Saturday, July 30, 2005
First, a beautiful picture of frozen water in a Martian crater. What a wonderful resource for future colonists. Not quite warm enough for swimming, but a great source of water, fuel, and oxygen.
Also, a big story. This discovery of a new planet at least one and a half times the size of Pluto renews the debate about defining exactly what a planet really is. How many more like this are there out there?
One of the best sites around for all the late breaking info on both of these stories is Bad Astronomy. The webhost is actually a very good astronomer, but he goes after all the fun, but nutty bad astronomy floating around the internet.
One more thing: While looking for Bad Astronomy, I came across Bad Astronomer, a fascinating look at the death of the Orion Project, one of the great "might have beens" in manned space flight.
Friday, July 29, 2005
It begins with former Air America CEO Evan Cohen, who resigned last year from the network after some of its more infamous early debacles. You might remember Cohen was a key part of an HBO documentary, detailing its first days.
Cohen also happened to serve on Gloria Wise's board and convinced club leader and community activist Charles Rosen to "invest" at least $480,000 in the upstart political talk network.
Rosen has recently resigned from the board, according to New York Nonprofit Press.
The money, intended as a loan to be repaid with interest, was agreed to by Rosen after being sold on the idea of stretching their grant money further, according to one account. Part of the deal included promotional consideration of Gloria Wise's activities on Air America's programs.
Did that ever occur? If so, what was the benefit to Gloria Wise?
More importantly, has Air America paid back any of the money to date?
There are many more questions than answers at this point, but New York City's Department Of Investigation (DOI) is leading the effort to find out where the money went. Will indictments follow?
So far, the activity programs have been saved as other non-profit agencies scrambled to pick up the slack, while investigators look at Gloria Wise's records.
Cohen may be long-gone from Air America, but who else still at the network might have knowledge of this "investment"?
Has there been a media cover-up? In the Radio Equalizer's view, yes.
This has all the makings of a huge blogstorm. Hugh Hewitt is all over it, as is Michelle Malkin.
But the blogger who broke the story is Brian Maloney, at The Radio Equalizer. We'll see if the MSM jumps on this one. I wonder if it would get any coverage if these allegations were made about, oh, say, Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity? I'm thinking you would have heard the story by now if it had.
And here's an editorial from the Washington Times explaining all this.
DUBAI The world of Islam is on fire. Indeed, the Muslim mind is on fire. Above all, the West is now ready to take both of them on.He then lists the bombings in Iraq, in London, in Madrid, in Palestine. And the supposed causes?:
The latest reliable report confirms that on average 33 Iraqis die every day, executed by Iraqis and foreign jihadis and suicide bombers, not by US or British soldiers. In fact, fewer than ever US or British soldiers are dying since the invasion more than two years ago. Instead, we now watch on television hundreds of innocent Iraqis lying without limbs, bleeding in the streets dead or wounded for life. If this is jihad someone got his religious education completely upside down.
The excuse in all the above cases was the war in Iraq, but let us not forget that in September 2001, long before Iraq, Osama Bin Laden proudly announced that he ordered the killing of some 3,000 in the United States, in the name of avenging Islam. Let us not forget that the killing began a long time before the invasion of Iraq.And the consequences for the Islamo-Fascists:
Indeed, jihadis have been killing for a decade in the name of Islam. They killed innocent tourists and natives in Morocco and Egypt, in Africa, in Indonesia and in Yemen, all done in the name of Islam by Muslims who say that they are better than all other Muslims. They killed in India, in Thailand and are now talking of killing in Germany and Denmark and so on. There were attacks with bombs that killed scores inside Shia and Sunni mosques, inside churches and inside synagogues in Turkey and Tunisia, with Muslim preachers saying that it is okay to kill Jews and Christians - the so called infidels.
Do the cowardly jihadis who recruit suicide bombers really think that they will force the US Army and British troops out of Iraq by killing hundreds of innocent Iraqis? US troops now have bases and operate in Iraq but also from Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.It looks like the jig is up:
The only accomplishment of jihadis is that now they have aroused the great "Western Tiger". There was a time when the United States and Europe welcomed Arab and Muslim immigrants, visitors and students, with open arms. London even allowed all dissidents escaping their countries to preach against those countries under the guise of political refugees.
Well, that is all over now. Time has become for the big Western vengeance.Unless the mythical "moderate" muslims take a firm, and vocal, stand, Mr. Ibrahim's editorial will stand as a prophetic standard in the current war. A powerful statement indeed.
Visas for Arab and Muslim young men will be impossible to get for the United States and Western Europe. Those working there will be expelled if they are illegal, and harassed even if their papers are in order.
Airlines will have to right to refuse boarding to passengers if their names even resemble names on a prohibited list on all flights heading to Europe and the United States.
What is more important to remember is this: When the West did unite after World War II to beat communism, the long Cold War began without pity. They took no prisoners. They all stood together, from the United States to Norway, from Britain to Spain, from Belgium to Switzerland. And they did bring down the biggest empire. Communism collapsed.
I fear those naïve Muslims who think that they are beating the West have now achieved their worst crime of all. The West is now going to war against not only Muslims, but also, sadly, Islam as a religion.
In this new cold and hot war, car bombs and suicide bombers here and there will be no match for the arsenal that those Westerners are putting together - an arsenal of laws, intelligence pooling, surveillance by satellites, armies of special forces and indeed, allies inside the Arab world who are tired of having their lives disrupted by demented so-called jihadis or those bearded preachers who, under the guise of preaching, do little to teach and much to ignite the fire, those who know little about Islam and nothing about humanity.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
The greatest danger is that we fail to face up to the nature of the threat we are dealing with. What we witnessed in London last Thursday week was not an aberrant act.
It was not random. It was not a product of particular local circumstances in West Yorkshire.
Senseless though any such horrible murder is, it was not without sense for its organisers. It had a purpose. It was done according to a plan. It was meant.
What we are confronting here is an evil ideology.
It is not a clash of civilisations - all civilised people, Muslim or other, feel revulsion at it. But it is a global struggle and it is a battle of ideas, hearts and minds, both within Islam and outside it.
This is the battle that must be won, a battle not just about the terrorist methods but their views. Not just their barbaric acts, but their barbaric ideas. Not only what they do but what they think and the thinking they would impose on others.
This ideology and the violence that is inherent in it did not start a few years ago in response to a particular policy. Over the past 12 years, Al-Qaeda and its associates have attacked 26 countries, killed thousands of people, many of them Muslims.
They have networks in virtually every major country and thousands of fellow travellers. They are well-financed. Look at their websites.
They aren't unsophisticated in their propaganda. They recruit however and whoever they can and with success.
Neither is it true that they have no demands. They do. It is just that no sane person would negotiate on them.
| || This is a religious ideology... Those who kill in its name believe genuinely that in doing it, they do God's work; they go to paradise. |
They demand the elimination of Israel; the withdrawal of all Westerners from Muslim countries, irrespective of the wishes of people and government; the establishment of effectively Taleban states and Sharia law in the Arab world en route to one caliphate of all Muslim nations.
We don't have to wonder what type of country those states would be. Afghanistan was such a state. Girls put out of school.
Women denied even rudimentary rights. People living in abject poverty and oppression. All of it justified by reference to religious faith.
The 20th century showed how powerful political ideologies could be. This is a religious ideology, a strain within the world-wide religion of Islam, as far removed from its essential decency and truth as Protestant gunmen who kill Catholics or vice versa, are from Christianity. But do not let us underestimate it or dismiss it.
Those who kill in its name believe genuinely that in doing it, they do God's work; they go to paradise.
From the mid 1990s onwards, statements from Al-Qaeda, gave very clear expression to this ideology: "Every Muslim, the minute he can start differentiating, carries hatred towards the Americans, Jews and Christians. This is part of our ideology. The creation of Israel is a crime and it has to be erased.
"You should know that targeting Americans and Jews and killing them anywhere you find them on the earth is one of the greatest duties and one of the best acts of piety you can offer to God Almighty. Just as great is their hatred for so-called apostate governments in Muslim countries. This is why mainstream Muslims are also regarded as legitimate targets".
At last year's (Labour) party conference, I talked about this ideology in these terms.
Its roots are not superficial, but deep, in the madrassas of Pakistan, in the extreme forms of Wahabi doctrine in Saudi Arabia, in the former training camps of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan; in the cauldron of Chechnya; in parts of the politics of most countries of the Middle East and many in Asia; in the extremist minority that now in every European city preach hatred of the West and our way of life.
This is what we are up against. It cannot be beaten except by confronting it, symptoms and causes, head-on. Without compromise and without delusion.
The extremist propaganda is cleverly aimed at their target audience. It plays on our tolerance and good nature.
It exploits the tendency to guilt of the developed world, as if it is our behaviour that should change, that if we only tried to work out and act on their grievances, we could lift this evil, that if we changed our behaviour, they would change theirs. This is a misunderstanding of a catastrophic order.
Their cause is not founded on an injustice. It is founded on a belief, one whose fanaticism is such it can't be moderated. It can't be remedied. It has to be stood up to.
And, of course, they will use any issue that is a matter of dissent within our democracy. But we should lay bare the almost-devilish logic behind such manipulation.
If it is the plight of the Palestinians that drives them, why, every time it looks as if Israel and Palestine are making progress, does the same ideology perpetrate an outrage that turns hope back into despair?
If it is Afghanistan that motivates them, why blow up innocent Afghans on their way to their first ever election? If it is Iraq that motivates them, why is the same ideology killing Iraqis by terror in defiance of an elected Iraqi government?
What was September 11, 2001 the reprisal for? Why even after the first Madrid bomb (in March 2004) and the election of a new Spanish government, were they planning another atrocity when caught?
| || In the end, it is by the power of argument, debate, true religious faith and true legitimate politics that we will defeat this threat. |
Why if it is the cause of Muslims that concerns them, do they kill so many with such callous indifference?
We must pull this up by its roots. Within Britain, we must join up with our Muslims community to take on the extremists. Worldwide, we should confront it everywhere it exists.
Next week I and other party leaders will meet key members of the Muslim community. Out of it I hope we can get agreed action to take this common fight forward. I want also to work with other nations to promote the true face of Islam worldwide.
Round the world, there are conferences already being held, numerous inter-faith dialogues in place but we need to bring all of these activities together and give them focus.
Defeating the threat
We must be clear about how we win this struggle. We should take what security measures we can. But let us not kid ourselves.
In the end, it is by the power of argument, debate, true religious faith and true legitimate politics that we will defeat this threat.
That means not just arguing against their terrorism, but their politics and their perversion of religious faith. It means exposing as the rubbish it is, the propaganda about America and its allies wanting to punish Muslims or eradicate Islam.
It means championing our values of freedom, tolerance and respect for others. It means explaining why the suppression of women and the disdain for democracy are wrong.
The idea that elected governments are the preserve of those of any other faith or culture is insulting and wrong. Muslims believe in democracy just as much as any other faith and, given the chance, show it.
We must step up the urgency of our efforts. Here and abroad, the times the terrorists have succeeded are all too well known.
Less known are the times they have been foiled. The human life destroyed we can see. The billions of dollars every nation now spends is huge and growing. And they kill without limit.
They murdered over 50 innocent people (in London) last week. But it could have been over 500. And had it been, they would have rejoiced.The spirit of our age is one in which the prejudices of the past are put behind us, where our diversity is our strength. It is this which is under attack. Moderates are not moderate through weakness but through strength. Now is the time to show it in defence of our common values."
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Funny how this has been missed in the midst of searching for The Leak:
For years, nothing helped. America's children weren't reading as well as they should. An achievement gap showed black and Latino students trailing behind their white counterparts in reading and math. Educators and politicians agreed Something Must Be Done, but they made halting progress. Until now.
This month, the National Assessment of Educational Progress -- also known as the national report card -- released good news on long-term educational trends in America. Reading competency for 9-year-olds has reached its highest level since NAEP began measuring progress in 1971.
What is more, the achievement gap is narrowing. The gap between black and white 9-year-olds tested for reading was 44 points in 1971 to 26 points in 2004, while the gap between white and Latino students narrowed from 34 points in 1975 to 21 points in 2004. Half the gap-narrowing has occurred since 1999.
Of course, educrats are scrambling to make sure that no credit goes to President Bush or his No Child Left Behind program. The American Federation of Teachers issued a statement through an official, who noted that efforts that led to the higher scores predate the Bush presidency.
The AFT is right. The reforms that boosted scores predate the Bush presidency
Yes, the reforms started before Bush. But who has fought him every step of the way to keep the reforms, and the progress, going?
Bush packaged his approach under his promise to fight "the soft bigotry of low expectations." For years, educators blamed parents, demographics, money -- you name it -- for poor student performance.
Bush didn't want to hear the excuses -- and his Texas swagger paid off. As Hoover Institution fellow and sometime Bush adviser Bill Evers noted, "There's no doubt that high expectations and trying to hold the system accountable from top to the bottom is having an overall positive effect."
And so the educrats are left with weak criticisms. They complain that No Child Left Behind is underfunded -- even as Bush budgets money for the Department of Education. They argue that students have no motivation to apply themselves when they take tests -- and still the NAEP numbers are up. They note that NAEP high-school scores are flat without acknowledging that they opposed reforms that are helping more of today's 9-year-olds read.
And, they are opposing those reforms being applied to high schools. Go figure.
Until the tile came off. Live. On International television. And the nearest tow truck is still in the hangar. Uh-oh.
NASA is working with technology from the '70's. Does anybody have anything left in their house from the '70's? I may have an old Superman comic book stashed away from that period, old and fading, crumpled around the edges, but that's about it.
That comic book and the Shuttle program have alot in common. Both are falling apart, and being maintained with tape and chewing gum. The difference is my comic book is stashed in a closet. The Shuttle is on TV, with men and women aboard her. Men and women who may be younger than the craft they are flying.
It's time to start over. It's time to jettison the worn out bureaucracy of NASA, and invest our space dollars where they can be effective. The X-Prize gave us a look at the future of space flight. Private enterprise can do it better, cheaper, and safer. An influx of funds from the Federal Government could jump start the private space industry with technology from this century. It would also get us to the Moon, and Mars much faster than a plodding NASA ever could.
It's time to reach for the stars by looking forward, instead of back to a bloated government entity long past it's glory days. It's time for private enterprise to take the lead in manned space flight. It's the best way to fulfill the dream so many of us have held dear for so long.
It looks like the debris did not hit the shuttle. That's good news, but doesn't change the fact that 40 years into manned space flight, we are still parked in low Earth orbit making sure 30 year old technology hasn't led to another disaster. A far cry from Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 dream.
Update: 7:30 pm
All Shuttle flights have been grounded until further notice. The peice of foam could have caused the same catastrophe as Columbia. It keeps getting worse for NASA.
On a more positive note is this.
British entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson, has teamed up with aerospace designer, Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites to form a new aerospace production company. The new firm will build a fleet of commercial suborbital spaceships and launch aircraft.Called The Spaceship Company, the new entity will manufacture launch aircraft, various spacecraft and support equipment and market those products to spaceliner operators. Clients include launch customer, Virgin Galactic—formed by Branson to handle space tourist flights.The Spaceship Company is jointly owned by Branson’s Virgin Group and Scaled Composites of Mojave, California. Scaled will be contracted for research and development testing and certification of a 9-person SpaceShipTwo design, and a White Knight Two (WK2) mothership to be called Eve. Rutan will head up the technical development team for the SS2/WK2 combination.Space flight is coming. Just not the way NASA had planned.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the story about Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll's uninvited attendance at the July 19 funeral of Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, who was killed in Iraq on July 10. According to the paper, Knoll passed out business cards during communion, and told a grieving relative, "I want you to know our government is against this war."Good Lord. And here's the rest:
Reading the story carefully, what stands out to me is this: the Light Governor really thought she was saying something comforting.
That's more shockingly revealing, in a way, about how the liberals just don't get it than supposing she was being a mean-spirited bitch of the Michael Moore genre. Moore, who as columnist Jack Kelly reminds us in a column on Knoll's gaffe, disgracefully used footage from the funeral of an Air Force officer in Fahrenheit 9-11, doesn't give a rat's necktie who he offends and makes a (damned good) living off being a political shock jock.
Knoll, on the other hand, is just a wimpy liberal sap. She may have outstanding academic credentials and must have come from something like a normal background, having been the wife of a postmaster (since deceased), but she's been so sucked in by left-wing propaganda that she imagines any family which has lost a loved one in the Iraqi War would be comforted to know that "our government is against this war."
Okay, passing out your buisness card is tacky. Telling a grieving family that our government is against this war is just plain stupid. But pretty typical of someone immersed in the rhetoric of the left. She assumes everyone thinks like her and Michael Moore. She couldn't be more wrong.
The Democrat's loss is our gain, as his new site, The Independent Liberal will become a must read blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Good luck with the site, Joe!
An opinion-page article in The Los Angeles Times on Monday by Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, included an account of Mr. Durbin's question. Professor Turley cited unnamed sources saying that Judge Roberts had told Mr. Durbin he would recuse himself from cases involving abortion, the death penalty or other subjects where Catholic teaching and civil law can clash.
A spokesman for Mr. Durbin and Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, who spoke to Judge Roberts on Monday about the meeting, said Professor Turley's account of a recusal statement was inaccurate.
But in an interview last night, Professor Turley said Mr. Durbin himself had described the conversation to him on Sunday morning, including the statement about recusal.
Whatever the conversation in the senator's office on Friday, Mr. Durbin's question hit the fault line between liberal anxiety about theocratic intolerance and conservative fears about hostility to religion.
I agree with Hugh. Judge Roberts would do well to have a witness present during any conversations with Democrats over the next few months, especially with Senator Dick.
Monday, July 25, 2005
A second attack, only foiled through the ineptness of the terrorists.
When it was obvious he was getting off at Stockwell Tube station, the team on the bus alerted a three-man team of marksmen to move in. The decision was taken at Scotland Yard that he must not be allowed to get to the platform.
The marksmen were told: "If you think he has explosives under his coat and he fails to heed shouted warnings, then you must shoot to kill." As the three plainclothes officers closed in, they say they screamed their first warning that they were armed police. They say he turned, ran into the station concourse, vaulted the ticket barriers and reached a waiting train before they could catch him. They shot him five times in the head when they believed he was trying to trigger a bomb.
His cousin, Alex Alves, claims Mr de Menezes was "playing around with a friend in a game of chase outside the station".
The police insist he was alone during the entire journey.
Sorry. You don't play "chase" in a zippered padded jacket on a summer day in a train station the day after the second terrorist attack, and then wonder why the police shoot you. A tragedy? Yes. Understandable? Most certainly.
This summer, one big story is replaced by another -- the London bombings
July 7, the speculation that Karl Rove illegally named a covert CIA agent, the
nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, more London bombings last week.
But beneath the hubbub, we can see the playing out of another, less reported
story: the collapse of the attempts by liberal Democrats and their sympathizers
in the mainstream media -- The New York Times, etc., etc. -- to delegitimize yet
another Republican administration.
The desperate attempts, and ultimate failure of the Left, despite having the MSM on its side, to bring down the Bush Administration during wartime may well be one of the big stories of this decade.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Well, you do have to give them an email address, but other than that, you can't beat it. I've not played around with the publishing or the website software, but if it's anything close to the drawing programs, it'll do the job. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
Sen. Santorum is the latest target for the hysterical left, and even the not so hysterical left.
As for a Moral Impact Statement to determine the extent of damage such a fundamental change would cause: none. The court in Massachusetts ordered no studies or hearings. It simply, by undemocratic, authoritarian brute force, told the people of Massachusetts that marriage as we all know it is over. In fact, it declared that anyone who holds to the traditional definition of marriage is “irrational,” since there is no “rational basis” for the traditional view.
And what do the village elders in Congress today say to all of this? What do the liberals who have never met an issue that didn’t need “solving” by legislation say about the role of Congress? They say, “It’s a state issue: they can handle it.” Or they say, “It’s a judicial issue: they can handle it.” Let me translate: “We can’t come out in favor of same-sex marriage since it is too unpopular. So let’s let the unelected judges on the state and eventually federal courts do the dirty work for us.” The fact is, I could substitute the words “in the 1960s” for the word “today” in the first sentence, and the word “abortion” for the words “same-sex marriage” in the previous sentence, and you now see the strategy laid bare. This calculated plan is undemocratic, it’s an abuse of power, it savages the moral ecosystem in this country — and it worked once and is working again.
The good news is that while it is rare, Supreme Court decisions are sometimes overturned. We are now only a little more than thirty years on from Roe v. Wade. But it took more than sixty years for the “separate but equal” ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson to be overturned by Brown v. Board of Education. It took thirty years for the ruling in Lochner v. New York to be overturned. It can be done. Just like the health of the Great Lakes and the rivers of Ohio returned, so too, I believe, can our moral ecosystem right itself. All we need is leadership that understands the gravity of the problem and is determined to do something about it. And that is why disputes over nominations for federal judgeships will continue to be among the most bitterly contested matters in the U.S. Senate.
Hopefully the people of Pennsylvania will remember what they have in Senator Santorum, and send him back to the Senate in 2008.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Hard for the Wacko Left to paint him as Darth Vader with kids like this...
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
After theAnd the US is looking to WEAKEN the Patriot Act?!?!?
bombings, the first instinct of Italian police was to round up over 100 people in an anti-terrorism sweep. The first instinct of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in London Europe, meanwhile, was to warn against human-rights violations.
The responses illustrate the European weakness on terrorism: The suspects are plentiful, but the political and legal obstacles to thwarting them are more plentiful, still. More than ever, this weakness has become a global problem. That's because the worldwide center of gravity of Islamic terrorism isn't the Mideast -- it's
US Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Co. 6th Dist.) had this exchange with Orlando, Fla., radio host Pat Campbell last Friday. Campbell asked Tancredo “asked the Littleton Republican how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons,” to which Tancredo answered,
“Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites,” Tancredo answered.
“You’re talking about bombing Mecca,” Campbell said.
“Yeah,” Tancredo responded.
Good Lord. What a stupid thing to say. I could care less if he's a Republican, or what conservative credentials he may have, this needs to be withdrawn, and an abject apology made immediately.
We ARE NOT at war with Islam. We are at war with a radical sect of Islam. As Hugh Hewitt says, saying we'll bomb Mecca if we suffer a nuke strike is like the British saying they will bomb the Vatican because of IRA terrorists.
Like Senator Dick's stupidity, this statement will soon be playing throughout the Arab world, if its not already. Congressman and Senators really need to listen to the old WWII slogan, "Loose lips sink ships." Sigh.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Sunday, July 17, 2005
John Podesta on Meet the Press stated that if Rove had any character, he would resign. Even Tim Russert had to pause on that one...
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
A federal appeals court put the Bush administration’s military commissions for terrorist suspects back on track Friday, saying a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison who once was Osama bin-Laden’s driver can stand trial.
A three-judge panel ruled 3-0 against Salim Ahmed Hamdan, whose case was halted by a federal judge on grounds that commission procedures were unlawful.
“Congress authorized the military commission that will try Hamdan,” said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The protections of the 1949 Geneva Convention do not apply to al-Qaida and its members, so Hamdan does not have a right to enforce its provisions in court, the appeals judges said.
What a great decision!
Here's part of the decision that relates to The Geneva Convention:
Another problem for Hamdan is that the 1949 ConventionThe Geneva Convention DOES NOT apply to enemy combatants. Never has, and hopefully, never will.
does not apply to al Qaeda and its members. The Convention
appears to contemplate only two types of armed conflicts. The
first is an international conflict. Under Common Article 2, the
provisions of the Convention apply to “all cases of declared war
or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or
more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is
not recognized by one of them.” Needless to say, al Qaeda is
not a state and it was not a “High Contracting Party.” There is
an exception, set forth in the last paragraph of Common Article
2, when one of the “Powers” in a conflict is not a signatory but
the other is. Then the signatory nation is bound to adhere to the
Convention so long as the opposing Power “accepts and applies
the provisions thereof.” Even if al Qaeda could be considered
a Power, which we doubt, no one claims that al Qaeda has
accepted and applied the provisions of the Convention.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The Episcopal Church is fracturing across the country, and may recieve formal sanctions later this year from the wider Anglican Communion. We'll see.
HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut Episcopal Bishop Andrew Smith on Wednesday suspended one of six priests accused of refusing to recognize his authority in the wake of Smith's support for the denomination's first openly gay bishop.
The six priests asked to be supervised by someone else after Smith announced his support for the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson. Smith on Wednesday used his power to "inhibit" the Rev. Mark Hansen, and appointed another priest to lead St. John's Church in Bristol.
The inhibition prevents Hansen from leading any congregation in Connecticut for six months. If the situation is not resolved by then, Smith can officially remove Hansen from his pulpit.
Targeting children in an impoverished area being given candy by American soldiers. And the press refuses to call these animals terrorists?!? Even the BBC has taken to calling the 4 terrorists "bombers" as though they were freedom fighters. How pathetic.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomber sped up to American soldiers distributing candy to children and detonated his explosives Wednesday, killing up to 27 other people, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. One U.S. soldier and about a dozen children were among the dead.
At least 70 others, including three U.S. soldiers, were injured in the attack, Iraqi and U.S. officials said. It was the second major suicide bombing in Baghdad this week. A suicide bomber killed 25 people Sunday at an army recruiting center.
The fireball from Wednesday's blast also set a nearby house ablaze, the U.S. military said. The attack stunned the impoverished east Baghdad neighborhood of mostly Shiite Muslims and Christians.
At Kindi hospital, where many of the dead and injured were taken, one distraught woman swathed in black sat cross-legged outside the operating room.
"May God curse the mujahedeen and their leader!" she cried as she pounded her own head in grief.
Hospitals and police said between 11 and 13 children were killed. Authorities scrambled to compile a count of the dead and injured.
"The explosion was mainly on the children," resident Abbas Ali Jassim said.
Its time we called the enemy what it is, Islamo-fascist terrorists. It's time we took them down, and take out the countries that support them.
Liberals, Democrats and others on the Left frequently state that they "support the troops." For most of them, whether they realize it or not, this is not true. They feel they must say this because the majority of Americans would find any other position unacceptable. Indeed, for most liberals, the thought that they really do not support the troops is unacceptable even to them.And this:
Read the whole thing. I'm curious how my friends on the left will answer this article. I truly don't understand how you can say you support the men and women serving in Iraq, yet believe it is an evil war. That certainly appears to me to be a contradiction, and a hypocritical stance to take. Maybe a future topic for Balance of Power?
Lest this argument be dismissed as an attack on leftist Americans' patriotism, let it be clear that leftists' patriotism is not the issue here. Their honesty is.
In order to understand this, we need to first have a working definition of the term "support the troops." Presumably it means that one supports what the troops are doing and rooting for them to succeed. What else could "support the troops" mean? If you say, for example, that you support the Yankees or the Dodgers, we assume it means you want them to win.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Well, maybe yes, and maybe no. But the evidence for links between Saddam's Iraq and Al-Qaeda are building, as new documents are found and translated.
Here's a summary of what we know so far. Much of this information is new, and not reported by the MSM. Now there's a surprise.
It takes some work to get through all of this. But if you're one of those folks who have talked about Bush's lies, and "NO link" and all the rest, you owe it to your self to read the Weekly Standard article in full.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
It would appear his own emails tripped him up, after allowing an enemy combatant to testify against him. Another combatant remains detained, probably shipped to some red foreign land where brutal techniques of interrogation can be used. Sources say she was moved to the fundamentalist home of The Chief Architect himself, where she is being forced to listen to an evil form of language spoken by the natives. Sources say these people speak so slow, and with such a an accent that it reduces more civilized beings to nothing more than helpless puddles of quiche lorraine on the floor...
But remember,our enemy is wily and courageous, and has escaped the firestorm before. But our brave media fighters are ravenous, and will do what they must to bring down the evil Karl Rove and his diabolical master....
Monday, July 11, 2005
The fourth SEAL, who survived, evaded superior numbers until he escaped. Sixteen more Special Operations soldiers died in an attempt to reinforce the recon team when their MH-47 was shot down. The US response to the loss of the recon team was not to run but insert hundreds of troops into the area to find the missing men and possibly to complete the unfinished mission. The Al Qaeda might ask themselves what manner of men these are, who fight to the death rather than surrender, and who though injured evade over high and cold mountains until they have outdistanced their unwounded pursuers.Osama called these men cowards when he issued his fatwa in 1996. He may need to rethink his position during his idle time in the cave.
Most Britons can only speculate at the degree of Islamist penetration in the United Kingdom because they simply don't know, and multicultural pieties require that they keep themselves in the dark. It's not just the British left that's been skeptical of Washington's war on terror. Former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and many other Conservative grandees have been openly scornful of the Bush doctrine. Lord Hurd would no doubt have preferred a policy of urbane aloofness, such as he promoted vis-a-vis the Balkans in the early '90s. He's probably still unaware that Omar Sheikh was a Westernized non-observant chess-playing pop-listening beer-drinking English student until he was radicalized by the massacres of Bosnian Muslims.
Abdel Karim al-Tuhami al-Majati was another Europeanized Muslim radicalized by the 250,000 corpses of Bosnia. The fact that most of us were unaware of the consequences of EU lethargy on Bosnia until that chicken policy came home to roost a decade later should be sobering: It was what Donald Rumsfeld, in a remark mocked by many snide media twerps, accurately characterized as an "unknown unknown": a vital factor so successfully immersed you don't even know you don't know it.
This is the beginning of a long existential struggle. It's hard not to be moved by the sight of Londoners calmly going about their business as usual in the face of terrorism. But, if the political class goes about business as usual, that's not a stiff upper lip but a suicide cult. The question now is will the British return to the fantasy agenda of Bob Geldof or avenge their dead?
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Amazing the stuff you find when you're on a new medication that causes insomnia...sigh.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
A federal judge Wednesday served a blow to the modern slavery reparations movement by tossing out a lawsuit asking corporations that reaped profits from slave labor to pay up.
In a 104-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Norgle said slavery has caused "tremendous suffering and ineliminable scars," but an attempt by slave descendants to seek reparations "more than a century after the end of the Civil War and the formal abolition of slavery fails."
The reparations vultures have few options left to them. They know they can't win this fight in the legislatures or by an kind of referendum, and their hope for allies in the courts have now been dashed. Guess they'll have to go back to trying to shake down big companies for "discrimination."
And don't think it can't. Today's horror in London is a reminder of the World War in which we are engaged.
It is time for all of us to recognize the danger we first became cognizant of on September 11th. And it is time for both Republicans and Democrats to stand with the people of London, who's joy of yesterday has been turned to horror. This day, we are all Londoners.
Update: Nariel, over at Ancient Eyes has two moving posts on this latest atrocity from the Islamo-Fascists. Worth savoring.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
How many children must die before lawmakers and the courts decide to keep certain classes of sexual predators behind bars permanently?What a great question.
On Saturday, Duncan was arrested and charged with kidnapping 8-year-old Shasta Groene, who disappeared, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, in May. Shasta's mother, 13-year-old brother, and a family friend were found bound and bludgeoned to death at the family home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on May 16th. An observant waitress at a local restaurant spotted Duncan and Shasta eating breakfast at 2 a.m. Dylan has yet to be found alive, and police fear that remains uncovered in Montana over the weekend are his.
Duncan is only the latest in a long list of convicted sex offenders who have gone on to commit horrendous crimes after being released from jail. Earlier this year, convicted sex offender John Couey was arrested for the murder of Jessica Lunsford in Florida. While Couey was living across the street from Jessica's home, he is alleged to have taken the 9-year-old from her home, kept her hidden, sexually abused her, and then, according to his own admission, buried her alive. David Onstott, a convicted rapist out on bail for another crime, was charged just one month later with strangling a 13-year-old girl, Sarah Lunde, near her home in Tampa. In May, his jailers found that Onstott had been attempting to dig his way out of his jail cell with a metal towel holder.
The punishment for raping a child ought to be life in prison, period. There ought never to be a second chance for such persons. And while lesser sexual crimes -- fondling or possessing child pornography, for example -- might deserve a second chance, it must come under the most restrictive circumstances: life-long, electronic monitoring. Any second offense of such crimes should earn a life sentence, with no possibility of parole. Does that mean tens of thousands of ex-sexual offenders (some estimates put the number at 500,000) might end up in jail for life? Not likely, since most of these are not pedophiles, the category of sexual offenders least likely to be rehabilitated. But even if we have to build many more jails to keep such criminals behind bars, wouldn't it be worth it to save the lives of children like Jessica, Sarah, and so many others who have died because of our failure to do so?'Nuff said.
The Associated PressA unilateral decision by the United States to indefinitely retain oversight of the Internet's main traffic-directing computers prompted concerns Friday that the global telecommunications network could eventually splinter.
"This seems like an extension of American security in the aftermath of 9/11," said John Strand, a Denmark-based technology consultant. "People will ask: 'Do the Americans want to control the Internet?'"
Washington's decision, announced Thursday, departs from previously stated U.S. policy.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
But for those of us historical perspective, this map reveals just how well this conflict is actually going. We are engaged in a World War again. I wonder what the map would have looked like in 1943? or 1945? Certainly the legend would have reflected a change. The green may have been 100, the yellow 500-1000, the Orange 2500-5000, and the red 10000 or more. And most of the dead were conscripts, not volunteers. At the end of WWII, there were over 405,000 dead. Ask your grandparents about Goldstars, and how many houses had them. Then take a look at the map of today's war again.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Very violent though. The PG-13 rating is well deserved.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
GOP: CAN WE PLEASE DO IT LIKE GINSBURG? [Byron York]Hard to imagine Senator Dick or any of the other Democrats saying such things to a Bush nominee, isn't it?
Look for Republicans to point to the confirmations of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer as models of the process that should be employed in the effort to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Both Ginsburg and Breyer were nominated and confirmed at a time (1993-1994) in which the president's party -- Democrats -- also controlled the Senate. And both were given relatively easy passage through the Senate because the minority party -- Republicans -- cooperated with Democrats to ensure a quick confirmation. Ginsburg was nominated on June 14, 1993 and confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 1993. Breyer was nominated on May 13, 1994 and confirmed on July 29, 1994.
They moved with such speed because Republicans, in particular Sen. Orrin Hatch, the ranking GOP member on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, declined to challenge their records. Ginsburg, in particular, received something of a bye from Republicans despite her former position as general counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union; had they chosen to, Republicans could have hung every extreme ACLU position around Ginsburg's neck. Instead, "Sen. Hatch put an orderly and fair process above scoring political points," says one high-ranking staffer involved at the time. "It ensured that the Senate's conduct of the hearings was constructive rather than divisive."
Republicans also chose not to oppose Ginsburg even though she refused to answer dozens of questions during her confirmation hearings. Among others, she declined to give her views on Roe v. Wade, on the Second Amendment, on the death penalty, on the Voting Rights Act, on race-based congressional redistricting, and on adoption rights for gay couples, among many other issues. At one point in her hearings, Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond told her, "In preparing these questions or any others I may propound during the hearings, if you feel they are inappropriate to answer, will you speak out and say so." On another occasion, Thurmond said, "I will not press you to answer any that you feel are inappropriate."
Not surprisingly, Democrats wholeheartedly agreed. Then-chairman Sen. Joseph Biden told Ginsburg, "You not only have a right to choose what you will answer and not answer, but in my view you should not answer a question of what your view will be on an issue that clearly is going to come before the court in 50 forms probably, over your tenure on the court."
Of course, Republicans today realize that Democrats, now the minority party, will never extend to a Bush nominee the sort of treatment the GOP gave Ginsburg in 1993. Nevertheless, they will tell the story over and over, in hopes that someone will listen.
Where were you in 1994? Where was the country?
For a review, go here. It's worth getting a perspective on the last time this game was played.
One thing that did not exist in 1994 was the new media. Oh, Rush was around, but not much else. This will be the first Supreme Court nomination held in full view of the blogosphere. There will be no Borking this time around.
Here are some handy blogs to check during the next few months.
Hugh Hewitt is a great primary source. He will quickly lead you to other sources.
Confirm Them has been a great source of information throughout the Appeals Court playoff rounds. It will continue to be a main source now that we are in the Championship rounds.
The Volokh Conspiracy is run by lawyers, and is always a great place for insightful comments on all things judicial. They already have some coming attractions.
And of course, there is Powerline, the blogger's blog. These will be my main sources of info for the coming fight.
Yes, the stakes are high. Yes, I understand the issues here.
But for a political junkie, this is the World Series, the NBA playoffs, and the NCAA Final Four all rolled in to one. What a fun time to be alive. Now, who's got the popcorn?
Sorry, Mr. Phelps (I refuse to honor him with the title "Reverend") but his sacrifice DOES exclude him from your misplaced hatred. Here's another example of these misguided idiots at a military funeral, this time with pictures.
A big turnout and police bagpipes drown out a Kansas group opposed to homosexuality.By Elizabeth Mehren
Times Staff Writer
June 28, 2005
MARBLEHEAD, Mass. — This proud old seaport, whose sons and daughters have fought in every American war, was grieving for Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Piper. The 43-year-old Green Beret died after his Humvee hit a roadside bomb June 3 in Afghanistan.
When word got out that demonstrators from Kansas planned to disrupt Piper's funeral Monday, residents vowed not to let them interfere with the tribute to their hometown hero.
"I was worried that it would fester anger," said Louise Moore, 39, fighting back tears and waving a small American flag. "Instead it got everyone together."
The 14 demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., picketed Monday on a corner near the Old North Church, a Congregational parish founded in 1635, soon after Marblehead was settled. The followers of the Rev. Fred Phelps, who blame American tolerance of homosexuality for the Sept. 11 attacks and the resulting U.S. military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, have targeted Massachusetts for protests because it is the only state where same-sex marriage is legal.
Shirley Phelps-Roper, a lawyer for the Kansas church, said Monday that the funeral demonstration was nothing personal against Piper, who was not gay.
"We are protesting the sins of this nation," Phelps-Roper said. "That doesn't exclude him."
Friday, July 01, 2005
The actual story reveals just how bad things are down there...for the poor Americans having to guard these psychopaths.
"What would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called 'terrorists' at the time by the British crown, after all."He was referring to the unsurprising news that Iran's newly appointed President was one of the interrogators during the Hostage Crisis.
Michelle Malkin is all over this idiocy. I'm sure some readers may agree with Williams. I would strongly suggest you take some time to compare this guy to Jefferson, Franklin, or Washington before commenting.