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

Read the story here

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

On Hiatus

Sphere: Related Content

Due to a perfect storm of server problems (Blogger is "improving" and updating their software, which means it no longer works properly LOL) and time consuming personal matters Because I'm Right will be on hiatus for the foreseeable future. (Please stop crying, friends and stop cheering, all others.)  Yes, I realize that "hiatus" is often a way of saying "going away forever" but such is not the case here.  As soon as some things resolve themselves I, nocomme1 aka The Right Guy will be back to a regular blogging schedule.  And just to prove my good intentions I will be popping up and posting now and again over the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, have a great couple of weeks and I will see you all soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Zen

Sphere: Related Content

The Obama Tapes...And Why They Won't Hurt HIm

Sphere: Related Content

Here we go, again, wasting our time. The most "recent" Obama scandal du jour comes to us from the Lightbringer's very own lips. Politico reports on the content of the audio version of Obama's 1995 memoir, Dreams From my Father.

While it is true that there is much here of interest and much that will likely turn many people off it is also true that if Republicans are thinking that they will get much mileage out of it, they are probably indulging in more wishful thinking than making any kind of serious analysis. First off, the book was originally published in 1995, thirteen years ago. While some of the excerpts may come as a surprise to some people, Obama will of course fall back on the fact that this is old news...and he'll actually be right. Even the audio clips have been out there for three years. This doesn't exactly qualify as fast-breaking news. The Obama-loving media will, of course, will be more than happy to agree with him and ignore the "story" entirely.

Also it seems likely than those folks who are likely to be shocked, angered, outraged or otherwise miffed by what he has to say have already decided not to vote for the Obamessiah anyway. Unlike the Jeremiah Wright story, which was not known to the public at large and about which Obama has spent much time dissembling, in this case Obama may be concealing some truths here but the actual quotes are being read by him, making it difficult to say that he's hiding them.

There are far more productive ways to deal with Barack Obama than wasting time here. Pointing out that he is a socialist is one way. Pointing out that he is not "new", just another politician-as-usual is another. Pointing out that he will drive energy prices through the roof is another. Pointing out that he is unqualified to be commander is chief is yet another. Pointing out that...well, you get the point.

Pursuing this story would just pull resources away from far more fertile ground. Barack Obama is a veritable scandal machine (most of the "scandals" being found in the truth of his "record" and policies). We don't need this one.

We should close the book on this story and move on.

Conservatives To McCain: We're Not That Into You, Either

Sphere: Related Content

Not much new in this video clip dealing with Conservatives' unhappiness with McCain. What is troubling is that McCain became the presumptive Republican nominee months ago and stories just like this one ran then.  At that time McCain's people assured us that he was aware of the problems and would be addressing them.  Well, he has come around on some things; tax cuts, offshore drilling, etc. but the lack of trust that Conservatives have in McCain (and discussed in the video)  is a very real, continuing problem.  We all know, as Michael Tanner of Cato says here that McCain is a "stubborn guy" as we have seen over and over again.  Of course it seems that most of that stubborn streak is usually saved for his supporters, generally presenting a more "respectful and reasonable" face to his Democratic opponent who is trying to figuratively kick his teeth in daily.

While McCain is sitting around congratulating himself on his stubborness, he'd be well served to remember that Conservatives are stubborn, too.  When he is stubborn, he adopts policies we don't like.  When we're stubborn we're very likely not to go out and vote for him.  Sometimes I think "the little jerk" doesn't really understand that.  But unless he realizes who his friends really are come Election Day, he may find out that he doesn't have very many of us left.

Another Environmental "Solution" Starts To Fall Apart: EU Infatuation With Ethanol Grows Cold - Canada, Too

Sphere: Related Content

Give some credit to environmentalists: they don't just tell us that we are killing the Earth they do frequently have "environmentally sound" boatloads of solutions which we can employ to "save the Earth". Of course, many of those solutions come down to reversing the industrial revolution and all of us going back to living in caves, but they do have some other ideas, too. Take biofuels. Touted as being far more environmentally friendly than gasoline biofuels have been mandated to be incorporated into the fuel mix of many Western nations including those in the EU, Canada and US. But now comes this story from the EU and all of a sudden we have the makings of another enviro-boondoggle:

Signaling a major retrenchment, European Union legislators on Monday proposed ratcheting back an ambitious target to raise Europe's use of biofuels.

At the same time, a new report for the British government cast fresh doubt on using fuels from crops in the fight against climate change.

Until recently, European governments had sought to lead the rest of the world, setting a target for 10 percent of transportation fuels to be derived from biofuels by 2020. But the allure has dimmed amid growing evidence that the kind of targets proposed by the EU are contributing to deforestation and helpingforce up food prices.

"I think when we will look back we will say this was the beginning of a turning point for Europe on biofuels," said Juan Delgado, a research fellow specializing in energy and climate change expert at Breugel, a research organization in Brussels. "It will be very difficult now for Europe to stick by its targets."

And as far as being a sensible, economically smart alternative to gas in reducing greenhouse gases, well environmentalists might have oversold that a bit, too:

Britain also signaled a new course Monday. Ruth Kelly, the British transport minister, said the introduction of biofuels should be slowed down, citing a newly released report warning that current targets for biofuel production could cause a global rise in greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in poverty in the poorest countries.

And with all this reevaluating going on in Europe, across the Atlantic in Canada a very similar dissatisfaction seems to be taking hold:

An Angus Reid poll released on May 13, 2008 shows that only 53 per cent of respondents believe "ethanol is a great alternative to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels." Furthermore, a remarkable 44 per cent believe "corn or wheat-based ethanol should be banned, because it is ethically wrong to use food to produce fuel" in light of global food shortages.

Of course big government being big government, the common sense of the people is rarely a real consideration (the Brainiacs in the bureaucracy always know best).

The Conservative government has committed $200 million to biofuel production through the ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative (ecoABC) alone and today introduced Bill C-33 which would make mandatory a minimum five percent biofuel content in all fuels by 2010.
There does seem to be a voice of sanity in Canada, however in the form of Dennis Young, the Libertarian Party leader who has said,

Newly elected Libertarian Party leader Dennis Young added that his party would scrap the biofuel mandates and subsidies to the industry: "Good ideas find
support in the market. Bad ideas require government subsidies and mandates."
Young argued that alternative energy solutions should come from the free market:
"High oil prices are driving innovations in alternative energy. Let's remove the government barriers to successful innovation and see what alternatives prove the most viable."
Here in the States, The Heritage Foundation (of course) has done a rational analysis of the biofuels dead-end:

America's energy policy has been on an ethanol binge, and now the hangover has begun. The federal renewable fuels mandate is an unfolding failure, and more Members of Congress are taking notice. If repeal of the mandate is not yet possible, Congress should at least freeze ethanol use at current levels while the nation reassesses its renewable fuels policy.


Mandates for renewable fuels, chiefly ethanol derived from corn, have steamrolled through Washington as few other issues have in recent years. The 2005 energy bill contained the first-ever requirement that these fuels be mixed into the nation's gasoline supply. Beginning in 2006, the mandate came on top of massive subsidies and tax breaks already enjoyed by domestic ethanol producers.

The mandate quickly proved to be a mistake—raising rather than lowering
fuel costs, sparking food price inflation, and invoking environmentalist opposition during its first two years. Nonetheless, a bill to increase the requirements nearly fivefold passed Congress easily and was enthusiastically signed by the President in December 2007. Thanks to this measure, America is now committed to 9 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2008 and 36 billion by 2022. For at least the next few years, almost all of this mandate will be met by corn ethanol.

With Americans squirming under the weight of ever more costly energy how long will support for ethanol last when the following information sinks into their heads?:

The AAA calculates that ethanol has recently cost 20 to 30 cents per gallon more than regular gasoline.[1] And that does not take into account the heavy taxpayer subsidies, including a 51-cent-per-gallon tax credit, without which ethanol would be even costlier.

Proponents insist that economies of scale will kick in and make ethanol
more affordable as the mandated levels are ratcheted up, but there is no sign of that actually happening. The opposite is more likely. For example, ethanol costs more to transport than gasoline, and the expanding mandates necessitate usage well outside of its Midwestern home base.

Ethanol is also more expensive to use in the summer: It contributes to
smog and in several markets can be used only with a costlier base blend that
compensates for this shortcoming; but this blend must be used year-round. Over the longer term, the law requires that corn alternatives like cellulosic ethanol be used as well. Cellulosic ethanol—made from certain grasses, wood, or crop waste—is currently far more expensive than even corn ethanol.

Barack Obama, continuing to leave a gargantuan issue opening that John McCain seems unaware he should be exploiting, has a policy on ethanol would exacerbate the problems and continue the upward spiral of energy costs. His policy on ethanol found on his official website show this plainly:

Support Next Generation Biofuels

Deploy Cellulosic Ethanol: Obama will invest federal resources,
including tax incentives, cash prizes and government contracts into developing the most promising technologies with the goal of getting the first two billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol into the system by 2013.

Expand Locally-Owned Biofuel Refineries: Less than 10 percent of new ethanol production today is from farmer-owned refineries. New ethanol refineries help jumpstart rural economies. Obama will create a number of incentives for local communities to invest in their biofuels refineries.

Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Barack Obama will establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard to speed the introduction of low-carbon non-petroleum fuels. The standard requires fuels suppliers to reduce the carbon their fuel emits by ten percent by 2020.

Increase Renewable Fuel Standard: Obama will require 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be included in the fuel supply by 2022 and will increase that to at least 60billion gallons of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol by 2030.

John McCain, who has flirted with ethanol in the past seems to be coming to his senses on the issue recently.

Sen. John McCain Monday joined other GOP senators urging environmental
regulators to ease rules demanding a sharp increase in ethanol use to help head off further increases in food prices.

Ethanol is proving to be yet another policy foisted on the public by the environmental lobby among others with the assurance that it is part of the "answer". Instead what we are learning more clearly with every passing day is, not only don't the enviromentalists have the "answer", they don't even understand the question.

The Absurd Report would seem to agree

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Zen

Sphere: Related Content

Jesus and Archaeology

Sphere: Related Content

Early last year a story appeared that purported to prove that, unlike what the New Testament tells us and what billions of Christians have believed since the first century or so, Jesus Christ did no die only to be resurrected and then ascend into heaven. Instead, according to this "new discovery" we learn that like many other ordinary people of his day Jesus was married, died and and buried with his wife and family in the family tomb. You see, the family tomb has been "found". No Resurrection, no religion as we have known it.

On the other hand, in 1961...

The first physical evidence relating to Pilate was discovered..., when a block of
black limestone
[pictured below] was found in the Roman theatre at Caesarea Maritima, the
capital of the province of Iudaea, bearing a damaged dedication by Pilate of a Tiberieum.[9] This dedication states that he was [...]ECTVS IUDA[...] (usually read as praefectus iudaeae), that is, prefect/governor of Iudaea. The early governors of Iudaea were of prefect rank, the later were of procurator rank, beginning with Cuspius Fadus in 44.

The inscription is currently housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where its Inventory number is AE 1963 no. 104. Dated to 26–37, it was discovered in Caesarea (Israel) by a group led by Antonio Frova.

Score one for the the historical story of Jesus.

Now comes this story of a tablet dating back to slightly before the time of Jesus upon which is (supposedly) written evidence to the effect that Jesus' reported "...death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time." As with most such ancient artifacts its authenticity and actual meaning is somewhat in doubt. While it may date to a time before Jesus, because of its poor condition it is difficult to be sure exactly what it is saying: Does it really indicate that there will be a risen (after three days) messiah? Is the messiah it talks about a person named Simon, also mentioned in the text? Is it really talking about Barack Obama, and not Jesus? (Ok, that was a little joke.)

Believers may now move to one corner of the room and non believers to the other and you can start yelling your arguments at each other. The fact is that militant atheists are always eager to latch onto some bit of "evidence" that they believe will somehow negate the truth of "Christianity" (oddly, they never seem to spend much time looking into the archaeological record to see if they can negate any of the Koran). On the other hand Christan believers can sometimes be a little defensive on the subject of the veracity of Jesus' existence and word.

For me, while I find Biblical archaeology fascinating I tend to agree with the Catholic Church's (and maybe Protestant policy on this as well; I'm just not that familiar with it to know for sure) take on this sort of thing. Christianity's truth will not be found in archaeology, or any other science. In modern times, anyway the Church does not seem to fear science as it once did. Faith, by its very definition is beyond science. We can look for many answers to many questions in the universe that God created but we won't find a rationale for why he created the universe created that universe in it. For that we have to look elsewhere, to religion.

I'm always sort of amazed at the way militant atheists are condescending about believers for all the "absurd" things they believe that are so far away from what everyday experience should tell them is nonsense. Yet these same atheists don't find the current scientific explanation about the creation of the universe, the Big Bang theory, wherein all matter in the universe was once contained in a space a trillionth of what it now is and inexplicably exploded, and (briefly, faster than the speed of light) expanded and cooled to become the universe we all know. Now if you want a crazy story...

Personally I have no problem in believing in the Big Bang, evolution etc. and in Jesus' resurrection, too. Christ's message of redemption is so deep and profound that it "feels right". I'm not a great Catholic, probably not a particularly good one but the older I get the more the story of Christ strikes me as "elegant" as the scientists might say and the less worried I am about the revelations of science and the more I see the strength that exists in faith.

So let the archaeologists, the physicists, the mathemeticians, etc. have at it. I'm betting God isn't afraid of them. And if He's not, neither am I.

Oh, as an addendum: The "photo" of Christ at the top of this post comes from a Popular Science story that investigated what an average man of Jesus' time in Israel probably looked like. And the Jesus' tomb story is now generally considered to have been debunked by most archaeologists.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Definition Of Patriotism: Happiness When The US Defeats The Enemy

Sphere: Related Content

Here's a part of the definition of patriotism that Barack Obama seems to have forgotten in his speech the other day: Patriotism is celebrating the defeat of those who have killed and want to continue killing Americans and who want to destroy the American nation. But Barack shouldn't really feel that bad; apparently most of the msm and the Democratic party as an entity have also forgotten.

According to this story ,
American and Iraqi forces are driving Al-Qaeda in Iraq out of its last redoubt in the north of the country in the culmination of one of the most spectacular
victories of the war on terror.

One would think that a victory this "spectacular" would be big news indeed, and indeed it would be if it had happened during the administration of a Democrat President, but as it this victory represents the vindication of GWB, it apparently is barely worth a mention.

After being forced from its strongholds in the west and centre of Iraq in the past two years, Al-Qaeda’s dwindling band of fighters has made a defiant “last stand” in the northern city of Mosul. A huge operation to crush the 1,200 fighters who remained from a terrorist force once estimated at more than 12,000 began on May 10.

Operation Lion’s Roar, in which the Iraqi army combined forces with the
Americans’ 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, has already resulted in the death of
Abu Khalaf, the Al-Qaeda leader, and the capture of more than 1,000 suspects.

The breadth and implications of this victory are far reaching and represent the biggest defeat for Al-Qaeda since the Taliban were driven from power in Afghanistan.
American and Iraqi leaders believe that while it would be premature to
write off Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni group has lost control of its last urban base in Mosul and its remnants have been largely driven into the countryside to the south.

Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, who has also led a crackdown on the Shi’ite Mahdi Army in Basra and Baghdad in recent months, claimed yesterday that his government had “defeated” terrorism.

“They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it,” Maliki said.
“But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we
defeated them.”

The number of foreign fighters coming over the border from Syria to bolster Al-Qaeda’s numbers is thought to have declined to as few as 20 a month, compared with 120 a month at its peak.

And how solid is this situation, how stable will it be?

Major-General Mark Hertling, American commander in the north, said: “I think
we’re at the irreversible point.”

This is not just a defeat for Al-Qaeda, but is a terrific defeat for Iran, which has been waging a proxy war against the US by funding Al-Qaeda and supplying it with what frequently seemed a never ending supply of manpower.

Ed Morrissey points out the psychological impact this will continue to have on the enemy:

They have lost their supposedly divine endorsement; why would Allah have called them to action, just to see them destroyed by the infidels? The sheer bloodthirstiness of their actions in Iraq have exposed them as drug-driven demons, not righteous jihadists.

While Barack Obama and the Democratic party run around shouting to every microphone they can find that "Al-Qaeda is stronger today than it was on 9/11" Al Qaeda itself is telling a different story. In a letter seized by US military all the way back in the summer of 2007 an Al-Qaeda leader in Anbar province said that their security structure was in a state of "total collapse". And in October of that year came this letter which shows the chaos in their ranks, found in the same way:
"I am Abu-Tariq, emir of the al-Layin and al-Mashahdah sector,” [His force of 600 had collapsed down to a force of 20.]

“We were mistreated, cheated and betrayed by some of our brothers...Those people were nothing but hypocrites, liars and traitors and were waiting for the right moment to switch sides with whoever pays them most.”

Obama and company may try to downplay the importance in Iraq in the broader war on terrorism but but once again they are gainsaid by Al-Qaeda itself. This is what Osama bin Laden had to say about the importance of Iraq for his global stategy:

The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this
third world war … raging in [Iraq]." BIN LADEN: "I now address my speech to the
whole of the Islamic nation: Listen and understand. The issue is big and the
misfortune is momentous. The most important and serious issue today for the
whole world is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began
against the Islamic nation. It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The
world's millstone and pillar is in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate." (Text
Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites,

Thousands of American men and women have suffered and died to create a beachhead of stability in the Islamic world, to draw a line in the sand that says, 'No, you will not advance'. They have challenged the core assumptions of Al-Qaeda's motivating philosophy, that Allah is on their side and they cannot fail, and in doing so have crushed the spirit of Al-Qaeda's followers and assured that recruiting into "Allah's army" is far more difficult that it would have been if otherwise.

And what has been the response of the Democratic nominee for President, his party and devotees in the msm? To deny that these brave men and women have accomplished anything of value to America, often accusing them of crimes against the Iraqi people and against humanity.

Barack Obama may try to set up a rhetorical framework that disallows any questions about his patriotism, but his own behavior demands that his patriotism be called into question.

Barack Obama is no patriot.