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Showing posts from June, 2006

Whoa!

Hamas terrorists have demanded the release of a thousand Palestinian prisoners as the price of freedom for kidnapped Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Israel's counter- offer: let Cpl. Shalit go, and we won't kill Hamas member and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh.

The Israelis, as usual, are playing for keeps. If they didn't, the Arabs would have butchered every man, woman and child in the country years ago.

Ugly? Sure. Almost as ugly as the genocidal hatred which makes such tactics necessary.

HT: Drudge

A reply to Barack Obama

So Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) is trying to open a dialog between "progressives," and religion. Good for him.

I agree completely with the senator's basic points: that on one hand it is not only perfectly proper but inevitable, that people of faith carry their most deeply held beliefs and values into the voting booth and the public square, but that, on the other hand, a distinction must be made in a pluralistic society's public square between religious beliefs per se and public policy inspired by them. Nevertheless, dialog presupposes disagreement- and as strongly as I commend Senator Obama's speech to you, there are aspects of it with which I disagree. Not least of all do I disagree that godlessness, inconsistency, and hypocrisy should be called anything but what they are, regardless of whether or not those who exhibit them describe themselves as "people of faith."

The religious history of America being what it is, the context of the speech might be a go…

NU's Walker dies at 52

Northwestern's football coach, Randy Walker, died of a heart attack last night at 52.

Like Wildcat fans all over the country, I'm shocked. He'll be missed both on and off the field.

Stem cell hype

Perhaps the single biggest factor in the ongoing battle by the social Left to win acceptance for embroyonic stem cell research is dishonest hype.

Like that surrounding that recent Johns Hopkins study and the regenerated neurological cells in mice.

HT: Rev. Mike Zamzow

A step in the right direction

The Vatican has announced that scientists who carry out embroyonic stem cell research and politicians who pass laws permitting it will be excommunicated.

Good for the Vatican.

Now if they'll only do the same for Catholic politicians who claim to follow their church's teaching on abortion personally, but support the legality of abortion (i.e., "I'm personally opposed to murder, but I wouldn't want to impose my morality on anybody else-" you know, Kennedy, Kerry, and almost every Catholic Democrat on Earth), they will at long last be on consistent and morally defensible ground.

HT: Drudge

Olmert is a mench

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says that Hamas has offered to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit if certain unspecified conditions are met.

The Israeli response: "No conditions."

Love those Israelis! They have Kadima. They have Likud. And they have Labour. But not a Democrat to be seen anywhere!

They may write backwards. But unlike the Democrats, they don't advance that way.

HT: Drudge

A mountain out of a molehill

Both on Capitol Hill and in the Leftist blogsphere, there is a great deal of cheering going on about the Supreme Court's ruling that military trials for the terrorists imprisoned in comfort at Guantanomo Bay are illegal because they lack congressional sanction.

I had to chuckle at one Canadian blog which crowed, "Finally! The U.S. Supreme Court shows some humanity!" I'm not sure what's humane about ruling that murders being held under conditions far more comfortable than those of all but a few "country club" prisons in the United States cannot be held to answer for their crimes without providing them with the propaganda platform involved in a public, civil trial, which would make it difficult to keep classified material needed for their prosecution secret from al Quaeda or any other interested party. I suppose anything that is heralded as a setback for President Bush must appear to be a triumph for humanity to those whose hatred for the man and all his …

Friends of Jerry

Lance Cpl. Larry Shumate is one of those held in connection with the al Hamdania incident. He and seven other Americans- six fellow Marines, and a Navy corpsman- are accused of murdering an Iraqi civilian last April.

He and his fellow defendants are not wealthy. They will be up against the full legal weight of the United States government. If they are guilty, they should be convicted and punished. But they are entitled to the presumption of innocence- and to a fair trial.

Here is a blog dedicated to raising funds to assure a decent defense and a fair trial to Cpl. Shumate and his fellow defendents. Whether or not one supports the war, and even whether or not these men are guilty, it is not only in their interest but in the interest of America and in the interest of justice that they get the best possible defense. Rest assured that the prosecution will have all the resources they need at their disposal.

Please give the site a visit, and do what your means and your conscience dictate.

HT: S…

Supreme Court rules out Gitmo trials- for now

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-3 that President Bush had no authority to authorize military trials of illegal combatants detained at Guantanamo Bay.

The Court did not dispute the legality of the camp itself. Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with the Administration as a Federal judge earlier in the case, recused himself.

The decision was reached on the basis of Federal statute and the Geneva Accords, not on constitutional grounds. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and others in Congress are studying the possibility of passing legislation to create a way of trying prisoners at Gitmo that would conform with the court'sruling. Administration sources reportedly are optimistic about that possibility.

Many of the home countries of the prisoners refuse to take them back. Trials in civil courts- which the legislation being introduced today by Graham and Sen. John Kyl (R-Az) will probably facilitate as an alternative- will be a nightmare because of the classified information which will need to …

An intriguing idea

My U.S. senator (the one I'm willing to own up to, Charles Grassley) is sponsoring legislation to require pimps to file W2 forms for the prostitutes who work for them.

Under Grassley's bill, a pimp would get ten years in prison for each prostitute who works for him for whom he hasn't filed a W2. Essentially, the bill would force pimps and prostitutes alike to choose between answering to local law enforcement officials by admitting to their profession, or to the IRS.

While Grassley isn't adverse to the government receiving a little additional revenue, the main purpose of the bill is to put pimps behind bars. "Prosecuting these tax code violations," he says, "can get these guys off the street and yank from their grasp the girls and women they exploit."

No, my libertarian friends. Prostitution is not a victimless crime- especially when the prostitutes are kidnapped and forced into the life against their will.

HT: Drudge

More on Diana Irey

The Blog from The Core missed last week's Wictory Wednesday, and made up for it with this remarkably well-written post from a casual acquaintence of Diana Irey- the opponent of the Fifth Column's point man in Congress, Pennsylvania's John Murtha.

It's a chance to get to know Ms. Irey in a bit more depth, so I thought I'd pass it on.

Should we bite the bullet to win the war?

Victory in Iraq, David Ignatius reminds us, means the violence ending, the Iraqi nation coming together, and its fledgling democracy having a chance to succeed. And that may happen sooner than many think.

You'd never know it from the coverage of the war by the MSM, but the Iraqi government has received feelers from the leaders of the insurgents (the Sunnis- the ones who count- not Al Quaeda distraction) about throwing in the towel. They want to make a deal.

I'll say that again: the people who killed our soldiers and Marines want to make a deal. The deal would mean the sacrifice of those heroic men and women being redeemed, and the cause they died for succeeding.

I'll say it yet again but in a different way, with a different emphasis: the enemy in this "quagmire," this "mess," this "unwinnable" war is suing for peace.

But it may mean amnesty for the very people who killed our fallen heroes.

As soon as the story broke, the universal American reaction…

Wictory Wednesday: Re-Elect Senator George Allen (R-Va)

This week Wictory Wednesday is supporting the reelection of the man who- along with Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee- at the moment inhabits my personal "short list" for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination: Senator George Allen of Virginia.

Sen. Allen has been a consistent supporter of conservative values in the Senate, earning a place in the ranks of the American Conservative Union's"Best and Brightest." His personal hero is Ronald Reagan, and he's a champion of fiscal conservatism. He introduced legislation to require a balanced budget, and also supported a law that would have docked congressmen's paychecks if they failed to produce a budget by October 1. Sen. Allen believes that members of Congress should be held accountable if they fail to do one of the few things they are, after all, legally required to do!

Senator Allen understands that legal immigration is a good thing- but not illegal immigration. While it…

More chutzpah from the MSM

I've blogged before about chuzpah- that marvelous Yiddish word classically definied as "that quality exhibited by a man who murders both of his parents, and then pleads for mercy on the ground that he's an orphan."

"Chutzpah" is very much a characteristic of the anti-Bush Left. For six years- unable to mount a coherent case against him on the issues, and frustrated beyond measure by that inability- the President's opponents have engaged in name-calling, personal attacks, insults about his personal appearance and intelligence (in spite of his having had better grades in college than the man he defeated in 2000, and a higher IQ, as indicated by military tests, than the man he defeated in 2004) outright lies about his military record (after witnesses came forward to remove all doubt about his National Guard service, the claims that he'd been AWOL continued to be repeated, and even alluded to by John Kerry himself), and outright slander of every descript…

Senate Environment Committee: Gore, AP full of hot air on global warming

The U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works has issued a statement calling into question the science behind Al Gore's alarmist movie about global warming- and attacking AP's claim of scientific support for Gore as inaccurate.

The statement gets into specifics, refuting some of Gore's key arguments and claims- noting, among other things, the absolute dependence of his entire argument on the discredited "hockey stick" graph of historical global temperatures.

HT: Drudge

The civil war on the Right

This post- wherein I decry the culture of license and moral anarchy, parentheically including libertarianism right along with social liberalism as a symptom thereof- has drawn a great deal of dissent from libertarians.

There is no denying the fact that a civil war is taking place on the Right. And despite the efforts of the Christian libertarians (of all things) who have responded to my post to sidestep thls point, our mutual battleground with the Left overlaps the battleground on which that civil war is being fought. Abortion, suicide (assisted and otherwise), euthanasia, recreational drug use, and gay "marriage" are only a few of the issues concerning which the positions of the libertarian Right and the liberal Left are, for the most part, identical.

There is a reason, I suspect, why the debate in the comments on my previous post have fixated so strongly on the abstract, the philosophical, and the rhetorical; if one moves from that level to discussing actual, controversial i…

Ayatollah rules out nuke talks

Drudge and Fox News are both reporting that Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khameini has forbidden his government to engage in talks with the United States over his country's nuclear program, saying that they would "serve no purpose."

Breaking News: Report Al Fatah, Hamas agree to "implicitly" recognize Israel!

Fox News is reporting that Al Fatah and Hamas have agreed to "implicitly" recognize Israel!

Developing...

ADDENDUM: Fox News reports that the plan would allow for a Palestinian state to exist along side Israel. Both Palestinian parties are calling for attacks to be limited in the future to areas captured by Israel in the Six-Day War.

Israel, however, initially reacted negatively to the plan, saying that it falls short of "international standards."

A little Levin gives Levin some lumps

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) is on Fox right now, tryijng to defend the Democratic attempt to intrude into the perogatives of the Commander-in-Chief for partisan reasons by dictating when to begin a withdrawal from Iraq- when from all indications the President is already contemplating that possibility. Really lame.

At the end, the senator accused the interviewer of giving his own opinions rather than doing an interview because he didn't accept Levin's answers at face value.

Even lamer.

A Democrat shoots himself in the foot yet again. The gentleman from Michigan did himself no favors with this TV appearance.

Sign this petition!

To: The Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan,The United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, Louise Arbour,The Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, and The Head of the Judiciary of IRI Ayatollah Mahmoud Has


We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned for 18-year-old Nazanin, who faces execution by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On January 3, 2006, 18-year-old Nazanin was sentenced to death for murder by court in Iran after she reportedly admitted fatally stabbing one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 16-year-old niece in a park in Karaj (a suburb of Tehran) in March 2005. She was seventeen at the time. Her sentence is subject to review by the Court of Appeal, and if upheld, to confirmation by the Supreme Court.

According to reports in the Iranian newspaper E’temaad, Nazanin told the court that three men had approached her and her niece, forced them to the ground and attempted to rape them. Seeking to defend her niece and her…

An odd new theory in astrophysics

Are mini-black holes in our solar system gateways to a fifth dimension?

Is this the dawning of the Age of Aquarius? Shall we let the sunshine in? Inquiring branes want to know!

How is it possible that such a fifth dimension could lie outside a universe with which has no boundaries? How can a universe without boundaries be finite?

Stephen Hawking's explanation: A balloon is finite. Blow it up, and it actually expands in finite size.

Now. Go ahead. Pick a point on a balloon. Any point. Follow a straight line on the surface of the balloon from that point, in any direction.

Let me know when you reach the boundary of the balloon.

What? You can't find one? Well, does anything lie beyond the surface of the balloon?

That's why they call it another dimension.

The Discovery Channel needs to keep better company

Watching a documentary on the Discovery Times Channel about why intelligence fails.

They're talking about Iraq now. Some talking head who used to occupy a high-ranking position in the national security community just said that "any marginally informed person" would have known that it was absurd that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden would have had anything to do with each other before the American invasion- and that the invasion opened a country up to Al Quaeda that wasn't open before.

This, despite the overwhelming and unchallenged evidence that Zarqawi was active in Iraq for years before the invasion- and the captured documents detailing conversations between Saddam's regime and Al Quaeda about "an operational partnership."

I guess it's the brazenness of the lies that really astounds me. But what can one expect from an enterprise involving a newspaper willing to blow a classified intelligence operation in time of war?

I enjoy The Discovery Channel,

Chinese government thugs terrorize dissidents

The Sinofascists are at it again.

Or is that Sinomafiosi? In either case, in China, political offenses not serious enough to get you "disappeared" might just get you savagely beaten- sometimes in public- instead.

On the other hand, sometimes they just shoot you down.

I wonder what the Mandarin word is for for "stormtrooper-" and whether this post will get Beijing Bobby active again.

HT: Drudge

Loyola's historical exercises

Mario Loyola is the author of this fascinating- and highly instructive- article on American defeat and decline as an historical given in Democratic foreign policy.

Its main flaw is that it repeats the odd conservative delusion that the war in Vietnam was at any point winnable in the first place (the fundamental assumptions of the Nixon Vietnam policy, as cited by Loyola, were right on the money- not just as of that moment, but from the git-go). But besides the interesting observation- demonstrated by the text itself- that the Kerry-Feingold Iraq withdrawal resolution would not have actually required that we change our policy in Iraq one iota (the Levin formula is even more meaningless), Loyola reveals quite a few pieces of information about the policies of Democratic administrations of the past of which I wasn't aware.

This article is an education. I highly recommend it.

HT: Rev. Mike Zamzow

Another article about "Christianism" that just doesn't get it

What Sullivan, Newman and Poullos all fail to understand is that there is no such thing as specifically Christian ethics.

A belief that legalized abortion or gay "marriage" is bad public policy may or may not have its origin in Judeo-Christian revelation and sectarian religious belief. It is certainly rooted in the Western ethical and legal tradition, which is deeply informed by that tradition. But then, so are the laws against first-degree murder and armed robbery.

But its origin is utterly irrelevant. It is no more anti-pluralistic or sectarian to argue that case in the public square than to argue the opposite. Less, even, because to argue against legalized abortion and same-sex "marriage" is to stand with, rather than against, two millennia of our common ethical and legal tradition. It is the position Western culture has, to this point, accepted as a given.

These ideas are political positions, not religious ones. One need not adhere to any particular religious den…

In a world without a superpower

Mark Steyngently explains the geopolitical consequences of the Democrats' approach to foreign policy, with special reference to Iraq.

Being a superpower carries responsibilities with it. Being the world's only superpower carries even greater responsibilities. Moonbats and isolationist paleoconservatives alike fail to understand that non-intervention is not an option. Neither is "multilateralism" much of an answer as long as the international community is unwilling to take decisive action to do much of anything.

In a world increasingly full of spiteful and largely irrational anti-Americanism, the impulse to pull back to our own shores and let the world stew in its own juices is overwhelming. The rhetoric of America-haters around the world (including in countries we've traditionally thought of as friendly) claims that it would welcome such a development.

But only the fanatics and the utter fools among them really would. Whether or not they agree specifically with ou…

Listen up, America!

Disgruntled independents, sane conservatives considering "sending the Republicans a message this November," and Americans generally: now hear this.

Congressman John "Cut-'n'-Run" Murtha has announced that the number one threat to world peace is not Iran, and is not North Korea.

He says that it is the United States presence in Iraq (in fairness to Murtha, this seems to be one of the rare cases in which sloppy MSM journalism bites a Democrat; he did not say that it was the United States per se, as the headline states).

That should give you an indication as to what you will be turning the House of Representatives over to if you vote for the Democrats- and helping turn it over to if you merely stay home.

The statement is still nuts, of course. Madmen with nuclear weapons are a lesser threat than our continuing fight- low in casualties (despite the MSM effort to create the opposite impression), unlikely to require more than a year or so of major committment, against…

Advance, Australia!

Charles Krauthammer pens a well-deserved tribute to our most loyal ally.

All I can say is this.

HT: Cranach

My problem with Sullivanism

Last month, Andrew Sullivan wrote one of the less intellectually honest pieces of rhetoric I've come across in some time. He called it "My Problem with Christianism." It is wholly lacking in historical perspective, and written from a faulty- though common- frame of reference not only about the nature of religion, but also about its relationship with public policy. And it simply doesn't play fair with the position of those he disagrees with.

Sullivan's essay is an instance of what I think of as "Humpty-Dumptyism-" the notion, expressed by Lewis Carroll's character, that "when I use a word, it means precisely what I want it to mean, nothing more or less." In Sullivan's case, he reserves the right to private definition of words like "Christian" and "Catholic." And it just doesn't work. Not if your purpose in writing is to convey meaning, anyway.

Sullivan seeks to distinguish "Christianity-" which he says is…

IAU names Pluto's two new moons

Pluto'stwo newly discovered moons- smaller siblings to Charon- have been named Nix and Hydra.

The IAU (International Astronomical Union) is supposed to decide whether or not Pluto stays a planet, and Goofy becomes one, late this summer. Because of their composition and orbital eccentricities, the status of our ninth planet and what may possibly be our tenth is currently a subject of some controversy among astronomers.

One thing's sure: by Christmas, our solar system may have eight planets, or it may have ten- but it won't have nine anymore. Since Goofy is bigger than Pluto- and also has a moon- if Pluto continues to be considered a planet, it's hard to see how Goofy can not be.

Once again, despite persistent reports to the contrary, the body I've arbitrarily chosen to call "Goofy" is not named "Xena." That was a joking code-name among the Cal Tech astronomers who discovered it (another large trans-Neptunian object discovered on Christmas Eve was …

Iraqi government makes peace proposal

The Iraqi government is about to make an offer to the Sunni insurgents aimed at ending the war.

The article's characterization of the offer as "last ditch" is, of course, so much MSM anti-Bush hot air.

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: Turns out the spin is even worse than I thought.

The Iraqi government isn't making the peace proposal. The Sunni insurgents have already made it.

As much as this fact might hurt the Democrats and the MSM, the enemy is sending out peace feelers.

St. Walther, pray for us

I have learned from a reliable source that the following prayer was included in a sermon sent by an LCMS district headquarters to congregations for a layperson to read while the pastor was away at the District Convention:

“Dear God, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to earth. I believe Jesus was who He said He was and proved it by rising from the dead.

I want to get to know You personally. Thank You, Jesus Christ, for dying and rising for me and forgiving all my sins. I now ask You into my heart and accept You as my Lord and Savior and your free gift of eternal life. Amen.”
God help us.

Those WMD's we've found in Iraq

More on the continuing discovery of WMD's in Iraq, which the Left and the MSM not only continue to ignore, but to deny...

Meanwhile, RCP comments editorially here.

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: They're apparently more pre-1991 sarin and mustard gas munitions. Lots and lots of those have been found- and their discovery dismissed or ignored by the MSM. Saddam's more advanced stuff was either shipped to Syria or Lebanon, or destroyed.

But the date on them is beside the point. The bottom line remains that Saddam was given ninety days to destroy them all by the truce which ended the first Gulf War. Seventeen UN Security Council resolutions required him to do the same thing. He didn't.

Check it out

Sid Fredrickson sent me a link to a video interview with the family of PFC Thomas Tucker, who was kidnapped and beheaded by the enemy in Iraq. I can't get it to work.

So Sid also sent me a link to this entry at EuphoricReality, which contains Heidi's reaction to the interview as well as a link to it.

Hope the video works- but even if it doesn't, it's inspiring stuff. And a good antidote to the increasing barrage of stories about alleged atrocities over there which imply that our fighting men and women are a bunch of bloodthirsty monsters rather than the heroes they really are.

I wonder why

Ever heard the name Robert Murtha?

He's Congressman John (Cut 'n' Run) Murtha's brother. The brother of the ranking minority member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The lobbyist whose firm represents clients who received more than $20 million from last year's defense appropriation.

Clients of a former Murtha aide received $20.8 million from the bill.

Roll Call reports that Congressman Murtha exerted pressure on Navy officials to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the City of San Francisco. The company which owned the rights to the land upon which the shipyard rests has an executive named Lawrence Pelosi.

That's right. The nephew of the House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi.

Murtha- again, the head of the Defense Appropriations Committee- received more money in campagin contributions last cycle from the defense industry than any other member of Congress.

If we were talking about Republicans here, all of these stories would have been spread all over…