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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Required Reading: Andrew McCarthy

The Democrats are outraged. The President of the United States referred to 9/11 last night in his speech! How dare he do that! And, he linked the battle in Iraq to the wider World War. And they used the famous line, now so ingrained that it falls from the Left's tounge without concious thought: "There is no connection between Iraq and 9/11, none whatsoever." They are OFFENDED that he link anything to 9/11. Well, let's see:

On that score, nobody should worry about anything the Times or David Gergen or Senator Reid has to say about all this until they have some straight answers on questions like these. What does the “nothing whatsoever” crowd have to say about:

Ahmed Hikmat Shakir — the Iraqi Intelligence operative who facilitated a 9/11 hijacker into Malaysia and was in attendance at the Kuala Lampur meeting with two of the hijackers, and other conspirators, at what is roundly acknowledged to be the initial 9/11 planning session in January 2000? Who was arrested after the 9/11 attacks in possession of contact information for several known terrorists? Who managed to make his way out of Jordanian custody over our objections after the 9/11 attacks because of special pleading by Saddam’s regime?

Saddam's intelligence agency's efforts to recruit jihadists to bomb Radio Free Europe in Prague in the late 1990's?

Mohammed Atta's unexplained visits to Prague in 2000, and his alleged visit there in April 2001 which — notwithstanding the 9/11 Commission's dismissal of it (based on interviewing exactly zero relevant witnesses) — the Czechs have not retracted?

The Clinton Justice Department's allegation in a 1998 indictment (two months before the embassy bombings) against bin Laden, to wit: In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.

Seized Iraq Intelligence Service records indicating that Saddam's henchmen regarded bin Laden as an asset as early as 1992?

Saddam's hosting of al Qaeda No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri beginning in the early 1990’s, and reports of a large payment of money to Zawahiri in 1998?

Saddam’s ten years of harboring of 1993 World Trade Center bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin?

Iraqi Intelligence Service operatives being dispatched to meet with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998 (the year of bin Laden’s fatwa demanding the killing of all Americans, as well as the embassy bombings)?

Saddam’s official press lionizing bin Laden as “an Arab and Islamic hero” following the 1998 embassy bombing attacks?

The continued insistence of high-ranking Clinton administration officials to the 9/11 Commission that the 1998 retaliatory strikes (after the embassy bombings) against a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory were justified because the factory was a chemical weapons hub tied to Iraq and bin Laden?

Top Clinton administration counterterrorism official Richard Clarke’s assertions, based on intelligence reports in 1999, that Saddam had offered bin Laden asylum after the embassy bombings, and Clarke’s memo to then-National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, advising him not to fly U-2 missions against bin Laden in Afghanistan because he might be tipped off by Pakistani Intelligence, and “[a]rmed with that knowledge, old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad”? (See 9/11 Commission Final Report, p. 134 & n.135.)

Terror master Abu Musab Zarqawi's choice to boogie to Baghdad of all places when he needed surgery after fighting American forces in Afghanistan in 2001?

Saddam's Intelligence Service running a training camp at Salman Pak, were terrorists were instructed in tactics for assassination, kidnapping and hijacking?

Former CIA Director George Tenet’s October 7, 2002 letter to Congress, which asserted: Our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda is evolving and is based on sources of varying reliability. Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, including some of high rank.

We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade.

Credible information indicates that Iraq and Al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression.

Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad.

We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs.

Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians coupled with growing indications of relationship with Al Qaeda suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase, even absent U.S. military action.

There's more. Stephen Hayes’s book, The Connection, remains required reading. But these are just the questions; the answers — if someone will just investigate the questions rather than pretending there’s “nothing whatsoever” there — will provide more still.

So Gergen, Reid, the Times, and the rest are “offended” at the president's reminding us of 9/11? The rest of us should be offended, too. Offended at the “nothing whatsoever” crowd’s inexplicable lack of curiosity about these ties, and about the answers to these questions.

Just tell us one thing: Do you have any good answer to what Ahmed Hikmat Shakir was doing with the 9/11 hijackers in Kuala Lampur? Can you explain it?

If not, why aren't you moving heaven and earth to find out the answer?

I would add one more peice to this puzzle. Iraqi links to The Oklahoma Bombing. Jayna Davis chronicled compelling evidence to just such a connection. Before you roll your eyes, read the book. Then comment to your heart's content.

I'm Thinking the Tilt Will Be To The Extreme Left

Oh no!!! The Earth is tilting! Woe is me! Here's my favorite part of the story:

The idea runs counter to a study earlier this year that found glaciers in part of Antarctica are melting rapidly.

"We used computer-generated simulations to get this research result," Powell cautioned. "I hope that in the future we'll be able to verify this result with real data through a long-term ice thickness measurement campaign."

Yep. Real data would be nice. In fact, real data on any part of environmentalist claims would be a great thing, now wouldn't it?

A Prime Site for a New Hotel: David Souter's Home

I'm okay with this. It's a logical conclusion to the Supreme's silly decision of last week.
Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

What Is Wrong With These People? Peggy Noonan

A profound question from Peggy Noonan, and one both left and right has been asking alot lately. She takes a poke at everybody in Washington, so there's plenty for both sides to groan, and smile, about.

Health Update: Blogging at a Standstill for awhile

Still fighting a bronchitis, and now an eye infection, due to a lowered immune system. Will be back as soon as I can. Sigh
Update: 6/29/05

Thanks to everyone who left comments, or sent an email. I'm doing better, though still not completely over either the eye problems or the bronchitis. It continues to limit my ability to stare at a computer screen, or be up long enough to do any serious writing.

For those who don't know, I've been battling severe breathing problems since being hospitalized last August. I am alot better, but still having bouts of severe bronchitis every month. The tracheal problems that seemed to be the root cause of my problems are much improved, thanks to a wonderful speech pathologist named Cathy. Thanks to her work, I've been Unfortunately, the coughing from the bronchitis really screws up my back. I had surgery on my back in February after shattering a disc after a bout of bronchitis turned in to pneumonia in January.

I don't post stuff like the above very often. Unlike politicians, I'm quite sure the world, and this blog, does NOT revolve around me. But I've got so many new patrons to Liberty that I felt it important for folks to understand why the bar is closed sometimes. I hope you still come back for the Muir Cartoon, even on days when the "Gone Fishing" sign is on the door though.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Great Analysis of Last Week's Supreme Court Land Grab Decision

Keith over at Voice Potential has the best analysis I've seen of the background of the Supreme's decision to allow local governments to confiscate your property. Worth reading.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Summary of the Supreme Court Decisions

I haven't had time to read the decisions yet. I'll hold off commenting until I do. I especially want to read Scalia's dissenting opinion on the Ten Commandment case out of Kentucky.

The Hitler References: Why Now?

If you think I'm a fan of Victor Davis Hanson, you're right. This is one of his best.

The Last Crusade: An Update


Below is a picture from from The New York Crusade.

This post was as much to test out Blogger's new photo upload feature as anything else. How very cool that now you can add pictures directly from blogger without having to go through a secondary program or site!

I can't think of a better use for this feature than to commemorate Billy Graham's last crusade in the United States.

Here is a link to Billy Graham's first New York Crusade, in 1957. The message most assuredly hasn't changed. This is courtesy of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. Be sure to read Patricia's and Jon's comments on this great man below.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Last Crusade: Billy Graham

"We are Christians maybe. We go to church. We've been baptized, we've been confirmed. But deep inside we need something else, and that something else can be brought about by Jesus," he told the crowd, many of whom had arrived hours early at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens for a last chance to see him. They gave Graham a standing ovation when he stood to speak.
There may never be another like Billy Graham. But God has a way of raising up a prophet in times of crisis. For the last half of the last century, that prophet was Rev. Graham. He's preaching the same message at the end as he did at the beginning, in the outdoor tent in Los Angeles in the '50's.



Saturday, June 25, 2005

EMail Address Change

When you click on Liberty's Email, it will now go to longinus62@gmail.com. The reason for this is simple. I'm trying to stay one step ahead of the spammers. The myway account I've been using for years is getting clogged with spam, so I'll use this one for awhile.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Politics of War

Once again, VDH has the final word on propaganda:

Two factors explain the current growing hysteria over Iraq, and they transcend the complex nature of the war and even the depressing media reports from the battlefield. First is the strange doctrine of multiculturalism that has become one of our most dominant boutique ideologies of the last few decades, as the United States experienced unleveled prosperity, leisure — and guilt.

All cultures are of equal merit; failure and poverty abroad are never due to indigenous pathology but rather Western colonialism, racism, Christianity, and gender bias. The Other is never to be judged by our own "biased" standards of jurisprudence and "constructed" bourgeois notions of humanity; those poorer, darker, non-Christian, and non-English-speaking are to be collectively grouped as victims, deserving condescension, moral latitude, and some sort of reparations or downright cash grants. Senator Patti Murray gave us the soccer-mom version of this pathology when she once talked of the need to rival bin Laden's supposed humanitarian projects in Afghanistan, while Senator Durbin assures us from a private e-mail that poor suspects in Cuba (no longer terrorists who plot to butcher more thousands) suffer the similar fate of Hitler's victims.

And this:

When Western liberals today talk of a mythical period in the days after 9/11 of "unity" and "European solidarity" what they really remember is a Golden Age of Victimhood, or about four weeks before the strikes against the Taliban commenced. Then for a precious moment at last the United States was a real victim, apparently weak and vulnerable, and suffering cosmic justice from a suddenly empowered other. Oh, to return to the days before Iraq and Afghanistan, when we were hurt, introspective, and pitied, and had not yet "lashed out."

If one examines the infomercials of a bin Laden or Zawahiri, or the terrorist communiqu├ęs sent to the Westernized media, they are almost all rehashes of the Michael Moore Left, from "Bush lied" to "Halliburton" to "genocide" and "Gulag." This now famous "Unholy Alliance" of radical anti-Americans and reactionary jihadists is really a two-way street: Islamists mimic the old leftist critique of the United States, and the Western Left hopes that they in turn can at least tone down their rhetoric about knocking walls over gays or sending all women into burka seclusion — at least long enough to pose as something like disposed Palestinians minus the Hamas bombs laced with feces, rat poison, and nails.

And one last excerpt:

Contrary to all recent popular wisdom, the war in Iraq is not a disaster, but nearing success. It has been costly and at times tragic, but a democracy is in place, accords are being hammered out with Sunni rejectionists, and the democratic reformist mindset is pulsating into Lebanon, Egypt, and the Gulf. This has only been possible because of the courage and efficacy of a much maligned military that, for the lapses of a small minority at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, has been compared to Stalin and Hitler.

If President Bush were a liberal Democrat; if he were bombing a white Christian, politically clumsy fascist in the heart of Europe; if al Qaeda and its Islamist adherents were properly seen as eighth-century tormenters of humanists, women, homosexuals, non-Arabs, and non-Wahhabi believers; and if Iraq had become completely somnolent with the toppling of Saddam's statue, then the American people would have remained behind the effort to dismantle Islamic fundamentalism and create the foundations to ensure its permanent demise.

But once the suicide murdering and bombing from Iraq began to dominate the news, then this administration, for historical reasons largely beyond its own control, had a very small reservoir of good will. The Islamists proved to be more adept in the public relations of winning liberal exemption from criticism than did the administration itself, as one nude Iraqi on film or a crumpled Koran was always deemed far worse than daily beheadings and executions. Indeed, the terrorists were able to morph into downtrodden victims of a bullying, imperialistic America faster than George W. Bush was able to appear a reluctant progressive at war with the Dark Age values of our enemies.

And once that transformation was established, we were into a dangerous cycle of a conservative, tough-talking president intervening abroad to thwart the poorer of the third world — something that has never been an easy thing in recent American history, but now in our own age has become a propagandist's dream come true.

A must read.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Where We Are Now.

A Great Look at the knots the Democrats Have Tied Themselves In.

Democrats on Parade

I thought Democrats were "progressives," not "Liberals." Guess not, after them calling on Karl Rove to apologize for his attack on liberals the other day. They've called on him to resign as well. I think we can diagnose the current hysteria as "The Durbin Syndrome." All the things they should have said about Senator Dick, they have reserved for Karl Rove telling the truth. The link is but a sample of the response of the the Left. Here is a whole lot more. And I'm aware that some of my readers on the Left won't like the source of this info. But I would ask that instead of attacking the source, disprove the information from the source. Betcha can't...

A Birthday Weekend

My son turns 9 this weekend. I'll be enjoying the festivities, and working on a response to the latest post over at Balance of Power. Check out the continuing debates on Balance of Power, Political Medium, and the other great sites in what is becoming a blogging consortium. Also, be sure to check out the New and Improved Ancient Eyes for Modern Times. We almost lost Patricia the past few days. Glad to see she's back and rarin' to go!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Apologize For What?

What part of the below isn't true?


"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State.

Citing calls by progressive groups to respond carefully to the attacks, Mr. Rove said to the applause of several hundred audience members, "I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble."

I guess Karl could do a Durbin special, and say he's sorry if any leftists feeling were hurt by his words, but I'm thinking that's not what will happen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Reparations Watch: Wachovia Apologizes, The Sharks Want More

Yes, nothing says I'm sorry like money. Just ask the trial lawyers:

Wachovia Corporation's ridiculous apology for its alleged ties to slavery has backfired.

Chicago City Council aldermen are vowing to strip from Wachovia a $9.4 million loan to build affordable housing units as punishment for the bank's supposed failure to disclose that its predecessor banks were involved in slave-related business deals.

Air Force Releases Religious Tolerance Report

Now, before this story becomes the latest attack on Evangelicals, read the actual report. It's linked, along with the other documents related to this story here.

The MSM is about to find a great distraction for Durbin and company with this report. But it helps to actually read what was said, rather than the spin that is already heating up on the left.

The Durbin Apology: From Radioblogger

Here is Senator Dick's attempt at apology. To hear the tears, click on the apology. Hat tip to Radioblogger for this link.

Mr. President, more than most people, a Senator lives by his words. Words are the coin of the realm in our profession. Occasionally, words will fail us, and occasionally, we will fail words. On June the 14th, I took the floor of the Senate to speak about genuine, heartfelt concerns about the treatment of prisoners and detainees at Guantanamo, and other places. I raised legitimate concerns that others have raised, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, about the policies of this administration, and whether they truly do serve our needs to make America safer and more secure. Whether, in fact, some of the policies might, in fact, endanger our troops, or in some ways, disparage the image of America around the world. During the course of that presentation, I read an e-mail from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that was discovered to exist last August, and has now been produced as part of a Freedom of Information Act. After reading the horrible details in that memo, which characterized the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, I then, on my own, my own words, make some characterizations about that memo. I made reference to the Nazis, to the Soviets, and other repressive regimes. Mr. President, I've come to understand that was a very poor choice of words. Last Friday, I tried to make this very clear, that I understood that those analogies, to the Nazis and Soviets and others, were poorly chosen. I issued a release, which I thought made my intentions and my innermost feelings as clear as I possibly could. Let me read to you, Mr. President, what I said in that release last Friday. I have learned from my statement, that historical parralels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings. Our soldiers around the world, and their families at home, deserve our respect, admiration, and total support. Mr. President, it is very clear that even though I thought I had said something that clarified the situation, to many people, it was still unclear. I'm sorry if anything I said caused any offense of pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or dimish that moral tragedy. I'm also sorry if anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military. I went to Iraq just a few months ago with Senator Harry Reid, on a delegation, bipartisan delegation, the President was part of it. When you looked in the eyes of those soldiers, you see your son. You see your daughter. They're the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them. Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line. To them, I extend my heartfelt apologies. There's usually a quote from Abraham Lincoln that you can turn to in moments like this. Maybe this is the right one. Lincoln said, if the end brings me out right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten thousand angels swearing I was right wouldn't make any difference. In the end, I don't want anything in my public career to detract from my love for this country, my respect for those who serve it, and this great Senate. I offer my apologies to those who were offended by my words. I promise you that I will continue to speak out on the issues that I think are important to the people of Illinois, and to the nation. Mr. President, I yield the floor.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Reasons for the Iraqi Front: A Review

Joe, from The New Oklahoma Democrat, was kind enough to send me this great link. An excellent review of the reasons we went in to Iraq. Ummm, I'm thinking he didn't see the speech quite the same way I did though... Some of my favorites:
Members of the Congress of both political parties, and members of the United Nations Security Council, agree that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must disarm. We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons.
Members of Congress, and members of the United Nations. All saw Saddam as a grave threat, based on the intelligence all had at the time.

By its past and present actions, by its technological capabilities, by the merciless nature of its regime, Iraq is unique. As a former chief weapons inspector of the U.N. has said, "The fundamental problem with Iraq remains the nature of the regime, itself. Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction."

Based on what we all believed, Saddam posed a grave threat.

And that is the source of our urgent concern about Saddam Hussein's links to international terrorist groups. Over the years, Iraq has provided safe haven to terrorists such as Abu Nidal, whose terror organization carried out more than 90 terrorist attacks in 20 countries that killed or injured nearly 900 people, including 12 Americans. Iraq has also provided safe haven to Abu Abbas, who was responsible for seizing the Achille Lauro and killing an American passenger. And we know that Iraq is continuing to finance terror and gives assistance to groups that use terrorism to undermine Middle East peace.

We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America.

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.

Iraq and Al-Qaeda shared a common enemy: The United States.

Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from the war against terror. To the contrary; confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror. When I spoke to Congress more than a year ago, I said that those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves. Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of terror, the instruments of mass death and destruction. And he cannot be trusted. The risk is simply too great that he will use them, or provide them to a terror network.

Terror cells and outlaw regimes building weapons of mass destruction are different faces of the same evil. Our security requires that we confront both. And the United States military is capable of confronting both.

Those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves. Saddam could not be trusted.
Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don't know exactly, and that's the problem.
We don't know exactly. We didn't know. We....Didn't....Know. And Saddam was playing dangerous games with the UN inspectors, ensuring we didn't know.

Some citizens wonder, after 11 years of living with this problem, why do we need to confront it now? And there's a reason. We've experienced the horror of September the 11th. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no less willing, in fact, they would be eager, to use biological or chemical, or a nuclear weapon.

Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. As President Kennedy said in October of 1962, "Neither the United States of America, nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world," he said, "where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nations security to constitute maximum peril."

Finally, a Democrat willing to speak the truth. Are there none left in JFK's party. I fear the answer is no.

And these resolutions are clear. In addition to declaring and destroying all of its weapons of mass destruction, Iraq must end its support for terrorism. It must cease the persecution of its civilian population. It must stop all illicit trade outside the Oil For Food program. It must release or account for all Gulf War personnel, including an American pilot, whose fate is still unknown.

By taking these steps, and by only taking these steps, the Iraqi regime has an opportunity to avoid conflict.
An opportunity to avoid conflict. Why didn't Saddam take advantage of this opportunity? Perhaps he did not believe there were enough Americans willing to act on the words of a long dead Democrat President. He was wrong.

Failure to act would embolden other tyrants, allow terrorists access to new weapons and new resources, and make blackmail a permanent feature of world events. The United Nations would betray the purpose of its founding, and prove irrelevant to the problems of our time. And through its inaction, the United States would resign itself to a future of fear.

That is not the America I know. That is not the America I serve. We refuse to live in fear. (Applause.) This nation, in world war and in Cold War, has never permitted the brutal and lawless to set history's course. Now, as before, we will secure our nation, protect our freedom, and help others to find freedom of their own.

Failure to act. Emboldening other tyrants, like Libya's Kaddafi. That didn't happen. Because the President refused to live in fear.
America believes that all people are entitled to hope and human rights, to the non-negotiable demands of human dignity. People everywhere prefer freedom to slavery; prosperity to squalor; self-government to the rule of terror and torture. America is a friend to the people of Iraq. Our demands are directed only at the regime that enslaves them and threatens us. When these demands are met, the first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi men, women and children. The oppression of Kurds, Assyrians, Turkomans, Shi'a, Sunnis and others will be lifted. The long captivity of Iraq will end, and an era of new hope will begin.
The first and greatest benefit. Self government. Liberty. The long captivity did end, though some in the Democrat party apparently prefer it continued.
The attacks of September the 11th showed our country that vast oceans no longer protect us from danger. Before that tragic date, we had only hints of al Qaeda's plans and designs. Today in Iraq, we see a threat whose outlines are far more clearly defined, and whose consequences could be far more deadly. Saddam Hussein's actions have put us on notice, and there is no refuge from our responsibilities.
No refuge from our responsibilities. Those words ring with a renewed clarity, as we see the people of Iraq stand on their own two feet, even as the bombs from the terrorists fall around them. Ask them if they want to return to the prison Saddam and his sons built for them. Ask them if the cost is too high. Ask the American soldiers who are building roads and schools, indeed, ask the American soldier who is helping to build a new Democracy in place of Saddam's nationwide torture chamber.

*Source: White House Press release: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html

The Downing Street Memo: Originals Destroyed?

Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
The Associated Press has put typed copies of six recently obtained internal British government documents concerning the lead-up to the war in Iraq on its website which are labeled "secret" or "confidential. The copies were provided by British reporter Michael Smith, who claims he destroyed the original documents to protect the sources. An anonymous senior British official said the documents appeared authentic.
The originals were destroyed?!?!? Not that I'm skeptical or anything. I mean, no one in the mainstream media would do a story on the eve of a national election with forged documents. They would carefully check their sources, and would most certainly not run anything that wasn't carefully vetted, wouldn't they? Wouldn't they? Anybody? They wouldn't do that....again.

A Democrat Finally Calls For Durbin Apology

And it's Richard M. Daley, Chicago's Mayor for life. Will any other Democrat have the courage to do the same thing?
Update: Senator Dick gave a tearful apology for his stupidity on the Senate floor today. Amazing that it took so long for him to do this. Guess he was tired of his phone lines and email being unusable.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Another Space Milestone Tomorrow

There are some memberships I'm very proud of. One is being a member of The Heritage Foundation (surprise, Patricia!) and the other is being a member in good standing of The Planetary Society. Tomorrow is the planned launch of Cosmos I. Another step in opening space to private enterprise.

A Reasonably Happy Father's Day

1776 was the gift my children bought for me this Father's Day. Yes, my children know me well. A day of coughing and wheezing, but overall a good day. We rented the Lord of the Rings trilogy. My children watched it for the first time, after which my daughter grabbed my copy of the trilogy, and is upstairs reading The Hobbit now. The lessons of 1776, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy for the current war are numerous, and may be my next series of posts. We'll see.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

More on Eddie Haskell


More on Illinois' own Dick Durbin.

Teri O'brien, a wonderful talk show host on WLS AM here in Chicago calls him Eddie Haskell, after the smarmy, two faced, creepy teenager on the old Leave It To Beaver show. Very true, very true.

Mark Steyn has a great column on the 2nd most powerful Democrat in the Senate. Here's the end of a marvelous peice:

The senator from Illinois' comparisons are as tired as they're grotesque. They add nothing useful to the debate. But around the planet, folks naturally figure that, if only 100 people out of nearly 300 million get to be senators, the position must be a big deal. Hence, headlines in the Arab world like "U.S. Senator Stands By Nazi Remark." That's al-Jazeera, where the senator from al-Inois is now a big hero -- for slandering his own country, for confirming the lurid propaganda of his country's enemies. Yes, folks, American soldiers are Nazis and American prison camps are gulags: don't take our word for it, Senator Bigshot says so.

This isn't a Republican vs Democrat thing; it's about senior Democrats who are so over-invested in their hatred of a passing administration that they've signed on to the nuttiest slurs of the lunatic fringe. It would be heartening to think that Durbin will himself now be subjected to some serious torture. Not real torture, of course; I don't mean using Pol Pot techniques and playing the Celine Dion Christmas album really loud to him. But he should at least be made a little uncomfortable over what he's done -- in a time of war, make an inflammatory libel against his country's military that has no value whatsoever except to America's enemies. Shame on him, and shame on those fellow senators and Democrats who by their refusal to condemn him endorse his slander.

And, over at Citizen Smash, an open letter to Senator Dick from a former "guest" at the Hanoi Hilton:
Senator Durbin,

As one who was held in a North Vietnamese Prison for nearly seven years and whose definition of torture and bad treatment is somewhat at variance with yours, I deplore your senseless comments about alleged "barbaric treatment" at our terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo.

Your remarks comparing Guantanamo to the regimes of Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot are outrageous. I tried to think of why a rational human being could make such an outlandish statement but I keep coming up short. I thought I'd seen it all when Howard Dean performed his infamous scream in Iowa but your diatribe yesterday eclipsed Dean's moment of Hannibal Lecter lunacy. And your moment of pique will be infinitely more damaging to members of our Armed Forces serving in harm's way.

I noted, when searching for your contact information, that the first item Google came up with was al Jazeera's joy at your comments. You, sir, for having aided and abetted the enemy in time of war, have been relegated in my mind to the status of Jane Fonda and your colleague, John Kerry as contemptible traitors.

I hope not too many of our valiant members of the Armed Forces have to suffer for your stupid comments. Shame on you.

Sincerely,
Paul E. Galanti
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)


The last part of Smash's post is important. Please read it.

And for those that need to hear where Dick is at now, here's the audio from Spike O'Dell's show on WGN720 am from Friday.

I'm not surprised at Senator Dick. The kind of crap he's saying is no different from what various lefty folks have been saying right here on Liberty. Senator Dick is simply spouting what he thinks his constintuency wants. Based on what I'm hearing about the inability to get through to Senator Dick's offices in Washington and Chicago, he may have made a slight error in his political calculations. This may be making him uncomfortable. And since the Left has chosen to define torture as anything that will make one uncomfortable, I, and those who have written to Senator Dick,and called him repeatedly, are guilty of torture. I'm okay with that.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Think Of This As An un-Wanted Poster of Sorts


I'll be leaving Dick Durbin's smiling face up as my main post for awhile. He's definitely earned the dubious honor. I'll change the link, and the title of the post once in a while. For now, read Froggy Ruminations' take on Senator Dick. Then visit a great site called Dump Dick Durbin. I couldn't agree more.

Health Update

I'll be out most of the day today due to a bad bronchitis and increased asthma problems. Hope to be up and running on Liberty later this weekend. See you then.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Balance of Power is Up: Poverty

Great stuff at Balance of Power. Patricia worked the left side of the aisle in her usual well-written way. I, of course, took the right path. Despite a few (well, more than a few, alot actually) of differences, we sort of met in the middle by the end of my post.

And Now For Something Completely Different: Save My Butt.

If you made it through Blogging in Athens, this post will seem completely unrelated. You would be right. One of my hobbies is computers, though, and if you are reading this, its one of yours too. if you don't have this site in your favorites, you should. And if you don't have the downloads up and running on your computer, then you will find it slooowwwiingg waaayyy dooowwwnnn. I'm especially impressed with Microsoft's anti spyware program. Seems to work very well on my computer. See what you think.

A Response to RV: Blogging in Athens

Prologue: If you're like me, you've never read a complete prologue. Feel free to skip this one, and come back only if you find your self going "huh?!?!" midway through the post.

Republican Vet
left a comment on Balance of Power that set me to thinking deeply about blogging as an Evangelical Christian. I decided to post my response here rather than in the comment section at BoP for a few reasons. The first, and primary reason, is that "blogging as an Evangelical Christian" is far afield of the topic of Abortion currently running over there. It makes me nuts when I'm working my way through comments on a blog, and someone throws in something from left field..or right field, as conservatives are just as guilty as liberals of this blogging faux pas. Now, don't get me wrong. RV's comment was right in sync with the topic. But I knew my response wouldn't be. Hence the change of venue.

The second reason has to do with my frustration with haloscan's commenting. Great for comments, lousy for links and cut and paste unless you know a lot more HTML than I want to .

I would strongly encourage you to read RV's comment, posted at 6:20 am on 6/15/05. Great comment, as it got me going on a post I've had running around in my head for weeks now.

Now, don't get me wrong. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, but if there is one biblical character I identify with, its the Apostle Paul.

Lots of reasons, I guess. Most scholars believe his "thorn in the flesh" was poor eyesight, or some other physical condition. I can certainly relate to that. He was prone to falling back in to "rulebook thinking" from his Pharisee days. Goodness knows, there's a whole tribe of little bitty Pharisees running around in my heart, and they sneak in to this blog more than I care to admit.

But Paul had his shining moments, times when he "got it." Those moments defined his ministry, and his life. Those are the moments that make Paul my hero.

One of those moments was in ancient Athens. The story is told in Acts 17:16-34. If you aren't familiar with it, the story is in the link.

I love verse 21:

All the Bloggers and the other websurfers who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas. (Okay, it says Athenians and other foreigners, but work with me here.)

Can you think of a better description of blogging? I can't. Nor can I think of a better way to engage bloggers as a Christian than Paul's speech to the Areopagus. I especially like the way he begins:
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
He didn't back off what he believed. But he acknowledged in a real and sincere way, the beliefs of the Athenians around him. He engaged them in discussion, and worked hard not to shut them down, or out, of the discussion. Yes, at the end, when he got to the most important part, Christ rising from the dead, some sneered, and left. Others didn't. Some said they wanted to hear more. It is this example that tempers what I write on Liberty Just in Case, and most especially what I write in the comments section of someone else's blog.

RV, I seldom, if ever agree with Patricia, most especially in terms of religion. But I've worked with enough non-Christians to know that they will shut me out if I don't show respect for their views. Respect does not imply tolerance, and it does not mean compromise. But respect for their views opens the door for them to hear my views, my arguments. And we both know that our views win in the end.

I keep Paul's words to the Colossians (Ch. 4) in mind while I am writing:
5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
I take blogging very seriously, RV. I didn't always. I thought what I wrote just went out in to cyberspace without any effect. Boy, have I found that to be wrong over the years!

It didn't start out as my ministry, but blogging sure has become that. This sharing of ideas in Athens has changed lives. Some don't respond in the comment section. In fact, most don't. But you should see my email inbox!

What you say matters. As a follower of Christ, it matters more than you can know. I'm not rebuking you, RV. Hope it doesn't come across that way. Just responding to your comments, and to the thoughts that have been rattling around in my head for a few weeks. Thanks for being the catalyst that allows me to get them out. This is my wish for you, RV:

16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Eph. 3:16-19
Peace

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

If You've Noticed a Decrease in Blogging Here

You aren't imagining things. I've been very busy over at Balance of Power, defending my post on Abortion. Great stuff going on over there, but it interferes with my blogging time. Things should settle down soon, once the regular conservative is back up in a few weeks.

Gitmo Would Still Be Necessary

Great column by Jonah Goldberg:

There's a lot I don't understand about the current hysteria over our prison facility at Guantanamo Bay. At the top of the list is why no one has mentioned Louis Pepe or Mamdouh Mahmud Salim.

Salim, a reputed top lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden, was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a high security federal jail in lower Manhattan. Pepe was a guard there. On November 1, 2000, Salim plunged a sharpened comb into Pepe's left eye and three inches into his brain. Salim and a compatriot also beat Pepe savagely, in their effort to get the guard's keys and orchestrate an escape for himself and two fellow terrorists awaiting trial. Believing Pepe was dead, the attackers used his own blood to paint a Christian cross on his torso. Pepe was an experienced correctional officer, a member of the elite MCC Enforcers Disturbance Control, and he weighed in at 300 pounds. He survived the attack with brain damage, crippling disabilities and an unending stream of surgeries.

The reason Pepe and Salim are relevant should be obvious. There are good guys and bad guys in this story, and as much as it pains some to hear it, we are the good guys. We are not talking about confused teenagers caught up in events larger than themselves. We aren't talking about mistaken identities. We're talking about the cream of our enemy's crop in the war on terror.

Critics of the Bush Administration are fond of the argument that the war in Iraq is a distraction from the real war on terror. John Kerry, Howard Dean and countless others have argued that Iraq diluted our efforts in Afghanistan, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and the worldwide consensus on the need to destroy al-Qaida. That's an argument worth having - and we have had it many times over. But if it were all true and we had never invaded Iraq, we would still have Guantanamo and the problem of what to do with hardened, dedicated terrorists like Salim.

Read the rest.

Not That There is Any Bias From Reuters with This Photo.

A Jewish Joke

Told by one of the keynote speakers at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield.

Do you know why everyone thought Abraham Lincoln was Jewish?
Because his first name was Abraham, and he was shot in the temple!
Isn't that a side splitter?

The same "distinguished" speaker today compared American soldiers to Stalin and Pol Pot. Reactions?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Glad To See Conditions Have Improved Since Roe v Wade

This isn't exactly what I had in mind when writing my abortion post over at Balance of Power. But when the pro-abortion crowd starts talking about the sanitary conditions in abortion clinics, I'm thinking this is not what they are referring to.

The Oil for Food Scandal: Uh-Oh

This can't be good.
Investigators of the U.N. oil-for-food program said Tuesday they are "urgently reviewing" new information that suggests U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan may have known more than he revealed about a contract that was awarded to the company that employed his son.

The Senate Apology: A First Step Down a Slippery Slope

In the midst of the Michael Jackson Circus, it was easy to miss Senate Resolution 39. The US Senate issued an apology for the lynchings of earlier decades. It's key sponsors were Senators Allen (R-VA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Not a bad thing, in and of itself. The House passed a number of resolutions condemning lynchings at the time, while the Senate of that time passed none.

Here's the problem. For the slave reparations sharks, the apology was just blood in the water. Don't believe me? Check out the links in the Google News Search.

Here's a typical reaction:
We have much to regret in our history, and slavery and the treatment of blacks is at the top of the list. But cheap apologies only dilute authentic shame and genuine remorse. What makes these particular apologies cheap is that none of the apologizers really suggests doing anything more than trying to rewrite history and bask in applause.

Wachovia offers no reparations, at least not yet, nor interest-free loans, free checking or even an old toaster to the descendants of slaves. Neither Mzz Landrieu nor Mr. Allen has offered to give up their seats in shame for having served in what must have been an infamous, insensitive and derelict United States Senate. Neither senator, so far, has introduced a bill to compensate descendants of the lynched. Mzz Landrieu, in fact, has never even apologized for arriving at the Senate via a tainted election. We can be sure the Senate apology will be prominently featured in Mr. Allen's campaign literature when, as expected, he runs for president three years hence.

The people they apologize to are used as cardboard extras and Styrofoam stand-ins in a morality play. That's a shame, too.
Like ambulance chasers, the reparation sharks will only except cold hard cash for the sin of slavery. The thousands of dead of the Civil War won't pay for the new Jaguar, after all. And an apology from a Senate light years removed from those dark days won't by buy the estate on the West Coast either.

The Gulag: An Historical Perspective

Great look at what the Soviet Gulag was really like. More water for the Left's fiery hystrionics.

The Good News on College Campuses

From the New York Times, yet. Great story on the rise of conservatism on college campuses across the country, and the Heritage Foundation internship program helping to foster it.

The Good News From Iraq: Hutwa Bi Hutwa

Step by step. That's how Iraqis are rebuilding their country, despite an influx of foreign terrorists posing as "insurgents."

My favorite is the section on the Economy.

Here's the question: How many of these stories have you heard before? I'll be interested in reading the comments.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Women Bloggers: A Peace Offering to Patricia

Great article, a must read for all bloggers, but especially women bloggers. This has been out for awhile, and has recieved alot of play. Worth posting though.

Israel's Coming Civil War: A Frightening Development

The Sharon Government's decision to remove settlers from the West Bank is coming apart at the seams, and threatens to ignite a violent confrontation between Israelis. This new development is especially scary:

This week, Israel's state prosecutor's office announced that it is considering a plan that would declare "negligent" parents of minor children who are repeatedly arrested for taking part in protests against the government's withdrawal and expulsion plan from Gaza and northern Samaria.

In so declaring the parents, the state would pave the way for the forcible removal of these children from their homes and their transfer to state custody. That is, the Israeli government's newest way to fight opposition protests against its plan to forcibly remove 10,000 law-abiding Israeli citizens from their homes, farms and communities this summer is to threaten parents with the forcible removal of their children from their custody if their children don't agree to stop protesting against the forcible removal plan.

This child confiscation proposal, which was defended on Wednesday by Deputy Attorney-General Shai Nitzan, is more than simply controversial. It is totalitarian. It is not simply hard-hearted. It is inhuman. And in announcing it, the government showed that in light of the precipitous drop in public support for its plan, it has lost its connection to the principles of democracy, morality and simple human decency which are the outstanding characteristics of the Israeli public.

As a therapist, I've often worked with traumatized children caught in the Child Welfare system. Sometimes these kids were taken away for justifiable reasons, sometimes not. Regardless of the reason, the trauma to these children is quite real, and does not go away quickly, if ever. What is being suggested by the current Israeli administration is indeed totalitarian, and deeply disturbing. It's clear the Sharon government will not survive long. With the above suggestion, it can't end too soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Reparations Shakedown

Ah, Chicago, that toddlin' town. Talk about absolute power (to use a current Democrat talking point) the Democrats do have it in the Windy City. Here's a great example of the logical extremes of political correctness:

As soon as he learned the ugly truth, the chairman of financial-services giant Wachovia Corp. issued a remorseful nostra culpa.
"We are deeply saddened by these findings," Ken Thompson said last week. "I apologize to all Americans, and especially to African-Americans." Wachovia acknowledged that it "cannot change the past or atone for the harm that was done." But it promised to make amends by subsidizing the work of organizations involved in "furthering awareness and education of African-American history."

Clearly Wachovia committed some shameful racial crime. What could it have been? Did the nation's fourth-largest bank holding company rob its black depositors of their savings? Charge exorbitant interest rates on loans to black customers? Segregate its branches?

Worse: It owned slaves.

Well, not exactly. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865, and Wachovia wasn't founded until 1879. The slaves for which Thompson was so apologetic were owned decades before the Civil War, when slavery was still lawful throughout the South. They were owned not by Wachovia but by the Bank of Charleston and the Georgia Railroad and Banking Co. -- two of the approximately 400 financial institutions dating back to 1781 that over the centuries merged with or were acquired by other institutions that eventually became part of the conglomerate known today as Wachovia.

And how did this somewhat abstracted evil come to light?

Underlying Wachovia's conduct is a Chicago ordinance passed in 2002, which requires every company doing business with the city to investigate and disclose any historical ties it may have had to slavery. (Detroit, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia have enacted similar ordinances.) Wachovia was obliged to compile such a report because it is involved in a project with Chicago's Housing Authority.

Ordinances like Chicago's are the cutting edge of the slavery-reparations movement, which insists that black Americans today are owed billions of dollars in compensation for the slavery of centuries past.
"It will help demonstrate how much of the nation's wealth was created by the sweat and blood of slavery," Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley said when the ordinance was adopted. "We're paying everybody around the world. Why can't we pay our own citizens?"

Here's the answer to Mayor Daley's cynical question:

For a host of reasons, reparations are a terrible idea -- unjust, illogical, and dangerous. Living white Americans bear no culpability for slavery, and living black Americans never suffered from it. It would be unthinkable to make individuals responsible for the wrongdoing of their distant ancestors, or to require them to enrich the great-great-great grandchildren of the victims. The overwhelming majority of nonblack Americans have no family connection to slavery in any case -- most of us are descended from the millions of immigrants who came to this country after the Civil War.
And here's the answer to the money hungry creeps posing as activists:
America long ago paid the price for slavery: a horrific Civil War that killed 620,000 soldiers, more than half of them from the North. It is as vile to insist that white Americans today owe a debt for slavery as it would be to insist that black Americans owe a debt for freedom. What the reparations extremists are demanding would make a mockery of historical truth and inflame racial strife. Their cynicism is toxic, and corporate America had better find the courage to say so.
When do we find the courage to stand up to these extremists, and stop cowering, fearful of being tagged racist as they and their ilk tear this nation apart with their greed?

A Greater Freedom

I just finished reading A Greater Freedom: Stories of Faith from Operation Iraqi Freedom
I've read few books as uplifting as this one. A look at the untold story of faith and revival occurring among US soldiers throughout the Iraqi Front since day one. Filled with wonderful pictures of our men and women in combat, the stories of individual soldiers are what make the book a great Father's Day gift. Pick it up for your self, and give a copy to a friend.

Christina Aguilar Music?!?!? Now That Truly is Torture

The actual article is only available to Time subscribers, unless you want to shell out seven bucks for the paper copy. Actually, I find nothing in this summary of the coming Time article that's out of line. Of course, I would have approved the wet towel technique too. I like the idea of this terrorist creep wearing a 9/11/01 victim's picture around his neck. I'm fascinated that the thing that seemed to have finally made him crack is the close proximity of female interrogators. Guess women may have a place in combat after all.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Blogger Wanted: Apply at CNN

I'd apply,but I don't have the television experience. Sadly, I have a face that is perfect for radio, and a voice that is more appropriate to the blog. Sigh.

The Autorantic Virtual Moonbat

Okay, I admit it. I love this program! The whole time I'm typing some profound comment in haloscan, the Moonbat keeps blinking at me, and then spouting some silly leftist parody. But the parody is so close to what I'm hearing from the left that I have to stop and laugh. Someday I really hope to meet the Gleeson clan. Their service to the cause of comedy is inestimable.

MS Sucks: Perspective on a Horrible Illness

A very good friend of mine has severe mulitiple sclerosis. It affects every facet of her life. This site has given me a great deal of perspective on her plight, and the courage she shows every single day by just opening her eyes in the morning. One of the best parts of the site is The MS Perspective Kit. A great way to understand the millions of sufferers of this awful disease.

Friday, June 10, 2005

What's All the Hubbub, Bub?

Ah-hah!!! They've found the goods at last! That reliable bastion of the TRUTH, the New York Times has outed the heretic, who dares defy the Holy Right of the Greenhouse Effect. How dare he change that which is the Word of our Righteous Earth Mother, Gaia, as spake by our Holy Men, the Environmental Scientists.

Here, from The Inalienable Right, is a correct reading of the story. Won't slow down the witchhuntes on the left, but at least presents a fair parsing of another Gotcha! story from the Grey Lady.

Faith of our Fathers

An important column for Father's Day:

Should we fear a man who prays?

Some liberals think that we should. They’re apparently comfortable, to judge from Father’s Day advertisements, with men who fish, golf, repair things and fix hamburgers on the grill. But one who goes to church every week, or who prays daily with his children, is viewed with suspicion, if not downright hostility.

Now, before you start commenting with words like Patriarchy and subjugation and such, take a deep breath, read the column, and the link to Dr. Wilcox paper...then comment.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Great Divorce: The ECUSA

The split is coming quickly:
Twenty Episcopal bishops at odds over homosexual clergy will attempt to reconcile their differences next month, but church conservatives say the meeting's real business is to start discussions on how to divide their assets in the event of a split.
If differences between Episcopal liberals and conservatives are quickly determined to be "irreconcilable," says retired Diocese of Florida Bishop Stephen Jecko, the discussion will switch to engineering a breakup without running up millions of dollars in lawsuits.
Further:
The Los Angeles gathering would be the first admission of schism by the 2.2-million-member denomination.
"It'll be who gets the money and who gets the kids," Bishop Jecko said. "I hope it will be an amicable divorce. ... Those of us on the [theologically] orthodox side have no interest in going to court."
Speaking as one of those kids, the divorce can't come quickly enough. The fear for the left is that they will be the ones left out of the wider Anglican Communion in the end. They may also lose some of the prime real estate, and therefore funding, to a new conservative Anglican communion. We'll see.

Koran Abuse at Gitmo Confirmed!

Before you folks on the left sigh in relief that you were right, that American soldiers really are evil, sadistic murderers, working for the "fascist" Bush Administration, you might want to read Max Boot's column. What the heck this is doing in the LA Times is beyond me. Must've got past the censors...or else the LA Times has finally decided they would like to make some money instead of just printing propaganda sheets.

Embryonic Stem Cells: A Way Out of the Darkness?

This has the potential of ending the stem cell debate. Funding should be made available to support this effort.

Howard and Hillary: From Peggy Noonan

Some columns are simply so important that nothing else needs to be said. This column from Peggy Noonan is one of those:
Close your eyes and imagine this.

President Bush is introduced at a great gathering in Topeka, Kan. It is the evening of June 9, 2005. Ruffles and flourishes, "Hail to the Chief," hearty applause from a packed ballroom. Mr. Bush walks to the podium and delivers the following address.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I want to speak this evening about how I see the political landscape. Let me jump right in. The struggle between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party is a struggle between good and evil--and we're the good. I hate Democrats. Let's face it, they have never made an honest living in their lives. Who are they, really, but people who are intent on abusing power, destroying the United States Senate and undermining our Constitution? They have no shame.

But why would they? They have never been acquainted with the truth. You ever been to a Democratic fundraiser? They all look the same. They all behave the same. They have a dictatorship, and suffer from zeal so extreme they think they have a direct line to heaven. But what would you expect when you have a far left extremist base? We cannot afford more of their leadership. I call on you to help me defeat them!"

Imagine Mr. Bush saying those things, and the crowd roaring with lusty delight. Imagine John McCain saying them for that matter, or any other likely Republican candidate for president, or Ken Mehlman, the head of the Republican National Committee.

Can you imagine them talking this way? Me neither. Because they wouldn't.

Read the whole thing. It's an important commentary on Democrat politics.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Liberty Just in Case Avatar


Patriotic Avatar, originally uploaded by Longinus62.

Thanks to Zaph, this will be the avatar for Liberty Just in Case over at Balance of Power. It really does represent what Liberty Just in Case is about.

The Autorantic Moonbat

I resisted as long as I could. I really did! But the more I played with the moonbat on other sites, the more I realized "Ah jest had ta git me won 'a thim thangs." If you find yourself agreeing with the moonbat on most issues, seek help...now...before its too late here.

Raceology.com

I am a NASCAR fan, though certainly not as obsessed as my son. I'm certainly no mechanic, but if I were, I'd have a blog like Don Terrill's over at Raceology. com. If you're into cars, Don's site is the place to be.

So, Who's Gonna Tell JC Watts ?

Howard Dean is the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since Bill Clinton redefined sex. Now, he's saying Republicans are the "White Christian Party." I suppose that's better than being the White Christmas Party, as the membership is larger, and precinct meetings happen more than once a year. But, since none of us have done an honest day's work, as Dr. Dean says, we have lots of time for meetings, get-togethers, even BBQ's.

A question though. What does that make the Democrat Party. The Black Satanist Party? The Mauve Pagan party? How about the Chartreuse I-Don't-Want-To -Believe-Anything-Cuz-I-Might-Have-To-Have-An-Original-Idea Party?

Balance of Power is Up: The United Nations

Pending the confirmation of Mr. Bolton, the United Nations still retains all nine useless stories. This may change after Balance of Power gets through with this corrupt institution...: -)

By the by, I'll be filling in for Jay for the next few weeks over at BoP. As the man said after getting ridden out of town on a rail, "If it wasn't for the honor of the thing, I'd just as soon have walked." (hat tip to Abe Lincoln, a real straight man, despite rumors to the contrary.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Moral Freefall: The Gun-Toting Liberal

So, here I am, posting all these intellectual guys making money off their writing, and GT's post was just waiting to have the last word. Oh, are some of you gonna hate this....:-)

Moral Freefall: Just One More From OpinionJournal

One of those poor innocents about which Amnesty International shows concern:
But before leaving this episode, we'd like to remind readers of the case of Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. On November 19, 2001, Amnesty issued one of its "URGENT ACTION" reports on his behalf: "Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Iraqi citizen Ahmad Hikmat Shakir, who is being held by the Jordanian General Intelligence Department. . . . He is held incommunicado detention and is at risk of torture or ill-treatment." Pressure from Amnesty and Saddam Hussein's Iraq worked; Mr. Shakir was released and hasn't been seen since.

Mr. Shakir is believed to be an al Qaeda operative who abetted the USS Cole bombing and 9/11 plots, among others. Along with 9/11 hijackers Khalid al Midhar and Nawaf al Hazmi, he was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was working there as an airport "greeter"--a job obtained for him by the Iraqi embassy. When he was arrested in Qatar not long after 9/11, he had telephone numbers for the safe houses of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. He was inexplicably released by the Qataris and promptly arrested again in Jordan as he attempted to return to Iraq.

There remains a dispute about whether this is the same Ahmed Hikmat Shakir that records discovered after the Iraq w

ar list as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Saddam Fedayeen--the 9/11 Commission believes these are two different people--and whether Mr. Shakir thus represents an Iraqi government connection to 9/11. But there is no doubt that the Hussein regime, whatever its reasons, was eager to have the al Qaeda Shakir return to Iraq. It was aided and abetted to this end by Amnesty International.

We don't recount this story to suggest Amnesty was actively in league with Saddam. But it shows that, even after 9/11, Amnesty still didn't think terrorism was a big deal. In its eagerness to suggest that every detainee with a Muslim name is some kind of political prisoner, and by extension to smear America and its allies, Amnesty has given the concept of "aid and comfort" to the enemy an all-too-literal meaning.

Election 2006: Katherine Harris For Senate

2006 looks to be almost as much fun as 2004 for political junkies. Not that I would know...Gotta go... C-Span II is showing the Senate Debate on which wallpaper would look best in the Senate Dining Room. Can't miss that!

The Nine Planets

Few sites better for an overall look at our Solar System. Great photographs, and updated regularly.

Hellooooo!!!!! Is ANYONE in Hollywood Listening?!?!?

This is great news!
The new, expanded study examines the revenue and production costs for 3,000 Motion Picture Assn. of America-rated theatrical films released between Jan. 1, 1989, and Dec. 31, 2003, using the 200 most widely distributed films each year based on the number of theaters.

"While the movie industry produced nearly 12 times more R-rated films than G-rated films from 1989-2003, the average G-rated film produced 11 times greater profit than its R-rated counterpart," said Dick Rolfe, the group's founder and chairman.
So why did Reuters feel compelled to include this at the beginning?:
The survey was commissioned by the Dove Foundation, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based group that advocates wholesome family entertainment. According to its Web site, its advisory board includes radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger and "Touched By an Angel" executive producer Martha Williamson.
At least they didn't use the word "conservative" in the paragraph.


Moral Freefall: Amnesty International

Three must read editorials on Amnesty International. Below are small excerpts. Please read them completely before commenting:

Kenneth Anderson:
We also know that it is suicidally irresponsible for groups that depend on the moral force of their pronouncements to habitually say things they don't actually mean. Rhetorical inflation is a dangerous indulgence for the human rights movement. And it is a bad thing for the cause of human rights.
Dennis Prager:
That devolution was most apparent years ago when Amnesty International listed the United States as a major violator of human rights because it executed murderers. The organization's inability to morally distinguish between executing murderers and executing innocent people means that Amnesty International is worse than ineffectual; the good it has done notwithstanding, it is becoming harmful to the cause of human rights.
His statistical comparison between Gitmo and the Gulags is worth a read all its own.

And speaking of comparisons,
David Limbaugh:

If the Left could bring itself to take a hiatus from its hyperbole in redefining "torture" so as conveniently to encompass the detention practices of the U.S. military in Guantanamo and elsewhere, perhaps it could rediscover the true meaning of torture by perusing the pages of Solzhenitsyn's gripping account.

If they want to understand what real torture-minded interrogators have been known to do, they could begin with the chapter on "The Interrogation." The chapter begins, "If the intellectuals in the plays of Chekhov who spent all their time guessing what would happen in 20, 30, or 40 years had been told that in 40 years interrogation by torture would be practiced in Russia; that prisoners would have their skulls squeezed within iron rings; that a human being would be lowered into an acid bath; that they would be trussed up naked to be bitten by ants and bedbugs; that a ramrod heated over a primus stove would be thrust up their anal canal (the 'secret brand'); that a man's genitals would be slowly crushed beneath the toe of a jackboot; and that, in the luckiest possible circumstances, prisoners would be tortured by being kept from sleeping for a week, by thirst, and by being beaten to a bloody pulp, not one of Chekhov's plays would have gotten to its end because all the heroes would have gone off to insane asylums."

Nor were these isolated, extreme, or extraordinary events being practiced "by one scoundrel alone in one secret place only, but by tens of thousands of specially trained human beasts standing over millions of defenseless victims."

Oh, yes, and lest we forget, the interrogators of the Soviet camps were not trying to extract information from their subjects for such laudatory purposes as preventing the further slaughter of innocent human beings such as the victims of the Sept. 11 massacres. "Throughout the years and decades, interrogations under Article 58 were almost never undertaken to elicit the truth, but were simply an exercise in an inevitably filthy procedure: Someone who had been free only a little while before, who was sometimes proud and always unprepared, was to be bent and pushed through a narrow pipe where his sides would be torn by iron hooks and where he could not breathe, so that he would finally pray to get to the other end. And at the other end, he would be shoved out, an already processed native of the Archipelago, already in the promised land. (The fool would keep on resisting! He even thought there was a way back out of the pipe.)"

The left's hysteria trivializes the true evil of places like the Gulag. It reveals an ignorance of the history of the Evil Empire, and evil in general. It also accuses both the current administration, and individual soldiers of horrendous evil without evidence in order to fulfill their own agenda.

Monday, June 06, 2005

So, What Was The First Thing You Saw This Morning?


For many men this morning 61 years ago, this was the last thing they saw. May we never forget their sacrifice, may we always remember the cost.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Well, We Don't Know for SURE It's A Gulag...

So here's what Amnesty International Doesn't know:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite highly publicized charges of U.S. mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, the head of the Amnesty International USA said on Sunday the group doesn't "know for sure" that the military is running a "gulag."

Executive Director William Schulz said Amnesty, often cited worldwide for documenting human rights abuses, also did not know whether Secretary Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved severe torture methods such as beatings and starvation.

Schulz recently dubbed Rumsfeld an "apparent high-level architect of torture" in asserting he approved interrogation methods that violated international law.

"It would be fascinating to find out. I have no idea," Schulz told "Fox News Sunday."

And here's what they do know:

Asked about the comparison, Schulz said, "Clearly this is not an exact or a literal analogy."

"... But there are some similarities. The United States is maintaining an archipelago of prisons around the world, many of them secret prisons into which people are being literally disappeared ... And in some cases, at least, we know that they are being mistreated, abused, tortured and even killed."

"And whether the Americans like it or not, it does reflect how the more than 2 million Amnesty members in a hundred countries around the world and indeed the vast majority of those countries feel about the United States' detention policy," he said.

Biden added: "More Americans are in jeopardy as a consequence of the perception that exists worldwide with its existence than if there were no (Guantanamo)."

In order to believe Amnesty International, you must believe that American servicemen are systematically torturing political dissidents. These same servicemen, some of them reservists, are sadistic bastards, intent on doing as much physical, emotional, and spiritual harm to innocent men who just happen to have had guns in their hands when captured.

Oh, I can hear you thinking, "Abu Ghraib! Abu Ghraib!" The key word is systematic. No matter how much you may want to think it, Abu Ghraib was not systematic, nor was it an eevv-illl conspiracy of the Bush Administration. But regardless of your feelings about the Bush Administration, you must believe that the spirit of Abu Ghraib rests in our military men and women. Amnesty is accusing American servicemen of sadism on a grand scale. These same servicemen who may be your local attorney, policeman, or former classmate from school. Can you imagine the man or woman you know personally engaging in the kind of thing Amnesty is now "not so sure of?"

One last thing: Who blew the whistle on Abu Ghraib? Was it an enterprising journalist? A modern day Woodward/Bernstein with his very own Deep Throat? Nope. It was an American Soldier, sickened by the abuses of a few of his comrades.

Who do you think is promoting this "perception" of Guantanamo? And who stands to gain from promoting the "perception" that American Soldiers are sadistic, evil inhumans?

The Gulag Archepelago was written in the blood of its author and his cellmates. In order to believe Amnesty International, one must believe that The United States is like The Soviet Union in its love of institutional evil. Do you believe that? Well, do you?


Friday, June 03, 2005

Revenge of the Sith: An Emotion I Didn't Expect to Feel

I stood in line for 2 hours for Star Wars, 4 hours for Empire Strikes Back, and played poker and spades for 6 hours before getting in for Return of the Jedi. Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were out on video by the time I got around to seeing them (marriage, children, and graduate school interfered), and I have rented them numerous times for my children's edification. Yes, I'm a fan.

So, while my wife took the kids to see Madagascar, I took the opportunity to preview Episode III. It's PG-13, and except for extraordinary circumstances, our kids don't see PG-13 movies. Besides, I wanted to spend some quality alone time with the conclusion of my favorite movie series.

The familiar words Star Wars rolled across the screen, with the familiar fanfare, then the synopsis of events slowly scrolling across the starfield in yellow. Then off we go! For a full 10 minutes I was back in my Junior High years at the old Hornbeck in Shawnee Oklahoma....and then things sloooowwweeedddd waaaayyy dooowwwnnn.

I expected alot of emotions from Sith, but boredom was not one of them. I knew I was in trouble when I started looking at my watch as one of the interminable light saber duels began to drag on. Now, don't get me wrong. I LIKE light sabers. My son has one, I had one, and I suspect my grandchild will have one. But after what seemed like 20 minutes of thrust and parry, I found myself desperately wishing for Errol Flynn in his green Robin Hood tights to step in and show them how it's done. And if Padme and Anakin discussed their angst ridden relationship one more time, I swear I was gonna go get my free refill of popcorn!

Okay, the special effects were really (yawn) fantastic. But when you've seen your first ten ships blown up, you've seen 'em all. And, speaking of special effects, I found General Grievous, well, a little, well, grievous in his lack of of believability.

So, I'll dutifully get Episodes I, II and III when they come out on DVD as a set, and will probably take my kids to see the darn thing when it hits the dollar theater here in town. But I'm really disappointed. I expected so much more, and got so much less. It makes me really glad the series has finally come to an end.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

No Posts Today or Tomorrow

The kids will finish school tomorrow. I'll be taking some time to hang out with them, in preparation of a fun summer. I may be back on Monday, sooner if events warrant.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Another Rejection of the EU Constitution

My hope for Europe has just gone up another notch.