VOTE FOR ME AND GET MY ASS INTO OFFICE OR ELSE!
And that is the real reason Hillary continues to run.
Rather than stick to my usual blogging schedule I thought that this holiday is too solemn to go about business as usual and so, barring any especially vital event or events this will be my only post today.
Back to the usual schedule tomorrow.